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This is a glossary of Toonami-related jargon, containing information about the hosts, environments, and events that have taken place on the Cartoon Network action-animation block since its life from March 17th, 1997 until its end on September 20th, 2008.
Toonami has only had two primary hosts since it has been on the air. These hosts are Moltar (who hosted the block from March 17, 1997 until July 9, 1999) and TOM (who began hosting the block since July 10, 1999).
Moltar, of Space Ghost Coast to Coast fame, was the first host/director of Toonami. From his control base at Ghost Planet, he launched a sentient observation robot he dubbed Clyde49 to observe the activities on Earth, as well as providing "his signals" (also known as the shows on Toonami) to the world.
During his time as host of Toonami, Moltar set the "hi-tech" mood that permiated the block. Moltar delivered numerous speeches, including the infamous "Is Toonami A Failed Experiment?" promo, asking viewers if Toonami should stay on the air, and "Reruns," which explored the viewers lamentations about the countless reruns that aired on the block.
Moltar's tenure provided the reason why he wasn't included on Williams Street's other programming block at the time, Cartoon Planet. Moltar was also featured in the Toonami-themed issues of the DC Comics-published Cartoon Network Presents, which featured his origins and why he sent Clyde49 to Earth in the first place.
According to the official Toonami website at the time, Moltar retired from hosting duties for Toonami in 1999 because of the amount of work he already had with Space Ghost. In an issue of the Cartoon Network Presents comic (currently archived at Toonami Digital Arsenal), Moltar had plans to build his own spaceship so he could join Clyde in Space. However, he put aside those dreams until he decided he could just buy one cheap.
Moltar was voiced by C. Martin Croker, who also voiced the character on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The character of Moltar originally appeared in Space Ghost and Dino Boy as one of the Space Ghost's enemies.
TOM's tenure as the host of Toonami has been the longest on record. He has undergone four different incarnations in his nearly eight years at the helm of the block. He has become the face of Toonami.
Short for Toonami Operations Module, TOM is the custodian of the Absolution. He became the custodian after Moltar saw TOM's heroic actions in the Intruder online comic. TOM's primary responsibilities include ensuring the ship is properly maintained as well as broadcasting the Toonami signal to the world.
TOM is a sardonic, wisecracking robot, frequently throwing out one-liners and, like Moltar, give sage advice to viewers about moral issues like bravery and standing up for what's right. Infrequently, he'll pass along game reviews, people interviews, and other various commentary.
TOM has undergone several physical changes since his introduction, but in all incarnations he is powered by a nuclear reactor and his attitude remains the same.
During his many game reviews, TOM has shown an interest in adventure and shooter/FPS games. He usually gives fighting games a low grade (6s mainly) due to lack of storyline.
The original version of TOM was a small, pudgy robot with his feet, hands, and head connected to his body by thin black joints. TOM made his broadcast debut on Saturday, July 10, 1999, five minutes before the first Midnight Run episode at aprox. 11:55 pm. After ascending to the bridge of the Absolution he made his first speech:
|“||So it's a brand new Toonami, but the mission objectives remain the same. My name is TOM. I'm the new Moltar. Welcome aboard the Ghost Planet Space Ship Absolution, Cartoon Network's first and only interstellar broadcast and exploration vehicle. I'll give you the tour later. From this day forward she is completely responsible for all Toonami transmissions. I'm takin' you guys into the new millennium! No big changes now, same show, same attitude; new place to do it, new guy to do it with. I'm not going to waste any more time, let's get back into it. Later.||”|
After more than a year as host of Toonami, the original version of TOM met his end in the September 2000 event The Intruder, when a mysterious red blob invaded the Absolution. When TOM went to investigate, the blob sent him flying out into deep space. After returning back to the ship, TOM attempted to destroy the blob, but his laser blaster was ineffective against it. Ultimately, the blob engulfed TOM inside an elevator and destroyed him.
Hosting Period: July 10, 1999-September 22, 2000
After TOM's sacrificial act in The Intruder, Sara, the AI aboard the Absolution, downloaded TOM's memory matrix (which included all his memories, thoughts, and persona) into a new chassis and activated the unit aboard the Absolution. Dubbed TOM 2, this version of TOM was a taller, leaner model with the larger hands and feet, and a sleeker head unit. Overall, TOM 2 looked to be a more battle-hardened version than his predecessor, and this quality was immediately put to the test when Sara informed TOM 2 he would have to go out and plant explosive charges on the starboard engine to save the Absolution.
TOM 2 assumed the duties previously carried out by his former self, including the broadcast of Toonami from the Absolution. In the September 2001 event Lockdown, Tom demonstrated his ability to keep the Absolution up and running by single handedly getting the ship's nuclear reactor and conduit systems back online. In the September 2002 event Trapped in Hyperspace, TOM again took on the role of Absolution’s defender when the ship became infected with a virus shortly after entering hyperspace. TOM was able to get the ship's essential operation systems back online before crashing with Earth, and ultimately saved Sara from the virus, earning TOM a moment of affection from Sara.
TOM 2 met his end in March 2003 after a space pirate named Orcelot Rex broke into the Absolution to steal Sara. After attempting to protect the Absolution TOM abandoned the ship, which was later destroyed, to pursue Sara's abductor, but in his second confrontation with the robot his body was destroyed.
TOM 2 (and all further incarnations of the character from this point out) was voiced by veteran voice artist Steve Blum.
Hosting Period: September 23, 2000-March 14, 2003
When the remains of TOM 2 were thrown into a discard pile, TOM encountered a number of friendly robots who rebuilt his body. This rebuilt TOM, dubbed TOM 3, succeeded in saving Sara and took command of a newly-built space ship, which he dubbed Absolution Mark II. Unlike his previous incarnations, TOM 3 had a very muscular look, almost like a body builder. This was also the first TOM to have five fingers on each hand. His nuclear reactor was located in his upper chest.
This version of TOM remained in service for exactly four years, from March 17, 2003 until March 17, 2007 at which point it just mysteriously disappeared. His demise has yet to be disclosed on-air and on-line.
In the opening of his version, TOM 3.0 is coming back to the Absolution in a fighter pilot. It lands there. Here was the conversation:
|“|| SARA: You've only got 55 seconds to get in here.
TOM 3.0: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
TOM 3.0: I'm coming already.
SARA: You better get in here.
TOM 3.0: I Heard you the first time.
SARA: We're starting without you.
TOM 3.0: Just open the back door.
SARA: Why are you always late?
TOM 3.0: (lands the fighter pilot) 45 Seconds is plenty of time!
He then runs through a hall with two cartoon viewers. He gets into the elevator and then you can hear SARA say:
|“||Every day, the same thing.||”|
Then TOM 3.0 gets out of the elevator. He runs into three Clyde 52's with surprised, maybe mad faces when TOM was saying "Look out, comin' through". He then enters a dark room with graphic features. You can see three tubes on the window. TOM then says "Its gonna be close". He sits down in a chair with buttons on the sides. TOM then presses one side 3 times and on one of the tubes, the 2003-2004 "Toonami" is shown and the intro ends. This was the 2003 version.
The 2004 version showed Clyde 53s' drilling red lasers into the surface of a desert planet. They then shoot blue lasers back to the ship and the ones on board put some card in a machine. Then a white, full-bodied version of SARA appears and says, "Alright TOM, we're ready." Then TOM 3.0 sitting in his usual chair presses the buttons and begins the broadcast saying, "I love this job." The Ship then fires a white ray blast and a different Toonami logo appears and that intro ends.
Hosting Period: March 17, 2003-March 10-2007
The fourth, and final incarnation of TOM is perhaps the most controversial according to longtime fans of the block. This incarnation has a much smaller body than his predecessor and has a frame with rusted metal and peeling body paint. No longer a visored robot, this is the first and only TOM to have facial features. Creators wanted the new TOM without the helmet, as well as look more organic compared to his past incarnations.
At the start of the tenth year, TOM's hosting responsibilities were scaled back considerably. He was seen only during the opening and continuity promotions, while his new assistants Flash and T direct the broadcast process. In addition, this is the first TOM unit to not have custody of any version of the spaceship Absolution, which had been the base of operations for the block since July 1999.
This incarnation has been criticized very negatively because this TOM doesn't have the same design or a back story like the others. Also, as of May 2008, there hasn't been any online nor on-air explanation about the change in appearance of TOM.
On March 17, 2007, a new "Jungle Planet" environment was introduced for the Toonami block. With the new location also came Flash and T, a pair of new assistants to TOM.
Flash serves as an assistant to TOM, helping broadcast the block as well as occasionally give reviews. This robot has a long, swept-back head and painted in an orange-and-blue fiery "hot-rod" design, similar to the Grunts in the Halo series.
His fellow operator is T. This larger, wider robot has a deep, gravelly voice and sardonic attitude reminiscent of Moltar, who also performed the duties of manning the controls.
There were two versions of the intro. Both intros do this:
In the beginning, the camera is in space but then zooms down to the Flowus 3 and TOM says "You guys ready to make the magic happen?". He goes to Flash and talks. The same thing happens with a Clyde 54 in the way. Then he talks to T and says "Deck is cued, first break in 6 minutes,". Then Flash is shown singing "Da da da da da da da da dat." starting up Toonami, then TOM says "We are going in 5, 4, 3, 2..." and the intro ends.
TOM4 was the TOM that ended the Toonami block. T and Flash are seen readying Flowus 3 for permanent shutdown, and TOM thanks the viewers, flies away, and says "bang.", a reference to voice actor Steve Blum's previous role as Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. The speech was as follows:
Well, this is the end, beautiful friends. After more than eleven years, this is Toonami's final broadcast. It's been a lot of fun. We'd like to thank each and every one of you who made this journey with us. Toonami wouldn't have been anything without you. Hopefully we've left you with some good memories. So, until we meet again, stay gold. Bang.
Hosting Period: March 17, 2007-September 20, 2008
The original base of operations of Toonami was Ghost Planet Industries, a large, solitary building built on a large planetoid. Ghost Planet Industries was also the original studio behind of the same location Space Ghost Coast to Coast was filmed, broadcast Toonami from March 17, 1997 to July 9, 1999. Moltar, the director of SG:C2C, was also the first director/host.
The Ghost Planet Space Ship Absolution, officially known as the G.P.S.S. Absolution and referred to by fans of Toonami as "the Absolution", is "Cartoon Network's first and only interstellar broadcast and exploration vehicle". Absolution has undergone two re-envisionings since it was first introduced on Saturday, July 10, 1999.
- NOTE: fans of the series refer to all incarnations of the Absolution as "the Absolution"; they are assigned numerical quatities here solely for identification purposes.
Absolution MK IEdit
The first Absolution was a large, streamlined, dark-colored spaceship that served as the broadcasting platform for TOM after he replaced Moltar as the primary host of Toonami.
In March 2000, the Absolution was retrofitted graphically as a sleek, blue explorer. The vessel, classified as an L-class deep space explorer according to a conversation between Tom and a repair droid (voiced by Toonami's producer Sean Akins), was where all the Total Immersion Events took place.
In September 2000, this Absolution came under attack by an unidentified amorphious blob, which punctured the starboard engine, "eating" through the entire engine fixture. The blob likely would have destroyed the ship itself if it weren't for the efforts of a rebuilt TOM, who had jettisoned the starboard engine.
Following the loss of the engine Absolution put into the Starpower space station for repairs. During this time the Absolution was outfitted with Talon ST engines. After the installation of the engines Absolution demonstrated her abililty to enter hyperdrive, the first time this incarnation had shown such a capability.
This version of the Absolution met its end in March 2003, when Orcelot Rex, a space pirate, charged in through the ship to capture Sara, and in the process caused massive damage to the Absolution, ultimately causing the ship to explode.
Absolution MK IIEdit
After the destruction of the Absolution, a new, sleeker version of the Absolution was introduced. This version of the Absolution looked more like a warship than a broadcast vehicle, and was shown to have a docking area for a personal fighter as well as exploratory Clydes. This version of the Absolution served as the broadcast vehicle for the third incarnation of TOM, and aired the Toonami lineup for four years from March 17, 2003 until March 17, 2007.
On March 17, 2007, Toonami started broadcasting from a base on a densely forested jungle planet. The host, TOM4, is joined by two other robots: Flash, a fast-looking robot with a fire paint design; and T, a large green robot shaped like an arch. Originally, when the area premiered on 17 March 2007, the area looked like a more prehistoric version of Earth than a jungle. On 20 September 2008, the Flowus 3 had its last transmission and permanently shut down at 11 p.m.
Over the block's history, Toonami's hosts have always been assisted by robotic sidekicks. These assistants had numerous responsibilities since the block's debut in 1997.
Clyde 49 was a small, insectlike robot which resembled a UFO. Launched from a cannon on Ghost Planet with the objective of surveying Earth, this Clyde assisted Moltar with the broadcast of Toonami transmissions during Moltar's run as director.
Clyde 49 served as Toonami's mascot of sorts from March 17, 1997 until July 9, 1999.
Introduced during The Intruder event in September 18, 2000, the Clyde 50 was the basic name of small maintenance robots designed by Tom and controlled by Sara. The robots, which Unlike the original model, which had full artificial intelligence capabilities, have only partial AI and a floating toolbox/camera assembly used for surveillance and custodial duties. The Clyde 50s aren't capable of intelligent thought, although they do display some personality traits for comic relief.
During the events of The Intruder, Clyde 50s were sent out to investigate the blob that had nested in the Absolution’s starboard engine. Several of the Clydes sent out for this purpose were ultimately eaten by the blob. After Lockdown, only one Clyde 50 remained, serving as a "pet" of sorts for TOM.
The DOK, unofficially referred as Clyde 51s, were manually-controlled robots developed by TOM after the events of The Intruder whose purpose was to fight off any future intruders or other situations where extra firepower may be needed. They made their operational debut during the events of Lockdown, when the DOKs were placed under the control of viewers from earth, who piloted the vehicles to help TOM and Sara free the Absolution from a tractor beam that had captured the ship.
DOKs are composed of a hardened, cylinder-like body, and have two arms for carrying and using weapons. DOKs do not have legs, but are equipped with a horizontal bar containing two thrusters which allow the DOKs to move.
They were classified according to the amount of armor they carried: light DOKs, capable of fast speed; medium DOKs, capable of carruing heavier weapons but at a slower rate; and heavy DOKs, which were very slow but capable of using the largest weapons.
A DOK robot made a brief cameo appearance during the events of Trapped in Hyperspace.
Clyde 52s were early assistants of the third incarnation of TOM and Sara on the second incarnation of the Absolution. This model consisted of a floating circular screen capable of displaying digital facial expressions, four spikes equidistant around the circumference of the screen, and three solar panel-like fins on the top, left, and right sides.
Clyde 53s assisted TOM and the second incarnation of Sara during years 7-9. Clyde 53s were beetle-like drones with rockets built into their carapaces. With a laser in their head, they were capable of drilling the planet they were on, and send materials/information to the Absolution in orbit. These drones were capable of planetary landfall and returning to orbit under their own power.
This incarnation of Clydes was an amalgamation of elements from each of their predecessors. The insect-like design was inspired by Clyde 49, the small frame inspired by Clyde 50s, the firepower capabilities were inspired by DOKs, and the clustered formations from Clyde 52s.
A new Kind of Clyde was introduced on March 17, 2007 as part of the revamped Toonami. It bears a resemblance to the Clyde 50 but unlike other Clydes, this unit is capable of speech and has a humanoid facial design similar to the rest of the "Jungle Planet" robots, including the fourth incarnation of TOM.
Flash and TEdit
On March 17, 2007, a new "Jungle Planet" environment was introduced for the Toonami block. With the new location also came Flash and T, a pair of new assistants to TOM4.
Flash serves as an assistant to TOM4, helping broadcast the block as well as occasionally give reviews. This robot has a long, swept-back head and painted in an orange-and-blue fiery "hot-rod" design, similar to the Grunts in the Halo series.
His fellow operator is T. This larger, wider robot has a deep, gravelly voice and sardonic attitude reminiscent of Moltar, who also performed the duties of manning the controls.
The Absolution’s onboard AI Matrix. While Sara, then unnamed, was the first voice heard in the TOM era of Toonami, Sara made her formal and visual debut during the events of The Intruder on September 18, 2000. She provided TOM with information and analysis of the intruder and helped rebuilt TOM after the events that destroyed his original body.
During the events of Lockdown, she detected and ultimately translated an alien SOS message, and helped ensure uninterrupted Toonami transmissions by adjusting the modular frequency to which the lineups shows were broadcast. During the events of Trapped in Hyperspace Sara was infected with a computer virus, but TOM managed to break the virus' hold on her. After Sara was kidnapped in Endgame, an online comic, TOM abandoned the Absolution to rescue her.
Because Sara is an AI, she and TOM get along rather well, frequently sharing small talk and occasional romantic moments, such as when TOM saved Sara from the computer virus that had infected her in Trapped in Hyperspace.
After Toonami was moved to Saturday in April 2004, Sara was projected as a hologram instead of being on a screen. Despite the cosmetic change, her voice and personality remained unchanged. Sara's last appearance on Toonami was on March 17, 2007.
Total Immersion EventsEdit
Toonami has done a total of three Total Immersion Events, or TIEs for short. Below is a brief description of each.
The first ever Toonami Total Immersion Event, this took place aboard the Absolution in September 2000. TOM and the recently activated AI matrix Sara were having a conversation on the bridge of the Absolution when an intruder was discovered deep within the ship prompting an investigation courtesy of the Clyde 50s. When they arrived at the scene of the breach, a hole was clearly visible on the Absolution’s starboard engine.
TOM patched the hole in the hull, then went down to level 49 to confront whatever it was that had infiltrated the ship, only to be thrust through the hull by the intruder. The force of the thrust was so great that his nuclear reactor temporarily went offline, but reactivated after his body bumped into a small asteroid.
Brought back aboard the ship, TOM reviewed the data collected from his own visual inspection of the intruder in conjunction with footage of the intruder collected by the Clyde 50s. During this conversation Sara revealed that the intruder was a red blob and was growing, but the briefing was cut short when Sara reported the blob had left the room it previously occupied on level 49. TOM left for the level immediately, but was shocked to discover that the blob had eaten through the floor to get off the level.
Facing an impending crisis Sara charged TOM's blaster, a powerful beam weapon, and sent him down to the level occupied by the blob to eliminate it, but the blob proved impervious to beam weaponry. Ultimately, the intruder engulfed TOM in the passenger elevator and destroyed him.
After consuming TOM, the Intruder proceeded to nearly completely engulf the Absolution's starboard engine. TOM's sacrifice prompted Sara to download his AI matrix into a new battle-ready chassis. This reborn TOM, dubbed TOM 2.0, was charged with a last ditch effort to save the ship: he was to plant explosive charges on the starboard engine wing, one on the outside and one on the inside. The resulting explosion blew the engine, and in turn the Intruder, off the Absolution, saving the ship.
Ultimately, the Absolution put in for new engines at the Starpower space station, where robots and androids installed the viewer-selected Talon ST engines. At the end of the event, a small, red glob of the Intruder is shown drifting through space, followed by "The End?".
The second Total Immersion Event, Lockdown, aired in September 2001, began when Sara detected a transmission she could not recognize from a debris field in space. At TOM's request she moved the Absolution into the debris field to get close to the ship broadcasting the signal, but wound up caught in a tractor beam launched from a derelict trash compactor in the area. In an effort to escape from the beam TOM ordered Absolution into full reverse, but this backfired when the port engine went out and the reactor shut down.
Fortunately, TOM had ordered the launch of the Doks from the Absolution’s cargo bays prior to the ship getting stuck in the tractor beam, and drawing on this come up with a plan. Using Absolution as a two-way broadcast tower, TOM radioed a request to earth for volunteers to remote pilot the DOKs by logging on through the Absolution’s computers. The plan worked, as dozens of Toonami viewers logged onto the Absolution’s systems, using Sara's interface systems to remote pilot the DOKs.
With the DOKs now in human hands TOM turned his attention to reactivating Absolution’s reactor, and when he completed that task, set to work fixing the conduits that burned out when the ship attempted to reverse. Just about the time TOM completed repairs to the Absolution, the DOKs, with Sara's aid, managed to locate the tractor beam room. After a fierce battle with an automated battle droid, the DOKs managed to knock him out using rocket launchers fabricated from the parts aboard the derelict trash compactor.
With the battle droid dead the DOKs successfully disabled the tractor beam, allowing Absolution and the unidentified alien craft to escape.
Trapped in HyperspaceEdit
The third and final Total Immersion Event, Trapped in Hyperspace, aired in September 2002, began when Sara guided Absolution into hyperspace for a return trip to Earth, but shortly after going into hyperspace Sara unexpectedly went offline due to a computer virus named Swayzak, who challenged TOM to regain control of the Absolution before the ship crash landed into earth, leading TOM and a Clyde 50 to attempt a number of risky link ups to uninfect the systems that control the hyperdrive.
Ultimately, TOM managed to regain control of all ship computer systems, and made his last link up to Sara's core systems to break the virus' hold on her directly. The maneuver worked, as Sara was freed, but the virus took the opportunity to infect TOM. Fortunately, he was able to break the viral hold over him, and was reunited with Sara in the hyperdrive room. Upon his return to the bridge Sara briefed TOM on the damage to ship and reported that, in addition to the Absolution, Swayzak had infected several other vessels in the surrounding area; but failed to maintain control over the ships. After leaving hyperspace, Sara thanked TOM for breaking the virus' hold on her.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAX4cgszCU, TOM's Farewell monologue
- ↑ This was part of a contest that Toonami held. When Tom contacted the Starpower space station he learned that the engines currently used on the Absolution had been recalled for power fluctuation and power failure. In light of this fans of the show were asked to pick one of three new designs for the ship
- ↑ Whenever the Absolution went into hyperdrive or hyperspace a movie was shown. This frequently occurred on Fridays, and usually during the monthes of March and September.
- Official Toonami Website-The Official Toonami Website.
- Toonami Digital Arsenal - A fan site with downloads of Toonami related multimedia.
- Absolution NeXt - A database of Toonami information and a part of the Toonami Inner Circle Alliance (TICA)
- The X Bridge's TICA Base - One of the oldest Toonami fansites on the internet with history, timelines, and show bios.
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