And now the post where I dump out as many spoiler-filled burbles about Steven Universe as I can before I have to faceplant into bed. (If you don't care about spoilers, I embed my second-favorite song in this post too.)
In an article I saw today, Genevieve Valentine called it "The year’s most adorable animated musical about planetary genocide," which I wish didn't cross my personal spoiler threshold level because it's so true.
Fusion: such an awesome concept, so much potential in a literal sense for characterization and plot and worldbuilding, and so rich metaphorically.
Here is why "Sworn to the Sword" is my second-favorite episode (behind "Jail Break"):
1. New opening theme! Steven is part of the team! Connie with a big-ass sword!
2. "Jam Buddies" is the cutest.
3. "Do It For Her" is AMAZING.
(If you're reading this because you don't care about spoilers, Steven had a bad experience with holo!Pearl once.)
A. I don't know what it is, precisely, but Pearl's vocals give me peak Disney Princess here—out of all the songs she has, the sound of her voice just seems most Disney here.
B. While she's singing about being a knight for another woman, and teaching Connie to protect a male character.
C. And the upshot is that chivalry is bad, not because Pearl's gender-bending it, but because she's taking it too far and because teamwork is great.
That reminds me: the stars on all their outfits seems likely to be a result of Rose Quartz's death, which makes me wonder if there was something physically traumatic about it or if they can reform based just on emotional trauma.
Also, have you seen the extended theme song, which has a bit of background on when Steven comes to live with the Gems and sum-ups of their characters, plus a glimpse of yet-to-be-introduced character?
I hate Ronaldo—he KIDNAPPED Steven—and can take or leave Lars, but pretty much like everyone else.
It's critically important that Garnet exist otherwise Pearl/Rose is way dicey. (OMG that _mic drop_ in "We Need to Talk"!)
I would have liked a little more about Lapis before "Jail Break."
The whole Garnet & Pearl conflict in S2 was so painful and good. And Amethyst got to show more character growth, too.
Okay, I am totally running out of brain, so here's a fic rec:
Learning to Breathe Underwater (119360 words) by RoadsandBurrows — a gen ensemble novel, started at "Chille Tid" and now Jossed, but incorporating some elements of subsequent canon in different ways (e.g., Connie's conversation with her mom in "Nightmare Hospital"). It's really just terrific. (Will take recs for other stories, but note that post-"Love Letters," I really need to be convinced by Garnet/anyone.)
And a poll, because why not. Let's rate songs!
Song list pulled from here.
We Are The Crystal Gems (original opening theme)
Cookie Cat (S01E01 - Gem Glow)
Mean: 2.00 Median: 2 Std. Dev 0.00
Let Me Drive My Van Into Your Heart (S01E02 - Laser Light Cannon)
Giant Woman (S01E12)
In The Real Way (S01E20 - Coach Steven)
Do or Do Nut (S01E21 - Joking Victim)
Steven And The Stevens (S01E22)
Big Fat Zucchini (S01E22 - Steven and the Stevens)
Mean: 1.00 Median: 1 Std. Dev 0.00
Steven And The Crystal Gems (S01E22 - Steven and the Stevens)
There's No One Like You (Dear Old Dad) (S01E27 - House Guest)
Be Wherever You Are (S01E30 - Island Adventure)
On The Run (S01E40)
Lil Butler (S01E43 - Maximum Capacity)
Mean: 2.00 Median: 2 Std. Dev 0.00
Like a Comet (S01E48 - Story for Steven)
What Are You Doing Here (Destiny) (S01E48 - Story for Steven)
Lapis Lazuli (S01E49 - The Message)
Wailing Stone (S01E49 - The Message)
Stronger Than You (Made of Love) (S01E52 - Jail Break)
Love Like You (ending theme S01E52+)
Full Disclosure (S02E01)
We Are the Crystal Gems (second opening theme, S02E06+)
Jam Buddies (S02E06 - Sworn to the Sword)
Do It For Her (S02E06 - Sworn to the Sword)
What Can I Do For You (S02E09 - We Need to Talk)
Tower of Mistakes (S02E11 - Cry for Help)
Haven't You Noticed (I'm a Star) (S02E17 - Sadie's Song)
Contribute whatever else you want to talk about, I want all the discussion!