Toonami has become a childhood classic when the Anime boom happened. When the block first launched on Cartoon Network back in 1997, kids all over the United States will turn on their television sets every week to watch legenday Animes such as Gundam, Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon as Japanese Anime begins to become a trend to the entertainment industry. Plus, the ever lovable android, TOM and his assistant hologram, SARA, always provide really great bumpers that made Toonami a block to watch out for that time. However, as the year progresses, the Toonami block has started to fade as the programs in the block weren’t really attracting the viewership so much. As Toonami pulled their plug with their final broadcast on September 20th,2008, we thought that the long-life legacy of Toonami was officially fade away for good…or is it?
April Fool’s Day, April 1st, 2012, comes a shocker nobody would expect happen. On the late night Adult Swim block, it was a typical Adult Swim line-up of shows, until TOM all of sudden popped out from the screen and the internet went crazy as the old Toonami shows returned to their TV screens, thus the viewers demanded for Toonami’s return. And their wish was granted. May 26th 2012 marks the historic day as the return of the block that revolutionizes Anime. Since then, brand new and latest Animes hot from Japan have been dubbed, including the fan favorites like Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online. Even Toonami served up the latest in the Big 3 of Shonen shows which are the recently concluded Bleach, Naruto Shippuden and Dragon Ball Z Kai.
When they said they provide the latest and freshest Animes, they mean it! Funimation of America have collaborated with Shinichirou Watanabe in simuldubbing Space Dandy to American households, proven how serious Toonami is in reviving the block to provide the latest Animes fresh from Japan. This is all because of Jason DeMarco who has planned the surprises for Toonami in order to keep the block fresh and entertaining for new and old Toonami Faithful to keep on watching.
The success is inevitable as Toonami raked up ratings up to 1.5 million viewers all over America, watching the block, either from the east coast to the west coast. So successful that the block extended from the original 12:00am to 6:00am timeline to start at 11:30pm, as the adults and teenagers on the demographic of ages 18-49 are sticking around watching the block every week as Toonami Faithfuls. However, as the year progresses into 2015, things aren’t gone well for Toonami…a bit. Recently, on January 23rd, 2015, the block lost the 5:00AM to 6:00AM hour and then further into January 27th, the block also lost almost the entire 2nd half of the block. Every Toonami Faithfuls are wary about how the future of Toonami will shape up with this recent cut but Jason DeMarco did mention that the time cut is a relief for them as their original envision of the block was to become just a 3 hour block as shorter block is far easier to maintain by Toonami’s limited staff rather than an extended block which can be a burden. He cemented that opinion by announcing the acquisition of Kill La Kill and Sword Art Online II, proving that DeMarco does care about Toonami Faithfuls deeply.
In my personal opinion, cutting the block in half is such a bummer, considering Toonami Faithfuls have high expectations on maintaining the block as it is but I have to agree on DeMarco’s ideology of the new Toonami. Their purpose of the revival is to basically bring Anime back to Cable Television as it supposed to be and having a very long block that people who are sleeping after busy with their Saturday Sports Schedule like the NFL, UFC and College Basketball that they are only willing to watch the block until their sleeping time, in which is between 2 to 5am usually and usually, this lead to a massive drop in ratings, especially after the premiered shows. However, the 12am slot is usually a gold mine for Toonami because the ratings usually exceed a million almost every week when the Toonami block starts, in a more recent example, Dragon Ball Z Kai usually raked up from 1 to 1.5 million viewers every week. Therefore, even with the block cut, I can assure that Toonami will continue to be in safe hands. Let’s hoping that the Toonami Faithfuls will continue to become loyal supporters to the block by watching the entire block every week because Jason DeMarco stated that, the more ratings they cummulate, the higher the chances of newest Animes and popular Animes that fans are demanded for will be included in the block. Heck, who knows? Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Akame Ga Kill! or even Assassination Classroom will be airing on your TV screens near you. To every single Toonami Faithful, Stay Gold and may Toonami continue to rise above obstacles in making Anime mainstream again.