Watch: How Steven Universe Cleverly Uses Music To Define Characters
Anyone who complains about 90s having better cartoons has obviously never checked out CN shows like Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Steven Universe—SU being my favorite for now. The show is just so well-built from the world to the characters, and there’s a video out there that explains that even the music is telling its own story.
Sideways on Youtube points out that each character in the show is actually represented by an instrument, and what’s more, the instrument also represents who they are in relation to the Crystal Gems.
Garnet is represented by a bass, since the bass is usually the backbone of a harmony, much like Garnet is expected to be the backbone of the group. Amethyst is always accompanied by electric drums, because the percussion sets the speed, and Amethyst is the most active and impatient one. Lastly, Pearl’s theme is a piano, and since piano is usually used to accompany other instruments, Pearls in homeworld are considered to be high-end servants.
Steven is also usually represented by chiptune sounds from vintage video games. Just like chiptune, the professional music industry is still finding a place for it in its ranks, and Steven himself is still trying to find his place in the Crystal Gems.
What’s more, whenever the gems fuse, their instruments of each gem will combine as well, and the fusions will have their own theme. When Pearl and Amethyst make Opal, the theme is now a mix of electric drums and piano. Sardonyx (Pearl and Garnet) has a theme of bass and piano. When Steven and Amethyst fuse to make Smokey Quartz, the theme is electric drums and chiptune. How amazing is that?
Steven Universe is definitely an amazing show, and one of Cartoon Network’s best if you ask me. Now if we can just get a steady season of episodes instead of these Steven Bombs… that would be great.
Catch Steven Universe on Cartoon Network.