So sometime late last year, or early this year, a new cartoon aired on Cartoon Network called Steven Universe. At first, I refused to watch it, because I thought it would be as bad as Uncle Grandpa, Chowder, or the thing with the orange. Then when school ended, I was bored so I watched an episode with TheBetterCup, and let me tell you, my good people, I fell in love. I have seen every episode of Steven Universe and the simplicity and beauty just draws me in every single time. This is one cartoon I would suggest a thousand times over. It is fairly new, but I hope that soon the fan base grows to a successful level, so that the show can continue to air for a long time.
-What is the cartoon about?
The show is based on Earth in a universe where there exists humanoids with magical gems that protect the world. They are intergalactic warriors with gems embedded in their bodies that allow them to summon weapons, shape shift, call forth clones, fuse together, and create holograms. Three of these gems work together to raise a young boy whose mother was their old teammate. The boy is half human and half crystal gem and is learning to harness his powers and use his gem. Each episode is the characters going through daily, normal events and fighting magical monsters. The mixture of reality and magic is one of my favorite aspects. Another part I like, the same idea is in Adventure Time which I also adore, is that its innocent and sweet with a couple of darker undertones. In one episode, the story takes a darker twist when Steven starts to age rapidly and is about to die because he begins to think like an old person whose life is over. That had to be one of my favorite episodes honestly.
Steven Universe takes place in a little town called Beach City by the harbor, with a colorful cast of characters that make each day exciting for Steven and his friends.
-Who are the central characters?
Steven is the main male protagonist and the titular character in the TV series, basically the entire show is named after him and about his adventures with other people. He is a crystal gem. He has a rose quartz gem in his belly, right where the belly button would normally be.
Steven is a short, chunky boy, with curly brown hair. He always wears a red shirt, jeans, and flipflops, and the star (which is on all the gems’s outfits) is on his t-shirt. He seems to be a young boy. I am not sure how old, but I would guess he is around 12 years old. Steven’s mom is Rose Quartz, a crystal Gem that gave up her life to give birth to him and pass on her gem. His father, a human named Greg Universe, is still alive and present in his life.
Steven is an innocent, happy-go-lucky boy. He is almost always optimistic and does not take many things seriously as he should. He is imaginative, and can play the ukulele quite well: singing songs in some episodes, he was the one who created the opening theme song in the pilot episode.
He has yet to harness the powers of his gem, and each episode he seems to initiate it through strong emotions when least expected. His weapon is shown to be a pink shield. He cannot shape shift yet, but he started to kind of by changing his fingers into cats (but that went horribly wrong). He also can summon a giant bubble shield to encase himself and his friends when they are in a heap of trouble.
One of my favorite running gags is when Steven goes through intense moments in the episodes learning some sound moral at the end that is completely thrown out the window by a small event that causes his attention to be drawn away from what he learned. For instance in one episode, he is waiting for Pearl to return, and he makes a big speech about the importance of patience. Then she enters in right before he reaches the end of what he was saying, and he just stops and yells “Never mind, Pearl is back!” He is a unique character whose extremely positive personality helps him handle the problems and dangers differently then his mature Crystal Gems may. He is very resourceful, optimistic, and confident, and he always tries to fix his own problems before burdening his friends with them.
Even when he is being pushed away or bullied by Lars (a moody teen), he does not seem to get down. There was two times were he has seriously lost his cool. One: he started to think that he was to old to act like a child and got so depressed that he started to age till he almost died. Two: Lars said something mean about Steven’s mom, and he put Lars in his place.
Pearl is one of the three female Gems, that protect the universe and raises Steven. Of the three she may have to be my favorite, but only because I feel like I connect more with her personality. She tends to act the most motherly towards Steven. She kind of nags and gets easily annoyed by immature behavior, but she always means well. She is a perfectionist to the extreme, and she is super in control of most of what she does. The one exception is if Steven is in danger, and she does not know what to do. If that happens she tends to panic and become emotional.
Pearl’s body type is very long and thin. She has pale white skin that matches her gem. She blushes in blue which I found very cute. Her hair is short, orange color, and pointed upward. Her most distinguishing characteristic is her pointy long nose. Her gem is located in the middle of her forehead. The star on her outfit is on the center of her chest on her shirt.
Pearl summons a spear like weapon which she kind of uses as a sword sometimes. She is very good at sword fighting, and her theme tends to focus around ballet. This is probably because it takes focus and rigid training to be good at these things, so they match her personality. Her fighting style has ballet moves mixed with very precise sparring moves.
Human culture and behavior tends to confuse her the most, between the three Crystal Gems. She always tries to be organized, graceful, precise, and controlled. But sometimes if Amethyst says or does something that is immature or if something really bad happens she can become flustered and breakdown. She tends to mother and nag Amethyst as well, which leads to the two of them not getting along as well as they should. When Pearl and Amethyst fuse with each other they create the gem Opal, she can be seen in the episode “The Giant Woman.” She also always seems to use her gem for holograms, and creating clones of herself.
I personally love Pearl the most. She is so cute, hardworking, and controlled. Yet, her flaws make her an interesting character, mostly her dynamic with others. I liked her design and her singing voice in the opening is so soft.
Garnet is the leader of the Crystal Gems. She is really stoic and tends to talk the least, but everything she says is either important or awesome. My favorite quote from her is “Hey! Don’t mess up his funky flow!” in the episode “Bubble Buddies”. It caught me off guard which made it funnier. Anyways, Garnet encourages and supports Steven. She hardly ever doubts him or his ideas. Most of what she says are words of wisdom. She is his mentor, and all the Gems respect her greatly.
Garnet is the crystal gem with two gems. In each of the palms of her hand, she has a garnet gem. She is the strongest member, and the tallest. She has a red brown skin tone, and afro, and she wears a jumpsuit like out fit. She has a very curvy/womanly body with thick thighs and a tiny waist. The star on her outfit is located on her top, wrapping around the left side of her chest to her back. Garnet wears these futuristic sunglasses most of the time that help hide a little known fact about her. If you want to know check out the episode “Arcade Mania”.
Garnet’s weapons are these giant red gauntlet. Her weapon goes well with her personality, because she is super hand on, and muscular person.
She is the most stable member, who almost never freaks out. She has only been shown to cry once. When Steven was aging, she had no idea what to do. Her last resort was violence, and when that did not work tears began to slowly roll down her face. In most situations, she stays very calm. Garnet has the ability to foresee the future , and she is deeply connected to all the energy in the universe. Garnet has a cute British accent. Garnet is the only Gem that is able to swim through lava.
I think Garnet is the one character no one can dislike. She is a really good leader, and she never says things that can be hurtful to another character. I know I said that all the characters are flawed, but I am not sure what her flaw may be. I guess at most she may seem a little mysterious and distant, but she knows what she is doing. Most of what she says, does, does not say, or does not stop, is for a good reason.
Amethyst has got to be TheBetterCup’s favorite Crystal Gem. She is the most immature and most fun loving of the gems. She acts like an older sister for Steven. She enjoys having fun with him, and will be willing to say things that are misleading because she knows he will listen and do what she says. She is probably Steven’s best friend, other than Connie who is more likely a love interest to Steven.
Amethyst is the shortest member. She has the plumpest body of the three Gems. She has purple skin, and long, wild, unkempt hair that reaches down to her ankles. Her bangs are usually in her face, covering her left eye. She wears black leggings with star shaped holes, and other holes and distresses in them. Her shirt is large on her with one sleeve hanging loosely off her shoulder. Amethyst’s gem is in the middle of her chest.
Her weapon is an energy whip. She is also the Gem who shape shifts the in most episodes. ( I honestly cannot remember a time when Pearl or Garnet shape shifted, but in one episode it was mentioned that all Gems had that ability.)
Amethyst acts on impulse. She does what she wants, when she wants as long as she can have fun. Even though Crystal Gems do not need to, Amethyst still likes to eat and sleep. She is really childish and even a little lazy sometimes. She is not at all a neat person, and has really bad manners. Yet, when their super intense, emotional situations, she stays strong and does not let her own fears deter her ability to try and problem solve. When Amethyst fuses with Garnet, they become Sugilite in “Coach Steven”. We have yet to see any other fusion between the Gems.
-How is the Artwork?
The art is very unique and quite delightful. The scenery and back ground are the most beautiful part. Instead of talking about the style I will just leave you with pictures.
-What makes the cartoon awesome?
The simplicity, the innocence, the darker more realistic undertones, along with the beautiful art and interesting characters, all make this show amazing. Speaking of characters, these are magical girls that come in all shapes and sizes. The characters are diverse. Some are short, some tall, some chubby and curvy, some twig like, some very womanly, some are black, white, and some dress like punks. They have really unique personality riddled with flaws and qualities. They don’t all get along and it adds to the real aspects, but mixed with magic it becomes bizarre. I love Steven Universe for these reasons, and I hope more people give it a try just in case they love it too.