Welcome back to another installment of This Week From Toonami, your weekly round-up of everything Toonami-related that happened within the past week! Check out the news below to see what you may have missed, as well as highlights from this week’s Toonami and projects from our staff.
Toonami published a new promo video for the Friday Blade Runner event taking over Adult Swim. This Black Friday, fans will get the chance to see Blade Runner Black Out 2022, Blade Runner 2049, and the first three episodes of Blade Runner Black Lotus. The promo video is what you’d expect to come from Toonami and should have fans excited for the rare extra day showing for the block!
With the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop finally out, the title continues to stay in the hearts and minds of anime fans even after it debuted in the U.S. in 2001. Entertainment Weekly wrote an editorial about how it became an all-time classic for the medium with a lot of attention on the property as of late. In it, writer Tyler Aquilina was able to speak with Toonami’s Jason DeMarco about the process of Cartoon Network licensing the property and how DeMarco knew from the opening scene of episode one that this show was a perfect fit for Adult Swim. It’s a fascinating piece that not only offers a window into how Cowboy Bebop came to U.S. airwaves but also how it impacted the anime industry at large and continues to do so to this day.
Netflix shared a behind-the-scenes video for the newly release live-action Cowboy Bebop series talking about Yoko Kanno composing score for the new show. Cast and crew cannot rave about Kanno enough as her music continues to inspire fans worldwide and continue to sound as amazing as it did when the original anime debuted. Kanno is a musical genius, and this interview is something that every Cowboy Bebop fan needs to see right now!
TMS Entertainment will stream the dub for Lupin The Third, Part 1 on their official YouTube page on Nov. 21 at noon EST, hosted by the casting director, ADR director, ADR scriptwriter, and voice actor Richard Epcar, who plays Daisuke Jigen in several dubbed Lupin releases. Plus, fans at Anime NYC were treated to the world premiere of Lupin the Third: Prison of the Past dubbed in English for the first time. Several Lupin cast members like Epcar, Tony Oliver (Lupin), Michelle Ruff (Fujiko), and Lex Lang (Goemon) attended the premiere as well. At this time, there is no word of when or if the animated special will be available to stream or on home video.
And that wasn’t the only thing Toonami fans might find interesting at Anime NYC. A special live My Hero Academia concert also took place at the convention to celebrate the release of the latest film, World Heroes’ Mission. FUNimation descibed the concert as such:
A rock band-orchestra combo will perform all-new arrangements of Yuki Hayashi’s iconic soundtrack, including “You Say Run,” “I Am Here!!” (ALL MIGHT’s theme), “Hero Too,” “HERO A” and many more!
At this time, there is no indication whether or not a recording of the concert will be released.
Attack on Titan is back in the news, but this time because of scandal. A news blast from the official Japanese website for the popular manga and anime series announced that pre-orders for official reproductions of Eldian armbands would open on Nov. 15, retailing for roughly $55 each. However, after intense negative feedback, the sale and production of the replica Eldian armbands have been halted and discontinued. An official statement from the production committee was published on the Attack On Titan official website and social media. For those unfamiliar, the armbands worn by characters in Titan‘s final season are based on the very real law of Jewish people having to identify themselves using a yellow badge under Nazi rule in the 1930s and 1940s. The clear inspiration of Nazism and the Holocaust in Attack On Titan has been discussed before by our staff in articles and on the Toonami Faithful Podcast. Ultimately, the decision to make these armbands into merchandise is painfully ignorant at best and perpetuates hateful practices and philosophies at worst. While the final season will debut in January 2022 and stream on Crunchyroll and FUNimation, it adds another dark cloud on the property that many have loved over the years.
As fans celebrate One Piece reaching 1000 episodes, fans were surprised to learn that One Piece Film Red was announced! Goro Taniguchi will direct the project and is joined by Tsutomu Kuroiwa, who is writing the screenplay, and One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda will serve as executive producer. The film will debut in Japan on Aug. 6, 2022. It’s another film installment of the legendary property and one that might make some waves in the box office, much like Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia has with their latest movies.
The opening theme for the Demon Slayer: Mugen Train arc, “Akeboshi” by LiSA was named one of the songs of the year at the 63rd Annual Japan Records Awards! “Akeboshi” was the most downloaded song by a female artist in its first week after release, having been downloaded over 70,000 times. Plus, a new character was announced for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles. In the game’s second free update, the characters Yahaba and Susamaru will join the roster as playable characters. The title seems to be performing well, and getting more characters to play should be a welcome treat for those enjoying the game! And if you ever wanted to fly in Demon Slayer style, you’re in luck. All Nippon Airways announced the collaboration with the popular anime. The airline will have Demon Slayer items for domestic in-flight service starting from Dec. 1. This collaboration and service is only available for domestic flights within Japan.
How much of a fan you were of SSSS.GRIDMAN? Well, we at Toonami Faithful sure are, and a fan of gacha games. No, there isn’t a SSSS.GRIDMAN gacha game on the way, necessarily. However, the series (as well as the continuation SSSS.DYNAZENON) are joining the hit game Azur Lane. No, we aren’t kidding. In a collaboration that both CJ and former staff writer Alien Renegade are shouting about, the tokusatsu-based series will be joining ship girls in the popular mobile game! At this time, the collaboration is exclusive to the Japanese version of the game. Also, Editor Junichi Tamada posted on Twitter that the SSSS.GRIDMAN manga will end in two chapters. As they say, all good things must come to an end, and this series is no exception.
Elle wakes up after fans believed she was killed and finds herself back in Joseph’s apartment after being rescued in Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Elle asks Joseph if she’s a Replicant since Senator Bannister accused her of being one before she murdered him. When Joseph can’t find a serial number on Elle’s person, he concludes that she is human after all. However, he offers Elle the opportunity to take the Voight-Kampff test, initially designed for use by LAPD officers in 2019, to determine whether or not someone was a Replicant. Meanwhile, Officer Alani Davis is searching for clues about Elle’s whereabouts. First, Davis confronts the gang whose boss Elle killed, and then she finds Doc Badger and questions him. Doc can throw Davis off Elle’s trail, but he may not be able to do so for very long. In Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha come face to face with Kirinmaru, the man they are destined to destroy according to the prophecy shared by the Tree of Ages. He challenges the princesses to a fight, but they are quickly overwhelmed by the strength of his pure demon power. Suddenly, Sesshomaru appears and stops Kirinmaru from attacking the girls while they’re unconscious. After Kirinmaru leaves, Sesshomaru decides it’s time for him to depart as well, despite his daughters lying before him.
Later, Setsuna and Moroha are roped into a special tournament that pits demon slayers against demon bounty hunters organized by Princess Aiya. The prize: a guaranteed contract to serve her father, the deputy shogunate. At first, Hisui is hesitant to accept the challenge for his clan, but when he realizes the financial relief the contract will provide for his uncle Kohaku, he agrees to the princess’ request. Moroha is recruited for the bounty hunter team by Corpse Dealer Jyubei, who will take her winnings as payment for her debts. Both girls agree to keep the match a secret from Towa until she stumbles upon their fight after Hisui injures Moroha using Hiraikotsu. At first, Towa is angry until she realizes that her cousin is still in one piece and that the battle was for entertainment’s sake. Kohaku arrives at the castle, and he tells the competitors that the entire tournament is a farce. After being reprimanded by her father, Aiya reveals that she wanted revenge on Moroha because she and the twins inadvertently dirtied her kimono on the night they escaped from her father’s residence. Less than ten minutes remain in the final round of the regimental food war in Food Wars! The Fourth Plate, as Soma challenges Erina to figure out what her specialty dish may be. At first, Erina is shocked when he challenges her to a food war in the middle of their bout against Tsukasa and Rindo, but she quickly realizes that he is pushing her beyond her limits as a chef, thus resulting in her best performance. At first, Azami refuses to taste her dish because of its lack of gourmet sensibilities, but after Rindo and Tsukasa give the meal a rave review, he is forced to taste it himself. He tries to resist the power of the flavors and textures within the dish, but the mighty waves of his Endowment ability are too strong to hold back, and his clothes burst from his body.
Fena and her companions stop at the free city of Bar-Baral to gather supplies for their journey in Fena: Pirate Princess. Tsubaki, Karin, Shitan, and Makaba (reluctantly) go looking for medical supplies while Enju, Kaede, and Fena gather provisions. Meanwhile, Yukimaru is left to watch the ship with Brule. The twins take Fena shopping for new clothes, and along the way, she finds a clear stone in a shop that looks just like the one given to her by Yukihisa. After successfully haggling for the stone, Fena and the twins run into the nobleman who attempted to purchase Fena as a slave and is hell-bent on taking her back. They try to escape, but the Rumble Rose pirates with him prove to be formidable opponents. Suddenly, Yukimaru appears to rescue Fena while the twins hold off their assailants. In Naruto: Shippuden, Madara, and Obito take control of the newly summoned Ten-Tails. Kurama comes up with a plan to attack, which involves warping B to the beast’s eye using Kamui’s Dimension. However, the attack doesn’t even phase Ten-Tails, and B and Naruto must revert from beast modes to replenish their chakra. While Naruto uses his shadow clones to hold off Obito, the Shinobi Alliance arrives. Naruto claims that the combined technique of him and his friends is more potent than Infinite Tsukuyomi. The Alliance uses Shikaku’s strategy for sealing the Ten-Tails by blinding it and then sinking it into the ground and sealing it there. The Shinobi Alliance believes they now have the upper hand until the Ten-Tails begins to change.
Senku and Tsukasa face off in Dr. Stone in a battle that will decide once and for all whether the strength of science will reign supreme in the Stone World. Senku’s friends use the techniques they’ve learned to hold back Hyoga’s and Tsukasa’s attacks, but the two men prove to be a formidable enemy to beat. Meanwhile, Senku, Gen, and Chrome manage to craft enough nitroglycerin to send across the battlefield on paper airplanes. Ukyo also joins the battle with arrows dipped in nitroglycerin. Realizing that they cannot compete with the explosive power of nitroglycerin, Tsukasa’s army surrenders. Negotiations open between Senku and Tsukasa, where it is revealed that everything Tsukasa had done until now was for his sister’s sake. She was declared brain dead when he was a young boy, as he desperately searched for something that could heal her. Ultimately, Tsukasa decides to join forces with Senku to use the revival fluid to recover his sister. The tournament for the Super Dragon Balls begins in Dragon Ball Super, starting with a match between Botamo and Goku. Despite Krillin’s warning, Goku is over-confident and thinks he has won after blasting Botamo with Kamehameha. But when Botamo emerges from the smoke unharmed, Goku goes on the offensive. Jaco notes that Botamo is sending the energy from Goku’s punches into another dimension, which is why the Saiyan cannot inflict damage. Vegeta yells for Goku to use his head, which the Saiyan takes literally and head-butts his opponent. After knocking Botamo to the ground, Goku grabs him by his feet, drags him to the edge of the ring, and throws him out of bounds. Champa tantrums and accuses Goku of cheating, but Vados reminds him that they still have other fighters in the game. The next fighter, Frost, enters the ring and introduces himself to Goku. As the next match ensues, Goku encourages Frost to transform into his final form, and he unknowingly reveals Frost’s plan to build up his energy to do just that gradually. The referee says that Frost is not only polite, but he is also a peaceful individual in Universe 6 who has been awarded the National Peace Prize three times. Goku goes Super Saiyan, and Frost transforms into his final form even though he is uncertain that he can control his energy at the level for an extended time. Goku’s strength outclasses Frost, suggesting that Frost surrenders because he doesn’t want to beat him up. Suddenly, he begins to tire quickly and starts panting. Frost lands a blow on Goku, knocking him out of the ring and winning the match.
This week, a fan named VOLTA animated a YouTube opening for Bebop_YT for the content creator’s YouTube and Twitch page. It’s a short little project that the all-time classic Cowboy Bebop inspires. We cannot say enough how impressive this animation is and nails the tone that Cowboy Bebop is known for having. There could be more animated shorts done by VOLTA, so make sure you follow them to see whenever a new video drops!
For this week’s episode of the Toonami Faithful Podcast, host Andrew “Sketch” Hingson is joined by staff writer Varun “VLordGTZ” Gupta and returning guest Jesse Betteridge to discuss the first two episodes of Blade Runner: Black Lotus. The three panelists talked about the viewing experience of the Adult Swim original and how the series trended in the U.S. but did not in Canada, which spurred a conversation about how fans in Canada can change that fact. Of course, if you’re interested in learning what happened in the first three episodes, VLord wrote a preview/review piece on Blade Runner: Black Lotus that you can find here!
It’s a great sign of things returning to normal when anime conventions are occurring. Over the weekend, staff members VLord, Sakaki, and Marion spent the weekend in New York for Anime NYC. While nothing news-wise about Toonami occurred, it was encouraging to see our friends enjoy their time at the event! Curious about what went down and what our favorite manga experts checked out? Make sure you follow them on Twitter to see what cool stuff they saw!
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C.J Maffris is the Editor-in-Chief at Toonamifaithful.com. He also produced and directed the Toonami documentary, What Toonami Means To Me. Feel free to follow CJ on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris
Celia Rose is the Director of Social Media for ToonamiFaithful.com. Feel free to follow Celia Rose on Twitter @planetstwinkle