In order to get his new brothers to the Vindication in time, TOM makes the ultimate sacrifice…again.
RIP TOM 5. He never scored.
But hey, another shorter episode, this time even shorter than last week by a few seconds! And so little time to unload on us the confirmed end of the current iteration of Toonami’s enduring host. I say “current iteration” mostly because I fully expect another TOM to take his place soon, whether that be a TOM 6, as per tradition by this point, or with one of the yellow TOM’s taking his place (which seems just a bit unlikely since they don’t really have his charisma. Plus, we still have two weeks left to resolve this, so I wouldn’t say anything conclusive just yet.
Though what I think is really worth mentioning here is that not only is/was TOM 5 the longest-running TOM model at over six and a half years, but this is only the second time that the death of a TOM has been shown to us in animation. The other time being the original Intruder event back in September of 2000! And the only other similar time was the upgrade of TOM 2 to 3, which wasn’t really much of death AND only was revealed in comic form. The Forge was clearly meant to be a real milestone event for Toonami to include this as the formal end to the era which truly solidified the block’s revival.
And with that, we must truly say goodbye to TOM 5. As said, his arrival was a sign that the newly risen Toonami was not simply in its former incarnation’s shadow, but a new being altogether. We don’t know how the block will evolve or what will be done with TOM in the future. Toonami as a whole doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, so I don’t see this being an end to the block’s unique style of characterization. However, it’s truly a landmark moment to see the loss of another TOM. We never saw how he came into being in-universe, but we saw how he went out. Standing tall, even on death’s door, till the very end. We’ve got two weeks left in this event to see how things truly wrap up, and wherever they may go, Toonami Faithful will keep watching.