Gia's List: 10 Anime Suggestions for Toonamiby Gia Manry, May 19th 2012
This week, we're doing something a little different. Cartoon Network announced that it's bringing back its classic block of anime and anime-like shows, Toonami. These are ten anime that would be cool to see on the newly-relaunched block...not that Cartoon Network is even taking nominations for new shows as far as we know. This list is strictly for fun, and this week we especially want you to make additions to it by naming the shows you'd like to see on Toonai in the comments.Bear in mind this is Toonami, not Adult Swim, and go for it!
Darker than Black
Preemptive apologies for the pun, but this is probably the darkest show on the list. Still, Darker than Black is such a solidly entertaining and decently-written action/drama/sci-fi/thriller that it deserves a slot on television. Ten years prior to the series' futuristic vision of Tokyo, an area known as Hell's Gate appeared. At the same time, some humans found themselves gaining supernatural powers...but losing their human emotions. Protagonist Hei leads a double-life as a foreign exchange student and as one of these "contractors," serving as a spy and occasional assassin. Hei finds himself raveled up in the mystery of contractors.
Eden of the East
The question here is whether Cartoon Network would be willing to show the series' first episode. While largely non-sexual, the series opens with Japanese high schooler Saki Morimi loitering around the White House. When she gets in trouble with the police, a distraction arrives in the form of Akira, a naked Japanese man with nothing on his person other than a gun and a cell phone. It turns out that Akira is at the center of a major conspiracy in Japan...but unfortunately, his memories have been wiped and he has no idea what's going on. He and Saki forge a friendship during their return to Japan, and she and her friends inspire Akira to accomplish a great deal.
Toonami's anime heritage lies heavily in shounen series like Dragon Ball Z and Yū Yū Hakusho, and in that time-honored tradition, we present: Fairy Tail. It's cool, it's fantasy, and it involves tons of explosions, great costumes, and colorful characters. What more could you want? In thes series, Lucy Heartfilia is a wizard who wants to join the wizarding guild she idolizes: Fa>iry Tail. When she unknowingly bumps into Natsu Dragneel, a popular fire wizard and member of that same guild, she impresses him enough for an invitation. It's all downhill from there as the guild fights for its existence...and occasionally fights itself in a drunken rampage.
Gainax is known for going over the top in some of its works, but Gurren Lagann takes that to a whole other level. Set on a future Earth where humanity is forced to live below ground by a species of man-animal creatures known as "Beastmen," protagonist Simon and his boisterous "big brother" Kamina make their way to the surface and decide to fight for humanity's rights. Joined by buxom sniper Yoko and other zany cast members on the way, you might not believe just how far Simon and crew take their efforts. How does Gainax explain the sheer insanity of it all? Simple: human will basically becomes an energy force for super powers. Throw in a bit of comedy, some mechs, and a great soundtrack, and you've got a solid TV formula.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Is "Haruhiism" completely played out, or should mainstream viewers have an opportunity to check out one of the biggest shows in the last decade? The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a neat package of sci-fi/fantasy and goofy high school drama, revolving around the life of narrator Kyon as he attempts to deal with the fact that the stubborn, eccentric title character, who unknowingly has god-like powers to alter reality, has attached herself to him. The cast is rounded out by alien robot Yuki, bumbling time-traveler Mikuru, and ESPer Koizumi...though of course Haruhi herself has no idea of their true identities, and everyone thinks it's best that she's kept in the dark.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Speaking of long-standing traditions, another one of Toonami's is Gundam. When Gundam Wing turned out to be a big hit, they showed a variety of others, at least partially: original Gundam, Gundam 08th MS Team, Gundam 0080, G-Gundam, Gundam Seed...you get the idea. So it seems only natural that they should run a recent alternate-universe Gundam, not unlike Wing itself in some ways. Five young men pilot the seemingly super-powered Gundam mobile suits, asserting themselves as members of an organization whose goal is world peace...even if they have to fight other nations of the world in order to accomplish that goal.
Ouran High School Host Club
Two of the shows that really put Toonami on the map back when they launched in '98— at least for anime fans — were Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon, so it stands to reason that Toonami should consider picking up a show or two with a female audience in mind. Ouran revolves around androgynous high schooler Haruhi, a girl of modest means who attends a school for the very wealthy (on scholarship). She winds up in debt to the school's extracurricular and titular Host Club, and finds herself pretending to be a guy so as to serve as a host and pay off the debt. This comedy revolves on a lot of familiar fangirl tropes, but offers plenty of slapstick silliness for those less in on the joke.
Speaking of shows aimed at female audiences, Shugo Chara! takes the magical girl formula and flips it on its head, paints it pink-and-black plaid, and hands back a solid show about a young girl whose fierce reputation belies a sensitive, friendly, and somewhat shy demeanor. Shugo Chara!'s first couple of seasons revolve around said girl, Amu, who one day wakes up to find three eggs in her bed. They hatch, and their inhabitants are "Shugo Chara!," basically facets of Amu's true self. She can partner with each to transform and gain super powers, which is great since the forces of evil are trying to pluck out these true selves from other young'uns. The series features the perfect amount of fun story, a bit of romantic tension, and plenty of soul-searching, too.
Tiger and Bunny
Imagine that a renowned Japanese anime studio decided to create a show revolving around American-style superheroes. Now imagine that studio is Sunrise, creators of everything from Cowboy Bebop to Yakitate!! Japan. The result is Tiger and Bunny, which is part buddy cop action show and part thoughtful drama. In the series, superheroes compete in what is essentially a reality show, earning points, prestige, and sponsors by stopping and arresting bad guys. aging superhero Wild Tiger (Kotetsu) finds himself having to deal with a young, charismatic upstart, Barnaby, whose powers match his own. The two contrast starkly but become good friends as conspiracy grows throughout their city.
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Honestly, either Tsubasa and/or its sibling XXXHOLiC could work well here, but Tsubasa's adventure format seems to suit the network well. Manga-making team CLAMP's uber-creation has young Syaoran traipsing around many universes— some very familiar to CLAMP fans —attempting to locate the memories of his home nation's princess, Sakura, who joins him on the journey. Accompanying them are teleporter/talking ball of fluff Mokona, gruff warrior Kurogane, and mysterious wizard Fai, each of whom has their own agenda. (Mokona's may be trying out sweets across the various dimensions, but hey, it's an agenda.)
The new poll: Toonami is thought of as one of the main gateways by which the anime fandom grew so drastically in the '90s. Do you have any particular show that you have fond memories of? Answer the poll here and check back next week for the results!
The previous poll: It's hard to want to end this on such a negative note, but 77% of you guys think that James Cameron's film adaptation of Battle Angel Alita will never happen. Although if you're one of those who believe that Hollywood will never make a good adaptation of an anime, maybe that's not such a negative note? Here are the precise results:
- No! - 77.06%
- Yes! - 22.94%
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