Anime Now Arms Akimbo

Akimbo has announced a partnership with Anime Network to bring a broad selection of Japanese animated series and films to Akimbo’s Internet-based video-on-demand service. The partnership is sure to appeal to the same demographic tempted by Akimbo’s set-top boxes and service, as Japanese anime is increasingly popular with the 18 to 34 tech-savvy male audience.

Anime is notoriously difficult to find on North American broadcast and cable services, leaving fans to chase down VHS and DVD imports or content themselves with limited selections perhaps shown via Cartoon Network. Anime Network is a 24/7 cable network that’s been available in limited U.S. markets since late 2002, but tends to be found only on digital video-on-demand services rather than basic cable channel lineups, where it’s available at all.

“We partnered with Akimbo because our viewers told us they wanted more opportunities to watch anime on demand,” said John Ledford, Anime Network’s CEO. “The user-friendly, on-screen Akimbo Guide and pleasurable Queue-and-View(TM) format are ideal ways for people to experience Anime Network. Moreover, Akimbo lets us reach yet-untapped markets with the best new Japanese entertainment.”

Akimbo programming currently encompasses on-demand video and movies from over 165 providers, including well-known film and television fare as well as specialty video offerings. Akimbo says subscribers will soon have access to anime titles like DN Angel and Full Metal Panic! as well as established franchises like Robotech and Samurai X, although Akimbo has not announced exact availability dates.

“Anime Network is one of the biggest sources of high-quality, up-to-date anime programming outside of Japan,” said Akimbo CEO Josh Goldman. “With a large but geographically scattered fan base, anime is the classic example of a genre that benefits from Akimbo’s distribution model. Now anyone with a home broadband Internet connection will be able to experience the richness of Anime Network’s catalog on any TV.”