Who would have thought that the Intruder II saga could impact Toonami’s numbers all across the board? Oh wait, I did! I was expecting big viewing numbers due to the event premiering this month. While I was overzealous when thinking/predicting about the ratings, they were overall better than what some might of expected. With college football winding down with championship games, I was worried about how long Toonami could hold onto their viewers for the month of Nov. It looks like things turned out better that expected for the action block, as we head to the last month of the year.
Let us begin by looking at the the first show that aired for Toonami in the month of Nov. The shows that kicked off the action block had no less than 1.5 million total viewers. Thanks to every Intruder II episode airing on during first break of the broadcast, many fans stay tune to see what would happen with T.O.M and SARA and the Intruder. However, viewers are not just staying for Dragon Ball Z Kai to see the Intruder II episodes. The whole block has performed well thanks to Intruder II saga. With how suspenseful and captivating this saga has been, fans can’t afford to miss a single second of it. Not only has Intruder trended amazingly on Twitter, but a larger wave of fans seem to stay on Adult Swim for the entire night. No one knows if they are new viewers, old viewers, new to the shows that air on Toonami, or not, but the numbers show that Adult Swim has had a great Nov. It’s not like Dragon Ball Z Kai couldn’t reach those numbers on it’s own, but adding Intruder II certainly hasn’t hurt.
Another huge plus that can be attributed to the Intruder II series has been the social media support with fans. Trending for Toonami has gone up compared to last month. Not only were shows trending well, but even the Twitter page statweestics, tweeted about huge increases of popularity with shows like Akame ga Kill, (three Saturdays) One Piece (three Saturdays), and Michiko and Hatchin (one Saturday). Of course the largest trending topic for Toonami this past month was Intruder II, with it debuting as the number one trend in North America on Nov. 7. For the rest of the month (except for Thanksgiving weekend) it was the second largest trending topic on social media, which is fantastic for the action block’s future. Thanks to the Intruder II saga trending at a high level, it allowed other shows to trend better than they normally do and more often. I mean even characters and Red Alert trended at one point during this past month. Trending received a huge boost overall, and it certainly didn’t hurt Toonami when its latest marathon aired.
So how about the performance Parasyte had on Thanksgiving weekend? This marathon clearly exceeded fans’ expectations with total viewers. It didn’t have just one episode with over a million viewers, it had three! Plus it had a huge audience to start the block at 1.5 million total viewers, which is thanks to the Intruder II episode. Those numbers are typical for DBZ Kai, but it’s the first time a marathon had numbers that closely emulated a normal rundown (not to mention multiple episodes that had over a million viewers). There wasn’t a huge drop off after the first three episodes either. In fact, the night ended splendidly with a grand total of 768,000 total viewers and a 18-49 rating of 471,000. That’s eerily similar to what Kill la Kill has usually had at 3 a.m. Those are powerful numbers for the executives at Toonami, and should be a precursor to more marathons in the future.
This was the most successful marathon to date for Toonami, which shows how impressive Parasyte has performed this year. While it did start off slow when it premiered, the Sentai Filmworks series has quickly become a fan favorite on the block. Thanks to Twitter, I saw many voice actors receiving love for their acting on the show. The fact that it has become so popular means that Toonami can continue to look at Sentai Filmworks for more titles to air (which is awesome in my opinion). Plus this might help shake off the unfair belief that Sentai dubs are inferior to other companies.
— Adam Gibbs (@Adamngibbs) December 6, 2015
I think what was the most exciting aspect this past month, was how much Adult Swim shows dominated the TV viewing numbers on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. On the seventh, Adult Swim had five shows in the top ten when it came to the ratings (which includes DBZ Kai and Akame ga Kill). None of those shows had a lower 18-49 rating than 0.7 that night (which is great to see for any Toonami fan). It’s funny how Toonami Faithful Podcast host Sketch had talked about how important a full hour of Family Guy is for Toonami, compared to just one episode. He was completely right, and was given even stronger evidence to back that claim on the fourteenth. That day in particular was one of Toonami’s strongest when it came to total viewing numbers. No show had less than 900,000 total viewers. Adult Swim had three shows in the top-five of ratings (with DBZ Kai in that ranking). That’s a lot of eyeballs watching the Intruder II Saga and some of the best shows Toonami has to offer. Sure the 18-49 rating was lower on the fourteenth than the seventh, but I do believe that this was Toonami’s best performance of the month.
On that note, it was a rough day of television back on Nov. 21. No show was able to get a higher 18-49 rating of 0.8. The highest rated show was College Gameday (which is the pregame for a whole day of college football games), back at 9 in the morning. Even a rerun of The Big Bang Theory was able to reach the top-four with a 0.8 rating as well. However that didn’t stop Toonami’s fans from watching. It was able to hold its own that day with Kill la Kill ending that night at 707,000 total viewers. That day in particular was just a bad night for television which might of been due to the upcoming holidays and travel arrangements made by millions of people. Luckily Toonami was able to avoid a loss of momentum.
I will say when looking at the numbers on Thanksgiving weekend, I do wish fans could have seen what DBZ Kai could have done on that night. Three college football games were able able to reach a 1.0 rating or higher that night. I’m not delusional to think that DBZ Kai would also reach a 1.0 rating, but stranger things can happen. It does look like many people were at home during the weekend, so many viewers could have tuned into DBZ Kai that night.
As always, DBZ Kai was the top show when it came to total viewers and a stellar 18-49 rating (it has been a numbers juggernaut). However, I will give the nod of the top performer to Parayste this month. It never had a night under a million viewers (even reaching 1,323,000 and a 0.6 rating on Nov.14). What was also nice for Parasyte was how on three out of the four Nov. weekends, it had a 18-49 rating at 0.6 (with the show having a 0.5 rating on Nov. 21). Plus it had the best performing marathon to date for Toonami. To me, that makes Parasyte the show of the month with its strong numbers.
So what do I expect for the month of Dec. as the year ends? I do think Toonami will continue it’s trend upward for the first two weeks of the month. College football will be over by then (only bowl games left), and there will be more holiday specials on television. People enjoy watching holiday specials, I get that, but Toonami for the first two weekends will offer new content which is hard to pass up. I do wonder how well the next two marathons will perform later in Dec. While I don’t think there will be any issues with Toonami recapping Goku vs. Freeza, I’m curious on how One Piece will do with viewers. It’s a polarizing show, and the episodes they will rerun aren’t the most popular amongst fans. However, with Dec. coming I expected ratings and viewers to diminish a little. After all people will be spending more time with their families during this time of the year.
When looking back at the Nov. viewing numbers, this was nothing short of a phenomenal month for Toonami. Huge viewing numbers and a popular marathon has me believing that Toonami is only getting stronger. It looks as if the shows are becoming more popular with viewers, thanks to people staying tuned in after the Intruder II saga. Everything has been trending well for Toonami, which can only strengthen the argument that Toonami deserves more runtime and a larger budget for future shows. Hopefully the numbers can stay strong during a month that is generally harder to sustain than most. Other than that, Toonami’s future is looking brighter!
C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for Toonamifaithful.com. You can expect an overview of the viewing numbers on a monthly basis. Feel free to give C.J a follow on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris