March 17, 1997 was a day that many American boys and girls were first introduced to the foreign world of Anime. Masterpieces such as Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, Dragon Ball Z, Outlaw Star, and Robotech opened the door and let us outside of our childhood as we left The Magic School Bus and Johny Bravo inside.
For nine of the eleven year run, T.O.M. guided us through the space aged magical wonderland that was Toonami. He introduced us to Total Immersion Events, The Midnight Run, The Rising Sun, and Giant Robot Week (WAY BETTER THAN SHARK WEEK), and we all loved it! However, all good things must come to an end. In an emotional speech on September 20th 2008, T.O.M. had this to say:
“Well, this is the end, beautiful friends. After more than 11 years, this is Toonami’s final broadcast. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’d like to thank each and every one of you who made this journey with us. Toonami wouldn’t have been anything without you. Hopefully we’ve left you with some good memories. So, until we meet again, stay gold. Bang.”
That was the night that many boys, some who were men, wept in the silence of their darkened rooms. It was as though your first crush kicked you in the jewels and left with your best friend . As with any bad break up, we eventually got over the sadness and moved on. We grew up, focused on school and work, life was good.
Fast forward to April 1st, 2012…
During the nightly Adult Swim programming, T.O.M. interrupted the programming periodically to announce that it was April Fool’s Day, and then teased us with bumper of Big O, Trigun, and others. To make matters worse, Adult Swim posted on their Twitter page the following morning, “Want it back? Let us know.#BringBackToonami”. Soon after, a follow up tweet appeared, “#BringBackToonami We’ve heard you. Thank you for your passion and interest – stay tuned.”
Two weeks later, we got the announcement that Toonami would return on May 26th, 2012 and a new hash tag on twitter was forever immortalized, #ToonamisBackBitches! The new line up was a buzz all over the internet as new viewers got excited for the first time and the old timers freshened up for the return of their childhood crush! The shows have a much more adult theme that they did in the past. Maybe it is a sign of the times, or just a way to get back the more mature audience that once watched the block, either way many were anxiously awaiting the return. The downside of the return is that it was given a rather low budget, so new and popular shows were not an option, although Deadman Wonderland and Casshem Sins were debuted.
With such an anticipated return, we have to keep in mind that the return could be short lived if we do not give our support. Deadman Wonderland and Casshem Sins seemed to have a strong start, in fact the ratings for the Deadman Wonderland time slot were up 14% from last year! The downside si that Cartoon Network does not feel as though the ratings are good enough, “It did OKAY,” said Jason DeMarcoin a Twitter status. “Not bad but not measurably better than the week before. We need to do better. Hopefully we will!” In order to get the necessary sponsors to increase the budget, the ratings need to be higher.
So what can we do? The answer is actually pretty simple, get your friends, cousins, brothers, Grandmas, Dogs and cats to watch. If you don’t like one of the shows, don’t turn the channel! Watch it anyway! Until the ratings get higher and the sponsors give more money, we will not get anything new. Worst case scenario is that the ratings continue as they are, or go down, and T.O.M. is forever banished to the metal scrapyard in the sky.
For now, Toonami is back, but whether it stays, or not, is up to you. What are your thoughts on the reincarnation of Toonami?
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