This morning we took some further exploration into the realms of diegesis via Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe. We watched through the first episode as a class in order to gain an understanding of the world characters and possible scenarios which are first established here.
After having watched episode one “Gem Glow”, we came to find that this cartoon has established itself in a unique way where the ordinary world and special world are in fact one in the same. The characters live amongst an Earth that has been affected by alien attacks, to which the normal human characters are aware of, and we have other worldly characters who are dealing with these ‘invasions’.
Our main character – Steven – on the surface seems to be an ordinary young boy, but who in actuality has special powers to further develop and a sense of determination to do his best. This establishes to the viewing demographic (young children, pre teens, teens – people of transition and change) that they can be themselves; this makes them special and their existing capabilities are what will help them grow in their own unique way. We also come to realise that although there are three female looking characters, that gender does not in fact matter nor really apply to these characters. The girls are all unique in body shape, personality and ethnicity/colouration which further demonstrates that being unique and using what you have/who you are to your best ability is okay and acceptable.
So this T.V show actually has a lot going on deep down which promotes quite a positive outlook on life for people of all genders, ethnicities and so on…that’s pretty cool!
After watching episode 49, “Jail Break” for homework, here is how I think the characters are now based on Campbell’s Hero Cycle.
I would say that Steven has deftly progressed as a character, as we now see him feeling a bit more under control in tense situations. He is exploratory, discoing he can pass through the yellow beams and proceed in rescuing his friends. He is understanding toward other characters feelings and in turn these qualities demonstrate that he is transitioning into a wiser and more heroic character. We also see that Garnet is a character who derives from two different characters, each with their own set of traits and archetypes. An angry and impatient ruby fused with a calm and collected Sapphire produces the Garnet we know who is powerful (‘anger’ > power: Magician) yet calm and in control (‘serenity’ > understanding: Sage).