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Steven Reviewniverse: ‘Change Your Mind’

By Mark Laherty

In her well-known essay about the alleged genre of hopepunk, Alexandra Rowland compares it to the genre of ‘noblebright,’ which she says is “about goodness and truth and vanquishing evil forever, about a core of goodness in humanity… in noblebright, when we overthrow the dark lord the world is saved and our work is done. Equilibrium and serenity return to the land.” But in the real world, she continues, “There’s no such thing as winning forever. Evil cannot be vanquished, only beaten back for a day or two, and then it trickles back in, like water seeping through the cracks in a dam.”

So. Steven Universe.

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Steven Reviewniverse: ‘Escapism’

By Mark Laherty

This prelude to ‘Battle of Heart and Mind,’ boarded by series stalwarts Joe Johnston and Adam Muto, sees Steven and Connie in dire straits. In seeking help, Steven is unhappily surprised to find himself reacquainted with some familiar faces. This makes the episode sound like a cool payoff to some part of Homeworld, which would make more sense than what we got here. But, what we have is cute too.

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Steven Reviewniverse: ‘Familiar’

By Mark Laherty

After several months, we finally have a truly new episode. Since we’re in a heavily serialised stretch, this one feels more like a few plot-light scenes taken in isolation rather than a standalone story. The gist is that Steven has a chat with Yellow Diamond where she gets a few beats, a similar chat with Blue Diamond, then he gets a song and a Cinderella moment.

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Steven Reviewniverse: ‘Legs from Here to Homeworld’

By Mark Laherty

And so, we begin the Diamond Days. As Steven Universe unfurls what surely must be one of its final batches of episodes, I’ll be writing the Steven Reviewniverse column. For today and the following three weeks, I’ll be reviewing each new episode as it airs, followed by a bigger breakdown of the four-episode event ‘Battle of Heart and Mind’ on January 21st. While these reviews won’t spoil the episodes themselves, they will spoil anything that’s come before owing to the heavily serialised structure of SU arcs. With that said, let’s begin.

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