This show, Toonime, is rated TV-14, meaning it contains content that may be inappropriate for younger readers under 14 years of age.
Toonime is an American adult animated television series created by Aleks J. Hudock and produced by Warner Bros. Animation and FUNimation Entertainment for The WB, later The CW. It debuted on February 26, 2002 and ran for eight seasons with a total of 197 episodes before it was cancelled on November 9, 2012.
Taking place in the fictional city of New Tokyork, the series revolves around the frenetic and satirical misadventures of a cynical yet witty cartoon dog named Ditzy Dawg and a playful, cute neko girl named Mika as they experience bizarre and sometimes outrageous occurrences around the city and interact with their friends and enemies. The show was known for its absurd narrative, dark themes, gradual character development and unique depiction of both American and Japanese animation styled characters as races.
Toonime received generally positive reviews from critics and was highly regarded as one of the first Warner Bros. Animation programs to be targeted towards mature audiences. The show received thirteen Annie Awards and five Emmy Awards.
The series adapted into a franchise starting from 2004 and onwards, releasing a series of video games based on the series, a 2009 film adaptation and other merchandise.
Toonime is centered on the everyday exploits of Ditzy Dawg (Kevin McDonald) and Mika (Holly Gauthier-Frankel). Ditzy, the protagonist of the show, frequently subjects himself to misfortune and struggles to maintain the nature of society in New Tokyork. He often tries to convince others that they can't always find trust in anyone who takes advantage of them, but usually ends up failing, though in some instances and during the series finale, he succeeds. Ditzy also commonly gets into various situations with his friends and enemies.
The series is primarily comedic in nature. The main subjects it tackles include stereotypes, commercialism, popular culture, journalism, current events, self-awareness and politics. Despite its mostly satirical reputation, the series also covers more serious topics such as corruption, discrimination and even depression.
One of the most notable aspects of the show is its mashup of the styles of anime and Western animation. As a result of Toonime's humorous tackle on stereotypes, characters have certain logic depending on their style. Western animation characters (Toons) are described as exaggerated caricatures who break the laws of physics while anime characters (Mangas) are drawn more realistically and use many expressions seen in anime.
Cast and Characters
Ditzy Dawg: voiced by Kevin McDonald. Ditzy Dawg is the main protagonist of the series. He is a short but slender anthropomorphic cartoon dog reminiscent of 1930's cartoons, having black skin, pie-cut eyes and white gloves each with three seed-shaped lines. He wears purple shorts and bright orange shoes. Ditzy is often shown to be cynical, sarcastic and self-destructive. On the other hand, he can also be tenacious, wise-cracking, witty and eccentric. Ditzy is known to always call people out on their faults and has a dry sense of humor. He works as a cereal mascot for the fictional cereal brand Mini Meats with Warts Wolfe as his partner. However, due to their usual sketch in each advertisement, he often falls victim to a common running gag in the show where Warts steals his Mini Meats cereals outside of his job. Despite his pessimistic views and the misery he puts himself through, he cares about his friends including his roommate Mika, is determined in more serious situations and is rarely, if ever, in a joyful mood.
Mika: voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel. Mika is the deuteragonist of the series. She is a petite neko girl with pink hair, red eyes and a cat-like mouth. She wears a brown jacket, a charcoal-colored undershirt and yellow-and-white striped leggings. Her cat ears and tail are the same color as her hair. In general, Mika is described as carefree, jolly, bothersome, optimistic and adaptable. Ditzy often considers her to be a nuisance towards him at the worst moments, which will more than likely lead to him to say one of his trademark quotes, "Damn it, Mika!", though Mika shows no reaction or awareness of Ditzy's misfortune. She loves Ditzy as his partner and enjoys having him as her only company. As the series progressed, Mika began showing a more serious side and has even developed her own alter-ego. She reveals herself to be a shapeshifting cat demon who will attack anyone who legitimately threatens Ditzy or anyone else she admires.
Warts Wolfe: voiced by Dan Castellaneta, alongside President Japrica in his Toon form. Warts Wolfe is a supporting protagonist and occasionally the tritagonist of the series. Like Ditzy, he is reminiscent of Golden Age cartoons. He is a tall, baby blue anthropomorphic cartoon wolf wearing a grayish-green military jacket slightly unbuttoned to reveal a tuft of fur on his chest and white gloves. He has a salmon-colored nose and two small fangs sticking out of his upper lips. Warts has a short attention span and is known to be simple-minded, as he often forgets the simplest of tasks, which will result in the situation not being solved much to Ditzy's dismay. He works with Ditzy for commercials advertising Mini Meats, but because he gets too attached to the usual sketch of each commercial, he often takes it upon himself to cause the running gag of him stealing Ditzy's Mini Meats outside of his job. However, Warts has had a history. He used to be the star of numerous war propaganda films until he was hospitalized one day due to an unexpected accident at the unnamed studio he worked for, thus resulting in him being relieved of his duty and resorted to being a cereal mascot with Ditzy.
Sakura: voiced by Wendee Lee. Sakura is a supporting protagonist of the series. She is a tall anime woman in her early 20s. She has purple eyes, short cyan hair and wears a grey hoodie unzipped to reveal a cobalt sports jersey. She also wears black shorts, grey sneakers and red headphones around her neck, as she carries a CD player in her pocket all the time. Sakura displays a tomboyish personality and is incredibly strong-willed and proud. She is also very nurturing, as she often sympathizes with anyone who goes through a lot of misery, most commonly Ditzy.
Tybalt: voiced by J. Michael Tatum. Tybalt was the main antagonist of the first season before becoming an antihero for the remainder of the series. He appears as an overweight, short and slender humanoid skeleton (although he is slightly taller than Ditzy Dawg) who bears a close resemblance to Sans from Undertale. He has orange eyes, black disheveled hair with a red tint on the edges and sharp teeth and wears a black fluffy jacket unzipped to reveal a messy, unwashed bright green T-shirt with a hot pink letter T on it. He also wears long black pants with a single red stripe on each side and grey cleats. In the first season, Tybalt was unquestionably intimidating, sadistic, perverted and lazy beyond all reason. He would often play spiteful pranks on people and showed no regret from doing so. However, in the later seasons, while he did keep his sadism and laziness, he began to become more of a relatable frenemy of Ditzy rather than his arch-nemesis. He began to occasionally show remorse and empathy for others in terms of his feelings and actions.
Stephanie Ameripan: voiced by Ashleigh Ball. Ameripan is a supporting protagonist starting from season five and onwards and the current president of New Tokyork after Japrica's impeachment. She appears as a tall woman with dirty blonde hair, she wears glasses and two triple-beaded earrings as well as a pink suit, a black skirt and black high heels. Ameripan speaks in a thick Southern redneck accent. She is a Texan woman who moved to New Tokyork to seek a higher political standpoint and for ways to express her agenda. Unlike Japrica, she does not switch between animation races and is identified as a Manga. Ameripan is a very strict yet sympathetic woman who takes her job as the president of New Tokyork very seriously and will not hesitate to accomplish what is expected of her without concern.
Boxcrab: voiced by Tom Kenny. Boxcrab is the main antagonist of the series and Ditzy Dawg's "pet". He is portrayed as a small sandy tan crab with brown claws and legs, purple eyes with white pupils, a zigzag-shaped mouth that gives off a constant smile and a red food box that reads "CRAB" on it in white capital letters. He is based off of Pokemon and Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In the first season, Boxcrab was just portrayed as a generic pet that really did nothing but insult Ditzy every time he screwed up or got into misfortune. In Season 2 and onward, he kept his usual sarcastic quips for every moment of Ditzy's bad luck, but he began to expose a darker personality. It is revealed that he is a genetically mutated killing machine incapable of understanding the feelings of others and shows no emotion or remorse from his actions. His mouth doesn't move even when he talks. Boxcrab was also responsible for several evil acts, such as terrorism, extremism and even cataclysm. Despite his heinous plots and calculating persona, he has a history behind it all. Boxcrab was once a hermit crab used as one of the supplies of ingredients for a seafood restaurant on a local boardwalk fairground before he escaped one day and accidentally fell into toxic waste, which gave him his powers, and only had a food box for a shell. On that same day, he was rescued and adopted by Ditzy. As the result of his past, he has insecurities and seems to hate himself because of his species being targeted as seafood.
Arnold Japrica: voiced by Dan Castellneta in his Toon form and by Johnny Yong Bosch in his Manga form. Japrica was an antihero from season one through half of season five and is the secondary antagonist of the series. He appears as a tall man with brown hair and goatee wearing a navy blue suit with a red tie, a large chin with a cleft and blue eyes. He was the former president of New Tokyork before he was impeached in the two-part episode "Election Suppression" and the job was given to his electoral opponent, Stephanie Ameripan. Japrica is now a journalist working for the daily newspaper company, New Tokyork Times. Japrica is a self-absorbed, comical, greedy, hypocritical and overly confident man who usually contradicts himself and others to satisfy his personal gain. He is also incredibly closed-minded, never accepting other people's opinions and always talking to other journalists as though he is above them. These traits are what cause Ditzy Dawg to have a distaste for him, though Mika seems to be obsessively attracted to him. In "Election Suppression", it is revealed that Japrica has been hiring some of his "die-hard supporters" to give bribes to citizens. Unlike the other characters, Japrica is known to switch his form between Toon and Manga depending on his emotions. In later seasons, while he did keep his more comical and narcissistic persona, he also began to show some more sinister character traits in the same way as Boxcrab. He became more hypocritical and corrupt than usual. He eventually started to become the apprentice of Boxcrab.