In 2005, what started as an Anime forums site that caters to the intelligent exchange of views among anime fans started. This would become what ZEN Otaku Honbu is now today.
The forum members of ZEN before were open to discuss anything about the Philippine Anime scene, an issue very rarely covered by the entertainment media and other blogs. We were discussing schedules, the newest anime series, and even some rumors that would eventually become hot news items during that time, and eventually would become history today.
Today, this small forums site has evolved into a full-service online news website, with multiple blogs and an increasing presence in social media. Philippine TV anime, too, has also evolved in the past 6 years.
Ever since ZEN started, we have witnessed so many changes, major and minor, among the three major networks and the three cable channels that cater to anime.
And ZEN was there to cover them all.
Six Years ago, Philippine TV Anime was in a revolution, The then two major network powers were battling it out on the anime front, with ABS-CBN giving out bombs like Groove Master Rave, GetBackers, Naruto (which will be ABS-CBN’s major anime power 6 years later and still counting), Ragnarok the Animation and Gundam SEED. GMA Network, though churning out also many new titles as well during that time, opted to counter ABS-CBN’s barrage with their tried and tested re-runs of Slam Dunk and Ghost Fighter (which are still re-airing this year, and will re-air until such time exists)
Six Years later, much has changed. Cable has now become a factor, as the three major networks now offer little anime on their schedules, sometimes none at all. And the advent of Digital Terrestrial TV is a exacting reminder of how Anime has changed viewing habits, marketing preferences and even executive decisions.
Events, too, had changed, so as Cosplay competitions. Before, Anime events were only attended by a handful of thousands and only covered in point-and-shoot cameras. Today, mainstream media has caught the attention of anime events, bolstered by the success of the first live, partly-televised anime event, Hataw Hanep Hero 2005. Cosplayers are now also the apple of the eye of TV shows, spanning guestings from morning shows to daytime drama serials. Alodia Gosiengfiao has also broke the barrier between the underground art of cosplaying and the mainstream take of modelling and hosting, even acting in an episode of the TV5 Sitcom “Sugo Mga Kapatid”.
Social media has also changed Pinoy anime fandom ,from the late, lamented Friendster, to the present wave of Facebook and Twitter. Updates about anime events were now coming in on real time, And fanpages had sprouted to blossom their unending advocacy, be it positive or negative. Before, anime events reports and comments were posted a day, or sometimes a week after the event. The YouTube revolution has also offered anime fans a great fix to express their fandom by making fan-made videos. Mobile internet has taken Anime events coverage into a new form, spanning social media updates and even live streaming coverage.
In short, Six years ago, we had limited possibilities. Six years later, the possibilities are endless.
What does the future hold for us Anime fans? Only our actions will tell how will the next days, months, years and decades be in store for us Anime Fans, The digital age is coming, and, as Peter Musngi told LopezLink in 2008 in an article about DZMM TeleRadyo, “it is the wave of the present, not the future”.
Anime fans have also evolved in the past years. Before, we were scared to be anime fans, we were underground and we kept our intense fandom and our loyalty. Now, Fanbases have now exploded, with more people openly saying they are anime fans. Universities and Colleges have also allowed enterprising anime fans to form legitimate university-based anime organizations. UP AME and UST’s TomasinOtaku are the trailblazers of student anime fandom like what student leaders did in the 70′s fighting for the rights. Now, these and other universities and colleges are taking the lead in the same youthful zeal and activism by creating events that dyed-in-the-wool fans go.
It is with great pride that in the next years. ZEN Otaku Honbu will continue to report the biggest anime news and stories no other anime news site had done before. We have gained momentum, and the unending trust every anime fan gives to us by way of constructive critique, suggestions and comments posted on our network of sites and social media channels have given us the strength to continue this thankless job. And with that trust, comes with our never-ending quest for truth, integrity, objectivity and fairness, the same ethical standards top journalists practice.
ZEN Otaku Honbu is, and will be the game-changer of Philippine Anime… and we are simply here to be with you this year, and for many years to come.