AnimeNEXT 2018: Toonami Generation: A Celebration of 20 Years Panel


I went into a time capsule panel that brought back some great childhood memories, I was surprised to learn that Toonami has been around for 20 years already. I remember growing up running out of school to watch anime on Toonami when they used to broadcast in the afternoon. Over the years I have seen many great dubbed anime series on Toonami, some of my favorite shows is Gundam Wing, Sailor Moon, Yuyu Hakusho, Inuyasha, Dragon Ball Z, and many more. Toonami has changed over the years, as well as T.O.M. everyone’s favorite robot host and mascot of Toonami.

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Digital fan art by JPReckless2444 via Deviant Art

I sat in a panel hosted by Thomas Matis where I gained a lot more insight into the history of Toonami. Toonami appeared on Cartoon Network on March 17th, 1997 as a television block program that consisted of American animation and Japanese anime. Toonami had a very good line up and the shows were intended for all audiences, Toonami had played countless re-runs but never became boring it always kept you entertained.

It was originally hosted by Space Ghost in 1997 to 1999 then a new host arrived in 1999 T.O.M. (Toonami Operations Module) and he became the permanent host of Toonami. In September 2000 they produced the short animated film of T.O.M. called “The Intruder” which introduced T.O.M.’s companion S.A.R.A. Over the years Toonami changed their program blocks from beginning a daily line up to only coming on Saturdays. T.O.M. has also changed his appearance over the years by various upgrades. In 2008 Toonami lost a majority of its fan based and was taken off Cartoon Network but with the power of social media, the hashtag #BringBackToonami, Toonami made it’s comeback on air again May 26, 2012. Toonami began to air more adult anime shows like Bleach, Samurai 7, FLCL and Tenchi GXP, Happy to see Toonami is still airing and growing with countless fans.

Digital fan art by JPReckless2444 via Deviant Art

I can not wait to see what new anime line up we’ll have in the future and if a new upgrade to T.O.M. will happen again. Share your experience with Toonami with me and let’s reminesce about the good times before adult responsibilities took over. I was able to learn so much from sitting in this panel and reliving my history from watching Toonami as a young child to an adult. I found out that the panel was recorded by Absolution Network and below is the panel I sat in at AnimeNEXT, Thomas entrance is one of the best I’ve seen in a while, it was a good laugh.

Share your thought of Toonami, Join the conversation.

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