ANIME FANS are looking forward this month — on Sunday the 21st, to be exact — to watch our very own product. This masterpiece is a revolutionary move since the inception of Pinoy animation in the small screens in the late 1980s.
Barangay 143, animated by Quezon City-based ASI Studios (in collaboration with Synergy88, Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi and Singapore-based August Media), is a coming-of-age anime about a Korean basketball player who came to the Philippines in search of his father but his search ends up in Tondo, Manila where he finds an unusual group of basketball-loving misfits.
For its intended, catered audience who keeps refreshing over Anime Pilipinas and other anime news sites since its announcement for two years and who maintains the hype by downloading their namesake mobile app, it’ll be totally worth the wait.
Characters and Voice Actors
Starstruck 6 Male Survivor Migo Adecer will supply the voice of protagonist Bren T. Park as Julie Anne San Jose supplies Vicky, his love interest. Other stars that lend a voice include Ruru Madrid for Joaquin “Wax” Rivera, Cherie Gil for Sophia Rivera, Kimpoy Feliciano for Ipe Aguilar, Cheska Garcia as young Sophia, Archie Alemania for Jugo Sikat and Doug Kramer (an active basketball player who plays for Phoenix Fuel Masters on PBA) as the young commissioner.
Unnoticeably, Edu Manzano and John Arcilla — both currently portraying as President Lucas Cabrera and Director Renato Hipolito respectively in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano on the rival network — will voice as Commissioner “Jumping Jack” Rivera and Coach Bobby Sebastian correspondingly.
Ready for a Revival on PHTV?
With this show looming, few are now asking themselves if this moment could mark the revival of local animated series in our own television networks.
Realists would jump over and answer immediately to “hate to burst [another’s] bubble” and accept that genre won’t be acquired anymore due to the passage of time and preference. Perhaps, it’s true, citing the spirit of last July’s article here on the Turf where children’s programming no longer air on main networks and leave it all to sectarian-based UHF networks. As long as observation is concerned, current locally-made children’s programs are not fully-animated but are either hybrid or fully live action.
In a country with a plethora of creative talents and their flexibility, this endeavor may look so easy in the standpoint of the viewers. However, from the animators’ perspective, the process, especially a big project like this, takes practice, patience, perseverance, and passion to get each frame as accurate as possible.
Just because it’s an animated series, it doesn’t have to be always for kids due to contentious content. Examples of such animated series catered for young and middle-aged adults include Fox’s animated series — The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers — and Comedy Central’s South Park. However, our animators would prefer not to cater to those and would be delegated to South Korea. (Anyway…)
GMA as the pilot network
When the announcement of GMA to be the host network of this new anime broke out for airing the initial 26 episodes, it’s no surprise why this has been decided — their Astig Authority block remained intact but observers saw it being compressed and compromised.
ABS-CBN already migrated their block to their exclusive subdigital channel, Yey! on their TVPlus. The 5 Network’s schedule is not trustworthy to go straight as they are too sporadic in favor of their favorite genre, sports. CNN Philippines, despite their clear intention as a news channel, recently joined the fray last month but their programs were supplied from its sister channel, Cartoon Network as part of the junior block (including Newsroom Junior Edition). Lastly, PTV currently airs a Chinese anime (Sammy & Jimie) every Sunday that’s barely watching (save a few); not to mention, they are overloaded with religious programming.
Regarding the Astig Authority, this year to date, Kantar registered the ratings of all programs under that block were defeated by its opponent.
While the critics consistently advocate its total abolition (including From the Tube), others try to defend, joining the network’s maintenance within the modes in the adaptive Kubler-Ross model — denial, anger and/or bargaining — as their rivals already reached the last step (i.e. acceptance).
In a bigger picture, will this new locally-made anime save Kamuning’s programming desperation; in another words, another chance amidst the digitalization? Will the assessment of this experiment give the further green light to distribute internationally?
Let’s just wait and see when Barangay 143 airs every Sunday at 10:00 a.m., beginning October 21, on GMA 7.
Photo courtesy of their official Facebook page