ANN reports that Syfy isn’t listing any anime after June 9. If this is a permanent change, then the stoppage will strand Monster and Star Blazers in mid-run, with Monster hanging at episode eight and Star Blazers at episode sixteen. Syfy has run anime on the network since 2007, when their AniMonday block began. The network moved their anime broadcast to Tuesday in 2008, back to Mondays in 2009, and most recently to Thursday in February.
In a way, this feels like the end of an establishment. In its five year run, Syfy’s block has become a sort of go-to for those who want to watch anime on TV, and don’t want to endure endless episodes of Bleach or reruns of Pokemon. The block hosted sci-fi staples like Gurren Lagann, Gundam 00 and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, as well as more offbeat fare that included Noein, Now & Then, Here & There, and Monster. Despite a shifting schedule, the block’s programming always maintained a consistently high level of quality.
The block’s absence creates somewhat of a void, as we see anime lose yet another outlet, and another gateway to the masses. There are still networks airing new shows, but it’s hard to shake that feeling of loss. After all, many of us were around when Ani-Monday kicked off in its infancy. We kept an eye on the block as Sci-Fi became Syfy, and as other networks continued to trim their line-ups. Ani-whatever-day-of-the-week seemed rock-solid, as Toonami signed off (2008), and as Starz’s offerings slowly dwindled.
I have some hope that, as the market improves and anime begins growing again, we’ll see blocks like Ani-Monday begin to return. However, the cynic in me says that this is more of a pipe dream, and that the paradigms we once saw are gone. Only time will tell which possibility is true, though.