Toonami's back. For a 90's guy like me, it's frankly a little hard to believe. I watched the block almost religiously from 1998 (Beast Wars) Through 2005 (The end of Gundam Seed, Yu Yu Hakusho) . Since it left us, there has been a television hole that has needed filling (...get your head out of the gutter). And now, that hole has been filled. (seriously) Or has it?
At this point, we have no idea what Toonami is going to look like. Tom is clearly going to be back (he had new narration on April 1 thanks to Steven Blum) and the trademark editing style of the promos and intros seemed to be back as well (most of the intros used on April 1 were specific to the episode played and completely unlike the ones these shows debuted with). But which shows will be returning?
Below I made a list of what a dream Toonami would look like, not really factoring in things like licencing deals or feasibility. It's also quite a bit longer than what I expect Toonami's new block will end up being (5+ hours!!!). That said, I think the shows below would not only be good for the fans and new viewers, but for the network as well. Even if none of these show up (It could end up being a reskin of their current saturday nights, which means lots of Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Ghost in the Shell) I'll still be happy. I used to say that Toonami was timeless. Now I can say that Toonami IS timeless.
In an ideal world, what would be on Toonami?
Toonami's back, but what will it contain?
|1. Dragon Ball Z Kai|
What would Toonami have been without Dragonball? First introduced a year into Toonami's campaign, it immediately became a staple and catapulted every show that surrounded it into immense popularity. Between the original series, Z, and GT, Dragonball at times consisted of half the daily programming.
|2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion|
It was a shame that Code Geass didn't come out a decade earlier. The show would have been perfect fodder for Toonami, right up next to shows like Gundam, Evangelion, and Outlaw Star. The mechs, characters, and political intrigue would have been a hit. It's time to rectify this mistake.
|3. Mobile Suit Gundam 00|
What would the return of Toonami be without Gundam? It wouldn't be Toonami, that's for sure. This particular marriage benefited both sides in a big way, as Gundam benefited from the increased exposure and became a meteoric hit, in turn boosting Toonami's profile. But Gundam hasn't been on TV since Seed season 1 ended some 7 years ago. And frankly, that's the reason I haven't gotten around to watching 00. It'd be fun to see them put UC on the network as well, but 00 would be good enough.
|4. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt|
Almost custom built for Toonami's long-defunct "MIDNIGHT RUN", Panty and Stocking perfectly combines the Tartatovsky (creator of Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter's Lab, among others) vibe with the older, less mature (see what I did there?) humor Adult Swim used to be known for (before it decided to cater exclusively to stoners).
|5. Gurren Lagann|
Gurren Lagann is another series that, while presented on american television in another form, would have benefited from being on Toonami in particular. SciFi Channel didn't have the anime bodifides to get people to tune in. Tom and Toonami do.
|6. Fate/stay night|
Between Outlaw Star, Big O, Blue Submarine, Samurai Jack, and various Gundam series, Toonami had a good tradition of brooding series that weren't about constant combat, and it was loved for that. The Fate series definitely falls in that category.
|7. Outlaw Star|
A personal favorite of mine, Outlaw Star was relatively obscure in its native Japan. Panned by the anime universe, it was a small miracle that Toonami took a chance on it in 2001. It became by far the biggest surprise hit to come out of Tom's spaceship, and had a huge presence in Toonami's "music videos". The final episode was shown in Toonami's "April Fools Day" appearance, lending hope that the show might return at least shortly, to beckon Toonami into a new era.
|8. Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files|
While it was one of the most popular series on Toonami (especially in its later years) it ended up being moved to Adult Swim before the full 112 episode run was complete. With the recent blu-ray release, I'm sure there are many that would love to see the final arc, to find out how it all ended.
|9. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic|
Toonami has always had a cuter series to pair with all of it's serious brooding and shonen action shows (Hamtaro, Powerpuff, Cardcaptors) and MLPFIM is without a doubt a huge hit among those who would be interested in the return of the block. This isn't a show that I watch, but I couldn't be more confident that it would be a hit.
|10. Tiger & Bunny|
Goofy, likable characters, a largely episodic format, and top-notch action (along with a hint of honest-to-goodness thematic meaning) make Tiger & Bunny the most recent fit to a Toonami lineup. Few modern anime would really feel at home on a new Toonami. Tiger & Bunny does.
|11. Neon Genesis Evangelion|
The rebooted movies. I'm not sure if they could be cut up Futurama style or if they'd be occasional specials like Endless Waltz and the Batman TAS movies back in the day, but this would be another great way to draw in fans of the original Toonami block.