Gephyrophillia | Watch This Space #125
Originally Posted on 02/15/2005 by Jeff Harris
In memory of TechTV, a great network killed by a greedy cable company who infected it with a "video game" network and people who didn't know what the hell to do with it.
ShoPro/Viz announced today that they have acquired all major rights (you know, video distribution, broadcast rights, and merchandising) to the popular ninja-oriented series Naruto in North and Latin America, and the fans are, for the majority, very pleased that a company like 4Kids or Nelvana didn't get it. The series had been, until now, one of the only Shonen Jump properties that had been animated, but not acquired in our neck of the words. Now that it's in the hands of a company that has a decent track record, people are now asking where is it going to go?
Well, there's Fox's 4Kids TV, who would love to have three Shonen Jump properties on their block (afterall, they do have fan favorites One Piece and Shaman King, which are being released in uncut forms in the coming weeks on DVD), Kids' WB, who could easily pair it off with YuGiOh as a marquee show, or ABC Cable's Jetix lineups, where Naruto could air on dual channels either on mornings or evenings. And then there's Cartoon Network, which has three very diverse programming blocks where the series could entertain every segment of the viewing population. There's the lighter-toned Miguzi, which rarely airs anime, Toonami, which has a lot of popular anime action franchises, and Adult Swim, which has a lot of edgy anime franchise, even though they're buried late at night.
A lot of people want to see Naruto air on Adult Swim, and who could blame them? It's action-filled with a few instances of naughtiness and blood-spilling fighting sequences. However, I'm not completely sold on Naruto being on Adult Swim, and it's not because I want to see it on Toonami, and I'm a Toonami-supporter from way back (hell, I created a campaign for the block when CN was threatening to cancel it). I don't see Naruto being on Adult Swim primarily because of Case Closed's run on the block. Case Closed (formerly Detective Conan) didn't really skewer to 18+ audiences Adult Swim caters to. Plus, there was a bit of uneasiness of having young teens in a lead role of a series. Of course, they're not having that problem with Full Metal Alchemist yet, but the ratings for that series has also skewered younger than the targeted demographics for that block. Adult Swim wants more shows like Cowboy Bebop. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex comes close. Witch Hunter Robin and Wolf's Rain tried and unfortunately failed. InuYasha is an oddity because male viewers feel emasculated by it yet it still kicks tail in the ratings, so it'll stay the course. Also, according to the official press release, Naruto is also going to be aimed towards tweens and teens by their distributor, demographics Adult Swim isn't aimed towards.
But Toonami is.
Naruto's presence on Toonami would be a welcome addition as well as a fitting replacement for this one show that just ended its seven-year reign on the block. I think you've heard of it. It was called Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. Not unlike Naruto, the Dragon Ball franchise also was an action-filled franchise with a few instances of naughtiness and a whole lot of blood-spilling fighting sequences. It's funny that a whole lot of cynics and otakus believe that Toonami wouldn't be ready for a show like Naruto when it's apparent that the block had made a show like Naruto as its marquee franchise for years. Yeah, it'll be edited, but then again, everything on Cartoon Network is edited. Nothing airs in its original form, not even the shows on Adult Swim, and yet, otakus like to skewer Toonami for their editing practices while letting others slide for minor edits. Toonami is supposed to be the dividing point for shows that are too mature to air on Miguzi and not quite mature enough to air on Adult Swim, and Naruto falls within that dividing point. Justice League Unlimited, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, and countless others aren't on in daylight hours any more primarily because of the dividing point. Heck, Teen Titans and Rave Master comes perilously close to the dividing point on numerous occasions, which is why they were seen on both Miguzi and Toonami.
Perhaps the broadcast rights of Naruto would be picked up by Cartoon Network. They'll put the series where they feel it'll fit in the best and what direction the company that will result after the merger of ShoPro and Viz is completed wants the series to go.
Guess we'll have to wait and see.
The X Bridge Webmaster/EiC/Lead Writer
February 15, 2005
From Page One to the current Geph article. The voice of The X Bridge for many years. Still crossing bridges. More »
Nothing can compare with this in its purest form. At least, that's what the lyric said. The creative side of The X Bridge in archival form. More »
Opinions from the mind of Jeff Harris. More »
The Legacy Project's complete list of Toonami-based articles from The X Bridge (and a few not found elsewhere). More »
Have A Question?
Contact my Formspring account. More »