Initially I just wanted this to be a blog for Eastern stuff, mostly covering either obscure or unfairly hated Japanese animation. But then I absolutely had to branch out, because the recent Cartoon Network show “Secret Mountain Fort Awesome” fits the “unfairly hated” description to a T despite being a Cartoon Network original.
This show is the ultimate victim of bitter nerd rage. It doesn’t have anything remotely approaching an online fanbase – there are less people that like this show online than there are Problem Solverz fans. Every Youtube video of it is mass-downvoted and spammed with intensely negative comments about how far Cartoon Network has fallen, and how this is all part of a conspiracy to make the next generation retarded, just like Justin Bieber and Twilight. The same people who probably loved Cow & Chicken and Aah! Real Monsters when they were kids and reminisce fondly upon them today hail SMFA as the best possible example of the cancerous lump of sheer failure that has grown on top of the once-glorious animation industry, citing its intentionally ugly character design and immature humor as the main sources of its awfulness.
In reality, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is a really fun cartoon with great visuals and pubertal yet occasionally quite fun humor. It’s rather easily comparable to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt in its goofiness, crudeness and the amount of freedom the creators are given to make episodes about whatever the hell they want. It’s definitely not something you should watch if fart and poop jokes are like Kryptonite to you, but the common criticism that the writing is merely a series of fart jokes is completely untrue. Yes, there is a character made entirely out of butts and yes, fart sounds are often heard when he is on-screen… but the show doesn’t really try to pass off farts or butts as jokes. They’re just there to enforce the ridiculous, childish nature of the show. Most of the best jokes centered around the butt guy are more about his strange personality than the fact that he is a being made of butts.
It’s basically about a group of grotesque monster friends doing… stuff. I don’t know how to describe this – it’s something you have to watch, something that’s simply not worth explaining away in a blog post. I recommend starting with “Secret Mountain Fort Love”, which is the most conceptually insane and creative episode that I’ve seen so far, then moving on to “Monster Cops”. The episode storyboarded and written by Ian Jones-Quartey (that’s it, the guy who used to do RPG World!) has some pretty funny lines in it, but it also focuses on the aforementioned butt character that made so many people hate this show.
I also have to mention the background art – it’s very stylish and unique in its own intentionally garish way.
So yeah, go watch it if you want a willfully dumb, fun cartoon show.