A Rebuttal: In Defense of Super on Toonami

Last Updated on by Joshua Mathieu (Jmb a.k.a. The Boss)

This article is mainly in response to CJ Maffris of Toonami Faithful’s article “Should Toonami have waited on Super?” Not trying to start anything by the way I think the points made in the article mentioned are good points. However, Dragon Ball Super being on Toonami is probably the best case scenario that could’ve ever happened. One of the points mentioned in the article is that DBZ Kai The Final Chapters should’ve aired first. Then once it was done Super could’ve aired in it’s place. While I do think that DBZ is a name that could sustain itself for a long time even with Kai running.

The fact of the matter is Super is all new content, although the beginning is a full recap of the two films Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. Once we get past that point Dragon Ball Super starts to open up with new arcs and so far even with the film recaps new things are added in rather than being a total rehash. Such as the party now being on a boat rather than being located in Bulma’s backyard, Lord Beerus actually destroying planets, and even getting reacquainted with everyone from Z with the first two episodes. DBZ Kai The Final Chapters despite the dub being done for years is still nothing new. It’s the Buu arc but condensed with a horrible green tint (thanks Toei)! While yes a lotof what Toonami is airing is either done with it’s Japanese broadcast (such as Hunter X Hunter, Gundam Unicorn, and Ghost in The Shell) or still continuing but where we’re at isn’t new content (Jojo, One Piece, and Naruto). The block still needed something new that isn’t a total rehash. DBZ is a powerful name that’ll bring in drones of old fans and maybe some newbies who haven’t seen it, it’s hard to ignore what’s airing is a glorified rerun just with a better dub. While Super is currently moving slowly it’s still new content to those who haven’t seen it and is still on the mind of the general anime fan. Just last year Super saw a spike from the fandom that I haven’t seen since it was first announced. I get the feeling that if Toonami waited on Super the hype behind it would’ve died down and not create as much buzz when they acquired the rights. Granted, I do think that it would’ve done well because of the name, but not get as much mainstream attention that it’s currently getting now. Dragon Ball Super premieres at 8 PM the earliest an anime has ever aired a new episode at least on Adult Swim. Currently in that slot Super does very well for itself managing to sustain itself amongst the competition of other shows airing during that time. The 8 PM showing also doesn’t take away from the Toonami airing since both are aimed at two different audiences. The 8 PM is more geared at the younger crowd coming from Cartoon Network to Adult Swim while the 11:30 airing is aimed at the core Toonami audience and those who missed the earlier showtime. To me I think it was best to still strike while the iron was hot rather than waiting another year just to premiere it.

The next point I want to bring up is was it a good idea to double up on Dragon ball? Well it’s weird currently the Dragon Ball power hour starts the block up currently in some ways I think it’s a good thing and in others I think it’d be best to split it up. First, let me express why having the Dragon Ball power hour is a good idea. One, it stabilizes the block in ratings. Some have complained on how the block’s ratings have been over the past few weeks really the ratings have been very good. Both Dragon Ball Super and Z Kai have been leading the block off strong everything else has done well. Jojo and Unicorn have both been on the top 10 for most watched shows on Saturdays. So even if they don’t pull in as much views as Dragon Ball the block doesn’t seem to be suffering from them having this start the block off. On the other hand I’d much prefer if they would’ve separated them. Even though stability is currently the goal at Toonami I think spreading Kai out even half an hour later and bumping Jojo up maybe would give the block some sort of shake up rather than relying on what works. Then again if it’s not broken why fix it. There are always two ways to look at it. On one hand I understand why they chose this, it’s not a drastic line up change other than starting earlier and it won’t confuse the casual audience who are tuning in for their regular scheduled shows. Yet, sometimes I do wonder if they decided to spread DBZ Kai out how well that would do compared to the current Dragon Ball power hour.

Finally, I want to talk about it being “Misplaced” on the block. The full quote from the article goes as, “What might also add on to this underwhelming feeling is that, I find Dragon Ball Super almost misplaced on the block. It doesn’t have the edgy feel that Dragon Ball Z brought to the table. Just from the first six episodes, it seems like it’s made for a younger audience instead of the viewers that frequent Toonami.” While I do agree that Super currently starts out slow the fact of the matter is that the Dragon Ball franchise was always made with children in mind. Even a lot of what Toonami is currently airing (Hunter, One Piece, Naruto, Gundam) were made for broadcast in Japan on kids stations. While some scenes in Dragon Ball Z are intense and get pretty violent it at points remain a very light hearted romp even in the beginning it had it’s moments of fun. It wasn’t until we reached past Frieza that the story took a more serious turn. From the Android arc to the Cell games were very dramatic, serious, and focused more on fights rather than a mix of comedy and action. The Z series didn’t return to being a little more goofy until the Buu arc. In some ways I feel like Super is trying to strike a balance between a light hearted and goofy story with some more dramatic scenes. Granted what we’re currently seeing is more Dragon Ball than Z which even still invokes what the franchise was originally about action and comedy. While humor is subjective Super so far to me reminds me a lot of what I enjoyed of the franchise in the first place. A light hearted goofy romp that doesn’t try to take itself seriously. Even with the other shows that are on the block like Jojo and One Piece both aren’t heavy on the drama they both try to invoke a fun story with good characters and integrate some decent humor as well. Even when they do dramatic scenes they do have a good weight to them. Super will have those moments of drama but as for right now I much prefer it being a good light hearted adventure rather than just being a serious tale about how the earth is doomed and Goku must save it.

That about does it I think the article does bring up good points, but personally I think it was a good move to grab it. Waiting could’ve caused a lot of things to happen but for where the block is currently, it put us at a great spot.

(Here’s the link to the original article: http://toonamifaithful.com/opinion-should-toonami-have-waited-to-start-super/)


Senior Editorial Writer for Toonami Squad and former writer for Swim Squad. Host for Toonami Squad Sessions Podcast.