Viz Media to Launch Neon Alley in the US – A 24 Hour Anime Service

Viz Media have announced that they are to launch a 24-hour anime channel in the US and Canada later this year in the autumn. Titled Neon Alley, the channel won’t be broadcast through any cable or satellite service, but through your games console.

Less an on-demand service, Neon Alley will be more a traditional channel with limited advertising, featuring a mix of anime movie titles and series’ as well as offering news and behind the scenes programming. It is a subscription-based service that’ll cost $6.99 (about £4.50) a month. This is said to be a “launch price” indicating a potential rise in the future.

Subscribers can expect the likes of Death Note, Inuyasha: The Final Act and Naruto Shippuden. It will also debut brand new titles Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Tiger & Bunny and Zetman, as well as the film trilogy Berserk: The Golden Age Arc. All anime will be shown uncut and dubbed in English.

“We created Neon Alley for fans to watch the best anime titles in the world right on their TV,” said Viz Media’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Sasaki. “Neon Alley will have weekly exclusive premieres of the hit titles they love, along with a mix of new, cutting-edge titles they didn’t know they were missing.”

While it may start off with Viz exclusives, they do plan to allow other studios and distributors the chance to screen their shows through the service. Also, with the press release stating that it’ll launch via “game consoles,” early word suggests that the service may be launched on just one console. Likely a means of seeing how popular it turns out to be before being made widely available.

With Neon Alley currently destined for the US and Canada, it does make one wonder if we’ll see something similar arrive in the UK. It’s certainly a possibility should it prove to be successful. The lack of anime programming and short-lived channels here (anyone remember Anime Central?) could make a service through a games console a viable option. But how much would you be prepared to pay (if at all) for a 24-hour anime channel?

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