I, like anyone, have certain shows that I would love to see air on Toonami. Fortunately, some of my all-time favorites have already joined the line-up at one point or another. There’s still quite a few series that I feel are begging to air on Toonami. In the spirit of the holidays, here is my wish list for Toonami in the year(s) to come.
It seems I spoke too soon. In my previous article, I said that I was done listing the shows that I wanted to see on Toonami. Well, less than a week after that article went up, Right Stuf made the surprise announcement that they’ve acquired Gundam from Sunrise. Due to this shocking news coming at the last minute, here’s a bonus editorial for Japan’s enduring mecha franchise. Since Gundam spans multiple series, movies, and spinoffs that encompass 35 years (!!), in the vein of my DC Comics recommendations, I’m going to list off the Gundam media I’d like to see, whether it aired on Toonami or not.
In the first installment of this retrospective, I looked at the themes, characters, story, and execution of the Gundam Wing television series. After that was a rundown on the show’s luxuriously gratifying sequel, Endless Waltz. Now it’s time to analyze the franchise’s impact on the world, from Toonami to the US anime landscape to the Gundam metaverse as a whole.
Gundam Wing wrapped up its run on Japanese television in March of 1996, bowing out amid big explosions, memorable quotes, and a whole lot of death. And for a time it seemed like that would be the end of Wing’s alternate universe. The next spinoff series, After War Gundam X, was scheduled to hit airwaves the next month. But reception of the series had been good, model kit sales were strong, and Bandai sensed that the Wing cash cow was still alive and kicking. So less than a year later, in January of 1997, the series got a combination sequel/prequel in the form of Endless Waltz. Originally released as a three-episode miniseries, Endless Waltz provided additional backstory on the five main pilots and also introduced a new conflict in the form of Mariemaia Khushrenada, the illegitimate daughter of the TV series’ main villain.
In 1994, the Gundam metaverse got a new lease on life with Mobile Fighter G Gundam – the first time an installment in the super-robot franchise deviated from the universe established in the 1979 original, Mobile Suit Gundam. The series took the venerable Gundam name and turned it on its head. G Gundam centered on gladitatorial bravado instead of political intrigue, and showcased mechs with names like ‘Tequila Gundam’. The series was a hit in Japan, and sparked a transition from the UC (Universal Century – the timeline for the original Gundam show) to self-contained ‘spinoff’ universes connected by only one thread: big stompy robots. After G Gundam came Gundam Wing, Turn A Gundam, Gundam X, Gundam Seed, and most recently Gundam 00. But only one of those series ever made it big in the United States, and that series is Gundam Wing.
Before the fanboys start harking about Kenshin, Megas, IGPX and Fantastic Four, I’m going to say I give them honorable mentions but, truthfully, Toonami gave them a fair shot and they just didn’t click. This is a list of shows which had a moment of promise before Toonami (or more so Cartoon Network itself) gave up on them. It is pretty sad that their own series (IGPX) had to leave the block, but to their credit the show still aired at a semi-watch able time.