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HONG KONG — Sony’s Animax has acquired Asia-wide broadcast rights to “InuYasha — The Final Act,” the 26-part run that will close out the cult “InuYasha” series.
Beginning October 10, the network plans to broadcast each episode within five days of the first Japanese transmission on Yomiuri TV.
Although most people in Asia do not speak Japanese, youth audiences throughout the region have been turned on to illegal downloading of anime because they consider it fresher online than on TV.
The Animax approach is seen as giving urgency to its marketing campaign while also creating a reason to watch the show on TV set rather than a computer. Animax also offers “Fullmetall Alchemist Brotherhood” within a week of Japanese premiere and operates a simulcast for “Tears To Tiara.”
Instead of “fan-subs” (amateurish subtitles made by downloaders), Animax will screen the show in Japanese with English- or other local language titles.
A ‘catch-up’ service on the channel’s website will also host each episode for a month.
“InuYasha is a wildly popular and iconic franchise that continues to capture the imagination of audiences worldwide. We decided to kickstart our ‘catch-up TV’ initiative with the world’s biggest anime title of 2009, to reinforce our commitment to our viewers and truly deliver to them, a world less ordinary,” said Gregory Ho, VP and general manager, Animax Asia.
Produced by the Sunrise group, the new episodes are directed by Yasunao Aoki, with storyboards by scriptwriter Katsuyuki Sumisama. The story returns to a mystical era of feuding warlords and the love between half-dog demon warrior InuYasha and the time-travelling schoolgirl Kagome Higurashi. The original manga comics have spawned 167 previous TV episodes, four theatrical movies and nine video games.
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