Making the Midnight RunMay 28, 2012
With the news that Toonami would be rising from the dead, the internet had a lot of opinions about it. Since this has come back as the more mature late-night offerings on Adult Swim, what it will accomplish as far as new watchers is a bit different than the original Toonami. Still everyone’s got suggestions for the shows to add to the anime block and we are no exception.
I already said a few thoughts about the new Toonami block over at the Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. That said it is always fun to play fantasy programming director. You get to pick shows without having to deal with the real world hassles of corporate politics and licensing nightmares. I am sure if I was actually in charge of the new Toonami block I might not be able to get some (if not all) of these shows for various serious and/or silly reasons. But that is not the point of this exercise. The point it to have fun and pick some shows that just might work if they could only get a TV shot in the U.S.
Tiger & Bunny seems like a no-brainer to me. It was one of those shows last year that many us said immediately, “this needs to be on TV.”
It has flashy action and I think the riff on reality TV would go over well. The melodrama is paired with a healthy dose of humor without one undermining the other. A colorful cast and the odd couple rapport between Tiger and Bunny rounds it all out. And it is already in the dub process.
With superhero movies being big at the moment, Tiger & Bunny would fit right in.
Back when Astro Fighter Sunred first came out I can’t remember how many people said that it would make a perfect fit on Cartoon Network. It has a very Adult Swim style of humor (and they good kind like Venture Brothers not 12 oz. Mouse) while still retaining a distinctly anime feel that sets it apart. Power Rangers has been an institution long enough that the basic premise is familiar enough to anyone watching but the humor other than that is broad enough to attract a general audience. The animation is hardly the second coming of Akira but it is not the type of show that needs that slick look. As long as the dub Americanized the show enough to be accessible but kept the spirit intact it actually could be a very strong moderate hit if it were lucky.
Arms dealers. Guns blazin’.
Don’t know if I need to say more than that. Jormungand fits in with the idea of what anime “should be.” Plenty of bloody action and a high body count in a corrupt world. The good guys are really just less bad bad guys.
Funimation is known for its dubs and this is streaming with them already so it wouldn’t be a far leap to get it out and on TV soon.
Black Lagoon would also be a good choice.
When choosing a show for something like this you often have to choose things with a “cool” factor. So you not choosing the best show or your favorite show. You choosing what gets eyeballs. I think in that regard Future Dairy works perfectly. It has a intriguing plot that grabs your attention with plot structure that demands you watch every week. There is lots of violence and gore to make it “not for kids” but nothing that can’t be edited so it can still be on TV. It has a Death Note feel which is a good marketing hook for it as well.
I was trying to think of something a bit more unexpected and thought of Arakawa.
Absurd and bizarre are words that readily come to mind when thinking of the comedy shows of Adult Swim and they are also words that are no stranger to Arakawa Under the Bridge.
I don’t think the humor is too Japanese or too otaku which can be a pitfall. Even things like the Kappa which comes out of folklore, you don’t really need to know that to know that guy is an odd one. With Kou as the straight man to all these crazies it just might work.
At first I might have assumed that my blind Type-Moon love made me suggest this but after some reflection (and outside consultation) I think it makes a nice fit. It is solid urban fantasy with a baseline shonen structure that tends to be popular in the U.S. Slick animation at keys points leaves a good impression from each episode. Morally gray characters with cool powers killing each other is a staple of mass market anime. I was a little worried that a prequel might not be the best thing to throw on TV but I have seen a fair number of people who have never touched anything else in the Fate universe go straight into this series with no problems. Plus the more Type-Moon fans the better I always say.