Neurotically Yours

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Neurotically Yours
Logo of Neurotically Yours
Genre Dark Comedy
Created by Jonathan Ian Mathers
Voices of Jonathan Ian Mathers
Dawn Bennett
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Broadcast
Original channel illwillpress.com

Neurotically Yours is a comic book and webtoon created by Jonathan Ian Mathers, depicting a squirrel named Foamy, who is the neurotic pet of a goth girl named Germaine (voiced by Dawn Bennett).[1] The comic book series was created before the webtoon and focused solely on Germaine (Foamy was just there to make random comments about the current situation) and the webtoon began with this same set-up in mind. Over the years, however, Germaine's character seems to have taken a backseat as Foamy developed into an angry, "wisdom-spreading" cult leader and his rants against society became increasingly popular. There are several other squirrel and human characters. The Neurotically Yours webtoon debuted in early 2003.

Episodes are mainly located at iLL WiLL PreSS,[2] in addition to numerous external websites. To date, there are over 200 official episodes of Neurotically Yours. There are also a number of fan-produced episodes circulated among various fan sites on the Internet. There are also 38 topical rants, which are audio-based rants in which Foamy is talking about a particular topic. Some of these, such as "The Best Thing Ever" and "People and Animals" have been made into official animated episodes. A new episode of Neurotically Yours is posted approximately once every two weeks.[3]

Setting[edit]

The central story line revolves around the interactions between Foamy and Germaine and, on occasion, their relationships with other characters. The story starts off with Germaine sitting in front of a computer typing away, while Foamy remains a constant distraction in the background and has occasionally contemplated suicide, both of which become the premise for both the main story arc, as well as the development of the characters themselves.

As the plot continues to develop, Germaine dedicates her time trying to have her poetry published, having been rejected after spending hours on it. Germaine receives a rejection letter in the mail and feels the need to respond to it. However, as time goes on, Germaine becomes the subject of men’s attention, while becoming increasingly more comfortable in her own body. Eventually, she attempts to manipulate events via use of her sexuality. However, in later episodes, Germaine discusses the idea of clothing being used to objectify women and expresses dismay with this trend, though it eventually becomes part of her character.

After a journey of self-discovery, Germaine eventually ends up in the same general cycle she was in before. She finds herself in opposition to various issues regarding women and even blaming these issues for causing people to accept such degrading roles in life.[4] Even with all the self-development, self-discovery, and enlightening moments, Germaine seemingly develops into the same role she had prior to leaving. She finds that she is incapable of performing certain duties though, due partly to weight, and is yet again being discriminated against.[5]

Reboot of the series[edit]

In August 2011, the cartoon was rebooted. Within the cartoon, Germaine is given the option by Foamy to reset her life, thus undoing the previous ten years of her life. Foamy describes this as being a do over, that he has given out only three times before.[6] On August 17, 2011, Jonathan Ian Mathers (the creator of Neurotically Yours) in his blog said:[7]

Is it really the last Foamy episode? No. It's just a way to start things over. For the last few years Germaine has been the tortured poet trying to make her way through life, pursuing her dreams at any cost... even self-destruction. As the episodes went on, viewers kinda scratched their heads as to what the hell the point was to Germaine. Why was she becoming a slut... and why is she so god damn fat?! Again, the point of Germaine was to convey the whole "artistic" struggle, following one's dreams no matter the cost. So her descent into darkness & depression came to be and the cartoon became a bit too "mature" for people for awhile. I guess the reality of life isn't fun to watch. Oh, well. Anyway... with this episode, some of Foamy's mysterious powers are used to give Germaine a "second chance", bringing us all back to the very first episode. For 10 years this has kinda been the plan. To have Germaine go through a series of ups & downs and eventually give her a second chance. The downside is, the "re-boot" concept always irked me. 'Cause 10 years ago I didn't think of the story line as a "re-boot", just something that was eventually going to happen. So I'll probably get some crap for that. But on the upside, Germaine will go back to "normal", meaning she will be as she was in the very early days of the series. Making better choices based on a repressed lifetime of past-life experience. The sexual content will be dropped by 90% at least. So older viewers who kept their kids away wont really have to do so with the newer episodes. Though there will be some verbal sexual references and Germaine will still be somewhat "jiggly". Frankly, though, the cartoon is still meant for "mature" viewers.... but now, not SO mature as to have to sit through "human struggle" concepts and absorb it as the intellectual story-telling of an artist's plight. So that's where we are now... what does the future hold? The mysterious Foamy Countdown will reveal all!

Post-reboot[edit]

Along with the first episode of the reboot, a topical rant was released. In it, Foamy discusses many things that led to the reboot, and why it was necessary. He describes how in most occasions, reboots are a bad idea, but he also explains that reboots can work when done right. Foamy cites the fact the scenery has changed, the animation is more refined, and that things are polished all around. Foamy goes on to tell people to "relax", as the main characters will still be there, and that "Germaine will still be jiggly". Foamy states the only thing that will change will be the addition of a few characters from other Neurotically Yours cartoons, but only for the sake of consolidation, as the site is run by only one man and he felt it was better to focus his efforts on only one web-series. Foamy follows up to say that "if it doesn't work out, we'll pick back up with the fat, blue haired Germaine", thus going back to square one and, in his words, "reboot the reboot". Foamy then requests that everyone simply be patient until the plot can be established.[8]

On September 1, 2011, Jonathan Ian Mathers released a post, via the news section of the site, further explaining the reboot:

For folks wondering what's going to happen with the Neurotically Yours series, there's not much to tell really. Since "The Reboot Button" episode, Germaine was given the opportunity to take a different path than the one she was on. Rather than staying in NYC, an unaffordable endeavor, she opted for a move to her grandfather's house where she acts as care-taker. Though she's managed to side-step the financial issues that had her spiral out of control into a self-sacrificing, morally debased character fighting to keep her poetic aspirations alive, she is now re-located to a town where she doesn't quite fit in. Her personal turmoil may no longer be based in finances, but the "odd one" in a small town comes with its own drawbacks.

And what of Foamy? Eh, he's not a big fan of being uprooted from the city. So while Germaine's "sexual content" has taken a 90% nosedive, Foamy's anger has been raised 150%. Though they have moved, Manhattan is still just a bus ride away, and all the familiar city dwellers folks loved in the original series will still be making appearances. Besides, it's also a good chance to explore the benefits and drawbacks of living in both a big city and a small town and the perspective of the people in those locations, how they react to outsiders and so on. Sometimes you don't have to leave the country to be in a foreign land.[9]

Card Cult[edit]

Foamy has established the "Cult of Foamy", also known as the "Card Cult". Currently, it serves two purposes. The first is to advertise the webtoon in the real world.[10][11] The second pertains to the cartoon; its development correlates to a development in Foamy, as well as being somewhat relative to the aforementioned Germaine plotline. Mailing in for a card is no longer required to join the card cult, as Mathers has created a downloadable cult pack that includes printable cards, a flat Foamy "cult relic", Shimejis, an MP3 of the cult song, and wallpapers. Official cards can still be requested and autographed ones can be purchased from Mathers. Mathers has also created "cult relics": Clay models of the Neurotically Yours characters.[citation needed]

In terms of the story, there have been many secrets surrounding the Cult of Foamy. Such rumors are that Foamy has had many owners, has been around for almost a hundred years, and has subtly tried to take over the world through various means of influence.[12] This is later confirmed via the reset button. The cult seems like a means to control the masses and to support Foamy. At one point, 3,000 people had gathered outside Foamy and Germaine's apartment, with offerings of cream cheese and bagels.[13]

Despite the implied large number of members in the cult, in each of the two Cult Meeting episodes, the only attendants are Foamy, Pilz-E, and Begley.

The point of the cult, as Foamy says in one episode, is to "control the world and destroy the human race through squirrelly force." (Though Begley mentions how the human race will eventually self-destruct anyways due to overuse of resources, etc. Foamy says that they can still "speed up the process.")[14]

Characters[edit]

Animal characters[edit]

Foamy the Squirrel is the main character. He is a foul-mouthed squirrel who lives with his owner Germaine, for whom he often openly expresses his dislike but can also be fiercely protective over. Although he likes to eat cream cheese bagels, has a strong disdain for most things, including obesity, pop culture, and Metallica (he blames them for the end of Napster). However, despite Foamy's language and harsh opinions, there is some good in Foamy, taking one rant to discuss the good things from Mexican culture (entitled Mexico es muy bien), to condemn the stereotypes and to end bullying. Foamy also supports gay marriage and condemns those who say it is against God's will. Foamy hates his friend Pilz-E for his drug problems, but he seems to tolerate Begley and The Hatta.

Foamy does various things in the web series, such as singing "Squirrel Songs" in order to raise money for the "Church of Foamy" and answering "Foamy Fan Mail" (which he hates, mostly because most of the questions are ones he hates or finds repetitive: like suggestions to get a girlfriend or the desire to see various characters including Germaine naked, which disgusts him, as well as attempts to cut down on the swearing, which disgusts him as well).

Foamy and Germaine both speak out against the stupidity, injustice and annoyances they face in life. Jonathan Ian Mathers, as Foamy, has "asked" that people help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Japan's 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown disaster. In these special episodes, Foamy condemns the looters and news reporters who should be helping the victims and not merely reporting on them.

Despite his anti-social nature, Foamy does appear to need people (or, at the very least, need attention) as his recent move to Connecticut seems to make him more angry and volatile, constantly complaining that there's nothing for him to do, and he constantly gets nostalgic for things and people he liked in New York.

In the episode "Reboot Button", Foamy is shown to have had 632 owners over the course of 400 years. According to Roswell, and in his bio on the website, it is stated he has used the brains of these former owners in conjunction with old robots to create an army.

Pilz-E is a bespectacled, insane squirrel who is addicted to medication for a number of sicknesses (along with side effects, enough to fill a 78 page PDF document according to his bio). As revealed in one episode, all his diseases are psychosomatic but that he is still given pills because he has medical coverage. Pilz-E's banter is often filled with nonsense, based on hallucinations he has had due to his medication. Despite his various addictions, he is shown to be good hearted, forcing Germaine to respond to a rude letter because it's polite in one episode. He also has a tendency to take what people (usually Germaine) say too literally or confuses meaning of the words that they use. Despite being considered Foamy's friend, Foamy seems to find it hard at times to deal with his drugged up behavior. There is also implication that he is actually being used for medical experiments. Germaine brought Pilz-E with her to Connecticut because she feels he can't be left alone.

The Hatta is a black squirrel who is very defensive of African-American culture. He is a stereotype for said culture, having an afro-style tail with a comb stuck in it. His name comes, quite obviously, from his choice of clothing; a large top hat made of patches of cloth, with a faded skull pattern. He is quick to pull the race card in any situation and has even starred in his own rants. Much like Begley, he appears less frequently in the series than either Pilz-E or Germaine.

Begley is a purple-mohawked British squirrel who rebels against authority figures (his first appearance mentioned he had called the Queen a "wanka," and he had spent eighteen months in jail) and generally fulfilling the stereotype of 'punk'. He came over to NY in Anchovie's suitcase, after having to hide in his house following the aforementioned incident. Unlike Foamy, he enjoys sexuality, though is still willing to help Foamy commit acts of mischief. Compared to The Hatta, Foamy and Pilz-e, he appears less frequently in the series, which has recently become a running gag (the other characters consistently forget him, and he often pops up mentioning his need for more episodes, breaking the fourth wall). However his attempts to get into more episodes end with someone (mostly Foamy) telling him to shut up. He recently returned to 'Neurotically Yours,' having backpacked to Connecticut, angry at Germaine for leaving him behind with Anchovy in New York and taking only Foamy and Pilz-E with her.

Roswell is Jack Partfine's dog, introduced in the episode Secrets of The Foamy Cult.[15] He's a crude conspiracy theorist, who in the reboot, like Foamy, whines about Connecticut and longs to move back to New York. In the episode The Neighbors, he instantly recognizes Foamy as an evil, hundred-year-old cult leader bent on world domination, accusing him of murdering his previous owners as sacrifices and using their brains to power an army of evil robots. He theorizes Foamy may be the mythical squirrel Ratatoskr, or a descendant. He serves as a foil to Foamy; one of the few characters who does not underestimate him in any way, yet is ignored by the rest of the world.

Human characters[edit]

Germaine is Foamy's "owner," a poet seeking to have her work acknowledged, yet she overeats and gains weight, and is also used to demonstrate a culture obsessed with sex. She experiments with witchcraft, and meditation, though she seems unconvinced in any religious beliefs. She has alienated herself from her parents and once mentioned she worked in an occult bookstore.[16] In the early episodes, Germaine was flat chested, and a more stereotypical Goth/Punk (somewhat feminist) girl. At the ends of "Who Would Win In A Fight?", Foamy reveals she keeps buying "rubber duckies filled with blood that explode". She has been shown to have an unhealthy obsession with Orlando Gloom (a parody of Orlando Bloom), and in one episode she watches a person who she thinks might be him through some binoculars; Foamy draws a parallel here between her and Anchovy. Before the reboot, Mathers often changed her appearance, mostly the color and cut of her hair.

After the reboot, Germaine moves to Connecticut and lives in her grandfather's house while he's in Florida. She had briefly had a job as a sales clerk at a Walk-Mart, an obvious reference to Wal-Mart, though she quits after one day, due to a disturbing customer. Afterwards, as a suggestion from Foamy, Germaine accepts a job as a nude model for a New York art school. She is happy with this job as she is being looked at on an artistic level rather than a sexual level, though her hours have been reduced and she takes up a second job working part-time at Starschmucks to take up the slack. She has also confirmed to Foamy that she would be open to a romantic relationship with another woman and also may be interested in dating her new neighbor, Jack Partfine. Since then however she has been directly focused on pursuing women under the pretense of bisexuality, pushing Foamy to demand she "pick a side already."

Anchovy[17] is Germaine's stalker. He speaks with an English accent. Originally a failing pizza delivery boy in England (he often got directions wrong, turning 30 minutes or less into two hours or more according to his bio), he moved to NY after coming across a random picture of Germaine on FaceNook. He has had various jobs: pizza delivery man, a clerk at the "Gooey Burger," a security guard at a lingerie shop,as well as a gym teacher. He is a very persistent and proficient stalker, secretly photographing Germaine and posting the pictures on a website (which he advertises during the episode Open-Mic Night II), though he is generally depicted as a pervert all round (once ordering a sex robot from Japan, which Foamy promptly sabotages). He finds ways to run into Germaine and, while she has been seen to talk or interact with him, she does not approve of his stalker habits. He hates Foamy due to the squirrel foiling many of his plans for Germaine; Foamy, on the other hand, just thinks he's pathetic.

In the episode "Social Network of Idiots II," Germaine is seen killing Anchovy through a window. Pilz-E and Begley are seen carrying off limbs. However, he has reappeared in the post-reboot episode "Work Related Incident", and Begley informs Germaine that he has taken to performing more disturbing acts of stalking in Germaine's absence (such as "Collecting hair samples from [Germaine's] previous apartment.")

Franklin works at Starshmuck's coffee shop, and is implied to be homosexual throughout the series, though the character denies it until after the reboot, the acknowledgement of which Pilz-e makes much of. He flaunts and advertises Starschmucks merchandise and expresses that Starschmucks coffee is a status symbol and those that drink it are trendy and 'Ab-Fab' ("ABsolutely FABulous.") He's also an elitist, stating that he performs the task of serving the corporate elite while simultaneously stating that he is better than the number of 'mere mortals' he serves coffee to (especially when people order regular coffee.) He despises Foamy, who refuses to kowtow to 'coffee house propaganda' and grows more and more irate at the growing difficulty of getting a regular cup of coffee. Franklin appears in episodes: Coffee House Propaganda; Small, Medium, Large; Small, Medium, Large and Larger; Zip Code; Tips; Left in Charge; Medicinal Mocha chino.

Mammed Udi is a Hindu man from India, where he worked in technical support for "Smell Tech Computers". Later, he works at an "Eaters Anonymous" hotline that Germaine calls after getting fired (he denies it at first saying he quit, but then admits it) from his tech support job, as well as a Suicide Hotline operator and the pharmacist that supplies Pilz-E's staggering amount of medications in other episodes. He is revealed to have joined Germaine and Pizza Guy in a poker game at the end of "Deck Waving". Mammed also appears in the five "Tech support" episodes and in "Medication for All."

Joanna, or "Mutie", was Germaine's mute female roommate appearing in a number of initially unreleased episodes (available on DVD and YouTube), featuring blond hair, blue eyes, and an exaggerated breast size. She first appears in "Cute Mute" where at first Foamy mistakes her for Germaine who then appears and explains she met Joanna at a party and brought her home with her because she was drunk. Foamy asks if they can keep her, so Germaine suggests that Joanna be her roommate, primarily to help with bills. Foamy nicknames her Mutie and refers to her as the cute one. In "Focus Pocus", she is shown meditating, with Foamy trying to annoy her but unable to get a reaction. Foamy gives up and tells her there won't be any problems as long as she stays away from his nuts, which finally elicits a response from her as she finds his comment amusing. Joanna's last appearance was in the episode "Hot Enough For You?", which showed the character being pulled underwater by a mysterious tentacle. However, she appears briefly at the end of the "An Arthouse Halloween" episode released on October 16, 2012.

Jack Partfine was first introduced in the episode Secrets of The Foamy Cult, and is the first human (aside from Germaine) introduced since the reboot. He's a cryptozoologist from New York who moved to Connecticut because his profession could not cover his expenses. He's apparently good-natured, friendly, and constantly apologizing for the accusations blurted by his dog, Roswell. However, he does appear to be slightly paranoid.

Dia is an spiritually-centered Indian girl who left India after refusing to go through with an arranged marriage to Mammed Udi, angering her parents in the process. She moved over to New York in order to find a meaning to her life other than being a simple housewife. She believes she may be hallucinating after she discovers some expired tofu in her fridge that starts to talk and move around. Dia has made a cameo appearance in a Neurotically Yours episode "Midnight Release", and also has her own series with Tofu, unsurprisingly called 'Dia & Tofu'.

Betty is Foamy's previous owner introduced in Previous Owner who became a shemale after performing witchcraft against Foamy's advice. This drew the ire of demonic spirits and, as a result, has to perform an annual ritual if she wants to keep living. She also performs on Broadway from time to time.

Ollie is Germaine's grandfather introduced in the Chibisode New Phone. Ollie took it upon himself to raise Germaine after her father left her and her mother was deemed unfit to parent. Ollie is an old school New York citizen whose years of living in the city has made him hardened and sarcastic. He appears cold at times, but does his best to raise his granddaughter, even if it means letting her make her own mistakes. He has yet to appear outside the chibisodes as he's currently in Florida while Germaine house sits his place.

YouTube[edit]

In 2009, Mathers began hosting all of the Neurotically Yours cartoons exclusively on YouTube and Newgrounds. The reasons provided for the change over included poor quality copies being made and distributed without giving Mathers credit, or people simply taking credit for his work. Aside from the video quality and credit, Mathers also cited overall bandwidth usage. Mathers stated that the monthly bills were "insane". Having changed over to YouTube, Mathers was able to provide viewers with a feed to subscribe to more episodes (both current and past episodes), as well as limiting his overall monthly bill, thus making site maintenance easier.[18]

References[edit]