March 17, 1997 was a great day in television history. On this day, Toonami began life on Cartoon Network. I didn't start watching Toonami until early 2002 when my family had gotten cable (for the second time.) Toonami hosted anime hits Yu Yu Hakusho, Robotech, and the very famous Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, the later having more popularity than the former. I'd heard about Dragon Ball Z back in 1995 and years after that, the name would still be on the tongues of kids and teens alike. I just didn't understand what made the show so epic in the minds of people everywhere. That all changed when I started watching Toonami. My appreciate for Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z is something I owe to Toonami. Toonami was the program block that got me into these shows. I even collected the entire manga series of DB and DBZ. That may not have happened if not for Toonami.
September 20th, 2008 was a very, very sad day for many of us. On this day, Toonami was canceled. Over 11 years of amazing anime and action cartoons brought to us by one of the finest program blocks of all time, if not THE finest program block. My friend Tommy Wilson informed me that Toonami was done Sunday evening and this was shocking news to say the least. I mean, this is seriously depressing stuff. Toonami. Dead. This sucks. This really, really sucks. Granted I haven't had cable for a while now but knowing that Toonami is no more is hard to take.
Toonami hosted great shows, that's for sure. But the things that made up Toonami, Tom (voiced by Steven Blum), the ship and the things that went on onboard the the ship seperated Toonami from every other programing block out there. As great as the Disney Afternoon was, it didn't have jack on Toonami. Some people even thought Tom died, only to be upgraded into a newer model, though the Thomas the Tank model disgusted many viewers.
The promos! Who can forget the sexy promos?! Those promos were done so well that practically any show looked good. Before the show even started you were hyped because the promos were so awesome. Toonami also did music videos, character profiles and game reviews. How many other program blocks do that?
(Sigh) Well, it's been a fun ride. Toonami will be missed. Just hit up YouTube and check out the Toonami promos, music videos and character profiles. R.I.P., Toonami.