Cartoons

Steven Universe Future Review [Spoiler Free]

I was waiting for the entire show to finish, and the last few episodes dropped this week.  Steven Universe Future was…an interesting ride, but did it accomplish what it set out to do?  It was meant to be an epilogue series that took place after Steven Universe:  The Movie, so we could see what happened to all of the characters in the show.  While the end of season 5 wasn’t bad by any means, it left a lot of questions unanswered and overall was an unsatisfying conclusion to a show so heavily built on its character’s, world building, and lore.  So, the real question is, did it?

 

I’m going to leave this review spoiler free for the most part.  If you’re not well versed in the show, I’ll be mentioning character names and the like.  If you haven’t watched all of the main series of Steven Universe however, there may be minor things in this you won’t want to hear (it is an epilogue series, after all, that’s rather unavoidable).
So, as I said earlier, did Steven Universe Future accomplish its goal of filling in the gaps the series end left?  And for me, it half did.  There were some characters handled very well in this series, Jasper especially.  But the first half of this series felt pretty episodic, and not in a good way:  To me, a lot of the after effects we saw of the series, didn’t super matter.  Or rather, it wasn’t the questions that had majorly left us guessing.  They were fun, they were cute, and a lot of them were hard hitting, and filled story arcs that we wanted to see.  And, some were just light hearted fun that were like ok, I expected pretty much that end for the character.  But overall, the first half of the series for me left me going, “That’s it?  Really?”.  It was a pretty big letdown not having a decent amount of major plot points answered.

 

I will say, Steven’s arc was really well handled in this.  What he went through made tons of sense, and while in the series itself you’re like no way this isn’t hurting him, we see the culmination of the entire series, and its effects on him emotionally and you don’t realize we’ve been heading to that conclusion with subtle hints from beginning to end with this arc.  From his first interaction with Jasper, to how he handles Connie, you just see everything going down in his head slowly, but surely and it’s a great build.

 

In enters the second half of the series, which is a huge step up from the first half.  We get way more plot points that matter, and there’s a clear through line of events happening to further the plot.  It feels like the second half is leading towards the future, that the characters all have to use their life experiences to help one another out, and Steven’s arc is beautifully realized.  The ending was a bit rushed, but still well realized and the second half of the show made this epilogue series for me.  Just really well done, it felt like the first half and second half were different shows based on how they were paced.
one thing that bothered me the most was the lack of seeing the Diamonds.  When this show was announced, I was super excited that we would get an episode showing us what the Diamonds journey was, and how they reformed.  I really expected to see a flashback episode along those lines, like the ones we got with Rose Quartz in the series.  The Diamonds I think are the biggest point of contention for the fandom, which is something I’d like to talk about in another post, but I think showing us 1 or 2 episodes with them trying to figure out how to be good people and leaders, with Steven as their guide would have been fun, and it was sad not to see that happen.  I’m glad they showed up at all in the series, just wish them as characters were used a bit more after their change of heart.

 

If you’re a fan of Steven Universe, you’ll want to watch this show.  For me, it has a lot of the same problems that Steven Universe the show had:  a lot of filler that is fun and cute enough, but we could have used a lot of the run time to better flesh out the plot.  In this limited run series, I would have liked to see them go all in with character and plot development, no matter how subtle in some episodes, and I feel like we only got that in the second half of the show, aside from seeing Jasper and her growth.  But it’s fun to revisit the characters, and see what they’ve been up to, and Steven’s story arc in this makes him a far more likeable character then I found him to be in the series as a whole.

 

Have you seen the finale, and the show?  Tell me how you liked it in the comments!

Cartoons

Steven Universe: The Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

I was planning to post something else today, but then I was able to find Steven Universe:  The Movie to watch, watched it, and wanted to talk about it.  So time for a review on the movie, spoiler free!

 

I want to start by saying, this movie is going to spoil the plot of Steven Universe for you.  Like, the entire series, so if you want to enjoy the ride of watching the series first if you haven’t watched it yet, don’t start with this movie as your first piece of Steven Universe media. If you don’t mind being spoiled, haven’t seen the show, and are fine with just enjoying the journey of watching, then by all means watch this movie first and see if the show is for you.  It will give you a good indication of what the show is all about, because it has everything good in the show in this movie.  Some of the bad things too in my opinion, but the good outweighs the bad.

 

Now if you’re a Steven Universe fan like myself, this movie is just for you.  All the characters you know and love are in character.  There’s one new character that is a great addition to the show’s lore that I hope we see more if we get more Steven Universe content.  The movie itself, I think has a nice beginning and end.  Like the end is stellar.  It hits all of the emotional beats it should have, brought the character’s arc specifically for the movie to a close.  The character made specifically for the movie by far was my favorite.  She goes from being annoying, to you feeling so much for her, and hoping she has a happy ending.  Her ending was very satisfying, and her story in particular didn’t feel nonsensical or rushed, which is prone to happen with movie specific characters.  Her story ties into the lore perfectly, and I hope we get to see more of her if we get more Steven Universe content.

 

The middle of the movie was the weakest part for me.  I thought the plot we went through for the main set of characters was rather tropey, and although they handled it better than most, I would have preferred to see the rest of the Crystal Gems be a bit more active in the story.  The B team had it’s time to shine, and that was nice to see, but for the first half of the movie I wish the main cast had been a little more there.  It was mainly Steven’s journey, which I get he’s the main character of the show, but having the Gems come into play at the end of the movie instead of being active players throughout I was a little disappointed happened.  Like I said, the mid-section of the movie wasn’t bad, I just wish it had been handled a little differently.

If you’re a fan of Steven Universe music, oh boy are you in luck!  This movie is packed with songs.  For me, I wish there were a little less songs, even though I liked every song in the movie:  At a certain point, it felt like they just were padding the movie instead of filling it with character interactions, which is what I prefer in Steven Universe.  I think cut maybe 3 or 4 songs from the movie, add more character moments, and there would be a nice balance between story and music in the movie.  As it stands, it feels like they filled the movie with songs to fill out a soundtrack.  Which is fine, but when it hinders the story telling a bit I think is when you need to cut down, and it personally got there for me music-wise.

 

As far as watching it blind is concerned, Steven Universe has never been tooooo great at making it obvious what is happening when the characters aren’t talking.  During some of the songs they have important plot points happening, and sadly Wikipedia doesn’t really go into in depth detail about what is happening in the movie for it to be perfectly clear.  I wish there was a bit more description in the show, or at least have audio description for the show so it’s easier to follow without watching with sighted friends.

 

All in all, I enjoyed the Steven Universe movie.  I think about 30 minutes could have been cut from its run time because of the previously stated tons of  music, but said tons of music didn’t make the viewing experience any less enjoyable.  I really hope we get more content in this Universe (I really want more of the Diamonds please) and I think this movie is a great addition to the universe of Steven Universe.  I highly recommend watching this movie if you’re a Steven Universe fan, and if you’re not worried about major spoilers for the show, give it a watch if you’re curious.  It gives a good indication of the show’s highs and lows, and overall is super fun to watch.

 

Have you seen the movie?  Let me know what you thought of it in  the comments!

Cartoons

A Musical Moment: Here Comes a Thought – Steven Universe

There’s so much good music in Steven Universe, that it was hard to pick a track from it.  I’ll probably spotlight some more tracks from here, but I really wanted to avoid any spoilertastic songs in case you are reading, and haven’t seen the episode.  So no spotlight of Stronger Than You even though it’s an awesome song, sorry~

 

 

 

Here Comes a Thought is very self-contained, and it’s message is so beautiful.  It’s the perfect anthem for anyone who suffers from anxiety and depression, and I constantly sing it whenever I’m feeling overly stressed and apathetic.  The word play in it is so clever also! Just this section alone portrays the struggle anyone with anxiety has.  Just this simple phrase means so much:
“It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok” the amount that that’s said has so many meanings.  The first “It’s OK” – calming yourself down, telling your mind to shut off.  The next two, calming you down further.  The final section you slowly believing the words you’re saying, and that whatever internal crisis you’re going through actually will be ok.  The melodic structure of that section too, how it starts higher then descends down the scale – as if it’s you coming down from yore anxiety attack, it just speaks volumes.
Another section I love that I’d like to highlight is this one:

 

“You’ve got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear.

I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.”

 

Those three “I’m here’s” all have different meanings as well.  But before that, you have to tell yourself not to be afraid of what’s happening to you, that what you’re going through is normal and ok.  That not only are your friends and family here to support and protect you, but “I’m here” literally – I’m here, I’m not lost in my head worrying.  I’m here, and I’m grounded, and I’m going to get through this because I’m also here to live my life and these thoughts aren’t going to stop me from doing that.  Or, as the final section of the song says:

 

“And it was just a thought, just a thought just a thought, just a thought, just a thought.

It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok.

We can watch, we can watch, we can watch, we can watch them go by.

From here, from here, from here.”

 

I love this song.  In my eyes, it’s perfection.