Adventure Time aired its hour long series finale on Monday, September 3rd [a Labor Day treat, if you will]. Se will dive into an emotional review after reminding you that ADVENTURE TIME ISN’T OVER.

As reported by (readable here) During San Diego Comic Con 2018, BOOM! Studios announced they would be continuing their Adventure Time works (they’ve been publishing comics and graphic novels related to the series since 2012), and the coming series of novels will be the unseen season 11 following the aftermath of the “Great Gum War” destruction brought by Golb, as everyone finds their place and the world and continues living their lives. We are most excited for more Bubbline, the living arragements of Finn & Jake, and Simon’s quest for Betty.

But if we don’t have to mourn the end of Adventure Time then why am I still heart broken? Why do I keep listening to Rebecca Sugar’s performance of Time Adventure and tearing up? This is my personal love letter to this series, and while we won’t be giving a recap or exploring all the brilliant easter eggs, you can get all that here, I want to focus on the finale and why it’s impacting me so deeply.
I am a cynical adult. When I first watched the finale I pompously declared it was a B+ and felt smug when I saw other reviewers posting the same. Then I rewatched it with my boyfriend, a casual viewer and by no means a super fan, and as he pointed out things I’d missed or undervalued we both teared up (his was more a sympathetic response). So what was it?

The journey of my reaction to accept the finale and allowing myself to emotionally react mirrors my journey to originally enjoy the show in the first place. I used to be one of the people that thought they were too good for the show, that it’s absurdist humor was annoying, and it was a childish show premiering as I graduated highschool and it had no place in my life. It wasn’t until catching episodes with nieces and nephews, and the Emmy nominations, and buzz i was catching from classmates, that let me take the stick out it my ass and sit down and enjoy this brilliant cartoon. But it didn’t stop there.

Adventure Time got me back into my childhood and cartoons in general. It lead me back to cartoon network where I not only got to enjoy new complex animated programs like Over the Garden Wall and Rebecca’s progressive Steven Universe [it even got me back to Toonami, the gateway to later over consuming subbed anime online, but i digress]. It even lead to me embracong my childhood and escapism that manifested in me getting the powerpuff girls box set. Cartoons have always been multi-layered to be a shared experience between generatiosn and Adventure Time reminded me of this, while also punching a whole through all of the backwards thinking i had about animation and the show itself as it singlr handedly shaped the landscape of animation around it.

Adventure Time – Cartoon Network

Adventure Time finally made long time shippers happy with solidifying Bubbline, but that ship had tip toed the line and pushed boundaries for years and we fully believe it was the Adventure Time team pushing cartoon network on representation, and we see that in multiple ways, including it being thr springboard that launched Sugar’s career and gave her the platforms she has today. We fully believe that it gave other creators ay other networks an example to follow and courage to push boundaries to give us things like the Legend of Korra (don’t get me started on the genius of the A:TLA Universe either – which after finishing the original in 2008 started a 3-4 year stint of not watching “cartoons”). The only love story on the show stronger that’s gone longer? Simon and Betty’s, except we never get to see them have their happy ending.

So a big middle finger to all the social media haters commenting about “who cares this show always sucked” because it reinvented absurdist humor and made itself a genre defying staple for 10 seasons going to darker places than most adult dramadies that can’twrite plot outside of sex. So what about the finale itself as it stands alone that i so loosely slapped a B+ on and had a hard change of heart?

Just look at that parallelism to Magic Man’s visit to Prismo.

It was the finale that fans deserved– It gave closure, it tied in plots from season 1 all the way to season 9, addressing the show’s patented flashbacks and prior teased glimpses of their universe’s future. It was smartly done, riffing off the Golb mythos they’d been establishing since Season 2,

And told in BMO’s narration that melted the hearts of fans? The finale honored its own legacy and got a little meta if you view the Time Adventure theme that they’ll always be back then and forward as a nod to shows they’ve inspired and a tradition of heros they kept alive in and out of the show. Our only critique? The shared dream sequence, while necessary to address Fern’s internal struggle and a smart way to tackle Finn’s repression vault, lasted too long when we would’ve appreciated that time to see more action, more Simon and Betty, and more epilogue flashes. In our rewatch that was the only scene we weren’t 100% there for, which means thwybheld our attentionfor the entire rest of the finale analyzing every moment. This is an A+ finale that deserves the short form animation Emmy, not because of its legacy, but for the heart and emotional impact seldom seen outside of a full length animated film.

Adventure Time – Cartoon Network