In the fifth and final season of Samurai Jack, produced by Williams Street and Cartoon Network Studios, 50 years have passed since where we last left off. The time spent in Aku’s dystopian future has taken its toll on Jack’s biological clock and his mental state. With his magic sword gone and all the time portals destroyed, Jack finds himself falling into despair as he is haunted by visions of the past. And with the seven daughters of Aku coming after his life, can Jack survive long enough to find a way back to his time and bring an end to Aku?
Well, the first episode of Season 5 has pretty much proven that this ain’t the same Samurai Jack from 13 years ago. The difference between this and the first four seasons is essentially night and day. And it is definitely shapingup to be a welcome entry and a proper conclusion to Samurai Jack. To think that at one point we thought we never would see an end.
Well, Toonami had a fairly decent year. Even with 3 1/2 hours, we still had a lot of good stuff (and Dimension W) come to the block. And a bunch of good stuff (and Akame ga Kill!) leave the block. But we’ve had a ton of good news, and I’m gonna go over everything that happened this year, and my thoughts about what each show has brought to the block.
Hunter × Hunter (the 2011 anime) is a Madhouse adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga, originally running from Fall 2011 to Summer 2014 for 148 episodes. The anime is licensed by Viz Media and dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment with a DVD and Blu-Ray home video release in the near future.
The story of Hunter × Hunter follows Gon Freecs, a 12-year old boy who aspires to become a Hunter like his supposedly deceased father. To reach his goal, he departs his home on Whale Island to go on an adventure to participate in the Hunter Exam, a punishing series of tests in which participants who pass, assuming they survive to do so, will earn a Hunter License.
Normally, I would be against the idea of Toonami having four long-runners at once, especially considering that since the block is running for 3.5 hours, that only leaves room for two other shows and one rerun. Personally, I would’ve preferred it if this had started after Dragon Ball Z Kai had wrapped up (assuming they don’t air the Majin Buu Saga immediately afterwards), but I suppose Toonami and Viz Media wanted to get it on TV as soon as possible. One Piece isn’t ending anytime soon and Naruto Shippuden has overstayed its welcome on the Japanese airwaves, so what other choice did they have?
As for the first episode itself, I do like what I’ve seen. There’s very little I can say about this one episode, but it’s definitely worth watching. And since Hunter × Hunter is highly regarded *ahem*, I’ll get to see what the big fuss was all about. With one episode down and 147 to go, Hunter × Hunter is gonna be here for a very long time.
[adult swim] announced that they are producing two 6-episode sequel series to FLCL along with Production I.G. This news comes less than eight months after Production I.G announced that they’ve acquired the rights to FLCL from Gainax, and planned to use those rights for possible ventures. Series creator Kazuya Tsurumaki will return as supervisor with Katsuyuki Motohiro (director of Psycho-Pass) as the director and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Neon Genesis Evangelion) as character designer, in addition to Hideto Iwai as the writer. It’s not mentioned whether or not The Pillows will return to compose music and if the original voice cast will reprise their roles, but it is the creators’ intention to bring as many possible back.
These new seasons of FLCL is set some years after the original and will follow a new character named Hidomi, a young teenage girl who believes there is nothing amazing to expect from her average life, until one day, her school gets a new teacher who goes by “Haruko.” Around the same time, her hometown gets caught in between the galactic war between Medical Mechanica and Fraternity, and Hidomi unlocks a secret within, a secret known only to her that could save the world. But why has Haruko returned to Earth? And what happened to Canti? All these questions and more will be answered when FLCL Seasons 2 and 3 are expected to premiere between late 2017 and early 2018 on [adult swim]’s Toonami block.
Yeah, a .hack/Sword Art Online crossover. Because the true king of MMO gaming anime needs to return to put this usurper in his place.
Seasonal Thoughts: Man, this season’s kinda… eeeeeh. I was right when I said to expect a subpar Winter from a craptastic Fall 2015. I was only really entertained by a few shows. And nope, I didn’t like Erased as much as you wanted me to; I’ll just save you the disappointment. I mostly spent time watching stuff on Toonami and in my backlog, and getting a handle on Bayonetta in Smash. Man, whatever happened to the really good Winter from last year? Was that just a fluke? The fact is that we’ve had four less than subpar anime seasons in a row, which hasn’t happened since Fall ’13 until Summer ’14, and that’s worrisome. About as worrisome as the likelihood that the Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie could get axed. But, don’t worry. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think the quality of next season will determine the remainder of the year. Not sure about The Batman, though. Well, at least there’s LEGO Batman.
So Deadpool was fun from start to finish. Fun enough for me to forget Fant4stic was a thing. Enough said about that. But seriously, Hollywood? Just because Deadpool was a big success doesn’t mean we should start making every superhero movie R-Rated. It only worked because Deadpool couldn’t work the way it did it was PG-13.
On a more exciting note: Symphogear seasons 4 and 5, baby, YEAH!
On a not-exciting note, freakin’ movies for Sword Art Online and Mahouka, two of 2014’s biggest piles of hot garbage; which means, once again, Aniplex (and A-1, in the case of SAO) has ahold of your dicks. I’ll go into that at a later date, but I’ll just save you the trouble of those movies:
In the SAO movie, the bad guy’s a rapist, because Kawahara only follows one rule when it comes to writing bad guys and it’s “all bad guys are rapists.” Heck, I won’t be surprised if the Accel World movie has a rapey guy too, because why the hell not?
The Mahouka movie will consist of Crystal Dragon Jesus Donald Trump Onii-sama doing bloody everything, including turn water into wine, and his sister who’s waiting to dryhump him the first chance she gets.
There, that’s money and time saved for something worthwhile.
These sure is a lack of variety this season. There’s some light novel junk on one side, and then there some sci-fi stuff on the other. It makes it hard to get excited for stuf this winter. So I might as well take a look at one of the sci-fi stuff. I already got one on my plate already this season with Active Raid, why not more?
Dimension W, a Studio 3Hz and Orange adaptation of Yuji Iwahara’s manga, is set in the year 2071, where unlimited resources of energy was finally realized with coils that draws power from the infinite amounts of energy from Dimension W, the fourth dimension that exists alongside Dimensions X, Y, and Z. As a result, the New Tesla Company established a new world order involving a system that produces coils. However, there are also illegal coils that are unofficially produced and used by criminals. The story follows Kyouma Mabushi, a Collector who retrieves illegal coils in exchange for money and gasoline, alongside a mysterious android girl named Mira Yurizaki, who has her own agenda left behind by her father, the genius mind behind the coil system.
Dimension W arguably has one of the better first episodes of this Winter season. It’s one of the few anime nowadays that can do initial expositions well. There is a very nice aesthetic to it, where we have the colorful and technological world of tomorrow and free energy, and then we have Kyouma and his style of being old-fashioned and living in the past, which is, essentially, our present day, it’s almost as if his entire character invokes that of some anime that used to air in [adult swim]’s early days. I’m not gonna say this is something great or unique, but the first episode of Dimension W does has something that makes it at the very least interesting.
Dimension W gets 3.5 collected illegal coils out of 5
So how was your Christmas? Did you get the gifts you wanted? Get wasted on eggnog? I sure as hell did.
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).