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Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. It premiered on May 21, 2013 with its pilot, then on November 4, 2013 with its first season. It is Cartoon Network's first animated show created solely by a woman. It is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Steven Universe (voiced by Zach Callison), who lives with the Crystal Gems—magical, humanoid aliens named Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), and Pearl (Deedee Magno Hall)—in the fictional town of Beach City. Steven, who is half-Gem, has adventures with his friends and helps the Gems protect the world from their own kind. The themes of the series include love, family, and the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships. Books, comics and video games based on the series have been released, and a television film is in development.

Sugar based the lead character on her younger brother Steven, who is an artist for the series. She developed Steven Universe while she was a writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time, which she left when Cartoon Network commissioned her series for full production. The series is storyboard-driven; when episodes are being produced the show's storyboard artists are responsible for writing the dialogue and blocking out the action. The series has developed a broad fan base and has been critically acclaimed for its design, music, voice acting, characterization, prominence of LGBTQ themes and science fantasy worldbuilding. The series won its first GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Program in 2019, becoming the first animated series to win the award. It also received its first Peabody Award for Children's & Youth Programming in 2019. It has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and five Annie Awards. Its fifth season concluded in January 2019.

SynopsisEdit

Steven Universe is set in the fictional town of Beach City, Delmarva.[4] The Crystal Gems live in an ancient beachside temple and protect humanity from monsters and other threats. The Gems are ageless alien warriors who project female humanoid forms from magical gemstones at the core of their being. The Crystal Gems comprise Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven—a young, half-human, half-Gem boy who inherited his gemstone from his mother, the Crystal Gems' former leader Rose Quartz. As Steven tries to understand his gradually expanding range of powers, he spends his days with his father Greg, his friend Connie, his magical pet lion, other residents of Beach City, and the Gems. He explores the abilities inherited from his mother, which include fusion—the ability of Gems to merge their bodies and abilities to form new, more powerful personalities.

The series's first season gradually reveals that the Crystal Gems are remnants of a great interstellar empire. During their missions they visit ruins that were once important to Gem culture but have been derelict for millennia. The Gems are cut off from the Gem homeworld, and Steven learns that many of the monsters and artifacts they encounter are Gems who were corrupted by a Gem weapon of mass destruction and can no longer maintain rational, humanoid form. By the end of the first season, Steven learns that, millennia ago, the Gem empire intended to sterilize the Earth to incubate new Gems, but Rose Quartz led her supporters, the Crystal Gems, in a violent and apparently successful rebellion against this genocidal plan. In the present, the Gem empire's machinations again begin to extend towards Earth with the arrival of hostile envoys Peridot and Jasper.

In the second season, Peridot allies with and eventually joins the Crystal Gems to prevent Earth's destruction by a Gem "geo-weapon" buried in the planet. During the third season, Lapis Lazuli, an errant Gem from Homeworld, decides to live on Earth with Peridot; Jasper is defeated and captured, and Steven learns that his mother shattered one of the Gem empire's matriarchs, Pink Diamond. In the fourth season, as Steven wrestles with his conflicted feelings about his mother's actions, the Gem empire leaders Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond return their full attention to Earth. In the fifth season, Steven learns that in fact his mother was Pink Diamond, who faked her death to assume the identity of Rose Quartz; he uses this revelation to try to persuade the other Diamonds to take responsibility for and fix the damage they have caused.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Amazon: Steven Universe Season 1: Amazon Digital Services LLC”. Amazon. Archived from the original on January 23, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160123140940/http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Universe-Season-1/dp/B00G23JXNY. Accesat la May 10, 2016. 
  2. Steven Universe TV Review”. Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160603131416/https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/steven-universe. Accesat la May 10, 2016. 
  3. McLean, Thomas J. (September 11, 2012). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa Series". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. 
  4. Sugar, Rebecca (August 20, 2014). „I am Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, and former Adventure Time storyboarder, AMA!”. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20151213200144/https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw4mo6. 
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