Timeslot History: Anime on NHK (1994-2000)

What new anime there was airing on the NHK family in the 1990s was doing so primarily on two channels: NHK Educational and NHK Premium Broadcast Satellite (typically called NHK BS2). I’m going to keep this brief, because this period’s NHK is boring. Their stuff was spread across multiple channels and it still wasn’t particularly numerous, plus they aired no new anime after midnight.

General boilerplate stuff:

If you’re curious about the details, you can find the data I’ve gathered on this spreadsheet. Note on the format: the master list has just the networks, timeslots, and years of airing. Other sheets contain the shows aired in a given year and those aired on non-Japanese TV, with relevant links for the numerous series for which the Japanese wikipedia page didn’t provide sufficient information on the timeslot.

For each broadcaster, I’ll be asking two questions. First, which, if any slots did they have dedicated to anime in general? To qualify as an anime slot for the purposes of this exercise, a timeslot has to have aired premieres of at least 3 TV anime from 1994 to 2000. This excludes, for example, the Fuji TV Sunday 18:30 slot, which has been running Sazae-san for a really long time. I’m more interested in timeslots that would have been available to new shows during this period.

Second, which, if any shows did that broadcaster air after midnight? I want to give as complete a view as possible on the stance different companies took in regards to airing anime late at night. Since I’ve been poring over the data, I already have a decent idea of what the answer is going to be, but it’s neat to look at how different broadcasters’ stances were during this period.

Show title [month of first episode airing]

Monday-Thursday/Friday 18:00 (Tenterebi-kun, Educational)

Kyouryoku Wakusei [04-1993]
Gene Diver [04-1994]
Alice Tantei Kyoku [04-1995]
Nanosaver [04-1997]
Alice SOS [04-1998]
Susie-chan to Marvy [04-1999]
Hero Hero-kun [04-2000]
Tantei Shonen Kageman [04-2001]
Baby Baachan [04-2002]
Chibi Devi [10-2011]
Zumomo to Nupepe [04-2012]
Kuromajo-san ga Tooru [04-2012]
Menko Battle Gigant Shooter Tsukasa [04-2014]
Kutsudaru [04-2014]
(various other works later, up to modern day, intermittent)

Tuesday 18:00 (BS2)

Chou Kuse ni Narisou [04-1994]
Azuki-chan [04-1995]
Cardcaptor Sakura [04-1998]
Daa Daa Daa [03-2000]
Twelve Kingdoms [04-2002]

Wednesday 18:00 (BS2)

Shirayuki Hime no Densetsu [04-1994]
Yanbo Ninbo Tonbo [04-1995]
Hajime Ningen Gon [04-1996]
The Adventures of Tintin (French/Canadian animation) [02-1997]
Princess Nine [04-1998]
-indeterminate period-
Hakugei Densetsu (from Wednesday 18:30) [03-1999]

Saturday 18:00 (Educational)

Tobe! Isami [04-1995]
Nintama Rantarou (rebroadcast) [04-1996]
YAT Anshin! Uchuu Ryokou [10-1996]
YAT Anshin! Uchuu Ryokou 2 [04-1998]
Tobe! Isami (rebroadcast) [10-1998]


Late Night Programs: N/A (Zero)



-Even the latter-half Broadcast Satellite anime (particularly Princess Nine/Hakugei Densetsu/Cardcaptor Sakura) are things that I wouldn’t have been surprised at if they aired during the day. NHK’s satellite TV seems to have had a slate similar to non-satellite channels, which is a pretty strong contrast with what WOWOW was airing. NHK did embrace satellite TV early on, which is I guess something.

-Cardcaptor Sakura -> Daa Daa Daa is the only same-timeslot pair in this group that’s mildly interesting, insofar as they’re two shows which may have been trying to appeal to a similar demographic with different approaches.

3 thoughts on “Timeslot History: Anime on NHK (1994-2000)

  1. I would say Azuki-chan might also fit in that specific timeslot you’ve mentioned – Nakayoshi manga, young romance as a subplot etc. Obviously not as “high concept” as Daa Daa Daa or CCS but still seems to fit.

    It’s a shame that your cutoff date is 1994; it means you miss the Sunday Anime Theatre timeslot (home to Oniisama e… and Nadia). I suppose for your purposes NHK is going to be uninteresting for a while, as they didn’t begin their late night anime programming until the early 00s and even then it was mostly shifting their more otaku-skewing shows like Kyou Kara Maou! out of primetime slots.

    I’m a bit confused as your post title says you’re covering up to 2000 but then you include several shows that aired after then (Twelve Kingdoms, the shorts like Kuromajo-san etc.) – is this just for balance? It’s worth noting that, although Twelve Kingdoms didn’t necessarily fit with CCS et al in terms of being pitched at a slightly older audience, the “framing” device around it as part of the Satellite Anime Theatre programming stream did – there was a talk show bit with a host and people could send in letters and fan art, and at the time the lead female character of 12K was a popular subject for that segment.

    • I pulled data on shows from 1994 to 200 because I’m primarily interested in the immediate pre and post Eva periods (there are a few slightly variant stories about the exact degree of impact it had). 1994 was the year before said show aired, and 2000 was the year when the number of total new TV anime abruptly dipped. The cutoffs are still kind of arbitrary, but that’s why I put them when I did. I do feel that it would present an incomplete view of changes during this period if I only covered the slots within it; whether they (and their planned demographics) originated in that era and whether they lasted until present BD times or not is a part of that, so I try to pull info on the rest of the then-confirmed timeslot if I can.

      That Sunday Anime Theater stuff is interesting context for that slot, and something I didn’t know about. Would possibly peg that slot as one with a bit more of a concrete demo, though the one thing I’d wonder about would be whether said talk show was showing primarily fanart by female viewers the whole time (presumably yes, but it’d be a way to further confirm the relation).

      NHK as a whole (especially in the last couple of years) is not uninteresting, they just seemed to be relatively mellow in this period, while other broadcasters (particularly TV Tokyo and WOWOW) were upping content in a big way.

  2. Pingback: Shimizu Kenji Comments on Fuji TV Dropping Weekday Anime (Narinari) | Animetics

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