Steven Universe

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Steven Universe
StevenUniverse.jpg
"I summoned my weapon by eating ice cream!"
- Steven
Genre: Action
Science fantasy
Comedy drama/Dramedy
Coming of age
Mystery
Adventure
Running Time: 11 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: November 4, 2013 – January 21, 2019
Network(s): Cartoon Network
Created by: Rebecca Sugar
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: Zach Callison
Estelle
Michaela Dietz
Deedee Magno Hall
Seasons: 5
Episodes: 160


NOTE: This page was copy-pasted from BS&EW on Miraheze.


Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network that began airing in November 2013 and ended in January 2019.

Plot

The Crystal Gems are a team of magical beings who are the self-appointed guardians of the universe. Half-human, half-Gem hero Steven Ambatukam is the "little brother" of the group. The goofball is learning to save the world using the magical powers that come from his bellybutton and he goes on magical adventures with the rest of the Crystal Gems, even though he's not as powerful -- or smart -- as fellow group members Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Despite his shortcomings, Steven usually finds a surprising way to save the day.

Why It'll Always Find a Way

  1. The background design is simple yet unique and visually stunning. The character designs and color palettes are fitting for each character.
  2. Fluid animation and character expressions that are either emotional or comical when they need to be, especially when they are overcome with grief about a lost loved one.
  3. Realistic, empathetic, and likable characters that develop over time, add to the plot of the show.
    • For example, Steven is an extremely sympathetic character, being a teenager trying to live up to the expectations of everyone while being hunted by villainous gems from Homeworld for things that his war criminal mother Pink Diamond/Rose Quartz did, who faked her death on her planet and gave birth to Steven, now existing in his gem. Despite all of this, he still generally holds an optimistic but grounded attitude.
    • Pearl is a gem who, despite her pessimism and perfectionism, is usually polite and reserved to others; she keeps everything set orderly and tidy.
    • Garnet is often the most pragmatic and straightforward of the Crystal Gems but still tends to act on intuition rather than seriously analyzing a situation, as often seen throughout the series.
    • Amethyst tends to indulge Steven more than the other Gems and partakes in human activities with him, generally being carefree to a fault while showing concern for his well-being in times of more severe danger.
  4. The background music fits perfectly for the mood, whether sad and emotional, funny and peaceful, or epic and action-packed.
  5. The songs the characters sing are adorable and well-written, and the way they sing the songs is beautiful, especially Pearl's song "It's Over, Isn't It", where she sings about how much she liked her diamond and she chose Greg, leaving Pearl with their son, or "Familiar", where Steven is on Homeworld and feels as though he is recognizing how his mother lived as a diamond.
  6. The writing and pacing are amazing because like Teen Titans (2003), it is a serious and mature show that also manages to be consistent by balancing it out with humor and comedy, mostly thanks to Steven himself.
  7. Plenty of beautiful and very true morals for children and even adults. One of its main morals is that if something doesn't turn out the way you want it to, this gives opportunities for other good things to happen. "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs".
    • It also teaches the moral that people are still people and no one is truly evil, which is represented whenever Steven is trying to solve a problem someone else is causing.
  8. The battle scenes get more intense as the series progresses. One example is when Bismuth tries to destroy Steven out of the frustration his mother's actions bring to her.
  9. The voice actors are exceptional, especially Estelle, Deedee Magno Hall, Michaela Dietz, and Zack Callison, who managed to abide by Steven's growing up.
  10. The storyline, while seemingly complicated at first, is very endearing, emotional, and overwhelmingly original.
  11. It managed to handle mature topics very accurately, most notably abusive relationships and the grieving of deceased loved ones.
    • Even our protagonist, Steven, had a relationship with Connie and is also handled about friendship as well since the day they met to the end of the series.
  12. It brings back the idea of fusion, executing it in a new and exciting way, allowing gems to join together and form bigger and stronger gems. The fusions are even some of the most hyped and anticipated moments in the show.
  13. Thanks to this, it is one of the most influential series ever made, as it inspired the crew members Ian-Jones Quartey, Ben Levin and Matt Burnett, to make their shows called OK K.O.: Let's Be Heroes and Craig of the Creek.
  14. It earned a phenomenal movie based on the events after the Season 5 finale. As well, as gaining a limited epilogue series, both within the same year, 2019.

Bad Qualities

  1. The pilot wasn't great, due to the animation being weak, the voice acting being annoying, and a very weak plot. Through, the creator, Rebecca Sugar, recognized the pilot as an alternative continuity from the official version of her show.
  2. The first half of Season 1 didn't start the show off all that great, as it looked like another overly peppy Cartoon Network show, but using both modern generic magical girl and low urban fantasy clichés. However, the show did get better in the second half of season 1-season 3, season 4 focused more on the residents of Beach City than the Gems, The Crystal Gems got very reduced screen time and focus, and the animation was constantly off-model, whereas that Season, unfortunately, got to the point where the show went downhill.
    • While season 5 does have its moments, it is argued that the show has fallen into an extremely anticlimactic and unsatisfying ending due to the Diamonds (Mainly White) being unrealistically redeemed from Steven’s complete honesty without consequences (See BQ# 5). Although it is said that The Diamonds aren't redeemed, their sudden change of good can come off as jarring to many.
  3. Many visual inconsistencies, the most notable instance is when a scene looks peppy and silly when it's supposed to be a very serious scene. This is very noticeable in the first half of Season 1.
  4. Lots of unnecessary filler is used; it does improve in later seasons though.
  5. Some say that the evil Diamonds are unrealistically too easily redeemed in the end, despite committing mass genocide across the cosmos and experimenting with the shards of gems that were shattered.
  6. Rough Draft Studios produces subpar, off-model animation for the show (compared to the much more polished Sunmin Animation), which is sad considering Rough Draft is known for its high-quality animation on other shows.
  7. Some bad episodes like Keep Beach City Weird, The New Lars, Rocknaldo, and Joking Victim.
  8. There are some unlikable or uninteresting characters such as Lars (although he gets better in later seasons), Kofi, Bill Dewey, Onion, Ronaldo & Harold Smiley.
  9. Sometimes like The Owl House, it may get boring fast, especially in the later seasons and even the early seasons.
    1. On top of that, the show may not be for everyone due to the tone and pacing as well as the theme of the series.
  10. The lore is rather pretty weak compared to most story-driven media.
    • The world-building is pretty lackluster as well. As it keeps jumping from one location to another without further notice.

Reception

Steven Universe was heavily judged after the first episode, but as the series went on, it was considered one of, if not, the best show of Cartoon Network by a very wide audience. It has a rating of 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb, with episodes with much higher ratings than the show itself on the same site.

The show is not without its hatebase, though, with a considerable amount of people claiming it to be little more than pure socially progressive propaganda due to its use of prominent LGBT themes. Besides this, critics often cite several missed opportunities to explore supporting characters in greater depth, the Pink Diamond reveal, and the series' rushed finale with easily-redeemed villains as significant problems.

Trivia

  • This is the first Cartoon Network series created solely by a woman.
  • The show won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Program in 2019, becoming the first animated series to win the award.
  • The title character is named after and based on show creator Rebecca Sugar's younger brother, Steven Sugar, who is also the show's background designer.
  • According to series creator Rebecca Sugar, all the voice actors for the Crystal Gems were picked based on their singing voices.
  • Peridot has a official Twitter account (@PERIDOT5XG) run by the show creators, including Lauren Zuke.
  • There are certain references to Nintendo such as the GameCube and Nintendo 64.
  • "Steven Universe" was originally a working title for the show, but it ended up becoming the official title.
  • In the episode "Steven's Birthday," while Mr. Universe is looking through vinyl albums, you can see the cover of Estelle's album with the name "Stella" on it. Estelle provides the voice for Garnet.
  • The character Peridot is based on a character from creator Rebecca Sugar's fan fiction of the Nickelodeon cartoon Invader Zim.
  • There's a strong, devoted Latin American fandom (mostly around Facebook and YouTube), and many Korean and Japanese fan artists around Twitter and Tumblr, which has received quite the Approval of God. Many characters, pairings, and episodes that are hated or base-breakers in the English-speaking community receive a warmer reception from ESL fans, mostly due to not being caught up in the drama.

Episodes With Their Own Pages

Videos

     

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