Adventure Time Discussion: "I Remember You"

phillysports
I'm going to be starting off a new post series here. I've been very vocal in the past about how much I utterly love Adventure Time. It's been my favorite show ever since I was 11 years old, and as an 18-year-old now, I've never stopped loving it for a second. The main reason why I'm making this new series is because Adventure Time is such an interesting show to talk about and that there are so many fantastic episodes to choose from. Over the course of the show's long history, we've gotten such a variety of different styles and tones from the series. We've gotten bizarre, trippy, psychedelic episodes that celebrate the nonsense of Ooo's phenomenal world, serious plot-changing episodes that provide loads of character development, and heartwarming as well as heartbreaking episodes that delve into the tragic pasts of all of these lovable characters. And the episode that I'm going to be covering today is overflowing with heart and precious sentiment.

"I Remember You" is one of the most popular and acclaimed episodes in Adventure Time's illustrious history. It lands on many people's favorite episode lists (it's even #1 on TheTopTens' "Best Adventure Time Episodes" list) and is known to many people who don't even WATCH the show. It's basically viewed as a masterpiece of modern animation. But why though? Out of all the fantastic Adventure Time episodes that we've received over the years, why does this one receive the most praise? Hell, the main characters of the series only appear as CAMEOS in the episode. Is it because Marceline is such a fan favorite? Is it because of Rebecca Sugar's wonderful music? Is it because of the emotional backstory? Why is this one episode treated differently compared to the other 200+ episodes the series has gifted us with?

I think I know why. Before I go any deeper into this, I'll give a short little summary of the episode right now:

Ice King travels to Marceline's house in the hopes of writing a song with the Vampire Queen that gets the princesses of Ooo to flock to his doorstep. Marceline is obviously uncomfortable with his presence, as it is implied that he has come up to her with various requests for quite some time now. After Finn and Jake offer to take the Ice King away, Marceline turns down the offer and allows him to stay and write a song with her. However, Ice King's crazy actions make it impossible to get any work done as Marceline begins to get more and more emotional with him being around her. Unable to take it anymore, Marceline finally snaps and reveals that Simon Petrikov (Ice King's past self) took care of her as a little girl after the Great Mushroom War as his mind was being warped by the evil magic of his crown. As she starts to explain to Simon who he truly is, she notices a poem that he wrote as he was losing his mind while watching over her 996 years in the past. The duo perform the poem in the form of the heartfelt song "Remember You" as Finn and Jake watch from the outside in shock. A flashback shows Simon comforting a young Marceline with a stuffed bear (implied to be Hambo) in a destroyed, post-apocalyptic city.

Before this episode, Ice King and Marceline had never been shown on the screen together at the same time. They were two characters that seemed to live in their own respective worlds that Finn and Jake occasionally entered from time to time. However, before this episode even aired, similarities between the two characters could be found. They both had a lot of life experience and had knowledge of what life was like at the time of the nuclear bombing. In addition, they both were loners who appeared to have their own wild approaches to life and how to interact with people they come across. They also are two of the only survivors of the apocalypse. Based on these similarities, I believed that the two of the characters had come across one another at some point in their lives, but I could have never foreseen the lengthy, emotional history that the Adventure Time crew was about to inform us of.

The main reason why this episode is as spectacular as it is because of the sheer emotional power that it packs. Simon is gone. He's still there with Marceline, but his mind has left him long, LONG ago. And having to deal with an insane shell of the person who essentially raised her has to kill Marceline on the inside. However, she still finds a place in her heart to help the person who she used to love despite the fact that he may never remember the impact that he had on her life. The last three minutes of the episode are some of the greatest work from any cartoon ever made. Rebecca Sugar has always been a great songwriter and "Remember You" is her greatest achievement in my opinion. The words of the song are so powerful and reflect Simon's pain that he wants to continue caring for Marcy but his sanity is slipping away from him at a rapid pace. This is the first time that Marceline has ever seen this poem, and the words that Simon wrote just send her on an emotional rollercoaster. Ice King simply interprets the lyrics as good lyrics for a song while Marceline knows the power of every single word Simon wrote almost a millennium into the past. The final image of Simon comforting a young Marcy while the two are singing is so powerful. It pretty much sums up the theme of the entire show: happiness through tragedy. The world is in ruin yet Simon (a man who is losing his mind to a foreign object) still finds the kindness to help a little girl through the apocalypse.

One major real-world connection that fans and reviewers have made about "I Remember You" is its symbolism for Alzheimer's disease. Simon has lost his mind and can't remember anything from his past life, even the little girl he used to protect in the aftermath of the apocalypse. Meanwhile, in real life, thousands have people suffer with Alzheimer's and have difficulty remembering anything, even the people that they love. That is what makes this episode so powerful. It touches on subjects that no other "children's" cartoon would dare to touch upon.

"I Remember You" is one of the greatest things that Adventure Time has ever done as a series. It's happy in the fact that Simon and Marcy get to be together once more, but emotionally devastating that the Simon from the past is an insane shell of his former self. Marceline has lost a dear friend that still exists as an entirely different person. This is one of the greatest cartoon episode in history, and I still get choked up with emotion every single time I watch it.

Comments

Great post. I loved this episode as well. - Cartoonfan202

Good Episode - VideoGamefan5

Great review. I've only seen glimpses of it, so I hope I can find the time to watch all of it to capture how much of a masterpiece this episode is. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

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