It’s very easy to cast judgment from the outside, especially when talking about Toonami. Fans aren’t given a full picture (with good reason), and many try to make sense out of every change the block goes through. Consider the placement of Black Clover into the block with My Hero Academia, set to join this Saturday. There are those who view all the drastic changes and suggest that the show isn’t resonating with fans, or that those who work on Toonami aren’t happy with it (which could be the case). However, another sentiment of fans, using the word “mistreatment,” has popped up with these recent changes. It’s a word that seems to be used whenever a show is moved down or placed into a later time slot, with a long list of examples (Hunter x Hunter, One Piece, Outlaw Star to name a few). But I believe those who think Toonami mistreat shows are missing the overall point and not using the correct word when it comes to the more recent example of Black Clover.

I ask, what is a huge goal for any anime series or licensing company? It’s to air on Toonami, or at least be given a chance to be showcased to a national audience. Toonami has the means to accomplish that. So they’ll listen to all the pitches, whether it be from fans or industry people alike, to try and figure out what makes sense for the block and if the show that is being pitched is available. Then when a show checks all the boxes and airs on Toonami, it has reached the top of what they want regarding a potential audience. Not only is “show x” getting a streaming audience, but also a television one, too. A show getting on the block is the equivalent of winning a championship title, and as long as it continues to air on Toonami, it will continue to win. Sure, it’d be great if a show airing on Toonami would become the blockbuster hit that it used to mean, back when it aired during its Cartoon Network days, but that isn’t how things work for anime anymore. There are a ton of streaming services, giving anime fans all they could ask for, which means that the exposure that shows get is far-reaching. Besides tuning into Toonami every Saturday, fans can stream on Crunchyroll on Wednesday, or check out what’s on HiDive on a Friday. So given the fact that a show on Toonami has two large audiences (streaming and television), how could they “mistreat” a show?

In the case of Black Clover, will it be taken off the block before the series ends? That would count as mistreatment and would lead to questions such as “if you weren’t going to play the whole thing, why get it?” But that’s the only way for Toonami to mistreat a show. That won’t be the case for Black Clover. Yes, it has been moved around a bit and landed at 1:30 a.m., which is a lot later than where it started. However, the word that would make more sense in this situation would be “inconvenience,” and that says more about the fans’ attitude about staying up later. Some fans can’t stay up late to live-tweet, which is fine (heck, even Dallas Reid, the voice of Asta, can’t stay up that late). So if moving around later and later is inconvenient, it certainly isn’t a death sentence like some want to make it out to be. It’s not as if dub premieres are rare at 1:30 a.m. Maybe Toonami isn’t happy with where Black Clover is going, or it isn’t getting the return they were hoping, but that’s a much different conversation than saying that Toonami is mistreating “show X.”

Many fans have ideas for how Toonami could do more or “perform better” to help out shows more than what they are doing now. Fans are always chiming in about all kinds of things, such as arc promos for longer shows, more publicity/advertising, etc. to help every show regain some ideal glory that fans had in mind. I’d argue that arc promos don’t move the needle when it comes to viewers and creates more work and stress for the Toonami crew. I don’t need one for every show (and personally any show), but with the topicals we do get, I feel that’s enough. Toonami can only do so much, and the demands from those sitting on the outside have gotten to ridiculous levels (to which fans are sounding like spoiled brats).

As a Black Clover fan, I’m okay with the move. It’d make better sense to me if My Hero Academia was at midnight instead of FLCL, just because it would then be two hours straight of Weekly Shonen Jump titles, which would feel like it flows naturally. But I don’t mind the later start time for Black Clover, only because it will still be on the block. If you can’t continue to watch it merely because it’s on later, I’d suggest looking into a DVR or streaming it on FUNimationNow. A later time slot doesn’t all of a sudden make the show unwatchable to fans. If you are a fan and want to continue watching it on Toonami, you’ll do it. Plain and simple.

It’s funny, because it’s the same conversation I’ve had with Hunter x Hunter fans back when that show was getting moved around. It’s the same conversation I’ve heard when One Piece was moving down. It won’t change. A part of that is because of how the model worked in the past, where traditional ratings were the only metric used in qualifying whether a television series was performing well. If this were five years ago, ten years ago, 15 years ago, then this conversation would be a lot different. Shows being pushed down would ultimately mean that they weren’t performing well, and the shakeup meant fans of a show should be worried. Just like it was for Yu Yu Hakusho fans when that show was pushed down to some very odd times. That’s not the case now, and even if it was, Jason DeMarco has been more than transparent when it comes to the fate of shows on his block. Because of how low the traditional ratings are for Black Clover (and a lot of Toonami shows in general compared to years past) many will equate it to Toonami being unhappy with the title and moving it down to bury it. That’s not the case! We only get a few pieces of the overall picture when it comes to ratings. I work at a television news station. Believe me when I say that there is more than just the ratings that websites report on to evaluate if a show is doing well or not (and there are probably a ton of other factors that I’m not aware of, considering entertainment television is much different from news).

So why do fans seem to throw around the word “mistreatment” regarding when Toonami ultimately decides to air a series? The best answer I can think of is how much ego fans have about their favorite shows. What many fans have trouble doing (myself included) is realizing that a show they may think is the greatest thing ever might not be as popular as you want. Toonami caters to a wide audience and not just one person. So if they decide to place a show at 2:30 a.m., they believe that is the best spot for it. While there might be some who are outraged, and believe that fans need to open their eyes to how great “show X” is, they might need to look at themselves in the mirror. Just realize that not everyone will think the show you find to be the greatest is just that. In fact, you might be in the minority with that line of thinking. That doesn’t mean you have awful taste in anime, but that may not determine where a show might be placed in the lineup. Toonami believes My Hero Academia and FLCL are going to be huge hits, so they’ll air earlier. Toonami felt that 1:30 a.m. is the better place for Black Clover with those new shows coming. I have to believe that these people (who have been doing this for decades) know what they are doing. Doesn’t mean we can’t question some things (for a healthy debate), but the constant questioning can be a little annoying.

For me to believe that Toonami is mistreating a show, they would have to take the series down without any warning before it’s finished its run. That’s pretty much it, but for most of the anime that is currently airing on Toonami, they already have a decent audience, thanks to either the manga, streaming, or anything else you can come up with. If this were years past, when traditional ratings were the only way to quantify television performance, then my tone would be much different from what it is now. But there are a ton of outlets to see a show that doesn’t involve Toonami. Simply moving something doesn’t constitute mistreatment, and I think that word is floating around a little too casually lately and it needs to stop.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for He does NOT believe your favorite show sucks. Feel free to follow C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris