There is only one reason the age for this show is higher- it's not as funny if you don't have the experience to relate. Here is an innovative cartoon that is sure to raise some eyebrows- and having heard quite a bit about the man behind it, this is not surprising. But kids today are exposed to so many sick things every day, that it doesn't throw us. Did you know that I can no longer walk down a school hallway without hearing something that would get me grounded? And I don't care. Because it's normal.
I don't call my generation mean, or disturbed, or anything else, though. I call us UNAFRAID.
That's what Invader Zim is- UNAFRAID. Zim is, like many real people, angry and hurt. His people do not want him, and he wants somebody to believe in him. And, like many real people, he goes about it the wrong way. Growing up watching him (and many people I know in real life) make the wrong choices reminds me now that it is not okay. There's a right way to gain respect- this is not it. His determination is astounding, however, and admirable.
Dib, the antagonist character, is quite blatently a neglected child feeling very much the same as Zim. Dib's struggle for the attention of his father - a man, I might add, who is not really worth all the effort - happens in the real world. It shows me that when a person isn't good for you, chasing them will only make things worse. If they can't accept you the way you are, they're not worth impressing.
Also, the fact that Zim and Dib are so similar personality- and situation-wise makes it clear how ridiculous it is that they are enemies, simply because they are on opposite ends of the universe. If they stopped for a moment and acknowledged each other as friends, neither would need to go through with petty goals and dangerous missions, because the entire point of it is to gain acceptance and love. Some things they could just as easily give each other, and be far happier. There's something to be learned from that, surely; I know I will never make the same mistakes.
At first glance, Invader Zim seems to be sending off the wrong signals, but it's exactly the opposite. Kids watch this show with clarity; they can see that what is going on is not right. They know that things like this (though perhaps not on as large a scale) happen all the time. Many of them, such as myself, have watched it happen. I've spoken to kids at my school who are neglected, abused, and bullied. Just like on TV. And because of this show, I know that becoming bitter and violent is not the way to make things better; only to lose yourself.
God bless Invader Zim.