Toonami (a portmanteau of cartoon and tsunami, suggesting that the block was a huge tidal wave of animated shows) Tom first appeared in the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim Television block, which first aired on March 17, 1997, but was cancelled on September 20, 2008. However, the block has recently been revived and newly designed as of May 26, 2012. The show mainly shows anime shows, like Dragonball Z and Naruto.
Throughout the years, T.O.M has incarnated/changed into different forms of himself, usually by upgrading himself and/or dying in a battle with an alien. He also acquired an Artificial Intelligence (A.I) aboard his spaceship called S.A.R.A. She has access to the entire ship and knows all of its data and information, much like Halo's Cortana. His first incarnation was a shorter, white-helmeted character, while his second, after the first died in an encounter with an alien, was a taller, stronger, darker, and deeper-voiced incarnation (although they were still voiced by the same person, Sonny Strait). He was dubbed T.O.M 2.0. As the years progressed, T.O.M would upgrade himself and/or died and upgraded to T.O.M 3.0, an even taller, stronger, and more detailed version of T.O.M 2.0. However, in the later years (mainly 2008), T.O.M was again transformed into T.O.M 4.0, who was actually shorter than T.O.M 3.0, but ditched the helmet and overall original look of T.O.M 2-3, and instead replaced it with an actual robotic face. S.A.R.A was also lost and was replaced with 2 additional Robotic Helpers of T.O.M.
T.O.M is shown in his T.O.M 3.0 form instead of his 4.0 Form after Toonami being revived by Adult Swim, as of May 26, 2012. He also has S.A.R.A again. The show regularly shows anime shows in it's block time, and introducing more bumpers and video game reviews.
Powers & Abilities
S.A.R.A - Starting from T.O.M 1.0, he had an Artificial Intelligence (A.I) aboard his ship to support/help him get information and data inside the ship, and his surroundings easier and faster. She can also open gates, close gates, and function the entire ship with ease.
Robot Helpers - The Robot Helpers appeared with T.O.M 4.0 only, and replaced S.A.R.A. They had the same functions as S.A.R.A, but instead of being a cyber-being, they were actual physical robots that ran around the ship to help T.O.M 4.0.
Robot Army - In one of the Toonami Shorts, T.O.M 2.0 released an entire armada of robots that were sent to research a "dead" ship floating in space.
Armor - His armor is inferred to give him protection, along with his helmet as well. It is made of an unknown alloy.
Laser Gun - The weapon first appeared with T.O.M 1.0's death Short, wherein T.O.M 1.0 fights off a blob-like, orange, organic alien that roams the ship. He gets his Laser Gun and shoots the alien multiple times and gives it sufficient damage, but only holds it off before it kills T.O.M 1.0. This was most likely done to let them introduce T.O.M 2.0, as when T.O.M 1.0 died his mind was transferred to a more updated robotic/cyborg body.
Toonami was a Cartoon Network/Adult Swim block that aired numerous shows.
- Cartoon Roulette (composed of Space Ghost, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, The Herculoids, Mighthor, Shazzan, Teen Force, The Impossibles, and the Superman cartoons)
- The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest
- Transformers : Beast Wars
- Sailor Moon
- Dragon Ball Z
- G-Force : Guardians of Space
- Gundam Wing
- Batman : The Animated Series
- Tenchi Muyo!
- Tenchi Universe!
- Tenchi in Tokyo!
- Blue Submarine #6
- Outlaw Star
- The Big O
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- Gundam 08th MS Team
- Dragon Ball
- Batman : Beyond
- Gundam 0080
- Classic Zoids
- G Gundam
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- Transformers : Armada
- G.I Joe
- Samurai Jack
- Martian Successor Nadesico
- Neon Genisis Evangelion
- YuYu Hakusho
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Justice Leag
- Cyborg 009
- Superior Defender : Gundam Force
- IGPX : Micro Series
- Dragon Ball GT
- Star Wars : Clone Wars (not to be mistaken with the CGI one)
- Duel Masters
- Astro Boy (2003)
- Transformers : Energon
- Jackie Chan Adventures
- Gundam Seed
- Megas XLR
- Rave Master
- Teen Titans (although not exclusive to Toonami until its last season)
- Justice League Unlimited
- Zatch Bell!
- The Batman
- One Piece
- Transformers : Cybertron
- Bobobo-b Bo-bobo
- Wulin Warriors
- Pokemon Chronicles
- Fantastic Four : World's Greatest Heroes
- Pokemon : Battle Frontier
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
- The Prince of Tennis
- Storm Hawks
- Mega-Man Star Force
- Bakugon : Battle Brawlers
- Blue Dragon
- Ben 10 : Alien Force
- Deadman Wonderland
- Casshern Sins
- Fullmetal Alchemst : Brotherhood
- Ghost in the Shell : S.A.C 2nd GIG
- Cowboy Bebop
- Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex
- Eureka Seven
- Samurai 7
- Tenchi Muyo GXP
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, Toonami.com, and always occurred the week that the block's most popular series, Dragon Ball Z returned for a new season. The very first TIE was The Intruder, which introduced T.O.M.'s companion, an AI matrix known as S.A.R.A.. The Intruder was an eight episode mini-series that aired during Toonami from September 18, 2000 up until September 27, 2000.
The following TIE, Lockdown, aired between September 17, 2001 until September 21, 2001, and included the introduction of CartoonNetwork.com's first MORPG as well as a record-breaking amount of page views and ratings for the network. In Lockdown T.O.M. fights to save the Absolution from an attack by a giant trash compactor. Trapped in Hyperspace, the next TIE, ran for the week of September 16-20, 2002. The ship's computer, S.A.R.A. is infected by a computer virus and T.O.M. is trapped in hyperspace. His race eventually destroys it before the absolution hits Earth. The Intruder and Lockdown aired in the UK, but did not achieve the same amount of success as their American airings.
The TIE in September 2003 was a diversion from the T.O.M. and S.A.R.A. adventures and introduced a new, 2D universe. (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.
The Midnight Run was a Toonami block that ran from 1999-2003 beginning daily at 12:00 a.m. EST. It consisted of anime such as Sailor Moon, 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, at one point even running an uncut version of Gundam Wing. One special edition that started on Friday, August 31, 2001, featured music videos from Gorillaz, including "Clint Eastwood", Kenna's "Hellbent", and Daft Punk's "Interstella 5555". Another event was Dragon Ball Z taking over the Midnight Run for a week starting on March 26-30, 2001; the time was midnight to 1:00 a.m. for five days.
A Saturday morning incarnation, Toonami Rising Sun typically ran from 9:00 a.m. to noon. This block was somewhat hampered to avoid competing with sister network Kids' WB.
Kids' WB's Toonami
From July 30, 2001 until June 30, 2002, Kids Wb aired a Toonami block that was 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 The Nightmare Room, a live-action series created by Goosebumps author R.L Stine. 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
During the week of February 24-28, 2003, Cartoon Network aired on Toonami Giant Robot Week, a five-day special based on mecha(giant robot) series, which were licensed by A.D Vision. The series shown were Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gigantor, Robotech, Martian Successor Nadesico and Dai-Guard. In the evening of the final day, the channel finished its salute to giant robots with the film The Iron Giant.
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, 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 was because some of the shows on the weekday lineup (such as YuYu Hakusho, Cyborg 009, and Ruroini Kenshi) 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 p.m. EST, though CN stopped all Miguzi promos before the show started. The new Toonami line-up showcased anime like Naruto, Rave Master, Duel Masters, Gundam SEEDS, One Piece,Bobobo-bo Bobo-bobo, Zatch Bell, and Pokemon 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.
A Month of Miyazaki
On Saturday, March 18, 2006, just past 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. 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 ended 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 many 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
- Nausicaa 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 T.O.M.'s chest emblem glowing blue.
On March 17, 2007, Toonami celebrated its tenth anniversary with a new packaging and numerous montages celebrating the block. T.O.M. 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 were a total of 4 montages, all of them having different clips. Three of them were one minute long.
As part of the anniversary (and to coincide with Cartoon Network's March Movie Madness event), Toonami planned another month of movies:
- March 3 - The Invincible Iron Man
- March 10 - Mosaic
- March 17 - Hellboy : Blood and Iro
- March 24 - Stan Lee Presents : The Condor
- March 31 - Spirited Away
- March 31 - Teen Titans, Trouble in Tokyo
Toonami always proved a haven for dance/electronica music throughout its history, using original compositions; first by skater/artist Tommy Guerroro 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 Toonami : Deep Space Bass in 2001, which is now out of print. 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 Toonami: Black Hole Megamix, but for unknown reasons was never published. However, the Megamix recently was hosted by Toonami : Digial Arsenal, a popular unofficial Toonami multimedia site.
From 2003 through 2008, Toonami relied on original and library tracks from various artists from publisher Ninja Tune. On rare occasions, videos from musicians such as Linkin Park, Gorillaz, Daft Punk, and numerous other bands aired on the block.
Occasionally, Toonami aired reviews of video games. The reviews, delivered by T.O.M. and sometimes S.A.R.A., were fairly short and ran during commercial breaks. The hosts scored games 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.)
Also, T.O.M. was featured in the Cartoon Network MMORPG "Fusion Fall" as a Non-Playable Character.