is a Japanese anime satellite television network, dedicated to broadcasting anime programming. Headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, its co-founders and shareholders include Sony Pictures Entertainment and the noted anime studios Sunrise, Toei Animation , TMS Entertainment, and production company NAS.
Operating across Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and most recently in Europe (launching across Germany, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic in 2007, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal in 2008, and soon to be launched in the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, France and several other countries) and Africa, Animax is the first and largest 24-hour network dedicated to anime in the world , with a viewer reach of over 89 million households, 62 countries and more then 17 languages.
Its title is a portmanteau of the words and . It also has English language networks in Southeast Asia, South Asia and most recently, South Africa, and is exected to plan launching other English language networks, most notably in the United Kingdom, Australia and North America.
Established on May 20
by Sony, originally premiered in Japan on June 1
, the same year, across the SKY PerfecTV!
satellite television platform. Headquartered in Minato, Tokyo
, and presided by Masao Takiyama
, Animax's shareholders and founders include Sony Pictures Entertainment
, Toei Animation
, TMS Entertainment
, and NAS
. Its founders also include noted anime producer and production designer Yoshirō Kataoka
Animax also exhibits affiliations with anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka's Tezuka Productions company, Pierrot, Nippon Animation, and numerous others. It has been involved in the production of several anime series, such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex , Ultra Maniac, Astro Boy, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, Aishiteruze Baby, Shakugan no SHANA, and many others.
Noted Japanese celebrities and personalities to have appeared on Animax with their own programs, include actress Natsuki Kato, among numerous others. The network's narrators are the seiyū Yukari Tamura and Kōsuke Okano, and from October 2007, Sayuri Yahagi. Animax also hosts and organizes several anime-based events and concerts across Japan, such as the annual , an annual live concert during which renowned Japanese bands, artists and seiyū perform to a live audience, often held at ZEPP Tokyo, and the (a.k.a. Animax Awards), an annual anime scriptwriting competition offered by Animax since 2002 to honour the best original anime scripts and storylines of the year. Recent recipients of the award include: the fourth, winner in 2005, , produced by Toei Animation, the third, winner in 2004, , produced by Sunrise, the second, winner in 2003, , produced by TMS Entertainment, and the first, winner in 2002, , produced by Toei Animation.
Apart from operating its business primarily as a television network, Animax has also begun operating a mobile television service. In February 2007, Animax announced that it would be launching a mobile television service of its network on the mobile phone company MOBAHO! from April 2007, having its programming being viewable by the company's mobile phone subscribers.
Animax launched separate Asian versions of the channel featuring its anime programming within separate networks and feeds in the respective regions and languages beginning in 2004. The first one was launched in Taiwan
and the Philippines
on January 1
, and in Hong Kong
on January 12
. A week later, Animax launched in Southeast Asia
on January 19
, featuring its programming within feeds in English
audio, as well as Japanese
audio, with English subtitling, and other languages in the region, becoming the company's first English language network.
On July 5 2004, Animax started operations across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and South Asia, featuring its programming within an English-language feed. On April 29, 2006, Animax started its operations in Korea, featuring its programming within a separate Korean feed. On August 31, 2006, Animax launched a Malaysian feed of Animax.
Animax launched a Latin America
network on July 31
, following Sony's acquisition of Locomotion
. Animax Latin America began operating across the entire region and broadcasting its anime programming in separate Spanish
feeds across Spanish-speaking countries in the region and Brazil
respectively, becoming the region's largest anime television network.
Over the years, Animax has aired various anime series, with the Spanish versions being dubbed in Venezuela and after in Mexico, and the portuguese versions dubbed in Brazil, most of whom have never been shown before locally. Its programs include Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Noir, Wolf's Rain, Last Exile, Twin Spica, Planet Survival, Excel Saga, Samurai 7, Gun Frontier, Vandread, Gantz, Heat Guy J, Galaxy Angel, Get Backers, Hunter x Hunter and The Prince of Tennis.
Starting January 2007, Animax changed completely its lineup and some anime series that were removed before returned. Animax Latin America announced a renewal in its image and projection from August 2007, as well as the premiere of a new programming block (named Lollipop) where adult-oriented series will be destinated to.
Likewise, on March 18, 2008, it was announced that the mobile service Animax Mobile, available on Japan and Australia, will be launched as well in Mexico and eventually in other Latin American countries.
Animax has sponsored several anime-based events across North America
, including hosting an anime festival, in association with other anime distributive enterprises such as Bandai Entertainment
and VIZ Media
, across Sony's San Francisco
-based entertainment shopping complex Metreon
in October 2001, during which it aired numerous of its anime titles across the centre, including special Gundam
, The Making of Metropolis
, and Love Hina
The noted international business newspaper The Financial Times, reported, in September 2004, of Sony planning and being "keen" to launch Animax across the United States and North America, after Sony had signed an agreement with the largest cable company in the United States, Comcast, with whom it had co-partnered in a US$4.8 billion acquisition of legendary Hollywood studio MGM, to bring at least three of Sony's television networks across the region.
On June 13
, Sony Pictures Television International officially announced that Animax would be launching its mobile television service, Animax Mobile, in Canada
from July 2007, on Bell Digital
's mobile phone service. This was Animax Mobile's third major expansion, after initially launching the mobile television service in Japan from April 2007 and Australia
from June 12, 2007.
In April 2007, Animax launched across several countries in Europe
, including Hungary
, the Czech Republic
, with Sony announcing plans to launch in the United Kingdom
and other major countries in the continent, with discussions at an advanced stage. The launch marked Animax's first major expansion into Europe. The network then soon launched in Germany
on May 2007, Slovakia
in 2008. In October 2007, further details emerged on Animax's launch details in the United Kingdom, with Sony Pictures Television International senior-vice president of international networks Ross Hair being quoted by Brand Republic's Media Week
as stating that Sony was preparing to launch Animax in the United Kingdom initially as a video on demand
service alongside other Sony television networks, with Sony also looking at launching Animax across the free digital television service Freeview
subject to new frequencies and slot being available.
Spain and Portugal
Animax began as a programming block in Spain
in the channel AXN
. It broadcasted InuYasha
, Outlaw Star
, Excel Saga
and Samurai Champloo
at weekends from 13:00 to 16:00, which began broadcasting in Portugal and Spain since October 2007 until September 2008. The channel was subsequently fully launched on April 12
on the Imagenio
platforms in Spain and Meo in Portugal.
On May 14
, Sony announced Animax would be launching in Germany
from early June 2007, becoming the country's first ever television network solely dedicated to anime programming. Animax launched in the country from June 5
on Unity Media's digital subscription television service in the regions of North Rhine-Westphalia
and other regions. Among the first anime series premiering on Animax Germany were .hack//SIGN
, Earth Girl Arjuna
, Eureka Seven
, Gundam SEED
, Oh! My Goddess
, One Piece
, Record of Lodoss War
, School Rumble
, The Candidate for Goddess
and numerous others.
The network is slated to air on Poland
, following on other similar expansions around Central Europe, and will be distributed in the country by HBO
Animax launched its mobile television service, Animax Mobile, in Australia
from June 12
, on mobile phone company 3 mobile
's mobile phone service, being viewable across 3G-capable mobile phone handsets across the country. Its initial programming on its launch consisted of four full-length anime series, Blood+
, R.O.D -The TV-
, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
and Last Exile
In August 2007, it was announced that Animax would be launching across several countries in Africa
, including South Africa
, on the DStv
The network began broadcasting in South Africa
on November 3
. It features English language programming. Animax South Africa premiered programs such as Neon Genesis Evangelion
, Tenjo Tenge
, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
, Negima!: Magister Negi Magi
, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
, Eureka 7
, Angelic Layer
, Solty Rei
, Black Cat
, Final Fantasy Unlimited
, Last Exile
, Samurai 7
, Black Jack
, Black Lagoon
, Wolf's Rain
, Gantz: The First Stage
and Elfen Lied
Animax's programming is dedicated to anime, and it has been acknowledged as the largest 24-hour anime-only network in the world . Its viewer reach has been quoted as spanning over 41 million homes across 47 countries and 17 languages. It has broadcast numerous anime series, including Blood+
, Trinity Blood
, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
, Cowboy Bebop
, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
, the entire Mobile Suit Gundam
series, Honey and Clover
, Fullmetal Alchemist
, Eureka 7
, Urusei Yatsura
, Ranma 1/2
, Rurouni Kenshin
, the Dragon Ball
series, Cardcaptor Sakura
, Tsubasa Chronicle
, Vision of Escaflowne
, Death Note
, Neon Genesis Evangelion
, Ouran High School Host Club
, Wolf's Rain
, Future Boy Conan, Haikara-san ga Tooru
, Emma - A Victorian Romance
, Darker than Black
, Wangan Midnight
, Kyo Kara Maoh
,"La Corda'd Oro Primo Passo", as well as several OVA
series and anime films, such as Steamboy
, Tokyo Godfathers
, Ghost in the Shell
, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
, Nasu: Summer in Andalusia
, Blood: The Last Vampire
and many others.
Translation and dubbing teams
Animax have utilized numerous translation
studios for the broadcast of numerous of its anime series across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia
and South Asia
, some of which were not licensed by North American distributors and do not have any English adaptation counterparts, such as Detective School Q
, Dokkiri Doctor
, Twin Spica
, Zettai Shōnen
, Clamp School
, Emma: A Victorian Romance
, Future Boy Conan
, numerous installments of the World Masterpiece Theater
series, and numerous others. Animax have also produced and aired uncensored English versions and dubs of anime series, among the most notable of them being their dub of Cardcaptor Sakura
, which was shown uncensored and retained all of the original names, plot details and dialogue, and numerous others.
For broadcast across its English-language networks, Animax has also broadcast English dubs produced by other enterprises, such as Bandai Entertainment, The Ocean Group, Funimation, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Geneon Entertainment, Industrial Smoke & Mirrors, VIZ Media, Central Park Media, Omni Productions, and numerous others, airing their dubs of Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, Mobile Suit Gundam, Brain Powerd, Please Teacher!, Galaxy Angel, Arjuna, Jubei-chan, Tsukikage Ran, Angel Tales, Saber Marionette, Appleseed, Alien 9, the InuYasha films, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yukikaze and several others.