It has been said that good things come to those who wait. For “Barangay 143,” the joint Filipino-Singaporean-Japanese produced animated series which started airing late last year on GMA7, it was a long three-year journey through development hell before its first episode premiered in the Kapuso network on October 2018. Since then, it has not only gathered a modest fan following in its primary home country, but also been an attractive option for television awards. In fact, an Asian-regional award-giving body has begun announcing nominations for “Barangay 143,” a grand gesture to the combined production teams and their hard work.
The Manila Bulletin has it that the Asian Television Awards, which honors achievements in television programs in Asia, has nominated “Barangay 143,” a collaborative animated production between the Philippines’ Synergy88, Singapore’s August Media Holdings, and Japan’s TV Asahi, for several award categories. These include Best 2D Animated Programme, Best Direction (Fiction), Best Theme Song for four songs in the show’s soundtrack, and a Best Actress in a Leading Role for Julie Anne San Jose, who provides the voice of female lead character Vicky Sebastian. August Media Holdings CEO Jyotirmoy Saha notes of the news, “It’s really nice to know that our efforts have paid off.”
Already, “Barangay 143” has had its share of accolades before the Asian Television Awards revealed its nominations. It walked away from the recent Asian Academy Creative Awards with a winning nod for Best Animated Program or Series (2D or 3D), proving the pedigree of the show that has been branded as the first true Filipino anime. “Whatever we produce, it needs to stand out in terms of quality and storytelling, as in every aspect of filmmaking,” says Saha. “The recent nominations of the series make it clear that we made something more than the usual.”
In a story spanning two nations and cultures, “Barangay 143” follows Filipino-Korean cager Bren T. Park (Migo Adecer), a national team player who suffers a personal tragedy and travels from Seoul to Manila to find the truth about his birth father. In the rough Tondo neighborhood of Barangay 143, he finds himself recruited into the local street basketball team despite his reluctance to play following the trauma of losing his Korean family. Still, he regains his passion with help from the Puzakals’ Coach B (John Arcilla) and his daughter Vicky (San Jose). His rival is Filipino team star Wax Rivera, son of the country’s basketball league president, who may hold the key to Bren’s past.
The animated series is scheduled for 26 episodes, of which 14 have aired from October 2018 to June 2019. “Barangay 143” is currently on season break, with the show resuming in 2020. In the meantime, the Gala Night for the Asian Television Awards in which the Filipino anime has been nominated in will take place in December over at Singapore.
Image courtesy of Davao Base