Toonami’s back, but what does that mean for us?
As American anime fans have probably heard by now, [adult swim] is bringing back Toonami as a rebrand for their Saturday night 12AM-6AM action block after a successful April’s Fools prank. The new Toonami will begin May 26, with a slightly disappointing lineup (which is certainly subject to change) consisting of older [adult swim] programming repackaged with a new brand. But that may just be for the interim as their press release reads this:
· TOONAMI – Beginning Saturday, May 26, Adult Swim brings back Toonami, the network’s popular block of anime programming. Airing weekly from midnight to 6 a.m. (ET/PT), in addition to the return of previous series featured in Toonami, Adult Swim is also developing new original anime programming for fans.
In case you didn’t catch that I’ll say it again, “in addition to the return of previous series featured in Toonami, Adult Swim is also developing new original anime programming for fans.“. This certainly sounds like the new Toonami will be co-producing brand new anime series with Japan. A move likely taken to help detract viewers from watching these shows on the web before they could even get onto North American TV. It also gets around the fact that blocks like the original Toonami ran on acquired programming, meaning shows that Cartoon Network had to pay to get from other companies (or in the case of some Bandai Entertainment and potentially other shows, they were paid to air), and didn’t receive any compensation from international distribution, DVDs, or other related goods. By co-producing anime series Williams Street (the division of Cartoon Network that handles [adult swim]) now co-owns the property, and will make money off of everything. Previously Cartoon Network co-produced things like the second season of Big O, and IGPX for Toonami.
Canadian anime fans need to take note of that, because it’s really important for anime on Cartoon Network Canada. When CN Canada was announced, I kind of tore into the network for just being another channel masquerading as a U.S. network but really just be a Canadian rendition of it, inserting random programming that never aired on the U.S. feed, and lacking third party shows that did. Which leads one to ask why they’d even import a brand that has limited visibility compared to their home grown one instead of just extending their own. While CN Canada will just be Teletoon’s rendition of a Cartoon Network, with the admission that Williams Street is producing original anime content comes a renewed interest from me. You see, when Teletoon and Turner announced their plans to bring Cartoon Network to Canada, they also picked up the rights to practically every original Cartoon Network and [adult swim] series. This would include anything made for the new, and even the old Toonami.
Oh, and given the original CN Canada press release made note of Teletoon picking up Cartoon Network’s brands I’m willing to wager we will get our own Toonami block some day. But that hasn’t been confirmed, and one would question how Teletoon would program that because while Williams Street plans on doing co-productions obviously everything on the U.S. block won’t be. There will be acquired programming on it, because at the very least they’ve got a bunch of episodes of Bleach to run through. I am getting ahead of myself though, CN Canada has yet to launch. That date is set for July 4.
While it would be super mondo cool if instead of a Toonami debut we got a Bionix revival on CN Canada that’s about as likely as Monsuno creating a rebirth in the anime industry. Which is to say, that’s not going to happen.