SpongeBob Squarepants has been on the air so long, debuting in 1999, the series will soon be eligible to vote. It also has a well of episode so deep, over 260 and counting, our favorite fry cook has done almost everything there is to do in Bikini Bottom. But a fantastic new fan video offers a very different, wholly original take on the beloved Nickelodeon character. SpongeBob battles an old foe for the soul of the Krusty Krab in an intense anime-style short. It’s full of action, revenge, pathos, and features unbelievable versions our favorite denizens from under the sea.
“SpongeBob Anime Ep #1: Bubble Bass Arc” is definitely not meant for small children, though, but that’s just another reason we love everything about it.
The YouTube channel Narmak posted a 14-minute short that re-imagines Bikini Bottom as a Japanese anime series. The cartoon, which took six months to complete and is even better than the teaser promised, stars SpongeBob and his friends. He battles “a blubbered and belligerent foe as the fate of the secret formula hangs in the balance.”
The short begins with SpongeBob learning that the detestable Bubble Bass has stolen the secret formula for the the five-pickled patty. That’s not as bad as what Mr. Krabbs has done in response. He sent Squidward off by himself to retrieve it. Little does SpongeBob know that his seemingly greedy boss is only trying to protect his fry cook from a dark secret. A secret about himself.
From there SpongeBob encounters Sandy and a deep-voiced, in-shape Patrick. They foolishly let an honor-bound Squidward go off by himself. From there things get really dark—and really funny—as the showdown with Bubble Bass gets deadly.
There’s so much going on here it’s impossible to celebrate everything we love about this fantastic short. But we would have been perfectly content if this was merely just the amazing “Precious Time” theme song. Also, we love the little touches that callback to the series, like Bubble Bass mocking SpongeBob for “forgetting” his pickles.
But the line “and I can’t even….play the clarinet” might be the single best moment. Somehow that made us sad and made us laugh. It also made us hope there’s an episode two. After 20 years SpongeBob is ready for some more anime adventures.