In a move that shocks, like, nobody, except anyone who lives under a rock or without a television or internet connection or something, but it still sort of cool and a little exciting, Adult Swim’s bringing back Toonami as a block. Saturday nights just got a whole lot more mid-90′s-to-mid-00′s Cartoon Network.
There’s been a huge call for the network to revive the old Cartoon Network action block ever since their April Fool’s stunt for the year turned out to be a full Toonami block complete with old shows (some Toonami aired originally, some they didn’t) and freshly-recorded TOM dialogue and a game review of Mass Effect 3 by the man who gave TOM his voice all those years, Steve Blum. Blum himself started up a Twitter hashtag and campaign of sorts, #BringBackToonami, having his followers start tweeting the tag around the time the action block started every Saturday night on Adult Swim. Looks like it was successful.
If you’re not aware of what Toonami was (I’ve seen people ask, it’s weird, I know), it was a block that began in 1997 that ran action shows on Cartoon Network. Starting out with titles like Voltron and Thundercats, the block eventually came to be known for its Japanese anime content, helping bring shows like Dragon Ball Z, its earlier counterpart Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Outlaw Star, The Big O, Yu Yu Hakusho, and a handful of varied Gundam titles to prominence. Later on, it also aired Cartoon Network originals like Samurai Jack. It had an earlier-in-the-day counterpart weekdays on Kids WB for a short time, and a late night block named Midnight Run that lasted for four years. It was also popular for its host: at first hosted by Moltar, who you may know from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, it was later hosted by a few versions of a character named TOM, voiced by Steve Blum, also recognizable as Spike from Cowboy Bebop. He joked, he reviewed video games, he introduced viewers to new music, and was there until the end. The block went off air in 2008.
May 26th will see the return of Toonami as an actual programming block, the first time since 2008 that it has been a presence on US television. What the block will actually air besides Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is unknown as of right now, but hopefully some more light will be shone on the upcoming revival tonight at the Adult Swim upfront. Hopefully some new shows will be included.
You can join Adult Swim Central for a special live Upfront edition of the Swimcast tonight at 10:30PM EST, and we’ll let you know any bit of news regarding Toonami or anything else Adult Swim as we get it!
And you can relive the mid-90′s and early 00′s on May 26th at midnight.