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Over five years ago, a small group of friends started a Toonami fan account called “Toonami Squad” on Twitter. It was a simpler time, barely doing much on Saturday nights. Eventually, the group wanted to create a fansite, along with an emblem to call their own. That emblem became both my first and most lasting contribution to the Toonami Squad fansite. Across the years, throughout the numerous permanent and temporary makeovers we’ve had, the “Fist” (that’s what we tend to call it amongst ourselves) has been the one element that’s persisted since its first use. However, things change with the passage of time, and around 2019, our continued use of the fist became something I started to question.
The initial idea that was brought to me for an emblem was a fist raised up in the air with the Toonami symbol in the arm, using the scene in One Piece where the Straw-Hats raise their fist in the air as they say goodbye to Princess Vivi and the Alabasta Kingdom as a reference. At the time, I wasn’t that good at making basic designs from scratch, so I decided to use the fist for the framework and go from there.
The basis of the fist is a public domain image that is traditionally used as a symbol of protest. At first, I didn’t really give it much thought; I just thought it looked cool. But as time went on, it began to dawn on me how its use became… awkward. That awkwardness became more evident to me in 2019, where in Puerto Rico, massive protests occurred for days on end. Being from there, I naturally pay close attention to what happens back home. And one thing I noticed right away was the use of the public domain fist in a lot of the signs during the protests. Fast forward to the horrible year of 2020, and the Black Lives Matters protests started anew in the United States, and rightfully so, the public domain fist was everywhere to see. Those events gave me all the convincing I needed: as much as I love the fist, it was linked to the battle for civil rights far more than it should continue to be used for a fansite group about an anime block that airs at midnight on Saturdays. The emblem that we carried for five years had to be retired.
Now, you might be thinking, “Wait, that was last year, it’s been months since then, what took you so long to finally do it?”. The explanation is simple: I can’t pull things out of thin air and along with a work schedule that one might call “unkind” thanks to the pandemic, I can’t exactly make something when I don’t even know where I want to start. A visual makeover for the Squad was also long overdue, so the single job became a complete project on its own. But thankfully, after all the rejected drafts, delays, and even more rejected drafts (I scrapped a LOT drafts), I’m proud to say that Toonami Squad will finally carry a new emblem. Behold:
From today onward, this will be the Squad’s emblem for the foreseeable future. Like before, our social media will have a different color variation to match Toonami’s current color scheme as well as different versions for future special events. It takes inspiration from sci-fi shows and movies I looked up when making it, sort of like a medal you award a space officer, and developed it from there, with the Toonami symbol placed over the Earth as the focal centerpiece.
With the introduction of the new emblem comes the question: “what happens with the fist?” As of the publishing of this article, the fist will no longer be in use by Toonami Squad and it is officially retired. While we won’t be replacing the fist on existing imagery that may have incorporated it, we’d like to ask that any mutual
fansites that might link to us or include our logo in some way update to using the new one just as we are. Otherwise, while the logo may remain retired, we respectfully ask that no one attempt to repurpose it now that we aren’t using it.
There are a few more visual changes in the Squad that just happened, but I’ll leave those for everyone to discover themselves. The main point here is that the old emblem has been retired, the new one is here to stay. I can’t deny that I’ll miss using it (We got SO much mileage out of it for special events.), but I stand proud knowing that it will remain a part of the site’s history. My only hope is that the new emblem will do the same. May it last even longer than the fist. Till next time!
You can follow and talk to me at SilverAbsolutionII on Twitter.