Toonami 2018 in review and predictions for 2019

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PicardMan

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What a turbulent year for Toonami. We've had the longest Toonami in quite a while and it just got cut. As usual, it's the era of the long runner with two new additions, My Hero Academia and Boruto. MHA has become a beloved staple of the block. Another super popular show is Mob Psycho 100. We've got some good stuff, but there were iffy issues. Pop Team Epic was really divisive, being my least favorite Toonami show ever. Megalobox was an interesting show, but it's hard to say how it will do as most of its run will be in 2019. FLCL was the most hyped show, but it was also divisive but it's detractors didn't seem to hate it anywhere near as much as PTE. Personally, I think it was okay, but not as exciting as Mob or MHA, with MHA being new Toonami show of the year.

Next year will be hard to predict as Super and HunterXHunter will end. We will probably get more JoJo and MHA, but if rights and dubbing issues delay either of those shows remains to be seen. Blade Runner is probably years out. The cut puts Toonami's health into question, but the expansion seems to have been a sign that it was doing well. It just seems like scheduling and poor promotion will do things in. Will the topicals still air in dead hours (except for Boruto's)?
 

Light Lucario

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This has certainly been a year for Toonami. They finished airing a few series that they had started in the previous year like Outlaw Star and IBO season two. Outlaw Star in particular getting a full complete uncut run on Toonami was pretty cool. While I don't think it lived up to the hype, it was still pretty fun. I still haven't rewatched IBO to see how I feel about the series as a whole, but I did enjoy season two. If season one was akin to the underdog sports team defying the odds to win the tournament, then season two was like if that same team lost everything in the process of reaching even higher. It was a tragedy, but an effective one. The new FLCL seasons were rather divisive among fans, especially with Progressive's ending, but I still would consider them a highlight for the block's year. It was still impressive that Toonami could help get new FLCL seasons made in the first place and I still wouldn't be against more seasons behind made if they chose to do so.

My Hero Academia getting on Toonami was great and personally the highlight of the block's year for me. I'm lucky if Toonami airs a show that I can find a decent amount of entertainment, but I fell in love with this series from the beginning. I wish I started watching sooner, but I'm glad that I could watch it at last. It's definitely the show of the year for me as well. It's too early to see if Megalobox will click with me, but it's okay thus far at least. Mob Psycho 100 is pretty solid though. I was kind of expecting a bit more comedy in the series. It still can be funny, but much like One Punch Man, they also play the situations more straight than I expected or it could be just how I interpret the tone of the series. Regardless, it has been pretty good and I do think that Mob is a more interesting/relatable lead than Satima. Hopefully they can air season two after finishing season one, but it's hard to say if that is possible. Attack on Titan's third season, or rather the first half of it, was surprisingly good. It had a lot more substance compared to the other series and easily had the most emotionally effective scene in the series to date. It's hard to say if the second half of the season will keep it up, but I am more interested in seeing what direction the series goes than I was with the first and second seasons.

There were still so misses for me in terms of their shows. Pop Team Epic was absolutely awful for me. I know that it was popular during its run, but it just didn't really click with me and for their first non-action driven series for Toonami, they really made a terrible decision. Although, it took me forever to realize the whole "Are you mad?" response to the series getting a second run was a reference to the show itself. I was rather indifferent towards Boruto joining the lineup. It was a surprise that they were already dubbing the series, but since I don't care for Naruto in general, I wouldn't be interested in the sequel. There's also how I dislike both Black Clover and Jojo.

Unlike most fans, I don't really see the loss of the expanded block as a red flag or potential danger to Toonami's future. The expansion was a cool idea, but poorly executed. There was just hardly any promotion for the new lineup and there were people commenting for at least two or three weeks that they forgot when My Hero Academia premieres. If there was a better promotion for the new lineup and they didn't start off with DBZ Kai reruns, then maybe it could have worked out. Losing an hour isn't really a problem, especially when Toonami doesn't really have the funds to make a long lineup work.

As for predictions, I'm still positive that there will be some new Dragon Ball series announced sometime in the not too distant future. I don't know if Toonami will get a hold of it, but I don't think Dragon Ball fans will have to wait too long before getting some new content. Super won't end until late next year from what I understand, so they won't have to worry about what they can use to replace it. I am curious about what they'll do with Hunter x Hunter's slot though. We'll hopefully get to see My Hero Academia season four late next year depending on the situation with the dub, but they'll at least be able to air seasons two and three. I could see them airing Golden Wind after they finish Diamond is Unbreakable. While there were some more misses for me personally with some of their shows, I'd say that Toonami had a pretty productive year here.
 

PicardMan

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One issue related to 2019 is the fact that I haven't seen any promos advertising the move backwards. This shows that Toonami repeats the same mistakes. They probably will survive but they've caused a lot of self-inflicted wounds because of poor promotion. We'll probably continue to see MHA promos in the dead space of the rerun portion.
 

veemonjosh

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Regarding predictions for 2019, I'll start by going through each series that will be ending next year, with end dates based on projections taking marathons into account.

Dragon Ball Super: October 26th
This one is probably the most interesting and difficult to predict what'll happen. Super is easily the best performing show on the block, but it presently has only a finite number of episodes (40 left) due to ending in Japan back in March. However, with the new Broly movie coming out and international exposure at its highest in years (who'd have dreamed Goku would get a Macy's parade balloon?), it's inevitable that we'll hear about the revival of Super or a return with a new title sometime in 2019. If that does happen, it would then becomes a question of how fast Funimation can licence and dub it. Best case, Toonami can go right into the next season/series after they finish the current arc. If they can't, or worse if Toei doesn't make new episodes in 2019, we might be seeing reruns of Super at the front of the block for a while.

My Hero Academia (season 3): September 7th
Now we arrive at the trickiest prediction. It's confirmed that Toonami will go right into season 3, but season 4 won't be airing in Japan until October. The good news is, we might be getting a simuldub of a major shonen. The bad news is, they'll need to buy time for at least a month. Reruns of MHA in the meantime or something else? We'll see.

Mob Psycho 100 (season 1): February 2nd
I honestly believe that Toonami will go right into season 2. It was recently announced that Mob S2 will be getting a simuldub, and while it'll probably start first online, Toonami can run it very shortly after (even shorter than the gap Black Clover has). If season 2 is the same length as season 1, the end date gets moved to April 27th.

Megalo Box: March 16th
Short series, most likely slot for a new show.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (Part 4): June 15th
This one entirely depends on Viz. I'm sure Toonami is more than willing to run Part 5, but Viz is notorious for slow turnaround times with what they license. This'll be about 8 1/2 months since the Japanese premiere, which would possibly be their shortest turnaround time yet, but One-Punch Man was almost as "quick", so it's possible.

Hunter x Hunter: June 29th
Yes, our ol' pal HxH has only six months left to live with no chance of rescue from Japan due to a terminal case of hiatus-itus. If we're being real here, the current lineup consisting of such late premieres is a consequence of the block being cut. Hunter x Hunter, being at 2:30, likely won't make way for a new show. If it was replaced with a new show airing earlier in the block, other shows would get shifted down, and I can't see Black Clover being at 2:30. So my prediction is that Shippuden will be moved up to 2:30 in July and we'll either gain another rerun toward the end or lose a slot entirely.

Attack on Titan (current rerun): February 23rd
This is also difficult, since season 3 won't resume in Japan until April. I guess they could do another run, but that would push the midseason premiere to June. If I had to predict a timeslot for new episodes, probably in Mob Psycho's spot when season 2 ends.

Currently, we have two catalog reruns, Pop Team Epic (till March 16th) and Gundam IBO (till June 22nd). I predict Mob Psycho 100 and Megalo Box will rerun at some point. PTE ends before either one of those though, so that slot may go to a perpetual run show.

Now, potential new shows. Blade Runner is probably not until 2020, so we can count that out for now.

Guaranteed locks, we'll definitely get JoJo Part 5 and One-Punch Man season 2 at some point, but it again depends on how fast Viz dubs them.

For strong possibilities, we've got Lupin Part 5. It's not a definite, Part 4 did underperform, but it's apparently highly requested and was more well received critically than the previous series. I also imagine Crunchyroll will provide a new series at some point in 2019.

Middle of the road predictions, I'm going to put my vote for SSSS Gridman. Also a requested series, with a Funimation dub and some nostalgia behind it (I'll riot if they don't make a Superhuman Samurai reference in the promo). I'll also say Dr. Stone, but this is all dependent on who licenses it. If Viz gets it, I'd move it to a lock for 2020.

Less likely, we have Promised Neverland and SAO season 3. I'm anticipating Promised Neverland as one of the top anime of 2019, and would be a big acquisition if they got it. SAO season 3, I don't really want SAO back, but I can't ignore how well the first two seasons did for Toonami. The issue with these two, as I said in an earlier post, is that Aniplex has both, and they haven't had a presence on the block for a long time, so these are no longer a strong possibility.

So to conclude, this is my top 5 show predictions for 2019:
  1. JoJo Golden Wind
  2. One-Punch Man season 2
  3. Lupin Part 5
  4. New Crunchyroll series
  5. SSSS Gridman
 

PicardMan

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Dragonball Super Duper, or whatever the sequel will be called, may or may not dub quickly. It's still a mystery why it took well over a year for Super's dub to start in the first place. Will that repeat?
 

LinusFan303

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I enjoyed the two new FLCL series , Alternative a little more than progressive. It was nice they wanted to do that. I enjoyed Pop Team Epic , in the first place so was over joyed when they picked up I am glad they took that risk even though, it might not be everyone's tea. I hope they try some other comedies in the future. Mob Psycho 100 has been a fun watch for me. I liked they tried going longer and their other experimenting better than letting stagnate.
 

wjbraden

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I agree with Picardman that this was a weird year for Toonami. We got a ton of new, varied, and even and exclusive titles to the block, and even achieved primetime slots! However, the scheduling has been all over the board. Listen, I'm a Toonami addict (more so than I probably should be lol) and even I was confused about the way things were scheduled. I like that their doing topical each week to alert people of these changes, but I don't think that's enough. I think ratings would be better if they had kept things more consistent, and maybe just forgone the 9:00 start this Fall and just maintained the 10:00-4 slot. As for the late push-back to 11, as much as I think it was going to far, I'm not too worried about it, because think they'll expand back out again whenever they feel like it (not to mention the start time has changed nearly 10 times in the last three years, sooo...)

Next year will definitely be another interesting one. I agree with Veemonjosh on his top picks, but I'll also add that we shouldn't rule out SAO 3, the other two seasons did well on the block and I think Aniplex recognizes that. I'm also not ruling out a Sailor Moon as a surprise acquisition, that is if Hulu will relinquish its hold on it.

Anyway, Happy New Year everybody!!
 

Light Lucario

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I keep forgetting that SAO has a third season. While we haven't had an Aniplex series for quite some time, I wouldn't be surprised if they do end up airing it. I don't like the series and I'm not sure if it is still as popular as it was during the first season, but both seasons did pretty well for Toonami and Aniplex could still want to give the third season more exposure.

Sailor Moon would be an interesting surprise, but I don't know if I'd want either series on the lineup. Even though I had quite a few problems with the original series, I still liked it and I can see why it is still beloved after all these years. I just don't think having a two hundred episode series would really help the block, especially when the dub has been available online for awhile. It would be neat to give the new Viz dub exposure and it could help them to finish dubbing the series too, but locking up a slot for years still doesn't sit right with me. I like Crystal quite a bit, but since it is supposed to continue in movie form and Toonami doesn't air movies anymore, I'm not sure if it would be worthwhile to air just the three seasons.

I'd like to see Toonami air Blue Exorcist's second season. It was shorter than the first one and it was put up on Hulu instead, but I liked the first season and it would be neat to see them air the second one. I'd probably be better off just watching the season on Hulu at this point, but it would still be neat if they could pull it off.
 

PicardMan

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New TIE means we definitely have a future. That's another thing to speculate about. How would the TOM 6 era be like?
 

ZZenigundam

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Put it back on weekdays on Cartoon Network. There's no point in it being on late on Saturdays if those are the types of shows they're going to play. They're just going to end up getting canned. Everything is tame, and would be well received by children. Pop Team Epic was great. MHA is ok, but really PTE and the reruns of Lupin and Unicorn were the only things that interested me. Megalobox as well. I can't stand the other stuff, so I never watch them. Really does feel like the whole Toonami brand is geared toward young kids and not grown folks.
 

Lawren22

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While shonen is aimed towards boys 12-18 in Japan and not adults it still cannot air on USA kid networks without heavy edits that would best up narrative( well Dragon ball super , Boruto and maybe MHA could but JoJo,AoT,Mob,and the later arcs of HxH could not) plus even if they could CN and other children network are not interested in anime that doesn't have toys anymore so they are not going to move the shonen or toonami to weekdays. There is no other place for them anymore on tv and battle shonen is still the most popular genre of anime in the west those shows are on toonami because people kept asking for them even thought more variety would be nice.
 
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PicardMan

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Anyone remember the gory,edgy era of Toonami from Deadman Wonderland to Akame ga Kill? I wonder if the long running shonen backlash would lead to the return to gore shows. Goblin Slayer seems to be the most popular gore show of recent memory.
 

Lawren22

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I dont like Goblin Slayer and dont want it on toonami( While I just join I lurked on here for awhile and I dont think you , Light Lucario , Nobodyman and a lot of other people here would like it either)thought it probably will still get pricked up anyways.Akame ga kill was terrible.Hellsing was good though Deadman Wonderland was decent and Parasyte was one of the best shows the new toonamiI would still like to see Fate/Zero and Psycho Pass air on Toonami but feel like that wont happen.From the new world, Golden Kamiya and some good slice of life like Kids on the Slope, Shirobako or You lie in April would be nice and the old Berserk anime( still the best gore show imo) in one of the really late night slots would be cool but I also dont think that will acually happen.
 
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Light Lucario

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Put it back on weekdays on Cartoon Network. There's no point in it being on late on Saturdays if those are the types of shows they're going to play. They're just going to end up getting canned. Everything is tame, and would be well received by children. Pop Team Epic was great. MHA is ok, but really PTE and the reruns of Lupin and Unicorn were the only things that interested me. Megalobox as well. I can't stand the other stuff, so I never watch them. Really does feel like the whole Toonami brand is geared toward young kids and not grown folks.
I wouldn't call every series on the lineup tame. Dragon Ball Super and Boruto could probably air with minimal edits, but I can't really see shows like Gundam IBO/Unicorn, Hunter x Hunter, Attack on Titan, Jojo and Megalobox airing on Cartoon Network proper. None of those show are what I'd call tame considering the amount of blood, violence and death they have. Gundam IBO ends with a good chuck of the cast dead, including the two main characters, the villains effectively got what they wanted and the surviving main characters basically have to go into hiding for the rest of their lives. Mob Psycho 100 isn't too violent, but it does deal with death with all of the supernatural spirits and some of the fights have been intense too.

Even My Hero Academia might be kind of tricky due to the Hero Killer arc. Prior to that, it might have worked with minimal edits, although some of the blood and Midoriya's broken bones might have been hard to edit around too, but considering the villain's power involved tasting blood to paralyze people and he flat out murdered people, I don't think it would fly on Cartoon Network without some serious 4Kids style of edits. Pop Team Epic would probably be considered too weird even among their comedy series. The humor is centered around anime and Japanese culture, so I can't really see that appealing to the kids watching Cartoon Network.

Besides all that, I can't see Cartoon Network treating the block significantly better and it would stick out like a sore thumb on their lineup. People who are familiar with Toonami are well outside the channel's demographic, so it makes sense to keep it on Adult Swim. Kids channels aren't really interested in anime series that aren't toyetic anymore and even then, only Disney XD seems interested in toyetic anime. While most of the shonen series are aimed at kids in Japan, they tend to be marketed towards teenagers/young adults in the U.S. due to having more violence than what the U.S. normally allows for kid shows. You can see that in how shows like One Piece and Naruto are promoted. You may not like most of the shows on the lineup and that's fine, but moving the block to Cartoon Network is really not a good or possible solution. Plus, people did demand for some of these series, so I'm not sure if having mostly shonen series is really a turnoff for that many people. More variety would be nice, but these series are still pretty different from each other despite being aimed at the same demographic.

Anyone remember the gory,edgy era of Toonami from Deadman Wonderland to Akame ga Kill? I wonder if the long running shonen backlash would lead to the return to gore shows. Goblin Slayer seems to be the most popular gore show of recent memory.
Yeah, few of those shows were actually good for me. Akame ga Kill was terrible and I still loathe Black Lagoon. Deadman Wonderland was decent as a popcorn movie kind of show though. I really wouldn't want to see Goblin Slayer on the block or a return to the gore shows. While I don't like a few of the lone running shonen series, at least most of them are watchable and aren't gore violence messes trying too hard to be edgy.

I dont like Goblin Slayer and dont want it on toonami( While I just join I lurked on here for awhile and I dont think you , Light Lucario , Nobodyman and a lot of other people here would like it either)thought it probably will still get pricked up anyways.Akame ga kill was terrible.Hellsing was good though Deadman Wonderland was decent and Parasyte was one of the best shows the new toonamiI would still like to see Fate/Zero and Psycho Pass air on Toonami but feel like that wont happen.From the new world, Golden Kamiya and some good slice of life like Kids on the Slope, Shirobako or You lie in April would be nice and the old Berserk anime( still the best gore show imo) in one of the really late night slots would be cool but I also dont think that will acually happen.
Based on what I've read and heard about the series, I'm almost positive that I'd hate Goblin Slayer if I ever tried to watch it. I kind of hate it already for a couple of reasons, so that would be a waste of a slot. I couldn't give Hellsing Ultimate a chance, but I agree that Deadman Wonderland was decent and Parasyte was pretty good. I remember having a few problems with the last few episodes, but out of all of the gore heavy series, it was still easily the best one and possibly one of the best shows Neo Toonami has aired. A slice of life series would shake up the lineup a bit, but after what happened with Pop Team Epic, I don't think I want them to steer far from action series again.
 
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ZZenigundam

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The thing is that when Adult Swim revived Toonami, I was expecting a lot more series of the Hellsing, Unicorn, Parasyte ilk, and for the shonen to be more mature along the lines of Death Note or Attack on Titan. Whose pulling the strings over there? And people say "seinen" and mature cartoons just aren't popular, but when Naruto, a children's series, tanks, there are all sort of excuses and intricate expanations.
 

PicardMan

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I was expecting a lot more series of the Hellsing, Unicorn, Parasyte ilk, and for the shonen to be more mature along the lines of Death Note or Attack on Titan. Whose pulling the strings over there?
It wasn't that long ago that we got an edgy seinen in Tokyo Ghoul in 2017. I wonder if Toonami has abandoned that franchise or if we'll get :re eventually. That series seems to have a massive fanbase but it seems that most requests seem to be for other things, indicating a fanbase that has moved on. I personally see nothing wrong with the additions of Mob Psycho 100 and My Hero Academia as they are really, really popular. Even in Toonami's edgy seinen days, they still aired Bleach. It's all about airing the shows that get the most butts in seats. Considering the demand for Goblin Slayer it will probably air. Based on the reactions here, it will probably be super divisive. I hope there's more substance behind it than Hellsing Ultimate, which was violence and nothing else.
 

Golden Geek

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Mob Psycho 100 season 2 is pretty much confirmed at this point, isn't it? Crunchyroll is still dubbing it, so there should be zero trouble getting it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has been exceptionally received over a lot of recent isekai. I think it'd be good for Toonami next year.
 
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PapaGreg

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Goblin Slayer is going to be on Toonami, I don't like it and the idea of it on Toonami leaves a bad taste in my mouth but it would be a smart move on DeMarco case the show is super popular.
 
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Lawren22

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Yeah, Light Lucario while Parasyte was overall great the last few episodes were a bit weird. They tried to make the viewers sympathize with the Parasytes all of a sudden it might have worked if it was better build up but after eps of showing all but two of the Parasytes as one dimensional monsters the show just suddenly said feel sorry for them.
 
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