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Toonami Squad and Swimpedia are in a partnership and Head of Swimpedia Kevin Moncayo is also a guest writer for Toonami Squad.
The TV entertainment business is an ever evolving landscape where shows and trends can come and go as quickly (or as slowly) as they came… And then there’s Toonami. Originally premiering in March 17, 1997, the programming block has gone through multiple hosts, rebrands, television events and many, MANY shows since it’s inception. And for the first time, the Faithful will have access to a complete schedule archive of Toonami’s original run on Cartoon Network. Today we talk with Kevin Moncayo, Head of Swimpedia, to talk about the group’s latest project.
Joshua Mathieu: “Hi Kevin, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us for another interview! So from my understanding you are launching a Toonami schedule archive on your current Swimpedia website. First though, before we get into that I wanted to ask you a little about Swimpedia in general and ask if you could give the people some insight into what Swimpedia is about if you don’t mind.”
Kevin Moncayo: “Hi Joshua, it’s great to talk to you again! Thank you for giving Swimpedia an outlet to reach a wider audience, in this case Toonami fans who may be interested in learning more about the Cartoon Network era of the block. With that being said, speaking more broadly, the core of Swimpedia is an archive for anything Adult Swim, similar to the Toonami Wiki. Beyond that, we also wanted to be a source for current viewers, which is why we expanded to Twitter for up-to-date news, as well YouTube, for recent promos and bumps. Thus, overall we’re doing anything from organizing past Adult Swim Presents events to announcing upcoming marathons to compiling new bumps from every Sunday. In other words, we serve the community in a similar way to Toonami Squad, but for Adult Swim, on top of organizing new and old information for future viewers. Yet, what people likely know us most for is archiving the Adult Swim schedule from 2001 to present, which most of our other projects have then stemmed from.”
JM: “So why did you decide to create and launch Swimpedia? What was the inspiration behind it? And what exactly is Swimpedia about in more detail?”
KM: “Swimpedia, then known as the Adult Swim Vault, was technically founded in September 2017 with the main goal being to archive Adult Swim’s schedule from the December 2000 stealth premieres to current airings of the channel. Around this time, Adult Swim was running their “History of Adult Swim” event, in which every weekday they would cover one or more Adult Swim shows, in chronological order, with bumps about them. This was when I really got into the fan community and wanted to archive these bumps since many of them had really interesting information. What fascinated me most about them was the information related to previous Adult Swim schedules and eras, but I shortly came to realize that none of these were reliably archived in full. This was in stark contrast to Toonami, which the Toonami Wiki features endless information about, and now accurate lineups all the way back to 1997.
Although the “History of Adult Swim” bumps pushed me into some sort of action, it was comparing the state of Adult Swim archival to the Toonami Wiki that inspired me to take on this project. In the beginning, the only hope was to have a complete Adult Swim schedule archive, with episodes, but then that expanded to include anything and everything Adult Swim. Ultimately, the schedule alone could not tell the overall story of this network, and our goal became to get as close to that as possible. Thus, alongside the schedule, we also have information about on-air events, off-air events, the streams, music, specials, contests, fan sites, on-air errors, and much more.”
JM: “What actually went into creating Swimpedia? How long did it take to gather all the data? Where did you manage to find all the data and info to put Swimpedia together?”
KM: “Originally our focus was solely on compiling the schedule, so we began by examining previous attempts at accomplishing this task. Honestly, there wasn’t much at the level that we hoped for as some projects had a variety of mistakes, while others only covered a short period or didn’t include episodes. At the time, the most reliable source involved a combination of official papers schedules and weekly Toon Zone threads from 2006 to 2013. Of course, compiling this information was easier said than done, as it involved reading through threads to confirm information or check the accuracy of the paper schedules, as changes did occur that they did not cover. Next, finding schedule data from 2001-2005 involved scouring various other forums or website that had documented said information from one time or another. In particular for this pre-2013 period, the Wayback Machine was our best friend, and I do not think this project would have been possible without it. Then, it was in looking for information from 2014 onward where we struck gold, as since there wasn’t much out there other than those who were documenting present day Adult Swim, we had to start asking around. Surprisingly, we came across a few individuals who were actually privately compiling Adult Swim schedule information who were kind enough to share that with us. Ultimately, they didn’t have an interest in publicly sharing information, but they were more than happy to have us take a look, compile data, and cross check it. Through this process we eventually got to a point where all the information in our schedule has multiple sources, both public and private, which we believe to be as accurate as can be without having recordings of every night.
Additionally, as we were researching all of this schedule information, we began to further uncover the rich history of Adult Swim. It was strange that something as simple as past marathons or contests involved extensive digging to find. This is when we were inspired to go beyond simply doing a schedule, and create something that closer resembled the Toonami Wiki for example. It was only through compiling the schedule that we could bring to light all of this information. So while our temporary website only currently holds schedule data, our future website will hopefully have everything anyone would ever want to know about Adult Swim, from their music to information on every special that has ever aired.”
JM: “Besides yourself, who else works behind the scenes at Swimpedia? Could you tell us a little about the Swimpedia team if you don’t mind?”
KM: “Ultimately, the full extent of the Swimpedia team involves many individuals who support our efforts in secondary roles. For example, although we have one person who predominantly serves as our Adult Swim Streams expert, he is more of a consultant. Similarly, our team member who records Adult Swim for bumps and promos simply sends them to us, but isn’t part of our day-to-day efforts. Thankfully, we have been lucky enough to make many of these connections with amazing fans through our efforts to compile all of this information. After that group, we have individuals who we consider partners, meaning that we share the information we have compiled with them so that they can better help us. One such partner is Kian, who runs CN News/Schedules, the Adult Swim Reddit, and other ventures. In order for him to help us with our graphics, we work with him to get all the information and graphics to do so.
That being said, there are two Swimpedia members, Korosu and Fooly, who work alongside myself, that serve as the core of the Swimpedia team. Korosu in particular helped me start the Adult Swim Vault, and has been instrumental in compiling schedule, music, and ratings information. In terms of the Adult Swim schedule, I predominantly compiled 2005-2013, while he did 2001-2004 and 2014 moving forward. Currently, he is chiefly responsible for keeping our schedule accurate and up to date. That being said, since we added our Twitter account, we share the responsibility of tweeting, and if anything is scheduled to go out it’s typically his doing. Altogether, this project would not have happened without the incredible support of Korosu right from the beginning—I might even say he’s more dedicated to Swimpedia than me. Then, we have Fooly, who joined us later on to contribute their expertise in Adult Swim history, website design, and past efforts to construct a project such as this. Additionally, because we found the name Swimpedia so catchy, which was the name of their past attempt, we agreed to adopt that as our new name instead of the Adult Swim Vault. This also gave us access to Fooly’s discord and twitter account, which to this date serve as our bases of operation, now with the addition of our temporary site and YouTube channel. Nevertheless, with the support of our consultants, partners, and core members we are on our way to fully documenting the complex and interesting history of Adult Swim.”
JM: “From launching Swimpedia and in the years since running it what have your experiences been like? Did you expect to be at the point where you are now or are surprised at where Swimpedia currently stands? Has it exceeded your expectations?”
KM: “The history of Swimpedia continues to be a combination of scouring the internet for information and making connections with incredible fans from as far back as the Space Ghost Coast to Coast days to the present. We will forever be grateful to those who took the time to write about Adult Swim in the past, as well as the many individuals who have taken the time to support our efforts directly. Although there have been long nights searching the deepest reaches of the Wayback Machine for any information or trying to contact anyone willing to help us, it has been such a joy to work on this project. The ability to give back to a community that I love through the documentation of their cherished history is worth so much. For example, it genuinely brings a smile to my face when I hear that our efforts gave someone nostalgia for a special period in their relationship with Adult Swim.
Then, now with up-to-date news on Twitter, as well as all recent bumps and promos on YouTube, we’re able to directly engage with the community that with every passing day learns more about us. On many occasions, we are the first people covering Adult Swim and the only people publicly archiving weekly bumps and promos. In my opinion, we are fulfilling a need while also supporting the Adult Swim brand by spreading the word about them and helping fans better interact with their content. Ultimately, we are still smaller than similar sites or accounts, but I am surprised by, and happy to see, how we have steadily grown and interacted with many fans and Adult Swim employees alike. I can only hope this success continues as we branch out to other ventures, such as the Toonami schedule.”
JM: “Okay, now to the main course of this interview then, let’s talk about the new Toonami schedule archive you are launching on Swimpedia.”
KM: “Yes, I am very excited to finally unveil this project, which was predominantly made possible through the schedule-based connections we made when working on the Adult Swim schedule. To put it simply, we were able to put together a near complete schedule for the Cartoon Network era of Toonami, from 1997 to 2008, with episode titles included across every Toonami sub-block. Additionally, our site also now hosts Miguzi and Saturday Video Entertainment System schedules, giving fans of Williams Street a near-complete view at their four blocks. There are small portions we are not completely certain about, but overall we are confident that what we are presenting is accurate, and are always willing to address any potential errors. Nevertheless, we agreed that turning to Toonami Squad to spread the word about this endeavor was a great idea, and so I’m happy to talk more about it with you!”
JM: “So, why did you decide to expand into this new schedule archive? Was it something you were always planning on doing?”
KM: “Funny enough, it always goes back to the Toonami Wiki, which to me has been the gold standard for compiling information about a block. They have documented everything from music videos to game reviews, but of note here is the section where they list ever Toonami lineup from 1997 to present. Of course for Adult Swim, our goal was to take this a step further and have every night with episode titles, so we moved beyond that structure. Yet, when we were receiving information about Adult Swim, some of our sources had also compiled Toonami data, some of which actually contradicted information on the Toonami Wiki. So although we were working on the Adult Swim schedule, in the back of my mind I considered the possibility of doing this for Toonami. Not only would this allow us to address inaccuracies on the Toonami Wiki, but we could also provide Toonami fans with a schedule that was on par with what we had created for Adult Swim. It would ultimately take years to realize this vision, as we instead focused on Adult Swim, and it was only now with more free time during the pandemic that I was able to dedicate the necessary time to the Toonami schedule project.”
JM: “How long were you working on the Toonami schedule archive and was anyone else working on it with you?”
KM: “When we were doing the Adult Swim schedule, we basically learned the most efficient ways to do a project like this. Sometime last year, we were discussing the groundwork off-and-on, going over what was needed to best accomplish this task, versus when we simply jumped into Adult Swim in 2017. Nevertheless, I completed the bulk of the actual project myself, working from October 2020 to March 2021, with some breaks in between for the sake of my sanity. Much of the time was dedicated to compiling, analyzing, and confirming information, easily from morning to night day after day. Luckily, there wasn’t much else to do!”
JM: “What was the process for actually compiling and finding all the data for this schedule?”
KM: “In dealing with a block that was established over 20 years ago, I began by taking stock of any connections that may have been able to support this project. Thankfully, we had already received a lot of this schedule information previously, but it was raw data from different sources that was all over the place without any sort of structure. I next turned to the lineups on the Toonami Wiki because even if somewhat incorrect, they provided an outline for what to look out for, as well as all the sub-blocks, including Moltar Saturdays, Midnight Run, Rising Sun, Super Saturday, and special Friday schedules. Additionally, I reached out to the current main editor of the wiki, Toonamifan55, both to learn about his sources and to discuss the errors in their lineups. Ultimately, I could have made the edits myself, but working with him and providing evidence directly made this process more efficient as he could simply do it himself. Similarly, there were some instances where I was uncertain about some issues and we were able to work them out together. Altogether, this meant that prior to the release of our schedule today, we improved the lineups on the Toonami Wiki to a point that we are certain they are all correct now.
Nevertheless, returning to the full schedule, my process involved comparing all the data we had to any information I could find online or through the Wayback Machine. Also, in order to provide historical context and learn about potential schedule issues, I would read Toonami fansites or the Anime Superhero Forum’s Toonami archive as I went along. To be clear, I want to emphasize that no single other project or data set that could be found online or was privately given to us was predominantly used. For example, the closest attempts to our project in the past focused on when Toonami switched to Saturday-only from 2004 to 2008. Yet, we could not rely on any one of these projects beyond comparing because they all had their fair share of inaccuracies or flaws. That being said, we do respect and thank those who came before us, as well as honor their projects on our Toonami schedule home page. Additionally, we owe a lot of our success to individuals who recorded Toonami in the past, fansites that documented schedules, Newspapers.com and the New York Times for helping us clear up any weird schedule changes, and anyone who cared enough about Toonami throughout the years to talk about it on a forum, Google group, or the like.”
JM: “Did you have any complications putting the Toonami schedule archive together? Was there anything that surprised you about the process?”
KM: “Yes, above all else, the hardest year to find any information for was 1997, before any sort of legitimate fansite for Toonami had been established. Since this period focused on ThunderCats, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, and Cartoon Roulette, along with Voltron, and the block was in its infancy, there was not as much interest in Toonami, let alone documenting its schedule. Thus, none of our sources had schedule data prior to 1998, forcing us to solely rely on scattered information from Google groups or show-specific fansites, newspapers, and a handful of recordings. Additionally, and possibly most difficult, we had to figure out the dates in which the block was preempted by a Cartoon Network event, such as Screwy Squirrel Day on April Fools’ Day. Then, with all of that information, along with the known fact that that these shows, minus Cartoon Roulette, aired in a specific order and then reran, we were able to lay them all out to match up with the schedule in 1998—all Cartoon Roulette episodes are random and known from recordings. We do keep a private version of 1997 where we document known data versus information determined through educated conclusions if anyone wants to dispute or further analyze that. That being said, despite some remaining uncertainty, I’s confident what we are presenting in 1997 is as accurate as possible.
Other than that year, there are some random one-off occasions where we would love to know more about what happened on specific dates. For example, on October 30th, 1999, Toonami was impacted by Daylight Saving, giving the block an extra hour. Through research, we determined that this hour was likely filled by the Dragon Ball Z movie “Dead Zone,” but there is still some level of uncertainty. Similarly, there is some uncertainty about random episodes of The Powerpuff Girls being used as filler after specials or movies. Thus, I welcome Toonami fans, many with more knowledge than I about the block, to reach out to us about any concerns they might have or issues they see. Still, we do have sources to back up all of our decisions, so we would ask that you provide your own sources as well.”
JM: “Do you plan on expanding into the Adult Swim era of Toonami eventually or was this just something you wanted to do for the Cartoon Network Era? Or is the Adult Swim era of Toonami something that is already cover through Swimpedia?”
KM: “Currently, we do feature the Adult Swim era Toonami schedule on our website from 2012 to present, covered under our Adult Swim schedule. Although we’re confident all of that information there is correct, as Korosu was documenting it himself since the beginning, it’s not as easy as cutting those airings out and moving them to the Toonami-only schedule. Along with listing shows and episodes, we also document premieres, but there are instances where a show may have been a Toonami premiere but not an Adult Swim premiere, and thus it was not indicated as such. This would mean that in order to move the Adult Swim era Toonami schedules to the Toonami schedule archive, we would need to edit premieres, such as FLCL for example. On the other hand, we have shows such as Samurai Jack or IGPX noted as premieres because they had not aired on Adult Swim before, yet they did air on the Cartoon Network era Toonami schedule, so those would no longer be premieres on a Toonami-only schedule. However, despite these issues, we do hope to add these to the Toonami-only schedule in the future with any necessary changes or additions. ”
JM: “Besides the schedule itself, does this archive cover anything else?”
KM: “When it comes to Adult Swim, our goal was always to have different sections for everything, whether that’s off-air events or notable interviews, yet with Toonami, this isn’t needed because the Toonami Wiki already covers most of that. As such, our only plan was to make the Toonami schedule to contribute to that, but we wanted to make it a one-stop shop to give people additional information that fans at the time had. In other words, we wanted the schedule to provide the data at face value, but also create a complete fan experience. This meant that on top of premieres, on-air event titles, and schedule errors, we have also provided the dates for sweepstakes, interviews, upfronts, anniversaries, fan site launches, off-air events, and more. The hope is that this information, along with the schedule itself, provides a more in depth nostalgia trip or historical view at Toonami’s rich history all in one place.”
JM: “You said you also covered other Williams Street blocks; can you tell us more about that?”
KM: “Yeah I’d love to. We already had Adult Swim and Saturday Video Entertainment System covered, the latter of which was completed by Korosu. That one was really easy for him to complete since it happened over two years, 2003-2004, only aired on Saturdays, and it was simple to identify when it started and finished. Then, while I completed the Cartoon Network era Toonami schedule, he worked on Miguzi. This one was a little tougher for him as not only was it a weekday afternoon block with some runs on Saturdays and Sundays, but there was little if any documentation out there on the block, much of which was incorrect anyways. Luckily, the two of us were able to piece it together, the only issues remaining being whether certain special days were Miguzi or preemptions. Nevertheless, working together we are now able to present near complete and accurate schedules for all four Williams Street blocks. Thinking back to 2017, I wasn’t sure if we would make it to this point, but it’s amazing to have completed something for the fans that not many channels come close to having.”
JM: “Lastly, is there anyone you would like to give credit or a shout out to in the help of creating either Swimpedia or the new Toonami schedule archive?”
KM: “I would especially like to thank Korosu for looking over the Toonami schedule after I completed it, as he was able to catch some errors and edit titles. While I’m often the one gathering base schedule information, it’s his eye for detail that addresses human error and makes sure we have all accurate titles. I would also like to thank the Toonami Wiki, which not only provided us with a framework for this project, but also helped us along the way to address potential discrepancies or concerns. Other than them, we list some of the other people on our homepage, many of which we did not work with directly, but their past efforts served to make our project stronger.”
JM: “Thanks again Kevin for taking the time to talk with us!”
KM: “Thank you and the rest of the Toonami Squad crew for giving us this platform to reach out to the community. I look forward to hearing what people have to say about the schedule, whether that’s new fans learning something or old fans remembering the glory days. There’s something for everyone, so take a look!”
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