“I want…I want you with me Asuna, always. I want you to come with me…and I…I know that’s asking a lot, but the truth is…I can’t do this without you!”

–          Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, Sword Art Online: Alicization (Ep. 01)

“Of course, I’ll go anywhere with you. It doesn’t matter where, I’ll go.”

–          Asuna Yuuki

The Toonami Trending Rundown for February 9-10, 2019. After a 3 year hiatus, Kirito and Asuna make their return to their US broadcast home in Toonami as Sword Art Online begins the highly anticipated Project Alicization story arc with a 1 hour season premiere. And among other great moments, Kirito enters yet another new game in the Underworld and befriends Eugeo and Alice, while Dragon Ball Super begins the Tournament of Power, and Kira hunts down Shigechi for finding out about his “limb secret”.

On Twitter, Sword Art Online was welcomed back with open arms as it trended in the US alongside JoJo’s, Black Clover, Hunter x Hunter, and Shippuden. Character trends were also spotted with Kirito, Shigechi and the Killer Queen (Kira’s stand name), as well as Shino (we’re not sure if it’s because of Shino from Naruto or Sinon/Shino Asada). On Tumblr, Toonami would trend alongside #BNHA, #JJBA, Attack on Titan and Naruto. The full list including statistics and tweet counts from the twitter app and Amr Rahmy’s analytics app can be seen below.

This week’s feature was a new animated music video titled “So Many Feelings” by the Hip-Hop duo EARTHGANG. You can check it out below.

Some very unfortunate news in the voice acting front to say the absolute least, as Vic Mignogna, known amongst Toonami fans as the voice of Broly, Edward Elric, Ikaku, Rohan Kishibe, and that tentacle monster that assaulted Asuna during the Fairy Dance arc, has had various sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations come to light recently, including those from Monica Rial and Jamie Machi. As a result, Funimation has fired Vic after an internal investigation, joining Rooster Teeth in doing so.

With a new season of Sword Art Online comes a new cast of characters including those with the potential to join Kirito’s infamous harem. On Friday, Aniplex and Bang Zoom announced that the original cast will return, to be joined by Kayli Mills as the voice of Alice and Brandon Winckler playing Eugeo, taking on the roles as Kirito/Bryce’s newest “Sister-Wives” (or Brother-Husband) as Michelle Ruff jokingly calls themselves.

As I mentioned in my SAO premiere article back in October, Project Alicization will be a longer journey compared to previous arcs, with this season being around 48-52 episodes long. There are however, unconfirmed reports that there will be an off-season around the mid-way point similar to what we are seeing with Attack on Titan. The Japanese broadcast is scheduled to reach that point around March 30. We’ll let you know further details about the hiatus and the 2nd half’s airing once they are announced and what Toonami’s plans are once we reach those points ahead.

Of course, there has been a lot of sour grapes from detractors saying that “Nobody wants SAO back on Toonami” and “SAO needs to be dropped so better isekai like Alternative GGO, Re:Zero, Log Horizon, Konosuba, and Overlord (among others) can be here instead”, among other things.” Yet Kirito has the last laugh in the end as SAO continues to remain as popular as it is and the previously mentioned shows haven’t even sniffed Toonami airwaves.

While I personally will show zero sympathy to those folks, for those who do want to see Alternative GGO and more isekai also join Toonami in addition to SAO, continue to support Toonami and its shows as well as politely letting Jason DeMarco and the crew know on Toonami’s Facebook and Tumblr ask boxes as well as Jason’s Ask.fm page. (Also do realize that Toonami will not be showing a SAO side story unless they show the mainline series as well, that just doesn’t make sense for various reasons.) As Bryce told me during my interview with him at the premiere, if SAO continues to succeed, perhaps fans and the Toonami crew could be hungry for more isekai shows and if Toonami continues to succeed, more shows can join the better cartoon show as well.

Tune in next week as Megalo Box returns from its week off, while Kirito continues to show that Bryce Papenbrook characters don’t die when they are killed, among other great moments. Until next week, stay gold.

Legend: The shows listed are ordered based on their appearance on the schedule. Show trends are listed in bold. The number next to the listed trend represents the highest it trended on the list (not counting the promoted trend), judging only by the images placed in the rundown. For the Twitter tweet counts, the listed number of tweets are also sorely based on the highest number shown based on the images on the rundown.

United States Trends:

  • Toonami/#Toonami [#7]
  • #DragonBallSuper [Trended with #Toonami]
  • #MyHeroAcademia [Trended with #Toonami]
  • #SwordArtOnline [#9]
  • #SwordArtOnlineAlicization [Trended with #Toonami]
  • #SAOAlicization [Trended with Kirito]
  • Kirito (From Sword Art Online) [#12]
  • Asuna (From Sword Art Online) [Trended with Kirito]
  • #JoJosBizarreAdventure [#8]
  • Shigechi (From JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) [#18]
  • #BlackClover [#10]
  • #HunterXHunter [#6]
  • #Shippuden [#11]
  • Shino [#19]

Tweet Counts:

  • #Boruto [5,565 tweets]
  • #MyHeroAcademia [5,402 tweets]
  • Killer Queen (From JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) [1,041 tweets]
  • Shino [17.7k tweets]

Amr Rahmy Counts:

  • #DragonBallSuper [#9 with 3137 tweets]
  • #Boruto [#18 with 3058 tweets]
  • #MyHeroAcademia [#5 with 3735 tweets]
  • #SwordArtOnline [#5 with 3492 tweets]
  • #JoJosBizarreAdventure [#20 with 1545 tweets]
  • #BlackClover [#28 with 725 tweets]

Tumblr Trends:

  • #Toonami
  • #BNHA
  • #JJBA
  • #Attack on Titan
  • #Naruto

Notes and Other Statistics:

Special thanks to @myanimewaifu, @sdurso5, and others I forgot to mention for spotting some of the trends on this list.

Kirito! Only Toonami on [adult swim] on Cartoon Network.