Toonami was a programming block on Cartoon Network consisting of action series and movies. Unlike the rest of Cartoon Network proper, Toonami skews slightly older, targeting age groups of kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14, primarily boys. Miguzi was created as a younger-skewing, gender-neutral compliment to Toonami in 2004.
Toonami was originally a weekday animation block hosted by Moltar of Space Ghost. In 1999 Moltar was replaced by TOM, a small robot aboard a spacecraft called the Absolution. TOM and the ship's artificial intelligence SARA continue to be the block's hosts to this day, having undergone several revamps. The block's initial programming consisted of mostly old American animated action shows, but gradually became home to mostly anime programs, notably Dragon Ball Z.
Toonami's main timeslot for most of its run was weekdays from 4 to 7pm. This was occasionally shortened to 5 to 7pm. Toonami blocks were also placed at other points on the schedule, for the "Midnight Run" (weekdays, 12–1am), "Rising Sun" (Saturday mornings 10am–1pm or Saturday nights 12–2am), and "Super Saturdays" (Sat 2–4pm, Dragon Ball Z encores). "Midnight Run" is famous for showing Gundam Wing uncut, and is considered a precursor to Adult Swim.
In 2004 Toonami was moved to Saturday nights, with its weekday spot being taken up by Miguzi. The block was expanded to four hours. After three years running in this format, in October 2007 Toonami was shortened to two hours.
On September 20, 2008, Cartoon Network ended Toonami. Employees who were charged with maintaining the block were shuffled into other departments. It was believed that Adult Swim picked up the slack with anime on the channel, but the block itself had severely cut its own "action" Saturday schedule only two weeks before Toonami was ended. "Toonami Jetstream" also continued, with "Toonami" dropped from the name until January 2009.
The block was replaced with another "action cartoon" block on Friday nights titled "You Are Here" and was also replaced with an action cartoon movie block titled "Action Flicks" on Saturday nights. The September 20 block ended on the word "Bang," as said by the host of Toonami, voiced by Steven Blum. The word is closely associated with Cowboy Bebop and Blum's portrayal of Spike Spiegel in the series. The series never aired on Toonami prior to the Adult Swim revival, but was a critical part of popularizing anime on Adult Swim.
On April 1, 2012, Toonami briefly returned to Adult Swim in an "April Fool's Day Prank" featuring many of Toonami's older flagship series such as Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing, as well as a few new-to-Toonami series such as Trigun. After a campaign on Twitter, Toonami was officially reborn on Adult Swim, Saturday nights at midnight, starting May 26, 2012.
Until January 2009, Cartoon Network offered select series, including new anime from VIZ Media, as streaming video online. Some of these series were Cartoon Network repeats, others were programs never-before-seen on US television.
- Hikaru no Go
- Zatch Bell!
- Pokémon: Master Quest
- Samurai Jack
- Blue Dragon
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
This was not the first streaming video Toonami has offered on its site. Toonami Reactor, launched in 2001, also offered a mixture of anime programming and music videos for about a year until it was replaced by Adult Swim Pipeline.
One of the more distinctive features of Toonami in the past was the custom openings, which consisted of clips from the programs edited over a jungle track composed specially for the block. Several music videos combining clips from various programs were also created.
|Title||Release Date||Music By||#|
|Deep Space Bass||May 15, 2001||Joe Boyd Vigil||18|
|Black Hole Megamix||Unreleased||Joe Boyd Vigil||21|