cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ghost Fighter Again?

The first volume of the Yū Yū Hakusho Original...

For the hundredth time, GMA 7 airs YuYu Hakusho, emphasizing the fact that they’re short of funds in acquiring new anime titles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early morning, while watching  Doraemon, I saw GMA‘s plug for its early morning Anime programs and noticed that they brought back YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter) to its rotation replacing Dragon Ball Z Kai. I’m getting too old for this. Why would they insist on re-airing this classic anime over and over again? It’s been aired repeatedly over a thousand times, can’t they move on and acquire new properties?

For those who didn’t know the story, YuYu Hakusho tells the story of a young junior high student named Eugene. He met his allies Alfred and Dennis (originally a female named Denise) along the way while feuding and later befriending Vincent. He also had a love interest named Jenny while Sherlene and Master Jerico became his confidants early in his adventures. Throughout the story he would be mentored by Master Jeremiah in an effort to defeat various villains, including his main adversary Toguro. His main weapon is the Ray Gun.

YuYu Hakusho, better known as Ghost Fighter in the Philippines, first aired on IBC-13 in the mid-1990s. In 1998 the rights for the anime were acquired by GMA 7 and was first aired at the height of the genre’s popularity in the country. It has been re-aired on a semi-frequent basis since.

For the nth time, GMA 7’s fortunes were focused mostly on producing elaborate teleseryes, top-notch live shows, and high-quality news programs. Which means acquiring new anime titles have been few and far between. ABS-CBN, for the most part, has been able to air new titles courtesy of its Hero channel, which is a subsidiary of the network, while TV5 has collaborated with Disney Channel, Toonami and Cartoon Network to air those network’s programs. As for GMA, they have little funds to allocate for new anime and other related programming, considering that their audience during the 8:00-10:00 a.m. timeframe is shrinking due to competition from cable networks.

With that in mind, GMA is definitely the one suffering. Without sufficient support from other companies (ABS-CBN and TV5 are owned by conglomerates), GMA 7 will continue to scramble for its early morning audience, if not the entire day’s audience. Reairing YuYu Hakusho and other past anime won’t help their cause; they would have to find a way to air another program in its slot.

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