Jul 1, 2004

Come On!

It seems that Astro Boy can't get a break. Sure, it's not the 60's classic nor the 80's revival (that wasn't really seen in the North American market), but the current Astro Boy is well-animated (it's very fluid unlike a lot of anime out there, which rely on closeup shots, still frames, and other forms of limited animation, which is like 85% of the anime titles out there now) and well-produced, especially considering we're looking at a Westernized version of the series.

However, there are strange minds that rely on ratings to judge a show's performance. Anybody who has ever read my regular site knows what I feel about the Nielsen ratings system (and apparently, large metropolitan areas around the country are now feeling the same way, as evident in the delay on Nielsen's People Meter ratings gathering system). Also, in private conversations, I learned that certain ratings are made just to attract advertising dollars. Regardless, Astro Boy must not be doing so well and effective immediately, the series is dropped from the Toonami lineup. A shame really. It's a really great series. So, what's going to air in its place?

Teen Titans.

Yeah, the show that comes on two times a day on Mondays through Thursdays and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon. Sure, new episodes are coming to Toonami by the end of the month, but in the meantime, we're going to be barraged with reruns and reruns from now until then. Teen Titans is a good show, I won't deny that. It's like what a superhero version of FLCL, a visual treat for the cross-genre fanatic. BUT, if you're going to add repeats in a timeslot, you have to remove repeats from another. If I was Cartoon Network (and I'm not), I'd put Teen Titans on Toonami, keep the primetime airings, and take Teen Titans off of Miguzi.

*GASP* Actually make a programming change on Miguzi?!? Blasphemy! What would I put on instead of Teen Titans?

Astro Boy.

Why not? Astro Boy worked alright the last time it aired on afternoons during Toonami. It was filler, sure, but at least Cartoon Network gave it a decent chance to air the episodes Kids' WB wouldn't until much much later after its Toonami run. Now, unless Astro Boy is coming back to the KWB afternoon lineup, and by the looks of things, it isn't, Cartoon Network should strip the series to weekdays during the Miguzi lineup. It'll fit that block like a glove.

Both Teen Titans and Astro Boy are cut from the same cloth. They were both based on comic book properties created in the 60s, they were both revamped in the 80s, and they both have occasional comedic moments in the heart of the action overtones. I won't say that they're both interchangable, but I could see why they're making the move.

Still, I wonder what Sony feels about the changes. Wonder if the constant changes would convince them to bring Animax stateside (or develop a reasonable facsimile) . . .


Emperor Fred said...

As a Canadian, I do appreciate your use of the term "North American", though in this case, it's actually just "American". The 80's Astro Boy series was dubbed and fairly widely aired over here. That's how I'm familiar with the franchise, I've never actually seen the 60's series. I was actually surprised when I learned that it didn't air in the US, since Global TV ran it like crazy back in the day. Pretty good show.

"Which error - I repeat - which error did Astro make in his report to Geronimo in order to play with you?" -Buh?

Duke said...

IMO, if Astro Boy went to Toonami in the first place (LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!), and kept the widescreen and original music (I believe it had a wonderful original orchestra score), Astro might have succeeded and not become so...standard. Oh, and changing lines to make Astro sound tougher didn't help.