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Fionna and Cake: Explicit Adventure Time for Grown-Up Fans

Adventure Time spinoff Fionna and Cake is a direct sequel with older characters facing adult problems, appealing to the original audience.

If you've been wondering about the relationship between the new Adventure Time show, Fionna and Cake, and the original series, the answer is quite simple: yes. However, the story goes much deeper than that. Fionna and Cake is not only a direct sequel to Adventure Time, but it also takes place in a different universe where magic doesn't exist. It introduces a gender- and species-swapped version of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog, known as Fionna and Cake, who exist outside of the Ice King's fanfiction. While it may seem like a separate entity at first, it seamlessly continues the Adventure Time narrative, both in terms of canon and its core audience.

Fionna and Cake represents the natural progression of Adventure Time for its grown-up viewers. While it maintains the whimsical spirit of the original show, it delves into the internal struggles of older characters, which may resonate more with adults. The episodes are longer and more focused on the plot, aligning closely with Adventure Time's later seasons rather than its beginnings.

In essence, Fionna and Cake is Adventure Time for adults, but not in a gratuitously edgy way. It understands what a mature audience might seek in the show. The first episode introduces us to a 20-something Fionna, who grapples with the challenges of holding down a job and paying bills. Despite her yearning for fantastical adventures, her real life is disappointingly ordinary. This characterizes the age group of many who grew up watching Adventure Time, as they face their own existential dilemmas. Adventure Time has never shied away from exploring deeper themes, particularly the nature of human existence in a post-apocalyptic world. Fionna and Cake follows a similar trajectory, as Fionna battles her own quarter-life crisis and seeks escapism from the frustrations of everyday life. The show truly drives this point home when it returns to the enchanting world of Ooo.

The second episode shifts the focus to Simon Petrikov, the former Ice King. While Finn embarks on new adventures, Simon struggles to find his place in this strange world. After losing thousands of years to madness and losing his beloved Betty, he feels disconnected from the narrative. While the lives of others have moved forward happily, he remains stuck in the past, unsure of his identity.

This theme of adulthood confusion persists throughout the series. The magical adventures that unfold are reminiscent of Adventure Time, but the fact that the central characters grapple with more mature issues elevates Fionna and Cake. Unlike other cartoon reboots that aim to attract a new generation of viewers, such as the new iterations of Ben 10 or Teen Titans Go!, Fionna and Cake doesn't seek to repackage the show. Instead, the creators chose to age the show alongside its audience. They strike a balance, avoiding extreme changes and the dark and hardcore nature of series like Velma or the live-action Winx adaptation.

In many ways, Fionna and Cake is similar to The Legend of Korra, a sequel series that also ages its new cast to align with the original fans of the show. This time, however, the original audience had the opportunity to grow up alongside the show's eight-year run, transitioning from children's animation to adult animation without a drastic shift in tone. Fionna and Cake joins the genre of serialized adult animated shows that prioritize overarching storylines over crude humor. While it may feature more violence and bolder language (Cake exclaims "Puck him up!" within the first five minutes of the first episode), it remains true to the heart of Adventure Time, while adding a touch of existential crises and real-world concerns like bills to the mix.

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