The Toonami news that grabbed fans’ attention was that Black Clover would be joining the lineup Dec. 2. The reaction from most fans about another show being added to Toonami’s arsenal is to be expected, considering it’s a new show that is polarizing. But something that is equally as important that occurred with this recent acquisition is the fact that Toonami is expanding, yet again. While I wouldn’t say this piece of news was glossed over, I’m not sure fans are as excited about that prospect as they are about the new show. I look at this recent expansion as just another example of Toonami growing and becoming even more popular with potential viewers.
— Toonami News (@ToonamiNews) November 17, 2017
Instead of 11 p.m., Toonami will now begin its broadcast at 10:30 p.m., with Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Z Kai (DBZ Kai) moving up a half an hour earlier. Black Clover (Toonami’s newest show) then settles in at 11:30 p.m.and the rest of the schedule stays the same, making the block now a five and a half hour event. That should make fans feel great as favorites like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders (Stardust Crusaders) and Hunter x Hunter won’t suffer a later time slot and Toonami will end at the same time that it has been for a while. Instead of things shifting around and potentially confusing fans as to when their favorite shows will air, the schedule stays as is. So for some fans, it won’t feel as if a show is getting buried with the new series that joins the lineup. Fans may get upset having to wait longer to see their favorite show, so the fact that everything can stay the same or air earlier (Dragon Ball Super and DBZ Kai) makes this latest change a massive win for everyone. Even for a couple of weeks when the schedule changes, it could hurt other shows where fans might think that a later series was relinquished. As of now, that shouldn’t be an issue.
To be honest, I didn’t think this iteration of Toonami would ever see anything past 11:30 p.m. I wasn’t sure if the shows on the block would warrant enough weight to start earlier (and this was before Attack on Titan Season Two was a real thing). It’s been something that fans of the block have wanted for a while in an earlier start time. I’m right there, I’ve also wanted Toonami to air earlier, due to how I view television. The earlier something is on, the more there’s significant potential for people to see it. The fact that Toonami continues to bring in big shows that are popular, create Immersion events for the hardcore fans, and still have clout with distributing companies like VIZ Media and FUNimation makes the continual expansion viable and exciting. It’s something that fans have wanted for a long time (the block starting earlier), and I’m sure the people at Toonami feel the same way. Plus, Toonami is inching closer and closer to where it was when it was airing shows for six and half hours (back when Space Dandy made its world premiere). Returning to that amount of some of the best action cartoons is a welcomed sight, and is a far cry from all the doomsday talk you hear when Toonami is brought up.
It’s amazing how little fans on the outside know about the block (which includes myself). While I wasn’t someone who worried about the ratings consistently, I am shocked that even more expansion was planned after securing the 11 o’clock time slot. Sure, the traditional numbers have gone down from previous years. But as it seems to be, it was never something to be devastated about week after week. Fans want ratings to be at an all-time high, and I get that. But clearly, Toonami was doing fine and had plans to make things even more enjoyable for fans. Personally, I view those numbers as arbitrary, considering how much the entertainment landscape has changed, and I think Toonami feels the same way. They get all the information about how their block is doing and will act accordingly (just look at how they decided to move on from One Piece). Things seem to be going well, and Toonami plans to stick around for a lot longer than we may have thought.
Toonami got advanced plans like they Marvel Studios pic.twitter.com/tq3IH17I0b
— Sketch (@Sketch1984) November 18, 2017
I think this can lead to Toonami taking over the full 10 o’clock hour, which would be a huge move. Adult Swim is already making the Toonami showing of Dragon Ball Super the premiere (instead of a rerun). That would bring the total runtime of the block to six hours, and I think that’s about as strong as the block can get (I could be wrong though). That doesn’t mean they have to keep expanding to an earlier time, but I do think that move (if made) would be beneficial.
Tonight at 10:30 PM is the only time you can see #DragonBallSuper. There is no more 8 PM/8:30 PM showing so please spread the word about this as well. Here's what's happening tonight on an all new episode of Dragon Ball Super: pic.twitter.com/5yFXFYnNUX
— Toonami News (@ToonamiNews) December 2, 2017
But if the block did expand to an earlier time it means that there can be even more shows to speculate about whether they could air. That to me is one of the more exciting parts about Toonami. It’s excellent what the block is offering, but as soon as we get close to a show ending, I love the hot stove talk fans get into about what could join. Not only can it be a fun discussion but it could give Toonami some ideas about what they might want to look into. Adding more time slots would mean that there would be more diversity in the type of action shows on the block. There are only so many shōnen series, and Toonami would have to take a look at other series that fit the bill of what they stand for.
I’m pleased that Toonami will be airing at an earlier time (despite how I’ll miss a lot of it due to my work schedule). But I do think fans would prefer to have Toonami start as early as possible. I see in comments all the time about how fans would love for Toonami to start around 8-9 p.m. which I can’t see happening. However, I didn’t think the block would start as early as it is now, so anything is possible. The expansion is exciting and one that should make fans feel optimistic. Toonami isn’t going anywhere, and it’s airing for a longer amount time (that hasn’t been seen since Jan. 31, 2015)! Fans should rejoice and continue to support the block so it can grow to even larger heights.
C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for Toonamifaithful.com. Feel free to follow C.J on Twitter to talk all things anime and Toonami @SeaJayMaffris