(We really can’t believe it took 20 years for a woman to create a kid’s show on Cartoon Network.)
Steven Universe is no average kid. Sure, he does normal kid stuff. He hangs out at the arcade and plays music with his dad, but he also fights monsters and defends humanity as a member of the Crystal Gems! Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl are sworn protectors of the Earth as well as Steven’s legal guardians. They are showing Steven the ropes, a Magic Warrior 101, if you will. Unfortunately for the Gems, the baddies are at their worst, and they show no sign of going away anytime soon.
The Steven Universe TV show is only three years old, but it since its first air date in 2013 it has picked up some speed. The show has been praised as comical, witty, and most of all, kind. At its heart, Steven Universe is about the power of being nice. This is exemplified by Steven himself, the relentlessly cheerful, empathetic, and understanding title character, who would rather make friends with monsters instead of fight them (and he does, on occasion). But Steven is not the only draw; the show is filled with many amazing and diverse characters, each well-crafted and infinitely lovable.
I am very pleased to say that we have two excellent Steven Universe titles in Pinellas County libraries: the DVD, Steven Universe Gem Glow, is a collection of twelve related episodes that would serve as an excellent introduction to Steven’s world. The graphic novel, Steven Universe (Volume 1) is a series of slice of life stories of the Crystal Gems and the other residents of Beach City. Both are charming and well worth your time.
One final word: this show is a Japanese magical girl anime re-imagined by Westerners, so be prepared for lots of flowers, glitter, and a vague anime feel. If you are anime-averse, don’t say I didn’t warn you.