There are a few buzz words that people usually try to steer clear of when talking about anime. There’s the term “filler arc” and, of course, “hiatus,” which often brings pain and misery to its fandom. Yet there is another word that can give off the same kind of vibe to otakus, even though it’s not meant to be used in a negative way. That word is “hype”, and it’s a word that can be disastrous to a franchise’s reputation (at least in some fans’ minds). Hype has been attached to many popular series over the years, most recently including My Hero Academia, Tokyo Ghoul, and Attack on Titan. They “blow up” with their manga and imply that potential greatness could be in store for the series. This is all too common. Right now it’s One-Punch Man’s turn to try and make Toonami even stronger, with Jojo joining in on the action later this year. Last weekend, One-Punch Man was handed the torch to try and match the massive amount of hype it has received since it first aired in Japan on the action block. While it didn’t produce a new high in total viewers, it did a solid job in building interest and attention to Toonami, which is what anyone would hope for if you are a fan of the block.

What I find amusing is how every big series eventually gets hyped. If a manga shoots up in popularity and sales, the hype soon follows (and this also happens in reverse, when an anime boosts the sales of the manga, also making it more marketable like Overlord and School-Live!). Then an anime adaptation is produced, due to the growing popularity of the books, which is then simulcast by Crunchyroll, FUNimation, etc. (which I’m sure spends a fortune to procure). It can be a vicious circle, especially when a show doesn’t live up to the hype that it has received from its hardcore fans. So while some might call “hype” a kiss of death of sorts, I think the real issue is more about how much a series is talked about by its fans as being one of the best series available; One-Punch Man and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JJBA) included.

By now, some might wonder why does hype have a negative connotation among otakus or casual fans? Wouldn’t all franchises want that type of attention to help potentially bolster sales and popularity? Of course they do, because if a show receives little to no buzz, then potential dollars could be lost. However, the negative that comes with hype results when people pump up a show to make it sound like the greatest thing ever and then it falls flat. As a result, casual viewers begin to believe in it and expect the show to blow their minds, when in retrospect it might not be all that they expected. Thus they become agitated and disappointed. Instead of casual viewers (or someone who just missed the show) discovering it organically and watching with a blank slate, it gets corrupted by the hype, making it seem more like a disappointment. Everyone has different tastes and a great show to some could be considered garbage to others. It doesn’t make either side right or wrong, as everyone has their own valid opinion on why they like a show or not.

Believe it or not, not everyone is in love with Madhouse’s One-Punch Man. I’ve seen quite a few fans take to to call out Jason DeMarco for choosing the anime in the first place. Some might not like the humor the author ONE has, or the think that Saitama is too powerful, since he beats every opponent with one punch. Anyone can find some fault in a show that is popular. There will always be something that fans don’t like about any series, and none of them will have an approval rate of 100 percent.

(The same can also be said for JJBA).

Regarding One-Punch Man and JJBA, you’d be kidding yourself if you believed that either show wasn’t hyped up after it was announced that both would air on Toonami. Both have been requested over and over again, and both seemed to be favorites with the staff at AS. Once One-Punch Man and the first two seasons of JJBA ended (in Japan), the noise became even louder to get it on the block. Both are huge favorites among the anime community, and both received rave reviews from a ton of different writers. So in turn, this lead to fans hyping both up to be the “saviors of anime.” Now I won’t call either of them the savior of anything, but they certainly did enough for me to become more excited about the block and its upcoming future. Given how well One-Punch Man trended on social media, it made even more of an impact on me, and I believe that this series can grow an even larger fandom.

Plus, kudos to VIZ Media for picking up the rights to both of these high profile shows. Obviously the company believes in the hype, (they also picked up the manga rights), but VIZ Media is also banking on One-Punch Man living up to its hype, and they have a load of merchandise they plan to make and distribute. For many franchises, you should be able to find merchandise like shirts, pins, and stickers. But it appears that there won’t be a product that One-Punch Man won’t find itself in on. VIZ Media wouldn’t be doing this if they believed they had a dud of a series. The company believes in the rave reviews it’s received from places like ANN, IGN, and Crunchyroll, and they believe their fans will crave more of it (I’ve seen many wishes for a second season already). There’s nothing wrong with Toonami trying to pick up some steam thanks to the hype of this particular series.

Toonami will typically fall behind the initial hype of a new series, as it is made available to hardcore anime fans on streaming websites an hour after it airs in Japan. Toonami broadcasts English dub premieres (to a broad audience which can create even more hype), but rarely does the block get to cash in on a series’ initial hype unless it gets the chance to have another world premiere, like Space Dandy as a recent example. So for Toonami, it’s the otaku fans of the block who might over-hype a series when it’s announced that it will be available at a later date. But it seems that almost every series joining Toonami has some level of hype, which is why many fans could become skeptical about any new show that joins the block.

I don’t believe hype is in itself a bad thing, because without it, not everyone would discover the shows that are worth watching. While word of mouth isn’t always the most reliable type of review (and something I try to stay away from doing), it isn’t the worst thing in the world if a series is receiving a significant amount of it. Everyone has different tastes, so it might be better just to watch and see for yourself if the show is worth the investment, instead of being discouraged due to the hype (or vice-versa). Fans don’t want to be disappointed, and only a few shows live up the pedestal that some hardcore fans have placed it on. Now it seems that if any show has substantial momentum, people become more skeptical and have a preconceived notion that the series isn’t all that. I’m sure many feel that way about One-Punch Man and JJBA, which is fine. But let’s not go crazy and think that every time a show gets hyped that we have to tear it down.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for He will admit he can get sucked into a shows’ hype from time to time. Feel free to discuss any show you think are very popular that would be great for Toonami on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris.