TOM 3 sitting in his chair
Movies - TV
How Three Classic Anime Came Together To Save Cartoon Network’s Toonami
While Cartoon Network’s Toonami would become popular and introduce many Western viewers to Japanese animation, the programming block struggled initially.
Founders Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco spoke with Complex about Toonami’s early days. DeMarco shared that they operated under the impression that they could be canceled at any time.
However, things changed for Toonami after it gained the rights to air three shows: “Sailor Moon,” “Gundam Wing,” and “Dragon Ball Z.” Also helping its growth was “Pokémon.”
DeMarco described building up Toonami as “working in a bubble” until Pokémon exploded in popularity when suddenly everyone was trying to get a piece of the anime action.
After already having the rights to “Sailor Moon” and “Dragon Ball Z,” the Bandai company saw Toonami’s success and offered it the rights to “Gundam Wing.”