Most of the cartoons on my childhood I now look back upon with a fair amount of distaste.
is not one of those shows. The art is beautiful, simple and distinct (aside from:read with care
), and the fights are gorgeously fluid and choreographed.
But moreover the relationship between Kim and Ron was completely solid. They care for each other and wouldn't think of doing missions with anyone else. It helps stop Ron's comic relief sidekick from getting out of hand. It imbued every episode with something more meaningful than evil scheme of the week. The characters are strong and when episodes dealt with their flaws, they were things I'd already recognised in them. Kim is the ultimate overachiever, hardworker and kind (which earns her enough respect that the teenage hero thing doesn't feel like pandering. It says something important about her) but it's unthinkable that she would ever not give her best in a situation and that causes problems when she's faced with things she actually finds hard.
There's a surprising amount of continuity and callbacks too. People Kim helped in earlier episodes give her lifts much later down the line and there is a definite arc through the 4 seasons as Kim and Ron grow, their thoughts and feelings change and their operations become more confident and professional as they go through school and eventually graduate.
But it could have done with a touch more. Some episodes feel like they're treading water and repeating lessons already learned. A couple of side characters and relationships are raised every now and then. Exploring those more could have helped everything stay fresh.
And finally the villains, the side villains have a lot of continuity and creativity and the main villain has Shego. The intelligent, snarky and overall competent
sidekick. Whenever she fights Kim it feels like she might win. They're almost perfectly matched and normally succeed by circumventing the other instead of defeating them. Shego's entertaining psychoticnature loves tearing things down too much to proactively create. So when her bosses fails it doesn't diminish her because she so clearly loves to seem him fail too. It makes Drakken funnier and ties the absurdities into the shows style.
An almost perfect 4 season cartoon series that stands the test of time. No big