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Toonami Rewind Set to Return Legendary Block to Weekday Afternoons after 20 Years

Toonami is a name that almost every fan of anime in America should know about. After all, if it wasn’t for Toonami, anime might never have gained a foothold in the West. Beginning in 1997, Toonami served as an afternoon block on Cartoon Network and helping to bring anime to millions of American children. It proved widely successful, with many people (myself included) crediting it for being a big part of why anime is now mainstream. Much to my dismay, though, I was never able to experience that fabled afternoon block. In April, 2004, Cartoon Network moved it to Saturday nights from 7 to 11 PM, which is where I found it and where it remained until its original cancellation in 2009. Even after it got revived on Adult Swim in 2012, Toonami remained confined to the weekends. Those halcyon days of afternoon blocks, a distant memory.

Or they were. For the first time in almost twenty years, Toonami will be airing on a weekday. 

Over the past few months, Adult Swim has been pushing its runtime back earlier and earlier into the day during the weekdays. Then starting in August of 2023, they upped the ante with Checkered Past. For two hours, they air cartoons from the golden age of the late 90s and 00s, much to the delight of those who grew up with them (like me!) Now, they upping the ante again.

Time to go back to the past with #Toonami!

Starting May 31, #ToonamiRewind begins!

Your favorite anime with a nostalgic vibe.

5 P.M – #SailorMoon (VIZ Dub)
5:30 P.M. – #DBZKai
6 P.M. – #DBZKai
6:30 P.M. – #Naruto

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) May 17, 2024

Starting Friday, May 31st, Adult Swim will be airing Toonami Rewind, featuring episodes of the anime that made anime big in the West: Sailor MoonDragon Ball Z (Kai), and one of my all-time favorites, Naruto. It’s only three shows right now, but it’s a start.

That’s not all. Unlike the ongoing Toonami block on Adult Swim, Toonami Rewind will be using the aesthetics of the TOM 3.0 Era. Which, arguably, was the best-looking era of the original Toonami run. 

I never got the chance to see the classic Toonami at its height, having only started watching it after it had moved to Saturday nights. For those who did, though, this is a big win. For an entire generation, Toonami was the after-school block to watch on TV. Not only did it provide an introduction to the world of anime, it gave them the perfect excuse to not worry about things like homework or tests that wouldn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. And while it only consists of three anime right now, who knows? If it does well enough, they might add more in. Either way, Toonami faithful win big!

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