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Opinion Wasn't it weird when Cartoon Network-era Toonami aired adult Seinen anime?

Jubenhimer

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Prior to the creation and eventual expansion of Adult Swim, Toonami was Cartoon Network's primary outlet for anime. Airing in three flavors, the main weekday afternoon block, a slightly edgier "Midnight Run", and a short-lived "Rising Sun" variant on Saturday mornings. Much like today, Toonami in its original version was known for popularizing long battle Shonen anime for young males from Dragon Ball Z, to Yu Yu Hakusho, and even Sailor Moon and Cardcaptors in the case of Shojo. But around the early-2000s, several shows came along on Toonami that did seem a bit too adult. Outlaw Star, The Big O were Seinen, meaning they were aimed at adult males. Tenchi Muyo! was arguably an edgier Shonen, teetering on Seinen, and some of the later Gundam series that they aired were increasingly more violent (0080 had to be a Midnight Run exclusive due to its violence).

Looking back on it now, it was surreal to see 3 very adult series broadcasted in daytime time slots when children could be watching. Granted they were cut, edited, and cleaned up for broadcast, but I can only imagine how much hell the producers of Toonami at the time were facing with how much they needed to change, not helped by Cartoon Network's inconsistent standards for the block at the time. I think the creation of Adult Swim was necessary for Toonami to find a new footing, along with its move to Saturday nights, as its later years doubled down on long running Shonen anime. Rave Master, Zatch Bell, Naruto, MAR, One Piece, Prince of Tennis, Bobobo, while most of the more adult stuff went to Adult Swim. Speaking of which, I always felt InyuYasha and Bleach were way too tame for Adult Swim at the time given their long-running shonen nature. A few blood/violence and nudity cuts and they certainly would've worked on Toonami.
 
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brap

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Weird as in a few adult-focused shows like Outlaw Star were even airing in daytime hours on a network for kids at all, edited or not.
I'd still say no. It's just like an average kind of anime. The adventure type of shit. It's not like they butchered Genocyber or something to show to kids.
 

Jubenhimer

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I'd still say no. It's just like an average kind of anime. The adventure type of shit. It's not like they butchered Genocyber or something to show to kids.

I can understand airing shows like DBZ, Sailor Moon and such, as those were made for young audiences to begin with. But it was with shows like Outlaw Star, which are aimed at an older audience that was surprising. Or maybe something like Blue Sub No. 6, which is so slow paced and revolved around war that it was unlikely to hold any kid's attention.
 
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brap

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I can understand airing shows like DBZ, Sailor Moon and such, as those were made for young audiences to begin with. But it was with shows like Outlaw Star, which are aimed at an older audience that was surprising. Or maybe something like Blue Sub No. 6, which is so slow paced and revolved around war that it was unlikely to hold any kid's attention.
I'm sure the old boomers that ran CN just got it for cheap and took out all the unsavory stuff. I remember watching Cyborg 009 and thinking it was boring as fuck. Pretty sure they had a few other weird ones on there too.
 

LordPezix

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No, I enjoyed them, but I also watched the Sci-Fi channel anime runs on Sat/Sun Mornings.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Giving airtime to The Big O is justification enough. Let the madmen do what they want. Cartoon Network itself was a controversial idea that a lot of people thought would fail. It successfully revived a lot of "old" cartoons and helped give rise to the modern nostalgia-market.
 
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Doom85

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I dunno, seeing Outlaw Star unedited on home video, aside from taking out that one episode and a few other details and lines, I think the general concept held up even when edited. It's a fun sci-fi adventure with a crazy cast of characters, to me it seems they'd be crazy not to get that on Toonami. And yeah, maybe certain Gundams would be a bit much, but Gundam Wing aside from a few minor character deaths wasn't really THAT dark to my memory. Hell, I feel for anyone who only ever saw Wing and assumed all Gundam were that tame at killing off major/supporting characters and then saw almost anything UC, 00, Iron-Blooded Orphans, etc., as it would be a shocking swerve for them.

I don't think the Toonami producers would be given hell for it either at that time period. Back then, just having these sort of anime available to watch for free was a big ass deal even if we knew they were edited. Getting anime on VHS cost a fortune (this is why I can't stand anyone whining about anime DVD/BR prices post-2000's, aside from Aniplex of America all the US anime BR/DVD companies' prices are a lot lower than back in the day, and I'm not even calculating inflation) and fansubs weren't that common yet and we were years away from official streaming services. Nobody was like, "but there's an unedited version!", we were all, "holy shit, I can just turn the TV on and watch anime! Sweet!"

Obviously extremes were never welcome. 4Kids went beyond editing One Piece and just took a hatchet to it (and had mostly bad VAs. At least some other 4Kids dubs like Yu-Gi-Oh had VAs who mostly did well enough) and then you had something like Cardcaptor Sakura which was renamed to Cardcaptors and had seven of its opening episodes removed so they could get to when the main male character comes in so it "didn't feel like a girl-focused show" (fucking idiots, any kid who didn't have their head up their ass would watch a fantasy/sci-fi show with a girl lead and also I could still tell Sakura was the main focus without knowing of the original version). But Toonami never went that far.

Now if something like Berserk or Attack on Titan aired on Toonami, yeah that would be beyond stupid and the obvious massive amount of editing they'd have to do would make you wonder why they bothered. But Toonami never aired anything that was originally THAT mature.
 
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In the UK we had something akin to Toonami called CNX which shown a few anime such as DBZ (Buu Saga), Tenchi Muyo, Gundam, Megas XLR, Shin Chan and Samurai Jack.

It was definitely aimed at my age (Teens) as they played QOTSA and Foo Fighters to advertise these.

Sadly it only lasted 2 years (2003 to 2005) before putting some of them on Toonami, cutting a number of Anime Shows.

Thought I'd share my perspective on the other side if the pond. :)
 
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Trojita

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The biggest crime was not playing Outlaw Star's awesome OP.

 

Cybrwzrd

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Outlaw Star and Gundam are adult anime?

Now, if they were running Ninja Scroll or 3x3 Eyes, Plastic Little, Vampire Hunter D during the kids block, sure. It isn’t like they were playing an edited La Blue Girl or Urotsukidoji. If they did that it would be strange.
 

infinitys_7th

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Nothing in Big O!, Outlaw Star, or any Tenchi Muyo show was that adult. Big O! was basically Japanese Batman TAS, Outlaw Star was a harmless action show, and Tenchi was pretty tame even for a harem show.
 

Space Runaway

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Nope. All those shows in question were aimed at teens. They had elements which may have been risque for a US audience but they cut or cencored that stuff anyway.
 
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Doom85

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Outlaw Star and Gundam are adult anime?

Now, if they were running Ninja Scroll or 3x3 Eyes, Plastic Little, Vampire Hunter D during the kids block, sure. It isn’t like they were playing an edited La Blue Girl or Urotsukidoji. If they did that it would be strange.

Well, depends on how extreme you need it to be for it to be considered "adult". Certain Gundam shows would definitely be TV-MA by US standards. Wing just isn't one of them. And honestly, you can edit something like Vampire Hunter D (even if you have to do quite a bit) and still get roughly the same narrative as far as I recall it going. You can't do that with something like Zeta Gundam unless they totally altered the story. Take out all the profanity and blood you want, you're still going to get an ending that would make even George RR Martin go, "geezus, Tomino, you having a rough day?" The director earned the nickname Kill Em All Tomino for a reason.....
 

Jubenhimer

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Cardcaptor Sakura which was renamed to Cardcaptors and had seven of its opening episodes removed so they could get to when the main male character comes in so it "didn't feel like a girl-focused show" (fucking idiots, any kid who didn't have their head up their ass would watch a fantasy/sci-fi show with a girl lead and also I could still tell Sakura was the main focus without knowing of the original version).

Fun fact about Cardcaptors. Nelvana (the original NA distributor) actually dubbed all 70 episodes of the series. It was actually Kids' WB! who requested most of the worst changes to the show, such as chopping out the first seven episodes, and airing the series out of order.
 
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oagboghi2

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Outlaw Star and Gundam are adult anime?

Now, if they were running Ninja Scroll or 3x3 Eyes, Plastic Little, Vampire Hunter D during the kids block, sure. It isn’t like they were playing an edited La Blue Girl or Urotsukidoji. If they did that it would be strange.
compared to card captor sukura, yu-gi-oh and digimon, yeah they were "adult".

It was totally different mentality back then. I remember reading an article from back then that CN content programmers had to fight internally to air gundam wing becuase the show was considered to violent, and the sequential storytelling to diffucult for kids to follow.

A year later, it's one of the most popular shows on the network. Go figures.
 
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Cybrwzrd

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Well, depends on how extreme you need it to be for it to be considered "adult". Certain Gundam shows would definitely be TV-MA by US standards. Wing just isn't one of them. And honestly, you can edit something like Vampire Hunter D (even if you have to do quite a bit) and still get roughly the same narrative as far as I recall it going. You can't do that with something like Zeta Gundam unless they totally altered the story. Take out all the profanity and blood you want, you're still going to get an ending that would make even George RR Martin go, "geezus, Tomino, you having a rough day?" The director earned the nickname Kill Em All Tomino for a reason.....

Maybe I am wrong to be commenting on this, since I got big into anime in like '93 or '94 when in 5th grade. - Lunar on Sega CD got me into anime. So I was watching it years before it was on Toonami, likely at an earlier age than the average Toonami audience. My parents were fucking clueless, and I had a huge VHS collection. They were fine with it until they watched Project Ako cause I left it in the VCR when I was in 8th grade. My father made me give away like $1500-$2000 worth of tapes I bought from mowing lawns and working. Asshole. All because it had tits in it.

So I really didn't think much of dark storylines in Gundam, at least it didn't shock me. And hell, everyone died in Dragonlance, and I had read that series before I got into anime.

Hell, all of my friends would come over and we would watch Anime. It isn't even like I was the odd one out for doing it.

I think people imagine that older children and early teens are far more innocent and naïve than they truly are. I had found Penthouses stashed in my parents bedroom by like 11 or 12, and my best friend's dad had a massive collection of playboys.

When I was like 15, I subscribed to Playboy magazine for a year, read the shit out of those articles mind you. I got the mail every day. Never got caught for that one :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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oagboghi2

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Maybe I am wrong to be commenting on this, since I got big into anime in like '93 or '94 when in 5th grade. - Lunar on Sega CD got me into anime. So I was watching it years before it was on Toonami, likely at an earlier age than the average Toonami audience. My parents were fucking clueless, and I had a huge VHS collection. They were fine with it until they watched Project Ako cause I left it in the VCR when I was in 8th grade. My father made me give away like $1500-$2000 worth of tapes I bought from mowing lawns and working. Asshole. All because it had tits in it.

So I really didn't think much of dark storylines in Gundam, at least it didn't shock me. And hell, everyone died in Dragonlance, and I had read that series before I got into anime.

Hell, all of my friends would come over and we would watch Anime. It isn't even like I was the odd one out for doing it.

I think people imagine that older children and early teens are far more innocent and naïve than they truly are. I had found Penthouses stashed in my parents bedroom by like 11 or 12, and my best friend's dad had a massive collection of playboys.

When I was like 15, I subscribed to Playboy magazine for a year, read the shit out of those articles mind you. I got the mail every day. Never got caught for that one :messenger_tears_of_joy:
you're dad freaked out over anime tits but missed the Playboy's in the mail? That's hilarious.

I can only imagine the amount of shit kids can see today. I wonder how many boys are just walking around with a ton of porn on their phone.
 

Cybrwzrd

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you're dad freaked out over anime tits but missed the Playboy's in the mail? That's hilarious.

I can only imagine the amount of shit kids can see today. I wonder how many boys are just walking around with a ton of porn on their phone.

Both parents worked and I made sure to be on top of checking the mail duty.

And shit, how many videos are on PornHub alone? Why store it to your phone ;P
 
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I still like how they invented an all new form of censorship: The Digital Bikini 誕づぐ




LOL
 

Tesseract

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i watched some fucked up anime on vhs when i was a kid, some mom and pop rentals didn't give a fuck

pretty sure i saw wicked city when i was like 8, 9, maybe 10ish

shit was fucked yo

 
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brap

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i watched some fucked up anime on vhs when i was a kid, some mom and pop rentals didn't give a fuck

pretty sure i saw wicked city when i was like 8, 9, maybe 10ish

shit was fucked yo

ahhh the good ol days when most adults thought anything animated was for kids
I was gonna post the video of shoujo tsubaki on youtube but there's a vagina in the thumbnail.
 
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Carna

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I slept though the current toonami block for weeks, they just don't show any interesting anime anymore.