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Toonami Marks 25 Years With New Anime Commissions

Every anime fan has a different story of how they first discovered Japanese animation. For a generation of US fans, they were introduced to it via Toonami. The programming block started life on Cartoon Network and aired many of the most popular series of the time such as Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing, as well as some American action animation. The block was eventually phased out, but was resurrected in 2012 by Adult Swim.  2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Toonami, and Adult Swim is going to celebrate it in style.

To mark the occasion, Adult Swim has ordered two new seasons of cult anime FLCL. Following on from 2018's FLCL Alternative and FLCL Progressive, the two new seasons will be called FLCL Grunge and FLCL Shoegaze.  The new seasons are currently in production and will air on Toonami at some point in the future.

Coming later this year is brand new original horror anime Housing Complex C. The series will follow a young woman named Kimi who lives in a small low-cost housing complex located in the seaside town of Kurasaki. Trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes and horrific incidents start to occur. Is an ancient evil terrorising the residents of the complex? Housing Complex C is directed by Yuji Nara based on a script and original concept from amphibian and is being produced by Akatsuki (Clockwork Planet, Trickster).

FLCL Grunge and FLCL Shoegaze are being produced by separate teams. Grunge is directed by Hitoshi Takekiyo and Mont Blanc Pictures, a Japanese Visual Arts Studio with little TV anime experience. Shoegaze comes from director Yutaka Uemura and is animated by Production IG X NUT. Both FLCL seasons and Housing Complex C are executive produced by Jason DeMarco (creative director of Toonami, and senior vice president, action and anime for WarnerMedia) and produced by Maki Terashima-Furuta of Production IG USA.

Toonami will also screen new animation featuring Toonami's iconic hosts TOM (voiced by Steve Blum) and SARA (Dana Swanson). They will feature in both Cosmo Samurai Part 2, a four-part anime short and in The Return, an all-new two-part special with custom CGI TOM and SARA storytelling piece premiering  Saturday, March 19, and concluding Saturday, March 26.

DeMarco, who has been there since the beginning, reflects on 25 years of Toonami:

I can’t believe that somehow, against all odds, our little cartoon block has survived for 25 years on television. We’ve made it this far with support from our fans and our network, and we are truly grateful for both. Here’s to more adventures to come.

The new shows join a growing slate of Toonmai produced of co-produced series which include recent releases Blade Runner Black Lotus and Fena Pirate Princess, Shenmue The Animation and the upcoming Junji Ito horror adaptation, Uzumaki. They air alongside some of the biggest shows in the universe, including Attack On Titan, One Piece, Cowboy Bebop and Made in Abyss, Saturdays from Midnight ET.

Get your first look at FLCL Grunge here in a (very brief) first look video, below.