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Invader zim

If you were a frequent viewer of cartoons on Nickelodeon during your childhood, buried deep down in those memories may be the memory of watching Invader Zim. Invader Zim was a short-lived animated action/science-fiction series that aired on Nickelodeon from March 30, 2001 to December 10, 2002 (with the exception of its re-airing on Nicktoons and ending once again August 19, 2006). During Invader Zim’s airtime, only two seasons were produced. Once the series got cancelled, most of season two had not aired, but due to its revamp for Nicktoons in 2006, all episodes were aired on Nickelodeon and then cancelled once again.

Invader Zim follows the story of an alien named Zim from the planet Irk. Planet Irk has chosen to commence Operation Impending Doom II, which they have decided to keep Zim out of because he destroyed their own planet in Operation Impending Doom I. The plan involves sending the best Irken soldiers to conquer planets for the Irken Empire. As soldiers are being assigned their planets, Zim barges in and demands he be assigned planets to conquer.

The Tallest, the emperors of planet Irk simply because they are taller than everyone else, decide to just so they can finally get rid of Zim. They choose an unknown planet for him, a.k.a. Earth, in hope that once Zim finds the planet, if he doesn’t get lost first, he will surely fail and never return. Before embarking on their missions, Irken soldiers are assigned a robot, a SIR unit, to aid them in their conquest. Fearing that by assigning Zim a helpful robot might cause their plan of getting rid of Zim to backfire, the Tallest grab one of the SIR units from the trash, fill it with what they had in their pockets, and GIR is born. GIR becomes one of the greatest characters in an animated series for his random lines and pure stupidity. Despite having this greatly flawed sidekick, Zim manages to make it the to Earth, set up base and enroll in school to learn more about humans. From this point, the series follows Zim’s adventures in his attempt to conquer Earth and impress the tallest.

Despite its short airtime, Invader Zim made a huge impact. I go to Hot Topic all the time and still see new Invader Zim merchandise. This honestly makes me happy because from the first time I saw Invader Zim, it instantly became one of my favorite cartoons. I was surprised to find Invader Zim in its entirety on Hulu Plus, and as I re-watched it for this blog, I was still laughing at the ridiculous situations that took place in this series. It’s obvious that this series was intended for an older audience due to all the strange and creepy characters. Maybe that’s why it failed on Nickelodeon during the reign of SpongeBob and airing at the same time as Fairly Odd Parents. As I skimmed through the episodes, I recognized a few from my childhood that made me laugh, and found that they still have the same effect on me today. One of my personal favorites is titled “A Room With a Moose.” I believe this episode sums up the epitome of the humor in Invader Zim.

With only two seasons, Invader Zim left audiences wanting so much more. Season two introduces characters left and right who I would have loved to make a reappearance such as Tak, Mortos and other alien species. The series comes to an end by filling in the back-story of Zim’s banishment for his actions during Operation Impending Doom I. Even during this last episode, a lot is introduced that I feel could have made for many more stories in the Invader Zim series.

Despite multiple pleads to bring back Invader Zim, no attempts have been made. The series remains a cult classic to those few, like myself, who loved the series from the start. If you haven’t seen Invader Zim, I strongly suggest taking the time to watch it in its entirety (only two seasons, people). You will find yourself with mixed emotions from the creepiness and strangely funny situations and characters.

As this semester comes to a close, I only have one more blog entry until August. I would let you in on what’s to come, but I’ll simply give you a hint. The next series I will be reviewing is my favorite cartoon series of all time, so don’t be a coward and don’t act like you live in the middle of nowhere. Be sure to toon in next time!