The Anime That Influenced Steven Universe
Steven Universe features a ton of references to the anime that inspired and influenced it. Here is a short list.
Steven Universe is heavily inspired by anime. Rebecca Sugar’s recently concluded animated series wears its references on its sleeve. There are many easter eggs to classic anime, manga and video games, from visual cues to overt name drops. However, when digging, it becomes clear that certain anime proved more influential on Steven Universe‘s development than others. Some references are obvious, while others are more focused. Let’s take a look at a few anime that were overt sources of inspiration on the adventures of Steven and the Crystal Gems.
Shows To Watch If You Miss Steven Universe
If you’re looking for something to fill the void left by Steven Universe, be sure to check out these 10 great alternatives.
Steven Universe is an animated series that aired from 2013 through 2020 on Cartoon Network. Despite being an animated series, this series definitely had fans of all ages and had a reach far beyond the audience of children that many people would think of as the normal audience for an animated series. The series follows a group of humanoid magical beings known as The Crystal Gems that protect the universe from evil.
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Although the series ended in 2020, it still has a ton of fans that love to go back and watch their favorite episodes. Seeing the adventures that Steven and the rest of The Crystal Gems get into never gets old. But, even for the biggest fans, it can sometimes be fun to check out another show. Luckily, there are a lot of other animated series that might appeal to fans of Steven Universe.
To see 10 shows to watch if you miss Steven Universe, keep reading!
Steven Universe Was Influenced By Revolutionary Girl Utena
Series creator Rebecca Sugar discusses how the seminal 90s anime had a huge impact on the DNA of Steven Universe.
This Steven Universe article contains spoilers up to the episode Mr. Greg.
Steven Universe loves tipping its hat to anime. It regularly references various anime series including Neon GenesisEvangelion, Captain Harlock, and Cowboy Bebop. Its even involved animation greats like Takafumi Hori from Studio Trigger , who animated several sequences in the Steven Universe episode Mindful Education.
The influences of anime go far deeper than just references though. Anime makes up the DNA of Steven Universe. Series creator Rebecca Sugar, as revealed on the Steven Universe podcast, grew up watching various anime such as Detective Conan, One Piece, and especially Revolutionary Girl Utena.
The Revolutionary Girl Utena anime, released in 1997, follows Utena Tenjou, who in her youth was saved by a kind prince and was inspired by him that she strives to become a prince herself. As a teenager she dresses in a boys school uniform and fights to protect a fellow student, Anthy Himemiya.
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Sugar says that as a teenager the Utena series, was an epiphany for me. The way that it plays with the semiotics of gender. I was a bisexual teenager watching a show like Utena. It was stunning, I related to it in a way that I had never really felt before and it really stuck with me.
All of this had a huge impact on Sugar.
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Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Steven Universe features multiple references to Gurren Lagann, especially as the series reaches its final season and The Movie. Both Garnet and Peridot get new sunglasses akin to those worn by Simon and Kamina, respectfully, as they reform in the Season 5 finale.
In Steven Universe: The Movie, Spinel uses a gigantic drill as a weapon, similar to Simon in Gurren Lagann. In the final episode of the series, Steven tells Peridot to “Be the Steven you want to see in the world,” perhaps a reference to Kamina’s iconic line “Believe in the me that believes in you.”
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Rebecca Sugar Talks Inspiration Animation And ‘steven Universe: The Movie’
We … are the Crystal Gems.
The talented Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, composer of your favorite songs from Adventure Time, talked to me about the inspiration behind Steven Universe: The Movie, and what the story means for Steven, moving forward.
Steven Universe: The Movie seems to be dispelling the myth of happy ever after. Was there an experience in your personal life that inspired the story?
Absolutely. The story of the movie dates back to 2015 – I was planning a trip to Japan, and was setting my phone up for international travel, and I accidently wiped all the data off my phone. Years of formative stuff from the show, footage of Michaela singing Tower of Mistakes, photos of us working on Steven, poems I had written so much was gone.
I started thinking about what would happen if the Gems were restored to factory settings.
Steven Universe as a show is so much about character development and arcs, and as we approached the movie, I really wanted to dig into the fundamental core of the show. So deconstructing that, destroying and rebuilding those arcs, really felt like the ultimate expression of the show.
I wanted to make it clear that in a story about growth, growth continues to be possible, forever. Thats a really exciting thing, as difficult as it can be.
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Why Are Anime Fans Obsessed With Steven Universe
franchise, Steven Universe was influenced heavily by the style and content of Japanese animation. But while Avatar cribbed a visual style and some tone choices from anime in service of a more “Lord of the Rings by way of Hong Kong cinema” plot, Steven Universe is in love with its anime influences on a truly sublime level.
Our story revolves around a “magical boy” named Steven coming into his heroic destiny as a half-human-half-“Gem.” Gems are an alien race responsible for all that body paint in the pictures above. They’re sentient rocks with hard-light projection bodies, and their history with earth is complicated. As the world’s first magical boy of his kind, Steven undergoes magical training with his three superheroine Gem mother figures in the sleepy boardwalk town of Beach City.
Things quickly become extremely anime.
From simple sight gags to sparkly transformation sequences to an episode titled “An Indirect Kiss,” the number of anime homages packed into Steven Universe is staggering, and some are more obvious than others, so I went on a quest to catch ’em all and talk a little bit about what makes this show so special. Don’t worry, I’m not interested in spoiling the series for the uninitiated, so any references that can’t be shared without explicit spoilers will be left out.
Steven Universe Referenced In Other Media
The Empress emitting sound waves from her gem.
Steven Universe pictured on a scooter in Uncle Grandpa “Haunted RV”.
- In Adventure Time’s mini-series, Stakes, a vampire known as “The Empress” wears a scarf on her head with a jewel matching Steven & Rose Quartz’s gemstone, which is used to project ring-shaped beams.
- In Summer Showers, one of Viola’s outfits has a brooch with a jewel matching Ruby’s gemstone.
“SU” seen on the refrigerator.
In the Clarence episode, “Dollar Hunt“, Steven’s initials can be seen smeared on the refrigerator as Jeff enters the kitchen after Clarence and Sumo had made a mess making Mary’s casserole.
The official Minecraft and Steven Universe mash-up pack.
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Steven Universe Airs Without Trigger Warning Fans Dismayed
Earlier this week, an episode of Steven Universe titled Mindful Education aired with the help of a special guest animator from Studio Trigger. Takafumi Hori was key animator on anime such as Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, and now the latest episode of Steven Universe. While many were pleased to see a collaboration between their favorite anime and their favorite anime studio, some felt that the episode should have aired with a warning.
I for one am appalled at the lack of future vision that the Cartoon Network executives had. Tumblr user Perry/Pearl Some of us might have had Kill la Kill flash backs, because of Cartoon Networks negligence. I mean, I didnt , but Im certainly offended on behalf of the countless hypothetical persons that might have.
Another user, Jasper-The-Gemhog, mentioned that Steven Universe has referenced other terrible anime like Utena, Initial D, and of course Kikis Delivery Service. But it hits too close to home when an actual Trigger animator works on an episode, reminding us of how disappointing Luluco was.
But theyre not the only one whos pressuring Cartoon Network for a change. Hundreds of petitions have flooded forums demanding that the company air warning before anything related to Studio Trigger. Unfortunately, all of them fail to realize that online petitions do next to nothing against big companies.
Five Anime To Watch After Steven Universe: Future
Steven Universe ends tonight with its final episodes of its sequel limited series, Steven Universe: Future. The series as a whole is going down as a landmark series in animation, queer representation, and just overall good storytelling. Its a beloved series thats going to leave an indelible mark on its fans, many of whom will likely be looking for similar television shows to consume its conclusion.
Before rewatching Steven Universe again, consider these five anime series to help fill your content needs. Why anime in particular? Animes influence on Steven Universe has certainly been written about in a fewplaces. But I feel attention to this interesting influence has waned in recent years, so I want to 1) bring back some critical attention to a few particular anime series that influenced the development of Steven Universe, and 2) encourage North American-based consumers to stretch themselves a bit more and watch more transnational animation content. Without further ado, here is the list!
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Anime References In Steven Universe
One of my favorite things about She-Ra is when Adora admires strong women
Season 2 Episode 5: White Out
A WHOLE TWO MINUTE TRAILER FOR THE STEVEN UNIVERSE MOVIE!! NEW TRAILER!!!!!!!
I CANT BELIEVE I WAS MINDING MY BUSINESS WATCHING DBZ ON ADULT SWIM AND IT JUST CAME ON!!!!!
Steven Universe Overseas Animation Directors: Production Season 4
Notes under the cut
Miraculous: Tales Of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Marinette as Ladybug in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
If you loved: Magical girls shenanigans and cool powers
Where to Watch: Stream on Netflix
In keeping with this lists desire for greater transnational consumption of anime, this co-production between studios in Japan, France, Italy, South Korea, India, and Brazil will round out this list. A straightforward magical girl tale, this story revolves around two teenagers in Paris, Marinette and Adrien, who, when trouble arises, transform into Ladybug and Cat Noir, respectively.
The series 3D animation is occasionally playfully adventurous in its moving camera angles and composition , which is welcome in the contemporary massive array of 3D animation, which is often competent but rarely adventurous. Much like Steven Universes first season, the series is episodic, which means you can jump in pretty much anywhere.
Another similar recommended series: Bee and PuppyCat
And thats it for the list! Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations to share.
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Attack On Titan In Comic Form And Anime
Attack on Titan and Vampire Hunter D are now Western comics. The American Voltron’s a hit, while Steven Universe is enlisting Japanese animators and Crunchyroll is producing international anime productions. Adaptations and co-productions were all the rage at New York Comic Con.
The Attack on Titan Anthology book hits stores on October 18th, but fans who attended New York Comic Con got to buy it early. It’s fitting, as the project was announced at last year’s New York Comic Con, marking an unprecedented level of collaboration between Western comics talent and original Attack on Titan creator Hajime Iseyama. The collection of short comic stories is all over the place stylistically but all awesome. About half the stories are comedic takes on the Titans , while others are dead serious . Many are set in Alternate Universes , but there’s a good deal of canon world-building throughout the pages of the volume . There’s even a Titan version of Donald Trump!
You thought I was kidding?
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Yellow Blue And White Diamond
Spinel standing on Yellow Diamond’s hand.
The other Diamonds were acquainted with her thousands of years ago, as Spinel remarked that they saw her before it isn’t known how much or in which way they previously interacted, however. The only known past instance of Spinel encountering the other Diamonds is when Pink was being told about her receiving her colony by Blue and Yellow, with White being absent. All three were unaware that Pink left Spinel abandoned within her garden, nor did they seem to remember her at all in the first place.
Spinel swinging on Blue Diamond’s finger.
Upon their first encounter with Spinel in millennia, the once oblivious Diamonds seem to remember Spinel immediately, Yellow even calling her “Pink’s little playmate” She is shown to be amused by Spinel’s jokes and antics. As for Blue Diamond, she calls Spinel one of “Pink’s lost treasures” and shows sympathy after learning of her abandonment by Pink, but takes a liking to Spinel primarily due to her resemblance to the latter. White proposes the idea of taking Spinel to Homeworld with them and letting her stay in the Diamond Palace, to which Spinel agrees, expressing gratitude for being able to try her hand at making friends again.
In “Homeworld Bound”, it is evident that Spinel and the Diamonds have become good friends, as they welcome her whenever she enters their rooms, and Spinel enjoys it when they use their newfound powers on her.
Star Vs The Forces Of Evil
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is an animated series that aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD from 2015 through 2019.
The series follows a magical princess named Star who is given a magic wand of her very own for her birthday, but quickly proves she’s not quite ready for all that responsibility. In order to get her to grow up and become more mature, her parents send her to Earth where she stays with the Diaz family, but is still a target of some serious intergalactic drama.
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Steven Universe: The Movie
Steven Universe: The Movie is a 2019 American based on the animated television series created by . The film is directed by Sugar, alongside co-directors Joe Johnston and Kat Morris, and stars , , , , and , alongside an ensemble cast reprising their roles from the television series. Steven Universe: The Movie takes place two years after the events of the series finale “”, and follows the Crystal Gems as they attempt to save all organic life on Earth from a deranged Gem with a history with Steven’s mother.
The film was announced at 2018, and a short teaser trailer was later released on Cartoon Network’s channel. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, a trailer for the film was released, along with the announcement of a documentary based on the film’s creation to be released along with the DVD. The film premiered on on September 2, 2019, to 1.5 million viewers .
The film takes place between the original Steven Universe series and its follow-up, .