Toonami (a portmanteau of the words "cartoon" and "tsunami" suggesting a "tidal wave" of animated cartoons) is a registered trademark of Cartoon Network, used initially for action-oriented programming blocks on Cartoon Network television channels worldwide, mostly showing American and Japanese cartoons, originating in the United States on March 17, 1997 and ended on September 20, 2008.

The Toonami brand name was subsequently used in the United Kingdom as the name of an action-oriented animation channel replacing a former Cartoon Network owned channel CNX, which had been a Toonami/live-action hybrid network. It has been hosted by two CGI hosts.

United States

Toonami was Cartoon Network's primary action-animation block. The block, which made its world premiere on Monday, March 17, 1997, initially replaced Power Zone, Cartoon Network's most recent incarnation of the Super Adventures block which had been a staple on the network since October 1, 1992. Toonami was originally a weekday afternoon cartoon and anime block hosted by Space Ghost villain-turned-producer Moltar at the "Ghost Planet Industries" building from 1997 to July 9, 1999.

On Saturday, July 10, 1999, Cartoon Network relaunched Toonami with a new environment, the Ghost Planet Spaceship "Absolution", and a new host named TOM. The night also introduced the Toonami Midnight Run late night block which was originally a five-hour Saturday night block (technically Sunday) at midnight EST until March 2000, when it moved to weeknights in an hour-long format until January 2003.

On Saturday, April 17, 2004, Toonami was moved from weekday afternoons to its current Saturday evening slot, where it aired for four hours starting at 7 PM EST/PST. Beginning October 27, 2007, it aired for two hours starting at 9 PM EST/PST. On September 20, 2008 Toonami ended, with it's final broadcast that same day. cite news | title = Live From Anime Weekend Atlanta: Toonami 1997-present | publisher = Gaijin Inside | date = 2008-09-20 | url = | accessdate = 2008-09-21]


Originally, Moltar was the host for Toonami. Eventually, TOM took over. It was during this run that we were introduced to the computer of the ship through several online games that tied into a going storyline aboard the ship. The mention of the ship is only because of the death of the original TOM in one of these story lines, and the arrival of TOM 2, a dark and sleeker model of host. When Toonami finally landed in the late night spot on Saturdays, the ship was eventually replaced with a number of exploring robots and their counterparts.

Total Immersion Events

Starting in September 2000, Toonami presented special interactive events known as Total Immersion Events or TIEs. These TIEs took place both on-air during Toonami and online at the official site,, and always occurred the week that the block's most popular series, "Dragon Ball Z", returned for a new season. The exception was in mid-2003, as "Dragon Ball Z" had ended by that point. The very first TIE was "The Intruder", which introduced TOM's companion, an AI matrix known as SARA, who played an integral part in the rebirth of TOM, who was upgraded from a short Bomberman-esque character (voiced by Sonny Strait) to a taller, stronger, darker, deeper-voiced incarnation temporarily dubbed as TOM 2.0 (voiced by Steven Blum), though it was the same TOM who still hosted the block.

The following two TIEs, "Lockdown" and "Trapped in Hyperspace", continued the adventures of TOM and SARA, but really didn't offer much storywise.

The TIE in September 2002 was a diversion from the TOM and SARA adventures and introduced a new, 2D universe. "Immortal Grand Prix" ("IGPX"), created by Toonami producers Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco and produced by anime studio Production I.G, aired in five short installments and served as a pilot for the second Toonami original series, which premiered in November 2005 (a brief note: although "Megas XLR" was the first original American-made franchise to actually debut on the block, it was initially a Cartoon Network original that was planned to air on Friday nights; other Cartoon Network action properties, namely "Samurai Jack", "Teen Titans", and "Justice League", aired on Toonami but weren't exclusive to the block until their final seasons).

"The Intruder" and "Lockdown" aired in the UK, but didn't achieve the same amount of success as their American airings.

Midnight Run

The Midnight Run was once a Toonami block that ran from 1999-2003. It ran daily at 12 AM ET/PT. It consisted of anime such as "Voltron", "Robotech", "Dragon Ball Z", "Gundam Wing", "G Gundam", Gundam 08th MS Team, and "Outlaw Star". Midnight Run tended to have slightly more blood and violence than its day-time counterpart. It at one point ran an uncut version of "Gundam Wing". It sometimes had a special edition. They had one special edition on Friday, August 31, 2001 at midnight, which aired music videos from Gorillaz, including "Clint Eastwood", and from Daft Punk's Interstella 5555. Another event was "Dragon Ball Z" taking over the Midnight Run for a week starting on March 26, 2001 to March 30, 2001, the time was 12-1AM for 5 days.Fact|date=May 2008

Kids' WB's Toonami

From July 30, 2001 until June 30, 2002, Kids WB aired a Toonami block that was, more or less, the Kids' WB lineup with the Toonami name. It was critically panned by industry observers who noticed the action branding of the block didn't translate content wise, which had added shows like "Scooby-Doo" and a live-action series created by "Goosebumps" author R. L. Stine, The Nightmare Room. In spring 2002, Kids' WB announced that they would drop the Toonami name from their weekday lineup, once again making the Toonami brand exclusive to Cartoon Network.

Giant Robot Week

In the last week of February 2003, Cartoon Network aired on Toonami "Giant Robot Week", a five-day special based on mecha series, which were licensed by A.D. Vision. The series shown were "Neon Genesis Evangelion", "Gigantor", "Robotech", "Martian Successor Nadesico" and "Dai-Guard"; the first two series had their official premiere on Adult Swim from 2005. The pilot short for the then future series "Megas XLR" (called "Lowbrow" at the time) also being shown. In the evening of the final day, the channel aired "The Iron Giant" and a robot-themed episode of "Dexter's Laboratory" to give it a special ending feel.

Toonami Rules Saturday Nights

On April 17, 2004, Cartoon Network moved Toonami from weekday afternoons to Saturday evenings with a new demographic of preteen and teen audiences while adding a new lighter-toned action franchise, "Miguzi," (produced by Williams Street, the company behind Toonami, its name is loosely derived from the Japanese word for swimsuit, an in-joke to longtime viewers of Toonami) to weekdays in its place.

Toonami also replaced the block known as Saturday Video Entertainment System or SVES. One big reason for the move from weekdays to Saturday nights only was because the some of the shows on the weekday lineup (such as "YuYu Hakusho", "Cyborg 009", and "Rurouni Kenshin") became too violent for a weekday broadcast on the network (although reruns of the TV-PG-rated "Naruto" aired throughout early 2007 on weekday afternoons at 5:30 PM E/P, though CN cleverly stopped all Miguzi promos before the show startedFact|date=August 2008 ). The new Toonami line-up showcased anime like "Naruto", "Rave Master", "Duel Masters", "Gundam SEED", "One Piece", "Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo", "Zatch Bell", and "Pokémon Chronicles", as well as premiered North American productions like "Teen Titans", "Megas XLR", "Justice League Unlimited", and "IGPX", Toonami's first and only original production co-produced by Production I.G and Bandai Entertainment.

Beginning in late October 2007 Toonami was cut from a four hour block to a two hour block on Saturday nights. Instead of action shows or some anime, many CN comedy cartoons air from 7PM to 9PM. Currently the Saturday night lineup as of June, 2008, Toonami consists of "Naruto" at 9PM and 9:30PM, "" at 10PM, and "Samurai Jack" at 10:30PM. But on September 20, 2008 at 11:00PM, Toonami shut down for good, ending it forever. Some speculate that the reason for the 2 hour block instead of the previous 4 hour block was Cartoon Network preparing to close down Toonami.

A Month of Miyazaki

On Saturday, March 18, 2006, in honor of the block's ninth anniversary, Toonami began airing "A Month of Miyazaki", a four-week celebration of the works of acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Like sibling station TCM's similar marathon in January 2006, Toonami aired a different movie every week between Toonami anniversaries (the marathon began on the weekend of the ninth anniversary of the block and end the week before the second anniversary of the block's move to Saturday nights). The films scheduled for A Month of Miyazaki (which all aired uncut and unedited as per Miyazaki's policy not to have his films altered). However, there were large complaints due to the large number of commercial interruptions during the films, with commercial breaks cutting in about every 20 minutes. The movies were as follows:
* "Spirited Away"
* "Princess Mononoke"
* "Castle in the Sky"
* "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind"

3.17.07 (Toonami's 10th Anniversary)

On January 27, 2007, a teaser commercial aired during the Xiaolin Showdown marathon on Cartoon Network featuring close up shots of larger Clydes (the remote robot explorers that have been a fixture of Toonami since the beginning) along with the date 3/17/07 and TOM's chest emblem glowing blue.

On March 17, 2007, Toonami celebrated its tenth anniversary with a new packaging and numerous montages celebrating the block. TOM was revamped into a shorter robot who was a commander of a jungle control room with a trio of new robots.

The montages included a look at past hosts, former logos, and a decade's worth of clips and voiceovers from shows that aired on Toonami. There was a total of 4 montages, all of them having different clips. 3 of them were 1-minute-long.

As part of the anniversary (and to coincide with Cartoon Network's March Movie Madness event), Toonami planned another month of movies: [cite news |first=Chad |last=Lee |coauthors= |title="Stan Lee's Mosaic" To Headline Toonami's Tenth Anniversary |url= |publisher=Toon Zone |date=2007-02-22 |accessdate=2008-04-19 ]

March 3 - The Invincible Iron Man

March 10 - Mosaic

March 17 -

March 24 -

March 31 - Spirited Away and


On Saturday September 20, 2008, Cartoon Network canceled the block and aired its final transmission. Employees who worked on the block will be going to other parts of the channel. Anime will be mostly handled by Adult Swim, and there will be an action block replacing Toonami on Saturday nights afterward. Toonami Jetstream will remain without the Toonami name. At the end of Toonami's final airing, the host, voiced by Steven Blum, ended the block with a final monologue simply reading

then ending with "bang", echoing the final word of his character Spike Spiegel at the end of Cowboy Bebop.

Latin America

In December 2002, Toonami premiered on Cartoon Network Latin America, replacing a similarly-themed block, Talisman. Toonami aired shows that were already on the lineup such as "Dragon Ball Z", "Gundam Wing", and "Pokémon "as well as served as the home of "Inuyasha". Over the years, Toonami added shows like "YuYu Hakusho", "Samurai Champloo", "Samurai X" and "Saint Seiya" , as well as the revamped versions of "Cyborg 009" and "Astro Boy". However, the block had to move to the late-night slots on CN Latin America due to protests of violent scenes on the block. Mexico moved Toonami to midnight in October 2003 while the rest of Latin America moved the block in November 2004.

In 2005, Toonami had short-lived weekend schedules, which were later replaced by the premiere of Adult Swim in Latin America.

In March 2006, Toonami revamped their lineup to include more adult-oriented series, such as "Love Hina", taking advantage of the schedule and the refusal of anime on Adult Swim, as well as to compete against the anime channel Animax for new anime series. In June 2006, Toonami premiered anime movies in two monthly variations: "Dragon Ball" Theatricals (which had 17 different "Dragon Ball" movies), and Toonami Movies (general animated action movies).

In January 2007, Cartoon Network encased Toonami with four extra hours of anime series with two hours before and after the block. However, from March 26 (in the same year), the channel stopped airing the block, and eventually its hosted series were being removed, from "Saint Seiya" and "Yu Yu Hakusho" to "Ranma 1/2" (late April, when the series ended), "Zatch Bell" (from July) and "Naruto" (only Mexico and Argentina). The movies were no longer aired, save those of "Dragon Ball Z".

Music and games on Toonami

Toonami had always been a haven for techno/electronica music throughout its history, using original compositions; first by skater/artist Tommy Guerrero from 1997 to 1999, and then by Atlanta-based composer Joe Boyd Vigil from 1999 to 2002, many of which were compiled in the CD ' in 2001, which is now out of print. His webpage can be found [ here] . In 2003, DJ Clarknova took Toonami's beats (both old and new) and mixed them with sound bites from recent Toonami and Adult Swim shows. This resulted in an hour-long compilation of Toonami remixes, called the ', but for unknown reasons was never published. However, the Megamix recently was hosted by [ Toonami Digital Arsenal] , a popular unofficial Toonami multimedia site.

From 2003 through 2008, Toonami has relied on original and library tracks from various artists from publisher Ninja Tune. On rare occasions, videos from musicians like "Daft Punk", "Linkin Park", "The White Stripes", and "Gorillaz" aired on the block.

Infrequently, Toonami will air reviews of video games. The review, delivered by TOM, is fairly short and airs during commercial breaks. Games are scored on a 1 - 10 system, 10 signifying an excellent game, 1 signifying a very poor game. (The score system was originally 1 - 5 until 2001.)

Only one game has received a "?" rating, "" for the PlayStation 2. TOM explained that he had no idea what to rate the game because he couldn't get past the sixth level. This was accompanied by repeated footage of TOM losing on that level. The synopsis on Toonami Digital Arsenal reads "A robot is [sic] loses his mind over a video game. Hilarity ensues."

Toonami has done many game reviews since the beginning and are mostly given a "9/10" or an "8/10". TOM 4 hasn't done reviews, but his assistant T has. More reviews started to air when TOM 2 started hosting. Games such as Beach Spikers, and Mister Mosquito received a 6/10. Possibly because of gameplay. Games such as Super Mario Sunshine got a perfect 10/10.


# Ignition (2:54)
# Gundams Are on Earth ("Gundam Wing") (2:44)
# Anvil Snare Remix ("Sailor Moon") (2:39)
# Dragon ("Dragon Ball Z") (2:18)
# Information Leak ("Gundam Wing") (2:39)
# Arabic ("Dragon Ball Z") (2:37)
# D&B Remix ("Midnight Run") (3:00)
# Depthcharge ("Blue Sub") (5:32)
# Tension ("Tenchi Muyo") (3:25)
# Prayer (3:36)
# Crashgroove (2:48)
# Puff&Bass ("Powerpuff Girls") (2:39)
# Darknight (2:32)
# Starwind ("Outlaw Star") (3:00)
# Capslock ("Ronin Warriors") (2:31)
# Broken Promise (3:39)
# Walking Stick (2:47)
# Spacetime (6:24)

Online video services

On March 26, 2001, Cartoon Network launched Toonami Reactor, their first online streaming video service. The three-month service featured streaming episodes from "Dragon Ball Z" and "Star Blazers", the latter of which was an online-exclusive series. Editorial content was provided by the now-defunct Animerica Magazine, published by VIZ Media. After the three-month "trial run" was over, Cartoon Network took it offline and completely revamped it.

On November 14, 2001, [cite news |first=Jeff |last=Harris |title=Reactor 2.0 Coming November 14 |url= |publisher=Toon Zone Forum |date=11-08-2001 |accessdate=2008-04-19 ] Cartoon Network relaunched Toonami Reactor with all online-exclusive programs such as "Star Blazers", "Patlabor", "The Harlock Saga", and "Record of Lodoss War" as well as videos from Daft Punk and Toonami-themed games. In the summer of 2002, Toonami Reactor was revamped again under the Adult Swim aegis and, with a joint venture with VIZ's Weekly Shonen Jump, programmed it as Adult Swim Pipeline.

On April 25, 2006, a little over five years since the launch of the now-defunct Toonami Reactor, Cartoon Network and VIZ Media announced plans [ [ Cartoon Network and VIZ Media Announce Broadband Joint Venture, Toonami Jetstream - Anime News Network ] ] to launch Toonami Jetstream [] , a new ad-supported streaming video service featuring Toonami series like "Naruto", "Samurai Jack", "Megas XLR" and "IGPX" and the internet webcast premieres of "Hikaru no Go", "MÄR", "Eyeshield 21", "The Prince of Tennis, MegaMan Star Force", "Kiba", "MegaMan NT Warrior", & "", the latter two of which haven't premiered as of June 2008.

Toonami Jetstream launched on July 17, 2006 (after a brief unofficial sneak preview that began on July 14), and currently shows "Naruto", "Hikaru no Go", "MÄR", "Zatch Bell!", "Pokémon", "Blue Dragon", "Samurai Jack" and "Kiba"

Toonami series and movies

;Present series
* "Blue Dragon" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV
* "Hikaru no Go" (Jetstream) TV-PG
* "Kiba" (Jetstream) TV-PG-V
* "MÄR" (Jetstream) TV-PG-V
* "Naruto" (Jetstream) TV-PG-V,S,D
* "Pokémon" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV
* "Samurai Jack" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV
* "Zatch Bell!" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV;Series on hiatus/possibly cancelled
* "Eyeshield 21" (Jetstream) TV-PG
* "MegaMan Star Force" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV
* "One Piece" (TV) TV-Y7 and TV-PG-V
* "The Prince of Tennis" (Jetstream) TV-PG;Upcoming series
* "IGPX" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV and TV-PG-L
* "Megaman NT Warrior" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV
* "Zoids Genesis" (Jetstream) TV-Y7-FV

Past Lineups and Premieres

* "Super Adventures/Roulette" (comprised of Space Ghost, Birdman, and other Hanna-Barbera action shorts) (TV-Y7)
* "ThunderCats" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Voltron" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" (TV-Y7)

* "Robotech" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Sailor Moon" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Superfriends" (TV-Y7)
* "Dragon Ball Z" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "The Powerpuff Girls" (TV-Y7) and (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Ronin Warriors" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "ReBoot" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Blue Submarine No. 6" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Tenchi Muyo" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "Dragon Ball" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Outlaw Star" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Cardcaptor Sakura" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Mobile Suit Gundam" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Batman Beyond" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Mobile Fighter G Gundam" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Samurai Jack" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "Martian Successor Nadesico" (Giant Robot Week) (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Gigantor" (Giant Robot Week) (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Dai-Guard" (Giant Robot Week) (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Yu Yu Hakusho" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Rurouni Kenshin" (TV-Y7-FV)
* ".hack//SIGN" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Yu-Gi-Oh!" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Cyborg 009" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Dragon Ball GT" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "Duel Masters" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Astro Boy" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Jackie Chan Adventures" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Gundam SEED" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Megas XLR" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Teen Titans" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Justice League Unlimited" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Rave Master" (TV-Y7-FV)
* " " (TV-Y7-FV)

* "D.I.C.E." (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Zatch Bell!" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "The Batman" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "One Piece" (TV-Y7-FV) and (TV-PG-V)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo" (TV-Y7-FV) and (TV-PG-D)
* "IGPX" (TV-Y7-FV) and (TV-PG-L)
* "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Naruto" (TV-PG-V,S,D)
* "" (TV-PG-V)

* "Wulin Warriors" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Pokémon Chronicles" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "MÄR" (TV-PG-V)
* "The Prince of Tennis" (TV-PG)

* "Storm Hawks" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Mega Man Star Force" (TV-Y7-FV)

* "Bakugan Battle Brawlers" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "Blue Dragon" (TV-Y7-FV)
* "" (TV-Y7-FV)


External links

;Official website
* [ Toonami] - Official website for US Toonami block
* [ Toonami Jetstream] - Website for Toonami Jetstream

;Unofficial websites
* [ Absolution NeXt] - A database of Toonami US programming past and present.
* [ Toonami Infolink] - US Toonami news and forums.
* [ Toonami Digital Arsenal] - Downloads of US Toonami promos, intros, interstitials, and music.
* [ The X Bridge's TICA Base] - The US Toonami history and opinions section of one of the internet's oldest Toonami fansites.
* [ Toonami Power] - Mainly focusing on the early years of the block up to late 2000.
* [ Toonami Fan] - Thought site featuring articles and commentary from editors and readers.

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