So Netflix recently suggested Steven Universe for me – I haven’t been living under a rock, so of course I’d heard about it before, but before Netflix told me I’d like to watch it I never actively sought it out. A few friends have suggested to me before, comparing me to different characters and telling me I’d like it, so I thought I’d give it a go… And I’ve totally binged it.

To start with, each episode is only 10 minutes long, so it’s easy to just put on whilst you’re cooking dinner, or in my case on the treadmill warming up/ cooling down. This also makes it easy for binge watching, as you can get so many episodes in, where at the same time you’d only get one or two episodes of other shows in. Most episodes are their own story with the overarching story going on throughout, meaning that most of the episodes are able to be picked up and watched at random – Episodes don’t necessarily follow on directly where the last one ended, with the exception of a couple of the arcs and multi-parters.

The show is all about a young boy, Steven, and the ‘Crystal Gems’ – The gems are an all-female alien race based around precious stones and minerals, as the name suggests – Steven is a Human/Gem child, and lives with three of these Gem aliens, Garnet, Pearl and Amethyst. They go on various missions capturing corrupted Gem monsters and teaching Steven how to be a Gem, culturing him on their ways and culture. Steven’s mum, Rose Quartz, is no longer around (this is a huge part of the ongoing plot), but his dad lives in a van nearby to Steven’s accommodation.

The best bit about the show for me though is how wholesome it is. Often throughout the show you see Steven take heartwarming endearing actions for his friends – His main priority is making sure his friends are happy, and making sure they spend time together. This has been the biggest appeal of the show for me; Steven as a character is wholesome and sweet personified – It’s almost impossible not to love the character! It’s also just really nice to watch a show so centred around being kind and the theme of kindness (I know I’m giving off My Little Pony vibes here); furthermore, the show doesn’t shy away from topics that for some may be difficult, and it always handles it in a gentle way.

The other characters are also great in their own way. For example, Garnet is their tough leader, but she also has a very kind and sensitive side, especially surrounding Steven. She’s the character you’d expect to be the least nurturing, but is in-fact the most. There’s also the hyper focused and organised Pearl, and the rather lazy, happy-go-lucky hoarder, Amethyst, who ears for fun (can relate). The various human characters are all brilliant too. My favourite is the very strange Onion, often seen stealing things or just being odd in general.

Aesthetically, Steven Universe uses all the bright colours you’d expect from a cartoon, so of course it’s visually appealing – I think the character designs are also a big strength of the show. There are so many different body types and personalities that it’s hard to not find yourself somewhere within the characters; following on, not many of the characters are drawn to be conventionally “attractive”, which I really like about the show. Steven Universe also doesn’t shy away from any flaws a certain character may have, but instead embraces its characters as flawed, and at time showcases that.

Overall Steven Universe always leaves me with a smile on my face. So if you haven’t seen it yet and you’re considering it… Just go ahead; you won’t regret it!

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