56 minutes | Dec 16, 2019

Steven Universe - They’re … Space Rocks!

Here we are in the future... and talking about the lessons, culture, and fandom of Steven and the Crystal Gems! Why is it so popular, especially among other contemporary animations? _“Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. It is Cartoon Network's first animated series to be created solely by a woman. It is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Steven Universe (voiced by Zach Callison), who lives with the Crystal Gems—magical, humanoid aliens named Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), and Pearl (Deedee Magno Hall)—in the fictional town of Beach City. Steven, who is half-Gem, has adventures with his friends and helps the Gems protect the world from their own kind. The themes of the series include love, family, and the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships.”_ [—Steven Universe - Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Universe) ## Episode Outline **Topics:** _Animation in the 90s, Animation in the 00s, Representation in Media, LGBTQ+, Toxic Masculinity, Secondary Audiences, Media Criticism_ ### Fandom Facts * From the [2017 r/stevenuniverse survey](https://www.reddit.com/r/stevenuniverse/comments/78fe1f/the_2017_rstevenuniverse_survey_final_results/) (again, skewed by reddit’s demographics): * 60.7% identify as male, 33.8% as female, 3.4% as non-binary * Only 50.9% identify as heterosexual; 23.7% identify as bi/pansexual, 13.7% as homosexual, and 6.1% asexual * 54.9% are 20 or younger, 15.6% are older than 25 (or just 5% over 30) * Top 3 Songs: It’s Over Isn’t It (19.7%), Here Comes a Thought (16.8%), and Love Like You (12.3%) * Interest in Steven Universe is pretty spikey; plotting it against Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and Regular show in [Google Trends](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&q=%2Fm%2F0r3t_0y,%2Fm%2F0807c5r,Adventure%20Time,Gravity%20Falls) over the past 5 years reveals some interesting notes: * Interest is relatively flat, and obviously spikes when a new season is out. * Top 5 countries: Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Nicauragua, Honduras (USA is 11 and Canada 22nd) ### First Impressions #### T: I first watched Steven Universe while I was going through a hard time at the beginning of a divorce, and was watching with my ex-wife. Even though I wasn’t the primary audience, I definitely learned some important lessons and came back to Steven Universe recently on the advice of multiple friends. #### Z: I’ve been following the show since it started thanks to Soph’s interest in it and Adventure Time. I remember taking it in at first and thinking that it was a neat show that had the same surreality as Adventure Time but combined it with a much more banal setting of Beach City and a little more direct heart. ## Where can I get updates? If you want to follow us on social media, we’ve got you covered: * Facebook: [facebook.com/fanthropological](https://facebook.com/fanthropological) * Twitter: [@fanthropologic](https://twitter.com/fanthropologic) And of course, we can be found where all fine podcasts are found (e.g. [Spotify](https://open.spotify.com/show/2IVp8MBIUyCqlKyZn79iHn), [Apple Podcasts](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fanthropological/id1163621210?mt=2), [Google Podcasts](https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnBvZGlhbnQuY28vZmFudGhyb3BvbG9naWNhbC9yc3MueG1s)). Oh, and here at [fanthropological.com](https://fanthropological.com) ## What is Fanthropological? Every week, our podcast, Fanthropological, delivers about an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation! We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture. ## Who are you? We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom. We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans. If you want to learn more about us, you can follow us on most social media @thenickscast ([Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast), [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast), [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast)), see all of our projects on [thenickscast.com](https://thenickscast.com), or [email us](mailto:nick@thenickscast.com). ## Credits * [Preluematsude](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03146) by [Jeff Ball](https://ocremix.org/artist/10683/jeff-ball) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * Chords for Happily Ever After provided by [ukulele-tabs.com](https://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/rebecca-sugar/happily-ever-after-uke-tab-67078.html) and originally by Rebecca Sugar, performed by Nick T * All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!
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