Hey everyone, this is something that's really interesting. Have you ever watched Steven Universe on Cartoon Network? Well, I watched it when it first came out. It seemed rather interesting, but I wasn't sure. At first I thought it was kind of good. It was a show about kid that had super powers but didn't really know how to use or access them. He lives with his dad and the crystal gems. The "gems" as they are nicknamed are a bunch of superheroes that are from space that fight monsters from another dimension, or outer space. I can't remember exactly, but they are super natural beings. In this, Steven tries to be a normal kid with normal kid situations while also learning to be a super hero. Some episodes focus on trying to do normal kid things like going to the arcade for the afternoon but having the superpowered friends screw things up, and others deal with Steven trying to be a super hero and do crystal gem stuff, but not having control of his powers and the pitfalls that come with it. It's an interesting enough concept, but here's where it gets really interesting.
Here's the thing, as you watch more of the series, you notice how intricate the series is. Steven only has a dad because his mom was a crystal gem, and I believe the leader or something with the crystal gems. Steven's mom can't live in the same dimension as her son. Steven's mom gave up her physical body on Earth so her son could live on Earth. That's a pretty crazy. That's not your average missing parent history. Sure, maybe at some point there might be an episode or TV movie dealing with the subject, but this series bases it's existence on this. Because Steven's mom can't live in the same plane as her son, it's up to the other gems to watch over Steven and make sure that he learns how to use his powers while keeping the earth safe. As heavy as this little family arrangement is, there's even more to the characters.
There are 3 gems that are in Steven's life; Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Now on the surface; Garnet seems too cool and tough to really be involved, Amethyst seems like the immature party girl, and Pearl seems like the goody two shoes girl. With this miss match of personalities, it's just lazy writing how they all came together and are there just to have an even cast. However, as I watched more episodes and saw the dynamic between the characters, I noticed something, they are actually representative of different family members and their hierarchy of a family unit. You see, the biological Universe family is Steven and his dad. When you look at the rolls and personalities of each of the gems, you'll notice that they are the missing family members of Steven's family. Steven is a pre-teen boy, I'm going to guess around 9 years old. Amethyst is really immature, and acts as what I perceive as a sister around his own age. Sure, she's probably hundreds of years old, but maturity wise she's like 8-12 years old. Amethyst is typically the one that Steven gets into trouble with. In the episodes that deal with Steven trying to be a normal kid, Amethyst is typically right there with Steven engaging in the shenanigans.
Then you have Pearl. She comes off as a sort of protective teenage sister to Steven and Amethyst. She's VERY protective of Steven, and wants to be in charge. However, Steven and Amethyst don't think of her like that. She knows her stuff, but just ends up smothering Steven and ruining the fun. Also, she and Amethyst don't always get along, but love each other none the less, very similar to a 16 year old girl and her 9 year old sister. When Steven and Amethyst are out getting into kid trouble, Pearl is there to try to ruin the fun. I say try because they typically blow off Pearl like any kids would with a teenage sibling that tries to be in charge but wasn't put in charge.
Last there is Garnet. I perceive her to be the easy going, very knowledgeable, and tough as nails mom figure. She doesn't get to involved with Steven, Amethyst, and Pearl's little squabbles unless there's a serious issue between them. She knows they need to figure out their issues themselves, and it's just a little sibling rivalry. Unless they get themselves in serious trouble, then she breaks it up and sets them strait with a quick wise anecdote. Everyone respects her, and values her input, like a kid would with their mom. Steven and Amethyst typically listen to her and don't challenge her input, like little kids listening to their mom whom they respect. Pearl on the other hand seems a tad more rebellious, since she is essentially the teenager of the series. She respects Garnet and her wisdom, but kind of has an air of "I need to prove myself to you" sort of vibe. Now I should note that Garnet isn't the most involved in the series, at least with the episodes that deal with normal kid issues. Crystal gem protecting the universe type stuff she's leading the team, but she typically stays out of the kid stuff. My idea of Garnet being a mother figure is further explained when compared to Steven's dad.
Now Steven's dad is a human, and is basically your average cool dad; he has long hair, he's easily approachable, he owns his own car wash, he's really easy going, and he's there for Steven when he really needs him but isn't there for the petty kid drama. Also, he's not there for the crystal gem, save the universe stuff, but that's because he's an average human. Steven's dad, like Garnet, is there for Steven, but isn't crazy. He knows when Steven actually needs help from an adult, and when Steven needs to learn from his experiences. Steven's dad is most prominent when Steven is dealing with being a human. Since the gems are other worldly being, they can't help Steven cope with his human half. They're great when he needs gem stuff, but are pretty useless when it comes when it comes to human issues. With Steven's dad being a "cool dad," he fulfils the older brother and father rolls. There are some situations that he and Steven get into that are are kind of "older brother helps younger brother have a valuable life experience semi-responsibly" and the other situations are "I'm your father and what I say goes." Some advice is "older brother level" and the other advice is "father level." They pall around like 2 brothers with a decent age gap and they bond like father and son. He's quite complex.
I want to talk about Steven, but I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said. He is basically the reason that everything in this series happens. He doesn't have a grasp of his gem powers, so so when going on missions to save the universe, he does what he can how little it is. In the episodes about being a normal kid, he deals with issues like making friends and spending time with family. He's not the most interesting character on his own, but he is the glue that holds the show together. Without Steven, Dad wouldn't have a reason to house these mystical beings in his house. The gems wouldn't be as developed as individual characters and could probably be written as a single character. The lives of the other citizens of beach city. Connie wouldn't have any friends. Etc. Alone he isn't super interesting, but with everyone else, he is the reason this show works.
I could go on and on about how the rest of the series is awesome, but I think I've explained enough. Here's a link to an amazon listing if you're interested. Additionally, here's the cartoon network page with videos. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.