The Philippines, or at least the younger side of its population, really love anime; there is no “if” or “but” about that. Whether it’s the dubbed series shown by local networks or cable channels, or the occasional movie shown at some mall cinemas, or simply watching episodes online, there is no denying that Filipinos are anime-crazy. They so love the Japanese medium, in fact, that several times before they have attempted developing their own anime-themed print media or web-animations. But this recently-announced collaboration project must be the biggest attempt at getting a Pinoy anime fix yet: a full TV series.
As told by Inquirer.NET, an honest-to-goodness Filipino anime series will soon be airing in the Philippines and Southeast Asia later this year. This is “Barangay 143”, a Philippines-targeted show project spearheaded by local web-animation and game developer Synergy88, which with assistance from Singapore’s August Media Holdings will produce the anime under ASI Animation Studios. Further collaboration is being done with major Japanese network TV Asahi, as well as contributors from South Korea, Malaysia and even the United States. Its official website describes “Barangay 143” as a “feel-good” love story framed in one of the Philippines top favorite sports pastimes: basketball.
The plot of “Barangay 143” centers on South Korean youth Bren Park, who upon losing his immediate family in a tragic accident, decides to look for his only other known relative, his father. This search takes him to the Philippines where he lives in his Filipina nanny’s Tondo home, where he falls in with a group of local troublemakers who are also an aspiring street basketball team.
Bren is drafted by Coach B to join Team Pusakal to aim for basketball glory, where the young sports prodigy finds himself torn between his coach’s daughter and team manager, and the girl he left behind in Korea. But shadows lurk under the world of street basketball, and Bren might discover that certain parties do not want him finding his father at all.
Synergy88 has managed to land some very heavy showbiz personalities to provide voice talent for “Barangay 143”. Bren is to be portrayed by Migo Adacer; Pusakal manager Vicky by Julie Ann San Jose; Coach B by John Arcilla; rival player Wax is voiced by Ruru Madrid; Wax’s father the commissioner of street-ball league PIBA by Edu Manzano; and the commissioner’s wife Sophia by Cherie Gil.
GMA Network will air “Barangay 143” in the Philippines starting this October. Concurrently, Synergy88 also developed a basketball mobile game app tie-in called “Barangay 143: Street League”, available on both iOS and Android mobile devices. The anime has been in development and production since 2016.
Image courtesy of “Barangay 143” Official Website