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Broken Base / Toonami

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Despite being a well-beloved block, Toonami can have some disagreements among its fans.

  • The Shows:
    • Tenchi Muyo! GXP. Some enjoyed it for being an overall fun show following in the footsteps of its predecessors, while others hated it for being a non-action show airing on Toonami, an action-oriented block (despite the fact that the Tenchi Muyo! series in general isn't an action-oriented series). Unfortunately, the latter side seems to have more prevalence, as the show tanked in ratings to the point of being moved down to 3:00 AM (though in all fairness, GXP did manage to finish its run and air all 26 of its episodes without getting taken off the lineup), and at least for a time, fans considered it unlikely that any other shows that put less emphasis on action will air on the block.
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    • ThunderCats (2011) and Sym-Bionic Titan... or rather, the fact that they were added to the lineup in the first place. Anime fans insist that Toonami should stick exclusively to anime and that their acquisition of western shows is a form of Network Decay (these same fans forget that Toonami was never meant to be an anime-only block in the first place; the original 1997 lineup was almost entirely Western toons, and even the anime-dominated "classic" Toonami of the early 2000s included the likes of Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) in its mix.). Others are either happy about or don't really mind the addition of western animation. We can also add Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Beware the Batman, and Samurai Jack to the list. Interestingly, the more adult oriented final season of Samurai Jack mostly averted this, with audience reaction and ratings being rather positive.
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    • When Toonami came back in 2012, Cowboy Bebop was one of the shows that was previously airing on [adult swim] and carried over to Toonami. When its run ended, it was taken off along with Deadman Wonderland and replaced by Samurai 7 and Eureka Seven. However, when the block expanded to 6 hours, it was brought back to the lineup. While some fans don't really mind, other fans are sick of seeing the show to the point where they actually want it to be taken off (it was aired nearly non-stop with few breaks since September 2001); the latter group got their wish late in 2014. Unfortunately, the removal of Bebop flipped the tables, satisfying the people who wanted the show off, but also pissing off the fans who were perfectly fine with it.
      • After a short, incomplete stint in 2015, it returned two years later, eventually completing the entirety of its HD rerun. But then Toonami made the decision to start it right from the beginning, without a break. Some thought it should remain off of Toonami so the audience could grow to miss it again, while others didn't really care, probably because a lot of them don't watch the rerun to begin with.
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    • Debates on whether Sword Art Online would make it to Toonami were full with this. When the sub aired, there was considerable demand at first and fans have said it’s a good Gateway Series, but the detractors got more vocal as the series went on (especially in regards to the Fairy Dance arc), and accused it of being heavy on "Otaku pandering" and Wish Fulfillment, which wouldn’t fit well with Toonami’s emphasis on being a gateway drug to the anime medium. Ultimately, when it was time for the decision, the block’s creators thought that the negative aspects weren’t a big deal. The show would be a ratings success regardless, and would lead to the advent of more Aniplex shows airing on the block, including SAO's second season two years later. They did mention however that SAO’s Seasonal Rot is one of the reasons why fans shouldn’t rush to request a show until they see how a show "turns out", as mentioned when asked if Attack on Titan, which at the time was another largely requested show, would eventually air on Toonami. note 
    • Kick-Heart, a kickstarter-funded 15-minute short produced by Production I.G. that was aired during Labor Day weekend in 2014, premiering right after Evangelion 2.22, and again on November 2nd of that year along with King Star King and Korgoth of Barbaria as Daylight Savings Time filler. Reception has so far been mixed, with some liking the surreal artstyle and quality which greatly contrasts that of the shows in Toonami's lineup and resembles the type of shows that air on regular [adult swim], while others despised it for the very same reasons.
    • King Star King suffered a brutal backlash when it was played during the 2013 DST Hour alongside Korgoth of Barbaria and Kick-Heart, to the point where Toonami's showrunner ran a Twitter poll asking whether they should replay the DST Hour again the next year or do something experimental. The verdict? "Experimental by a huge margin. As long as it's NOT King Star King!" There were a few people here and there who did like King Star King, but they were greatly outnumbered by those who didn't.
    • Space Dandy is mostly a welcome addition to the block and is Adored by the Network to the extent that Cartoon Network made a special deal to air the dub hours before the Japanese saw their version of the episodes, but some fans are still miffed that it's a comedy in the middle of an action block (when in fact the show has lots of action anyway, and it sometimes takes on genres other than comedy), and the lack of continuity is annoying to some people expecting that in anime. Especially given how it was heavily advertised as being from the creators of Cowboy Bebop, which while episodic and having comedy elements also had serious stories and firm continuity. Until the last few episodes showed that Space Dandy's apparent Negative Continuity actually had an in-universe reason.
    • Beware the Batman, much like the above-mentioned western shows, has not been well-received by anime fans ever since Toonami started airing the show at 3:00 AM, replacing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. What really struck a match, however, was the decision to have the show switch timeslots with Black Lagoon, which was still premiering its second season at 2:30, in order to place priorities on the unaired episodes. Some thought Toonami had its priorities set in the right place (they had not actually premiered a western show before, while Black Lagoon was pushing 10 years old at that point), while others were upset that an anime show that was still premiering was being pushed down to 3:00, the same timeslot that Tenchi Muyo! GXP was relegated to due to low ratings.
    • The base became even further divided in the span of three weeks when Hellsing Ultimate debuted behind Beware the Batman, making 2:30-3 one of the most jarring switches between shows in the block's history, (going from the Bowdlerized action in Beware, complete with Family-Friendly Firearms, to Hellsing, with scenes bordering on outright Gorn). And then the Beware license was written off with less than a week's warning. Fans of Hellsing did not appreciate their show being preempted for a Beware the Batman marathon, pointing out the ratings would dip steadily during the night and then rise considerably for Hellsing Ultimate. Supporters countered that Beware had been Screwed by the Network once before and airing the remaining episodes, even in a mini-marathon, was making the best of a bad situation.
    • Toonami's first announced acquisition from Sentai Filmworks being Akame ga Kill!. Some think that the show is of poor quality and that Toonami could've made a better choice. Others are simply glad that Toonami has finally picked up a show from Sentai Filmworks, something that many thought would never happen. Somewhat alleviated with the later announcement that Parasyte was also picked up for airing.
    • An example going back to Toonami's days on Cartoon Network is Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, a show that, while technically falling under the action genre, was completely balls-to-the-wall insane and thus deemed by some as a questionable choice for the block. The show was even brought up in an early episode of Toonami Pre-Flight discussing Toonami's great failures. It was high up on the official Facebook page's considerations for Toonami's failures, yet Jason DeMarco said that there just as many people who want to see the show aired again.
    • Unexpectedly for something considered the long-anticipated return of a Toonami staple, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans received a somewhat mixed reception from viewers. One party likes the show and are glad that Gundam is finally back on Toonami, while the other dislikes it for being "too slow" and not having enough action sequences compared to the other shows on the block. This became even more intense with IBO's second season, which is extremely divisive even among fans of the show.
      • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans being picked as a late-October marathons. note  While many fans like that the anime is getting more exposure on behalf of Toonami, choosing the Dort Colonies Arc had a polarizing reaction. While fans are glad that it's not yet another start-in-the-beginning marathon that they always do, and allows for people to re-watch character development, the Arc is also controversial, due to a noticeable lack of Gundam fights in much of the Arc of an anime that already has less action.
    • The dropping of One Piece in 2017. While there are some who are glad to see one of the longer shows gone, many are frustrated that One Piece is dropping from the network again, and for a show like Tokyo Ghoul which many feel has lost a ton of steam. There are also fans who'd have preferred other long running programs be dropped instead, most vocally Kai or Shippuden.
    • Hamtaro is an adorable anime about cute talking hamsters. That is it. No action, no violence, no explosions. This left Toonami fans broken on whether it should have been on the block or not. It also caused a related issue with the [adult swim] revival, as fans of numerous slice of life, romance, or comedic anime want their anime on Toonami because Hamtaro was allowed.
    • While fans are in universal agreement that the block getting more hours is a good thing, the decision to add Black Clover to the block has been somewhat controversial - aside from the fact that the manga is viewed as a Cliché Storm by its detractors, there's also the fact that the anime adaptation is seen as inferior by the fans of the manga, due to the anime being seen as too slow, taking 3 episodes to reach the second chapter. note  Other people are more optimistic, pointing out that the dub is seen as an example of Superlative Dubbing, and it's success might lead to another shorter shounen a la My Hero Academia landing on the block.

  • Other:
    • Toonami's length being cut down from 6-and-a-half hours to 3-and-a-half due to low ratings, essentially scaling the block back down to the same length it was when it was revived in 2012. Some are upset that Toonami is being cut in half in favor of more [adult swim] reruns, citing that the 2014 Month of Movies wasn't doing well due to low ratings and the lack of budget (notably, on January 25th, 2015, the lone episode of King of the Hill that aired after Toonami ended at 5:30 AM resulted in a ratings drop). Others think that a smaller block with more premieres and less reruns would hold better ratings, noting that the Toonami crew has less space to worry about and won't have to pad out the block with as many reruns. The only real agreement is that Kill la Kill had essentially been screwed over due to no longer airing at 11:30 PM as planned, which was later proven wrong with KLK holding its own airing after DBZ Kai in the first half of the block.
    • The insistence on Toonami being mainly action block. Most viewers got into it for the action shows anyway, but this being the only TV block that shows anime at all, some are upset about anime devoid of action not having a chance at being shown (to the point that one of the more heavily requested shows for the block is a non-action show). It doesn't help that the few instances of non-action shows airing on Toonami have been hit-or-miss (Hamtaro and Tenchi Muyo GXP were universally agreed to not fit the block at all, while Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and Space Dandy were more successful if not without detractors).
      • One especially major sticking point is Moe anime. While Moe anime has a big fanbase and viewership among more hardcore anime viewers, Toonami however has made no bones about not playing Moe. Some will mention that this is likely because moe tending to be an Audience-Alienating Premise for general western viewers and casual fans, many of whom tends to be a big part of Toonami’s main audience, being a Gateway Series to anime and all.
    • The business partnership between Funimation and Crunchyroll and its impact on Toonami. While generally agreed to be amazing for the anime industry overall, Toonami fans are more divided. Some see the partnership as something that could hurt the block, as Funimation could end up prioritizing streaming over television, resulting in less shows for the block. Others argue that the partnership won't actually hurt Toonami, and in fact could be beneficial since they could have access to shows from Crunchyroll's catalogue (with currently requested favorites being Mob Psycho 100 and 91 Days).
    • 1 or 2-Cour Anime vs Long Running Shōnen: This one sprung up more after Toonami's block was reduced, resulting in arguments over rather the former or latter deserved more slots. The arguments got more intense in light of the acquisition of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which means that at least five of the timeslots are taken up by Long-Runners and only two others are available for shorter shows (one of which is reserved for reruns).
    • Anime vs Western Animation: An argument over whether Toonami should air exclusively anime or rather slots should also be dedicated to Western Animation (whether they're Cartoon Network holdovers like ThunderCats (2011), Sym-Bionic Titan, and Beware the Batman, or are more adult-oriented material like the fifth season of Samurai Jack).
    • A third issue that has popped up since the 2014 Month of Movies is movies vs. marathons. With holidays usually resulting in lower ratings, fans debate whether Toonami should simply marathon a show on the block or actually dedicate the night to airing a movie. Month of Movies 2014, which saw the chosen movies doing poorly for various reasons, intensified the arguments due to the block airing marathons much more frequently ever since.
    • Whether Toonami should focus exclusively on newer shows from the 2010s, or should also dedicate space to older shows from the 2000s and 1990s. Many would argue that shows from the latter years would still fit Toonami, (it helps that Toonami has aired older shows like Samurai 7, Black Lagoon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Michiko & Hatchin), while others argue that Toonami should stay focused on newer shows since they generally do better in the ratings. This argument also extends to whether or not Toonami should bring back shows from the [adult swim] Action era like they did with Eureka Seven and Samurai Champloo, with some fan favorites from that era being Code Geass, Death Note, and the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime.
    • Sand Whale and Me, a microseries directed by Mamoru Oshii and produced by Production I.G for the block's 20th anniversary, is a mix of live-action and CG animation. Is this Toonami going against its promises of never airing live-action material, or is Sand Whale and Me an acceptable exception due to being a microseries made for a special occasion and not a full show?
    • Whether or not the block should ever re-air Rurouni Kenshin, due to creator Nobuhiro Watsuki's arrest for possession of child pornography. The "for" side cites their and the Toonami crew's own nostalgia (Gill even wore a Kenshin cosplay to the 2017 SDCC panel, before the allegations were known), the separation of art and author, and Shonen Jump eventually allowing Watsuki to finish the Hokkaido Arc due to fan demand after the allegations were known. The "against" side cites Gill and Jason apparently saying the show left a bad taste in their mouth after his arrest, Misao's pedophilic attraction to Aoshi in the show (which is played as a joke), and the hypocrisy of allowing a pedophile to work for a children's magazine/on a network that is aimed at children during the day.

Example of: