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Extreme Ghostbusters (1997)
The final frontier
If you are reading this, you already know how awesome EGB/XGB is, therefore no spoilers are necessary. From the creators of the superb "The Real Ghostbusters", comes the next generation in the franchise. However, in the case one saw the latter as a child in the 80s, one should let go of preconceived notions and approach this with a somewhat open mind, given that a lot of changes have been made. Intelligent people should have no problem doing that anyway. It is difficult to compare RGB and XGB as they are both different approaches. At the same time, the same charm and competence that made RGB is also present here.
Explanation? Consider that Masamune Shirow made both the hilarious and brilliant "Dominion : Tank Police" AS WELL as the ultra serious "Ghost in the Shell". If you're into gaming, consider 3DRealms who made the hilarious "Shadow Warrior" and are also currently producing the very serious, emotionally sensitive, "Prey". That same logic applies here : The people who made the comedy centric and somewhat childish "Real Ghostbusters" have also made the very serious, mature and emotionally driven, Extreme Ghostbusters. At the same time, the latter is not outright serious, at least as far as conversations are concerned. It has the same comical charm of RGB and even betters it several times.
Extreme Ghostbusters is not the overtly commercial production that the RGB was, and it does not rely on proved formulae and predictable events, straightforward story lines, and does not have 80s dance music slewed to fight sequences. The focus is on serious plots, emotion, dangerous threats and atmosphere, rather than handling Ghosts as more of a "pest" problem, with superior production at all levels. It is almost as if a Higher Power was dictating everything and the team was implementing it. (Someone did say that this was Godly stuff. I agree.) The new characters are superb. Kylie Griffin in particular, is awesome and amazing. Wow. Some make a rather strange claim that the new characters are modelled on the old ones but that would be a rather biased and twisted way of saying that the same competence used to design the old ones, was also used in the new series.
Unfortunately, aiming for a mature audience instead of children cost the series its commercial success. That, besides horrible timings and poor marketing and PR, did not help either. It did generate a number of video games though. It also not that this series was not without certain faults, but the good parts by far, overcome the few bad. One thing that was disconcerting was that some of the original characters who reappeared, have been "modernised" and lose their original look, not to say the new ones are'nt any good. However, one learns that this was a copyright issue! What an irony. Overall, the animation is state of the art, superb, and shows the capabilities of the industry. The realism is brilliant.
I was very very very very lucky and blessed to have caught this series on TV. Today, there are very few purchase options for those who did'nt : You can buy a few of the eps on Amazon but the tapes are EP speed! You can buy the whole series from a third party but the recording quality from TV is not that good, with a lot of aliasing and noise. You can get the DVD from ebay but the digital compression ruins a lot of the animation quality, besides which, conversion from A->D also included the problems from the former.
For the few narrow minded who are still dissatisfied, all I can say is that RGB was already stretched to 140 episodes and was getting stale after the first two seasons already. Quality and Quantity don't often intersect. Even so, I was very upset that Extreme Ghostbusters lasted only 1 season ie 40 eps. Whether one personally "enjoyed" RGB or XGB more, and the concepts behind both, is irrelevant. Plain truth is that Extreme Ghostbusters reflects a superior production and series. I have seen 100s of shows over the years, but this by far, beats all of them. No other show can even touch this. Its IS Ghostbusters, afterall! Best Regards