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This post is part of the 12 Days of Geekmas.  Check out the concept here, and let NerdyAlerty’s blog feed your eyeballs as well!

So in today’s post, I’m entering one of the more challenging parts of the Geekmas initiative–writing about something I have absolutely no connection to or information about.  Specifically, this post is about the show Steven Universe.

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In my research for this post, I was almost immediately taken by the style of the show.  The colors are bright, the lines are clean and the animation is top-tier, without taking what could be seen as “shortcuts”.  It feels crafted, in other words.

And then I read more about the backstory of the show.  The Gems, their origin, and their purpose, and how it all ties in to one young boy growing up in a coastal town in the Maryland peninsula.  It struck me how deep this sense of craft went.  A show like Gravity Falls feels complete because there are layers of narrative and world built around and in to the program.  Steven Universe feels the same way–like an entire world had been thought out and pre-planned well before episode 1 ever hit the air.  This makes the characters and its story feel a lot more tangible.

And the story sounds spectacular in the readings I’ve done.  I know I spoiled the first season for myself, but I honestly don’t feel cheated.  I actually wanna see how it plays out and how these characters act.

…and look at these characters!

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…I mean, holy crap!!

The superheroes of this show are women of honest, real power, yet they all work with and alongside Steven without feeling like they’re shoehorned in.  The whole idea that these four work together just feels natural in spite of the assumptions of female superheroes.

These aren’t “women superheroes”.  They’re superheroes who just happen to be women.  And big deal that they are, because the show seems to unflinchingly make it a not-big-deal.  Which, of course, is a big deal.

I’ve also read that there are a lot of LGBT themes and other undertones that people are getting from the show, and the oft-repeated thing I saw was how it was organic.  It wasn’t forced in or even jackhammered in to the viewer’s face.  It just…was.  That’s important, because being able to not only identify with that kind of show but also be shown that it’s not earth-shattering is so worth it to someone developing in a world that maybe doesn’t feel like it’d accept them.

And I haven’t even gotten to the show’s outreach from its creative team.  Specifically, the Steven Crewniverse Tumblr account.

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From said Tumblr, as drawn by character designer Aleth Romanillos.

Here we have creators who are utilizing social media and the various methods of sharing and connecting to full effect.  This Tumblr blog is probably one of the most engrossing things I’ve seen, giving show fans a peek in to storyboarding, concept art, coming goodies and even a few little goofy bits that would otherwise not be seen.

It all combines to create something that has me very intrigued indeed.  I was almost positive that the death of the Saturday morning cartoon would also spell the end of animation and truly beautiful shows.  Steven Universe is proving me wrong, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

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