Why Animation Fans Are Going Wild For Hazbin Hotel’s King Of Hell

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On October 28, 2019, Vivienne “VivziePop” Medrano unleashed an animated musical pilot called “Hazbin Hotel” on YouTube, and the world has never been the same. The pilot, which was created entirely by freelance animators and almost exclusively financed by Medrano’s Patreon followers, quickly went viral, with the episode currently boasting over 81 million views. The story follows Charlie Morningstar, princess of Hell, as she attempts the impossible task of rehabilitating demons so they can be accepted into Heaven. Her goal is to not only help curb Hell’s current overpopulation issues and prevent the demons from being exterminated by angels in the process, but allow an outlet for the damned to seek redemption. Charlie opens up the titular Hazbin Hotel, which serves as a fancy rehab resort for the demons, and becomes a safe space for demons to find a way to become better people in the afterlife than they were on earth.

The “Hazbin Hotel” pilot’s explosion in popularity put Medrano on the radar of A24, whom along with Emmy Award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Central Park,” “The Great North”), have signed on to help turn “Hazbin Hotel” into a bonafide series. Over the last few years, fans have been begging for any updates regarding the series, with A24 and VivziePop providing sporadic character previews on social media and teasing the eventual release date. For the most part, fan discussions have been manageable as more information becomes available, but everything changed when the character design for Hell’s King, the Devil Daddy himself, Lucifer Morningstar went live. To put it lightly … all Hell broke loose.

New Tumblr Sexyman Just Dropped

The art style of “Hazbin Hotel” is very reminiscent of the angular designs of Jhonen Vasquez of “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac” and “Invader Zim” fame, but through the perspective of someone who grew up during the 1990s golden era of Cartoon Network originals like “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Ed, Edd, and Eddy,” and “The Powerpuff Girls.” However, there’s a subcultural benefit to Lucifer Morningstar’s design that serves as a built-in success guarantee — he’s the embodiment of a “Tumblr Sexyman.”

For anyone who was wise enough to not get sucked into Tumblr subculture in the late 2000s and early 2010s, a Tumblr Sexyman is the term used to describe fictional male characters (predominately of the animated variety) that develop massive fandoms inspiring memes, fanfiction, “shipping” discussions, and countless topics of discourse. While pop culture historians are unsure of who first coined the term, it’s been universally agreed upon that the first prominent example of the phenomenon is The Once-ler as seen in the 2012 animated feature adaptation of “The Lorax.”

The canon of Tumblr Sexymen overwhelmingly follows a similar aesthetic and personality pattern: long torsos and limbs, a slender frame, angular joints, dapper clothing, and a villain or trickster role. One glimpse at Lucifer Morningstar shows him hitting all of the requirements of a Tumblr Sexyman with flying colors, and the insatiable thirst of fans will certainly inspire a legion of viewers to obsess over every episode if only so they have more inspiration for their lusty fandom contributions. The desire is rooted in the want to be sexually dominated, but since the characters are fictional, there’s no real-life pressure to pursue it. Fans who harbor a fantasy of submitting to someone can work through those feelings independently.

‘Never Underestimate The Power Of Rabid, Titillated Fandoms’

Lucifer Morningstar is not the first Tumblr Sexyman for Vivienne “VivziePop” Medrano’s world of “Hazbin Hotel” and its spinoff “Helluva Boss.” The character of Alastor, also known as “The Radio Demon” has been classified as a Tumblr Sexyman on the website since his introduction in the VivziePop webcomic, “ZooPhobia.” Alastor has a voice that sounds a bit like radio static and often includes theme music, and as one of the few examples of asexual representation in media, has, of course, been immediately sexualized.

Clearly, the social media team behind “Hazbin Hotel” is fully aware of Lucifer’s potential sex appeal because describing him with the phrase, “the Devil Daddy,” was absolutely intentional. Sure, they can pretend that the usage of “Daddy” is in reference to his being Charlie’s father, but we’re talking about a show that became popular on the internet — Rule 34 applies.

Of course, the excitement for “Hazbin Hotel” is also rooted in VivziePop’s fantastic story, hilarious characters, catchy music, and diverse LGBTQIA+ representation, but we’d be lying if we said the fandom desire to boink an animated character didn’t help the cause. Congratulations, Lucifer Morningstar, on joining the esteemed ranks of Tumblr Sexymen like Alastor, The Once-ler, Bill Cipher of “Gravity Falls,” Waluigi, King Dice of “Cuphead,” and for some reason, Sans from “Undertale.” Never underestimate the power of rabid, titillated fandoms.

“Hazbin Hotel” is set to premiere in the summer of 2023.

Read this next: Overlooked ’80s Cartoon-Toy Franchises Ripe For Revival

The post Why Animation Fans Are Going Wild for Hazbin Hotel’s King Of Hell appeared first on /Film.

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