Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 15: Toonami

The Absolution is flying smoothly though space. Tom Z,Sara(who's on a monitor),and Stefan are inside the master Control Center.

Welcome to this special edition of The Cartoon Historian,I'm Your host and Cartoon Historian Stefan. We are live in the Master Control center inside the one and only Absolution.

Joining me today,,for the very first time,are my co-hosts: Tom Z and Sara.

Tom Z: Hey,hows it goin' Cartoon Historian fans.
Sara: Hello,welcome aboard the Absolution.

If you haven't guest by now,today we are gonna be talking about the History of Toonami.

Tom Z: That's right. We're gonna be looking at the entire history of Toonami,it's Hosts,it's special features,and even a list of it's awesome shows.

Sara: And so much more.

Alrighty then! Sara would you like to start things off?

Sara: Sure thing,Stefan. First you are all probably wondering What does the word 'Toonami' mean. Well, Toonami is a combination of the words 'Cartoon' and 'Tsunami'. So Toonami,in a way,means 'Tidal Wave of Cartoons'.

Tom Z: Toonami is a registered trademark of Turner Broadcasting. It was a block on Cartoon Network that started on on March 17, 1997 and ended on September 20, 2008. Though,in reality it died in 2006.

It all began when Turner Broadcasting decided to make Cartoon Network more interesting. So they created an action cartoon block for weekday afternoons called Super Adventures in Oct. 1st 1992. Soon that block became The Power Zone.

While the block had decent success,it wasn't the super hit that Turner Broadcasting wanted. So they decided to try something different.

On Monday, March 17, 1997, Turner created Toonami. Toomami wasn't just a program block,it looked different,it felt different. and thus it became an instant and huge success.

Tom Z: Toonami was originally hosted by Space Ghost villain-turned-producer Moltar at the Ghost Planet Industries building from 1997 to July 9, 1999. On Saturday,July 10, 1999, Cartoon Network relaunched Toonami with a new environment, the Ghost Planet Spaceship Absolution, and a new host named Tom. He's my oldest ancestor.

Later that year,Toonami:The Midnight Run,a late night block,was introduced. This was a five-hour block that aired on Saturday nights at midnight...until March 2000, when it moved to weeknights in an hour-long format.

Soon after,the creation of Midnight Run,Toonami:The Rising Sun,a Saturday Morning Cartoon block was introduced.However,it couldn't compete with the veterans of saturday morning,so it was axed a year later. On January 2003,Midnight Run ended.

Sara: On Saturday, April 17, 2004, Toonami was moved from weekday afternoons to a Saturday evening slot, where it aired for four hours. Though on October 27, 2007, it was reduced to for 2 hours. On September 20, 2008 Toonami ended, with its final broadcast that same day.

Thanks Sara. Now we shall talk about the Hosts.

Tom Z: Allow Me. As we've stated before, Moltar, of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, was the host for Toonami and later the Tom androids took over. It was during this run that we were introduced to the computer of the ship through online games that tied into a going storyline aboard the ship.

Tom Z: In September 2000, Toonami presented special interactive events known as Total Immersion Events or TIEs. These TIEs took place both on-air during Toonami and online at the official site, Sara you're up.

Sara: Thank you Tom: The very first TIE was "The Intruder", which introduced Tom 1's companion, an AI matrix known as Sara. That,of course,is me. I played an integral part in the rebirth of Tom. I helped upgrade him from a short Bomberman-esque character to a taller,sleeker,darker,deeper-voiced incarnation dubbed as Tom 2. Despite looking different,Tom 2,was actually Tom 1,just redesigned.

Tom Z: Just to let you guys know I'm just a relative of the previous Tom androids. My schematics were basically Tom 1's. So in a sense Tom's 1,2,and 3 were my older Brothers.

Sara: The following two TIEs, Lockdown and Trapped in Hyperspace, continued the adventures of Tom and Myself, but really didn't offer much storywise. After the events of "Lockdown",Tom 2 became Tom 3. Then,after whole Trapped in Hyperspace fiasco,Tom 3 became the horrid Tom 4.

Tom Z: They say I'm related to this jackass,but I have my doubts. Anyway,Toonami the Midnight Run sometimes had special editions. One of witch was a special edition on Friday,August 31,2001 at midnight, which aired music videos. Toonami also aired on Kids WB.However it didn't last long and it wasn't as popular as it's Cartoon Network counterpart.

On April 17, 2004, Cartoon Network moved Toonami from weekday afternoons to Saturday evenings with a new demographic of preteen and teen audiences. A new lighter-toned action franchise,Miguzi,took Toonami's place on weekdays.

Sara: Beginning in late October of 2007 Toonami was,as we mentioned before,cut from a 4-hour block to a 2-hour block on Saturday nights. During that time,Turner Broadcasting started airing Cartoon Network comedy cartoons,which were very crappy.

At the time of its cancellation on September of 2008,the Saturday night lineup consisted of a full hour of Naruto,Ben 10: Alien Force,and Samurai Jack. It was a disaster!

But on September 20, 2008 Toonami shut down for good, ending it. Some speculate that the reason for the 2 hour block instead of the previous 4 hour block was Cartoon Network preparing to close down Toonami.

On Saturday September 20, 2008,Turner Broadcasting cancelled the block(that's ok since it was dead anyway) and Toonami aired its final transmission. Employees who worked on the block moved to other parts of the Network.

From then on,all Anime was mostly handled by Adult Swim and Live Action Movies replaced Toonami on Saturday nights.Now that's just Wrong!

Tom Z: You sead it,Stefan. Live Action on a Network ment for Cartoons is so retarded.

Sara: Agreed. Anyway,Toonami Jetstream remained with the Toonami name until January 30, 2009. And even though it ended in 2008.Toonami died in 2006. So in a way from 2006-2008,Toonami was "walking dead".

True that,but enough about that. Let's talk Music.

Tom Z: Right. Toonami always proved a haven for techno/electronica music throughout its history. It used original compositions by skater/artist Tommy Guerrero from 1997 to 1999,and then by Atlanta-based composer Joe Boyd Vigil from 1999 to 2002. These cool tunes were compiled in the,now out of print album,'Toonami:Deep Space Bass'.

Sara: In 2003, DJ Clarknova took Toonami's beats,both old and new,and mixed them with sound bites from recent Toonami and Adult Swim shows. This resulted in an hour-long compilation of Toonami remixes called 'Toonami: Black Hole Megamix'.

Tom Z: Right,but for some unknown reason,these tunes never made it to CD. However, the Megamix recently was hosted by Toonami Digital Arsenal,a popular and unofficial Toonami multimedia site.

From 2003 through 2008, Toonami relied on original tracks from various artists from publisher Ninja Tune. On rare occasions,very rare,videos from known bands aired on the block.

Sometimes,Toonami aired reviews of video games. The reviews,delivered by Tom and occasionally Sara,were fairly short and ran during commercial breaks. The hosts scored games on a 1 - 10 system: 10 signifying an excellent game, 1 signifying a very poor game. The score system was originally 1 - 5 until 2001.

But Toonami wasn't just popular on TV,it was also popular on the Net. Sara,please tell'em about it.

Sara: Sure. On March 26, 2001,Cartoon Network launched Toonami Reactor,their first online streaming video service. The three-month service featured streaming episodes from Dragon Ball Z and Star Blazers, the latter of which was an online-exclusive series.

Sara: Editorial content was provided by the now-defunct Animerica Magazine,published by VIZ Media. After the three-month "trial run" was over, Cartoon Network took it offline and completely revamped it.

Sara: On November 14, 2001,Cartoon Network relaunched Toonami Reactor with all online-exclusive programs such as Star Blazers, Patlabor, The Harlock Saga, and Record of Lodoss War. It also had Toonami-themed games. In the summer of 2002,Toonami Reactor was revamped again under the Adult Swim aegis and programmed it as Adult Swim Pipeline.

Sara: On April 25, 2006,a little over five years since the launch of Toonami Reactor,Cartoon Network and VIZ Media announced plans to launch Toonami Jetstream,an ad-supported streaming video service featuring various Toonami series. Toonami Jetstream launched on July 17, 2006 and offered episodes of both Toonami and Non-Toonami shows.

Sara: On January 30, 2009, Toonami Jetstream ended its run. Though some of it's shows can be watched on Cartoon Network's website. You can also watch the shows on Youtube.

Toonami wasn't Just a program block,it was something special. I mean C'mon,lets face it without Toonami,Anime Fandom in the States would very pathetic and very weak.

Tom Z: Damn straight,Stefan.

Sara: Yes.

Well that's it for this Lesson. Yeah,It wasn't as informative as expected,but at least kept you least I hope we did. Anyway,to wrap things up,Tom Z,Sara,and Myself will now list the shows that aired on Toonami.


Tom Z: Voltron

Sara: The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest

Tom Z: Superfriends

Sailor Moon

Tom Z: Dragon Ball Z

Sara: Reboot. I really loved that show.

Transformers Beast Wars

Gundam Wing


Tom Z: Ronin Warriors

Sara: Tenchi Muyo

Tom Z: Tenchi Universe

Tenchi In Tokyo

Sara: Mobile Suit Gundam

Gundam 08 MS Team

Tom Z: Outlaw Star

Sara:Dragon Ball

Tom Z: Big O

Rurouni Kenshin

Sara: Cyborg 009

Tom Z: Card Captors


Sara: Zoids

Tom Z: Mobile Fighter G Gundam

Transformers Armada

Tom Z: Transformers Energon

Transformers Cybertron

Sara: SD Gundam

Tom Z: Knights Of The Zodiac

Mega Man NT Warrior

sara: Batman Beyond

Tom Z: Justice League

Teen Titans

Tom Z: Megas XLR

Sara: Duel Masters

Zatch Bell

Sara: Rave Master

Tom Z: Yu Yu Hakusho

.Hack//Sign (i think thats what it's called)

Tom Z: Dragon Ball GT

Sara: Gundam Seed


Sara: Bobobo-Bobobo

Tom Z: One Piece


Tom Z: Prince of Tennis

Sara: Wulin Warriors


Tom Z: Samurai Jack

Sara: Bakugan

Blue Dragon

Tom Z:Ben 10

Sara: As well as countless Animated Action Movies.

For Tom Z and Sara,this is Stefan,the Cartoon historian bidding you farewell. Thanks for watching and see ya next time.

Scene switches to outer space,where the Absolution is flying smoothly. The scene then fades to black.


BreaktheWalls said...

Great history lesson my friend.

Personally, for me, Toonami died in 2004, when they moved it to Saturdays. Which, in my opinion was a bad idea, since ever since I started watching it in 1999, I was so use to it's time slot and when they all of the sudden decided to move it, I had a hard time following it since A. It was on a Saturday and I usually hung out with my friends on that day and B. I was so use to seeing it on weekdays, that like I said before, I had a hard time remembering that the time switch and it was actually on Saturday, not in it's usual time slot for which I faithfully and religiously watched for 5 freaking years!

Anyways, those are my two cents on it. Great history Stefan, can't wait to see what you do in the future.

KingsSideCastle said...

Nice Toonami post SFD...having Sara and Tom as co-hosts were a fun idea.

Stefan said...

Thanks guys. Look I'm going on a hiatus. I need to work on other things.

Don't worry,It won't be long.