Boomer Into Zoomer Land: My Adventures In The Philippine Anime Community Part 1

Prologue

Matagal ko nang pinaplano ‘tong isulat, kahit noong di ko pa naisipang magsulat ng blog. I have been an anime fan through and through and yes, I still follow seasonal anime but not that much because I, at least in relation to my tastes, am a boomer. I’d prefer watching Dragon Ball than Demon Slayer but I also admit that not everything from the past is objectively good.

This will be a two-part series, one will focus on my beginning as an anime fan in the Philippines and my disassociation from the current fanbase while the second part will deal more with the “batang 90s” that I also don’t like to a degree as well but that’s for another day.

I. GMA’s Final Stand

Watch out, because this one’s a killer!

GMA announcer, somewhere in 2001

Ah yes, GMA Anime Assault, the rebranding of their anime primetime block from 1999-2002. At this point in time, sure namamayagpag pa rin ang anime pero at this point in time, it’s not as strong as it was before because the other channel, ABS-CBN, has just released the original Pangako Sa’ Yo aired on November 13, 2000 and like how the WWF trumped WCW in ratings in 1998, so too did ABS-CBN, proving that anime as primetime material to be just a fad, nothing more and nothing less to be relegated in the afternoons.

Then came the anime killer, CTC’s Liúxīng Huāyuán aka Meteor Garden which aired in May of 2003 at 3:30 p.m. From then on, both primetime and afternoon blocks are now dominated by Asian and South American dramas as well as some locally made series, proving once again that the stereotype anime is just for kids even though three years ago, people lapped up everything from the Dark Tournament to the cheesy isekai drama Fushigi Yuugi. Mga tao nga talaga, ang bilis makalimot.

II. ABS-CBN and TV5 Saved The Day…For Now

Remember when I said na mabilis makalimot ang mga tao? Yes? As it turns out, it also happens on upper management for you see, in March of 2004, less than a year after ABS-CBN moved Meteor Garden was moved to 5:30 PM to serve as lead-in to TV Patrol, they aired the anime adaptation of Naruto.

Said global phenomenon will not reach America until 2007
Wrong series, TV5. Also, this never happened

This proved to be a success as everyone, pati yung teacher mong sobrang boomer na hindi nanonood ng kahit anong cartoons, alam nya kung ano yung Naruto. It has become so popular that even back in the day, everyone I know started buying Naruto headbands. That’s not all, the newly rebranded TV5 comes off with the Animega block.

The Animega block. TV5’s successful anime block that gave birth to the current generation of anime fans (more on that later) and gave us the modern Filipino anime community.

At this point, TV5 is a newly created channel, brought up from the ashes of the old ABC 5 and they tried to be this hip, cool, and edgy by airing a genre that hasn’t been been in primetime since 2001 or since, anime and mind you, this isn’t your Showa era anime being aired here but it’s anime that recently finished airing in Heisei era Japan.

Stuff like Shakugan no Shana and Mai-HIME ruled the afternoon time slot but it’s not enough to penetrate the ratings as insert-race-here drama or the last two hours of noontime variety shows ruled the roost in TV ratings probably because di nila sinasama afternoon ratings on their surveys and the stigma that anything animated not named The Simpsons or South Park are just for kids which rustled the jimmies of some people.

These are actual 2009 TV ratings. Notice na walang anime sa TV5 or anything TV5 for that matter na nakapasok sa top 10.

This is where I come in. By the time all of this stuff started to unravel, I wasn’t that much of an anime fan since it died a horrible death in the early 2000s and then high school happened. At that point, umabsent ako because of diarrhea or lagnat or something so I stayed home and what do you know? TV5 aired back-to-back episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu and THAT made me watch Animega.

The next few weeks were something as people I know who never watched anime suddenly started talking about Special A and suddenly, I started watching Azumanga Daioh and my brothers started watching Code Geass and that kids, is where things get started.

2 thoughts on “Boomer Into Zoomer Land: My Adventures In The Philippine Anime Community Part 1

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