Thursday, September 10, 2009
Naruto Shippuden & Disney XD
Big news today thanks to the Hollywood Reporter is that Disney completed a deal with Viz to air Naruto Shippuden in the US on Disney's XD block of programming. Cartoon Network probably did it's greatest blunder since it's canceling of Toonami and their few years of practically ignoring what got them on the map in the first place, anime.
Before I get Adult Swim fans mad at me, I'll gladly state that I like a few things from AS that are on today and I was part of the crowd that helped bring back Family Guy. Yet, as someone who's been watching CN since the days of Pokemon in 1996, the progression of Cartoon Network and the very creation of Adult Swim was due to anime...which has been forgotten and made fun of since about 2004-2005.
As an anime purest and as an anime store owner, I have strong feelings on both sides. As for marketing and for the hope of a true revival of anime in the US market, Naruto Shippuden being on Disney XD is amazing. My business will be booming and combined with Syfy channel, FUNimation channel, and The Anime Network, anime could finally not be at the butt of every joke at Williams Street and be back in the lime light. Though my friend Tiago who got me into anime, works for Willams Street (Adult Swim), the joke is really on Cartoon Network now. Like it or not, having the first Naruto series was a plus for them. Let's not forget Disney's recent acquisition of Marvel. Disney might even attract the same type of crowd and heck, maybe even the same crowd that Toonami had.
The anime purest in me though is going to be ticked off. The reason why is that we will see a well drawn (but highly fillered) series like Naruto become this kiddy, watered down US version to accommodate the kiddies on Disney. You'll see sandwiches digitally covering rice balls since the US market "won't get it" and any scene with blood and violence in Naruto will be brutally hacked or sweat will be replacing the blood. If this is the price to pay to bring back anime's popularity to the US, I guess it is a decent price to pay.
(oh, BTW, the quick Photoshop deal on that picture was me ^^;;)
Feel free to post your comments/opinions on this below.