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Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Otaku's Interests: Toonami Canceled...



This is a true shame. After 11 long years, back when Moltar of Space Ghost ran the show, the anime block run on Cartoon Network known as Toonami has been canceled by Cartoon Network. The final showing was September 20th. This was the block where many US anime fans got their start, including many of my friends. While my first animes weren't on Toonami, I loved coming home to watch great anime like Ruroni Kenshin, Gundam Wing, and of course, Dragonball Z. The show evolved so many times in its heyday, and its weekend showings always ensured there was something on that day I wanted to watch. I even got into Hamtaro when it premired on the network, and I still look to this day to any episodes posted online...

The show's block shrunk more and more in the recent years, though, to the point where the block lasted only 2 hours on Saturdays, almost half of which was just showings of Cartoon Network shows. By this point, the only anime in the block was Naruto. It makes me wonder where Cartoon Network is going with this, as nothing on the network in the past or present has had as much presence as Toonami: it was a true staple of the network, with several promos of the block itself bringing people to interest, such as the appearance of TOM, Moltar's replacement announcer, and the storylines that began to surround TOM, including his supposed destruction.

Not only does this make me worry about Cartoon Network, I'm now worried about the state of anime as a whole. Cartoon Network was one of the few networks that showed anime in the US, and while I hope Naruto isn't going anywhere (that would be way too much money the network would be letting loose), the removal of the Toonami block means less interest on anime premieres on the network, if any do premiere in the first place. This means less people will notice the anime and thus less people will buy products of the anime, both of which would cause decreases in profits for anime creating companies and their distributors. While I'm not suggesting that this will kill the industry, this is going to smart at least a bit. Cartoon Network's Saturday block, like the WB and FOXBox blocks of before, feature 1 or 2 anime shows (mainly Pokemon), and more of their own show premieres.

Just a real shame...

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