Steven Universe is Cartoon Network’s first animated series to be created solely by a woman. Rebecca Sugar, who acts as creator and writer, does a fabulous job while telling a coming-of-age story of a boy with superpowers. With unique characters and bright visuals, Steven Universe generated a cult following. It is an underrated show that deserves your attention.
1. Quick Review
Steven Universe, created by Adventure Time alumnus Rebecca Sugar, tells a story focusing on themes of love and kindness. Steven, along with the rest of the Gems, doesn’t hesitate to use their powers while battling monsters, but he ensures that there are no other options.
The prominence of LGBTQ themes and the character design is what makes this show unique. The story, which forces the characters to become better versions of themselves, will have you introspecting. It’s a fresh cartoon that has flown under the radar but deserves your attention.
2. Info & Watch Links
Steven UniverseAir Date: September 4, 2013 Status: Finished Studio: Cartoon Network No. of Seasons: 5 No. of Episodes: 160
3. Is It Worth Watching?
Steven Universe won a GLAAD media award for Outstanding Kids and Family Program in 2019 and became the first animated series to win. It has also received a Peabody Award in 2019 and has been nominated for five Emmy awards.
Set in the fictional town of Beach City, Delmarva Steven Universe introduces us to a group of ageless alien warriors known as The Crystal Gems. They protect the Earth from monsters and other aliens of their kind who mean to do Earth great harm. The squad comprises Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, all of whom project female humanoid forms.
The Gems at the center of their core give them powers and shape their personalities. The former leader of the Gems Rose Quartz gave up her life to give birth to her half-human half-Gem son, Steven. He lives with the Gems and is trying to figure out his powers and responsibilities.
We gradually get to know that a group of Gems known as the Diamonds wanted to conquer Earth and shape it into a dystopian society of rigid rules. Rose Quartz led a violent rebellion against her kind and has since tried to protect the Earth and its inhabitants.
II. Cast & Characters
The titular character of the series is Steven, the half-gem half-human son of Rose Quartz. He goes on adventures with the Gems while trying to take control of his powers. Throughout the series, he develops the ability to fly, conjure an impenetrable shield, and merge his bodies with the other Gems to combine their strengths through Fusion.
Steven always sees the best in everyone and tries to empathize with their problems. His fundamental decency and helpful nature make him a good role model for kids.
The Gems all have different personalities that are powered by the magical Gems at their core. Garnet is the group leader and is the tough, no-nonsense kind with an air of mystery around her. Amethyst is the immature one who is always Steven’s partner in crime for his jokes and pranks.
Pearl is the smooth, calm personality of the group. All three of them treat Steven like their younger brother and mentor him. They tell him about his mother and her past exploits, which helped to save the Planet.
During the development of the series, Sugar, along with her brother, drew many sketches focusing on the lifestyle of the alien Gems. She wanted to create a universe and drew inspiration from video game characters and real-life locations such as many Delaware beaches and broadwalks.
Steven is based on her younger brother and how even though a person grew up in comfort, they always strive to create their identity. Art Director Kevin Dart had a significant influence in simplifying Rebecca’s ideas to ensure that the future production teams could follow along.
Sugar wanted the characters to resemble humans so that Steven could have a family experience on-screen, going through various ups and downs together. The primary color of the characters red, blue, and yellow, and the bright color schemes make the show visually appealing.
5. Final Thoughts
Steven Universe is definitely worth watching, it is a wholesome cartoon highlighting important qualities of empathy and the need for close personal relations. It is not a girly cartoon, as many people think and can teach your family many valuable lessons.
The themes of love, care, forgiveness, and empathy are explored in the show, which imparts fundamental life lessons.