Cartoon Network announced Saturday September 20, at Anime Weekend Atlanta, that Saturday night’s broadcast was the final bow for Toonami. After eleven years, the network was cancelling the programming block.
Fans of the programming block were given little time to recover from this sudden and unexpected announcement. It was followed by a short, bittersweet announcement made on air following tonight’s Naruto episode. You can see it for yourself here. It didn’t end with a bang, despite their feeble attempt. It ended with a gasp and a whimper.
This was an unnecessary death caused by out of touch program directors and impatient marketing pros who enjoyed Toonami’s success but wouldn’t give it a chance to flourish again. The ones who chose to move it from different time slot to different time slot. Each time courting a different age group. There are so many wonderful animes out there, not to mention the large number of action cartoons, that CN could have chosen to revamp Toonami. Naruto is a great anime but it’s not enough all on it’s own.
Toonami is largely responsible for my, and many others, discovery and love of anime. I have
followed Toonami from it’s humble beginnings in 1997 to it’s slow, painful death Saturday night; from Moltar to all of Tom’s incarnations. It started with such classics as ThunderCats and Voltron. Then moved on to anime favs like Robotech, Sailor Moon,Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin and Astro Boy. It hit it’s peak with Dragonball and Dragonball Z. At the end, the cartoon block was only anchored with one program, Naruto.
And so we mourn the loss of a true friend. A companion that helped spark imaginations and brought some of the best entertainment out there straight to our living rooms five days a week. Thanks for the memories and fun. You will be missed.
“…bang!” The parting words of both Tom and Spike Spiegel.