A massive development occurred on Friday with Toonami dropping One Piece from their lineup. Toonami decided to move in another direction by adding the horror/fantasy anime Tokyo Ghoul as its replacement. The move isn’t a bad one, considering how well Tokyo Ghoul fits on the block. However, it certainly is shocking to the fans who expected One Piece to stay on the block longer, considering it’s been on for over three years. Now it looks that those who were championing dropping a long-runner will get their wish, and a shorter series will now take its place.

What makes this move interesting is how popular Tokyo Ghoul is overall. The manga has been on the New York best-selling manga for an entire year (from 2015-2016). In fact Tokyo Ghoul along with One-Punch Man and Attack on Titan have been credited with the manga boom that’s occurred in the U.S. recently. During the peak of its craze, many fans couldn’t wait to have it adapted into an anime. With that happening, I’m sure Toonami fans requested Tokyo Ghoul to air on the block back when it was still held in high regard. So of course, Toonami would look into airing it in the future when the time came to change up the lineup. Earlier in the year, it was in a poll that Jason DeMarco had about shows fans would want on the block. While it didn’t win, there was interest whether you want to admit it or not.

For me, I actually enjoyed Tokyo Ghoul on the fact that I didn’t know what to expect. I never read or heard anything about it (wasn’t into anime back then as I am now), and started to watch to know why so many people were talking about it. I was greatly fascinated by the world that was created by Sui Ishida. The overall plot of the show grabbed me with how an ordinary human (Ken Kaneki) has mutated into a new species of human called ghouls. After that, we follow the life of Kaneki as he tries to figure out how to live a regular life as a ghoul. Surprisingly, both sides live in fear of each other due to the nourishment ghouls need to live (eating humans) and the police task force who handle ghouls (they murder ghouls for the greater good). The series also hits on a few topics such as racism and acceptance that can make viewers think.

I ended up addicted to the action and story that Tokyo Ghoul had. The fights involving ghouls were fun, and the drama that Kaneki and other ghouls faced made me binge more episodes than I planned too. The music, at points, significantly enhanced the overall production. Plus, there were a ton of cool characters I liked. I especially enjoyed the mask designs ghouls wore at night (they looked awesome). More to that, I loved how the police would nickname ghouls sometimes solely based on the mask they wore. After finishing the 24 episodes I felt satisfied to a point but wanted to know how the story continued. Which in turn, made me invest in the manga. It was after that where I started to notice the issues that many others knew before I did.

We can start with the fact that the popularity of the anime isn’t anywhere close to what it was. The first season might have been decent for fans, but it wasn’t perfect. Some arcs were out of order, but the overall story in the first season stayed the same, albeit a bit rushed. It would have been nice if Studio Pierrot had a more faithful adaptation, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Then the cliffhanger at the end of season one aired and fans were upset at the decision to finish the season like that. They would have to wait around five months before the next installment aired, which probably didn’t help things. Normally getting another season wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world, but things got a little strange in the next installment.

In the second season, the anime moves away from the source material. Usually, that would make a lot of fans angry, but Sui Ishida (the creator) was credited with creating the original story of season two. Meaning that it came from the mind of the original author, which could be a good thing. But because it goes in a different direction of the manga can put off die-hard fans of Tokyo Ghoul. I was all for it, considering it came from the mind of the creator and without reading the manga it was my first exposure to the franchise. So before I read the manga I was fine with the changes (considering I didn’t look up much). Later on after I started reading Tokyo Ghoul, it became one of those cases where reading something might be better than watching it. The manga for Tokyo Ghoul has been such a pleasant trip that ultimately separates me from the rest of the world. You become engrossed with it and seeing how the second season isn’t faithful to the manga is a downer. These turn of events are probably why many fans aren’t thrilled with Toonami’s new arrival.

Add on to the fact that now Tokyo Ghoul has become the newest Attack on Titan (with how long it has taken for a new season if one will ever be produced). Even with the second season going in a different direction, many fans wanted more Tokyo Ghoul. A third season has been rumored for so long, with fans predicting when or if it would happen. VIZ Media even gave fans a scare when Kevin Hamric (VIZ Media Senior Director) misspoke about a new season of Tokyo Ghoul (when My Hero Academia was what he meant to say). With this long wait, not just for season three but having it on television, the hype isn’t what it once was or gone altogether.

However, I do think the vitriol toward Tokyo Ghoul has to do with One Piece being replaced by it. One Piece is one of the best shōnen anime on the planet and losing it isn’t something fans wanted to have happened. It’s ridiculously beloved by Japan as well as fans here in the U.S. It sucks that such a staple will go away after being on for such a long time. I’m not going to get into much detail as to why this happened to One Piece or who to blame (article for a later date), but One Piece fans are allowed to be devastated. It’s such a fun story, and not being able to see it on Saturday’s anymore is saddening.

Toonami made a difficult decision, but one that had to be done. A long-runner has been cut, and now a new slot is available for Tokyo Ghoul to take over. I know some fans would have preferred a few other shows to take One Piece’s place. Maybe shows like Mob Psycho 100, Lupin the Third Part IV, Psycho-Pass would’ve been nice. But now, any number of shows can take over after Tokyo Ghoul finishes its run instead of waiting for One Piece to end. I certainly don’t want Tokyo Ghoul to fail due to fans feeling jaded on the switch, because that could hurt Toonami down the road. It’s not as if this series is the worst thing ever to air on the block either. Tokyo Ghoul has everything Toonami fans want, and hopefully, fans see its charms the way I did back before I read the manga. If you only plan to watch the anime, you are in for an interesting ride.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for He looks forward to seeing how fans react toward Tokyo Ghoul when it airs on Toonami. You can follow C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris