Toonami is an animated programming block geared towards action-oriented programming, primarily consisting of American animation and Japanese anime. Originally an afternoon and evening block on Cartoon Network, it is now a late night animation block on Adult Swim. It was created by Sean Akins and Jason DeMarco and produced by Williams Street. The name is a portmanteau of the words "cartoon" and "tsunami", suggesting a "tidal wave" of animated shows.
Toonami initially ran on Cartoon Network from 1997 to 2008. In its original run, the block was famous for showcasing action anime that became widely popular with American audiences; including Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors, Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo!, Outlaw Star, Zoids, The Big O, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Naruto and One Piece. It was also recognized for its distinctive space-themed backdrop, anime music videos, drum and bass-flavored soundtrack, and host (a robot named T.O.M., short for Toonami Operations Module).
In 2012, Adult Swim relaunched Toonami as an adult-oriented animated block, which continues as a Saturday night action block. Shows from the older lineup have occasionally returned, along with newer shows such as Bleach, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online, Space Dandy, Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Kill La Kill, Akame ga Kill! and Parasyte -the maxim-.