Xavier: Renegade Angel
"Life is just Death in drag."
"If you so much as think about touching that boy, I'll so much as think about doing something about it."
Explain Xavier: Renegade Angel here? Greater men than you have tried and failed.
Created by PFFR (the minds behind Wonder Showzen) for Adult Swim, Xavier: Renegade Angel is (ostensibly) about exactly what it says it's about; good luck finding out what it's really about, though. The eponymous Xavier is either an actual fallen angel or just some sort of cosmic abomination that was abandoned at birth. Forced to Walk the Earth because everyone hates him, Xavier tries to help people -- but at worst, he invents problems where none exist and causes tons of carnage, and at best, he somehow gets everyone to put aside their differences towards the common goal of beating him senseless.
The show was largely one huge Mind Screw, with Xavier speaking in a near-continuous, stream-of-consciousness...well, stream of narrative/conversation/wisdom/puns/portmanteaux/"unintentional" double-entendre/callbacks. The show's only real narrative story is a ongoing subplot involving Xavier's incredibly screwed-up childhood and the death of his adoptive mother. Xavier was able to talk to himself as a child via a tear in the fabric of space-time, and this meeting caused Xavier's younger self to become a clingy freak of nature towards his apathetic adoptive mother, which drove her to drink and take pills to cope with life. Xavier convinces his younger self to switch his mother's pills with placebos, but just a few years later, Xavier tells his mom what he did; this causes her to think that she is hallucinating Xavier's existence. At this point, Xavier causes a fire to spread from the present into the past, which ends up killing his mother (since she believed the flames, like Xavier, were a mental hallucination).
Xavier is uniquely abstract, showing concepts in a way that -- instead of using aspects such as plot -- creates connections in various patterns to prove a point. A good example is the episode "Signs From Godrilla"; this episode explores the aspects of choice and free will by using various themes, including recursion and mind/body dualism, to aid in its expression.
The show was animated in 3D with (some) motion-capture all done in CGI, which allowed for a vast range of strangeness; it's all pretty damn trippy, in any event. A third season was rumored to be in development after the second season's end, but those plans seem to have fallen through.
- Ambiguously Gay: Xavier's frequent Double Entendre and Accidental Innuendo (as well as having sex with a coworker while crossdressed as a gigantic black woman in the same episode where he marries the widow of a man he kills) leaves it entirely unclear what his true sexual orientation could be. His snake hand, however, is decidedly straight.
- Bedlam House: Xavier sends the poor kid in a dolphin costume there, and ends up meeting his long lost mother. It just descends into Brain Bleach territory from there.
- Biological Mashup: Xavier is covered in thick fur, has six nipples, a beak, backwards bending legs, and a snake for an arm. Not even Wikipedia's sure what he's supposed to be.
- When he gets a finger cut off, it grows back. As a snake. While that may account for his snake arm, it entirely fails to address why it happens.
- Contest Winner Cameo: Adult Swim hosted a contest to make a couple of short films (animated or live action) based on Xavier. The winners were shown in an episode that had Xavier traveling to different dimensions.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Eight of them in a single episode.
- Deranged Animation
- Foreshadowing: Lampshaded in the first episode, where Xavier warns a group harassing him that they may some day need his help. Cue a truck driving by in the background with 'FORESHADOWING' written on the side.
- Grand Finale: It's over. He's human. There can't be a third season.
- Gross-Out Show: Oh yeah.
- Ice Cream Koan: Xavier speaks this as a primary language. And he believes every word of it.
- And he has an obsession with actual ice cream cones on top of that.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Repeated over and over like a Madness Mantra after he causes the deaths of a group of cryogenically frozen people by shattering their partially frozen bodies.
- Left Hanging: the Season 1 finale.
- Mind Screw: The entire point of the show. If you are sober (or drunk on plain ol' liquor), prepare to be confused. If you have taken any other kind of mind-altering substance, prepare to be wowed, terrified, or both.
- It's almost a parody of Mind Screws, while it may seem completely nonsensical, each episode can be attributed to different philosophical themes, but in the end of pretty much every situation, the moral of the story is, "Don't read too deeply into things or fucked up shit like this happens!" Seriously, every problem he creates can be attributed to him trying TOO HARD to be philosophical and spiritual.
- The Movie: According to the Adult Swim message boards.
- Noodle Incident: When a man takes off most of his own body in preparation to beat down Xavier, his friend remarks:
"I han't never seen him this heated since The Incident!"
- Organ Autonomy / Evil Hand: Xavier's left hand is a snake with a mind of its own - and a taste for eating babies.
- Psychopathic Manchild: While it's fairly clear Xavier's intentions are usually noble, he is a freaking lunatic. There's not a problem he's come across that he hasn't just made worse.
- There's no problem too trivial that he can't snowball into destroying the earth.
- Quarter Hour Short
- Refuge in Audacity
- Running Gag: Every time someone says "life", the word echoes three times. Every. Single. Time.
- Xavier also uses "ramble" in place of "wander".
- "Take that!" "Taste the pain!" in the same voice every time Xavier gets beaten up for "Being a freak" regardless or the character saying it
- Also occasional mentions of Grinders in season 2
- Schmuck Bait: "You don't want to drink that."
- Walking the Earth: A parody of these kinds of shows, specifically Kung Fu and Walker, Texas Ranger (with a dash of The Incredible Hulk).
- What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The answer, simply put, is yes.
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