Ongoing Investigations: Case #210

I honestly don’t know how the ending of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated could have been better. Seriously, no idea.

We already knew that this was a unique series for Scooby Doo! but that feeling was furthered by all the revelations and consequences of the presence of actual supernatural goings on in the umbrella story of the Planispheric Disk.

In the last few episodes, we were also treated to the reappearance of some great characters from past cases, a slew of references from Twin Peaks to Rambo, more soap opera-like campy plot developments, and some seriously awesome imagery in other dimensions.

The best, most unexpected, Scooby Doo! show ever made. It is a show for fans of the original and people who didn’t care for the original at all! How often can you say that?

It was a bit of a journey but Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated ended about as well as you can ask anything to end. There were several starts and stops as it seems like Cartoon Network continues its ongoing crusade to prove that it is not much of a fan of cartoons in general. They did spit out the last 10 episodes in one go but at least they were released. I was a little worried they would never finish their series when they would go on hiatus without any real notice about when they would be coming back. But after series like Sym-Bionic Titan getting the ax with little fanfare you are always a little nervous with any series that is not Adventure Time.

The last ten episodes start with the normal masked villain of the week antics like earlier in the series but get progressively more plot intensive as they go on. The change starts with some of the episodes almost dashing through the masked villain story just to get to the piece of the larger overarching plot. The last three episodes completely dispense with the standard Scooby Doo formula entirely. It was a nice way to ramp up the story without forgetting the roots of the show.

The wonderful homages and spoofs were still in full force. I think Narutaki and I were tickled pink when Scooby Doo first appears in what is essentially the Black Lodge. It was a transcendent moment. When they do a whole episode in the Red Room it takes it to the next level. The Ska Zombies who make everyone skank to death was also great. But they throw in a ton of little winks like little tips of the hat to everything from Aliens to Adam Ant. Great stuff that never draws undue attention to itself.

And the humor is still really strong. Nothing will beat crazy hobo Fred. But really what could be better than crazy hobo Fred? Still I think we both laughed out loud a minimum of once an episode. There is just a wonderful sense of comic beats that comes from the quirky characters and the dry delivery. Anything with Fred’s feelings is comedy gold.

I don’t really want to spoil the ending. The less said about it the better. There is a nice bit of build up, some good action scenes, some classic dungeon crawling, and a big final battle. The resolution of the series also has some time to breathe so you feel rewarded after a 52 episode series.

Overall I really think this is going to be a series that becomes a cult classic. One of those things that will continually pop up on “I can’t believe you have not seen this” lists for years to come. I know it will be on any list of great American cartoons I make.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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S.W.A.T. Reviews: Autumn 2012 Pt. 4

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. Here are our last 5 of the new season:

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Listen – Episode 1 of Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter from A-1 Pictures with the opening “Let’s Go” by Masahiko Kondo.

Listen – Episode 1 of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic from A-1 Pictures with the opening “V.I.P” by SID and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of PSYCHO-PASS from Production I.G with the opening “abnormalize” by Ling Tosite Sigure and is streaming on Funimation.

Listen – Episode 1 of Robotics;Notes from Production I.G with the opening “Junjo Spectra” by Zwei and is streaming on Funimation.

Listen – Episode 1 of Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de from 5th Avenue with the opening “retrospective world” by Hiro Shimono and Nobuhiko Okamoto and is streaming on Crunchyroll.