Most people have a top ten list. I, on the other hand, can never choose between ones I really like. Sometimes one is my favorite while some other days another is. This chart ranks the episodes by how often I consider them my favourite episodes. As in Adventure Time.
I love Adventure Time. I sincerely believe it is not only the best cartoon I have ever watched for Cartoon Network, but one of the best series I’ve ever read/watched/played ever. When I first heard about the series and saw some pictures I thought “Yeah, this looks interesting. If I catch it I’ll try it out.” But then I read some things about it (a few years later and not one episode watched) and my interest piqued. I had an entire weekend of free time in which I watched all the episodes of Season 1 to 3. The next weekend I finished season 4. It was awesome.
There’s a lot to love about the show. For instance, you know how shows like to use slang terms like “Epic Fail” and vague anime references to make it seem like they’re on the “same level” as the kids they’re talking to? And it’s always awkward? Yeah, Adventure time has none of that. They actually are on the same level as the kids because the writers legitimately think the same way as us (I’m 18 but twelve inside). Another thing I like is that characters are never “forgotten”. What I mean by that is…well, you know how in most shows a character or setting will show up, the episode will revolve around them, and they’ll never show up or be referenced again? Well, in Adventure Time is different. Sometimes characters will appear in an episode and they won’t be mentioned again for a while, and then they’ll appear again in another episode and be important again. Or they’ll be referenced, or an tiny toy version will be mentioned (seriously). Even when they don’t appear again it doesn’t feel like they’ve been forgotten because of the show’s solid continuity.
Some things to get out of the way first. As of this post I have watched every episode, including the short and original pilot in order (actual order, as in Mortal Recoil after Heat signature) but I haven’t played the 3DS game, or the online ones. I don’t read the comics. You’ll find that most of the episodes on the list are ones with awesome fight scenes in them or Marceline. Those guarantee to be pretty good episodes.
(). Dad’s Dungeon
Like I said, fight scenes are awesome. Many times Finn the Human will face off against creatures much larger than him and get his butt handed to him on a silver platter. This is understandable seeing as he’s, well, 12, 13, or 14 years old (that’s another thing I love about this series. The character actually ages!) and he’s facing off against giant monsters, demons, and The king of Evil (seriously). But when were reminded that Finn is a seasoned dungeon crawler and he’s competent in a fight? It is glorious.
Also, in this episode we see how much Finn and Jake looked up to their dad, which makes sense because it turns out their dad was friggin awesome. They seem to hold their father in high esteem as Finn starts to feel down once he starts insulting him. In fact he becomes alarmingly depressed, borderline suicidal once Jake starts insulting him too. (Why is Jake and their dad being total wads? watch the episode!)
I love three things about this episode. The whole Finn being depressed by his father and Jake insulting him is sad, but it also shows just how big of a part of his life they are to him even though his dad’s already dead. Jake defying his posthumous father’s orders when he sees how much damage it’s done to Finn is a nice little sad moment. And the way they resolve just melts away my manliness.
And it rebuilds it with the fight scene that follows. That’s the second thing I love about this episode. There are two fight scenes in it and they are Kick-Butt amazing! Remember how I said Finn is usually shown to be outmatched in a fight scene or by an opponent? Well it happens again in the most frightening way possible…a fight against a lovecraftian horror. But let’s not give away the ending by describing in great detail why that fight scene is so kick-butt. Let’s instead talk about the third thing I love about this episode (we’ll get back to fight scenes in a moment)
The third thing I love about this episode: The freaking Demon’s Blood Sword! You see, Finn’s father left a sword at the end of the dungeon he made for the two of them (long story) and it’s made out of Demon Blood (Long story, I guess?) that can apparently cut through Diamond (Or some other crystal substance, whatever, it’s amazing). Spoiler alert, they keep it. Another thing I like about Adventure Time is how things don’t simply revert to normal offscreen. If an item breaks onscreen and it’s not repaired, it stays gone for the episodes after. And any new items they get stay with them in future episodes (except for the psychic tandem war elephant: apparently they lost is in a parking lot off screen). Sure enough the demon blood sword has become the main sword in all the later episodes.
I like to believe that this sword greatly enhanced Finn’s edge in fights, and I have found significant proof that it has…but that’s another episode.
All of this aside, there’s still many things to enjoy from this episode. The jokes are pretty dang clever. The story isn’t predictable (but it’s not the least predictable episode in Adventure Time).
All in all, this episode is my favourite episode around 1/10th of the time.
It Came from the Nightosphere
I love the character Marceline the Vampire Queen. Her personality contrasts with the other characters almost like she’s somebody from another show altogether and her very existence in the series adds a new depth into it (more about “depth” later).
I have a lot of trouble explaining why I find this to be my favourite episode from time to time. Maybe it’s the fight scenes? Maybe it’s the first look into Marceline’s rich character and back story?
Or maybe it’s because Finn rips the devils souls sack open while doing an epic battle cry. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s that.
In this episode we’re introduced to Marceline’s Dad, a humanoid ruler of this world’s version of hell, the king of all evil. He’s a deathless, soul sucking and finely dressed man who’s also a terrible father. He wants to suck all the souls in Ooo and has taken Marceline’s Bass axe (previously the family axe). Finn wants to stop him and Marceline wants to take back her bass. What follows is a pretty epic situation where the stakes were much higher than in any episode before it.
This episode has one epic fight scene between Marceline and her dad. It’s pretty badass and all for a Rad Bass (haha…sorry).
Things to keep your eyes out for:
Notice Finn has a pocket pouch in this episode. This pocket pouch turns out to be a great example of the random ways Adventure Time ends its episodes, which I find funny but also disconcerting at times.
Finn is not distracted by adorable family bonding and keeps in mind what’s important even with Marceline (and most of the audience) may forget.
Marceline’s friendship with Finn has grown since the first episode she appears in. Keep that in mind as we go down the list, this is important!
Overall, I like this episode and it’s my favourite around 1/10ths of the time.
Memory of a Memory
Another Marceline but I find this one FAR superior to the It Came from the Nightosphere (at least most of the time). This episode was the first hint that behind the laughter and colors there really is a coherent history and tragedy. And our main link to these sad and surprisingly dark tales lies in Marceline, the 1000 year old vampire queen.
What will we see in Marceline’s memories?
- The first thing we see is her as a child just less than 996 years ago, during the wreckage of apocalyptic earth. Our earth. We’ve seen plenty of hints of the truth of adventure time’s dark back story (even more so if you pay deep attention) but we never got to actually See any of it before this. There are burning buildings, piles of rubble, even an abandoned tank in the background!
- You’d think this revelation would distract us from the next bit of information, but nope. We see a child-like Marceline and her teddy bear (who is her only friend. More on that later)
- Marceline had a boyfriend who was emotionally abusive. Yeah, in a kid’s show. I love Adventure Time
Finn and Jake travel through Marceline’s memories to find what they believe is the only way to awaken her. They finally find it in what is the most artistically symbolic scene in the series.
Things I love about this episode:
- Let’s just get this out of the way: Marceline’s character study is one of the biggest, bestest things on this show and I get bad grammar and make up wordsies when I think about it. Her characterization started in this episode and for that we owe it a lot.
- Nuclear War
- Finn actually does something clever and it doesn’t backfire! (The ending)
- The cathartic ciolence at the end…people who have watched this understand what I’m talking about.
Things to look for when you watch this:
Finn is still just a child. This is evident by the way he gets excited by the promise of Ice Cream, even when travelling inside somebody’s memories (it also suggests that either he’s been on so many adventures this doesn’t really faze him or that he’s got a bizarre mental process that doesn’t register the situation he is in as dangerous or unusual as it really is)
However, even he is capable of recognizing a bad relationship when he sees it (even before Ash admitted to tricking him and Jake).
Both and Finn don’t make many comments about the destruction of the world. The mushroom war must be well documented, like how I know that TVs used to be black and white and wouldn’t be surprised if I saw one in an old house.
All in all, I find this one to be my favourite episode 2/10 of the time
(That’s not the end of the list, I’ll finish it next post!)