I know I know. It's been forever since my last post on this blog. I've been having a lot on my plate lately with my health, moving to a new place, and the fact that it's Summer Vacation so I'm trying to make it a good one for my son before he starts 2nd grade in a whole new school, in a proper public school, and here in the next day or so, get use to going to where his new bus stop will be.
Aside from the mini-update (details at a later date as to issues), I have discovered a new cartoon love in my life this summer; Steven Universe! This show is everything this generation needs in a cartoon. Strong Female roles, A boy who is both respectful to others AND fights with his Surrogate Mothers (of a sort), and best of all, this is a show where GENDER ISN'T THE ISSUE!! Let me explain...
For starters, this show is about a boy (I think they mention he's at least 10 years old) named Steven Universe. He is the product of his Father, a failed rock star named Greg Universe, and his mother who was the leader of a small band of "Crystal Gems" in which her name was Rose Quartz. It is said that Steven was born when his mother "turned into" Steven. How this came about, I don't know because at the point I've seen, they haven't shown how he was born and if they have finally revealed Steven's birth, it would be spoilers. Since his mother's disappearance, Steven has been cared for and lives with the 3 remaining Gems; Garnet, Pearl, & Amethyst. The story starts around the time when Steven is starting to come into his powers. Like each Crystal Gem, he has embedded in him a Gem (in his case, he inherited his mother's gem, the Rose Quartz). Unlike the other gems, Steven is Half-Human and therefore isn't as powerful as the Crystal Gems (so far) but ages & feels the same as any other human. I could go into detail, but this show is so story driven that it's easy to spoil for those of you yet to watch this amazing show!
So now onto the reasons why I think this show is so amazing!
1.) It has elements of Anime, though it is most definitely a product of Modern American Culture. Like a good anime, this show has a continuing and central story line. Each of the main characters have their own compelling back-story that directly contributes to the main theme. Also similar to a great anime is the action. The action & fighting scenes are pretty darn great, even though the show itself is clean of "ultra violence" (gore, blood, obvious death). Though the show does have it's more "Kawaii" & "Moe" moments, I have no problems admitting that I am a 35 year old woman starting to fan-girl this show.
2.) The show has something for everyone. It's cartoony for the kids and has some kid level humor, while tweens have the fighting, and us "forever kid" adults, we have the complexity of feels & story line that keep us wanting more! I'm 100% invested in learning more about the relationship Greg & Rose had, though learning the back-stories and history of The Crystal Gems and who they are is extremely compelling to me. As for my soon to be 8 year old son, He really gets a kick-out of the action. *SPOILER*
**my son giggled learning that steven's spit had become "healing spit". Really?**
3.) I'm addressing the elephant in the room about this show: I know The Gems refer to each gem with feminine pronouns, but to be completely frank, The Gems (all the ones you see on the show) are actually gender neutral! Sure, some are more girly than not, and others you could swear are butch to the point of wondering if this is the elusive "rare male" Gem no one has mentioned to ever have existed, but in all honesty, I don't think anyone even cares!! Well, anyone who enjoys the show.
having said that, there has been some controversy with the show (and other countries have been editing the show because of it) because **spoiler, but important to the show** there is an ability the Gems have called "Fusion". Fusion is where two (or more) Gems meld together to make a whole new gem! The controversy comes because to fuse, the Gems must dance together. Let me show you...
I'll grant you, it's a bit "suggestive", but honestly, I think the dancing is mesmerizing. I also don't mind if my son watches it. It's all part of the show and how this unique race of humanoids make two become one. It's almost a visual representation of how "Two become One", in a "biblical sense", but without anyone getting nekkid and REALLY inappropriate for children!!
The other controversy is that BECAUSE the gems are female (I still debate this), that some find it REALLY inappropriate that Pearl had/has been openly in love with Rose Quartz. That's one's not so big a spoiler. She had willingly gone "Poof" for Rose so many times trying to protect her, yet in the end, her heart is broken because Rose fell for a human man. Either way, you will see relationships happen between the gems through out the show. Honestly, I think this should really drive home that no matter who you love, love is a beautiful thing and let no person tear that asunder.
Anyway, I highly recommend watching this show from the beginning. Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Hulu. Really great animation, FANTASTIC story line, and great for a family who are raising their families with gender neutrality as a standard moral code.