A new year means a whole new Toonami, and already some changes have been made to the action block. It looks like Toonami will open with the same dialogue they previously recorded, and so the “now, next, later” bumps are gone. Again these are little nuances that aren’t what made the block successful. But they were small things that felt and looked cool to their fans. I didn’t think it was a huge deal with them gone, but last Saturday I noticed quite a bit of chatter from fans saying they will miss those bumps. They are even going to Jason DeMarco’s page asking about them. Toonami is always changing, and so some will feel sad about these things leaving the block for good (me being one of them).

The “now, next, later” bumps were very useful back in the days when people relied on a guide book to tell them what was going to be on television. The old TV Guide channel and books weren’t exactly the most reliable, and so Toonami made these bumps making sure fans knew what show was coming up. Plus they had a bit of fun with them by making them more interactive than just a graphic telling people what was on the schedule. It let the people at Toonami be creative with these quick ten-second bumps,  choosing a cool looking still picture, and then having one of them turn into a small clip. Very fresh and fun for all viewers. Not to mention it was a lot better than what other channels did. I’m still haunted by the “coming up next” lower-thirds that the Syfy channel had during Rave Master (nearly 1/3 of the screen was blocked). So it was a fun, creative, and more efficient way to tell fans what to expect.

They certainly looked fun to make, as evidenced by some videos made by Caboose Jr. While I’m sure they could cause headaches and take a while to produce, the finished product certainly looks rewarding when they’re done, and done right. Plus, adding the right music would make it feel like the viewer was getting some extra content courtesy of Toonami, which is always appreciated.

However, these bumps weren’t needed anymore, due to how no one should be confused on what is being played on TV now. Guides have evolved and become more reliable. They are usually accurate on what’s being broadcast and shouldn’t cause any mixups. So Toonami apparently believes that it would serve them better to save time, and money, by doing away with them. Instead of worrying about the “now, next, later” bumps, editors at Toonami can create bigger and better promos for the action block, as well as new shows that will be coming to the block. So while I will miss them, I can understand the line of thinking Toonami made to come to this conclusion.

Another interesting change with Toonami was how the intro was the same as it was last week when T.O.M and SARA moved to Shogo 162. It looks as if that will be the case for the foreseeable future according to Jason DeMarco. He stated that those intros were a lot of work with “very little payoff“, so new banter is a thing of the past. So once again Toonami changes a little thing from the action block.

These intros are also something I will greatly miss, because it did feel like T.O.M and SARA were watching Toonami with us. I enjoyed listening to the new dialogue every Saturday, as you never really knew what was going to be said next. I greatly enjoyed some of the shout-outs and funny little sayings that fans were able to hear. I’m sure the “I’m about to kill a bitch” would have been perfect for the two hosts to repeat during those few seconds to start the block. But I understand the statement Toonami is making. It still amazes me how much one little scene can take up so much time and effort to create. I can imagine how creating one of these segments every week can be annoying, in that it consumes valuable time for the staff. So now the crew can work more on promos and bumps, which we all know and love.

There is some good news despite these changes, however. Steve Blum and Dana Swanson will have more time to work on other projects, rather than constantly having to record a little conversation every Saturday. Like I said, I will miss it. But I would easily trade away these segments if it means fans get to hear Blum and Swanson in more things (anime, cartoons, etc.). Both of them deserve more roles and publicity, considering the work that both have put in to breathe life into two characters Toonami fans cannot live without (as Intruder II showed). So I am perfectly fine with Toonami trying to save time for everyone. It makes sense, and it helps move the action block in a more positive direction.

Let me add that I didn’t think there was any outrage over these changes. These things aren’t necessary for Toonami to continue to air. However, I’m sure the longtime “faithfuls” out there will miss these things due to nostalgia. I can remember the “now, next, later” bumps since the beginning, and they were always fun to watch, even if it was only for a few seconds. People can feel nervous and uneasy about change. It’s okay to reminisce about the old things that the action block use to do, just as long as it’s in a positive tone of voice, and not just yelling about how it should be brought back. They were fun little trinkets for fans, and now that they are gone, people should remember them fondly.

Ever since Intruder II, it looks like Toonami is still changing more than just its lineup. Taking away little bumps and keeping the same introduction, to go along with a brand new base of operations. I’m all for saving time because that could mean more music videos and sweeter promos. Who wouldn’t be a fan of Toonami playing more promos? Those will always be one of my favorite things the staff produces for the fans (you know, besides the shows they play). I am surprised at how many people did react to this change, but it just goes to show how strongly fans love this block. Toonami is something special, so even when a minute change is made, fans will notice. Goes to show how great their fans can be!

CJ Maffris is an editorial writer for He did enjoy those short bumps before. Feel free to bring up some of your favorite bumps to C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris