So, as we all know that Toonami is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year as the block (despite being cancelled in 2008 and resulting for ASA for anime) now under Adult Swim is going 5 YEARS!! Yes, it has been 5 years (at least in the next couple of months from this post) ever since that April Fools’ Joke in 2012 where they played the classics like Outlaw Star, Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho among other classic titles to play on the block and then…..well, the rest is history. Sure, development has been slow during the first years of the revival but soon the line-up expanded (and sometimes got reduced), newer shows were coming and premieres of newer dubs of anime and even one that even premiered before the original Japanese language version.
In other words, friends, I’m counting down my Top 10 Favorite TOONAMI shows……..from the Adult Swim revival era.
Now, with that said, I got a few rules about my list. For one thing, I’m counting shows that hasn’t premiered on Adult Swim before so in other words, shows like Samurai Champloo or Cowboy Bebop is not going to be on this list and as much as I love those two, I have to count them down. Same goes to Eureka 7.
Oh, and one more thing………it’s my list. Enough said. Let’s get on with this list but first……
ATTACK ON TITAN (Season 1) // Wit Studio/Production I.G. // FUNIMATION // Aired first May 3, 2014
SHOCKER!! This is on my honorable mentions and not the official list. Yes, the much hyped anime series of 2013 was definitely a treat for me to watch for the first time in English and while it’s not my top favorite of 2013 (we’ll get to that), it packs a lot of action, suspense and sudden twists and while replay value is not as high for me, the show still one of the best to air for anime in 2013 and also, Hange is best character, I don’t give a fuck! Fight me if you want!!
SOUL EATER // Bones // FUNIMATION // Aired first February 17, 2013
I’m going to be honest and I think I have said this numerous times but…..sometimes shonen anime like DBZ, Bleach, Naruto can really bore me easily and I didn’t have any desire to continue on with them. This, on the other hand, took some time to do so and I have to admit that this was pretty awesome. I dig the concept of capturing the souls of 99 evil humans and the fact that some humans have the ability to transform into a weapon. The Halloween setting and vibe was very in-sync with everything in here, courtesy of Studio Bones and for the most part, I like how emotional the story and its characters can get. A bit cheesy but in the right way.
HUNTER x HUNTER (2011) // Madhouse // VIZ MEDIA // Aired first April 16, 2016
OK, OK, OK, I know this is still airing as of today and I am far behind on the Toonami airing as of late (work got in the way and also laziness) but I have to admit, this show definitely got me into its long tale of this boy named Gon Freecss want to follow in his father’s footsteps and also Gon is my favorite character of the show and we must protect him at all costs……OK, well, Killua got that handled. Lengthy, it is but I’m in it for long haul.
And…..well, that’s all for that. And now for the actual list…..
One of the first shows that premiered on the newly Adult Swim Toonami Block that honestly got me liking it more than I did when it first aired. It’s definitely something that wouldn’t aired if it was still on Cartoon Network.
DEADMAN WONDERLAND // manglobe // FUNIMATION // aired May 26, 2012
Man, this was a rather bloody and dark experience for Toonami and by that, I mean, I think some shots look black and dark as mean I couldn’t make a good picture out of what was going on. Anyway, this show (produced by the late great studio manglobe) got me hooked on the idea of this prison that’ll make you participate in their death version of the Olympics and seeing how this innocent boy Ganta has to survive in there and not die. Yeah, I admit this is some edgy shit but not edgy in the way that it’s too damn dumb to know what it’s doing but unfortunately, it’s rated lower because that damn ending and the fact this sold horribly in Japan and the studio shut down in 2015……yeah, I’m not seeing any DMWL Season 2 unless some studio is willing to put some cash on that. This was an unique anime series with more of a edge that doesn’t completely fuck up and more fitting on the newer block. Also, Shiro best character on that show and with Monica Rial voicing her……yup, instant likability.
This show is split with a lot of people. Some I know love the show and others hate it, some find it tolerable and others mediocre and what do you know? Their new season is actually airing as of now……in other words, the 2nd half of this show didn’t exist to them.
BLUE EXORCIST (Season 1) // A-1 Pictures // ANIPLEX OF AMERICA // aired first February 23, 2014
My introduction to this series wasn’t exactly on Toonami. The dub aired first on Neon Alley….remember that thing? The linear anime channel from Viz that actually got Aniplex of America to get dubs of some of their shows on there!!! Yeah, I missed that, too. As for the show with enough re-watches of this, I honestly don’t mind this show’s first season. Yeah, I know the anime-only ending felt rushed and the story isn’t all that creative but it was still entertaining and I honestly like the cast of characters throughout, even if I find one of them bland and typical (cough *Bon* cough). Until the 2nd season or the Kyoto Arc prove to be better than the latter half of this, this is staying up there.
Yeah, 2014 was Toonami’s best year when it comes to content as they managed to get a lot of shows and even play some movies or OVAs on the block. And there’s one particular OVAs we never thought would be on there but….it came true.
HELLSING ULTIMATE // Satelight/Madhouse/Graphinica/Kelmadick // GENEON/FUNIMATION // aired first September 13, 2014
Anyone remember that Gonzo anime of this? Yeah. fuck all of that. TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!! Yes, Hellsing Ultimate was proven to be the superior version of that series as most fans of this will go on saying that it follows the manga faithfully and while I’m usually don’t care for that type of shit, I can see why most prefer Ultimate and also, man, this has gotten some cuts to get it to air on TV because I noticed some scenes (particularly one) that had to be edited in a way. Anyway, this 10-episode OVA is all the bad-assery that fans of the manga loved from the settings, the fights, the characters, especially Alucard played by the one and only Crispin Freeman.
WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!? Of course, I’m putting this one on the list in the #7 spot.
GURREN LAGANN / Gainax // Aniplex of America // aired August 16, 2014
Possibly the best show that Gainax ever created in their lifetime as a studio and while I don’t think it’s the strongest thing that Hiroyuki Imaishi has directed, it still left on a powerful and WTF moment. In fact, the show got a sudden twist that everybody and THEIR MAMA knows about and how it shifted in the first half of the show…. and it still carried on through the rest of the show. Hell, this anime is the definition of finding hope when you’re in a shit situation.
RAISE YOUR FLAG, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: IRON BLOODED ORPHANS (Season 1) // Sunrise // aired first June 4, 2016
So yeah, I choose a Gundam series that is unlike any other Gundam and for someone that’s not a hardcore Gundam fan, this is a damn good show and is accessible to anyone that isn’t much of a Gundam fan. To me, I deeply cared about the characters in the show and while some death flags may have been noticeable, I still felt some impact to their deaths. Even in the 2nd season where [REDACTED]….I mean, my god, why [REDACTED] and yet while I tried to get into another Gundam series, it didn’t have the same impact as this one did to be completely honest. This, on the other hand…..it works every time.
You know with the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie coming next month, people should look into anime that is actually accessible to U.S audiences and could be easily translated into that. Hell, I can think of one, such as…..
BLACK LAGOON // Madhouse // Funimation // first aired March 22, 2014
Everything…..everything about this show from the gunfights to the characters (especially Revy, one of the many badass women in anime) to the themes screams major western appeal and not to mention, Black Lagoon was a blast of entertaining fun to watch from the pulse-pounding action and the banter among the Lagoon company and shows that while the action is exciting, the depressing consequences does get to you and when it comes to the end of Season 2 and Roberta’s Blood Trail……well, you’ll see why. However, this show is everything that the Adult Swim-era Toonami represent.
Many of you on Twitter bitched about Toonami not having anything aside from the traditional shonen stuff. Yet one show that doesn’t have that and YOU STILL BITCH ABOUT IT! Y’all can’t be please with nothing!! But who gives a fuck about y’all? Anyway…..
MICHIKO & HATCHIN // manglobe // FUNimation // first aired June 20, 2015
OK, sorry about the rant but it was needed as people have been wanting something on Toonami other than just straight up action and to me, Michiko & Hatchin delivered on that front being that it’s about a women and this young girl who had to escape from her abusive and asshole-ish family to find the man known as Hiroshi Morenos. The bonding between them works, the dramatic elements of them and the supporting characters around them has an HBO vibe to them and manglobe did their damn best on this, on the animation and artwork. The music is great, especially the opening theme and oh my…..Ms. Sayo Yamamoto…..you made me a fan of you. I really appreciate all the work you have done whether it be directing series or participating in other works. This is one of your best works and one of the best shows on Toonami. I just wish other people saw it that way.
ONE PUNCH MAN // Madhouse // Viz Media // first aired July 16, 2016
Holy shit!! I have said this before in my review of the series and it is that it got someone who is all powerful and OP as hell and can destroy a man with only one punch and he wants more of a challenge. He gets frustrated whenever he easily defeats someone and even when he tries to earn some respect in the hero category, he gets attention but not in the most positive. The jokes work as it goes on more than just doing the one joke over and over and over and over and over and– (in other words, go fuck yourself, Sakamoto.) There is a reason why this was everybody and mine’s #1 anime of 2015. This show works in tremendous ways.
OK, I had trouble deciding my top two as both of them are my absolute favorite shows of their year respectively. With this one, I had to put this on top. Not only was this a personal favorite of mine but this changes the way we watched anime dubs forever……and I think you know what anime this is.
SPACE DANDY // Bones // FUNimation // first aired January 4, 2014
The complete surprise that when Space Dandy was announced to air in Winter 2014, we didn’t expect it to air on Toonami on the same date. We thought we might have to wait a year for that but we got it, even before the original Japanese version aired and still remains the fastest English dub done from FUNimation (in other words, suck it, Akiba’s Trip). The show itself is off the wall creative and so strangely unique with its animation and comedy (see, another thing that’s not just shonen). Also, everybody in the show got a spotlight on how funny and awesome they are and not only did Shinichiro Watanabe made another great series to his catalog (well, 2 and yes, Terror of Resonance is still plenty good), it also gave us recognition to Shingo Natsume…..the man who you later direct my #3 pick.
And now, the moment you have been waiting for……
Many of you can see this coming as I have always placed this as my #1 anything around something like this. It was #1 on my 25 Days of Anime, my #1 anime of 2013, and I’ve even put this as Best TOONAMI anime on my Additional Honors list.
In other words, all of you knew what this was going to be.
KILL LA KILL // Trigger // Aniplex of America // first aired February 8, 2015.
Ahh, this was definitely a game-changer for me personally. This upped the ante of creating something so energetic, so mind-boggling crazy and so damn hilarious that it still has a lot of heart to it. This is also the anime that shows that fan service can be used in an anime and can be organic to the plot and not just a distraction (and yes, Keijo!!!!!!!! does that well, too.) or be completely mean-spirited, cruel, or an excuse to use it to make up for a generic plot. Simple plot, it is, but like I said, sometimes that can make into a great and eventful anime. I’ve said it before in my review that I love every character in here, especially Mako Mankanshoku aka the best anime character of all time and the end of it and the way it ended has more impact than Gurren Lagann for me. This is something that made me anticipate anything Trigger has in store in the future and while they still made good-to-great anime, I don’t think there’s anything that can top this…at all. Kill La Kill is everything not just in anime, but in any format that gives you energy to make anything and yes…..this is my #1 TOONAMI anime in the Adult Swim era.
And that is my list!!!! Wow, that was a long one.
But anyway, those are my picks. If you got any favorite Toonami shows (and they can be either from the Adult Swim era to the earlier CN era), comment below and give your thoughts on it and the same if you like or dislike my list.
Anyway, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and…..you know what? Let’s end this with something coming soon that’s near and dear to our hearts.