So this might turn into a wall of text. But I wanted to express my thoughts of last night’s Toonami run and try and get my hand on y’all’s feelings on the matter.
So, first of all, I hope everyone watched. Or at least a lot of people here watched. Adult Swim needs every viewer they can get. And while I’m thinking about it, I hear that the ratings won’t be out until the middle of the week. I hate to say it, but I’m worried they didn’t fare as well as 4/1’s Toonami run, especially later into the night. That’s really just my guess though; we’ll just have to see.
On to the block itself. I thought the new TOM animations were fine, even if they weren’t extremely ambitious. Further, I thought the use of the old material was well done; the last thing I saw before going to sleep was the Absolution fly by the camera as some old atmospheric music played. It was a cool moment. The review wasn’t bad either, and the game they took a look at actually seemed interesting.
To put it a little more succinctly, the Toonami frame given to the shows was pretty cool. Not a lot of surprises, but not bad.
On to the issue of the budget. And I’ll talk about the programs themselves a little here. Look, I know Toonami currently has a budget of, like, $50. Turner, from what I understand, doesn’t believe in the block, and I know that Steve Blum is voicing TOM for next to nothing, though he could be asking for a huge paycheck. Normally I wouldn’t be worried about this, but without more money, they can’t put on everyone’s favorite shows, or get out of that horrible time slot. And without classic shows which cost tons to get a hold of, the block will lose viewers. Part of Toonami’s appeal (I’d be willing to say the majority of the appeal) is in nostalgia. They can’t pander to a new generation of fans at midnight on a Saturday, and the old generation of fans wants DBZ, Gundam, Outlaw Star and the like on. Deadman Wonderland and Casshern Sins would fit well on Adult Swim Action, but aren’t the type of programs people think of when they think Toonami. I think choosing a really graphic, dark show followed by a melancholy and somewhat confusing show isn’t gonna get people excited about turning on the TV on Saturday, and that’s going to be a serious problem. They need to have viewers to make viewers, and neither of the premieres seemed to generate week in and week out loyalty. Of course, this is pure speculation on my part; everyone here could be PUMPED about the new stuff. I dunno. Tell me what you think.
Now I do have a question. How the crap did they get cleared to play those nostalgia filled shows on April Fool’s? Other networks have DBZ and friends locked up, right?
Anyway, the shows themselves, in a little more detail.
Bleach- was Bleach. Not the best, but not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. If nothing else, it’s safe, and I’d bet it got the highest ratings pretty easily.
Deadman Wonderland- Holy CRAP this one was dark. And I mean DARK. I was kinda hoping they’d try to bring back Toonami with something sorta fun, but HOLY CRAP. Again, not a bad show, but waaay too much for me personally. ….I’ll probably still watch it every week, however.
Casshern Sins- Gloomy and confusing. Still enjoyed it, (I mean, I like seeing anime on TV in general) but I don’t want to be as confused as I was during The Big O again. Has potential, but unless the plodding explanations speed up, this’ll be a ratings sinkhole.
FMA:B- I really like this show, but I’m worried people are gonna get sick of seeing it.
GITS:S.A.C. 2nd GIG- A little disappointed by this one; I’ve never been able to get in to GITS in any form. Hopefully everyone else disagrees and the show soars, but I’m not so sure.
Cowboy Bebop- I also love this show, but it has the same problem as Fullmetal Alchemist-overexposure.
All in all, it wasn’t really what I wanted so much, but I understand Adult Swim’s predicament, and I can sympathize with them. Nothing was terrible, but this return was hardly the love letter the fans got on 4/1. I just hope they can get more money, so I’ll continue to tell people: Watch the block. Just leave your TV on if nothing else. I’m not thrilled by what I saw, but I get that you’ve got to walk before you run. I’m just glad to see TOM back on TV, and I want to tell people to KEEP WATCHING THE BLOCK to keep him there. It’ll improve with time.
TL;DR Version/ Bottom Line: Toonami didn’t come back the way we all wanted it to, but for now, that’s okay. It’s understandable. Let’s just be patient with the return for a while. Keep watching, even the boring stuff. I’m scared the new stuff might alienate a more casual audience, and I really hope I’m wrong on this, but it’s very possible the ratings just drop off a cliff starting next week. I mean, I’ve got no hard evidence, so let me know: what did YOU think of last night, if you caught it? I liked it personally, but I’m worried about its future. Prove me wrong.