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Toonami has announced today (May 7, 2020) that due to dub production delays at FUNimation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Episode 86 of My Hero Academia will not air until May 16, 2020 and episode 85 will be re-airing during this weekend’s broadcast on May 9. Here is the statement Toonami released:
“Heads up, My Hero fans! Due to everything going on, this week’s episode of My Hero Academia will be a re-run of episode 85 this Saturday night at midnight. But don’t you worry! Episode 86 will premiere next Saturday. Plus, Toonami’s serving up a whole action-packed lineup this and every Saturday night from midnight to 3a!”
Delays were expected to and have affected both FUNimation and Toonami.
On March 18, 2020, FUNimation announced that SimulDub production would be paused and dub production would experience delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing FUNimation employees to work from home, with My Hero Academia being one of those shows affected. FUNimation stated that SimulDub production would be paused starting with Episode 86, however, starting with Episode 84, FUNimation released a message with the broadcast stating,
“To our fans and community-
We present this episode to you, having primarily recorded each actor from the safety of their own homes. Our hearts are with all of you, our staff, and our extended cast and crew during these difficult times.
-The Funimation My Hero Academia Crew”
This message re-aired with the Episode 85 broadcast the following week as well.
— Toonami Squad | #StayHome (@ToonamiSquad) April 26, 2020
On March 25, 2020, like FUNimation, Toonami announced that they would experience delays due to COVID-19 and that fans should expect additional reruns, marathons, and special airings of classic shows. Five days later, on March 30, 2020, they announced a DBZ Kai marathon to help deal with programing delays. Following this, on April 7, 2020, they announced that Toonami would be cut to 3 hours and would be starting later in the night. On April 15, 2020, Toonami announced that they would be airing the classic anime Paranoia Agent, which originally aired on Adult Swim Action in 2005. One week later, they announced that season 1 of Mob Psycho 100 would be re-airing on the block.
As you can see, this isn’t the first delay to hit Toonami since the outbreak of the pandemic and it is unlikely be the last.
We at Toonami Squad have noticed several comments recently regarding these announcements, including questions about why they aren’t selecting another show to take My Hero Academia’s lead-off slot and why this announcement is coming just over 48 hours from this Saturday’s broadcast.
With regard to the first comment, it’s unlikely that they can simply reshuffle the schedule with such short notice and for only one night when they are expecting the lineup to return to normal the following week. New bumps and other alterations to the block’s packaging would need to be created, along with recording additional lines for TOM and SARA, something that would waste the budget allocated to the block. Jason DeMarco has stated on his ask.fm account that reruns like Mob Psycho are a result of using shows they still have rights to in order to help offset losses incurred by the pandemic.
As for the timing, it’s been understood that FUNimation has been delivering material for My Hero Academia closer to broadcast for several weeks, explaining the lack of episodic promos since Episode 83. While Adult Swim may have expected to be getting Episode 86 on time, and FUNimation may have intended to deliver it on schedule, the changes to the workflows for both companies are a new hurdle for both sides to work through and in this case, whatever the reason, Episode 86 has ended up delayed.
While these delays may not be what we as fans want, everyone is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the FUNimation production crews and voice casts, many of which are working from home to bring content to fans to as best as they can. While the process works and it’s fantastic they’re are doing what they are under these circumstances, it’s also not anywhere near as fast as what they are used to and isn’t without the occasional hiccup here and there. We all must be patient as we get through this together.
Toonami Facebook Post (May 7, 2020) – https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/posts/2425082761115890
Toonami Facebook Post (April 24, 2020) – https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/posts/2415199272104239
Toonami Facebook Post (April 15, 2020) – https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/posts/2408409786116521
Toonami Announces 30 Minute Cut And Later Start to The Block Due to Delays and Disruptions Related to COVID-19 Pandemic; Says Not to Panic – https://toonamisquad.com/toonami-announces-30-minute-cut-and-later-start-to-the-block-due-to-delays-and-disruptions-related-to-covid-19-pandemic-says-not-to-panic/
Toonami Announces DBZ Kai Cell Saga Marathon to Make up For Delays – https://toonamisquad.com/toonami-announces-dragon-ball-z-kai-marathon-for-april-11-2020/
Industry Delays, Postponements, and Cancellations Due to COVID-19 – https://toonamisquad.com/industry-delays-postponements-and-cancellations-due-to-covid-19-quarantine-funimation-toonami-right-stuf-and-more-affected/
MomoCon Postponed, Toonami Panel Canceled – https://toonamisquad.com/momocon-postponed-toonami-panel-canceled/