Steven Universe is a show created by Rebecca Sugar about a young boy named Steven Universe who lives with his family in Beach City, the Crystal Gems (mineral-aliens): Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Throughout the show, the audience watches Steven (who is half-gem) learn how to control his powers, go on adventures with his friends, and help the gems protect the world from their kind. Rebecca based the main character, Steven, after her younger brother, who was one of the artists on the show. She also made the show’s themes focus on family, love, and interpersonal relationships. As someone who watched the show, I can say that it goes above and beyond and made me feel connected to some of the characters and situations they go through. But it always wasn’t like that.
I can remember watching the first episode and not liking it. To me, it was boring and slow, and the plot seemed all over the place during the first few episodes. But I didn’t stop there, I wanted to give it another shot. So, I watched the episodes that would come out each week to see if anything improved. Sadly, it didn’t. But I kept hearing so many good things about it and would see people talk about it on YouTube. I decided to give it one more chance, and if I didn’t see anything different, that would be it. I continued where I had left off. It has only been a few days since I went back to the show, so I wasn’t too far behind. I think when I watched episode 7, I finally told myself, “That was an excellent episode!”. What stood out to me was the character named Connie was yelling at Steven about how everything was not okay and that she would die without ever making a single friend. But then Steven told her that they could be friends without questioning anything. At that moment I felt connected with Connie because I was also dealing with having no friends and feeling depressed about it. But this was the start of me starting to like the show and the plot beginning to become more interesting.
Everything about Steven Universe works: the plot, the animation, the music, the LGBTQIA+ representation, and the characters. The animation can always look different but still clear and smooth (since different artists worked on the storyboard). Most of the music was written by Rebecca and it always seemed to have some type of message in them, which gives the music meaning. Some of the songs that do this are “Here Comes a Though” and “It’s Over, Isn’t It?”, which are only two of the few that help us understand how the characters are going through a difficult time and how they might feel. Then to have the LGBTQIA+ representation in the show was the icing on the cake. This includes having some of the characters being pansexual, lesbian, aromantic, non-binary, and intersex. Watching these characters deal with all these issues, makes me think about my own and how I have probably gone through something similar.
I can remember watching these episodes and thinking to myself “That is exactly how I feel”. To miss the person you love and care for as Pearl felt with someone close to her. To feel the pressure of being relied on and being a leader as Garnet felt since she was the “strongest” in the group. To feel weak, unwanted, and useless because you are different from everyone else like Amethyst felt because she was “born” later and different than everyone else. I loved watching each character grow.
This show has helped me through the tough times and even grow as a person. I learned to love myself more, I don’t need to do everything that everyone asks me to just to get their approval, and it’s okay to focus on my well-being more than everyone else’s. It has helped me mentally and get a better understanding of my own emotions. It has helped me learn that the way I am feeling is normal and that there are different ways to deal with it. Even though the show is over, it has left a special place in my heart. If I could meet Rebecca Sugar, I would thank her for creating such an amazing show & movie. I did feel like I was part of a second family.