Plot: The heartbreak of his favorite ice cream treat being taken off the market has rocked poor Steven Universe. While Cookie Cat is gone, Steven must forge ahead and continue his quest to unlock his true power, which involves the sparkling gem in his navel. After all, if he wants to be a true member of the Crystal Gems, he will need to figure out how to summon his weapon. His fellow team members Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet have all mastered their gem power, wielding remarkable weapons. The others also try to help Steven on the path to his gem weapon, but the methods that worked for them don’t seem to help Steven. But they are able to soothe his concerns about Cookie Cat, as they’ve saved some in the fridge. When Steven bites into one, his happiness goes off the charts and in the midst of his glorious snack, his gem begins to glow and he seems to be on path to his true power…

Entertainment Value: This is a series that starts off with a cute introduction episode and seems to improve episode after episode, until it turns into a creative and imaginative show that keeps you reeled in. I can see why some might lose interest in the first handful of episodes, but Steven Universe builds up steam quickly and around ten or so episodes in, should have you hooked. I even think those early episodes are fun, but they’re also the weakest of the season, in my opinion. You can tell the show is aimed at a younger audience, but that doesn’t mean the series doesn’t wide appeal and I think viewers of all ages can find a lot to like here. The show is character driven, so it helps if you watch the episodes at least somewhat in order, but some installments are more self contained with minor connections to a larger arc. I found the Crystal Gems to be interesting and charismatic characters in their own right, but the show really shines when it comes to the dynamics between the main characters. This isn’t just an excuse to have different powers available, the show crafts some likable, interesting characters and then makes excellent use of the development.

This first season collection has 52 episodes of Steven Universe, though sources seem to conflict on chronological order or seasonal inclusion. In any event, this set collects 52 episodes of the show, presented in rock solid transfers that bring the colorful visuals to life quite well. The supplements include five episodes presented in storyboard format, as well as a host of extras that focus on the show’s music. As the music is a crucial element of the series, that makes sense. You can check two music demos, a behind the scenes piece about the music process, and a live listening party, in which music is played for an audience and some discussions unfold. This is an impressive lineup of extras, especially for fans who can’t get enough of the show’s soundtrack. The show itself is just so much fun, a positive and visually dynamic series that has good stories, fun characters, and an imaginative world. These 52 episodes represent a sizable chunk of the show, so having it all in one collection is a welcome release.

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