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Animax Unveils New Look and Programming

Animax, Asia’s first and leading anime and youth entertainment pay-TV channel, will be sporting a new look, adding programming choices, and taking viewer interaction to a whole new level from 3 May 2010.

Press Release from Animax

16 March 2010, Singapore – Animax, Asia’s first and leading anime and youth entertainment pay-TV channel, will be sporting a new look, adding programming choices, and taking viewer interaction to a whole new level from 3 May 2010.

This is in line with a global refresh of Animax TV networks worldwide, with the new Animax being able to provide a two-way entertainment experience rich with audience input to create an authentic regional flavor and appeal.

Often regarded as ‘sacred’, on-air graphics elements such as channel IDs and menus are always zealously guarded as they are deemed as an integral part of a channel’s brand identity. For the first time ever, Animax will offer viewers the opportunity to directly shape and colour the on-air look and feel of a television channel, with new on-air elements specifically designed to enable this.

Its change in appearance is also complemented by the addition of more live-action shows led by a brand new Korean youth-interest programming block to serve up entertainment, variety, reality and ‘idol’ drama shows, as well as movies.

The addition does not, however, change Animax’s commitment to bring on the latest and best anime programming as the channel continues to pursue its strategy of simulcasting new anime series with Japan, with Maid Sama! lined up as the next same-week-as-Japan simulcast anime series, premiering in early April 2010.

A new look with viewer interactionWholly-owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and operated by SPE Networks – Asia, Animax Asia is unveiling a new logo along with an on- and off-air graphics package to match. However, the new on-air look is much more than just passive design graphics on screen, as there will be an opportunity for viewers to get creative and actually determine how Animax looks on air!

As part of the brand new on-air graphics package, upcoming shows on the channel will be introduced by a ‘handheld slate’ with a customizable background dedicated to showcasing the creativity of Animax viewers. Spotlighting the best pictures shared by viewers as the featured background each week, selected contributions will be seen by millions of Animax viewers across Asia. Pictures can be that of the viewer’s favourite haunt, the best-loved corner of the bedroom, or even a shot of contents in the fridge!  With full credit to the contributing viewer on air, it serves as a unique form of recognition for each viewer’s creative efforts to shape and colour Animax. Continuing to engage its youth audiences, this represents Animax’s latest initiative to embrace user-generated content (UGC) by being among the world’s first TV networks to enable viewers to decide the channel’s on-air appearance.

Remaining in its vibrant blue colour, the Animax logo now comes in a clean, sharp font, free of the ellipse that surrounded the brand name in its previous logo. The letter ‘i’ in Animax is stylized with the dot appearing at the top end of the vertical stroke to symbolise the ‘eye’ of the youth – a visual motif signifying a sneak peek into the exciting new Animax experience.

Korean and Japanese entertainmentAlong with the new brand identity, the Animax entertainment experience continues to evolve in tandem with the tastes and preferences of its dynamic youth audiences. With Japanese and Korean entertainment proving extremely popular with youth audiences across Asia, Animax which already specializes in Japanese anime and youth programming, will add on Korean live-action shows in the channel’s programming line-up.

From May 2010, Animax viewers in Malaysia and the Philippines can expect to enjoy the Korean programming block including entertainment, variety, reality and drama shows, as well as movies, starting initially with popular drama series like Coffee Prince, My Girl and Princess Hours. The shows will be dubbed in local languages Bahasa Malaysia for Malaysia, and Tagalog for the Philippines, with viewers having the option of catching the shows in original Korean language audio with English subtitles. Viewers in all other markets will be able to catch the new Korean programming block starting from July 2010.

First simulcast anime series of 2010Indeed, the new look and programming additions do not change Animax’s strategy to offer the latest and best anime programming in the earliest broadcast windows, as it has spared no efforts and resources to bring on the channel’s first same-week-as-Japan simulcast anime series of 2010, Maid Sama!. Continuing its commitment to meet the needs of regional anime fans, Maid Sama! is already Animax’s fourth simulcast series, after Tears to Tiara, the world’s first same-time-as-Japan simulcast anime series in April 2009; as well as same-week-as-Japan broadcasts of popular series Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and InuYasha – The Final Act in April and October 2009 respectively.

Premiering 4 April, airing Sundays 8.30pm across Asia on Animax, in just three days of the series’ widely-anticipated debut in Japan, Maid Sama! is a romantic comedy anime series based on the manga series that won the author Hiro Fujiwara the ‘Outstanding Debut’ honour at the 31st Hakusensha Athena Newcomers’ Awards in Japan. The ongoing manga series is already translated to various languages and is being followed in the US, Taiwan and Hong Kong, with fans eagerly waiting to catch the anime adaptation.

Maid Sama! follows the amusing relationship that blossoms after female student council president Misaki’s secret part-time job as a ‘maid’ at a ‘maid café’ gets discovered by Takumi, the most handsome and popular boy in her high school, who keeps her secret intact but teases her mercilessly. Maid Sama! is being produced by anime studio J.C.Staff, which is also responsible for hit anime franchises Nodame Cantabile and Shakugan no Shana.

“With Korea and Japan continuing to lead entertainment trends in Asia, the addition of Korean live-action shows to our forte of Japanese entertainment enables Animax to live up to its promise as the region’s premiere youth destination. With fresh programming choices, a new look that embodies the spirit of the channel, and a whole suite of new on-air and on-line interactive opportunities, viewers can expect a whole new and immersive Animax experience that is truly ‘A World Less Ordinary’. Going forward, we are also expecting to further localize Animax for individual markets with programming and marketing initiatives to tailor to the needs of audiences in specific markets,” said Gregory Ho, Vice President and General Manager, Animax Asia.

About ANIMAX ASIALaunched 1 January 2004, ANIMAX is Asia’s first youth brand specialising in the fastest growing youth entertainment genre – anime; along with youth programming including exclusive original productions, music, technology, gaming and lifestyle shows.

ANIMAX offers youth and young adults a place to escape to. An extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world where they can express their thoughts, communicate their passion and exercise their creativity. A world which celebrates the joy of youth and recognises them for who they are; a world of fun, happiness and excitement… In short, A World Less Ordinary.

Reaching 40 million viewers in 27 million homes across 18 countries, ANIMAX is wholly-owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by SPE Networks – Asia which also operates AXN, AXN BEYOND and SONY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION. Visit www.animax-asia.com for more.

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