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Japan's Kids Station, Animax Channels Air Anime for Free Until March 27

posted on by Alex Mateo
All Ranma 1/2, Ushio & Tora, Major, GS Mikami manga volumes also to be free for limited time

Japan's Kids Station and Animax premium anime channels announced on Tuesday that they will broadcast anime for free on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from March 4-27. The free broadcast is related to many schools, venues, and events in Japan temporarily closing due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The channels are aiming raise children's spirits and ease anxiety relating to the temporary school closure.

Kids Station broadcasts anime including Anpanman, Pokémon, and Yo-kai Watch. Animax's programming includes Dragon Ball, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, and the digitally remastered version of Lupin III: Part II.

Shogakukan's Sunday Webry (Sunday Web Every) manga website announced on Tuesday that it is posting all volumes from the following manga series for free for a limited time:

  • Major by Takuya Mitsuda
  • Psyche Mata Shite mo by Tsubasa Fukuchi
  • Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi
  • Miyuki by Mitsuru Adachi
  • The Law of Ueki by Tsubasa Fukuchi
  • Ghost Sweeper Mikami by Takashi Shiina
  • Libero Revolution!! by Motoyuki Tanaka
  • Ushio & Tora by Kazuhiro Fujita

Major and Psyche Mata Shite mo will be free from March 8-14. Ranma 1/2, Miyuki, and The Law of Ueki will be free from March 15-21. GS Mikami, Libero Revolution!!, and Ushio & Tora will be free from March 22-28.

Both Shueisha and Shogakukan are posting back issues of some manga magazines digitally for free for a limited time. The first 13 issues of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine this year are available digitally for free until March 31 through the Zebrack website. Shogakukan's Sunday Webry website is posting all volumes of the Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Kenichi, Kekkaishi, and Hayate the Combat Butler for free until Saturday. The first three volumes from over 100 manga series are going online for free in several batches, starting with Detective Conan, Teasing Master Takagi-san, Kimi wa 008, Komi Can't Communicate, and 18 other manga until March 16.

Last Thursday, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. During the first half of March, such venues and events as Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Museum, Namjatown, AnimeJapan, and Shizuoka Hobby Show are closed, canceled, or postponed.

As of Monday, the WHO reported that Japan has 254 cases of the virus, with six deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 705 infected passengers, and six deaths.

The first reported cases of the COVID-19 disease occurred in Wuhan, China in December, and then began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The WHO declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Monday, the WHO reported that there are 88,948 infected individuals worldwide, with 80,174 of them in China and 254 official cases in Japan proper. 2,915 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO raised its global risk assessment over the virus from "high" to "very high" on Friday.

Sources: Sponichi Annex, Sunday Webry's Twitter account via Hachima Kikō (link 2)

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