Friday, 15 December 2017

Latest Love // Young Justice

Latest Love is a series of posts where I talk about a recent obsession. This could be a bookish obsession or otherwise - anything that has been making me happy recently that I feel like sharing. The important thing about this feature is that it isn't a review. This is just a way of me expressing a few reasons why I like something, and maybe find some more people to talk about it with. 😊

The past six months have been a cartoon spiral for me. Animated shows turn out to be perfect when you only have the time and energy to watch television in bitesized chunks. They also feel a lot less dramatized than live-acted shows. Although I love shows like Arrow and How to Get Away with Murder, they do heavily play on dramatic TV tropes and plot twists to get people talking and theorising. And although I do love that punchy aspect of live-acted television, lately I haven't been in the mood for it. Plus I can't bring myself to watch shows on a weekly basis during term time, especially with the Arrow-verse which is four shows a week!

Thankfully over summer I compiled a mini list of cartoons that I had watched parts of and liked, or had heard of or been recommended in passing. Most of them were either really short or had already ended, which made it feel like there was a lot less pressure to watch them.

The two of the animated shows I've been watching most recently have both been DC shows. I myself haven't read any DC comics, but Young Justice and Teen Titans don't require you to have any prior knowledge of the characters or stories. They stand perfectly on their own, and I'd really recommend them if you're looking for some well-written Western animated shows.

For this month's Latest Love, I'm going to focus on Young Justice because I love it and it's freshest in my mind. Next month's post will likely focus on Teen Titans, because I would have likely finished it by then and will be able to do justice to my obsessive babbling.

Young Justice (2010-present)

I started watching Young Justice a few years ago, but got disheartened when I found out it had been cancelled and didn't bring myself to continue. But this year it was announced that an unspecified online streaming service had picked up the show for a third season, and I was eager to catch up in time for its release next year.

The first season of Young Justice focuses on six sidekicks of legendary DC superheroes who form their own version of the Justice League. Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis are all really well thought out characters. What starts out as a group of kids trying to do good becomes a show about complex motives and anxieties about slightly traumatised youths living up to mentors, stepping up as leaders, and choosing their own paths. The most seemingly innocent of characters turn out to be incredibly dark, and not everyone ultimately survives or comes out the other side of events unharmed.

The second season only gets more mature in themes. It's still clearly a kids/teens show, but with the angle that Cartoon Network has taken for all of their currently airing shows with being very jokey and vibrantly coloured with the occasional disguised adult joke, I can see why Young Justice wouldn't have fit in if it continued on that network. In this season, subtitled Invasion, five years has past since the end of season one. With this and the team expanding to include many more characters, I was a little thrown at first. But I've never seen such a large cast of characters so well handled. For only 20 episodes, each character gets a fully developed story and none of them felt lacking, and the original gang aren't sidetracked at all. Plus the plot is filled with more darkness, death, heartbreak, and betrayal, and strands of the main storyline felt like it was acknowledging universally relevant issues.

Young Justice is one of the most well plotted and well characterised animated shows I've ever watched. I'm so glad it was picked up for a new season, and I am both fearful and excited to see where in life the next time jump takes my favourite characters to.

What is your latest love? Do you have any favourite animated shows or TV shows in general? Are you a fan of the DC comics or movies or shows?

All gifs are from giphy (1, 2, 3, 4)


  1. I LOVED Justice League, especially Young Justice! But I think the illustrations were slightly different, it was so long ago the last time I watched! My favorite animated show, though, HAS to be Avatar the Last Airbender. <3 It is such an amazing show, and I think I've re-watched it entirely at least 4 times.
    My latest love is Friends and Stranger Things!!

    1. I haven't watched the Justice League animated show but I want to having seen Young Justice. I've seen bits and I think you're right - they keep to a similar art style, but do seem to be drawn by different people. I'd be interested to see if the two shows are similar in tone or not! Avatar the Last Airbender is fantastic and gives me such a nostalgic feeling. I also enjoyed Legend of Korra and seeing the same world in a different and more fututristic light. Friends is great, and my previous latest love post was on Stranger Things! It's definitely a show that is deserving of the hype :)

  2. I think I would LOVE Young Justice, but because my first love is Teen Titans (and something I watched as a kid), I don't know if I can watch it? I know it's a dumb reason, but I don't know, I think I'm expecting Young Justice to be exactly like Teen Titans, when I know it won't be. Another reason why I didn't watch it is because it was cancelled, but I'm glad it is getting picked up again!! :D

    1. I know what you mean - I understand why you wouldn't want to tamper with good memories of Teen Titans with something that has a similar concept. I'm currently half way though watching Teen Titans, and I was thrown initially about how different it was from Young Justice, which was something I started watching in my teens. But I got absorbed into Teen Titans so quickly that I now barely asocaiate the two shows with each other. Other than a couple of overlaps, the shows couldn't be more different. They both have their own brands of humour and dark moments, and I guess the main difference would be that I think Young Justice aims to be more realistic in animation style (so fewer dramatic flips and jumps and more combat scenes, and fewer anime techniques like the starry eyes - although I like both styles of animation). But I love the two shows equally and it is so easy to form an attachment to the characters. Thanks, Valerie! <3