As you might’ve known, there was at thing that Toonami did called Manipulate The Manual, where the staff became open to viewer suggestions on how should the block be handled. From the viewer suggestions were to aim for more darker and more serious shows, which led to Hellsing Ultimate airing after Black Lagoon, which is one of my favorite new shows of this year.
If you ask me, the darker Toonami seems to be working so far, since it’s leading to Deadman Wonderland getting a rerun next year. It also gives me hope that Toonami can rerun some of their older shows, like Soul Eater and Black Lagoon, but that’s another story. Toonami on [adult swim] seems to shows that are more violent and can even say “shit” uncensored. Which also makes me wonder whether Deadman Wonderland will be aired to fit recent cable standards.
So expanding on that, after the more tag are a few of my suggestions on which shows could work with a darker Toonami.
Psycho-Pass is one of those futuristic cyberpunk crime drama shows akin to that of Ghost in the Shell . It’s less action-driven than most Toonami shows (not to say that it doesn’t), and it’s mostly focused its narrative on how a system that supposedly improves society is actually really messed up. Plus, DeMarco did say that he enjoyed watching it, and since Toonami tends to be favorable towards shows liked by the staff, it’s a good possibility.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Without going into detail about anything beyond the first few episodes; anyone expecting yet another cutesy magical girl anime where the pink-colored heroine wins the day through the power of friendship and love and justice will find none of that in Madoka Magica. Here we have a serious story that actually deconstructs the usual magical girl tropes.
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
This one’s kinda a stretch, because Zeta is approaching 30 years old next year, but AKIRA‘s over 25 years old, so I guess anything goes. This one is considered to be one of the best and darkest entries in the Gundam franchise to date. This was the show that gave Yoshiyuki Tomino the moniker “Kill ’em All” Tomino. For good reason too. It definitely shows how war isn’t as awesome and exciting as the movies show them to be and also leads to one of the most bleakest endings I’ve ever seen, where neither side wins in the end. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is “a dark twist on Gundam” done great.
Also a stretch since Parasyte (as of this writing) has yet to be licensed for North American distribution, and its only halfway done, but since Black Lagoon and Hellsing Ultimate were considered to be seinen shows, Parasyte should fit into the darker and serious Toonami. It’s basically about a guy fighting parasite-infected humans while while learning to deal with the fact that he’s slowly losing his humanity. I really don’t know whether or not this will stay good, but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
With 2015 around the corner, the time for Toonami to aim for more seinen shows is getting close. But seriously, I hope they don’t get Akame ga Kill!. That show isn’t even dark or serious. It’s a carnival of edginess with no substance whatsoever.