Martin Mystery: An Underrated Cartoon

In a world filled with unique cartoons, each having their own weird but fascinating creations, it would be no shocker if one were to miss some brilliant series. MArtin Mystery is one such hidden gem. This particular animated show is based on the Italian comic titled Martin Mystery written by Alfredo Castelli. The show was produced by the French production company Marathon Media Group, who is also behind the production of Totally spies! Martin Mystery is very much similar to Totally spies!, except, of course, the former contains aliens. There was also a crossover episode between the two cartoons.

For people who enjoy mysteries and extraterrestrial creatures and worlds, this cartoon is definitely a must-watch. The show focuses on the protagonist, Martin Mystery, who is quite hyperactive but fun-loving. He secretly works as a paranormal investigator for “The Center” along with his step-sibling, Diana Lombard. There is also a third in the group, Java, a 200,000-year-old caveman. In a nutshell, if the iconic scooby-doo and Ben Ten were to have a baby, it would be Martin Mystery. Here’s why this addictive cartoon is an underrated gem that deserves more attention.


Martin’s Fascinating Mysteries

The title of the cartoon might be a reference to the protagonist’s surname, but it is also an indication of the mysterious worlds outside planet Earth. Martin and the gang always end up in the most absurd situations, which include them fighting against an alien. The core purpose of their work is to ensure that the people of the planet Earth are kept safe from extraterrestrial threats, discreetly; Martin Mystery is kind of like an animated variation of The X Files in that sense. So, we never see Martin and the gang getting the acknowledgment in the real world. In fact, similar to Totally spies!they also lead very ordinary lives outside their extraordinary work.

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Another fun feature about these mysteries is that they always include some high-tech gadgets, which of course, one cannot find in the real world. In a way, they might remind the viewer of Men In Black or other ’90s sci fi movies and their equipment. These are the elements that help Martin and the gang solve these weirdly fascinating mysteries.

Martin Mystery Has Interesting Characters

Similar to many cartoons, Martin Mystery is largely episodic and does not have a flow that connects each episode to another. However, embedded in each episode is the characters’ unique personalities. Since the episodes usually start with the gang living their normal lives as teens, we see Martin being the wild weirdo at school who is definitely not the smartest in his studies. However, once the mysteries unravel, we see a completely different side of the character as he becomes more mature and arguably the sharpest in the group. Diana is definitely Martin’s foil. She might be the brightest at school, but she fails to reach Martin’s level of intelligence when dealing with paranormal activity. This, of course, points out the fact that people are different in their own way.

Java is another fascinating character. Even though one might expect a caveman to be tough and harsh, Java does not satisfy this description. In fact, Java is portrayed as a lovable caveman who can be quite sensitive. He is also the best character to invoke humor simply through his reactions and expressions. There is also Billy, the little green alien flying around in “The Center” and assisting its head, MOM Billy might remind people of baby Yoda simply due to the resemblance between the two’s design.

The Addictive Animation and Soundtrack

Obviously, the quality of the animation plays a prominent role in attracting viewers when it comes to cartoons. Martin Mystery certainly does not fail to deliver in this sense. With its bright colors and incorporation of striking contrasts and energetic elements, the animation goes on to resemble some of the best anime. Thus, it has its own unique graphics that ensure the viewer does not take their eyes off the screen.

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Of course, for those familiar with Marathon Media Group’s work, it may not be a shocker that the soundtrack included in the series is as addictive as their video quality. Fabrice Aboulker’s great techno soundtrack incorporates cheesy elements that point at alien sounds while also driving forward with great percussion and synths.

Martin Mystery’s Mixed Genre

For a cartoon to include numerous genres might not be a rare phenomenon. However, Martin Mystery is a great hybrid of styles and genres that can appeal to a large audience, and was arguably influential in later sci-fi/mystery/horror cartoons like the great Gravity Falls and Tea Owl House. It has its own comical nature that provides a lot of laughter to balance off the darkness of the gruesome alien fights and suspense of the mystery. The action elements are exciting and, when combined with the mysteries and the horror elements, Martin Mystery is able to provoke chills and goosebumps, and each episode has its unique balance of these elements.

Martin Mystery might have had a somewhat short run of only three seasons with only 66 episodes, but it is a cartoon that has all the right elements to attract a large audience. Unfortunately, the show ended in 2006, though it has grown as a cult classic to the extent that eight years later, the creators posted on the show’s Facebook page that they were looking to develop and finance a new season. Sadly, there’s been no news since, but perhaps Martin Mystery might make its return one day in the future. Until then, much of the show is available for free on Youtubeand word of a digitally remastered home media release has recently spread.

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