Adults, watching cartoons, pfft, what sorcery is this! We all do it, so don't pretend like you don't. However — if you like to feel like a grown-up — on the more "adult" end of the spectrum is Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's sci-fi smorgasbord Rick and Morty. We will (finally) pick up Season 2's cliffhanger ending when the series flies in its third season by the end of the year. As we continue to grow old waiting for the show return, here is something to quench your cartoon thirst in the meantime.
More quotable than Rick and Morty, more adorable than Adventure Time, and the most sci-fi cartoon since Futurama - Bravest Warriors is your latest (and cutest) science-fiction addiction. With that in mind, let's see what is going on in the year 3085.
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It's From This Guy
Pendleton Ward is the man behind Warriors, having brought a 2009 internet short to our screens for a full series in 2012. As you can imagine, it is Ward's usual "zany" style of show, and is written and directed by Breehn Burns — creator of other web-series Dr. Tran. Burns is tasked with bringing all the sci-fi elements to the show, which he does a bloody good job of doing. If you are already interested, you're probably wondering where can you watch this madness? It's fo' free - shown on YouTube channel Cartoon Hangover, which bills itself as:
"The home for cartoons that are too weird, wild, and crazy for television."
Bravest Warriors certainly does its best to fit to that parameter, offering little bites of space travel and wackiness each week.
It's Incredibly Cute
Artists Steven Sugar and Tom King's bright colors bring to life a plethora of strange creatures, including everything from evil dolls to misunderstood aliens. There are too many "cutesy-wootsy" characters to pinpoint in the show, but favorites include Michael Leon Wooley's no-nonsense Impossibear, a giant pink elf named Wankershim (yes, that really is his name), or Jelly Kid - the transparent creature whose solution to everything is popping out some freshly baked loaves. Don't get too attached though, this show isn't above slicing their heads off or having them disintegrated at a moment's notice. However, couple the artwork with the impending chance of death and you are on to a winner.
If you think things couldn't get any weirder after Adventure Time — turn back now! Picking up in the year 3085, Bravest Warriors follows four teens and their super suits. From their invisible hideout they travel the galaxy, using holographic animals from inside their suits - like cuter versions of a Patronus. The heroes-for-hire battle whatever craziness the universe throws at them, but often abandon a mission to save their own lives. Don't expect any Spider-Man heroics here: Our heroes are flawed, selfish, and often thinking with their genitalia. With episode titles including "Butter Lettuce" (above), "Ultra Wankershim," and "The Puppetyville Horror" you can see where Ward is going with the show.
It's Not For Kids
Possessed zombies, erotic dancing robots, and a princess with dysentery — that is before we even mention the cat which contracted chlamydia in its eyes. Bravest Warriors is probably one to watch when the kids are away for the night. Sure, they probably won't get the jokes, but the show borders that fine line between cute and crude.
In a direct parody of Psycho, one episode has one of the Warriors dealing with the death of Jelly Kid — J.K. was actually murdered by the equally cute Catbug — but more on him later. Proving that the show isn't one for toddlers, the decapitated Jelly Kid stares out of the window and the does his best Norma Bates:
"I don't like it under the floorboards Daniel."
If your child gets that reference, I would be a little concerned!
Stranger Things may have those beautiful retro Easter eggs, but Bravest Warriors ties with Rick and Morty for referencing the ever popular sci-fi genre. Season 2's "Hamster Priest" is a beautiful homage to the critically-acclaimed Star Trek: The Next Generation. In particular the SNG's episode "Parallels," where Lieutenant Worf seems to be losing his mind as the world changes around him. Our heroine Beth find herself trapped in an ever-changing universe, and eagle-eyed warriors will even spot a little appearance of Worf himself (in cartoon form).
Star Trek aside, we also visit The Thing, Terminator, and Lord of The Rings. There hideout looks a lot like the Iron Giant, and there is an upcoming episode "Dan of Future Past," presumably dealing with some X-Men style paradoxes.
It Deals With Time Travel
As for time travel — it just wouldn't be sci-fi without time travel and a paradox (or as this show calls it "parasox"). The crux of the story is leader Chris meeting a traveling being known as an Emotion Lord. The two frequently butt heads as the Emotion Lord is soon revealed to be Chris from the future. It is a bit like the film Looper, but without people being mutilated in the past. The Emotion Lord makes a couple of sporadic and appearances, but as Season 2 picks up a couple of threads into larger stories, the Emotion Lord takes Chris away from the main action. The series also deals with Chris's relationship with token heroine Beth, and the destiny of if they are meant to be together. She is his Jennifer McFly, he is Marty and Emotion Lord is Doc.
It Just Ends
Apart from a few arching stories — including a Morgan Freeman-esque paralyzed horse — an episode just ends, right there, right then. Don't get too into it though, expect a story to end just when it was getting good! With a 5-8 minute runtime, Bravest Warriors packs a lot in the mini-sodes. It means you can easily rip through the entirety of the show in around two hours, but I say savor it like last night's pizza.
Fear Not — It Has More
We only had to wait three months between Season 1 and Season 2 of Bravest Warriors, but that is nothing compared to the agonizing three year wait we have had for Season 3. Fear not brave Warriors, another six episodes will be finding their way onto the internet in January 2017. Once you have watched everything, there is also the official Bravest Warriors comic books and graphic novels which has run across several publishers since 2012.
Here the tales of the Warriors continue much further than the cartoon, but we still can't help but re-watch the episodes over and over again. Bravest Warriors even has its own Reddit for fellow Warriors to let off steam, share gifs, and countdown until the show returns!
But Most Of All, Catbug
Amongst the strange and unusual characters there is Catbug, the kitten-ladybug hybrid voiced by 10-year-old Sam Lavagnino. Easily the star of the show, Lavagnino brings the child-like essence that the character needs. Even when decapitating the poor Jelly Kid, you can't help but go "awwwww."
Catbug also has an evil twin named Bugcat, and can hop between dimensions — if that isn't enough to turn you to Bravest Warriors, then nothing will. As the most merchandisable part of the show, you can now litter your home with Catbug stickers, phone cases, and the all important cuddly toy!
Whereas the future of Bravest Warriors remains uncertain, it is not so lucky for Ward's other creation Adventure Time; we will be closing the doors on the Land of Ooo forever in 2018. Although we still have two years left, it just isn't enough goddammit. In the meantime, head on over to Cartoon Hangover and get absorbing the crazy of Bravest Warriors before someone travels back in time and has it deleted!
Whilst we are still mourning the impending loss of Adventure Time, let's remember the adventures of LSP. Don't forget our poll below.
Which is your favorite cartoon?