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You Should Watch Steven Universe.

Updated on May 29, 2015

Welcome to Steven Universe

Title card for television show.
Title card for television show.

What is it about?

At first glance the show may be mistaken to be as zany (do people still use that word?) and non sequitur as it's cartoon network brethren. While that's not a problem the show stands apart due to being an coming of age storing with depth, a serialized narrative and aliens. The show revolves around Steven Universe (yes that is his real first and last name) as he grows up in Beach City (that too is it's) real name. What sets Steven apart from other kids his age (he's a tween) is that his mother was a Crystal Gem. The Crystal Gems are an alien race who derive their powers and physical forms from gems. Steven's mother was a Gem named Ruby Quartz. She lost her physical form when she gave birth to Steven. Because of this unique origin Steven fights (or at least makes a valiant attempt) alongside three other Crystal Gems who remain on earth to defend it from whomever attempts to attack it. It's actually in the theme song.

This show has character(s)

Steven Universe is the main character of the show (obviously) and is also the audience surrogate. He's an average and likely tween who tries to be friendly with everyone in town and if it weren't for being half alien he'd be completely normal, but what is normal anyway. Steven is both learning how to be older and more mature while also trying to be an asset to the Crystal Gems. This makes him the awkward kid that many of us were at that age (I think he might be 12). He's also uncovering knowledge about the mother he never knew while becoming close to his father Greg Universe (That's his real name).

Greg Universe is Steven's amicable father. He's a musician and a bit of a slacker but really cares about Steven and over the course of the show it's obvious that he would do anything for him. Greg often gets looked down because of his free spirited nature. This is a frequent theme in the show especially as it deals with the Crystal Gems

The Crystal Gems are essentially the self appointed protectors of Earth. There are three of them, each of which has their own distinct personality and interaction with Steven and each other. They were friends with his mother, Ruby Quartz, and as such are mentors and teammates of Steven.

Garnet is regarded as the teams leader and the muscle. With her gauntlets she can apparently smash through anything. She also tends to be the most unflappable and goal focused. She also has mysteries (all the Gems do) that become uncovered during the series. While she is protective of Steven she is also extremely supportive of him learning how to use his powers to be an asset to the team. Over time she drops her steely demeanor to truly open up to Steven.

Pearl is, at first glance the most disciplined but also least supportive of Steven fighting along side them. She prides herself on her swordsmanship and self control. She can also come off as the most judgmental of humans in general and other members of the team (particularly Amethyst). Throughout she becomes very humbled by her experiences and we witness her growth. There might also be a hint of entitlement due to her friendship she had with Ruby prior to the birth of Steven. She is also the skeptic of the team and prefers a thought out plan of attack to a plan that's just "ATTACK".

By comparison Amethyst is the least disciplined of the Crystal Gems and most likely to get into trouble (both childish and serious) with Steven. She also bears the brunt of Pearl's judgment due to her past and this leads to increasing doubt about her place on the team. She is also a wildcard that has demonstrated that her expertise with her whip is unmatched. She likely feels the most kinship with humans because of reasons that become unveiled.

Connie is not a Gem but rather is Steven's best friend. His friendship with her is the where we she much of his growth as a young boy. He learns about his feelings and self expression while being Connie's friend through thick and thin and her very protective parents. He also learns to question some of his initial reactions in regard to her as the series and he matures.

Connective Tissue

The show mostly focuses on a serialized narrative that may make it difficult to dive into but elevates it from the episodic nature that seems prevalent in a lot of youth oriented animation that is currently on television. The show used a "problem of the week" format but then an arc takes form. This also helps introduce it's intended audience into this form of story tellng. A stand alone episode sneaks in occasionally but things that happen in the episodes will be referenced even if they aren't relevant to the arc. Fortunately the show was recently picked up by Hulu so binging may be an option for late comers. The end result is a show that can be watched across various demographics of age, race, and gender. Some shows manage to border on epic with the promise of bigger stakes and battles while also focusing on the way the characters relate to each other in a dynamic fashion over the course of what will hopefully be a series with a satisfying run.

Sing Along with the intro

Favorite Gem

Whose is your favorite Crystal Gem.

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      Kanita 2 years ago

      Thanks for the info !

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