Toonami

Filed Under: Ramblings 2 Comments

For some odd reason on Friday I got a weird nostalgic craving for anime I loved as a kid – anime brought to me mostly by the block of programming on Cartoon Network known as Toonami. It was especially strange because the 14th anniversary of Toonami was last Thursday (though it had been cancelled in 2008). I couldn’t help but think back to the seventh grade and the long bus rides back home, eager to watch DBZ and whatever other cool shows they had lined up for me.

So what was it that made Toonami great? It was more than just an awesome line up of action cartoons and anime – it was a brief glimpse into a culture half the world away from us. It was a gateway “drug” that lead many kids in my generation into seeking more of this out and becoming Otakus (or just plain anime geeks) in their own right. Even those that didn’t go down this path can still recall the epicness of Super Saiyan battles and giant robot action. Sure, sometimes the shows were edited to the ground, but when I think about it now, maybe that wasn’t really a terrible thing. It allowed parents a little peace of mind when they let 9 to 12 year olds watch these kinds of shows (which even unedited were fairly tame compared to the anime you could rent from Blockbuster at the time).

One of the other neat things about Toonami is that they put together really cool promos, with fun techno/electronic drum and bass music. They even redid some of the show intros, which to my 11 year old mind were the coolest things ever (though anime purists would probably pull their hair out about that). Not only did they have the cool promos, but they had inspiring lessons for kids, with sweet action spliced in middle of it all. Observe:

So what’s next? The multitude of ways for kids to acquire anime is tremendous. With sites like netflix, hulu, crunchyroll, and many others streaming these shows legitimately, anime has become increasingly accessible. It’s still sad that many kids might miss out on anime and the awesome message that Toonami brought with it, but with the landscape changing the way it is, there is still hope that they’ll find joy and inspiration through these new sources.

Thank you Toonami, for being awesome.

  • http://inkinthegutter.blogspot.com/ Cacy

    Heck yeah! Toonami was the shiznic! The height for me was when the block included Reboot, Gundam Wing and Tench Muyo.

    • http://kristruitt.com Kris Truitt

      That block was probably the best, I also loved me some Yu Yu Hakusho, Outlaw Star, and later on G Gundam (and even though it was silly, Zoids)!