The Cartoon Network has released the schedule for its popular afternoon Toonami Block for the period of September 29 to October 10. The Cartoon Network appears to be in a pattern of swift rotation of titles, which will give more properties exposure, but limit the depth of the impression any series can make. The current Monday-to-Thursday Toonami Block lineup, which debuted on September 1, includes SD Gundam (5pm ET, PT), Dragon Ball Z (5:30 ET, PT), Cyborg 009 (6pm ET, PT), and Dragon Ball (6:30 ET, PT).
Starting on September 29, the Monday through Thursday Toonami schedule will be: SD Gundam (5pm), Samurai Jack (5:30 pm), Transformers Armada (6pm), and Dragon Ball (6:30pm). On Fridays He-Man replaces Samurai Jack and Hot Wheels Highway 35 takes Dragon Ball's spot.
The daily exposure on Toonami should bring new life to properties involved. The new SD Gundam series is known as 'Superior Defender' in the U.S., though all the fans know that this is the 'super-deformed' version of Gundam, which features squat, gnome-like versions of the famous Gundam mecha. Naturally Bandai has an entire new line of perversely cute SD Gundam figures (see 'Bandai Adds Two Series of Gundam Toys') ready. Samurai Jack is a Cartoon Network production that owes more of a stylistic debt to the futuristic cartoons of the 1950s (think 'What's Opera Doc?') than to any anime production, but Toonami exposure could bring the inventive series new fans. Hasbro has been pushing the Transformers hard, licensing comics (see 'Hasbro Launches New Transformers Licensing Streams'), figures (see 'Palisades Premiers Transformers Line'), cinemanga (see 'Tokyopop Adds Nine New Manga Series'), trading cards, and videos (see 'Fleer, Rhino Get Transformers Licenses') -- so the Toonami exposure for Transformers Armada could have a big effect at retail.