Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The Crystal Gems are a team of magical beings who are the self-appointed guardians of the universe. Half-human, half-Gem hero Steven 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 Rocks[edit | edit source]
- The background design is simple yet unique and visually stunning. And the character designs and color palettes are fitting for each character.
- 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.
- Realistic, empathetic, and likable characters that develop over time, adding to the plot of the show.
- For example, Steven's excitement can be too much for people, but there are times where he calms himself down and emphasizes with people.
- Amethyst becomes more mature as time goes on and she learns not to dump her emotions on others.
- Peridot goes from a cold, calculating scientist who couldn't care less about Earth to a comical, dorky hero who genuinely cares about the planet.
- Lapis Lazuli initially had a distrust for the Crystal Gems, but grows closer to them as time goes on, and later becomes a Crystal Gem herself.
- White Diamond, the biggest villain that the show has ever had, even managed to get some character development. She goes from a perfectionist dictator who wants everyone to be exactly like her and have no flaws, to realizing her flaws and learning to accept people for who they are, flaws and all. Oh, and did we mention that all her character development happened in the span of one special?
- The background music fits perfectly for the mood, whether sad and emotional, funny and peaceful or epic and action-packed.
- 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 Rose and Rose chose Greg, leaving Pearl with their son.
- The writing and pacing is amazing, because like Teen Titans, 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.
- 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.
- The battle scenes are also very intense, especially when Garnet fights Jasper during the song "Stronger Than You".
- The voice actors are exceptional, especially Estelle, Deedee Magno Hall, Michaela Dietz and Zack Callison, who managed to abide by Steven's growing up.
- All of the story-lines are deep and amazing, such as the first one, where Steven is being hunted by deadly aliens.
- It managed to handle mature topics very accurately, most notably abusive relationships (as seen with Lapis Lazuli and Jasper) and the grieving of deceased loved ones (as shown with Pearl's feelings for Rose, and the Diamonds still being sad over Pink Diamond being 'shattered').
- The episode "Beach City Drift" inspired Initial D, Need For Speed and Burnout. Such as Kevin's Himitsu X-12 having the same name of the car Jansen X12 from Burnout Paradise. (In fact, the whole episode was made to mock Initial D and Need For Speed)
- A lot of creativity and neat concepts, such as a race of aliens who have gemstones on their bodies, several beings fusing into one unique being, and more.
- Great specials such as the Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem two-parter, The Return/Jailbreak two-parter, Bismuth, Reunited, Change Your Mind, and more.
- Funny jokes. One example is this line by Garnet from Fusion Cuisine: "Hello. This is...Mom Universe. Yes, the children are playing swords. Sorry, playing with swords. They're bleeding! Oh no. They are dead. Don't call again."
- It earned a pretty good movie based on the events after the Season 5 finale.
Bad Qualities[edit | edit source]
- The pilot wasn't great.
- The first half of Season 1 didn't really start the show off all that great, as it looked like another overly peppy Cartoon Network show. However, the show did get better in the second half of Season 1.
- 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 got constantly off-model, having the show decline in quality ever since.
- The show has a known issue for having a lot of hiatuses. This is because CN doesn’t air new episodes that often, just when they see fit. Because they air too much of TTG
- Many visual inconsistencies, the most notable instance is when a scene looks peppy and silly where it's supposed to be a very serious scene.
- Lapis can be very unlikable.
- The crossover with Uncle Grandpa. At least the crossover wasn't canon.
- Some think the diamonds were redeemed too easily (Especially White)
- It indeedly lacks male gems, minus steven of course.
Reception[edit | edit source]
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.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The first Cartoon Network series created solely by a woman.
- 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.
- Peridot has a canon Twitter account (@PERIDOT5XG) run by the show creators, including Lauren Zuke.
- "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 off a character from creator Rebecca Sugar's fan fictions of the Nickelodeon cartoon Invader Zim.