Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hunter X Hunter Schedule Change

It might not sound like a big deal, but I think this is pretty major news.



In a move that might have been inevitable, NTV is switching Hunter X Hunter to late nights.  This Sunday's broadcast will apparently be the last 10:55 AM new episode premiere - starting 10/8, H x H will air at 1:29 AM on Tuesday nights.

In some ways, this is perfectly understandable.  I've certainly commented on many occasions how shocking it is that Hunter X Hunter has gotten away with some of the stuff they have in a Sunday morning time slot, especially since the "Chimera Ant" arc began.  Content-wise, I can't say this is an incorrect decision.  But it still saddens me, because the show was a real success at that slot, drawing far higher ratings than it ever will at 25:29.

In addition to higher ratings of course, there's also higher ad revenue in a Sunday morning slot - and it's hard not to speculate that advertisers could have had an impact on this decision.  In the end this feels like a demotion - H x H will certainly be less of a cultural presence airing as just another late-night anime.  It certainly won't sell any more Blu-rays at that slot, and with no new manga to cross-promote, there seems to be less incentive to try and extend the popularity of the brand (though there is the second movie due this December).  I don't think the show will be ended before the adaptation of the rest of the manga (though that is a legitimate and serious worry), but whatever prospects it might've had beyond that seem somewhat cloudier now.

Hunter X Hunter has always been a series that's had a big-time disconnect between first visual impressions and content.  I can't tell you how many people have said that they won't watch or read it because it's "kiddie" - a term I hate in the first place, but one that sure as hell doesn't apply to H x H.  This move may in the end be an acknowledgement of that disconnect, as I don't think the show would ever have aired at 10:55 on a Sunday if it didn't exist.  As to whether this means the anime will have even more of a free hand to depict the extreme darkness in the "Chimera Ant" arc, I suppose it must - though frankly, I haven't seen much in the way of hands being tied as is.

As for me, I'm not thrilled because Hunter X Hunter has been a part of my Sunday routine for almost two years now, and I'll dearly miss it.  This show is my top priority as a blogger and it'll continue to be - I'll still prioritize getting it covered as soon as the episode is available and I have the time.  If there's a silver lining it's that Tuesday late-night isn't as especially busy time on the anime calendar, so nothing that looks as of now to be a likely blogging candidate is going to be delayed in order for me to blog H x H immediately.

16 comments:

  1. Does anyone know if NTV/VAP is sponsoring Diamond of Ace? Just checking the schedule for Fall and Ippo S3(which I'm pretty sure NTV/VAP funds) airs at 1:30AM on Sunday with Diamond of Ace airing on Sundays at 8:30AM

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    1. Never mind

      I just did a little researhching and it seems it's a TV Tokyo show so I guess there goes THAT theory I was thinking that maybe NTV/VAP wanted to make way for Diamond of Ace

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  2. If it had to be a late night timeslot I'm glad it had to be this one,but that's not much of a silver lining.

    It is also really doing well on crunchyroll though it actually being enough to actually matter for the production committee is probably a dream.

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    1. I hate to bring up worst-case scenarios, but when was the last time an anime in this sort of timeslot ran for a year or more (which is what it seems it will take to finish the Chimera Ant arc and a few following chapters)? I could be wrong but I'm pretty certain that doesn't happen too often. Kingdom airs just before Midnight and that ran for 39 eps, plus a 2nd season of indeterminate length, but that's NHK.

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  3. It should be worth noting that many of the affiliates have pushed Hunter x Hunter to the late night timeslot, some since the start. I suppose it was just a matter of time whether or not the main network would do so as well.

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  4. Well looks like the series will conclude on chapter 339 for sure now.

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    1. I was considering that for a given already. The alternative was an anime-only ending, because otherwise the next arc would have been left midair before it even really began.

      Speaking of which, we're now around chapter 230. With 110 more chapters to go, I think even 3 cours could suffice, if they push a bit the pacing. The final chapters especially have lots of action, and I think they can be adapted at a pace of three-four per episode.

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  5. Considering what Gintama got away with during its run, its unfair that HxH should be demoted to late night anime that only avid viewers rather than a normal all age audience can enjoy.

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    1. It's also possible that it simply wasn't considered enough of a revenue generator to justify that AM time slot any longer.

      Any way you slice it, this is a grim sign for the franchise's future. If anything, it puts pressure on Togashi to start writing again to keep it relevant - assuming that's an option for him, and something he still cares about.

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    2. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-09-29/japan-animation-tv-ranking-september-16-22
      It generated one hell of a revenue with that rating.

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  6. Enzo: There's yet some good news about HxH this week: kaze1028 from APforums scanned the new info page about the next film, The Last Mission. http://www.imagebam.com/image/7515ba278039123

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    1. My Kanji still isn't good enough, I guess - why is that good news - what's the new info there?

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  7. Hi, I really love your preview and review of the animation, especially HunterXHunter (from ep.1 to ep.97). I am not an American, but I really enjoy reading your articles. I can't wait every weekend for your reviews, and I hope you will keep it to the end of the HunterXHunter animation. Sorry for my poor writing :[

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    1. Thank you very much - I appreciate you saying so, and I'll certainly blog Hunter x Hunter as long as NTV allows Madhouse to produce more episodes.

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  8. Well that's a bummer! No wonder the schedule has been all wack lately (was waiting on Sundays).
    Sad to hear this. HxH2011 has been one of my favourite, if not my most favourite, anime in a long time.

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    1. As long as they let Madhouse adapt the remaining story at the pace they've been going, I can live with the change.

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