Reviews: Steven Universe

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A nice, calm show. With some fighting of course.
First of all, you should know that Steven Universe is not a formulaic or traditional cartoon. It's more like a "day in the life" sort of thing, with Steven (obviously) as the central character.

Steven is half-human and half-crystal gem (they explain what that means in the show.) He doesn't go to school, lives with three crystal gem women who were friends with his mom, and spends time with his dad who works at a car wash. As a crystal gem, he's supposed to learn his powers and how to use/control them, but he still needs a lot of training.

The characters are great! None of them are annoying (except maybe Steven and Amathyst, but YMMV). Steven is a happy kid that enjoys the simple things in life; video games, cookie cat ice cream, and going on adventures with the crystal gems. The crystal gems are Pearl, the "motherly" one (although not actually his mom); Amathyst, who is more like a big sister that focuses more on fun than responsibilities and can be immature at times; and Garnet, who is silent and mysterious, but when she does talk it's obvious she cares about Steven and can also be motherly towards him. Even with three adult women watching over him, Steven is kind of a Free Range Kid. He often goes off by himself, but the town seems pretty safe (when it's not being attacked by monsters, that is).

What I love most about Steven Universe is the atmosphere. They don't try to fill the whole episode with nonstop jokes, nor do they focus on an overused moral. Instead, they tell a simple story, and sometimes there are morals but they have more to do with social things than typical cartoon morals. You have to pay attention to find them, and even if you don't the episode itself is enough to entertain and bring up your spirits.

If you expect something fast-paced and pee-your-pants hilarious, you're in the wrong place. The humor isn't always laugh-out-loud funny, but even at it's worst it's not bad or insulting. The pacing is similar to Miyazaki works (Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro), as opposed to something like Fairly Odd Parents. You're more likely to get bored with the episode than you are to have no idea what's going on, but if you have patience (or you're watching the show while you do something else, like folding laundry) then this is perfect.

  comments: 0
Yeah, it's alright
Steven Universe, Steven Universe... words words words... I wish I knew where to start on this. I suppose the positives, since it'll soften the blow a bit when I need to move onto the negatives.

So Steven Universe, the newest addition to the CN 'canon' created by Adventure Time veteran Rebecca Sugar (Who knew to jump ship at the right moment because Adventure Time really-... I've done this rant before, never mind). It's a coming of age type story dealing with the magically empowered Steven Universe learning to reign in his power with the help of the Crystal Gems, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl.

Off the bat I'll say one thing, the animation is really good- nice and slick and whenever the action scenes start up they make for quite a treat to watch. The backdrops are also quite pleasing to the eye, well designed and usually very unique from each other. The Gems, as characters, all have their own distinct personalities and work well off each other in terms of interaction.

And that much I feel I can say for the supporting cast too- the setting of Beach City has quite a cast, well thought out in their relationships and how they interact with each other. I grew to genuinely quite like the background cast, and I don't think I can say the same for most other cartoons I've watched.

However the show is not without it's faults. For one, while I said the backgrounds are nice and the animation it slick, I really can't get behind the character designs. It's distinct from Adventure Time sure, but some of the designs are just so ugly- especially those horrid doughnut mouths some of the characters have.

In addition it seems that the Crystal Gems just make up new powers as the show goes on. Summoning weapons, then making holograms, then somehow having a fusion technique and making functioning clones and shapeshifting... becomes a little eyerolling. Second, perhaps it's just me but I would rather the show had been more action focused than comedic- if they had gone the Samurai Jack route and put action first with comedy in a smaller percentage. It's not like CN doesn't already have an abundance of comedies...

Oh yeah and Steven is kind of a pain as a character. And the usual rallying response to that is 'well he's a child' but that doesn't stop him from being annoying.

Still worth watching anyway.
  comments: 5
I believe in Steven!
I completely expected this show to be an stupid Adventure Time rip-off that would annoy me as much, if not more, than Uncle Grandpa. Never have I been so wrong. This show is clever, silly, funny, and definitely entertaining. I feel in love with it from watching only a few minutes of "Bubble Buddies" and can not get over how adorable both this show and Steven are. I also love Steven's unique relationships with all of the other Gems and the wonderful family vibe this show gives off. Heartwarming goes a long way. The strange animation and music are incredible, particularly the shows theme which is catchy, easy to remember, and really sweet. The show does have its problems. Steven can be annoying occasionally (but its hard not to forgive him for that) and not being able to see the most badass of the Crystal gems adventures is extremely disappointing, but the show is still on its first season, so these problems are forgivable. I was also disappointed when I learned that there will be no Big Bad, but again, it's still early and Rebecca Sugar can still change her mind. Overall, I love the show and encourage anyone who enjoys feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside or likes to laugh to watch Steven Universe. I guarantee that You'll believe in Steven too.
  comments: 0
First, expectations were low, then they were exceeded
My first experience with this show was downloading the first episode when it was free on iTunes. I had seen the promos on TV and they left a bad taste in my mouth. As stated by another reviewer, the promos for this show didn't do the actual show any justice. I was shocked at how much I really enjoyed this cartoon. The characters feel natural and the visuals and music were top notch. This is a great show that has all the elements, action, believable characters, family, drama, and magical powers. Don't miss this show.
  comments: 0
I underestimated this show
I recently just started rewatching cartoons, I got tired of Regular Show, I gave Uncle Granda too many chances (I watched the pilot short [the only good "episode"] and 7 different episodes). And to top all of that, I thought Steven Universe would...suck (In all honesty, "quirky" characters annoy me to some degree, the promos didn't help my perception.). Then, I decided to watch that Cookie Cat episode; I genuinely liked how the story and characters flowed!
  comments: 2
Pretty Cool
It's really fun and good. It has its own feel, so people don't have to worry about it being an Adventure Time rip-off. Most episodes are interesting, because even in the lesser ones they do neat stuff with visuals and sound. Some episodes, like Laser Light Cannon, are REALLY GOOD, and Rebecca shows she's still great with handling genuinely touching character moments. Love the soundtrack. Love the art style, even more than I loved the more detailed one from the pilot. To be quite frank, the pilot's look made Steven's face kind of creepy, especially in some close up shots where they showed more wrinkles than a kid should have (Most likely, it was just me). Anyway, there is a lot of good in this show. It just needs some time to grow and develop, much like how Adventure Time needed a couple seasons to really get its schtick down and then advance from there.
  comments: 0