Toonami shows we forgot about
By Michael Burgner
1. Thundercats (1997-2002)
We’ll start off with an easy one. Thundercats THE ORIGINAL was awesome. Lion-O, Snarf and the gang ruled. It was the first show ever aired on toonami, airing from March 17th 1997 until 2002. It was originally a five season anime in 1985 airing in Japan. What made this show so great was that even through all the sci-fi and magic, it was still a classic 80’s show at the heart focusing on good moral values. Fun fact about the new thundercats circa 2011, Will Friedle (Ron Stoppable/Eric Matthews) was the voice of Lion-O.
2) Samurai Jack (2001-2004)
A samurai has one mission in life and to not complete this mission is to dishonor his name. Well poor Jack never got to complete his mission to defeat Aku! The dishonor is Toonami’s doing! This show was done so well, with the storyline and the battles of good vs. evil. Well good news! It’s getting a reboot soon, set to be released in either the 2016 or 2017 television season that will consist of 10 episodes. I cannot wait!
3) Duel Masters (2004)
This one is personal. It’s an anime trading card game much like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, but it never got the same hype. Yes, it went through a few reincarnations and survived until 2006, but the original series dubbed over from Japan was what sparked my interest. It went on for 8 seasons in Japan with the primary initiative to become the best, much like Pokemon. I still have all the cards in a book but are they gaining any value like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh? The answer is NO! It’s fine, I’m fine, that wasn’t my life savings when I was 12.
4) Hamtaro (2002-2004)
If you never saw this show you missed out on possibly the most adorable characters since the Smurfs. It even has it’s own creative theme song about Hamtaro and his friends the ham-hams. I mean come on! They’re little hamsters that go on adventures and brave the big world. Unfortunately, they only aired half the series here in the US and we never got to see the full cuteness on Toonami.
5) Sailor Moon (1998-2001)
This show may be one of the most popular manga/anime series ever. However, at first it was considered a huge failure. It’s the story of a school girl who befriends a magical cat and gets powers to become protector of earth. If you can imagine a cross between Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Totally Spies then you’ve just about got it. This series simultaneously had magic, good vs evil, and reinforced every fantasy type about a schoolgirl you could imagine.
6) Mobile Suit Gundam (2001)
Mobile Suit Gundam originally came out in 1979, before even Transformers. It’s from an era when robots and super suits were thought possible in the near future. Set in the Year 2079 (which is fast approaching), it’s about a world war where half the population dies because of these Mobile Suits. Unfortunately, in the US most of the airings were cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. Which is why this show may be one that is from the golden age of toonami, often overlooked.
7) Bobobo-bo-Bo-bobo (2003-2005)
This show is nothing but nonsense the entire time. The main purpose for the tyrannical empire is to make sure nobody has hair. Our titular hero has a fro of gold and uses fist of the nose hair techniques to fight the empire. Along with a misfit crew he battles Baldy Bald the 4th and his regime. However ridiculous this show was, it is missed because of the hilarity it brought to Toonami.
8) He-Man Masters of the Universe (2002-2004)
There isn’t much to say about this nearly forgotten show that once aired on Toonami. Originally an 80’s cartoon it was brought back on 2 separate occasions, but only the toonami one was mildly successful. What I will say is that this show had one of the most badass and coolest looking villains in Skeletor. He looks like Ghost Rider on acid(poor animation). That is the major highlight of the show because let’s face it without Castle Grayskull He-man is just Adam, and nobody likes an Adam.
Though definitely not forgotten being it aired 220 episode over the span of 5 years in the mid 2000’s and is continued on in a new series. I cannot talk about toonami without mentioning Naruto every young 90’s kid first introduction to anime.
The Powerpuff Girls
Sugar spice and everything nice and a little bit of Chemical X describes these three power chicks. An inspiration for girls everywhere originally titled Whoopass Stew. This series is currently in a reboot on cartoon network. Butter Blossom and Buttercup could whoop anyones butt and look good doing it.
Rumor has it this is what inspired the streaming phenomenon that is Stranger Things