With its debut in 2013, Steven Universe has become a Cartoon Network fan favorite. Titled after its lead protagonist, it follows Steven’s journey in learning how to control the gem powers he inherited from his mother with the help of the Crystal Gems– three gem-based extraterrestrial beings who are the self-proclaimed guardians of the earth.
This ongoing series masterfully highlights the human experience. It also showcases inclusive characters and draws from real life experience, which has made many fans instantly fall in love with it.
From trending on Tumblr and Twitter, to having its recently released original soundtrack rank#3 on iTunes, Steven Universe has become a common talking point in many fandom communities. It also has two Emmy nominations, an all-star cast, and a team of amazing illustrators, composers, and writers, which have helped to turn the heads of many across the nation and around the world.
If you are new to the fandom or if you love it and want more fun facts about Steven Universe, then you’ve come to the right place, because we are loaded with information.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Steven Universe.
15. Steven is a Musical Prodigy
Music plays a huge role in Steven Universe. From the very beginning of the series, we are introduced to songs like “Cookie Cat” and “Giant Woman”, and are built up to songs such as “Stronger Than You” and “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)?”. Within this time, we learn that Steven is a gifted musician who can sing and play the ukulele.
We even learn, in a clip released by Cartoon Network, that Steven wrote the music and the lyrics to the theme song “We Are The Crystal Gems” when he was only a toddler.
14. Ronaldo Fryman’s Blog “Keep Beach City Weird” Exists In Real Life
If you’ve been keeping up with Steven Universe since season 1, you’ll know that the character Ronaldo Fryman gets his first speaking role in the episode “Cat Fingers” when he snaps a photo of Steven’s morphed fingers for his blog Keep Beach City Weird.
Twenty-five episodes later, in the episode titled after his blog, we learn more about Keep Beach City Weird and how it is meant to account for and uncover the mysterious, extraterrestrial super-phenomena taking place in Beach City.
This blog, filled with conspiracy theories and anime references, isn’t just a fictional concept made for television. The creators of Steven Universe turned Keep Beach City Weird into a real blog for fans to enjoy. The blog also updates spontaneously, so you never know when the next blog post will release.
13. Steven Universe is Filled with Pop Culture Easter Eggs
If you haven’t noticed already, there are many pop culture references made in Steven Universe. From Steven’s video gaming collection to the Sailor Moon manga found inside his nightstand in the episode “House Guest”, Rebecca Sugar has found many ways to incorporate the anime, tv series, and video games that have influenced her work into her own television show.
A noteworthy episode that pays homage to a timeless classic goes to “Kiki’s Pizza Delivery Service”. Its title is in reference to the Studio Ghibli film Kiki’s Delivery Service, a coming-of-age story about a young girl who’s determined to succeed in completing her apprenticeship as a witch.
However, the title itself isn’t the only reference made. This episode pays respect to multiple pop culture icons such as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The End of Evangelion, Astro Boy, Dragon Ball Z, and Cyborg 009.
12. The Crystal Gems’ Fighting Styles Are Based On Different Dance Styles
The Crystal Gems take dance battle to the next level, incorporating several types of dance moves into their fighting styles. While wielding her spear, Pearl’s battle style incorporates beautifully elegant and precise movements found in ballet.
Amethyst, on the other hand, who is much wilder and fights with a whip, combines dancehall and club dancing. Her signature dance move is the stanky leg.
Garnet, the Leader, who fights with her star-studded gauntlets, incorporates a dance move called “waacking” into her fighting style.
For those who are unfamiliar with waacking, it is a dance that was created in the LGBTQ clubs of Los Angeles. This style of dancing consists of moving the arms to the beat of the music, and contains elements of posing and footwork.
11. Yellow Diamond Is Voiced By Two-Time Tony Winner Patti Lupone
If you were keeping up with the 2017 Tony Award nominations, then the name Patti Lupone should sound familiar to you. She was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her role as Helena Rubenstein in War Paint.
Aside from being a nominee for many awards throughout the years, Lupone has won two Tony awards as Best Lead Actress in a Musical in 1980 and 2008.
This amazing actress/songstress made her debut Steven Universe appearance as the ruthless Yellow Diamond in episode “Message Received”, where she picks up a call from Peridot, thanks her for her report, and then detonates their communicator when Peridot later disagrees with her orders.
10. Rose Quartz’s Armory is Modeled After The Bat Cave
Rose Quartz’s Armory is a secret headquarter located inside a cave on top of a cliff not too far from a warp pad.
Her Armory made its first appearance in the episode “Lion 2: The Movie”, when Steven, Connie, and Lion were transported there instead of to their movie premiere.
Due to the fact that Rose is no longer there, Steven is the only one who can activate the central access point to the Armory. When activated, the center platform lights up and cases filled with weapons and gadgets appear.
The concept of the Armory is reminiscent of Batman’s Batcave. From the suits of armor encased in glass to the giant memorabilia penny, Rose’s Armory is a reference to the DC superhero and comic book legend.
9. Peridot Has an Official Twitter Feed
If you’re a fan of the newest member of the Crystal Gems, take out your phone, log in to your Twitter account and follow Peridot @Periodot5XG. No, this is not a drill. Peridot’s Twitter feed is canon and is being run by the creators of Steven Universe, including storyboard artist and revisionist Lauren Zuke.
This feed is perfect for those who need a break from the insane politics, from all the celebrity drama, and from the overall craziness found on Twitter. Peridot, our clumsy genius queen of sass who proclaims herself as the “Leader of all Crystal Gems,” delivers her tweets with an other-world perspective.
8. Rose Quartz Shape Shifted A Womb In Order To Give Birth To Steven
In learning more about the Kindergarten in later episodes, it is revealed that gems aren’t birthed like organic life forms; they’re typically made from rock formations. The only gem who wasn’t created from rocks is Steven.
While answering a question on Tumblr, Supervising Director Ian Jones-Quartey explained that Steven was made by mixing human DNA and gem DNA, which means he had to be born through biological reproductive means. With that being said, Rose Quartz shape shifted a womb for Steven to be born from.
As strange as it sounds, it doesn’t seem as farfetched as it could be. Gems do have the power to shape shift, as demonstrated by Amethyst in countless episodes. However, the question remains: is this explanation convoluted, or does it make sense?
7. There’s a Steven Universe Comic Book Series
In 2014, writer Jeremy Sores and artist Coleman Engle took part in the release of a Steven Universe comic book series published by Boom! – KaBOOM Studios. This level 2 canon comic series was presented in zine-formatting, with each issue having multiple variations of content, from recipes to mini-comics. It later ended in 2015 and was then volumized into two books.
As of February 2017, the series was rebooted by writer Melanie Gillman and artist Katy Farina. The rebooted version takes a more classic approach to the long-form comic, omitting the zine-like presentation that the original writers had used.
6. Steven Is Based on Rebecca Sugar’s Younger Brother
The title character was inspired by the creator’s younger brother.Who wouldn’t want to have a cartoon character based on them? Aside from being Rebecca Sugar’s sibling, Steven Sugar works on the show as the Lead Background Designer. He is also a background artist for Pendleton Ward’s Bravest Warriors and is developing and an indie game called Magbot.
In an interview with The Mary Sue, Sugar stated that at first the show was based on the relationship she had with her brother, as well as the different types of role models she wanted to be for her brother. She then went on to say that her brother has always been there for her, and when she began writing about him and his character developed into the Steven Universe character.
If this doesn’t hit you in the feels, then just know that in her interview with Entertainment Weekly, when asked who her favorite gem was, her response was “it’s Steven. I mean, he’s my brother. The show is so much about us and he’s really saved my life.”
5. Steven and The Crystal Gems Represent the Continuum of Human Relationship Styles
There are several types of relationship styles that mark the human experience and in some way, and Steven and the Crystal Gems represent the continuum of these distinctive styles.
Steven is codependent, meaning he sometimes sacrifices his needs in order to meet the needs of others. Unlike Steven, Amethyst is counter-dependent– she sometimes acts strong and pushes others away. Her attitude can be a bit narcissistic, because she believes she’s independent when she isn’t acting in this way.
Pearl, on the other hand, is dependent upon others, and she relies on individual or group interpersonal relationships. Her bonds between herself and the Crystal Gems keeps her afloat. Finally, Garnet is interdependent. Her relationship with herself, as a fusion, is a relationship of equality that is mutually cooperative between both Ruby and Sapphire.
4. Garnet and Pearl Made a DC Comic Book Appearance
Not one, but two of the Crystal Gems made an appearance in a DC comic book series. In Batgirl issue 41 vol. 4, the two can be seen in everyday attire, chatting behind a booth in what seems to be a bar.
In this scene, the character Frankie Charles, partner and friend of Batgirl, is seen divulging information about the villains that Batgirl has been facing. She notes that the victims all had VAPR online accounts and were all highly ranked individuals of a game called AZ-Tech.
In this panel, Frankie was even a bit jealous, stating “I’m sure I had a higher rank than that. I finished that game with 100% platinum achievement in under seven hours…”
3. The Episode “The Answer” Was Adapted into a Children’s Book
On September 06, 2016, Penguin Young Readers Group published an adapted version of the episode “The Answer”, which was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Short Form Animated Program.
This New York Times best-selling storybook, written by Rebecca Sugar and illustrated by Elle Michalka and Tiffany Ford, explores Ruby and Sapphire’s new-found relationship and their struggles in starting a life on Earth after being exiled from Homeworld.
Not only is this a timeless fairy tale-esque love story, but it is also a story about Garnet, the leader of the Crystal Gems, and her fusion origins.
The story challenges heteronormative views on love and how one should be able to live their own life, while also spreading the message that relationships between two different people can create something incredible and entirely new.
2. Gems Do Not Have A Defined Gender
Although the Crystal Gems may use female pronouns and may be voiced by female voice actresses, gems are generally genderless. According to Rebecca Sugar, the only gendered gem is Steven, and that’s because he is half human.
To Sugar, gems are just gems. This is an idea that stems from the idea that people can identify more as a person rather than a gender.
This concept of having non-binary characters in a children’s show was well received by many fans. It showed an inclusiveness that not many cartoons or TV series have exhibited.
For those who are unfamiliar with the terms non-binary or agender, these terms describe being gender neutral, genderless, having an undefinable gender, or identifying more as a person rather than purely as a gender.
1. Steven Universe Is the First Cartoon Network Show Created by A Woman
Rebecca Sugar is the first woman to create a Cartoon Network animated TV series. With the help of her crew, the amazingly talented artist created a show with inclusive characters, beautiful artistry, catchy tunes, and a heartwarming and action-filled plot.
For those who don’t know, Sugar started her career as a storyboard revisionist on the hit Cartoon Network Series Adventure Time. Within a month of being hired and after showing great promise in her work, she was promoted as a storyboard artist and made her first production debut during the second season.
Up until 2015, she worked simultaneously on both shows, then decided to leave Adventure Time to give her full attention to her own show. Suffice to say, she’s done some amazing work ever since.
Any you think of any other lesser-known facts about Steven Universe? What do you like about the show? Let us know in the comments!
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