Animax (アニマックス, Animakkusu, a portmanteau of the words anime (アニメ) and max (マックス, makkusu)) is a Japanese anime satellite television network, dedicated to broadcasting anime programming.A subsidiary of Japanese media conglomerate Sony, it is headquartered in New Pier Takeshiba North Tower (ニューピア竹芝ノースタワー, Nyū Pia Takeshiba Nōsu Tawā?) in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with its co-founders and shareholders including Sony Pictures Entertainment
,noted anime studios Sunrise
, Toei Animation
, TMS Entertainment
, and production company NAS.
Animax is the first and largest 24/7 network dedicated to airing anime in the world, with a viewer reach of over 89 million househoulds, 62 countries, and more than 17 languages. There are similar 24/7 channels dedicated to airing anime, such as Anime Network and Funimation Channel.
It also has English language networks in Southeast Asia, South Asia, South Africa, and a two-hour network in Australia (via Sci Fi Channel, which is co-owned by Animax's parent Sony Pictures Entertainment), and is expected to plan launching other English language networks, most notably in the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America.
The channel has its origins in May 1998, with Japan being its only feed during almost five and a half years. In 2004, it started expanding its horizons through Asia, starting with Phillipines and China, eventually finding a place in the entirety of the continent. Its next destination was Latin America in August 2005, and finally Europe and Africa in 2007 (there were plans for an US premiere as well, but they never materialized). As mentioned before, it is expected to plan launching in other regions, namely missing English-language countries, France, Italy, Poland, and several others. At the same time, however, some of the Animax networks have been removed and/or changed to other channels, such as Animax South Africa being changed to Sony Max due to low viewers and network decay as western programming began taking over most of the schedule, Animax Portugal being changed to AXN Black again due to low viewers, and Animax Latin America being changed to Sony Spin due to western programming taking over most of Animax Latin America's airtime (more on that below).
In Hungary (and, for that matter, most of Eastern Europe), the channel premiered after replacing Anima+, a defunct animation channel that aired both anime and western animation (both dubbed and subtitles in local languages). However, Animax Eastern Europe starting to decay as well due to the inclusion of western programming and changing it to more of a youth-oriented channel. The Hungarian broadcast of Animax was terminated in April 2014, replaced by a channel called C8, which offers no anime programming. AXN's staff confirmed via their Facebook page that they aren't interested giving Animax another go, or in continuing to air anime.
In the case of Latin America, Animax had premiered in August 2005 after replacing Locomotion
, a channel that welcomed all kinds of animation (mainstream and obscure), with anime as one of its priorities (shown both dubbed and subbed in local languages). Several anime series were premiered since then, though its lineup was somewhat different from the Asian feeds, as several of its otherwise signature series were at the time aired by Cartoon Network
instead (which had oriented the block Toonami
Strangely, Animax almost never aired anime movies (while CN did), and in May 2008 it slowly started including Live Action movies and series into the mix
(causing controversy among its viewers). The trend continued during three years until, as mentioned before, it rebranded as Sony Spin. The replacing channel still aired anime at late nights and early mornings, until March 2012 when the remaining animated series was removed entirely, making CityVibe the only Latin American channel to air anime on a daily basis (even then, viewership is limited due to its status as a subscription-based channel).note
In the United States, an Animax collection has been added to Crackle.com in March 2010, and later as a streaming service on the same website in January 2012, restarting the possibility that it can launch in North America.The Other Wiki
has a complete list of anime series broadcast among its feeds worldwide. Check it here