On that day, a better cartoon show that we call Toonami turned 15.
Nothing was said.
Nothing was done.
But I launched Channel XB. It was a simple idea. Bringing together the best action cartoons I could find and creating a fine weekly block. It was my homage and celebration of the better cartoon show’s anniversary.
I put in some shows I liked and added some shows I haven’t seen before and a few I haven’t seen since I was a kid.
And it was good.
Over time, I changed a few things around, added some shows, deleted others. And I found more and more titles.
Then, the April Fools’ Resurrection happened.
The better cartoon show was reborn. For one night, Toonami graced the airwaves again for the masses, and it was great.
The fans loved it, and as an old soldier in the Toonami army (I created a Toonami web presence long before Cartoon Network did), I felt awakened.
Sadly, my mom’s health problems and hospitalization kept me from fully reveling in the block’s one-night only airing and the initial movement it sparked, but I had seen a lot of things.
Great things my mind wasn’t quite prepared for at first, but grew even prouder to see happen.
I’ve seen two communities, once contentious and divided, unite their joint efforts with a singular voice and a singular cause. I’ve seen a network actually give a damn about what their viewers want. I’ve seen a guy who only played a character some critics call “a glorified babysitter” lead the cavalry into the battlegrounds of social media with one unified voice.
And the fruits of that labor was revealed, and the news of Toonami’s rebirth spread across the internet and beyond.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, and a host who’s blue.
Or, to use the vernacular and hashtag, #toonamiisbackbitches.
Sure, some people call Toonami’s presentation “window dressing.”
The thing about window dressing is that if it’s attractive, you’ll step in the store to see what they have to offer. You liked what you saw on the outside, you’ll go in and see what all the fuss is about and may enjoy it.
So, window dressing works. It created a generation of consumers as well as a helped launched an entire industry in the United States, an industry that has been struggling to reclaim its foothold for years.
Toonami’s return has me thinking about Channel XB’s future.
It was a fun experiment while it lasted, but I always felt it was temporary. Besides, the folks at Williams Street has been doing this way longer than I have, plus, they don’t have problems with shows disappearing from their servers nor distributors limiting the number of dubbed episodes available for streaming.
That said, I’m ending the great Channel XB experiment this Saturday, May 19, 2012, ten weeks since it launched on Toonami’s 15th anniversary and one week before Toonami’s rebirth.
Couldn’t have timed it any more perfect if I tried.
It was fun, and who knows? Maybe I’ll try it again some day.
In the meantime and between time, I can’t wait to see what stuff if flowing down the pike at Toonami 2.0. They’re going to have fun with the block, and that’s going to be great for old fans and new fans. And with new stuff coming in the months and potentially years ahead, this could be the start of a brand new revolution. We’re living in possibly the greatest period of action animation ever, and I can’t wait to see what the folks at Adult Swim/Cartoon Network do with the medium. They’ve revolutionized the genre before, and they’ll do it again.
It’s about damned time.