For April Fools, Adult Swim decided to be especially cruel by digging Toonami out of its grave so people can look back on a very good time to be a tween and blindly wish for those days again. I missed it since I was out of town at the time and didn't have television, so I was blissfully unaware of this painful gag until it was all over Twitter. What none of the people who did see it realize is that those days are dead and buried. None of them have let go. But they will once they stop watching it a few months after its eventual revival, just like Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
Toonami is a time capsule. A product solely of its day that has made its mark on the world and left with a bang just in time (look at that thing!). If you are one of those who voted to have it return, consider your daily schedule. You watch different shows and you have a lot more stuff to get done per day than you did five years ago. You probably don't come home from school at 4 P.M. anymore and you certainly don't think that TV-G and TV-Y7 shows have a place past the watershed alongside the shows that air there now. The argument is commonly made that the children today need to be educated on the classics and I wholeheartedly agree. In order for that to work, it needs to air in the afternoon, but Cartoon Network asked the people who watch late at night. You could also argue that parents are making the choice regarding what their kids can watch and Tom could be a great tool in helping the kids accept the old shows. In that case, Toonami would be in direct competition with the shows that air in that timeslot now. I don't pay much attention to it myself, but it's an unfair contest given that parents have more clout and will definitely favor the shows of their time over what the kids like now. Is there room for both? Consider what Toonami was compared to what its equivalent today would be if it existed.
Toonami was defined by the mid-90s and 2000s cartoons that probably wouldn't get much fanfare if aired today, so bringing back Toonami only for its own sake would not result in increased ratings for long after its debut. Compare Toonami's programming in its prime in the early 2000s to what it had at the end. I predict the exact same thing will happen and everyone will get bummed that Toonami was allowed to decay just like last time. There's also those other segments like those freaky music videos that aired once in a while, which I don't think the network has much time for these days. I could be wrong about all of these, but I view this revival as the same sort of revival for regular series. More often than not, they get praised for a short while, but the circumstances and cultural environment that allowed them to thrive in their heyday have evaporated, and the new product that forms under today's ecosystem will not be quite the same, defeating the purpose of reviving it. And once it does run out of steam, it will likely not get the same retirement ceremony it did last time.
That said, if they really are going to revive it, they need to either bring back Moltar with it or not at all. Once in a great while like this is enough, but its time has long since past. If they absolutely have to, its best chance at a long-term resurrection would be on Boomerang, which has its own obvious problems.
Just let it go. It's served its purpose long ago. The old must die so the new can live, whether we like it or not.
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