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The Toonami Audience Takeover Bracket was an online competition that pitted 64 former and current Toonami series against one another in an NCAA tournament style bracket over 4 weeks (Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5:00 PM) from October 13-November 7, 2020. Each matchup saw two series face off against each other with the winner of each matchup selected by fans via an Instagram vote.

Most of the Toonami series that made up the bracket were anime series (other than Ballmastrz: 9009) that aired on the block during its run on Adult Swim (2012-2020). However, since Adult Swim's Toonami hadn't technically showed 64 anime series, a few series from the April Fools broadcast in 2012 were included even though only one episode of each series aired. The idea of an Audience Takeover Bracket came after Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin made their own brackets on Toonami: Pre-Flight earlier in the year. However, DeMarco and Austin included American and Japanese series from Toonami's entire existence (1997-2020) on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim in their brackets.

In the first episode Max set the bracket matchups with guests Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin by playing a randomized Space Invaders style game. However, he first seeded the top 4 "heavy hitters" in the 4 divisions of the bracket. These top 4 series were Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, Bleach and My Hero Academia. The rest of the bracket was randomized so, unlike the NCAA tournament, there wasn't a seeding system.

The tournament was live-streamed on adultswim.com and YouTube over 4 weeks (2 episodes each week) resulting in Cowboy Bebop being announced the winner and receiving a marathon on Saturday, December 26, 2020 that was programmed by the viewer (Coolkevin54 of swimpedia) that submitted the bracket with the most correct choices. Viewers could also call in during the livestream to give their opinions.

Full Bracket

Bracket Divisions

The following are alphabetical lists of which Toonami series were in each bracket.

North Bracket

East Bracket

South Bracket

West Bracket

Episodes

Episode 1

Air date: October 13, 2020

In episode 1 Max Simone set the bracket with guests Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin by playing a randomized Space Invaders style game.

Episode 2

Air date: October 17, 2020

Max has Dana Swanson, voice of SARA, make her picks for the tournament based solely on the name of the series. Also, Max interviews Steve Blum, voice of TOM. Official voting for the round of 64 began.

Episode 3

Air date: October 20, 2020

Max chats with Kim Manning and Tim Lyu before revealing the winners of the round of 64.

Episode 4

Air date: October 24, 2020

Max chats with Christy Karakas, creator of Ballmastrz: 9009, and Evan D'Elia, who created the interactive bracket. The winners of the round of 32 were revealed.

Episode 5

Air date: October 27, 2020

Max chats with the YouTube collective Anime Balls Deep (Sid, Adil and Yusuf) before revealing the winners of the round of 16.

Episode 6

Air date: October 31, 2020

Max and guest, YouTuber Swagkage, chat about anime before the final 4 series left in the bracket (My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Z, Demon Slayer and Cowboy Bebop) were revealed.

Episode 7

Air date: November 3, 2020

Max chats with Paul Pescrillo and SKETCH from Toonami Faithful before revealing the final 2 (Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball Z).

Episode 8

Air date: November 7, 2020

Max is joined by returning guests Dana Swanson and Christy Karakas to discuss the finale among other things. Cowboy Bebop shocked the world and was declared the winner over Dragon Ball Z. Jason DeMarco and Gill Austin then gave their opinions on the result in a prerecorded message.

Guest/Commentators

  • Max Simone - Host of the Toonami Audience Takeover Bracket and creator of Gemusetto: Death Beat(s) (episode 1-8)
  • Sarah Platock - producer of the Toonami Audience Takeover Bracket (episodes 1-8)
  • Jason DeMarco - co-creator of Toonami/VP and Creative Director for on-air at Adult Swim (episode 1 & 8)
  • Gill Austin - former Cartoon Network intern/Sr. Creative Director for Adult Swim On-Air (episode 1 & 8)
  • Dana Swanson - voice of SARA (episode 2 & 8)
  • Steve Blum - voice of TOM (episode 2)
  • Kim Manning - Head of Programming for Adult Swim/Toonami (episode 3)
  • Tim Lyu - Crunchyroll host/writer (episode 3)
  • Christy Karakas - creator of Superjail and Ballmastrz: 9009 (episode 4)
  • Evan D'Elia - created the interactive bracket (episode 4)
  • Sid - Anime Balls Deep YouTube channel (episode 5)
  • Adil - Anime Balls Deep YouTube channel (episode 5)
  • Yusuf - Anime Balls Deep YouTube channel (episode 5)
  • Swagkage - YouTuber (episode 6)
  • Paul Pescrillo - toonamifaithful.com (episode 7)
  • SKETCH - toonamifaithful.com (episode 7)

Gallery

Toonami Events
Cartoon Network

Superheroes WeekendRe-Quest WeekdaysLunar EclipseDBZ20XLZ-DayDBZ President's Day Movie MarathonFull CycleDBZ: Garlic Jr. Saga Mini-MarathonNew Year's EvilVillaintine's DayPower to the PeopleMidnight Run: Special EditionZoids CubedA Night of New Year's Eve-ilBatman VS. SupermanMobile Game Unit5 Year AnniversaryJoker's DayIn-Flight Movies: Pick-a-FlickHe-Man-athonTransformers: Armada MarathonSamurai Jack MarathonZoids: Chaotic Century Final FourGiant Robot WeekDBZ: Best of BuuBest of KenshinDBZ MoviesDragonball ChroniclesTransformers: Energon MarathonSamurai Jack\Clone Wars MarathonClone Wars MarathonNaruto Year's EveA Month of MiyazakiNaruto-athonNight of NarutoNaruto Marathon (November 2006)New Year's Eve's EveYu-Gi-Oh! GX MarathonNaruto Marathon (January 2007)10 Year AnniversaryNaruto Marathon (April 2007)KLIK Street Skating TourTransformers: Cybertron MarathonNaruto Independence MarathonNaruto HundoToonami Sweepstakes

Adult Swim

April Fools 2012Daylight SavingsMonth of Movies (2013)Space Dandy Premiere-athonAttack on Titan MarathonBeware the Batman BlowoutMonth of Movies (2014)Kill la Kill MarathonDBZ-AthonMichiko & Hatchin MarathonAkame Ga Kill! MarathonParasyte MarathonDBZ Kai Marathon (December 2015)One Piece MarathonDBZ Kai Power HourSamurai Champloo MarathonHunter x Hunter MarathonOne Punch Man MarathonGundam IBO MarathonJoJo's Bizarre Adventure MarathonDBZ Kai Marathon (December 2016)Samurai Jack Season 5 MarathonAttack on Titan S2 MarathonDBZ Kai Marathon (September 2017)Samurai Jack Marathon (October 2017)DBZ Kai Marathon (November 2017)Cowboy Bebop Holiday MarathonDragon Ball Super Marathon (December 2017)April Fools 2018FLCL MarathonMy Hero Academia MarathonAttack on Titan S3 MarathonDragon Ball Super Marathon (December 2018)Boruto: Naruto Next Generations MarathonHunter x Hunter: Fan FavoriteDragon Ball Super Marathon (September 2019)Food Wars! MarathonOne Punch Man Season 2 MarathonDr. Stone MarathonDBZ Kai: Cell Saga MarathonDragon Ball Super Marathon (July 2020)Adult Swim Con: Toonami EditionToonami: Dark KnightsToonami Audience Takeover BracketThe Promised Neverland Halloween MarathonPrimal: Season 1 MarathonToonami’s night of Wonder WomanCowboy Bebop Marathon (December 2020)Harley Quinn MarathonDC FanDome Movie MarathonFena: Pirate Princess MarathonToonami's Black Friday Blade Runner Doorbuster EventBlade Runner: Black Lotus MarathonBlade Runner: Black Lotus Christmas Night MarathonCowboy Bebop MarathonShenmue the Animation Marathon

Total Immersion Events

The IntruderLockdownTrapped in HyperspaceIGPX Micro SeriesThe Intruder IIThe Intruder IIICountdownThe ForgeCosmo SamuraiCosmo Samurai 2The Return

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