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Animax will soon have its own VJs. Get to know them
THE GOD OF MANGA, Osamu Tezuka, told stories of noble white lions, human-robot coexistence, and Prince Siddhartha?s metamorphosis into Buddha. His visions would be adapted to animation, making the genesis of a global phenomenon: Anime.

Short for Japanese ?animation,? anime is now a cultural milestone with millions of fans. Animax Asia is a testament to that milestone.

An offshoot of Animax Japan, the channel began airing in Asia in 2004, reaching 27 million homes today. But like the medium, fans? tastes evolve.

In response, Animax, too, is evolving. They?ve added Korean drama in their lineups and their new on-air graphics package allows viewers to submit photos that will be featured on-air.

Finally, they?re set to engage fans with something a little more three-dimensional than anime.

Enter the Ani-mates. Stephanie Henares is a slender 22-year-old model, former QTV host and Watchpad Crewmate, one of Seattle?s Best Coffee?s 10 best customers and a Top-10 placer in the 2008 Liquan Asian Supermodel Competition.

Alodia Gosiengfiao is a 22-year-old toy collector, gaming enthusiast, cosplay judge and one of FHM Philippines? 100 Sexiest Women in the World. She?s best known as an award-winning cosplayer, and with younger sister Ashley made up a finalist team in Singapore?s 2009 Anime Festival Asia Regional Cosplay Championship.

Henares and Gosiengfiao will appear on Animax as the ?Ani-mates? VJs, and attend youth events as brand ambassadors. Their duties will include hosting, blogging and ?vlogging? on the hippest youth events in the region. Whatever Alodia?s set to do, you can bet she?ll do it in cosplay. Ashley will join her sister on TV, on a less frequent basis (she?s finishing senior year in Ateneo de Manila University).

Debut

Conway?s Bar in Shangri-La Makati hosts the debut of the ?Ani-mates? and Animax?s relaunch. Alodia and Ashley engage the crowd in navy blue uniforms and wigs as Ayano and Yukari, characters from anime Stigma of the Wind. They generate the same amount of fan frenzy, but don?t see each other as competition. ?We don?t compete,? giggles Alodia. ?We complement.?

The sassy Henares reveals the prospect of hosting at first gave her the willies. ?I didn?t want to host for QTV at first. I thought I sucked! But they pushed me, and it totally prepared me for this. I thought my chances were slim. Come on, Animax is so well-known!? She explains that she was ?pulled out of her comfort level,? and is excited to be on Animax.

The organizers play clips of the ?Ani-mates?? show introductions. In hers, Henares gushes that she?s ?fallen in love with all things Korean,? before segueing into one of Animax?s new Korean live-action shows. In the Gosiengfiao sisters?, they appear as the Stigma of the Wind characters. Ashley-Yukari teases Alodia-Ayano of having a crush on one of the characters. ?You?re such a busybody!? snaps Alodia-Ayano.

?Alodia joked that she and I were feminists,? smiles Henares. ?All the anime we talked about were girls? shows.?

Were Tezuka alive today, he?d admire the trail his creations have blazed. From page to screen, to the hearts of millions of fans, to Animax, and to personalities like Gosiengfiao and Henares, it?s a chain of evolution the God of Manga would marvel.

Log on to http://animaxasia.com/animates to learn more about the ?Ani-mates? in their profiles, pictures and video blogs which will update twice a week.