I just need to take a moment to scream about Steven Universe and how incredible a show it is (just, you know, ignore the fandom). For a cartoon aimed at kids, it does an amazing job at tackling some really hard, deep topics--and does it with fab songs, to boot. Warning: here be spoilers.
[For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the wiki rundown.]
When I first started watching SU (a while after it came out, I’ll be honest), I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but I was amused enough to keep going. And then, BAM, I got hit over the head with the feels.
I think my first “holy crap” moment in the show was the arc with Jasper and Lapis forming Malachite.
For me, this hit home pretty hard as a representation of an abusive relationship where both parties keep each other trapped. But it’s a kid’s show and they never whack you over the head with “hey, so, this is bad.” It’s just there as a part of the plot, and Lapis has to come to terms with it afterward and learn how to heal.
After “Change Your Mind” came out, someone pointed out that Steven’s arc through that episode really closely mirrors a trans (and I’d even argue any sort of identity-changing realization) coming of age story. They even use the same language and problems when Steven’s attempting to convince the Diamonds that he isn’t Pink. And, while I hadn’t thought about it when I was watching it the first time, it’s absolutely brilliant.
No one is really evil in this show. Everyone has the opportunity to grow and change and learn from their mistakes.
Plus, the Music is Incredible.
From silly tunes like “Cookie Cat” to songs that have literally helped me through a panic attack like “Here Comes a Thought,” the soundtrack is just beautiful. Honestly, some of my most uplifting and motivating songs have come from this show.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go keep sobbing over this show and it’s amazing non-binary creator in that corner over there. Feel free to join in.
Nonir is a queer pagan nerd and writes about various things in those realms.