After a two-year hiatus, Adventure Time has proven that the animation community just can’t let it go. Maybe it’s because of the series’ iconic charm. Maybe it’s because HBO Max needed to pad out its catalog. In either case, the series has returned to the digital world as Adventure Time: Distant Lands, and the fans couldn’t be happier.
The special, “BMO,” was a great taste of the series returning to form; but as “Obsidian” nears its premiere, fans are awaiting some of the drama and substance that made Adventure Time stand out. And while the story of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline (“Bubbline” for the uninitiated) should be a sure-fire hit, there are a few things that people could be worried about (plus plenty to look forward to).
10 Don’t Want: Rushed Plot Development
The major advantage of having Distant Lands on a major streaming platform (and one branded after HBO no less) is that individual stories can both get longer run times as well as touch on territory that contemporary television can’t. In other words, Adventure Time finally has the time and space to touch on the romances that they weren’t allowed to before.
And while that’s certainly a big step for the industry, one does have to wonder about the execution. Bubbline was officially confirmed on-screen during the Cartoon Network finale, but the reveal has been criticized due to its forced and rushed nature. Hopefully, the HBO Max special will take advantage of its run time and not rush any important development.
9 Want: On-Screen Romance
One of the series’ harshest criticisms and most reluctant creative decisions has been their restraint over Bubbline’s relationship. Due to different broadcasting standards across the world (and within their home country), Adventure Time censored a romance that seemed pivotal to the characters’ history and could’ve been cathartic for many fans.
Being on HBO Max is a huge opportunity for the series to fully embrace Princess Bubblegum and Marceline’s relationship with on-screen gestures. That means hand-holding, hugging, and, maybe, just maybe, even kissing.
8 Don’t Want: Death
This isn’t referring to the character, Death (though he may make an appearance if this is true). This may be a long shot; but given that the original series has ended and that there are no guarantees after the HBO Max specials, the creative staff may try to get…emotional. With the series having nowhere else to go, the creators really could make the decision to kill off a character in “Obsidian.”
In a special that demands high “stakes,” Bubblegum, Marceline, Bubbline, or even another character could be killed off for the sake of drama. And, in all honesty, this could be pretty good in execution, but it’s certainly not something the fans are asking for.
7 Want: How Bubbline Broke Up
Adventure Time has always been tricky with giving the fans satisfying answers to long-running questions. With “Obsidian” explicitly marketed to go into the past of Bubblegum and Marceline, it is a huge opportunity for the series to tackle some of those questions.
The story of Bubbline so far has been more embedded within the fans’ imaginations than within the actual story. Hard details are sure to be coming; and while seeing the nature of their relationship is plenty exciting, people are more excited to see how they broke up in the first place.
6 Don’t Want: Another Break Up
It would be a major waste for the series to finally bring Bubblegum and Marceline together, only to take them apart the next instant. However, it’s not as if the idea isn’t in the air. Bubblegum and Marceline broke up before; and when looking at their personalities, they do seem to have diametrically opposed interests.
If their romance was given the proper time and depth, then a tragic break up could reasonably be on the cards. Despite this, Bubbline has just manifested within the Adventure Time and canon, and it would be a shame if the community weren’t given the proper time to actually enjoy a couple of stories from it.
5 Want: How Princess Bubblegum Got Her Shirt
While the exact nature of Bubbline has been up in the air for a while, there are a few inklings of what it was like to help paint the fans a picture, albeit a blurry one. For a good portion of the series, the most specific image of their relationship has been Bubblegum’s old band t-shirt.
Couples giving each other shirts isn’t anything new; and if anything, the shirt was just a subtle way for the series to tease the two’s relationship during a time when they couldn’t do so explicitly. With that being said, it would still be a nice touch for the special to touch on how Marceline gave Bubblegum the shirt as a way of giving the audience an even greater emotional connection.
4 Don’t Want: Short Songs
The creators have already teased that there will be a few original songs for “Obsidian.” While this is all exciting, Adventure Time has a tumultuous history with shortchanging the fans to some decent songs. Rebecca Sugar, who used to work for Adventure Time, has given her music some proper time and depth in her series, Steven Universe, and there’s a stark difference between those songs and what Adventure Time has been churning out.
While plenty of them are good for what they are, it always seems like the fans are only getting half of an original tune. “Obsidian” could be a major opportunity for the series to really bring the fans a satisfying album.
3 Want: Steven Universe References
It didn’t take long for fans to draw some connection between Adventure Time and its sister series, Steven Universe, when Distant Lands released the title, “Obsidian.” Obsidian is the ultimate fusion between the Crystal Gems in Adventure Time; and on the topic of the title, Adventure Time showrunner, Adam Muto, even slyly stated that Obsidian was the “most powerful fusion.”
One of the main characters of “Obsidian,” Glassboy, will even share the same voice actress as Amethyst! While the two series would like to keep their respective canons separate, it would be interesting to see even more explicit references shown in this special.
2 Don’t Want: An Anticlimax
Even when it came to serious stories, Adventure Time has become infamous for delivering several anticlimaxes. The series has reveled in its comedy and lack of consistency; and while this has helped keep the series imaginative and surreal, this has neglected certain narrative elements.
Distant Lands could help shift that average by giving “Obsidian” an actual, serious ending, i.e. real consequences and minimal comedy to break the tension. Bubbline is a story and relationship that fans tend to give a greater gravity than most other elements of Adventure Time, and fans are expecting there to be some reward in its ending. The only exception is if it ends in a cliffhanger and a Part 2 is confirmed to be in the works.
1 Want: Marceline’s Mom
While “Obsidian” has been said to focus on the story between Bubblegum and Marceline, a lot of the marketing material seems to be surrounding Marceline herself. While this could just be coincidental, Marceline does have plenty of lore behind her, exclusive to that of Bubbline, that fans would love to be explored.
With “Obsidian” going over the demons of both of their pasts, Marcy fans are already getting ready for some vampire backstory feels, the most pressing of which is the origins of Marceline’s parents. How did Hunson Abadeer meet Marceline’s mom and, more importantly, who exactly is Marceline’s mom?
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