Yup, you guessed it! Another long and boring personal post is coming up, so turn back now if you’d rather not suffer through this crap. I’m sure you have a backlog of Zettai Karen Children subs to get through.
Every space pirate, Tao master and outlaw in the galaxy knows this already, but Cartoon Network’s Toonami block finally came to a close just about a week ago. I can’t say I honestly care all that much, but for a while Toonami was one of the most important parts of my life.
But let’s back up a bit. Toonami is not what got me into anime. Pokemon is what got me into anime. Before Pokemon, I didn’t think much about anime. I saw some Sailor Moon commercials and stayed away since it looked girly, and of course girls were icky back then, so I didn’t really bother with it. My cousin told me to watch Pokemon, so I did. I really liked it, and after a couple weeks of watching it I fired up my 56k modem and browsed the internet for anything and everything related to Pokemon. It was through these searches that I came upon the word “anime” (mostly thanks to AniPike) but I still didn’t really think much of it. Pokemon back then was just another cool thing to do. Another cool cartoon. It didn’t consume me. That changed with Toonami.
It was in the summer of 1999, I believe, that I was talking with an acquaintance of mine. He expressed his fondness for Dragonball Z, a cartoon I had heard of but never thought to watch since it seemed ever so violent. I wasn’t much for violence. However, he insisted, so I opened my mind a bit a gave it a shot. On Toonami, of course. I loved it. And from that point on, I would be watching Toonami religiously for next 7 years.
Toonami solidified my interest in anime. It was on Toonami that I learned that there was more to anime than just Pokemon. I became interested in mecha anime through Toonami (thx Gundam Wing wwwww), I developed a liking for sci-fi adventure through Toonami (Outlaw Star) and I finally saw the various Tenchi TV shows that went with that movie my buddies and I rented a long while back through Toonami. Toonami, for a good number years, was the most important part of my weekday afternoon.
As I was going into high school, Toonami changed into a weekend-only block. I still watched it, but was more interested in Adult Swim (which at this point was a really cool block of TV itself. More on that in a potential later blog post.) I still thought the block was super cool, but it just became a routine. I was getting into digisubs at around that time too, so dubbed anime on TV became less attractive.
I stopped watching Toonami when I went into college. I didn’t have a TV, and by that point I was 100% into watching anime in Japanese. However, as you can see in this blog post, I can still reminisce fondly about Toonami. It truly was a very important part of my life, and I have nothing but fond memories associated with it.
One thing I really liked about Toonami was how the creators had a genuine love for anime. They really did their best to promote this stuff as really cool, as demonstrated in their various impeccably made commercials. They put out shows that otherwise would not have been shown on US TV. I mean, who would have expected Tenchi to be shown on Cartoon Network? No one. But they did it. And that’s why they were awesome.