With the Toonami block trimmed down to 3.5 hours, 5 new shows grabbed, 3 of these yet to be concluded next year, a number of marathons, and one Immersion Event, Toonami’s had a fairly crazy 2015, don’t you think? But while Toonami isn’t exactly in the dumps, it can recover.
So here are somethings that I’m personally (and hopefully) am looking to see from Toonami in 2016 (at least the first half).
Toonami 2015 Retrospective
The first new show was on February 7: Kill la Kill, and it showed that despite losing 3 hours, Toonami wasn’t losing their way anytime soon. Then come March 28, we had to deal with Super AIDS Online II and its insistence on making its “strong females” into useless crybabies so that some antisocial vidya game Jeebus loser can save they day, and handling real-life issues and showing they have absolutely no respect for the subject at all. June 20, we got Michiko & Hatchin, which was a nice change of pace for Toonami, proving that an anime doesn’t need to primarily be action in order to work. August 8, Sentai Filmworks made their long-awaited debut on Toonami with Akame the Edge!, which only showed that blood and violence doesn’t always makes everything cool. It’s insistent on taking itself way too seriously to the point that nobody gives a shit about any of these walking clichés. Then we got another show from Sentai on October 3: Parasyte ~the maxim~, and we all learned that Migi is right.
Personally, 2015’s selection was lacking in quality compared to 2014. To recap, 2014 Toonami premieres were Space Dandy, Blue Exorcist, Black Lagoon, Attack on Titan, Beware the Batman, Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge, Gurren Lagann, Hellsing Ultimate, Dragon Ball Z Kai, InuYasha: The Final Act, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, and Dragon Ball Z: Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan. Believe it or not, 2014 was a good year for Toonami, 2015 not so much.
Samurai Jack Season 5
In case you’ve been living under a rock this month, you’ve probably heard the big news: Jack is back. Starting sometime next year, Samurai Jack will premiere Season 5 on Toonami. This is being produced by Cartoon Network with Gennedy Tartakovsky at the helm once more. Cartoon Network is producing a show to be aired on [adult swim]’s Toonami. It’s best not to ask what sort of black magic Cartoon Network had to perform in order to get Gennedy back, and if they can do the same to get Sym-Bionic Titan back, but if this succeeds, then we could be seeing more western action animation on Toonami.
In case Jack wasn’t enough Samurai for you, the [adult swim] classic hip-hop/samurai anime produced by Manglobe (R.I.P.) returns to Toonami on the night of January 2, replacing Michiko & Hatchin. Personally, I’m indifferent about this news. On the plus side, I haven’t seen Samurai Champloo since 2010. On the minus, while Champloo is awesome, I’m sure there were better options than an [adult swim] anime that’s more than a decade old. According to DeMarco, they had to settle for Champloo because they tried to get Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, but couldn’t pass Standards and Practices because of there’s too much sexual content to edit, which would make the show unwatchable. Keep in mind, for comparison’s sake, that they had to convince their S&P department that it would be OK to air Kill la Kill, save for a few edits.
Do you know why Toonami gets shows that have already been released on DVD and Blu-Ray for years? Because they’re inexpensive. Some people forgot that the Toonami staff has a very limited budget so they can’t get every new show that comes out. Same reason why they chose to do marathons on holiday weekends rather than movies this year. They already have paid for the episodes, it costs nothing to rerun them. Marathons work, and they’re here to stay for a very long time. If you don’t like it, you are free to not watch them. I don’t. I doubt they’ll do worse without you. They need to be cost-effective so they can utilize their money for much bigger things. Which brings me to my next thing to (hopefully) look forward to.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Yeah, I’m filing this one under wishful thinking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. Sunrise has surprisingly been pushing Iron-Blooded Orphans far more than any other TV Gundam series this decade, since it is being simulcasted on 5 different streaming platforms available in the U.S, announced a dub in the works with Bang Zoom! less than one week after the first episode. This is notable because, aside from the two Build Fighters series, the previous two series haven’t gotten simulcasts in the U.S.: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE never got a simulcast, and Gundam Reconguista in G only started streaming on Hulu only a whole year after it started. It sounds like Sunrise has confidence in this one. It’s probably not a stretch to say that Sunrise is probably looking to put the dub somewhere as well.
There’s also the fact that Gundam‘s popularity in America started on Toonami with Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Perhaps Sunrise would like to take another stab at the anime on television. I think it would help alot. Toonami’s options for mecha anime are very limited. They already ran (and, as of this writing, stream on [adult swim] website from time to time) Gurren Lagann. Since Sentai Filmworks have started airing their shows on Toonami, there is also Majestic Prince. They could get Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean, but trust me, you don’t want that. They could also get Aldnoah.Zero, but trust me, you most definitely do not want that one. Other recent mecha anime, like Buddy Complex, Valvrave the Liberator, Captain Earth, and Argevollen don’t have dubs, which means they’re not an option And both seasons of Knights of Sidonia are licensed by and streaming only on Netflix. If Toonami picks this up, we could see Gundam on Toonami making a much-needed comeback.
Well, the crew teased that once the dust had settled on Intruder II, Toonami wouldn’t be the same anymore. And they weren’t lying. The Intruder done gone down with the Absolution,, which leaves TOM and SARA broadcasting Toonami at a currently-nameless base of operations on Shogo 162 (basically some kind of Jakku-looking planet) until they get a new ship commissioned… Whenever that’ll be.
I think the only thing anyone saw coming was that the Intruder would come back in TOM 1’s body. Aside form that, no one knew what would happen next. And we totally didn’t guess that Toonami will be broadcasting at some rundown facility on a planet instead of space. It’s pretty good if something can keep us guessing. All in all, it was a pretty good Immersion Event and hopefully see another one that should lead to a new Absolution.
Well, OK, 2015 wasn’t a good year for Toonami. I only really stuck through for Michiko & Hatchin, Parasyte and Kill la Kill, but I think 2016 has some big things in store besides what I’m crossing my fingers for.
‘Til next year, stay gold.