One of the first of its kind to bring attention to anime in western culture, Dragon Ball Z will finally be returning to Cartoon Networks’s late night Toonami block. Over the weekend at MomoCon (an anime convention held in Georgia) the Toonami panel brought the news to fans initially by sharing that both DBZ Kai and Cowboy Bebop would be making the return in the fall season. The latter of which quickly became considered as one of the most popular anime shows of all time in the west.
This is big news for anime fans, as Dragon Ball Z has been all but absent from Cartoon Network ever since Toonami was cut from the lineup and the series was picked up by Nickelodeon under a new remastered and heavily cut version “Dragon Ball Z Kai”. Now some of the fans of the original uncut might be a bit up-in-arms about the news of the show’s return as Kai is the version of Dragon Ball Z hitting airtime on Toonami.
Toonami, which currently airs Saturday nights form 11:30pm-6:00am the following morning, consists of showing Attack on Titan, Bleach, Space Dandy, Naruto, One Piece, Blue Exorcist, Black Lagoon, Beware the Batman, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Sym-Bionic Titan. The block is clearly heavily tailored to anime, but with Dragon Ball Z Kai and Cowboy Bebop coming back, the block almost entirely will air anime exclusively. It’s unclear at this point whether or not any other network will maintain rights to airing Dragon Ball Z, as Nickelodeon and the CW both aired the show in recent years. Regardless, we can’t help but feel like Dragon Ball Z is returning right back where it started from and we could not be more excited. Stay tuned, Toonami Faithful.
Created by Akira Toriyama’s original manga series, Dragon Ball Z originally aired in North America on Cartoon Network from September 13, 1996-April 7, 2003 before making it’s way to the late night Toonami Block in 1997. 291 episodes later, DBZ has received widespread recognition as being one of the most popular and influential anime series of all time.