That Ticket Shortage

Cosplay Mania’s announcement of a sellout (via Facebook page)

Well, even tickets have shortages too.

People had been eagerly awaiting for Cosplay Mania 2022, which is Cosplay.PH’s flagship and biggest event, and with good reason: This is the first Cosplay Mania held after a two-year pandemic pause.

It was expected that because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, CPH (for Cosplay.PH) had to limit their ticket selling because of capacity regulations, which is probably amenable to everyone. But apparently, tickets for Cosplay Mania turned out to be more limited than people thought.

Over the past few weeks and months since ticket selling was announced over at SM Tickets, people on social media had been ranting over the all-of-a-sudden and very rare sellout of CosMania tickets with months before the event. And with only pre-sold tickets the only way to get in the convention, obviously, those who want to buy tickets had raised consternation and disappointment.

But what led to this very rare phenomenon of Cosplay Mania’s tickets getting sold out that instant? Was it because we had so many anime fans raring to go to a big convention? Or is it because of the pervasive problem that hounds online ticket sales, which is scalping?

In any case, I will give my two cents (or dos sentimos) in this issue in the most balanced way possible.

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If I were AMBS

AMBS’ thoughts should be encapsulated in this meme face by Anya Forger (SPY X FAMILY)

So yes, the AMBS or Advanced Media Broadcasting System train is now starting to leave its station and is ready to roll around the airwaves of Metro Manila, with its analogue and digital TV signals being tested to see how far its signal will reach. And with it, the numerous decisions that would not only entail its broadcast and technical operations, but also its programming.

Sure, we know that the famed (and sometimes controversial) TV host Wilfredo “Willie” Revillame would be the one calling the shots in terms of entertainment programming, and it would only his sole decision on what programs that he will conceive and those what will merit on AMBS airwaves, but it does not preclude us from making suggestions or even create assumptions, and I hope Willie listens to these suggestions. The aim of this post is not to pre-empt Willie’s official announcements on the station, rather this is just a way for me to make programming suggestions and assume what would AMBS offer to the public once full-blown broadcasts begin in September this year.

I also like to make a disclaimer too to Willie, if ever he reads this: I am not an expert TV programmer in the caliber of Freddie Garcia or even Brandon Tartikoff. I just love TV and I happen to be an anime fan WHO loves TV, so I don’t in any way misrepresent myself. I am just a guy who wants to watch linear TV in the age of streaming, and I hope my suggestions and assumptions would basically help AMBS find its ground from a lens of a long-time television viewer.

So, with all the formalities on the way, let’s begin our wishlist.

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ABS-CBN and TV5, What are the Odds?

First off, a little personal note.

I apologize for the long layover after this post.

I was supposed to write something every week, but the time I wrote my last post (aka my call to put Hero back on air via Cignal TV) was also the time when the election campaign was at fever pitch, and, naturally, I got really tired because I really have no energy to write another long-ish post after toiling for five days for the paper, hence, the long layover again.

So now, the elections have been done and dusted, and with it, a new President and a Vice-President who was voted by the majority of the population, and now, I hope, my schedule won’t be as much torturous as in the previous weeks.

I do not commit again to write weekly, but as much as I can, I will be writing pieces in this blog at least twice a month, the frequency, it really depends on the importance of the topic and the zeal that I have in writing every single piece. The arrangement starts today, and I hope this frequency will be a more comfortable fit not just for me, but to you who have been following me through the time I started to write again this blog last year.

Also, if you want to be a proud supporter of this blog, I will flash my GCash number at the bottom of this post so you can be able to contribute, even in your little way, to what I do, and to also finance my upcoming expansion and move to a web host. I will also open a Paypal account so that you can also donate from abroad. I promise that any funds that I will receive will not be for profit and will be maintained for the upkeep of the blog and for your continued support to make this blog an independent venture.

(Many thanks to Senor Ramon Ortoll who has given me ample tips and inputs not just on blogging but also on writing as well, you can follow his independent pieces on The Buried Lead)

Now, on to the topic at hand:

A Partnership of Equals?

Social media exploded in the past few days after media blogsite Media Newser Philippines revealed that talks between ABS-CBN and MediaQuest Holdings, the media holding company of the PLDT Group of Manuel Pangilinan, are now nearing a “partnership” where they will combine their resources in terms of production, operation, and newsgathering.

Speaking to anonymous sources, the blog claimed that negotiations remain ongoing but the partnership will be a dead-even 50-50 venture which will have an equal say on programming, news gathering, and even acquisition. It also even hinted that MediaQuest may even take a play to acquire SkyCable, the cable company owned by the Lopez Group.

The partnership was not because it was done in a whim: They want to counter the upcoming launch of Advanced Media Broadcasting System, now owned by another taipan with a Manuel name on it: Manuel B. Villar. And knowing that Villar has pockets that are as deep as Pangilinan (plus the fact that the old Channel 2 and Channel 16 DTT frequency of ABS was already allocated to the network), ABS had no choice, or if the MNP story is to be believed, but to talk to the one who has the money and the frequency.

(It is also worth noting that AMBS is now reportedly preparing to launch its venture in the coming months, with Willie Revillame leading the charge in Entertainment and Korina Sanchez reportedly wooing some news personnel, according to Bilyonaryo, to which, the broadcaster vehemently denied via Bilyonaryo’s sister publication, Abante.)

Hence, the MediaQuest play.

So, how would an ABS-CBN and TV5 go along if ever? And does it mean that our proposition on a Hero TV revival on Cignal TV may happen indeed?

Let’s parse it out.

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Cignal should Revive Hero, Period

Cignal TV must revive Hero TV, and with good reason

Yes, that’s it, that’s the tea

Cignal TV should exercise its coziness with ABS-CBN by getting the trademarks and the content of Hero TV from Creative Programs, Inc. and revive that channel that was the cornerstone of Japanese pop culture on Philippine Television.

Just think, A revived Hero TV under the aegis of Cignal TV would not only give the channel eyeballs (Cignal and SatLite TV has an estimated reach of around 3.5 to 3.7 million subscribers across the country), but it will also give them a channel where there is a captive audience ready to ditch their current operator just to watch Filipino-dubbed anime shows, which is severely lacking anywhere on television.

You don’t believe me, let’s run through the reasons why they should revive it.

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Getting The Slice of the Broadcast “Pie”

Logo of PIE Channel, from PIE Channel FB

The Philippine broadcast landscape is set to change again with another telecommunications firm trying to toe-dip its entry in the not-so-crowded digital television space with a new channel that promises to be a differentiator to other channels in the country.

The new channel, called PIE Channel or Pinoy Interactive Entertainment, is a joint venture between Kroma Entertainment, 917Ventures, Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media, Inc., and ABS-CBN, and promises to shake up the television landscape by providing “memorable and rewarding experiences, prizes and connections for and with Filipinos,”, according to an article from the Manila Bulletin.

But looking at the premise of the channel as described by its leaders, I sense that this could either be a bold move, or a disastrous option.

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Blog Hiatus End

Back again, but without Daichi, my trusted workhorse

So, after more than seven months of not writing anything, mostly because the area where I was supposed to write was not conducive enough to write something. I am now going back again to write my commentaries.

It took me this long to go back again in the groove, mainly because there was no way I can write effectively in a very cramped space in the home where we stayed for six months. Now, thanks to some divine intercession, we moved in a house somewhere in Cavite, which is larger than the one where we previously moved six months ago in Quezon City.

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Is VOD the future of Anime Films? Part 1

Taken in 2016, this was the third time I watched Your Name, a day before the Metro Manila Film Festival

Welcome back to me!

Well, it was a two-week lull on my end, and I think it was a nice break from writing (and voicing, if you are listening to the podcast). The first week, well, I was supposed to do a blog, but a commitment came up days before and I could not say no to it, it was the WCS Philippines Video Championships, of which I am honored to be there hosting when Team Namikaze was chosen as our representatives (I will make a team preview of Namikaze a week before they compete in the WCS Finals, so do catch it out)

The second one, well, I was already writing a draft on it, it was supposed to be a review on Trese, but it has been what, at least three weeks since the show was already in Netflix and I felt that a review would be a bit late on my end. I really wanted to write a review, as a springboard launch of our “Review Mirror” series which I am moving over from my previous Medium blog, but it has been what, three weeks since I watched it, and the hype of Trese has already mellowed down a bit after that controversy regarding the dubs, maybe it was best for me to leave it at that at the meantime (and besides, I have already said my piece and I think its enough for me to drive the point home that Trese’s Filipino dub is a good start for Netflix to consider adding the language as one of its options).

So now, I am going to get back to the groove of discussing a weekly post again with this topic, which I know every Anime fan and movie buff, will understand.

Continue reading “Is VOD the future of Anime Films? Part 1”

What if Hero TV survived beyond 2018?

Hero TV’s last logo before it went off air, sourced from its Facebook page.

On January 31, 2018, ABS-CBN formally signed off one of its cable channels that paved a way to a generation, or an era, so to speak, that defined the current Japanese pop-culture landscape that started in 2005.

We are talking about Hero TV, whose closure seemingly surprised everyone since it was first reported on Anime Pilipinas in 2017 (which, by the way, generated a lot of reactions., as one of our biggest stories before that year ended). People were simply sad, aghast, and disappointed on why ABS-CBN had decided to pull the plug on one of its youngest (in terms of its audience size and reach) channels in its bouquet.

I even had to eulogize the channel in a very personal Op-ed on Anime Pilipinas, to which I wrote that the corporate bozos at ABS-CBN was wrong to end the channel, and instead used the combined might of Hero and iWant (now iWantTFC) to leverage animation acquisitions.

But alas, Hero TV’s closure was just one of the things that ABS-CBN had to face in the next few years.

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Site update: Dispatches the Podcast

So, after much consternation on my end, I have agreed to do the podcast version of my blog, Dispatches

Yes, I think that only reading my blog is not enough for you, and I understand that possibly, some of my readers are mobile and have no time reading all the things that I have written, so I think its the next best logical step for this blog in general and me in particular.

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Opening the floodgates

Trese first look image, Courtesy of Netflix

Of course, who won’t be excited for a Filipino comic book to be adapted into an anime-style series coming from the world’s largest streaming service?

Filipinos (and other foreign fans) went tizzy when the first trailer for the hotly-anticipated Netflix original anime series Trese was revealed, and in different languages to boot.

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