The Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors will soon start airing the Indian adaptation of a popular Japanese anime show, in its Sunday morning 10 am band. ‘Suraj: The Rising Star’, is a cricket remake of the Japanese baseball anime hit ‘Kyojin no Hoshi’ (Star of the Giants) and will premiere on December 23.
The flagship channel from the Viacom18 stable will be the first GEC to show original animation content. Talking about the strategy behind placing an aniime show at Sunday morning, Raj Nayak, CEO of Colors said, “10 am is a Prime Time slot on a Sunday. At one time the whole country used to tune into TV at this time. We are looking at developing this time slot with original content. This is the first time that an animation show is going on a GEC. This will add more variety to our diversified program offering.”
The animation is done by Hyderabad based DQ Entertainment and the format of the hit Japanese manga comic is with the Japanese publishing house Kodansha.
The original animation series in Japan was based on baseball, but for India the story has been set based on cricket.
Suraj: The Rising Star is a story of a 16 year old boy, Suraj, who sets on a journey to be trained as a young cricketer. The show focuses on the hardships and challenges he faces towards attaining this goal.
The channel believes that as the show brings to light all the elements of family, action, fantasy and emotions, it will appeal to family audiences.
Adapted for the Indian audiences, the show craftily integrates Indian culture and Japanese animation highlighting common characteristics like the importance of family ties, friends and a ‘never say die’ attitude.
A senior programming executive from a rival channel said, “Colors
is taking a few bold steps in order to find the programming mix. However, the anime series are very different and Indian audiences, especially of GECs, have not sampled it. Even the channel Animax, which was dedicated to anime, could not work in India. Sunday 10 am is a tough slot to crack, and we will wait and see if Colors
manage to get viewership.”