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Western Animation / Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld

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Based on the DC Comics comic book series of the same name, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld is a 2013 animated series of one-minute shorts created by Brianne Drouhard that ran on Cartoon Network's DC Nation action programming block as one of several other interstitials showcasing lesser-known DC Comics characters.

The shorts follow Amy Winston, an avid teenage game designer. Frustrated that the final level of her most recent creation keeps crashing after the boss completes his monologue, she throws her controller aside... only for one of the characters in her game to start calling out to her. Amy immediately finds herself whisked away to the magical Gemworld, which looks suspiciously like the setting of her game, where she is hailed as Princess Amethyst: ruler of the land and the hero destined to save it from the tyrannical Dark Opal and his forces. While not completely onboard with her new magical girl status, Amy begrudgingly accepts that accomplishing this quest is the only way back to Earth, and sets off on her journey.

Like its fellow DC Nation shorts, all the episodes are available on the official DC Comics YouTube channel, with the Amethyst shorts consisting of seven episodes: "Level 1: Your Quest Begins", "Level 2: Village of the Frogs", Level 3: Random Encounter", "Level 4: The Turquoise Cave", "Level 5: Battle in the Stormy Peaks", "Level 6: The Final Boss", and "Level 7: Welcome Home."

The cartoon has the following tropes

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original 1980s comics, Amethyst is a blonde. Here, while Amy herself is still blond, she now has a separate Princess Amethyst persona that has red hair.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Prince Topaz is upgraded from the reluctant hero from the original comics to openly defying Dark Opal's tyranny in the very first episode.
  • Animesque: The series was animated by David Production, who are best known for their work on Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Dark Opal turned the baby Frog Prince into a huge, dragon-like monster.
  • Big Bad: Dark Opal, having defeated Prince Topaz and putting the land of Gemworld under his rule.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Dark Opal first manifests as a large spider, bigger than Amethyst's head, to fight her. It also has a long, sticky tongue like a frog.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Amethyst feeds a spicy pepper to a hostile spider creature to similar effect.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the first episode, Prince Topaz appears briefly as a character in Amy's game. She later meets him in person in "Level 4: The Turquoise Cave", where he gives her advice on what she needs to defeat Dark Opal.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Amy/Amethyst struggles with low self-esteem. She doesn't believe she has what it takes to be a hero, shrugging off any praise with a joke or direct dismissal.
  • Cliffhanger: Level 5 ends with Amethyst having saved the Frog Prince, but Dark Opal suddenly appears to challenge her and has the Pegacorn tied up so he can't help.
  • Cute Giant: Even after Amethyst breaks Dark Opal's spell on him, the baby Frog Prince is pretty big for a baby.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Damaging Dark Opal's pin causes all his clothes to fall off, leaving him in Goofy Print Underwear. He opts to retreat after this.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After Amethyst defeats Skeleton Topaz in "The Turquoise Cave", he lets her take three items to help her on her quest. It helps that he's not actually evil.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Citrina. She brings Amy to Gemworld, tells her she's really a princess, and sends her on a quest, but doesn't take the time to explain any of it to a confused Amy.
  • The Eeyore: Skeleton Topaz, due to his failure to defeat Dark Opal.
  • Expressive Accessory: Dark Opal's pin has a very expressive face on it.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Citrina. She's also a Perpetual Smiler.
  • Forced Transformation: Prince Topaz becomes a skeleton thanks to Dark Opal's magic.
  • Funny Animals: The Village of the Frogs is full of anthropomorphic talking frog people.
  • Gamer Chick: Amy creates and programs her own video games, and extends some of that knowledge to Gemworld under the hopes it runs on RPG Mechanics 'Verse rules (thankfully, it does).
  • Genre Savvy: Due to the similarities that the actual Gemworld has to her game, Amy is able to accomplish tasks simply by asking herself "If this were in my game, what would I do?"
  • Hikikomori: Amy. The first short highlights how dark her room is, with the curtains drawn so she can ignore the other kids playing outside. She even admits in the fourth short that she spends all her time alone in her room, anxious about interacting others due to fear of judgement. In the final short, it's implied that the adventure she just underwent gave her the confidence to finally go outside.
  • Horsing Around: While the Pegacorn is ostensibly Amethyst's Loyal Animal Companion, he doesn't assist her much after catching her when she fell into Gemworld in the first episode. Amethyst realizes in the fifth short when the Pegacorn does decide to start helping again that it wanted her to gain confidence in fighting alone first.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They're called "Levels", as in a video game.
  • Idiot Hair: Amy has a little one.
  • Instant Expert: In a sense. In Amy's first real battle, she's shown to barely be able to lift her sword and has to find an unorthodox solution in tossing food at her foe. Come the next short, she's mastered fighting to the point that she's able to skillfully dispatch an enemy while underwater.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Amethyst, heroic warrior princess, is equipped with a sword and a shield. They're converted into energy and stored in the pads on her hips when not in use.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original 1987 miniseries, and especially the concurrent 2012 Sword and Sorcery run.
  • Magic Music: In Level 5, one of the things Amethyst has to do break Dark Opal's spell on the baby frog prince is sing him a lullaby, though this might be just to calm him down enough so she can feed him the potion that turns him back to normal.
  • Magic Skirt: Even during downshots, we don't see anything below Amethyst's skirt. One of the model sheets used for the show even instructs "Keep underskirt in shadow. Please do not show underwear."
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Amy, who receives a Transformation Sequence to become Princess Amethyst as soon as she enters Gemworld.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Citrina summons Amethyst back to Gemworld to find a missing gem. She receives it in Level 5.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nerd Glasses: How Amy starts off in the modern world. When she transforms into Amethyst, they break in half.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Amy's hair grows longer when she transforms into Amethyst, also changing color from blonde to red. When she taps into her full power, her hair gets even longer and turns purple.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The cartoon doesn't have a lot in common with the comic book it's based off of.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Played with. While her clothing is all purple, Amethyst's eyes, weapons, and accessories are all pink.
    • The trope is Lampshaded in Level 2:
    Frog Woman: She's too pink and dainty!
    Amethyst: I'm not pink! I'm purple!
  • Purple Is Powerful: Amethyst, who's decked out in the color. She begins glowing purple and her hair changes to the color when unleashing her full power in the final short.
  • Refusal of the Call: Amy doesn't really want to be in Gemworld, nor does she believe she is really a princess or a hero. She only accepts her quest after Citrina promises to help her return to Earth.
  • Shortrunner: Given that it's seven episodes long, and each running only about two minutes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Amy, an ordinary girl, gets sucked into a heroic-fantasy themed video game.
  • To Be Continued: Each episode ends like this. Especially frustrating for the ending of Level 5, which is a major Cliffhanger.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • One of the first promos for the shorts showed several clips from the later episodes, including Prince Topaz changing back from a skeleton, Amethyst and Pegacorn flying back to the Village of the Frogs with a baby frog in tow, and Amethyst in the final sword fight with Dark Opal.
    • The preview clip for Level 4 reveals that Dark Opal really did turn Prince Topaz into a living skeleton, just like in Amy's game from Level 1.
  • Transformation Sequence: In typical magical girl fare. Though Amethyst doesn't seem to know what's going on the first time it happens.
  • Valley Girl: Amethyst talks like one sometimes.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Dark Opal in Level 6.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: "Level Three: Random Encounter", Amethyst meets talking plants that have no purpose on the plot.
  • Winged Unicorn: The Pegacorn, naturally.