Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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A young boy called Steven lives his life with the Crystal Gems, three magical, humanoid aliens. Being half-Gem himself, Steven helps the Gems to protect the world from alien dangers, meanwhile struggling with the legacy of his dead mother and the normal challenges of a child’s life.

This series starts out as most other wacky animated series. You watch Steven’s silly endeavours and are charmed by his childlike spirit and humour. As the episodes continue in an easy-going manner, you don’t really expect there to be a big overarching plot or any high stakes at all. Just a comfortable watch.

And then, suddenly, an episode will come that will turn everything upside down! You realise that intricate worldbuilding, complicated characters and enthralling plot have been there all along, right under your nose. You simply didn’t recognize it.

Steven Universe is a coming-of-age story with a lot of layers. At multiple points throughout the series, you’ll feel inclined to revisit earlier episodes to look for clever foreshadowing and character motives hidden in plain view. The emotional themes this series explores – such as trauma, grief and self-love – are expertly handled. Most grown-ups can definitely still learn a thing or two from the life lessons taught through Steven’s story.

This series is definitely a gem (pun intended).

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