Another month, another schedule update from everyone’s favorite non-gaming form of nostalgia. Toonami’s adding two new shows, and it continues what’s starting to look like a 50% hit rate in terms of showing series anime fans actually want to see: Michiko and Hatchin starting on June 20th (a show directed by the same person who directed Lupin the 3rd: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and produced by Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Cowboy Bebop), and Akame ga Kill! starting on August 8th (a series that has... nowhere near as much pedigree). Now, my man Shade already talked about this in his post, but I’m not here to retell old news, or do a shameless plug. Instead, this is gonna be a public opinion article: I’m asking you, the TAYers, which shows should Toonami pick up next? Considering the vast difference of public attitude towards the two new series (one I actually paid for and own, while the other... well, just look up the Anitay review on it and see for yourself), I think it wouldn’t hurt if the viewers in some way besides a 140 character message voiced what shows they actually want to see. Keep in mind Toonami doesn’t show every kind of anime, so there are two rules that need to be followed when considering possible shows:
1. It needs to have a dub (it’s an American audience, remember).
2. It needs to have some form of action (something more like DBZ, and less MTRC SNAFU). Gore and nudity are allowed however, albeit in censored form.
Shade already voiced two shows he’d like to see which fill both of those spots more than enough, and are actually good (Psycho-Pass and Jormungand), and I’m here to voice four more that I think would be good fits for T.O.M. for show. Feel free to voice your own choices in the comments (feel free to also state exactly why your choices would work), and like everyone else on the web, you can tell me why my choices are crap. I’ll provide my response in gif form, as is the norm.
Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail
Some might call this cheating given that Toonami has already shown two seasons of Black Lagoon (or twenty-four episodes worth; man, anime seasons are confusing), but Black Lagoon did quite well when it first showed, and this is more of the same. Joyfully, bloody, debauchery-turned-up-to-11 same. The dub has all the original cast members, and while there’s only six episodes worth, it still feels like a full season given just how much happens in said half-dozen episodes. RBT picks up with the crew of the Black Lagoon dealing with the fallout of both last season’s finale (and Rock’s subsequent fall into the darkness that infests Roanapur), and the return of Roberta, who’s on a rampage after her employer is killed. It also does a needed bit of world-building and establishment, since this OVA series finally states for the record which decade the show takes place in. It may get uncharacteristically philosophical at times, but when you’re watching a crazed former-F.A.R.C. militant take on a group of American Spec-Ops soldiers, you know shit will go down gloriously.
Yes, the first couple of episodes are light on action, but when the third episode has one of the all time best punches in anime history:
it just goes on and gets better from there. While the real meat of the show is in the character interactions and drama, and people trying to make sense of both themselves and the world they live in (think Pulp Fiction, just with a touch of fantasy, and characters talking out loud to themselves), there is enough action to keep people interested. I’d actually say this would be the closest thing to past shows like Code Geass and Death Note, and those were popular when they were just on Saturday nights years before TOM came back. Also, if Crunchyroll of all places could get its hands on the dub (which is fantastic, by the way), then it shouldn’t be too much trouble for CN to get the rights to it, right?
This is lighter in tone than my previous choices, but since DBZ, Naruto, and One Piece are Toonami’s bread and butter nowadays, this should fit right in. Hell, it’s a few character tropes and story-cliches away from being Bleach or Blue Exorcist. What makes it different (thankfully) from those two however is while it does entail the adventures of a spirit fighting hot-heat like the other two, it actually takes place in a modern city, not in some after-life or in-between-world like the other two. Also, it doesn’t drag on for hundreds of episodes like Bleach, so it doesn’t get boring in the slightest. With a light touch of humor and an unexpected amount of narrative heft, this is the series I’d put real money on Toonami picking up; while it’s familiar, it’s different enough to still be interesting and entertaining.
Pop history quiz: what was the first show to ever run on Toonami? Dragon Ball Z? Nope. Yu Yu Hakusho? Nuh-uh. Voltron? Close, but no. The first show to run on that block, the show that kicked off nearly two decades of animated action, was ThunderCats. Yes, it was a 1985 show running in 1997 through syndication, and Voltron directly followed it up, but it’s just one of many non-anime shows that have been on Toonami. Multiple entries from the DCAU, Samurai Jack, even Sym-Bionic Titan and Star Wars: The Clone Wars; all of these have shown on Toonami, and weirdly they’re all shows that were canceled a season or two before their time. Young Justice is simply (and sadly) a perfect fit. Equal parts action with progressive storytelling and character development, I still say that this was the last truly great thing DC made before their fall from grace known as The New 52 (yes, I know about Convergence; it doesn’t mean they’ve earned forgiveness). If you’re an anime fan who hasn’t seen this, you have NO idea of what you’re missing out on.
And... those are best choices at the moment. As always, feel free to voice your own preferences on what series you’d like to see Toonami pick up, or talk about your thoughts about Toonami in general in the comments below. Meanwhile, I’ll be celebrating the series finale (and hopefully the end of the syndication) of Inuyasha this weekend with a good oatmeal stout. Take care!
TGRIP is a film student studying in Portland, OR. TAY’s resident Xbox and racing game fan, he also (part time) reviews and does opinion pieces on games, movies, television, comics, and anime. He also runs his kinja sub blog Work(ing Title) In Progress. You can follow this third person narrating weirdo on Twitter @Dennis_wglasses, and his Gamertag on Xbox Live is “Aventador SV”.