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Reviews Comments: Good and bad show Steven Universe whole series review by frogwidget

Overall, Steven Universe is... well, strange. It\'s hand-drawn which can lead to some gorgeous settings and color usage, but the characters are all slightly off and extra-cartoony, which clashes with the supposed realism. Each character is unique and has their own perspective on life and they\'re all given a decent amount of screentime. The core message of the show seems to be that every living being deserves respect and conflict can be settled in healthy ways, and not just by violence or anger. Which are all good ideas and cool to see in a cartoon.

At the same time, Steven Universe is amazingly risk averse in its approach. There aren\'t really any actual antagonists in the show and there\'s not really any long term threat. But wait! The remaining Diamonds! a hardcore fan might say. Except the Diamonds have appeared, haven\'t mounted any major threat to the main characters, and the one time the protagonists had to save one of their own from one of them, it\'s wrapped up in about two episodes. The biggest threat to Earth\'s well-being was easily dispatched with a conversation and the power of love. There\'s no consequence, no real danger, and the conflict is immediately downplayed by a moral lesson.

This is a trend in the show in general. There\'s no real threat from the other native Gems and when one presents itself, it\'s short term before we resume Status Quo Is God. It\'s implied that the traumas involved are taking a toll on the main character, Steven, but he also isn\'t really progressing because of it. The lack of escalation causes a lot of issues when it comes to overall plot.

If you\'re interested in watching every once in a while, go for it. It\'s creative enough, and the music is definitely good. But the hype is largely based around its Progressive core, (which sidenote - Adventure Time handles just as well while still actually having well, adventure) not so much the story itself which is decidedly lacking.

Comments

  • YasminPerry
  • 3rd Apr 17
Speaking as someone who doesn\'t like this show - isn\'t it supposed to be a Slice of Life series? If so, the lack of conflict is understandable.
  • frogwidget
  • 4th Apr 17
The problem is that it's a Slice of Life with a (hypothetical) global threat' in the gems. No matter what happens day to day the show implicitly reminds the viewer that there is still the fallout of a war happening and enemies that can harm Earth. It's why Steven is taught to fight and why Connie is Pearl's apprentice / trainee.

A s I said, it's strange. You can either acknowledge that you're leading to something long-term, or you can have Slice of Life with the occasional mytharc that escalates over time. For the sake of comparison, Avatar laid out the threat of the Fire Nation from the get-go but didn't focus o it every time with some pretty big episodes every once in a while. Adventure Time will mainly have Slice of Life with multiple episode arcs that leave a lasting change in the story. Steven Universe will have the occasional lead to something big but immediately de-escalate and remove / neuter the threat as a story telling device.

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