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Animax Unveils Maid Sama! as its First Same-Week-as-Japan Simulcast Anime Series of 2010

16 March 2010, Singapore – What if you were caught in an utterly embarrassing situation by a colleague, who then keeps your secret, but teases and even blackmails you time and again? If you would rather not imagine, let Animax share such an experience, complete with laughter and even a romance, in no less than the channel's first same-week-as-Japan simulcast anime series this year, with Maid Sama!.

Premiering 4 April 2010, airing Sundays 8.30pm (SEA/PH/SA/TW) / 7.30pm (JKT) / 9.30pm (HK) across Asia, Maid Sama! comes first and exclusively to Animax viewers in just three days of the anime series' debut in Japan. One of the most anticipated titles of Japan's new spring anime season starting in April 2010, Maid Sama! is a romantic comedy following the amusing relationship that blossoms after female student council president Misaki's secret part-time job as a ‘maid’ at a ‘maid café’ gets discovered by Takumi, the most popular boy in her high school. Keeping the secret intact, Takumi goes on to tease Misaki mercilessly and an unlikely romance unfolds.

With Maid Sama!, Animax continues its strategy of bringing the latest and best anime series to Asia within the earliest available broadcast windows. Already, Maid Sama! is Animax's fourth simulcast series, following Tears to Tiara, the world's first anime series simulcast at exactly the same time as Japan in April 2009; as well as same-week-as-Japan broadcasts of popular series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and InuYasha: The Final Act in April and October 2009 respectively.

“With amazing artwork and a story with mass appeal, we have no doubt Maid Sama! will be the next big hit with female and male viewers alike, especially with the added pleasure of catching up on the show within the same week as their peers in Japan. By far, viewers have reacted very well to simulcast shows which continue to be special broadcast arrangements that demand significant resources and efforts to realize. We are confident the channel is on the right track and will work towards bringing even more anime simulcasts to Animax,” said Gregory Ho, Vice President and General Manager, Animax Asia.

Maid Sama! is based on the manga series of the same title that won the author Hiro Fujiwara the ‘Outstanding Debut’ honour at the 31st Hakusensha Athena Newcomers' Awards in Japan. The ongoing manga series is already translated to various languages and is being followed in the US, Taiwan and Hong Kong, with fans eagerly waiting to catch the anime adaptation.

Set in Seika High, which was recently converted from all-boys to a co-ed school, Maid Sama! follows Misaki, the first female president of the student council who ‘battles’ wild and insensitive male students each day to protect the few females in school. It did not help that her impression of men had been bad right from the start, as her father had deserted her family, leaving her with no choice but to work part-time secretly, as a ‘maid’ at the Maid Latte ‘maid café’ to supplement the household income.

Everything changes when her schoolmate Takumi, the best looking male student and a heartbreaker among the girls, accidentally finds out about her secret double life as a ‘maid’. Thinking the entire school would find out by the following morning, Misaki is surprised her secret had not been leaked out. However, it proves to be the start to seemingly endless, merciless teasing by Takumi, and the beginning of an amusing relationship between the two.

Maid Sama! is being produced by J.C. Staff, the anime studio responsible for hit anime franchises including Nodame Cantabile and Shakugan no Shana. Male protagonist Takumi will be voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, winner of Japan's ‘Best New Actor’ award at the Third Annual Seiyu (voice actor) Awards in 2009 and star of sci-fi anime series Chrome Shelled Regios. Misaki will be brought to life by voice actress Ayumi Fujimura who starred in fantasy anime series Stigma of the Wind and new anime movie Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection.

As sparks fly between Misaki and Takumi in Maid Sama!, don't miss out on an unlikely and hilarious love story that brings much more than a smile to everyone, in a unique viewing opportunity that brings Asian viewers up to speed with the latest action that unfolds each week in Japan, only on Animax.

Maid Sama! premieres 4 April 2010
Airing Sundays 8.30pm (SEA/PH/SA/TW) / 7.30pm (JKT) / 9.30pm (HK)
In the same week as Japan, first & exclusively on Animax

Launched 1 January 2004, ANIMAX is Asia's first youth brand specialising in the fastest growing youth entertainment genre – anime; along with youth programming including exclusive original productions, music, technology, gaming and lifestyle shows.

ANIMAX offers youth and young adults a place to escape to. An extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world where they can express their thoughts, communicate their passion and exercise their creativity. A world which celebrates the joy of youth and recognises them for who they are; a world of fun, happiness and excitement… In short, A World Less Ordinary.

Reaching 40 million viewers in 27 million homes across 18 countries, ANIMAX is wholly-owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by SPE Networks – Asia which also operates AXN, AXN BEYOND and SONY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION. Visit www.animax-asia.com for more.

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