Toonami Celebrates 20th Anniversary On 17th March
Cartoon Network’s action-animation and Japanese anime programming block and international channel brand – Toonami will celebrate its 20th anniversary this Friday (17/03/2017) and Saturday (18/03/2017) with live streams, never-before-seen animated shorts and prize giveaways. The weekend ceremony will start with a Toonami Pre-Flight livestream on Friday at 8pm ET on Toonami’s website (http://www.toonami.com/PreFlight) with feature Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin, the iconic voices of Toonami’s 3D CGI presenters T.O.M (Steven Blum) and SARA (Dana Swanson), the live-stream will feature classic footage from the history of Toonami and an interview with Sean Akins – the co-creator of Toonami programming block.
Toonami first appeared as an afternoon programming block on Cartoon Network USA on 17th March 1997, starting off with an episode from the 1985 animated series – Thundercats, as time went on, Toonami aired hit imports from Japan such as Dragon Ball Z, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam Wing and U.S. animation such as Justice League Unlimited from Warner Bros. Animation. Toonami also expanded to Cartoon Network’s international feeds, including the UK and Australia. The block ended in 2008, but was revived four years later in 2012 as part of Cartoon Network’s adult nighttime programming block – Adult Swim, since then, Toonami also had an international revival with channel launches in Asia and France. Faithful action-animation and anime fans have kept Toonami popular despite its late-night timeslot, with many of its new episode premieres trending on Twitter on Saturday nights.
Toonami has recently extended its broadcast period by half hour, starting at the earlier time of 11pm ET/PT on Saturday nights, the block has also welcomed back new episodes of Samurai Jack, a show which also aired on Toonami while the block was airing on Cartoon Network. New episodes of Samurai Jack are produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Williams Street (Adult Swim’s production house). Toonami has also been airing the latest installment of the Dragon Ball franchise – Dragon Ball Super.
On Saturday 18th March at midnight, Toonami will premiere Mamoru Oshii’s (creator of the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi anime series – Ghost in the Shell) new five-episode micro-series, “Sand Whale and Me”. A new 5-minute episode from the micro-series will air every week for the next five consecutive weeks. Toonami fans also voted for their favourite Toonami logo throughout the history of the block, the winning logo will be used on-air for the special 20th-anniversary broadcast. Throughout the 20th anniversary broadcast, viewers will have a chance to win T-shirts, T.O.M action figures, a limited run, printed comic from Intruder 3, and much more.
Adult Swim’s Toonami Celebrates 20 Years of Action, Ghost in the Shell’s Mamoru Oshii to Premiere New Micro-Series on Anniversary Weekend: From the Adult Swim Press Release, via ToonamiFaithful.com
Adult Swim’s dedicated weekend block, Toonami, celebrates 20 years with live streams, never-before-seen animated shorts and giveaways. The weekend celebration will kick-off Friday, March 17 with a Toonami Pre-Flight live-stream on Toonami.com/PreFlight and will feature Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin, the iconic voices of T.O.M and SARA, and classic footage from the past and an interview with co-creator Sean Akins.
Toonami first appeared on Cartoon Network’s afternoon programming block on March 17, 1997 and returned as a Saturday-night block on Adult Swim in 2012. Part lifestyle brand, part programming block, Toonami helped usher in the wave of anime in the late 90s. Toonami has recently welcomed back new episodes of Samurai Jack, and has extended its broadcast a half-hour earlier to 11 p.m. ET/PT.
“It’s hard to believe Toonami is celebrating its 20 year anniversary. Much has changed since Toonami’s premiere in 1997, but our strategy remains the same: to air the best anime and action cartoons, packaged and presented in a way that respects and welcomes fans” says DeMarco, senior vice president and creative director, on-air for Adult Swim. “Those fans are the reason Toonami still exists in 2017, and we couldn’t be more thankful for their years of support. Here’s hoping we’re still around for another 20 years.”
Viewers across the country are invited to join the festivities with a special, live edition of Toonami Pre-Flight starting at 8 pm. ET on Friday. Steve Blum, voice of T.O.M will be live in the studio to help celebrate and answer fan questions along with DeMarco and Austin. Blum’s otherworldly counterpart, Dana Swanson (SARA), will also present an exclusive reflections piece. There will be favourite Toonami memories, throwbacks and more.
The celebration will continue into the March 18 broadcast of Toonami, with the help of Arby’s®. Fans of the block voted on their favorite graphics look of Toonami throughout the years and starting that Saturday, The premiere of legendary director Mamoru Oshii’s (Ghost in the Shell) five-episode micro-series, “Sand Whale and Me,” is also scheduled for Midnight. Each 5-minute episode will run throughout the next five consecutive weeks. For on-air eyes only, fans will have the limited chance to participate in an anniversary-themed giveaway to win T-shirts, T.O.M action figures, a limited run, printed comic from Intruder 3, and more. Details on how to register will be revealed during that night’s broadcast.
Toonami airs Saturday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT and Toonami Pre-Flight airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on AdultSwim.com.