Viu Philippines Charts and Celebrates Filipinos’ Love for Anime Culture

MANILA, Philippines—Anime fans, whether new, casual, or the dedicated and passionate Otakus, have been present and known among Filipinos for a long time now. Filipinos did not fall short when it came to exposure to Anime shows and culture, from daily morning shows as a kid or cosplay conventions, anime has been a consistent staple of Filipino pop culture for years.

 

Images courtesy of Viu Philippines

The Beginning of Anime Culture

The relationship between Filipinos and Anime can be traced back to the early 2000s when TV networks brought in a variety of Tagalog-dubbed shows. This played a big part in making Anime content more accessible to young children in cities and provincial areas. Some Anime fans had their first experience and influence coming from their parents, who were also fans, thus it had become embedded in their childhood—from the toys they played with to the clothes they wore.

“When my mom realized that my sister and I love watching Anime, she started buying us a lot of Anime merchandise like pillowcases, bed sheets, and Video CD so we can watch our favorite series over again. My earliest Anime memory was watching Dragon Ball and Cardcaptor Sakura. Since then, I just became addicted to Anime and I explored more things that are connected with it,” said Roxanne Kho, MSI Gaming Philippines Ambassador, & Cosplayer.

Another reason why Filipinos find Anime appealing is because of the relatable life lessons and characters they grew up with. “I think what makes Anime special is it has an overarching theme that makes you want to keep on watching. What is unique about it is you grow up with the character. The audience for Anime is also wider, it can tackle serious themes that aren’t often seen in other cartoons that are made for younger children,” added Jin Joson, World Cosplay Summit 2021 Philippine Representative and Winner of Special Award for Costume-Making.

Roxanne Kho (left) and Jin Joson (right). Images courtesy of Viu Philippines

The Anime Effect

The admiration fans had for their most favorite characters helped pave the way to the rise of cosplay conventions in the Philippines. This eventually became an avenue for them to express themselves, promote their hobby, meet new friends, and get updates on everything anime. These conventions also hosted various activities for fans to enjoy such as Artists’ Alley where indie creatives sold artworks, the Dealer’s Hall where sponsors sold collectibles, Industry Guests where attendees got to interact with the voice actors, producers, and other key figures behind the Anime show, and the Main Stage where cosplay competitions were held.

It was also through these events that their hobbies became a lifestyle, and some were even able to build a career path out of it. The passion for their craft led to learning professional skills such as tailoring, photography, or makeup that allowed them to also grow artistically in different aspects and continue nurturing their undying love for their favorite shows. Julienne Muñoz, a fellow Otaku, believes that the boom of Anime was reincarnated because most of the fans are now grown-ups, and she uses her influence to spread awareness about Anime among her circles. “In my case, I work in Viu and I use my job to bring in good Anime shows that a lot of people can enjoy and relate to,” said Muñoz

Video-streaming platform Viu Philippines recently added the most popular and fan-favorite Anime titles to its growing library of premium Asian entertainment. “Watching Anime Shows on Viu is really convenient because you can stream on demand. I love that there is now a legal streaming site where we can watch our favorite Anime shows,” added Joson.

“Before, I used to watch on different websites but now I have a platform where I can watch all my favorite shows. As mentioned in one of my Anime review videos, I love how Viu brings nostalgic shows like Slam Dunk. I’d also recommend a new Anime show called Takt:op Destiny,” said Diane Sabandeja, Cosplayer and Anime fan.

Diane Sabandeja, image courtesy of Viu Philippines

For fans who prefer hearing the original audio of the show, Viu has the nearest translation of subtitles, keeping the authentic message or essence of an iconic scene. “I really love Haikyuu!! and the way that I was able to get the character’s point of view. This is why good translation is very important for every fan. With Viu, it has the nearest Japanese translation in the subtitles, which gives us fans more feels while watching the show,” said Fran Añonuevo, a fellow Otaku who also works in Viu.

With Filipinos’ growing love for Anime, it is undeniable that it will continuously grow in the next 5 or 10 years – opening infinite possibilities for people to make their hobby as their passion and career. “There is a magic charm that only Anime can give us, it takes us to another world and makes us temporarily forget our worries and problems. Who knows, a few years from now, cosplaying can be a profession or Anime culture will be taught in universities too,” noted Kho.

Image courtesy of Viu Philippines