Tyler, Toonami. Toonami, Tyler.
Once upon a time, around January of 1998, I was walking home from school, hoping that I could get in the computer before my mom got home to check my mail without being punished. My brother was watching TV. He asked me if I remembered the show "Thundercats". I haven't seen the show in years. I looked at the TV, and instantly, everything about that show I remembered came back to me. I sat and watched attentively and soaked up all that nostalgia.
When the show finished, I was surprised to see Moltar in all his 3D glory introducing some old Hanna Barbara cartoons. I sat and watched. I thought to myself "This is so cool!" Sure, old Hanna Barbara stuff is mostly bad, but i was bored and I wanted to see what was on next. I never really watched Cartoon Network in the afternoon. My main exposure was Dexter's Lab and SGC2C.
Next, Moltar introduced Robotech. I loved the opening, and even though I started watching the series halfway through, it was still fun to watch. It was my first exposure to real anime, I just didn't know it at the time. Next came an old episode of Space Ghost. It was so bad, it was hilarious. Next came Jonny Quest. I didn't care much about him.
After a few days of watching this mysterious block, I found out it's name: "Toonami". It was made by Ghost Planet Industries, which explains Moltar. The in between segments like "Pardon our Dust" and "Mono" were strange, but very cool. I fell in love with the attitude. I can't explain it. It's just SO cool.
Watching Robotech was something I looked forward to daily. The shows kept getting better and better with the Khyron attacking the RDF, and the first saga coming to a climax. (I just didn't know it at the time.) The day after the episode where the SDF-1 was destroyed, I was surprised to see Dana Sterling instead of Rick Hunter. "What the hell did I miss?!?" I asked a friend at school the next day. He said that there are two stories in Robotech, and this is the second one. I tried to like this other saga, but I couldn't. I went on the internet to find out more about this other saga. I learned that there are THREE sagas, and the one I liked was called The Macross Saga. Searching more and more, I became a huge fan of Robotech. I patiently waited through The Robotech Masters saga to see Macross again.
Later, Voltron took the place of Thundercats. I saw half of an episode each day after I came home from school. It was just like Power Rangers, only it wasn't as cheesy. I also discovered a Saturday Toonami with another episode of Robotech showing. Unfortunately, I found out about Saturday Toonami a few weeks before it went off the air.
I come home one day just in time to see the a lineup clip. They got rid of Cartoon Roulette for Sailor Moon. I was outraged. "THEY CAN'T GET RID OF CARTOON ROULETTE! PEOPLE WILL DIE!" I was angry at GPI for a long while. I remember thinking that Sailor Moon sucked just because I thought it was "a girl's show" back when it was on USA. I soon came to accept Sailor Moon, even though I still thought it was very cheesy.
Voltron and Thundercats took each other's places for a while, and one day I come home to see that for the week, Jonny Quest was on twice everyday, taking over Robotech's place. I said "This had BETTER be temporary." The next week, a show named Dragon Ball Z took the place Robotech did about a week before. I went bezerk, and vowed to hate Dragon Ball Z and GPI from that point on. That didn't last long. Dragon Ball Z became my favorite show within a week. I watched daily, through the Saiyan saga, to the Namek saga, and just as Goku came to Namek, the series repeated. I was annoyed, but I watched to see if they would show Goku beat up Frieza in a few months. They didn't. I was still stupid at the time as to anime and dubbing and all.
Over winter break, I was working on a logo for a robotics project with a girl named Becca. She could draw very well, and did most of the design and artwork while I did the computer stuff. I want over to her house one day to finalize a drawing of a robot mascot. We drew and inked him in about an hour. She then showed an episode of Ranma 1/2, and then about six of Tenchi Muyo!, and the first episode of Ranma 1/2. It was about four hours of commercial free consecutive anime. She explained subtitling, dubbing, and they style, and censorship differences of Japanese cartoons. I went home with my expanded knowledge striving to become an expert on action cartoons and anime. I understood why only 53 episodes of DBZ were dubbed, and why Ranma 1/2 isn't on US TV.
Toonami Movies came around that winter, and it was nice to see new DBZ stuff, along with two Batman movies, and the Jonny Quest movie was almost tolerable. Then in March, Reboot took the place of Thundercats. I remembered Reboot when it was on ABC a few years ago. It was funny back then, and hilarious now that I understand the jokes more. With Reboot also came a new look far Toonami. It seemed a little more...uniform and had less of the attitude I became accustomed to. But I still loved it. It was Toonami. It had to still be cool.
Around this time, I had given up on my South Park site, seeing that I couldn't provide anything original. I searched for any Toonami sites, and came upon Toonami: The Unofficial and CN2: Toonami. I was disappointed that both these sites already had news and links and such for almost everything Toonami. I made a few EPS images of some Toonami stuff, mainly Clyde49 and a big CN2 logo. I gave the files to SkullMnky, BlkCloak, and Nemalki. SkullMnky used the CN2 logo, and Nemalki used Clyde49. Then I found Toonami Online, with their section of RealAudio clips of old Toonami openings. I thought "Ha! I have video on my computer! I'll make QuickTime clips!" So, I asked the Toonami populace (A few people on the message boards) if any wanted a page of the Toonami openings. Nobody answered for weeks.
A month later, I got a message from Nemalki:
"I always wanted to make a page full of videos here at CN2: TIC, but I
currently don't have the tools to make them. I'll link to your site and give
you full credit on them."
I decided that the page was at least in a little demand, so I started work. I captured all the show openings, a few of Moltar's speeches, and every day-opening except for Monday's.
Then, It happened.
Toonami changed. I only taped the second half of the Midnight Run since I got home late that night. I didn't even get a chance to see what was on until the next day. All of my clips were not current anymore. Since disk space was at a premium for me, I trashed the old clips and started anew. I finished getting all the day-openings and normal openings two weeks before 8.9.99, the release of CNX 4.0, which was also the day my site was released. I took a vacation.
I'm sitting by the TV in a dorm lounge at Ferris State University fighting with Mikayla to keep CN on instead of MTV. I won, and saw an episode of DBZ. When it finished, TOM had a speech about anger. My work is never done. I start work on the TOM speeches, and non-Toonami openings. After a while, I decide that the sound clips suck, and I should make MP3s. To to that, I needed a good VCR with stereo out to hook up to my computer. So, I bought one. It played fine for a day or so, but then any tape it played after that had incredibly horrible video and sound quality. I returned the VCR, and thought to myself, screw it. It's not worth it. Collecting video clips has gotten boring.
I decided to shut down my site for the time being. It was too much of a hassle, and I had problems with school, friends, and family that were more important than a small, minimal content website. One night, suffering from insomnia as usual, I came up with an idea for a much better site. It would look like the data screens from the bridge of the absolution, load much faster, and be compatible with every computer type and screen size! After a few hours of design tweaking in my head, I went to sleep. The next weekend, I had time to put the site together. I got a copy of Adobe PageMill from an iMac at school, and started putting together the frameset. I used some old images, and the Toonami font which I successfully converted from the PC version to the Mac was used for the menus. I took a mini-rant that I posted on the Toonami Realm club and made it the only piece of new content for the redesign (I was busy. I didn't have much time to make a new layout AND lots of good content).
I informed Jeff of the change, he posted it on his site, and the rest is history. Or breaking news. Whatever. Sorry for boring you.