I still cannot believe how Samurai Jack ended. It felt satisfying to me and is exactly how I wanted things to go (give or take a few details). I was tremendously happy with everyone who worked on this project, and a lot of fans seem to have felt the same. Samurai Jack was able to grab a ton of viewers to Toonami, which leaves nothing but a smile on my face. But since the series is only 10 episodes, it leads me to wonder what will come next. Earlier I wrote about how I think Toonami will relinquish the 11 p.m. time slot simply because I don’t believe anything can do what Samurai Jack was able to accomplish (as of now). However, this has led some to think that Toonami can and will have Samurai Jack stay at 11 p.m. and rerun it. That line of thinking certainly has left a lot of fans feeling mixed.


For me, I don’t see that much harm in replaying Samurai Jack again at 11 p.m. Granted; I would do the presentation and packaging for it to be considered an Adult Swim show instead of part of Toonami. That way Dragon Ball Super would technically be leading the block, even though people will associate replaying Samurai Jack in the context of the block. I do think that has the potential to confuse people, considering it was Toonami that played Samurai Jack first. If it’s replayed at 11 p.m. with different packaging, I’m sure some fans would wonder what was going on at Adult Swim. I just think the separation between Adult Swim and Toonami starting at Dragon Ball Super would be a way to have Samurai Jack rerun and also have Dragon Ball Super as the official kick off to Toonami. I don’t find anything wrong with that, looking back at how reruns of Family Guy were given such praise for being a great lead into the block (which is was). Why not give a shot to Samurai Jack if people like reruns of favorite series? Especially when looking at all the popular series here in the U.S. that have been successful.

The economics of this move would be positive considering this is an Adult Swim original. That means they can play it as many times as they want without having to pay other companies’ royalties. So unlike anime series that Toonami broadcast, what they play here would be entirely free (in the sense of purchasing the rights to air it). That would save money to potentially put into broadcast acquisitions, which would mean more turnaround shows could make their way to Toonami (this is all just speculation, of course). It’s a move that I think would make sense despite all the negatives that are associated with starting a block with a rerun.

I think the fact that Samurai Jack is such a popular title and it being an Adult Swim property is why I’m okay with the decision of rerunning it (if Toonami decides to), but there have been multiple cases where that didn’t work. Toonami has tried rerunning famous and beloved anime series to continue to cash in on the success they had during their original run. Those shows were Attack on Titan (the first season) and Space Dandy. It says something that those two series couldn’t continue to keep viewers engaged. Both have a large fan base and the fact that neither could accomplish the feat that many live action American shows have accomplished leaves me feeling down on the block. It’s unfair that Toonami has to continue to turnaround so many shows, because the way fans consume anime has drastically changed. With how many shows are produced every season, it has left the impression that Toonami should do the same thing. Try as they may, it just isn’t feasible at this time, which is why it’d be nice for them to rerun shows that won’t cost them as much as grabbing a brand new series.

What makes me okay (or more hopeful) that Samurai Jack can perform well at rerunning, is how one other older show seems to be doing on Toonami. I look at what Dragon Ball Z Kai (DBZ Kai) has done since its time on Toonami for starters. While the series is condensed and the voice acting is consistent, this entire series is a rerun and fans are eating it up. Particularly in the Buu Saga, where you’d be hard pressed to find fans who don’t know or haven’t seen this arc. Some will look at it and say that it’s only performing well because it’s part of the Dragon Ball franchise, and people will always flock to that. Why can’t we expect the same thing with Samurai Jack? Isn’t that just as beloved by cartoon fans here? I’d say it is, considering how huge the buzz was when it was first announced.

So maybe I’ve become crazy, because I guarantee if this were any show but Samurai Jack I’d ask Toonami to reconsider because of earlier examples. The worst thing people can do is not learn from mistakes. But with Samurai Jack the hit that it was, why not? It’s not as if Toonami has to sacrifice a lot with it being only 10 episodes. If it falters, it’ll leave the block a lot faster than either Attack on Titan (season one) or Space Dandy.

Then we can look toward to the future if replaying Samurai Jack works out. Not only would the premiere suggest that original content made by Toonami for Toonami would work, but it would also suggest that fans are willing to come back to see these shows over and over if it’s entertaining. If the handling of season five of Samurai Jack were less than stellar, fans would riot (maybe even boycott). Instead, everyone felt as if the wandering samurai never left. Adult Swim deserves a lot of praise for the work they put in to get this series out there and left fans feeling satisfied. That could bring some hope to other original projects like FLCL and possibly more.

I can understand some fans’ reservations when it comes to rerunning a series to start Toonami. It hasn’t worked out as well as everyone involved would have hoped. I do believe Samurai Jack has a shot to break the mold, although it would be a small victory rather than a large one. I don’t think that rerunning Samurai Jack will bring in the traditional viewing numbers fans saw during its premiere run, but who knows what or how it will do if that is, in fact, the move. This franchise is so beloved that I’m sure a lot of fans will come to watch it again and again.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for Toonamifaithful.com. What do you think Toonami should do with the 11 p.m. timeslot? Feel free to discuss all things Toonami with him on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris