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Adult Swim brings back Toonami for one night on April Fools

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 3, 2012 by Griff

I don’t normally cover news on this blog (with rare exceptions) but I read this story and just had to post my thoughts on it

ok so for a long time now (maybe since the beginning? I’m not sure) Adult Swim has made it a tradition to have April Fools pranks, some of these I’ve witnessed myself (like when they added fart sound effects to their shows) and some of them I’ve only heard about (like their repeated airings of The Room), but this year they brought back Toonami, for one night only, they brought back T.O.M and played nothing but anime, not just episodes from series that they previously played on Adult Swim, but mostly shows they played on Toonami! talk about a blast from the past…

reading that story absolutely warmed the cockles of my heart, seriously I almost teared up, tragically I missed it myself, I just totally forgot about  Adult Swim and their April Fools, I wish I had remembered, but no matter, just the fact that they did this is beyond awesome

Adult Swim used to be my bread and butter for anime back in the day, I didn’t watch every anime they played, but I did watch a good majority, I remember every Saturday night I would take a break from the video games and sit down for the anime, I never missed an episode, even when I was on vacation I would make sure to still watch it, even once on a trip to Universal Studios in 2007 late at night, after a long day of theme parking I was sleepy as hell, but I made damn sure to stay up to watch my Adult Swim anime (even though I was so tired I didn’t remember much of it the next day)

and man, they played some great stuff over the years, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ghost in The Shell Stand Alone Complex, Paranoia Agent, Samurai Champloo, Case Closed,  s-CRY-ed (ok that one was a bit lame, but still watchable), Bleach, Eureka 7, Blood +, Death Note and it was also where I first saw both the Read or Die OVA and Neon Genesis Evangelion for crying out loud! and that’s just the anime that I actually watched, there’s even more series that they played that I didn’t watch

but then….things changed, in 2008 I started watching Code Geass on there, but they kept messing with it’s time slot, eventually putting new episodes ridiculously late at night and in frustration I stopped watching, plus that was when Bleach entered it’s first filler arc and I had to bail on that too, so for the first time in years I was no longer there every Saturday night, it’s not that they haven’t seen played interesting anime, but once you fall out of certain grooves it’s hard to get back in

afterwards was when they started playing significantly less anime on Adult Swim, anime used to be half of Adult Swim’s appeal, I mean they used to play a TON of it and they used play it on the weekdays too, but all that changed, it pretty much became an afterthought, constricted to just a handful of series only on Saturday nights, in it’s place came constant reruns of Family Guy and King of The Hill (not that reruns haven’t been on Adult Swim since the beginning, but still, do you really have to play so much Family Guy?)

I think a big part of what contributed to anime on Adult Swim’s downfall was not only what was going on in the industry itself at the time, but also Adult Swim’s stubborn insistence on only playing action oriented shows (with very rare exceptions, like Super Milk Chan), for example I think they missed a HUGE opportunity by never playing The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya on there while it was still a hot property, people did ask them about it, but they’re response was always “it’s not an action show”, but “action anime” kind of dried up there for the most part, it’s not really where the industry has gone for the last couple of years, it seems like they did later realize their mistake and tried giving comedy anime a chance, but their choice of series was……Crayon Shin Chan? really? another problem was it seemed like they (perhaps understandably given censorship) strayed away from any anime that had any amount of fanservice (aka T&A) in it at all, hence why shows that otherwise would have fit like a glove, shows like Mai Hime or Burst Angel, never made it onto Adult Swim due to the fact that they featured sexy ladies

so it seems like at the end of the day Adult Swim read the writing on the wall, that anime’s day in the sun in America was coming to a close and decided to make it an afterthought and put their focus on the comedy shows, I can’t say it was a bad business decision really, but still….

but then they go and pull this stunt and all I can say is “Adult Swim you magnificent bastards!”, this really seems like Adult Swim is intentionally sending out the message “we haven’t totally forgotten or given up on anime guys, we still love you”,  after a few years now of me just basically assuming anime was all but dead on Adult Swim, it’s great to see some signs of life…

ok now technically this all related to Toonami, not Adult Swim and Toonami is what I credit as really getting me into anime (like a lot of anime fans my age), Pokemon may have been the precursor, but it was anime on Toonami like Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Big O, Outlaw Star and Tenchi Muyo that really got the ball rolling

sadly Toonami ended in 2008, a year after I stopped watching it (the last show I watched on there was Naruto, I stopped because I gradually learned that Naruto sucks, filler or no filler, sorry Naruto fans) and this is “testing the waters” for a possible Toonami resurrection, not necessarily that they’re going to show more anime on Adult Swim, but still, it’s Cartoon Network, it’s all the same umbrella, it just really warms my heart to see Adult Swim do this

now, would I actually watch a resurrected Toonami? welllllllll that’s hard to say, it really depends on what they play (and what they would play I have no idea, other than Naruto again maybe?), but at 22 years old I can’t say I have a whole lot of interest in watching heavily edited anime intercut with commercials for toys and breakfast cereals, as much nostalgia as I do have for Toonami, I’d be much more interested in Adult Swim taking a more serious approach to anime again, that I would tune in for I guess, but either way, it’s just cool to see Adult Swim throw anime a freakin’ bone, we’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it