Steven Universe is finally here! I’m so excited for it, I could puke up some Cookie Cats!
Okay, not really, but I am super excited for the show. Rebecca Sugar is by and far my favorite Adventure Time writer and I’ve been eagerly awaiting Steven Universe since it was announced that Sugar was leaving Adventure Time to head up her own show. Now that it’s here, I’m so excited to watch it and see some advertisement for it while I drive around Atlanta.
The first episode is already on iTunes and I plan on recapping it when the first four episodes are out (like my Wander Over Yonder recaps), but here are three reasons you should be watching the show when it premieres.
1.) It’s the first show created exclusively for Cartoon Network by a woman!
Despite the fact that many Cartoon Network shows have had amazing women writers, animators, and characters and that the network has even had broadcast rights to shows created by women (if you watched Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network, clap your hands), there has never been a show created by a woman in their midst.
For those not aware, Rebecca Sugar is an indie comic book artist and musician known for her work on Adventure Time. Along with Adam Muto (who is now the show’s supervising producer), Sugar helped create some of the show’s most memorable episodes. The infamous gender-swap episode that convinced many of us to watch the show in the first place? Sugar and Muto. (Though the character designer and Bee and Puppycat creator Natasha Allegri is responsible for the episode’s character designs.) The episode that launched the ship Sugarless Gum? Sugar and Muto. The episode that made us all cry about the Ice King and Marceline? Oh, you best believe that was Sugar and… Cole Sanchez. Muto had been promoted by that point, but that’s not the point.
Sugar is also the composer of many of the show’s memorable songs, such as the ‘Fry Song,’ ‘Oh, Fionna,’ ‘All Warmed Up Inside,’ and ‘Bacon Pancakes.’ If you find yourself singing a song from Adventure Time while doing normal things, it could possibly be Rebecca Sugar’s fault.
Basically, Rebecca Sugar is the #1 most amazing. It was a sad day when she left Adventure Time because she really helped craft the show into a female-positive piece of surrealist art, but that just means we get that kind of magic with characters she created!
Which brings me to point two…
2.) The show features a diverse female cast!
While little Steven is the title character of the show, don’t let that fool you. Because the three other characters we see regularly are the Crystal Gems, a team of three magical girls that save the world on a regular basis and are trying to teach Steven how to use his gem.
These aren’t your cookie cutter magical girls though. Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all have different looks and personalities from each other. Pearl is the dainty ballerina of the group with determination and control, Amethyst is the short and stout fun loving member of the group, and Garnet is the tall and determined leader with few words and the most amazing hair. You’d be able to pick these gems out of a line up, and probably not long before they kicked your ass.
Some have complained that this isn’t enough and that the show should have had a female protagonist as well. While I want shows with female protagonists all over the place, I feel like it is just as important to have shows that show that girls are no different from boys and that you can form meaningful relationships with women that aren’t just your mother. Adventure Time has had some of this with Finn openly declaring that he considers Bubblegum and Marceline his best friends along with Jake, Mabel on Gravity Falls shares the spotlight with her twin Dipper and isn’t just second fiddle there to be a sisterly antagonist, and I could talk for ages about what Sylvia from Wander Over Yonder means to me being the aggressive one looking out for her best friend.
On Steven Universe, we have these three women that Steven looks up to and wants to be like, and it’s not shown to be a bad thing that he aspires to be like the Crystal Gems. In return, the Gems do not see Steven as a burden because he doesn’t have control of his powers yet. In fact, they want to help him because they love Steven. Whether it be developing his powers or just buying all the Cookie Cats left at the store because they know it will make him happy, the Gems are not just some distant lofty goal. They are his best friends and they only want the best for him like any best friend would.
To me, in a show where the protagonist is a pre-pubescent boy that will be in a block aimed at pre-pubescent boys, it’s pretty amazing that the people Steven looks up to are three women (one of them being a woman of color) who save the world on a daily basis and it’s not a shameful thing in the slightest that he wants to be like them. Take me to that universe because that’s where I want to be.
3.) It’s really pretty!
Besides being smart, funny, and positive, this show is just PRETTY. Pretty art. Pretty music. Pretty character designs. Pretty voices. It’s a pretty-fest for both my eyes and ears! If you’re a fan of shojo anime from the 90s, there’s a strong vibe of that going on here while keeping modern animation sensibilities. This isn’t just some Adventure Time knock-off. It’s a show with a personality all it’s own.
Plus, I’ve been singing the adorable theme song for two days now. It’s starting to be a problem.
There are plenty more reasons you should be watching this show, but I do hope you’ll discover them for yourself when it premieres on November 4 at 8 p.m. on Cartoon Network!