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12 Oz. Mouse
Topic Started: Jul 20 2009, 03:00 AM (686 Views)
SG2
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GB Manga Whore

A song called The Ampullae of Lorenzini just came on my playlist and prompted me to want to watch this show...but I guess for now I'll have to settle for talking about it instead. That particular song comes from an episode of a show called 12 Oz. Mouse.

This is an Adult Swim show that was on a few years ago, and I quickly found myself hooked to it. Why? It was more than just a pointless stupid comedy show...it had a plot. It had continuity. And it was all based around a conspiracy that was actually very mysterious and complex. Not exactly your typical Adult Swim fare in the vein of Aquateen Hungerforce, Squidbillies, or the absolute trash like Assy McGee or Superjail. Now don't get me wrong...I love the older AS shows like ATHF and Sealab 2021, but recently, the only thing they have going for them besides reruns are The Venture Bros. (which isn't a William's Street production) and Metalocalypse. Everything else is just crap, really...

And yet somehow, this gem was among the most brilliant original series' they ever had, and it got cancelled due to low ratings.

Why?

Well, for starters, look at the art style. The drawings are like kindergartener artwork put to animation against plain white backgrounds. Then, there's the comedy. I know ATHF humor is at times a little dry and subtle, and not in-your-face slapstick or announcing with a bullhorn 'hey, you should laugh at this' like in shit like Family Guy, but 12 Oz. has a very dry and almost unfunny sort of humor to it that takes some getting used to. Most of the jokes rely on nonsequiters and are actually rather witty despite the setting and basis behind much of them. And witty isn't exactly Adult Swim's audience, honestly. Then there's the fact that the protagonist is an alcoholic green mouse named Fitz who gets freelance jobs from a shark. And that Matt Maiellaro came up with the show (and the drawings, even) when drunk, and that even the recording is usually done after the cast gets wasted or stoned. Doesn't sound like a very promising show, does it?

But somehow, Maiellaro managed to create a brilliant conspiracy and a really compelling plot and cast of characters.

I'm dead serious. I absolutely love this show. I got hooked by episode 3.

I tend to have a thing for series' like GetBackers, FullMetal Alchemist or Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni where there's an underlying conspiracy or larger force that's mysteriously operating behind the scenes, but you don't figure it out for a while...a series where you're left to relying on your wits to piece the puzzle together based on clues that are revealed slowly, over time. In Higurashi, each story arc has Question Arcs and Answer Arcs that provide valuable hidden clues to the mysteries presented in other arcs, and you have to try and find the truths behind the falsehoods to discover the truth. In GetBackers, we're introduced to the characters while knowing very little about their pasts, though the further into the story we get, the more is slowly revealed, as are all the little threads that connect just about everything to Infinity Fortress and the Archive that sleeps in Babylon City. In Fullmetal Alchemist (specifically the Anime version here), we start with two brothers trying to search for a mystical Philosopher's Stone in a quest to return their bodies back to normal, but as they go along they discover an underlying conspiracy within the military that just about all the strange events they're thrust into are connected to, and the more that gets unraveled, the more compelling the story gets.

So why would I compare an Adult Swim cartoon with mere 11-minute episodes about an alcoholic mouse who looks like he was drawn by a two year old...to masterpieces like these?

The story works in the same fashion. There's a conspiracy at hand, and clues that are revealed bit by bit that connect the characters and events to it. There are little hints and clues throughout, things that seem totally inconsequental, but they all end up being very important. And it sucks you in. I love series' like that where you get sucked in. It's much more interesting than your average series that presents its bad guys and goals out obviously, and what you're watching for are the why's and how's the characters are going to beat the bad guys and develop along the way. But there's no mystery to it...nothing that nags at you where you just have to know what's going on, but can't figure it out. The sorts of series' where a tiny spoiler can ruin everything...12 Oz. Mouse is like this. And unfortunately, the ending Adult Swim showed before the cancellation was not the true intended ending, and left most of the mysteries unsolved. And clearly, they're not showing much dedication to the plan to cancel it on TV but still create new 'webisodes' for adultswim.com, as to my knowledge, Enter the Sandmouse was the only one produced so far. I know there's a 12 Oz. DVD out now, and I really want to get my hands on it, but it's not enough. They're so busy pimping out their other shit and their adultswim.com games to focus on this...and it's a real fucking shame.

Though it's not surprising that the Adult Swim viewership would want more mindless dumb humor and nonsense like Squidbillies and not be able to hold their attention spans on the intellectual and dry-humored 12 Oz. Mouse, even for 11 minute episodes.

Still, there's a cult fanbase. People like me who really wish they'd come to their senses and put it back on, because it was great. Not very likely that such a thing will happen, but...hey, we can dream, can't we...?

As for characters, I love Shark. Maybe it's something about Adam Reid's performance, but he really gets that dry, monotone humor across while still being mysterious and (quite obviously) evil. His interactions with Rectangular Businessman/No-Eye Square-Guy are hilarious, as well, though the latter annoys me on his own...but his interactions with Shark are pretty priceless. Mouse is cool, though he can be a little predictable at times. He's got some excellent quotes, though, and I really like how much he cares about Skillet. It's cute. I also like Liquor because it's obvious from the beginning of the show that he knows a lot more than he lets on, as we see ends up being true near the end when he becomes something of a major player. Actually, he reminds me a lot of Paul from GB. He's that sort of character. The Eye and Golden Joe get on my nerves, though, as does Peanut, though he has his moments. And Green Shoe Girl...augh, God, someone please shoot her. Then again, that wouldn't do much good considering RBM ripped her in half and she was still talking and said 'you can't destroy me' once...and she got blown up several times...

My favorite episode is probably either Spider (episode 4), Spharktasm (episode 6) or Corndog Chronicles (Episode 16). I love the scene between Mouse and Shark at the beginning of Corndog Chronicles that ends up being a dream/premonition; I've memorized the dialogue and I thought it was some of the coolest and most ominous/creepy in the series, though the trippy visuals certainly help make it creepier.

Spoiler: click to toggle


I also love the scene in Spharktasm with Mouse holding the gang at Roostre's at gunpoint had a lot of really insightful dialogue, and probably revealed the most actual storyline of the early episodes (season 1). Honestly, I thought the ending (the last two episodes) was a letdown, but that's probably because they had to come up with a way to 'end' it without ending it for real, since it wasn't the intended ending. Though the whole deal with

Spoiler: click to toggle

In all honesty, this show is really great and I think everyone should check it out, though I realize that's not so easy - trust me, periodically I search for the episodes online, and they're almost never there except one or two...and you absolutely can't watch this series out of order or miss an episode. I remember when I missed two episodes when I was living on campus freshman year, which was when season 2 was new, and I missed Bowtime and Surgery Circus and came back extremely confused because I missed a lot of important plot elements, like the two Eyes and the whole thing with the Hand. And obviously, most people aren't going to run out and buy the DVD just based on my testimonial (are they? o_O )...but somehow, I really wish there was a way to get you guys into it. It worked with GB, after all!! If I had a way to show it to you, I bet I could get some of you hooked!!

So yeah, surprising that I can write a wall of text on a show like this? That should be proof that there's definitely much more to this series than what's on the surface. As the old adage goes, don't judge a book by its cover. Only I guess in this case, don't judge a mouse by his art style? A-heh. Either way, I love it.

Has anyone else ever seen/heard of this series prior to my post? Thoughts? And anyone just hearing about it for the first time, what do you think about it based on what I've said?

And for good measure, here are some of my favorite quotes, both humorous and insightful:

Spoiler: click to toggle
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SG2
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GB Manga Whore

Okay, after some looking around, I still can't find the series anywhere online for streaming, which really sucks because I'm dying to watch it now, but...

12 Oz. Mouse - Complete Series Torrent

If you can handle torrents and think you might be interested in this (or even if you don't, you should watch it...WATCH IT!!), check it out. This is the content straight off the DVD, with the episodes edited together into a movie, which is fitting. Unfortunately I can't do torrents at home on dial-up, but I'm definitely getting this next time I'm near wifi, because the DVD has been out of stock on Adult Swim's website for way too long, and I'd like to be able to watch this series whenever I want.

Either way, I highly recommend you guys check it out. After all, I know some of you were skeptical when I first recommended GB to you, but look what happened...you might find yourselves pleasantly surprised once you look past the childish animation and seemingly nonsensical jokes. There's a story behind it all, and it's a good one...also, Shark is awesome.

So next time you've got some free time on your hands, download this torrent and check it out!! You won't regret it (probably). :D
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