What was the first anime to air

What was the first anime to air in HD?

I was quite intrigued by your question, so I decided to solve this problem. Here's what I found and I would be grateful if someone could help me improve my answer!

The first thing I knew was between 2007 and 2008 when HD became popular in the US. I used this information to track down a couple of forums on AnimeNewsNetwork Here and Here. These two threads were very useful as they were named "Samurai 7" and "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" (also known as "GITS SAC" as used in the thread).

I went to the Wikipedia page for Samurai 7 and part of it reads:

The series premiered across Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax as an exclusive high definition CS-PPV broadcast

Now I'm not sure if you want to consider it aired in HD as it was Pay Per View (aka "PPV"), but it was made in HD based on this page about the series:

Based on Akira Kurosawa's classic film The Seven Samurai. Samurai 7 is produced in high definition at a cost of $ 300,000 per episode, more than twice the cost of an average non-HD series.

The reason I also included "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" is because a lot of people on the forums were saying this is also HD. I was able to find out that it was also aired by Animax, but I can't confirm if it aired for HD.

If GITS SAC didn't air in HD, Samurai 7 would be the first anime to air in HD (or at least as far as I can think of it).

Now I am very tired of my research as I think other anime may have aired in HD prior to these two and my main concern comes from this article written in 1998. And the way the users talked about HD in the threads as it wasn't anything new and I also wonder if there was any before these two animes that aired in HD.

I will continue to research and improve my answer as I leave. I hope this answer can help you.

UPDATE: I was able to find this question with "Toshinou Kyouko" pointing to this thread. In the thread "Zalis" it says:

First 16: 9 TV anime: Betterman (Spring 1999), Vandread (Fall 2000)

I am currently trying to find a source that can verify that these shows were created in HD 16: 9 aspect ratio. (Thanks to "Ross Ridge" for pointing this out.)

Michael McQuade

You should now be able to post your links

Happy face

OMG I can't believe the first HD anime aired in 2003 (GITS SAC) or 2004 (Samurai 7) !! I watched anime that aired on my computer between 2005 and 2008. The quality is still poor despite being ripped from DVD.


Thanks to everyone who gave my answer a positive rating so I can add my sources! @Happy Face I know it's hard to believe they started broadcasting anime in HD in 2004. I didn't believe it myself when I found out about it.

Ross Ridge

Note that 16: 9 TVs don't mean HD. For example, many DVDs are available in 16: 9 format and Europe began switching to SD widescreen TV broadcasts in the mid-1990s.


@ Ross Ridge Thank you for pointing this out. I have updated my answer with the correct wording.