The Cartoon Network has announced that the One Piece anime series will make its Cartoon Network debut on the Saturday night Toonami block with back-to-back episodes, which will air starting at 10 pm on Saturday, April 23'rd.  The One Piece anime has been airing on the Saturday morning 4Kids TV block (on the Fox network), but has so far garnered only average ratings in spite of the fact that One Piece is one of the most popular anime series in Japan.  While the pirate-themed One Piece could be seen as suitable fodder for Saturday morning viewers, the series has elements of humor (and violence) that could make it a major hit with the slightly older anime fans who watch the Cartoon Network's Toonami block.


The One Piece manga, published in the U.S. by Viz, is already a solid performer in both bookstores and the direct market, which should help the ratings for the Cartoon Network broadcasts (and the DVD sales if the series is made available in unedited versions -- so far no One Piece DVDs have been announced).