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Base Breaking Character / Steven Universe

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The characters in Steven Universe are complex people. Said complexity also leads to the fanbase getting divided over them.

  • Lars. He often acts like a selfish Jerkass, and any time an episode ends with him learning humility, it completely gets forgotten by the next episode. However, he still has his fair share of fans and has been involved with some of the show's Heartwarming Moments. This clip sums Lars up perfectly. He has his Jerkass moments, but deep down inside, he does actually care, as evidenced by when he gives Sadie his shirt at the end for her to keep warm. "Island Adventure" accentuates this, with a lot of people either hating on Lars and glorifying Sadie (for Lars coming across as even more of a jerk than usual for a lot of the episode) or vice versa (for Sadie taking matters into her own hands to "help" Lars without asking him, which may have just ended up hurting him and their relationship). While his reputation has improved, there are still a number of fans who think his Character Development came too little too late to change their perspective of him.
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  • Jasper. Depending on who you ask, she's either an unrepentant sadist for her lust for fighting, complicated and abusive treatment of Lapis, and her single-minded determination for revenge that still has Hidden Depths to her personality, or a Blood Knight that could still be persuaded to fight for the Crystal Gems as a Noble Demon that isn't really bad/should be befriended given the show's usual tendencies. There's very little neutral ground. "Crack The Whip" led to more people going against Jasper, due to what she did to Amethyst... but then "Earthlings" got her back some sympathy due to revealing more of her backstory, specifically her Freudian Excuse regarding her vendetta against Rose, and her getting Corrupted.
  • Andy DeMayo is either a well-rounded character with a very moving Heel Realization, an understandable man who was overwhelmed by multiple events hitting him all at once, or an unsympathetic bigot who needed way more of a comeuppance for his hateful statements. It really didn't help that he was introduced just one week after the 2016 US presidential election, meaning many fans were in no kind of mood to give any slack to a guy ranting about hippies and immigrants destroying society. Others still have used the election to point out that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, as if more people had tried to reach out and build bridges with people like Andy rather than leave them feeling alone and forgotten, the result of the election might have been different.
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  • Rose Quartz's base breaking nature only seemed to grow as the show went on, until finally shattering in season 5. Initially introduced as an All-Loving Hero, and basically the personification of all that was good and gentle, each revelation on her character when she was alive served to peel back the layers and humanize her. While she was deeply warm and loving, she was also Innocently Insensitive, had difficulty seeing humans as something other than a cute novelty. And despite all her good intentions, she could be quite selfish. Her base breaking nature eventually comes to serve as a major plot point, as not even the characters can agree on her, and much of the show's plot leans on the question of who Rose really was. Then season 3 ended with the revelation that she shattered Pink Diamond. Some criticized her for being a hypocrite and imprisoning Bismuth without telling any of the other Crystal Gems for wanting the same thing. Others believed that it was warranted and that it was the only way for Earth to be truly free of Pink Diamond. Then there was the revelation that she was Pink Diamond, a revelation that caused significant argument over whether or not this humanization had gone too far.
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  • Lapis Lazuli began as a very well-liked, sympathetic character, but as her personality was fleshed out to include darker aspects such as bitterness, as well as taking her time in recovering from her trauma, the fandom would ultimately rip in two. Those in favor greatly enjoyed what they found to be a realistic take on a depressed character, appreciating the writers' dedication to showing her slow but gradual recovery, and even in her periodic moments of cruelty they find her too fascinating/justified to hold them against her. Those against her thought that her character arc was too sluggish, while finding her moments of viciousness against other members of the cast unjustified and unenjoyable to watch.
  • The Diamonds in general are divisive characters, some being willing to forgive them for their actions, justifying them with their Blue-and-Orange Morality. Others think they're bland villains or interesting characters with wasted potential, thinking the show would've been better if they were actually traditionally defeated rather than simply talked down. And a third group doesn't mind the idea of them being redeemed, but felt that the show rushed it too fast (especially White Diamond) compared to the more gradual turns of other less "evil" characters like Peridot. Then there's a fourth group who holds that they should all be severely punished, not because they're bland or traditionally evil, but because they're responsible for the deaths of countless gems, not to mention the genocide and devastation of numerous life-bearing worlds.note 
  • While all the fusion characters have been overall well received, Sunstone (Steven and Garnet's fusion) is by far the most divisive, in both character design and characterization. In terms of character design, some think that simply turning Steven and Garnet into a sun-inspired fusion, complete with sunglasses, is beyond lazy, as the fusion seems to be designed after it's name, rather than the Gems they're made of. Similarly, many criticize the design for being too similar to Steven, with Garnet only providing the Cool Shades, Fingerless Gloves and Ruby and Sapphire themed pockets, if one looks closely. Others love the design for it's simplicity, thinking they positively stand out from other fusions, and argue that the fusion looking too similar to Steven is a problem with Steven's fusions in general, rather than being specific to Sunstone, since Steven's clothes can't turn into light to be incorporated into the fusion. In terms of characterization, many believe that their/her constant Breaking the Fourth Wall and PSA-talk is incredibly obnoxious, while others find it hilarious.

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