Cartoon Network's Toonami acted as the introduction to some of the biggest anime series of the world to North America for years, with the programming block creating a number of different commercials as both intros for series, as well as combinations of some of their bigger franchises into thought provoking music videos, and we're here to break down which stood above the rest. Though Toonami did take a few years off with a hiatus that had many wondering if it would ever return, it currently is airing as a part of Adult Swim and continues to bring some of the newer series to North America for many.
What was your favorite Toonami commercial from the past? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Toonami!
Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, was able to give some stirring performances when it came to the many characters he has portrayed over the decades, but man was he able to take things up to a whole new level with some of the promos he voiced for Toonami. With a two minute long trailer for Mobile Suit Gundam Wing hyping up the arrival of one of Toonami's biggest series that helped put it on the map, it lays out the environment, conflict, and characters that make up the war series that still remains one of the fan favorite mech series to this day.prevnext
One of the amazing things that Toonami did to really stand apart from other programming blocks wasn't just giving North America fans a ton of new anime series that they might not have seen otherwise, but also created a number of music videos that cut dialogue and scenes from the current series that were being run on the channel. With "Dreams", Toonami blended the likes of Outlaw Star, Dragon Ball Z, Tenchi Muyo, and more to make a promo that is still thought of to this day as one of the biggest shorts that helped put the programming block on the map.prevnext
Not every Toonami commercial necessarily had an overarching message, such is the case with "Walking Stick" which simply does an amazing job of combining footage and audio from some of the bigger series that they were running at the time. These videos are definitely an aspect of the programming block that fans had missed when Toonami had went on hiatus for a number of years, before eventually being brought back through the popular Cartoon Network landmark of Adult Swim!prevnext
Taking clips of some of the mech suits from the likes of Big O and Gundam Wing, as well as some shots from the Dragon Ball Z series, "Advanced Robotics" doesn't have an uplifting message to share, but is rather quite nihilistic, informing viewers that the "age of robots" is nigh. Showing off some of the anime machines that populated their time slot, "Advanced Robotics" did an amazing job of once again creating a commercial that finds a unique way to hype the different anime series that would air on Toonami, previously airing on weekdays.prevnext
Taking a page from the likes of Cowboy Bebop and Mobile Suit: Gundam Wing, Outlaw Star acted as one of the biggest anime series that appeared on Cartoon Network's Toonami thanks to the unique flair of the series but also in part because of the amazing "bumpers" that the programming block would create for the series. The adventures of Gene Starwind and company have always held a close place to my heart thanks in part to Toonami, and you can definitely feel the aesthetic of the series through this promo video.prevnext
Space Is The Place
Focusing on the anime series where the protagonists would venture out into the "great beyond", "Space is the Place" does a seriously fantastic job of painting the picture of how grand venturing into the stars can be. One moment in particular, when one of the pilots of Gundam Wing is focused on, with all audio cut off besides the sound of his heavy breathing, goes such a long way to show how the programming block was willing to "go against the grain" when it came to promoting some of their biggest series.prevnext
Peter Cullen is able to really show his chops as the preferred narrator for Toonami but with the promo for Tenchi Muyo, he was able to give some truly hilarious line delivery with "all have the hots...FOR HIM!" Toonami is able to not only show off some of the big action set pieces here, but also the overall hilarity of the series itself that is often thought of as the pinnacle in "harem anime".prev