Well, it’s official. A vital piece of my adolescence is now dead and gone. It was canceled with very little warning and its final airing was last night. I figured this would be a good opportunity to come back from hiatus (even if only briefly) to pay tribute to the good ol’ days of Toonami.
The former weekday afternoon programming block was truly exceptional. Beginning in 1997, it appealed to nostalgic 80s kids with Voltron and Robotech, and with the addition of Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z to the lineup, it was propelled to lofty heights– for a while. All the “cool” kids were watching it. Little kids. Not-so-little kids. Hell, even college kids. The success of Toonami, I believe, was one in a million. It will probably never be duplicated. I personally consider it to be the last hurrah of weekday afternoon cartoons.
Honestly, though, I shouldn’t be surprised that Toonami is gone. After enjoying a few years in the spotlight on weekday afternoons, it was shoved onto Saturday nights and there it languished until now. Frankly, Toonami has been dead to me since at least 2003. However, it’s still kind of depressing. We always hold onto the hope that these things will be revamped and get a new lease on life, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
In general, things are looking pretty bleak for both Cartoon Network and anime on TV. Toonami was the gateway, and it’s been boarded up. [adult swim] has been content to pluck all the anime off its lineup one by one and often relegates them to godforsaken hours of the night. It’s a sad thing.
I’ll close this too-brief post by linking to TOM’s farewell, which was kindly uploaded onto Youtube. See if you catch the reference at the very end.
ETA: God this post sucks. This is why I’ve been on hiatus.