Sell Out

R.I.P. Toonami

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R.I.P. Toonami-


I realize that I'm a couple of months late here, but I'd still like to offer my condolences. As many of you probably know by now, Toonami, a block of action animation which had been featured on Cartoon Network since 1997 was officially canceled late September. I, like many of you, have been a Toonami viewer since the beginning (when Space Ghost's Moltar was still hosting) and as with so many other American anime fans, was first introduced to anime through Toonami. I believe this is why so many anime fans have such positive memories of the Toonami lineup; it was the initial starting place of what would become a lifelong passion.

Many people have noted, for several years, that Toonami's programming had been going down hill (though I'm not quite as critical of Naruto as I know some of you are). Truth is that there was a time when it was much better and I think it is this nostalgic quality of those times and experiences which makes many people sad to see it go. I can sympathize. It can be argued that Toonami, in its prime, represents a landmark element within certain American subcultures. And I think it's safe to say that its effects are still being felt. That initial first glimpse that we had into a foreign culture which, as American youths, we could have known nothing about. That awe and amazement at this animation which was, and arguably still is, better than anything we had seen coming out from our American televisions before. We, who were there and watched, knew that we were witnessing something special. Those were great times and I know that we can't help but to lament the loss of them. We all instinctively know that this is the end of an era.

Strangely enough, one of my favorite things about the Toonami block was always the promos. Moltar's and then later Tom's motivational speeches, the cool and almost abstract promotions involving various show montages, the kick ass show intros as well as Toonami's many notable events and schedules such as the Midnight Run, the Rising Sun and Villaintines Day (personal favorite). And indeed, kids did love it! Those were some of the best promotions I've ever seen and now that I'm running an entertainment site I appreciate them all the more. I also believe that the quality and quantity of animated programming that was on during Toonami's prime has never been duplicated on regular American television. I still recall one of our host Tom's more memorable speeches from years ago and his words seem almost prophetic and haunting now: "Until the sun rises on a world without toonami. We remain the first and still the best. Only Toonami." Goodbye Toonami, there are many of us who will never forget you.

- False Prophet

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