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Toonami Sets Shenmue Premiere, Welcomes Back One Piece

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A few weeks ago, Toonami boss Jason DeMarco apologized profusely for the recent space-filling marathons during the holiday season and admitted they were a stopgap measure to deal with a hole in the budget. That hole has now been filled, and DeMarco announced there would now be one surprise premiere every week for the next month, for a total of five.

Two weeks ago, we got the return of Assassination Classroom. One week ago, we got Made In Abyss. This week, we’re getting….

Toonami’s run of One Piece back in 2014 was what got me into the series. It was the highlight of the block for me and I missed it dearly when it was booted out for low ratings (come on, the thing was stuck at like two thirty). Now Toonami is having some trouble wrenching away some of the hotter anime from the streaming giants, and suddenly, they’re feeling a lot more friendly to the Straw Hats. Go figure.

The block last abandoned the show at the end of the Thriller Bark arc, and has revealed they plan to pick it up right after the time skip happens, which leaves a gap of….at least three major arcs and over 150 episodes — oh dear. Well, I’ve been told in the forums the first post-timeskip episode serves as a reboot of sorts and doesn’t rely on too much continuity. I hope so.

Two weeks after One Piece, Toonami will premiere its next Original Series: the anime version of the video game series Shenmue. Way way back in the 1980s, Ryo Hazaki sought out answers for the murder of his father by walking around Japanese suburbs and asking repetitive questions. The anime will be considerably more action-oriented than the games are, as the trailer makes clear, though we DID spot a forklift.

With next week’s and next February’s premieres revealed, this leaves just one mystery show to go. We have no idea what it could be, but we’ve noticed there’s a certain series about attacking titans that should have its final season dubs ready soon.*

*This is just a guess, don’t take it as evidence