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‘Steven Universe Future’ introduces a new planet and new characters in Saturday’s episode. (Image provided via Cartoon Network on YouTube)

TV Review: ‘Steven Universe Future’ keeps things light with a new planet, song, set of characters

Following the trend of last week’s pair of episodes, Saturday’s Steven Universe Future offerings provide more laughs along with a few fun action sequences and a charming new song.

We get a look into Steven’s (Zach Callison) new daily routine at the beginning of “Snow Day,” which involves him getting up early to run errands before running Little Homeschool and coming home late. Despite the Crystal Gems’ efforts to spend time with him, Steven is so bogged down by his responsibilities that he seldom has any time for them.

That is, until Beach City gets so much snow that Steven is forced to cancel classes for the day. Although he initially plans to spend the day rescheduling, Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz) and even Pearl (Deedee Magno) coerce him into playing a game of “Steven tag,” an old running gag from the original series in which, if tagged, the Crystal Gems must shapeshift into Steven’s form. For Steven, this now means he would have to turn into the younger “classic Steven” of the main series.

The remainder of the episode consists of increasingly bizarre and comical hijinks, with the different “Stevens” fusing and unfusing into different variations of Steven along with spins on their accompanying themes, in an effort to tag the real Steven. 

The animators, actors and composers all had a lot of fun with this episode, playing on old tropes and the show’s history to provide another episode that harkens back to the classic series’ roots. It’s decidedly one of Steven Universe Future’s lighter episodes, but it does present the growing conflict of Steven managing his work life balance in a fun way.

“Why So Blue?” is the other episode, and it has Steven and Lapis Lazuli (Jennifer Paz) travel to an alien planet, where they run into the first other Lapides (Paz) seen in the show. Despite receiving Steven’s message about the Diamond Authority being disbanded and gems now having the freedom to do what they please, the Lapides decide to continue their assigned roles, terraforming planets until they are flat and devoid of life.

The not-terraformed part of the new planet is gorgeously animated, with the adorable turnip-like creatures being the highlight. Paz gives convincing performances as three-fourths of the episode’s cast, clearly reflecting each Lapis’ personality, although not altering each one’s voice as much as Magno with the different Pearls or Dietz with the various Amethysts.

Paz’s — and the main Lapis’ — shining moment, however, is her performance of the song sharing the episode’s title, “Why So Blue?” The relaxed yet passionate song is as calming as it is powerful, sung almost like a lullaby, as Lapis attempts to show the other Lapides the beauty of organic life and freedom of expression.

The mysterious pink aura Steven would show under stressful situations has been missing since Steven Universe Future’s four-episode premiere, but given how the show has relaxed considerably since then, it’s not too surprising. For better or for worse, the show’s initial action has quickly settled down, with any new conflicts being low in stakes and easily resolved. 

The main antagonists of Steven Universe, the Diamond Authority, left behind their villainous ways in the series’ finale, meaning that any other menaces are naturally going to be smaller — in both size and importance. The series’ opening theme features six intimidating characters, three of whom have already been featured. 

For now, Saturday provided another pair of charming episodes with plenty of heart, even if they have continued the trend of not delving into any new mysteries or serious conflicts. Steven Universe is, after all, a cartoon, and it’s nice to see the show remember and embrace its sillier aspects from time to time.


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