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Begun, the Shipping War Has

So far, Amphibia’s focused primarily on the relationships between the Plantar family and Anne. There was the thing with Mayor Toadstool, but that’s about it. Today’s episode, though, helps grow the world of the show in two ways: a new addition to the main cast, and build on the overarching plot for the first time since the pilot. Just like Gravity Falls used to.

Dating Season

I can already hear the drums of shipping wars beating. I gotta get to my bunker.

After seeing how well Sprig gets along with his friend, Ivy Sundew, Anne and Hop Pop are determined to make them a couple. Anne doing so because she thinks they’re a great couple; Hop Pop because the Sundew’s crops will set them up for life. So they force Sprig to go to the annual Firefly Ball while dressed like an idiot; and Ivy’s mom forced her to do the same.

The worst part is that this is so not their look.

It takes about two minutes for them to decide that the thing’s stupid, so they ditch the Formal to play and watch fireflies. When the others come looking for them, they get captured by Love Doves, and Polly calls them out for playing matchmaker. Fortunately, Sprig and Ivy rescue them. Unfortunately, Sprig realizes that he does have a crush on Ivy. Crud.

Rule one of dating: as long its something you both enjoy, then its perfect.

Anne vs. Wild

Anne's not meant for roughing it.

Anne’s been feeling left out by the Plantar family lately, so when they decide to go camping, Anne tags along for the ride. Unfortunately, despite Anne’s insistence, Anne’s not cut out for camping. So she lies and says that it’s not extreme enough for her, leading this weird frog named Soggy Joe to take them to an extreme camping site.

The Mud Men. They remind me of the zombies from Gravity Falls
Who else got Gravity Falls vibes from the Mud Men?

As it happens, that “extreme camping site” is home to the Mud Men, a group of cannibal frog monsters. (I think they’re cannibals). They attack the family, and it’s only through the use of Anne’s last bath bomb that they drive the creatures off. Shaken by the experience, Anne admits that she lied about being miserable. Then they all go home to get pancakes.

Review

As a fan of all things pop culture, I’m no stranger to one of the deadliest conflicts to plague fandoms: shipping wars. Trust me when I say that “Dating Season” was the opening salvos of the ship for “Srpivy.” That’s right. I named it.

I won’t deny the fact that I think that Sprig and Ivy are great for each other. They have similar interests and personalities, and can just be themselves around each other. And as Sprig states at the end of the episode, he now has a crush on Ivy. Only time will tell if they start dating, but for now, they’re best friends. Lover’s are just the best kind of best friend; I know one other couple that started as best friends.

Legacy of Gravity Falls

As for “Anne vs. Wild,” I got hooked on it by the title alone. The real draw, though, is how much Matt Braly was drawing on his experiences on Gravity Falls. The background, the way the Mud Men were designed, it screams Gravity Falls. I got flashbacks to the zombie incident from that show! Let there be no doubt that the legacy of Gravity Falls is alive with Amphibia.

The most critical moment of the episode, though, comes in the last thirty seconds. Anne shows the Plantars the music box that sent her to Amphibia and its something that Hop Pop recognizes from one of his books:

A mystical music box, a key role to play in Amphibia. Like the journals of Gravity Falls
An even bigger, Gravity Falls Mystery
So that music box is important, after all. And dangerous

The Calamity Box. Whatever this box is, it seems to terrify Hop Pop enough to act like he doesn’t know what it is. We don’t know what it does, but we do know that it’s dangerous. Dangerous enough to be sent to another world. One mystery solved, two more take their place. As I said, Amphibia’s keeping the legacy of Gravity Falls alive and well, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this leads.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to hide from the shipping wars. I may support a pairing, but I refuse to take part in the bloodbath.

I Give “Dating Season” and “Anne vs. Wild” a 4.8/5

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

Click here to see the first episode on YouTube

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