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Adventure Time: Distant Lands — Obsidian Review

I know we’ll never grow old together, cause you’ll never grow old to me

Adventure Time Obsidian
(Image: © Warner Media)

Our Verdict

A must see for long time fans and newcomers alike

For

  • ⚔️ Touching and relevant story
  • ⚔️ Fantastic music
  • ⚔️ Spot on voice acting
  • ⚔️ Positive LGBT representation

Against

  • ⚔️ Symbolism is a little heavy handed
  • ⚔️ Too short

As a long time fan of Adventure Time, from the very first algebraic! moment, up to the very last utterance of "Come along with me," I truly loved everything this series had to offer. Like so many fans, I wasn't ready for it to end, even after ten amazing seasons and almost 300 episodes. So, when it was announced that Adventure Time would be returning with four hour-long specials, my heart about leapt out of my chest.

Warning, there are spoilers ahead!! Don't want to know what happens before you watch? Click away now!

When Adventure Time: Distant Lands was first announced, we were provided with very little info as to what these specials would actually entail. The first episode, BMO was fantastic, but set before the Adventure Time series, leaving some confusion for the remaining three episodes. The second episode, Obsidian is set after the series and really stands apart from BMO as its own special. 

If you don't want spoilers, this is your last chance to bail! Go watch Obsidian and then come back to geek out about it with me!

How to watch Adventure Time: Distant Lands from anywhere

Adventure Time: Distant Lands is an HBO Max exclusive. But what if you can't get HBO Max where you live?

There's a solution for that, and it comes in the form of a basic VPN. A Virtual Private Network makes it easy to watch content outside your region by routing your network traffic through a specific set of servers. So you can make it seem like your computer is in, say, the United States, even if it's not actually in the United States.

The only trick here is that you need a VPN you can trust.

ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

And it's a great way to watch all the Adventure Time you want —  from anywhere in the world.View Deal

Adventure Time Obsidian Marceline and Bonnie on a motorcycle

(Image credit: Warner Media)

Getting right into it, "Bubbline" fans — those who love to see Marceline and Princess Bubblegum together — will not be disappointed by this special. Obsidian is very much a Marceline and Bubblegum story, similar to the Stakes miniseries. Long time fans will be glad to know that by time Obsidian rolls around, Marcy and Bonnie are living happily together.

For those unfamiliar with the pair, Marceline and Bubblegum were part of the supporting cast of the Adventure Time series. One, a half-demon, half-vampire punk rock idol and the other, a science-loving proper princess ruling the Candy Kingdom, Marcy and Bonnie were shockingly different and yet, all throughout their appearances, it was hinted, teased, and eventually confirmed that they had a romantic history. By the end of Adventure Time, their romance had rekindled and they were officially confirmed as a couple — a huge win for LGBT representation in children's programming.

Adventure Time Obsidian Marcy and Bonnie drinking tea

(Image credit: Warner Media)

As supporting cast, most of Marceline and Bonnie's history both separate and together was not explored during Adventure Time. The bits and pieces we were shown, however, were not just some of the best Adventure Time moments, but some of the best moments in modern cartoons. The mini-series Stakes, in particular, explored Marceline's past, how she became a vampire, and how she moved on from the trauma, all set to "Everything Stays," a positively moving song by former writer, Rebecca Sugar.

Obsidian, however, is focused entirely on Marceline and Bubblegum. Appearances from other cast, such as Simon and even Finn, are an aside, giving the happy couple the spotlight. 

Adventure Time Obsidian Bonnie whispering in Marceline's ear

(Image credit: Warner Media)

What stands out most about Obsidian, however, isn't just this adorable couple, but rather how their relationship is presented. The conflict they are facing is rooted in their past, but at no point does it threaten their existing relationship. Even as Marceline struggles with her trauma, she says, "I need to be with Bubblegum. She’s good for me. It’s not her fault I’ve got baggage." and "Any other day I’d annihilate you for wrecking my stuff, but Bonnie is more important."

This is such a rarity for couples depicted in children's programming, but especially so for LGBT couples, who see so little representation as is. Marceline and Bubblegum have a strong relationship and draw their personal strength from that.

Adventure Time Obsidian See-Through Princess pleads with Marcy and Bonnie to save the Glass Kingdom

(Image credit: Warner Media)

Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story without some conflict. Obsidian's conflict comes in the form of a fire-breathing monster, Molto Larvo. In the distant past, Marceline was able to lock Molto Larvo in the heart of a mountain, but the battle led to Marcy and Bonnie breaking up. Now, as they face off against this beast once again, Marceline is afraid she will need to draw strength from her past trauma to do it again.

Meanwhile, Bubblegum is convinced that she will need to rely on her scientific background to slay the beast, all while trying not to let her past wounds get in the way. When Marceline's anger-fueled song fails to tame Molto Larvo, she steps up to finish the job while Marcy goes back to "the place where she was hurt the most."

Adventure Time Obsidian

(Image credit: Warner Media)

Weaving flashbacks and the present together masterfully, Marceline goes back to her final moments with her mother, voiced by the wonderfully talented Erica Luttrell. Piece by piece, we see that her mother, Elise left her in much the way Simon did, to protect her. Marceline later admits that, "My mom and I didn’t talk about bad stuff. When she got really sick, she didn’t even tell me. She meant well, but I think it messed me up about being honest about my feelings."

And at its root, that's the story Obsidian tells: being honest with your feelings. Marceline struggled in the opening scene to perform a new song for Bonnie, one that touched deeper than many of her other songs. By the end, she was able to perform that song and, in a not so surprising twist, heal Molto Larvo, instead of trapping or destroying it.

Adventure Time Obsidian

(Image credit: Warner Media)

Although the storytelling was a little heavy-handed (it is a children's show after all,) I admit it brought me to tears. Olivia Olson's performance of Monster was especially heart-wrenching. My only real complaint about Obsidian is the length. I wish we could have more time with Marceline and Bonnie.

Simon brought Finn and Bronwyn to help

(Image credit: Warner Media)

One of the most interesting parts of the first episode of Adventure Time: Distant Lands was that we didn't know until the very end that the whole story was set prior to the original series. In much the same way, we get a brief moment with Finn at the end of Obsidian. While this doesn't tell us exactly how long it has been since "Come Along with Me", it is clear that many years have passed. Even more intriguing, while Finn has Jake tattooed on his chest, he doesn't arrive with Jake. Instead, he shows up with one of Jake's grandchildren, Bronwyn.

The next episode of Adventure Time: Distant Lands will be focusing on Peppermint Butler, but based on the description that was teased of the final episode, Together Again, we will see Finn and Jake reunited. Personally, I am dying to know how the brothers parted ways in the first place, and this little touch of Finn and Bronwyn showing up only has me all the more curious!