This Saturday is an important one for Toonami. This is the beginning of what could be something special for the block. Yes, it’s nice that everything starts a half an hour earlier, as well as the block expanding with Attack on Titan Season Two finishing at 3 a.m. There are a lot of changes in the works that will be implemented. But I’m going to keep my eyes on how well Toonami’s latest acquisition (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders) performs as it locks up a time slot for a whole year. Will it keep fans engaged and interested throughout its tenure on the block? Or will fans lose interest due to the break in between season two and three?

The question about how sequel series perform on Toonami has come up from time to time. Do these shows hold enough interest to warrant Toonami continuing to pick up seasons that are made later? Can Toonami afford to play this series knowing that there will be a break in between seasons? It wasn’t until Attack on Titan Season Two, where it left some of us at Toonami Faithful asking these types of questions because normally we’d be all in on the sequel series of popular shows. After all, it wasn’t as if Sword Art Online II was a bust, as that series performed well. It even had a break in between both seasons. Personally, I was excited about Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga if it got on the block (which it can’t due to Hulu), as well as wondering how One-Punch Man Season Two will be received when we cross that bridge. But with Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans coming in October and Stardust Crusaders joining this Saturday, fans can get a couple more examples to see if a break halts a show’s momentum (which is out of Toonami’s hands nearly every time).

There’s probably a lot of pressure on Stardust Crusaders to perform well, considering it was THIS series that many equate with the franchise (overlooking seasons one and two). My first exposure to this franchise was Stardust Crusaders, thinking that JoJo began here (not knowing there were two previous seasons). When you talk about JoJo, Stardust Crusaders is what comes to mind and I believe that those at Toonami realize this. When fans requested JoJo, it was for this season more than anything else. And I’d go as far to say that it was Stardust Crusaders that brought JoJo to the forefront of younger fans’ minds with its popularity on Twitter. This franchise has been around since the 80’s (the manga) and it’s an odd story about how it became super popular. We shall see if its popularity on social media will provide a boost for the block.

I wonder about JoJo as a whole since I find it enjoyable and popular, but it didn’t quite translate as well as I would have liked when seasons one and two aired. I wonder if because of those seasons, Toonami fans might have moved on from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. For me, Phantom Blood (Season One) was tough to get through. It was important (obviously), but besides giving fans Speedwagon and a few funny gif-able moments, it was boring. Even Battle Tendency with its flamboyant and outrageous lead, could have used a little more “oomph” to get people hyped in this series. It isn’t quite what we get in Stardust Crusaders, considering the types of powers characters have with Stands. It makes me wish that Stands were what was used since the beginning, as I do believe that would be something that would hook fans in with the first season. I implore those who didn’t like the first two seasons to give Stardust Crusaders a chance, because the powers in this series are just ridiculous and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. I hope it’s not too little too late for this franchise to grab fans’ attention. There’s a reason viewers loved this season more than the first two.

As far as worrying about breaks in between seasons, I wonder if Attack on Titan Season Two was a case where Toonami accidentally competed with the subtitled version on Crunchyroll (which could make this an overreaction). Airing Attack on Titan Season Two is such a rare case for Toonami that we can’t expect it to happen all the time. I do think Toonami is doing more to let Stardust Crusaders succeed, given where it’s placed in the lineup and what it will be following. But I think this could become a good test to see how breaks affect sequel series for anime fans right now, considering many anime fans (and JoJo fans) could have already finished this season with subtitles. I doubt there would have been a huge drop off if Attack on Titan Season Two was finished earlier than it was (or If Toonami waited until after the subtitled version finished airing).

But does momentum for a show stop with a break in between? Is it more optimal for shows to play through with no breaks in between? I’d normally not worry about breaks since that’s what Toonami has always done when a new season is made. It’d be nice to have all these seasons of JoJo dubbed and ready to go. But that isn’t always the case, given how long it can take companies to dub a series (not everyone can do what FUNimation does). While “simuldubing” is becoming a thing, it isn’t something that everyone does. Plus, a break in between the season can make the heart grow fonder and the excitement for a series can grow. However, there is always a risk with letting the excitement die down if there is a break after a series gains a lot of attention (but that’s more on when it airs in Japan than anything else). Sometimes it might be just as advantageous to continue making more and more episodes to keep seasons going and not lose any fans that were recently acquired.

For the next few months (and for its entire run), I’ll be keeping my eye on the traditional viewing numbers for Stardust Crusaders. As far as anime goes, it is an immensely recognizable title, and one that many were hoping would air on Toonami. Let’s see if it performs the way that JoJo fans expect it to. It wasn’t as if the franchise took a long break away from the block. I don’t think that has caused any momentum for the franchise to lose its popularity. Many fans couldn’t wait for Stardust Crusaders after that little teaser at the end of Battle Tendency. It’s been requested a ton and it’s time for it to deliver. While JoJo fans are vocal about it, Toonami has given this series a large audience, all who seem to love this series. However, it needs to perform well or there could be some interesting changes with the block down the road.
C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for This was a roundabout way for him to say he’s excited for the changes coming Toonami’s way. Feel free to follow C.J on Twitter to talk all things Toonami @SeaJayMaffris