Toonami is an action-animation block that aired on Cartoon Network from 1997 to 2008, and as of 2012 is now currently airing on [adult swim]. Starting off on weekday afternoons and then eventually being moved to Saturday nights, it is known for popularizing Japanese anime in the United States, being responsible for premiering and introducing anime shows such as Dragon Ball Z , Outlaw Star , Tenchi Muyo! , Gundam Wing , The Big O , Naruto , and One Piece to Western audiences, as well as airing western shows such as ThunderCats , Batman , Superman , He-Man and the Masters of the Universe , Justice League , and Megas XLR . Toonami was also known for having a darker atmosphere than other animation blocks, as well as its ambient music, and well-edited promos that were narrated by Peter Cullen (who is famously known as the voice of Optimus Prime in several Transformers cartoons, as well as the narrator in Voltron and Eeyore in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh).
In 2008, Toonami was shut down due to low ratings, with the shows airing at the time being aired during regular Cartoon Network hours before being removed as well. On April 1st 2012, [adult swim] began their annual April Fools Day act of airing The Room, only to then cut to a brief return of the TOM 3 iteration of Toonami. The rest of the night continued with the usual airing of Bleach, followed by episodes of classic Toonami shows, advertisements for said shows' DVD releases, and a game review of Mass Effect 3. The act garnered enough positive attention that Toonami was eventually revived as a Sathurday night action-animation block, airing on [adult swim] hours and replacing [adult swim] Action.
Importance to Sailor Moon
The DiC English dub of Sailor Moon is one of Toonami's more prominent shows, being the very first anime show that aired on the block (unless one counts Voltron and Robotech, both of which preceded Sailor Moon). Previously experiencing lackluster reception during its syndicated run, it managed to find success when it started airing on Toonami in June of 1998, and did well enough that the S and SuperS seasons, as well as the movies, received English dubs by Cloverway. The anime would air on Toonami until 2004, when it was removed entirely.
The production crew currently operating Toonami have expressed interest in airing the upcoming 2013 Sailor Moon anime, responding at their 2013 MomoCon panel that they were "considering it" when questioned on the subject.
- "Today at 4, Toonami's got a brand new superstar! I think I have a crush on her." -Moltar during a promo for the show
- "17 lost episodes, back to back. We know you don't have any patience, so you're gettin' it in one big hit." -Moltar promoting the remaining episodes of Sailor Moon R in the Lunar Eclipse promo
- "This one's goin' out to all the ladies." -Moltar and TOM 1 during the intros
- "Every rose has its thorn." -TOM 2 in the promo for the Sailor Moon R movie, referencing the song by the band Poison
- "Dream on." -Peter Cullen in the promo for the Sailor Moon Super S movie
- Moltar once stated that he used to date Sailor Jupiter, and that something happened that made them break up.
- Sailor Moon was also a part of the block's Midnight Run, a part of the block that aired at midnight and would air shows with less censorship than during the daytime (notably, episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing were aired uncut), and Rising Sun, a Saturday morning block that lasted only one year and was cancelled to prevent competition between Cartoon Network and its sister network Kids' WB.
- The last 17 episodes, billed as "The Lost Episodes", were aired on Toonami as a special event called the Lunar Eclipse.
- Sailor Moon is currently one of the top requested shows for Toonami on [adult swim], along with Dragon Ball Z, Toriko, Fairy Tail, Kill la Kill, Hunter x Hunter, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, and a show from the Gundam franchise.