Timeslot History: Anime on TV Tokyo (1994-2000)

My last timeslot post was 3 weeks ago. This post is about TV Tokyo’s anime offerings in the mid-to-late 90s, which is why that gap was as long as it was. There are just lots and lots of shows here. Like, way bigger than everyone else. Like, 143 of the 366 total anime aired in the period. Getting all the data together in a semi-neat format took a ton of time even though the information itself was fairly straightforward, just because there was so much of it.

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. I do track timeslots before and after the period to get an idea of where their demos originated and where they ended up.

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.

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Timeslot History: Friday 18:30, TV Tokyo

I’ve spent the past week or so beginning my research into anime timeslots in the mid-to-late 90s, and it’s a truly fascinating subject. My ultimate goal here is to get an accurate accounting of which shows during that period were actually late-night specific, as opposed to just series airing in daytime. In the very tedious and very, very fun process of collecting data on shows airing in this period, I’ve discovered a number of dedicated timeslots that existed around this time that are interesting enough to summarize.

The TV Tokyo Friday 18:30 slot, which lasted for over 20 years, served as a sort of proto-late slot for part of that period. It started rerunning Captain Tsubasa in 1985, but soon moved into rebroadcasting of OVAs and then new anime. Many of the series in this timeslot in the mid-90s are debatably works that would have been OVAs if they had been made 5 years earlier and late-night shows had they been made 5 years later. And that’s not purely idle speculation; Slayers aired in this slot throughout the 90s, but the new Revolution season aired in the same timeslot as Toradora (Wednesdays 25:20, TV Tokyo), and El Hazard had its first TV season aired here (in the same year as the first OVA series) before the second one in 1998 went to a similar late-night slot (Wednesdays 25:15, TV Tokyo).*

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TV Tokyo Thursdays: The Original Dedicated Late Show Timeslot

Those Who Hunt Elves, while not the first late-night anime, was the one to capitalize on the post-Eva boom when it aired on TV Tokyo at 25:15 on Thursdays (i.e. 1:15 on Fridays) late in 1996. But it wasn’t the only anime to run in that slot – it carried anime for a little over 2 solid years before face4/4 ended up there at the beginning of 1999.

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Fun With Numbers: Licenses Matter (If You Know Where to Look)

The Summer 2013 has presented rich discussion fodder, giving rise to a number of interesting talking points. My favorite one is still the one on the merits of the core comedy in high-school life series that Free has sparked. This article is about one of those questions, one which is more complicated than some might think; Why did The World God Only Knows get a sequel? Based sheerly on anime sales, it’s a very risky proposition; season 1 literally just hit the profit line with an average 3000 sales per volume, and season 2 was well below that, averaging only 2117 per volume. If it made any contribution to manga sales, it was one of questionable value. Aside from one special-edition release that came with a bundled OAD, the manga sales don’t show a big jump after the anime airs. It’s a late-night anime, too (aired at 3:20 in the morning), so it’s not getting any help from TV ratings/ad revenue. So why are we looking at the third season of an anime whose second was already on shaky ground?

The answer is that that ground is not, in fact, quite so shaky. Once one considers the additional impact of licensing dollars, some sequels that look like iffy business make a lot more sense.

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