“lol shar n liek dis pic if u wer a 90s kid and remembr dis!1!” Um… How about not?
Over the summer we had the illustrious return of Toonami to our airwaves. Now a Saturday Midnight Run, all of the anime on [adult swim] has been moved there and Steve Blum is back hosting as Tom. At the return summer we had Deadman Wonderland, which was fantastic as a fit for the block. But now that it’s over and Samurai 7 is in, where does Cartoon Network head when that’s over too as well as Casshern Sins? We can’t just have reruns forever, so here’s five shows I think would be good for new Toonami in no particular order.
In making this list I knew I couldn’t just jam anything in here. Everyone wants to see their favorite anime on broadcast, no doubt, but not every show is fit to run on every programming block. Sorry, I don’t think advocating seeing the original Queen’s Blade with subs on The Hub will happen anytime in this world line. Outside of the financial quandaries and quagmires in licensing board that I cannot account for this is what I factored into this list.
- The anime has to be recently dubbed or had a dub announced (I’d say within the past five years)
- The license company that distributes the anime in the US has to be pushing the series themselves and willing to let CN broadcast it for an affordable deal
- It has to comply with the freakin’ FCC
- It has to fit the tone of Toonami and the demographics of its viewers. Nowadays it’s legacy fans in the later teens and young adults (Hamtaro might have been an outlier. Just might have)
1. Panty & Stocking
Not really a fit per se, the number of censor bleeps needed for this show would be so vast that there will be no coherent sentences at all. However the tone and brand of comedy are spot-on. Honestly, the kind of experimental art and crude humor in Panty & Stocking is just right alongside the strange Aqua Teen (insert rest of title here) and the parody packed Robot Chicken . If somehow Cartoon Network can let a little more of the show go past the censor board like with The Boondocks , we could have a money show here.
2. Fairy Tail
Most of the lineup outside of reruns has been pretty dark. Fairy Tail would be the perfect lighthearted shonen to show. Bleach has ended back in Japan and Cartoon Network lost Naruto to Disney (where they failed to capitalize on its potential) so where else can they look? The high ups might not want to run One Piece again (blame the 4Kids dub for low ratings) in spite of a solid dub, so I think Mashima’s work fits the bill. It’s very lighthearted and would be an excellent contrast to the other new shows on the block. Moreover, long running shonen can help keep some evergreens on the block that satisfy viewers for a good long time. Hello consistent source of ratings.
3. Eureka Seven: AO
This is less of a suggestion and hopefully more of a sure thing. Currently Toonami rerunning Eureka Seven. Hopefully by the time they’re done, the dub of AO would be good to go. This one is a no-brainer, the only trouble is securing the deal to broadcast it.
4. Tiger and Bunny
Most of the lineup has been very much by Funimation, granted it’s probably one of the only licensing companies left, with Viz and their work somewhere and Sentai Filmworks just starting to accelerate. So why not throw a Viz licensed anime on? Tiger and Bunny has the benefit of its topic material. Since the average [as] viewers and old Toonami viewers are teenagers and early 20s adults who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, superheroes are part of that old nostalgia, which is a key ingredient in Tiger and Bunny that will resonate with the crowd. The dub is on its way with the cast fully announced, all that’s left is to hopefully afford it and run it.
5. Gundam Unicorn
What would Toonami be without Gundam ? As Gundam UC rolls out in simultaneous release, it could easily be a good contender to snag more viewers. Granted the OVAs are not finished yet but if we do get them finished by this time next year, Gundam UC could be an excellent set of OVAs to help bring some mecha into the evening. There’s also Gundam 00 in the meantime to fill a mecha void but I’m unsure, given its mixed reception, if that would be a good call.
In the end, the next step for Toonami is to start accelerating. To stay alive for the summer and this fall, it’s good to have that backing of old fans that wanted to see anime on their televisions, but now we need to keep building on the momentum. The key to that is finding some of the things that made Toonami such a hit, and that was a diverse lineup of different genres of anime that still fit their target demographic of teens and young adults. Action packed shows or darker but not necessarily heady shows work. Lighthearted shonen and brash overt comedy tends to work too. Then there are just plain weird shows like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
On that note, I would have suggested Madoka in the article since Toonami wasn’t too adverse to magical girls and that the show is very heavy, but I’m not so sure if showing Sailor Moon back in the day was a fluke or not in the executive decisions. That and this was before the block had undergone its demographic shifts over the years. Once the faction of Cartoon Network that manages Toonami starts pushing and really starts to act in the spirit of ages past with a killer lineup for everybody, then we’re really cooking with gas. Join me next time when I make a ninja breakfast.