Steven Universe Review: Believe in Steven | Fanboys Anonymous

Steven Universe Review: Believe in Steven

Posted by Saliv Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Greetings, Fanboys and Fangirls! This is Sam Lascio, bringing you my review of Cartoon Network's latest series, Steven Universe!

Watch Steven Universe series on Cartoon Network Monday nights
Logo for Cartoon Network's Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar
Steven Universe centers around a group of seemingly alien heroines called the "Crystal Gems." They're composed of Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven. Seem like "Steven" is a strange name to throw in with all of the crystal-related names? Well, much like the dark back story of Adventure Time involving the Ice King, there were hints dropped throughout the first two episodes that Steven is some kind of Crystal Gem/Human hybrid, and that his mother, Rose, was the fourth member of the Crystal Gems, but she sacrificed herself to give birth to Steven. Right away, that's dark. Not to mention that he apparently doesn't associate with his dad very often, so the kid's being raised by the remaining three Crystal Gems.

Watch Steven Universe online Cartoon Network

I've added a promotional poster for the series to give you an idea of what the show is. You've got Pearl (far left with the sword/staff weapon), Amethyst (top left with the whip, obviously the battle-ready one), Garnet (the leader with the fro and the boxing gloves), and the titular character, Steven Universe (yes, his last name is "Universe").

Pearl has the more science-minded battle strategy and life outlook, comparing her powers to understanding the science of the world. With Amethyst, her attitude is very laid back; she's always seen munching on something and can usually be seen breaking shit or trying to hit something. Garnet, well, she doesn't really talk much. She seems to be a calm, cool leader who is strong and believes that power is drawn from the energy of the universe, but she still cares for Steven like a big sister. Then there's Steven himself. He's goofy, extremely laid back, and honestly, kind of an idiot. He means well, though, and he tries his best to control his gem, which is located on his belly button.

The whole belly button gem confused people before the show premiered, but after watching it, I think it adds to that sad, dark back story I mentioned. His mother Rose fell in love with Greg Universe, your typical living-in-his-van-and-used-to-be-in-a-band, washed-up kinda guy. Greg even admits in the premiere that he doesn't know what a powerful Crystal Gem saw in a guy like him (cue sad music). Because Rose gave up her physical form to have Steven, the gem in his belly button—revealed to be the same gem his mother had—is kind of like his umbilical cord, if that makes sense. It sets up this tragic story that future episodes can choose either to address directly or give us pieces over time from the set-up that was presented to us.

The creatures the team battles to protect humanity all seem to have gems in them or to be made of crystal, which tells us that there may be some crystal race of beings, and the Crystal Gems are our protectors from the evil ones. The silly nature of the series reflects the series creator's work on Cartoon Network's very popular series Adventure Time, as well as giving us her own style of animation, character development, and humor. I enjoyed the premiere, and I would advise anyone who loves Adventure Time or Regular Show to give Steven Universe a chance to prove itself. Unlike other shows Cartoon Network has flopped with, such as Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe has a place on my Monday night lineup.

So what did you think of the premiere? Love it? Hate it? Tell us why in the comments section! Thanks for reading! My name is Sam Lascio, and I am a Fanboy!

If you would like to join the team as a contributor or are interested in sponsoring a post on this site, purchasing an ad, becoming an affiliate, or taking part in any kind of promotional opportunities, please use this contact form to send us an email and we will get in touch as soon as possible with more information.