Anime Network gets new outlet (eventually)
Here at Cel Shaded Central, most of the anime- and manga-related news that gets my attention -- whether found online or through press releases sent to me -- needs little explanation.
For instance, if ADV announced at the recent Anime Expo in Long Beach, Calif., that they licensed the "Devil May Cry" anime, we can agree that ADV will handle English production duties when they bring the series to the United States, and leave it at that. (And yes, that was an actual news tidbit. Consider it this week's embedded bonus content.)
Something headlined "Anime Network inks five linear carriage deals," however, takes a bit more digging to get your columnist past the "what?" stage. Particularly when one of those "linear carriage deals" involves Hawaiian Telcom.
A bit of background helps to solve this mystery: Oceanic Time Warner digital cable subscribers are already familiar with the Anime Network's video-on-demand service, which has been offered since January 2005. Through this option, viewers can choose what they want to see when they want to see it.
This was the format in which the Anime Network debuted in 2002. In 2004, however, the network kicked off its new linear format -- namely, a conventional TV network broadcasting programming on a set schedule 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That version of the Anime Network never existed locally until July 1, when a test broadcast started in Honolulu on Hawaiian Telcom channel 171.
There's just one small problem: You, dear average Joe Public reader, can't actually watch Hawaiian Telcom channel 171 ... or any of the other channels on Hawaiian Telcom's system, for that matter. At least, not yet.
That's because Hawaiian Telcom is still going through the process of applying for a cable franchise license from the state. A ninth extension of the deadline for that decision recently was granted for July 31.
But, according to Ann Nishida, Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman, the company's digital video offering still is on track to go into testing later this year, with a commercial debut sometime in 2008.
So once Hawaiian Telcom starts offering digital cable, that will bring another option to local anime fans. There certainly is some anticipation on the company's part.
"Due to the enormous popularity of animation here in Hawaii with children, teens and adults, we believe this channel will appeal to a great many of our potential customers," Nishida wrote ...
Meeting Roll Call
» MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets Sundays this month from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St. Check with the guard on the first floor for the exact room. For more information visit mangabento.googlepages.com
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao