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Headscratchers: Toonami
  • Why are the ships called Absolution?
    • Why would the makers of Toonami call a starship a synonym for "forgiveness"? Maybe they thought Toonami might not last and were asking to be forgiven ahead of time. Maybe they were saying:
    Creator: We know we're creating something really cool, but it might be taken away by the higher-ups, so we are asking for your forgiveness now instead of later.
    • Maybe they just picked it because it sounded cool.
    • Possible Fridge Brilliance: Remember, The Absolution wasn't TOM's ship, it was Moltar's, who is a former criminal and prisoner on Ghost Planet.

  • What were the events that prompted the changes between the third and fourth incarnations of the popular host TOM?
    • While the first and third incarnation's Super Hero Origin stories were shown in comic form and the second incarnation had a Death by Origin Story, the fourth incarnation of TOM had no such introduction and no on-air nor online explanation behind the sudden and drastic changes. Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
      • Of course, during the 2012 April Fools' Day stunt, the third incarnation of TOM returned with no notes about what happened before, fully embracing the First Law of Resurrection.
      • The 11/3/12 edition of Toonami confirmed they were different units, but still hasn't explained the changeover.
      • There's currently a webcomic in the works which will explain everything.

  • The 2012 revival...why? Who decided it was a good idea to make Toonami more "adult" and air it at midnight? Especially since [adult swim] is the midnight 'adult' anime block on Cartoon Network. Why not try to get new viewers by airing it earlier, instead of pandering to former fans who are high off nostalgia?
    • ...Because those are the very fans that helped bring it back to begin with?
    • It's less risky that way. It's already a huge experiment. Only if the ratings are successful will they maybe decide to show it earlier.
    • This is a case of embracing the Periphery Demographic. Even at its hight the original Toonami was popular with an audience that skewed far older than what was being aimed for and now that the younger kids were that age too, why not aim it at older kids/young adults?
    • I'll admit that the "more adult" Toonami is a little weird for me (I think it will get better once they break it in. Probably why they have been using the word 'bitch' so much.) but the point is that Toonami is, at least in the present, not a proven block. So the logical way to get it back up is to re-introduce it into what is most likely its original audience. If you are worried that the "nostalgia high" as you called it won't keep Toonami up; you are probably right. The old shows have drawn back the crowd but it will take new shows to stay on TV. I think they are anticipating this. If you are worried about the possible lack of new audience... well... A good portion of Adult Swim watchers are mid-teens. So I would assume that it will catch some new followers if it succeeds. Either way, it's understandable if it is not 'exactly' what you want but that is kind of an inevitability when such a long hiatus is taken. Support it if you enjoy it; don't if you don't.

  • I'm not questioning the revival; I love it. But I'm wondering how it's being pulled off. According to various sources, Toonami's currently got a rather small budget. I know Steve Blum isn't working for much because it's something he really wants to do, but how is the current team making new bumpers? Isn't CGI really expensive?
    • It's rather simple, really—lots of reused footage. You'll notice, for example, that the animation for the week three intro is the same as the first two, just with TOM talking instead of "#BringBackToonami" playing, and that this animation gets reused for damn near everything and only needed to be rendered once. His lack of mouth also helps. Beyond that, you'll notice the majority of the TOM segments are his voice playing over anime footage. The short answer is they can afford it because it's being used sparsely.
      • Also CGI has been becoming cheaper and cheaper throughout the years. That is why it is now viable to have simple Youtube videos (such as Freddiew's) with fairly good CGI.
      • The redone Toonami has gotten by with shows that were cheap or easy to get, yet have been, for the most part, quite good. Once it got to this point, it was pulling in the funds so it can start taking on the big hits (Naruto, Soul Eater, One Piece and Sword Art) to make it its current juggernaut status of late Saturday/Early Sunday TV.

  • How does Toonami manage to make hits out of misses? Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon bombed when they first came to America, Eureka Seven didn't do so well on Toonami and Deadman Wonderland flopped, yet those series do well on Toonami. I'm sure there are other examples I don't have....how does Toonami do it?
    • DBZ and Sailor Moon not only got the advantage of finally airing on a network that had a specific niche (they premiered and bombed in syndication and on USA Network, respectively), but being packaged with similar American shows to make them go down easier. Eureka Seven first aired during [as] anime's "wilderness years" and wasn't particularly well-promoted—though it's worth noting that it's still not a "hit", and rides pretty close to the other reruns. And Deadman Wonderland was clearly made with more American sensibilities in mind, so of course it'd have more appeal over here than in its native Japan.

  • How can Toonami air Star Wars: The Clone Wars? Disney just got the rights to it.
    • This troper believes that Cartoon Network or [adult swim] extended/renewed the rights to air it.
    • From their tumblr 'They [Disney] bought the rights to future Clone Wars stuff, but CN still has the rights to run the series it co-funded, for now.'

  • Does Toonami still have rights to any of its April Fools Day programing? Particularly Dragon Ball Z, which I have been told a hundred odd times is SpongeBob property now.
    • When the April Fools Day stunt was pulled off, the Toonami crew basically asked if they could "borrow" a single episode from a show, and the distributors basically gave them the episodes for free. However, when the block came back, the distributors wouldn't give them the shows themselves. In other words, no, they currently don't have the rights to said shows (especially Dragon Ball Z, which is currently owned by Nickelodeon along with the rest of the Dragon Ball series) sans Bleach.
      • The shows weren't given for free, but rather in exchange for free promotions of the DVD sets of the shows acquired for the evening.

  • Does Toonami still have the rights to older programs it aired, such as Deadman or Casshern? I know they still can air Sym-Bionic and Stand Alone, but what about all its other finished run programs? (Bar Thundercats, which I know they no longer have.)
    • We're not privy to the details of the deals that were made to acquire those.

  • Can Toonami reference any programs it aired that it doesn't have. Like lets say they get a new version of Sailor Moon, can they say "If only we had Goku too..."?
    • They were able to take a jab at American Dragon Jake Long without any negative repercussions. They probably could reference a past show if they wanted to.

  • I've heard conflicting thoughts about this, and I'd like some definite confirmation. Is Toonami restricted to picking up just shows owned by Funimation and Viz Media (with the exceptions being the Aniplex USA-owned Sword Art Online and formerly owned Bandai Entertainment shows like Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), or are they able to pick up shows from any distributor (such as Sentai Filmworks, Media Blasters, Discotek Media, etc.) and just haven't bothered to do so yet (the crew has said that there's nothing wrong between Toonami and Sentai Filmworks, in case there are any doubts about those two working together)?
    • It is based on who is selling.
      • That... doesn't really answer my question.
    • There are no rules on Toonami's end restricting who they are allowed to buy shows from, no.
    • Keep in mind also that Sentai Filmworks has few action shows under its belt, and those they do have may not be popular enough to get the ratings that Toonami wants.

  • What makes a Toonami program a "hit" or not? In the revival; there are seven programs who have made million view hits on episodes; Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online, Deadman Wonderland and Thundercats. What makes them better than other programs in the early parts of the block; like GXP, Samurai 7, IGPX, Sym-Bionic Titan and Casshern Sins? It is just the timeslot? Or is there something more? (Note that now Space Dandy and Blue Exorcist are among the eight million hitters)
    • For the first six you mentioned, they're all part of the shonen genre, meaning they already appeal to a wide and large demographic (it helps that Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece are insanely popular). As for ThunderCats, it did air right after Naruto for some time, so it managed to hold onto a lot of viewers.

  • How do you tell the difference between a show that is former Toonami (GXP, Eureka) and those that are 'on regular rotation' (Sym-Bionic, Big O)
    • Shows in regular rotation are shows that Toonami isn't currently showing, but still has the right to. Former shows are ones that stopped airing because their rights expired.
      • Yes, but how do we know which are which?
    • When a show leaves the lineup, the Toonami Tumblr usually says whether it will be back or not. Toonami has the rights permanently for Big O Season 2 and Sym-Bionic, for example, and the rights for GITS and FLCL have been continuously renewed since they first played on Adult Swim.

  • The crew recently announced that Naruto Shippuden would be premiering in January. My question is how they're able to air it now when they previously couldn't. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I can understand, since it's a Cartoon Network show that they can air despite Disney owning Star Wars now, but Disney had an iron grip on Shippuden and wasn't intent on letting go (even if they weren't getting much use out of it). Did Viz Media have anything to do with this?
    • Perhaps they have an agreement, review our games and show our Star Wars product for us, and you can have Shippuden. Wouldn't be surprised if Toonami will be obliged to review a Disney Game (Perhaps Kingdom Hearts 1.5)
      • Not 1.5, 2.5. They want the game that's coming out reviewed, not the one that's been out for a few months already.

  • Why are western shows based on DC Comics properties (Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Beware the Batman, etc.) not considered eligible choices for Toonami? The closest thing I've heard to an answer is that DC Comics doesn't want to be associated with an adult TV network, but I seriously doubt that for two reasons…
    1. Their line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. All of the movies, so far, have been rated PG-13 and are usually aimed more towards older audiences than young kids. Some of them are actually pretty damn dark, with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox pushing their PG-13 ratings way past the limit.
    2. I don't know how big of a part they played in it, but DC Comics (along with Warner Bros.) did collaborate with [adult swim] to make the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. Anyone who's seen Robot Chicken knows that that show is the complete opposite of kid-friendly.
    • It's not a DC thing, it's a Cartoon Network thing. [adult swim] isn't allowed to air anything that's currently airing on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, to help ensure younger kids don't see it on the schedule and become encouraged to check out [as] as a result.
      • That would be a valid point... if it weren't for the fact that the shows I mentioned aren't airing on Cartoon Network anymore (granted, Beware the Batman was "confirmed" to return in January... but there's a reason why I put the word "confirmed" in quotes). Even if they were still airing, that doesn't immediately destroy their chances of airing on Toonami. Take a look at Samurai Jack. The crew said they couldn't air it because it was airing on Boomerang, but now it's coming to Toonami, presumably because it's being taken off of Boomerang's schedule. And one last tidbit: this does nothing to affect the chance of the movies airing.
      • Actually Samurai Jack is still airing on Boomerang...grated it's on at 3:30 AM weekends only.
      • They're still in reruns, and are presumably considered to be a lot more profitable there than they would be airing at odd hours of the morning. Can't speak to the movies, though.
      • Just checked the regular Cartoon Network schedule. Other than Teen Titans Go!, none of the DC Nation shows or Batman The Brave And The Bold appeared on that schedule. I even checked the schedule for Boomerang, just in case, and the only show rerunning there is the original Teen Titans. Fine, but that doesn't discount the other shows.
    • Now that Beware the Batman is coming to Toonami, there's literally no excuse for the rest of the DC Nation shows (sans Teen Titans Go!) and other DC Comics shows to be ineligible choices.
      • That's not how licensing works. Just because they got the license to air one show doesn't mean that they automatically get the rights to air everything DC Animation ever created.
      • The general consensus among Toonami fans was that DC Comics shows were considered impossible for Toonami to license and air. Beware the Batman coming to Toonami proves that said consensus is false, and that DC Comics shows do have a chance if Toonami shows interest and attempts to license them for airing.
      • That is still making the assumption that DC is interested in airing them on Tonami. Beware the Batman is also not the best choice since that is a series that is practically brand new and thus DC has an interest in airing it. All the other shows are old, concluded, and for the most part tied into the old DCAU; not exactly something you want fans pining for when you're about to roll out a new DCAU. Yes it's not smart business practice, but we could take up this entire page pointing out everything they did in defiance of common sense.

  • How did they manage to lose the rights to Thundercats2011? Warner Brothers is owned by Time Warner, the same company that owns Cartoon Network!
    • The fact that it's a Japanese co-production probably complicated things. Even if it didn't, Time Warner has an incredibly labyrinthine internal structure that tends to hinder communication between its various branches, so its possible TC disappeared for the same kinda fuzzy reason DC shows are dropping like flies.

  • So we now know that TOM 4.0 is a separate character than the other TO Ms, and that he's been around all this time. .....What's he been UP to?!

  • What's up with the new schedule for January 4, I mean sure its a good idea to have original Naruto remain on the block, but not to restart it, and moving Clone Wars to 5:00? Well, there goes any chance of Final Act in March

  • How broad is the 'do not air the same programs across CN/As line rule? For a bad example, could Toonami air Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z while CN airs the new Powerpuff Girls, or (A better and far more likely example) air Pokemon Origins for a movie event while CN airs Pokemon regular?

  • Why air Samurai Jack at 4:00 AM? The show hasn't aired in reruns on Boomerang nearly as long as FLCL has on [adult swim], yet FLCL was aired at 2:30 AM. Since they hyped up the return for the show quite a bit, airing it at 4:00 AM renders all that hype worthless. Not only that, but the 4:00 AM hour is the deadest hour of the night, so the excuse of airing it as a transition from Toonami to Cartoon Network means jack shit in this situation.
    • Perhaps they want to see if they can change it?

  • Why has no Pokemon game ever been reviewed by Toonami?
    • Two possible explanations...
    1. The crew aren't fans of the Pokemon games (they've stated that they only review games that they like).
    2. Most of the recent Pokemon games are on the 3DS, and they haven't found a way to record footage off a 3DS (though they're able to record Wii U games like Pikmin 3, so they might find a way eventually).

  • Does Toonami have the rights to IGPX permanentely like they do with Sym-Bionic and Big O?

  • Why the hell is Naruto airing at 2:30 AM? By this point in time, the show should be long gone, completely off the lineup (hell, the crew even said it themselves that the original Naruto would be removed from the lineup in favor of Shippuden). However, it's still hanging around, and by doing so has screwed over three shows (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, InuYasha, and Samurai Jack). Even if it's somehow connected to the deal of Shippuden being able to air (how that's the case was never explained, and I doubt there even is a good explanation for it), at the very least, the show could air somewhere in the 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM range, completely out of the way without bothering the shows it has screwed over.
    • Because people still watch it enough to justify keeping it there?
      • Ratings (or how many people watch a show) are irrelevant to this issue. Shippuden already has that covered. And even if Naruto draws in big ratings, like I said, Toonami could at least air the show somewhere at either 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM, where it doesn't get in the way of the other shows and might also boost the ratings in that area significantly (that was their intent with moving The Clone Wars from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM, but that isn't exactly working very well).
      • It got over 700,000 views down there a while back. I don't know why, but ratings have been sort of low in recent times, seeing as we haven't had any program from One Piece later get a million views.
      • One instance of getting over 700,000 viewers doesn't justify moving a show that hasn't aired on Toonami before down to 5:00 AM during its first run (I could understand moving it down to 5:00 AM if the show has already finished a run and Toonami wants to give it a second run, much like how IGPX was moved down to 4:30 AM for a second run after it finished its first run at 2:30 AM).

  • This has more to do with the Tear Jerker section of this article, but it's still a legit question. Why is it that Cowboy Bebop and InuYasha leaving the lineup are considered Tear Jerkers, yet any other show such as Eureka Seven, Samurai 7, or Sword Art Online leaving isn't? I don't care if Bebop and InuYasha were shows that aired on [adult swim] before Toonami came back (Eureka Seven also falls under that category, by the way). A show has to leave the lineup eventually. If Cowboy Bebop and InuYasha leaving are Tear Jerkers, then by logic, every time a show leaves should be considered a Tear Jerker.
    • Cowboy Bebop is for nostalgia reasons, while I, the guy who wrote the Inuyasha tear jerker part, bases it on how it is the first new show (For AS Toonami) that did not complete its run, aka leaving episodes unaired.

  • Let's say that the Star Wars rights stay with Toonami up to the end of Season 5. Can Toonami air Season 6?

  • Why do the new Toonami videos (Reviews, Q&A's, Music Videos, ect) not occur during the Space Dandy in 11:30, but during Bleach at 12:00?
    • Probably because that's where they've always been and they feel like there is not much point in changing it.

  • Why is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood still airing? It's been around since [adult swim] started airing it in 2010 and Toonami came back in 2012, it's completed at least two runs already, and it's still airing, at this point having the distinction of being the only show (besides the long-running Bleach) to have aired on Toonami since the block came back. It has essentially become the next Cowboy Bebop, which is not a good thing. It's especially jarring since the crew has had chances to remove the show (a good example being when Beware the Batman was announced to start airing... and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was chosen for removal instead), but has repeatedly refused to do so.
    • You're asking the wrong people. It can be a whole heap of reasons; it might be bringing in the ratings and thus unwise to remove. It could be they are contractually obliged to keep showing it. It could be that the license for other shows expire so they remove those ones instead. They might be using it as a substitute Dragon Ball Z which they don't have the rights to, and back in the day (when I was actually able to watch it before leaving the US) DBZ was a permanent fixture for years. But really the only people who could actually answer your questions would be the people at Tonami and Cartoon Network.
      • DBZ was also much longer, at over 200 episodes.

  • What exactly is the purpose of Toonami in universe? Why does a space ship need to transmit cartoons?
    • Well this is where you bring out the MST3K Mantra and suspend your disbelief. For a fan guess, it transmits cartoons across the galaxy as a sort of central hub, and that is basically what TOM is built to do.

  • In their latest Q&A, the crew said that the rights to the first season of The Big O were unavailable (in response to a question asking if [adult swim] wrote the rights to that season off a la Cartoon Network and Megas XLR)... which simply isn't true, since the whole show's been rescued by Sentai Filmworks. Why are they suddenly denying the existence of Sentai Filmworks? Are they hinting at something? Did something behind the scenes happen between Sentai and Toonami? Am I missing something here regarding rights?
    • Despite what constant overblown internet rumors have been saying for years, Toonami and ADV/Sentai don't have anything against eachother. Toonami only has a limited amount of slots for premiers, and already has plenty of options to fill those slots with shows from the 3 licensors they already work with. They just don't have any reason to be interesting in working with Sentai, and its not like Sentai is coming to them like Aniplex did with SAO.
      • Sentai Filmworks (or at least, a representative of them) said that they'd love to have their shows on Toonami, and it's also not like Sentai doesn't have shows that would fit Toonami (hell, that same video mentions Log Horizon and Majestic Prince). And Toonami having limited slots for premieres isn't a good excuse. Not only could you use that same excuse for any other licensing company, but with the world premiere of Space Dandy, the block expanded to air about a half-hour earlier. Granted, that's more up to [adult swim] than the actual production crew behind Toonami, but it's still possible that Toonami could expand a bit further.

  • What's going to happen once Attack on Titan ends its current run? Will the show rerun at 11:30 PM (which, mind you, didn't really work out for Space Dandy ratings wise when its first season was airing), or are they going to move it down to the later half of the block (hopefully replacing Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood instead of Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig if that happens) and, assuming Toonami gets to keep the slot, put a new show at 11:30 PM (Dragon Ball Z Kai has been confirmed to air at 12:00 AM, so it has to be something else)?
    • Hard to say at the present time.


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