Toonami Article | TOM's America On-Line Chat

Transcribed by Jeff Harris

On a cool Tuesday evening in October, 1999, American Online users young and old gathered together for one strange night of chatting. The then-new host of Toonami, TOM, was still kind of wet behind the ears and haven't made an impact on the block quite yet. Afterall, after you replace a very popular host like Moltar, you're bound to get a few knocks along the way. To prove himself to the fans, TOM made his online debut on October 12, 1999 on, of all places, a AOL chatroom (note: this event took place less than two years before AOL bought 51% of Time-Warner, Cartoon Network's parent company; of course nowadays, the 49% [there's that number again] minority owners; i.e. the Time-Warner folks, now completely run the show; afterall, we can't let people believe that 51% of anything means an overwhelming mandate to act with total jackassery -jh). This is one of the rarest Toonami interviews out there, and The X Bridge is proud to keep it alive on the internet.

TOM invaded AOL, and former subscribers like myself was there.

TOM tackled a lot of subjects that night from rumored acquisitions to exactly what was up with that gut of his back then (thanks to the Intruder diet, TOM lost that gut and grew a little taller!). A lot of fun was held that night. For those that weren't there because you didn't have AOL or don't even remember the chat, here it is, compiled for your perusal. Remember that a bulk of the information presented here only reflects Toonami 1999.

AOL: Tonight we are joined by the host of Toonami -- TOM! He's here to answer all of your questions about the show, plus a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of Toonami. We've just uplinked to the Absolution -- everyone, please welcome TOM!

TOM: Hello, nice to see everyone.

We don't have much time tonight, so we'll get right to the questions!

Question: So what are you, under the mask? An alien? A guy? A kid?
I'm a sentient program.

What happened to Moltar running the show?
Moltar needed to devote more time to his duties on the Ghost Planet.

Will Cartoon Network ever air the series Dragonball GT or Sailor Moon S?
Eventually we plan to.

Does TOM stand for Television Operation Machine?
No, but that's a good guess.

What do you think about Dragonball Z?
The best action cartoon ever made.

A recent rumor circulating around the Internet has been the chance that Cartoon Network is working on an all-anime network, due to the popularity of the Toonami block. Any truth to it?
I am not at liberty to discuss that. It would be great, though.

Yo, what's the address to send the pics to, cuz I have an awsome one of Gokou with the dragon behind him!
1065 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA, 30309. No tracers allowed.

Is Cartoon Network gonna come out with new Sailor Moon eps?

When will the next lineup change be?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Will Cartoon Network play import DBZ movies? I know there are about 10+ of them.
We plan to get as many as possible.

When are they gonna make new seasons of ReBoot?
ReBoot is no longer in production. Mainframe now makes Beast Machines. (In 1999, this was true. In 2000, Mainframe began working on a pair of miniseries events, Daemon Rising and My Two Bobs, which premiered in the fall of 2001 on Toonami. Beast Machines has gone the way of the dinosaur, sad to say - jh)

Will Jonny Quest come back to Toonami?
Absolutely not.

At what episode are the new episodes of DBZ going to end?
Around 80-something.

How is your incredibly amazing computer animation possible? I mean, you can see perfect texture and reflections. It looks almost real.
Do you mean to imply that I am animated?

What kind of animation are the "Powerpuff Girls"?
Classic American style with anime influence. Genius.

Do you guys plan on showing Rurouni Kenshin and Gundam Wing? If so, dubbed or subbed?
Yes to Gundam Wing; and we will never show anything subtitled. (in 2003, Rurouni Kenshin did eventually make it to the Toonami block, and no, it wasn't subbed, a practice still held to this day - jh)

TOM, what are some of your life goals?
To bring you the best animated action entertainment available.

What episodes of Robotech will be aired on Toonami the midnight run?
The first two seasons. (unfortunately, they didn't get that far; when the original Midnight Run ended in February 2000, Robotech wasn't even a part of the block - jh)

Will you be showing Tenchi Muyo?

Will you be showing Slayers?

Does Gohan turn Super Sayjan on Namek like within the next few weeks?
Watch and find out. (spoiler alert: he didn't turn into a Super Saiyan in 1999, since much of the 1999 season of DBZ was an incredibly long day on Planet Namek - jh)

How old is TOM?

TOM! Howz it hanging out there in space? Since you have all the Toonami archives, which show do you watch the most?
Dragonball Z, of course. And Sailor Moon. And ReBoot. And Ronin Warriors. And Robotech. And Voltron. And Thundercats. Those kids are crazy.

Will Cartoon Network think about Exo-Squad on Toonami?
Probably not. Sorry.

Is it true that there will be a CD of Toonami's music?
I'd love to make one. We'll see what happens. (In 2002, Deep Space Bass, the first Toonami CD, was released courtesy of Rhino Records; a second CD was supposed to be released, but cancelled after the lukewarm sales of the first album, but it's not lost forever; my brothers at TDA have it in pure digital format, either MP3 or on that format that you could take in that media player created by that company named after a tempting fruit that shall remain nameless - jh)

Who created the Absolution?
Men with a vision.

How does Sailor Moon transform so fast? The enemy could kill her just while she is transforming.
The transformation takes place at such a high speed that any enemies do not even have time to blink. (you gotta admit, that's a damned good response from TOM)

Will Goku ever die again, because I heard he will, to a dude named Cell or something like that. And is Trunks really son of Bulma and Vegeta?
All these questions and more will be answered. You guys are just going to have to watch.

TOM, are you guys releasing the three Sailor Moon movies in the spring, or what?
We will air them next year, but we cannot guarantee that it will be in the spring.

Hello, TOM. Tell me... are there any plans to move Robotech to Toonami afternoons?
Unfortunately not. It didn't have a strong audience in the afternoon. It's a shame, I love that show.

How are you, TOM?
I'm great. Being a robot in outer space is cool.

When are they gonna show that Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea? I miss that cartoon.
Never heard of it.

Are you married?
Not yet.

TOM, what do you think about the Powerpuff Girls on Toonami?
I love the Powerpuff Girls. Especially Bubbles. Everybody likes Bubbles.

TOM, Blkcloak from Toonami: The Unofficial (For those just joining the program, T:TU was one of the first major Toonami fansites to come online and one of the intial charter members of the TICA back when it was just called The Toonami Inner Circle - jh). What's with this news of a possible Toonami Channel? First it's here, now it's not? What's up?
Yo, BlkCloak. What up? I dig your website... and the Toonami Channel is up in the air. It's a great idea. (In 2002, Cartoon Network UK launched a new network that used a lot of Toonami elements called CNX [don't ask], and in 2003, that network officially became the world's first and only Toonami channel. By 2006, the channel had, sadly, become a general entertainment channel with more emphasis on live-action comedy and teen drama than action animation. Truly a scourge on the Toonami brand name. And in 2007, still no Toonami network, while anime companies ADV and FUNimation launched The Anime Network and FUNimation Channel, respectedly - jh)

TOM, what was your previous job?
Programming binary load lifters. Very similar to your binary moisture vaporators, in most respects.

Do you fly around in the Toonami ship all day?
There are no days in space. But yes.

Ahem, what's up with the gut, TOM?
Now that's just uncalled for. Actually, that's where my nuclear reactor is. Where I get my power.

What's the deal with Toonami not airing the original show openings?
They aren't fresh after so many years. We wanted to liven the shows up. Plus you've seen the old opens a million times. (this practice of not showing American show openings completely ended in 2006 - jh)

Whats with the nuclear symbol on your chest?
See two questions ago.

TOM, anyone else on the Absolution, or is it just you at the command?
Just me, for now . . . (Sly duck; little would the chatter know that TOM would interact with SARA, who would become an intrigual part of Toonami beginning in September 2000 - jh)

What does TOM stand for?

What do you actually do on the ship?
Hello!? I broadcast a national cable television show, play games and drop knowledge.

Do you know if DiC has already dubbed the Sailor Moon S series?
I think they're in the process. (the series was in production, but DiC had nothing to do with them; Cloverway, an American-based subsidary of series owner Toei Animation, produced and distributed the series beginning in the summer of 2000. A few years later, Toei took Sailor Moon out of the North American market for reasons we just don't know about - jh)

Do you know Moltar as a personal friend?
Yep. He's moody.

Are you a guy or a girl?
Neither. I am a sentient program.

Do you ever hang out with Brak or Zorak?
No, those guys are stinky.

What kind of computer is on the Absolution?
Macintosh. Think different.

Blkcloak from Toonami: The Unofficial.... What about Gundam Wing, that's been rumored to be coming to Toonami?
Yes, let's put the rumors to rest.

Where in space are you right now?
Right now, just doing a loop around Orion's belt.

What planets have you visited? Have you ever been to Earth? Will you stop by my house if you do come to Earth?
Only a few so far. I've never been to Earth. Maybe someday. No housecalls, though.

When did Toonami start, and what shows were in it?
It started on St. Patrick's Day, 1997. It included Voltron, Thundercats, Quest and Super Adventures. What we now call Roulette.

Do you eat?

Will you ever show Space Ghost Coast to Coast on Toonami?
No. It's a comedy show, and we're all action.

Im a big Powerpuff Girls fan. Are you going to show the espiode called Uh-Oh Dymano? Even though you show it on the commercial, it has not been shown. Will you?
Yes, of course. We'll show them all, eventually.

Will you ever get your own series?
If the fans demand, it shall be done.

TOM, who would win in a battle royal, Goku or the Sailor Scouts?
Come on, Goku IS the world's strongest.

TOM, how does the Absolution look on the inside? And do you like your job? Because I sure do!
You'll see more of the Absolution in the near future. And I love my job. There isn't a better one.

We only have time for one more question...

Hey TOM, do you think there we ever be a Japanimation marathon on Cartoon Network?
It's within the realm of possibility. (Japanimation? Gotta remember, it WAS 1999, and that term was still what a lot of people called anime - jh)

Thank you, TOM, for taking time to chat with us tonight!

You're welcome. Good-bye. Keep watching Toonami. I love you all. The revolution will be televised.


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