Steven Universe: Season 3
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*Packaging says Region B but this item has been confirmed to play on Region A Blu-ray players as well.* Steven is back, and he's heading up, down and all around is this newest season! If he's not training his powers or helping friends, he's off on an adventure!
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+ Great characters full of depth and emotion
+ Ongoing story line - great to see how what happens in one episode carries on to affect future episodes. EX: One character receives a scar from protecting her friends. Over the next two or three episodes, the scar is shown to be healing.
+ Fantastic art and music
+ Full of heart and lessons to be learned
+ Mature take on concepts such as same-sex relationships, death, parenthood
+ Funny and appropriate for all ages
Only con: Wishing each episode was a bit longer :)
After defeating the Homeworld Gems, Peridot and Jasper, the Gems recover and Steven is at a crossroads.
But first, let'st go over the technical details. In a review I wrote for Volume 2, I had noted that
"Shirt Club" (s. 1 ep. 47, aired April 16, 2015) and "Story For Steven" (s. 1 ep. 48, aired April 9, 2015), were moved to season 2/Volume 3. "Story For Steven" had been paired after the non-canon "Say Uncle" (s. 2 ep. 3. aired April 2, 2015) in Episode 1 while "Shirt Club" was paired with "Love Letters" (s. 2 ep 4, aired April 23, 2015) in Episode 2.
"Full Disclosure" (s. 2 ep. 1, aired March 13, 2015 ) and "Joy Ride" (s 2. ep 2, aired March 26, 2015) were moved into Volume 2 with the Season 1B episodes.
Also moved around, "Reformed" (s. 2, ep. 5, aired April 30, 2015) was pushed back to just before "Chille Tid" (s. 2, ep. 10, aired June 19, 2015) to Episode 5, pairing "Sworn to the Sword" (s.2 ep. 6, aired June 15, 2015) and "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" (s.2. ep. 7, aired June 16, 2015) to Episode 3 and "Keeping It Together" (s.2. ep.8, aired June 17, 2015) and "We Need To Talk" (s.2 ep. 9, aired June 18, 2015) to Episode 4. After Episode 6, the order is restored. (And people wonder why fans pirate this series on YouTube!)
Whoever or whatever the cause of the meddling ( **cough**executive meddling**cough**), Season 2 hits many plot development points. Thespian Jamie trying to swoon Garnet who is in--or rather IS--a relationship. A relationship we see is tested after Pearl tricks Garnet into fusing to Sardonyx. We also learn why fusion is so intimate and important to Gems and how it relates to human relationships. (Recall "Alone Together" in Season 1B). This point is accumulated in the episode "The Answer" (s.2 ep. 22, aired January 6, 2016) when we found out how Ruby and Sapphire met and how Homeworld society disapproved of their love for one another.
Another highlight of this season, everyone's favorite breakout character returns! Peridot!
Steven Universe is such a sweet, genuine show. Watching it in release order is rewarding because the series introduces you slowly to a version of our Earth that's familiar but not quite the same, because of the presence of the Crystal Gems - rebel aliens who are the only survivors of a war fought thousands of years ago, who now do their best to protect the Earth. Meeting the gems - and Steven! - and learning about them through Steven's POV is great. Characters are generally kind and genuine, but with realistic flaws and emotional reactions.
The music is top notch. Character designs are nice, and the show as a whole is well animated. Really strong color schemes at play - I'm wicked impressed by the lighting in certain scenes. Certain elements of the show call back to 80's nostalgia, but the show is of infinitely better quality in terms of visuals when compared to most anything from that era. Voice acting is great.
I don't know, man, it's a kid's cartoon but it's super great and I enjoy it immensely.