I remember coming home from school everyday and waiting until the clock struck 4pm. Everyday at 4pm, the legendary action block Toonami came on Cartoon Network. Toonami was your typical block of Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, etc. When we were kids, that block and the Simpsons were the only important times for TV.
For many of us nerds, this was our first taste of Anime. True anime, not that Kids WB crap. We loved Toonami, and as we grew, it grew with us. We grew to love Tom, the show's host (many of us are too young to remember Moltar, the original host). We cried when Tom 1 was destroyed during The Intruder, and we were in awe when Tom 2 showed up in all of his awesome glory.
Tom 2 eventually became the sleeker Tom 3, and shows like DBZ gave away to shows like Outlaw Star and Zodiac Warriors. We endured with Tom through Trapped in Hyperspace, stayed up late to catch the Midnight Run, and rose early to catch the Rising Sun. We stayed with SARA as well, the ship's computer. Her companionship was oftentimes the only thing that kept Tom on track aboard the Absolution. Eventually, Toonami got handed a Saturday night time slot, and we were introduced to Tom 4.
Sadly, during the year 2008, Toonami met its end.
That was the last time we thought we'd see Tom.
We thought wrong. The community didn't stay quiet. The people loved Toonami. They wanted it back. During the ensuing years, many people across the web banded together to created live streams that replicated Toonami. While most have failed, a few have really taken off, such as Toonami Aftermath. Toonami Aftermath is a 24/7 stream that's basically the greatest thing to happen to us since the original Toonami (at the time of this typing, Toonami Aftermath was relocating and was down. It may be back up by now). It has everything from anime, to american action cartoons, to movies, to even the original Toonami comercials featuring Tom. What more could you ask for?
We could ask for a new Toonami. We could ask for is a new Tom 5. Well, that's what the community is also delivering. Enter Neotoonami, a community that is recreating Toonami on a whole new level. It is a group that is making a new ship, a new Tom, and a new line-up of shows. They've posted previews of their work, and honestly, I'm awestruck at it. These guys are doing an amazing job, and I personally can't wait for Neotoonami to kick off.
Honestly, what does this all mean? What's it all represent? This is what a community has done. This is what a group of 100% people has created. The Internet is a powerful place. When people want something to happen, they band together and they make stuff happen. When Toonami went off the air, several streams sprang up created by fans who wanted it back. These are PEOPLE, not some corporation or company kicking up this stream. These are people. Just like Anonymous, they have moved the Internet and brought joy to many fans around the world.
It just makes you wonder... when an Internet community comes together, what else can they do?