A handful of anime franchises defined Toonami in the early days of the programming block, namely Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing. Those two anime would go on to be the gateway drug for a generation of American anime fans.
Since Toonami is already showing the latest and greatest form of Dragon Ball Z, it was only a matter of time before Gundam made its triumphant return.
That time is now. Turner Broadcasting and Adult Swim (under which Toonami now airs) have announced that all 25 episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans will be coming to Toonami's late-night anime block this June. That makes it the first Gundam series to air on Toonami since 2004's Mobile Suit Gundam Seed.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans is the latest series in the long-running Gundam franchise, with this particular anime following a group of orphaned Mars children who rebel and set up their own mercenary group ... with mechs, of course. The series debuted in Japan in October of last year and was streamed on services like Crunchyroll, Hulu and even the official Gundam website. Though it's not confirmed, it seems a given that Toonami will be airing the dubbed version of the anime from Sunrise.
Toonami began way back in 1997 as Cartoon Network's action cartoon block, slowly morphing into a lineup of nearly all action anime shows. While other American action cartoons like Justice League Unlimited and Samurai Jack occasionally made an appearance, Japanese shows like the previously-mentioned Gundam, Dragon Ball Z and later, Naruto, proved to be the most popular. The block received the axe in 2008 to the dismay of fans, only to return to the airwaves in 2012 following an April Fool's Prank by Adult Swim. When Toonami did officially return shortly after, it did so as a once per week late-night chunk of programming. Toonami now airs every Saturday night starting at midnight, running into the wee hours of the morning. Recently, Toonami has aired shows like One Piece, Attack on Titan and Naruto Shippuden.