Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen were a confirmed couple in the last episode of Adventure Time and now, with Distant Lands, we get a chance to catch up with them which is, to me at least, a big problem as I think that Princess Bubblegum is a terrible person and Marceline is a whiny brat. Simply put, these two aren’t my favorite characters.
Still, I went with it and, for the most part, I will say that “Obsidian” is perfectly acceptable. It has shown how Bubblegum and Marceline have grown up and grown together which is weird since both of the are, like, a million years old. They’re not as irritating as they usually are. Marceline is still dealing with her issues, but her acceptance of her anger and loneliness feels like a real evolution of her character and, given that out of the two, she’s the one that I despise the least, I would say that it’s good character development.
To her credit, Bubblegum is must less of a horrible creature in this special as well. Yes, she’s still a nag, still a know-it-all, and still so superior you just want to wipe her under a table, but she’s no where near as horrible as she was in the show.
I guess that “Obsidian” is about trauma which is fair given how it revisits the abandonment issues that Marceline has dealt with most of her life which has cracked her facade, mirrored not to subtly by the inhabitants of the Glass Kingdom who see cracks and imperfections in their citizenry as disgusting. Given that one of the main players in the Glass Kingdom, Glass Boy, has a cracked head, it’s not hard to see the parallels.
My goodness, though, Glass Boy is annoying. I know they were going for cute and precocious, but they missed… they missed by a large margin.
I wasn’t overly fond of this episode, but like I said, I was never a fan of Marceline and was certainly never a fan of the war criminal, Bubblegum. The most exciting thing about the special was the last few minutes when we saw where in the timeline this story takes place and the questions that it brought up. I won’t spoil it, but what the heck?
Certainly, the special has worth. It has its moments, it is very sweet, it does evolve and grown the characters, and the symbolism is very well done. Maybe I’m just being a grump, but on the other hand, Bubblegum is a fairly terrible person.