Saturday, May 12, 2018

Shattered Theory

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with two entertaining forms of Media that I’d long since avoided due to the hype they’d been given, Undertale and Steven Universe.  Two very different but thematically similar entertainment with tremendous crossover appeal.  And I'd been using my spare time going through the rabbit hole of fanart and fancomics, saving whatever I could find later.  Not to mention the numerous analytical essays on the show.  Which is about a Magical Boy being raised by older Space Rocks in the form of Anthropomorphic Women.
Given the description, one could be forgiven for what it'd be like,
rather than what it's actually like.
I'd been watching Adventure Time, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the show despite its seemingly childishness and Videogame logic, finding the writing to be on par with early Simpsons episodes.  Which shouldn't have been that surprising, since the writers grew up on those, and pretty much threw everything they were influenced by into their work.
There's a Kitchen Sink in there somewhere.
One of the producers for Adventure Time, Rebecca Sugar, created Steven Universe as a show for her brother, and it's developed a particularly rabid following.  The first time I heard of it, I didn't think much of it, being little more than a Magical Boy show with overt Anime overtones and references.
I’d been annoyed at other American attempts to emulate Anime without understanding the inherent appeal behind the traits they were exploiting. (Hello, Teen Titans)  At the time, it was easy to ignore, since I didn't get the channel it aired on, but once Teletoon started airing reruns, I decided to give it a shot, and was quickly hooked.  Steven can be admittedly annoying with his "Please!  Don't fight!" outlook, but his positive outlook gradually wins you over.

Much like Adventure Time, Steven Universe is pretty much a love letter to Anime, and clearly done by people who’ve played Video Games and aren’t just aping the superficial surface appeal that make them popular.  The show wavers between down-to-Earth stories, and intense internal conflicts.  The early episodes take some time to get used to knowing the characters, but once it hits the halfway point (Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem) of the 1st season, it lays the foundation for what'll happen next.
Doing for Geology what Sailor Moon did for Astronomy.
Each episode is only 11 minutes in length each (save for a few half-hour specials), so marathonning through these isn't as much as a hurdle as you'd think.  The cliffhanger for the 4th Season was so great I broke down and watched the beginning of the 5th Season just to see what'd happen next.  Online downloadable subtitles made this much easier for me to understand what was going on.  But I couldn't make them appear in conjunction with the action on the screen - I just dragged the SRT file into a different window, and scrolled down when the time was right.
...let's say that this is accurate.
If there's a fault with the show, it's that the release schedule for newer episodes is so erratic and arbitrary that hiatus and wait time between only builds greater anticipation onto what's coming next.  Which is hampered by an extensive use of down-to-Earth episodes that are stand-alone, but symbolically meaningful, and sidestepping the overall ongoing plot.  It's a slow burn that requires analysis and probing clues and trying to find meaning wherever they exist.  Having gotten into the show around the 4th Season when there was already a backlog available, I can imagine how frustrating it must've been to wait for the next installment.  Waiting for the latest subtitles to become available was a torturous time between everyone else getting a leg up and wanting to catch up.

In fact, one of my previous blog posts was created as a response to the show.  Especially upon the worry that the 5th Season might be the last Season.  (So far, the 6th Season is all but verified at this point, despite it not being confirmed yet)
This too, is accurate.
So, with the release of the latest subtitles for the big reveal that must’ve been bugging the Universe Crew with the commercial trailers spoiling everything beforehand, I figured now would be the proper time to showcase a radical theory that I’m surprised hasn’t been proposed before.

Spoilers for early 5th Season episodes after the cut.

"I for one, embrace our Reptilian Overlo -"
Of course, I'm thinking that in the event that there's a retrial, it would go somewhat like this scene from Transformers: More Than Meet The Eye, where Megatron is currently being setenced for his many many War Crimes.  Lack of time to photoshop appropriate Steven Universe faces where appropriate prevents me from doing so, but I'm sure some devote fans out there wouldn't feel intimidated at doing their own take.

Which is especially fitting, since Steven Universe is touted as, "The best Transformers show that's not Transformers".

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