MANILA -- Most of the time when fans, particularly Filipinos want to watch anime shows legally from Japan, they'll have to shell out a few bucks for subscription fees.
Well, things might --emphasis on might-- just get easier for them in the Philippines some time in the next few years after Japanese content providers launched a YouTube channel this Friday with a goal of making thousands of anime titles available for free.
US website Variety reported about the launch and it attributed the new channel, AnimeLog, to Japanese companies such as Toei Animation (animation studio) and Kodansha (publishing).
It features titles such as the anime adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's "Black Jack" and Hayao Miyazaki's "Future Boy Conan," though they are only available for viewers in Japan currently.
Variety added, however, that there are plans to add subtitled content in English and Chinese for overseas fans.
It remains unclear whether that includes the Philippines.
The channel was launched in partnership with Analyzelog, a company well aware of the problem of how anime is being illegally streamed.
The company said that, in addition to plans of having more than 3,000 titles available by 2022, it aims to make AnimeLog a "safe channel that families can enjoy together."
Currently, Filipinos are able to stream anime shows for free via Muse Asia, an initiative by Singapore-based company Muse.
The YouTube channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers, uploads full episodes of a selection of anime titles with subtitles.
These includes new ones, such as "The God of High School" and those from past seasons such as "Goblin Slayer."