gems of the orient

Gem Class Analysis: Pearls

Prior to the recent Steven Bomb, some of the most divisive fan theory characterisations have been for Blue and Yellow Pearl. Theories would range from their having a close and intimate relationship with the Diamonds, to their being physically abused, to it sometimes being a mix of both.

And we can understand the source of what seems like a contradiction. That these Pearls, in particular, are serving the Diamonds directly puts them in a very privileged position, not exactly in the modern sense of the word.

That Pearls are in such close contact with the ruling elite makes them privy to the goings on of upper Homeworld that other gem classes would remain ignorant to. At the same time, they’re also living objects, dehumanised and treated as utilities rather than individuals.

It’s a unique position of power and powerlessness and, unconsciously, we as fans pick up on that; hence, the muddled characterisations of what their relationship with their Diamonds would have been like.

In the latest Steven Bomb, we got to see more of all of these characters and we know now that their relationship isn’t one or the other but somewhere in between.

“Oh no. It was very serious. When I still served Homeworld, I saw it myself.”

In that regard, I want to talk about how Diamonds and their Pearls relate to each another, and look at the implications this has for our very own Pearl, who admits she served Homeworld at one point.

1. The function of the Pearl class

To get this out of the way as early as possible, Pearls are being dehumanised. It’s not right to limit an entire class of gems to objects and prevent them from having individual inclinations, when other gems can manage some level of individuality. Pearls are individuals with their own capabilities, thoughts, and feelings.

Even before we knew about the Diamonds, the way other gems like Peridot initially treated our own Pearl showed us that Pearls are one of the lowest classes on Homeworld.

Words like “owner,” “stand there,” and “hold your stuff” were being thrown around. Not much was expected from them.

In light of all the new information received, a consolidated understanding of what Pearls were expected to do on Homeworld would help in the succeeding discussions. And what we know is that Pearls were gems created specifically to serve particular individuals. This service did not entail doing a job like other gem classes.

Other gems serve a specific function in servicing gem society as a whole. Like builders, soldiers, technicians, and leaders.

This public- or collective-oriented approach to organising gem society makes a lot of sense considering the way the gem life cycle is perpetuated.

The reason we don’t have gem classes specifically for private affairs, like the home life, is because their concept of “home” is much different from ours. Gems are born as full adults; they don’t need to eat or sustain themselves physically. That means a lot of our human necessities don’t apply to them.

That in turn puts the service sector of Gem society, where Pearls are, as something extraneous to functioning. 

It’s much the same for social constructs. Would the Ruby Squad consider themselves a “family?” Probably, but not in the way we understand the word. Instead of families, gems are groups into classes. And in these classes they socialise each other on what it means to be the gem they are.

The best example of this would be the soldier gems, who train each other and depend on each other in missions.

Leggy, the newbie “just born yesterday,” according to Rebecca Sugar’s early sketches of the Rubies, was being oriented by her more senior teammates.

Even though we felt threatened by the Ruby Squad, and Eyeball in particular, Leggy had absolutely no fears hiding behind the latter and it’s more than clear their shared experiences made them more cohesive as a unit.

In that way, gems don’t seem to spend a lot of time with gems outside their class.

The very “function” of Pearls is very different from that of other gems. Their work is relegated inward into the private sphere. They attend to very specific individuals. They are always with gems who aren’t like them.

And the key to this is the value system on Homeworld.

I talk about the utilitarian nature of Homeworld a lot of the time. So in a society in which utility is one of the key aspects, having work that is visible, like the creation of buildings or the colonisation of planets, puts a high premium on certain types of gems.

Service is invisible.

It’s not as easy to measure the impact of telling people they’re great everyday has on the rest of their lives. But this is the work Pearls do. Their work makes Pearls appear like they’re of even less use, which in turn puts them lower down in the eyes of individuals.

It’s very similar to how the work of medical nurses wasn’t recognised as legitimate until very late on in the history of medicine. Nurses comforted patients, checked on them daily, and attended to them, while doctors stepped in for a diagnosis and prescribed the treatment plan.

Because one involved something tangible and the other involved the daily grind of caring for another human being, the “usefulness” of latter was taken for granted.

It was (and in many places still is) very difficult to quantify the effects of their contribution and they were viewed lowly.

2. Servicing the Diamonds

Now to the specific question: What exactly do Pearls do?

Keep reading

2

its chalcedony! original corrupted gem adopted from @sariasong64. on the left is how she is now, and to the right is how she was before the light bomb corrupted her.

she was a weather oriented gem, and went with scouting gems to scope out environments better than any technology they had. with her cloud hair, she was able to sense the winds’ movements at any time, and with her super sensitive thin skin she was able to feel temperature drop or rise by even one degree.

Keep reading

lizardmusic  asked:

BAZZITE!!! (Haha sorry for yelling)

youre fine ! sorry for taking so long with this one, i was a bit stuck with a solid design 

bazzites are science oriented gems, with little to no combat skills. they blend easily into the environment, are are generally reserved, always thinking and learning ! they tend to get easily distracted, however, and leave many projects unfinished. 

this particular bazzite was assigned to study humans and their weaknesses (aka how to better get rid of them), and instead fell in love with them !! she now lives in empire city, where she spends most of her time in the library and the empire city college, learning more about humans and making friends.

(her gem is on her back, underneath her shirt)

please dont ask for anymore gems i have a lot of rqs already ! 

Gem location influences personality

So by now a lot of people have noted that gem locations and gem personalities are linked. Below I’ve compiled a list of how a gem’s personality is linked to their gem placement. This may lead us to predict traits of certain gems before we get to know them.

Forehead (Pearl and Peridot): Forehead gems seem to more intellectually-oriented and both Pearl and Peridot show symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome

Eye (Eyeball/Rubeye, various monsters): The one eyepatch gem we’ve seen was grim and mysterious. Both are classical personality traits of “the grizzled veteran”

Nose (Jasper): The only nose gem we’ve seen, Jasper, is both literally and figuratively “Hard Nosed”

Collar (Yellow and Blue Pearl): The collar, in the sense of a dog collar, symbolizes a lack of self-possession or ownership. The two gems with collar gems we’ve seen are both pearls, a slave caste who both appear loyal to and fearful of their masters.

Chest (Amethyst, Yellow and Blue Diamond, Doc, Bismuth [citation needed]): Chest gems are emotional and quickly angered, with their gem located right over their heart.

Navel (Rose, Steven, Navy): Navel gems tend to be significantly more sensitive and feminine than normal. Understandable given that the navel, the scar left behind by the umbilical cord, is symbolic of a maternal connection and feminine influence

Back (Lapis Lazuli): The one back gem we’ve seen, Lapis Lazuli is unable to leave the past behind her and it always looking back at what she’s left behind

Left Bicep (Army): A sign of brute strength. Army was noticeably more quiet and muscular befitting the strong, silent type.

Palm of Right Hand (Sapphire): The palm is symbolic of love (holding hands) as well as taking matters into one’s own hands, and the right is associated with strength and influence (regarding her title) “doing the right thing” as sapphire did when she gave up her title for the gem who protected her

Palm Of The Left Hand (Ruby): The Left on the other hand is associated with counterculture and subversive behavior, such as Ruby breaking the taboo of mixed-gem fusion

Back of Left Thigh (Leggy/Nuby): The one gem we met with a leg gem was overly cautious and easily frightened. The gem placement may symbolize a desire to turn tail and run away


EDIT: I should probably mention something else:

Gem location symbolism does’t apply to most fusions, but the few it does apply to all have a singular trait in common: They lost themselves in the fusion

Both Hands: Garnet takes matters into her own hands and lets her fists do the talking

Both Hands and Chest: Sugilite is combines strength with emotion to get wanton violence 

Back and Nose: Loss and wrath combine in Malachite to create a creature consumed by a desire for revenge against Steven


Okay, wow, that’s a big info dump, but what exactly do we do with this information?

The same thing we do every night Pinky; Speculate about children’s cartoons

I think it would be nice if it were revealed that Pink Diamond was full of love and warmth. 

However, that would not mean that started or even supported the rebellion. Honestly, I’m not that fond of the idea that a loving Pink Diamond would value the well-being of Earth beings over that of gems. That the only way she could express love would be going against Homeworld’s ways. 

Pink Diamond might have started the zoo because she wanted to preserve  a few humans. But would that mean that she values them over gems? I have a small headcanon (with admittedly little to no evidence) that Pink Diamond started the zoo because she wanted to use it to benefit other gems. That the zoo was designed so that gems could relax by watching humans in their “native” environment, but not because Pink Diamond valued humans themselves. Don’t forget, Holly Blue Agate told Sapphire that it took awhile to figure out how to properly treat humans. So it’s likely that Pink Diamond wasn’t thinking about the well-being of the humans she brought to the zoo. 

While it might seem strange for such a work oriented society to have a place where gems can just relax, don’t forget that Pearl describes the lunar sea spire as an “oasis for gems on Earth” and showed Steven an image of gems on Earth, who really didn’t seem to be doing much of anything, other than enjoying themselves. Also, the gems who have expressed disdain and/or confusion  for gems doing other than their assigned purpose are ones that have followed Yellow Diamond, whether it was because they were made for her or because they were assigned to her later. So maybe Homeworld itself used to be more relaxed, and changed after Pink Diamond’s death. Or maybe places like the lunar sea spire still exist on Homeworld, and it is only Yellow Diamond that values a gem by her work. 

And it would also be terrifying if Pink Diamond supported the shattering of off-colors because she loved them. If Pink Diamond genuinely thought that being an off color was so utterly dreadful that shattering them was showing them mercy. I just want a Pink Diamond who is both full of love yet incredibly cruel. 

Good Stuff - THE TROOF ABOUT STEVEN UNIVERSE - Part 3

WARNING: I have a part 2 and a part 2 ½ and I’m not afraid to use them, goshdarnit. Thank you, take care out there, and enjoy.

Steven Universe is a charming, popular show with a quad-polar fandom, and I’m only here to point out what I say is legitimately wrong with this cartoon. Simple enough? Fair enough. Previously, I talked about how their handling of villains has disrupted their focal story. And now, point number 3:

BEACH CITY:

Okay, before I provide attention to our main gem heroes, I thought I’d give their home of Beach City a vocal point to express the diversity they offer and what makes them an essential drive for Steven and the Crystal Gems to protect the Earth by any means. I mean, they offer such valid representation for the show’s world building and can offer plenty of stories to tell to give us that slice of life vibe the show really needed. But I believe, after seeing Beach City time and time again over the course of 4 years, that I can summate its presence in the show with a single- Nay. With two simple yet comprehensible words.

Who cares? 

Whooo CARES?

Thank you, respectable actor Elaine Stritch. Rest in Peace

To continue, don’t get me wrong. Worldbuilding is more than essential for a story like Steven Universe, Berserk, Friendship is Magic, Legend of Zelda, and so on. Whether big or small, expanding a setting is important to giving characters a versatile way to look at their world in a differing light than before. But suffice to say, what world has Steven Universe built for itself?

*A populated province in the East Coast?

*A barn?

*Ancient ruins?

*Distant Gem Territory?

Aye, this troof is gonna be hard to explain. We just have locations, people. That’s it. They’re no special than the mini Galaxies from Super Mario Galaxy 2, only on Wii, Rated E for Everyone. A place can look cool and a population there can bring life to it, but they should have something for the characters to interact with and visibly wonder about what they might get into as they adapt and progress in some way. And by some way, I don’t mean insert plot devices that help make the characters do significant looking things, and I’ll get to that a bit later. But to sum it up, Steven Universe present locations, but those locations lack identity and coordination.

Stick around, Link, I might need your example

I got a short story to tell. True story. And this story provides my reason, above all else, for why Beach City doesn’t hold much water anymore when talking about world building, specifically after the show’s first season (or Full Disclosure).

There’s a comic book TV show called Preacher, premieres Mondays @ 9, only on AMC. Essentially it’s about a criminal turned Priest, possessed with a supernatural power, going on a cross country road trip to find the physical form of God with his his mate who’s also a vampire and his ex-girlfriend. Pretty vivid premise, but see for yourself. The first season however sets up the road trip where the priest, his ex, and vampire friend stay in a small town in Texas to not only introduce them, the power that the priest gets, and the type of humor throughout, but flesh out a few citizens they encounter pretty well in a thematically connected turnabout for ten episodes straight. All seems good.

Up until the entire town loses their minds, after losing all faith in belief, which eventually leads to a methane nuclear sized explosion that wipes out everybody except the three main characters who exited a few scenes before.

Originally posted by nestarearland

The End.

Now, let’s talk relevance. If I ran Steven Universe, and I don’t think I can, and I pulled 👆👆 that on Beach City at season 1′s end. Erase everything you’ve seen, every citizen will be forced to disappear except the major plot oriented characters, basically resetting the structure. If I did that, how much would it change? What would we really lose? The diverse Beach citizens that don’t and can’t do shit against the enemies we’ve see unless they’re forced to get involved in some way which rarely happens? 

You can put as many people of color and as many personalities in your world all you want, but effort should also be put into not just making them NPC levels of value to the point where a reset button wouldn’t put much a dent to the “world building”. The worst part is that it’s not like Batman’s Gotham City or Spider-Man’s New York; places where the villains are plotting while they’re within city walls. Steven Universe’s enemies have to either be brought out somewhere (gem monsters, Lapis) or brought to (Jasper, that red Eye, Aqua and Topaz) Beach City for the place to provide any significant or value. So…

Originally posted by vhspositive

Just saying.

Now if the whole series was like season one with the non “To Be Continued” slice of life episodes, then it would’ve work. Phineas and Ferb, Foster’s Home, and Friendship is Magic has done this well with keeping their main location (The Foster House, Danville, Ponyville, etc.) as their central hubworld for casual stories with a venture outside of them from time to time. I would’ve been okay with Beach City being the spot for Steven and his limitless squad to grow together like Rebecca intended at first. Then I’m reminded that there’s an world expanding story in this, with bigger consequences and threaded arcs, and I’m stuck between investing in the many things they give me, complaining towards full episodes that add up to nothing and went nowhere special, and whining about the lack of reruns it gets on TV compared to Teen Titans GO.

Bottom line, you had/have your comic series to commit to your slice of life genre instead of trying to keep it in the show.

Now, I’m at a disadvantage here. If I want to talk about the actual “SCIENCE FANTASY WORLD BUILDING”, then I’ll have to talk about the Crystal Gems’ involvement in them and I wanted to save that for another day. Luckily, I don’t have to, for SU has unintentionally played itself: when it comes to the Gem oriented locations outside Beach City, they tell but never really show. And turns out I don’t need Link’s example, but Samus Aran’s. Namely, her universe in the Metroid Prime series.

A key element to world building is the control and fun in exploration where you find and somewhat interact with aspects of an environment’s purpose and history while you’re on the go, giving the place more of an identity. Metroid Prime does this well where you journey through different parts of the Galaxy and with your scan visor, you can catalog and figure out the intricacies of the settings, the enemies within them, and info that seem trivial at first, but can offer much in progressing ahead in the game. Note the example before you…

And don’t stare deep into Samus’s blue eyes

Sure it’s an optional part of the game, and you can still trek on with or without having to continuously research the world’s lore, but it offers that versatility where you’re well in control in how to experience the game. Then again, this is a video game, where your skill in figuring things out is the only way to progress anything. What cartoon has this similar level of versatility? I mean, what else?

What else?

Gravity Falls may have stayed in one place, but it gives the characters and audience so much to explore and theorize on. They don’t tackle “everything” the world might have offered (bigfoot), but still give you so much to look out for without ever holding your hand or giving a cliffnotes version on a mystery of theirs. Hell, the fandom was hollering on Tumblr over predicting one of the show’s biggest mysteries being confirmed long before it aired. Hirsh didn’t just give those theory nuts what they wanted, his crew eased us in on how the narrative is taking a turn to someplace different and new without really forcing it on everybody. There was still that enjoyable sense of control that resonated in both the show’s direction and the audience’s experience.

I mean come on, this just oozes the moment of truth

Don’t get me wrong. The crewniverse offer very interesting locations and things that resonate with Gem stuff. My final problem with this is that when I think they might utilize these different places and things, they hold back to sharing but a glimpse of anything the show has plenty of utilizing potential for. Like…

Could this control room present more information about Homeworld’s plans for the gems than just the Cluster? “Probably not, it fulfilled its purpose. Let’s move on.”


What about these drills? Could we personally see how one works, like accidentally reactivate it to see how it functions? “Nah, they’re all dead. Let’s move on.”

Or what about the holes? Could we have some kind of flashback depicting how a gem leaps out the ground? “Nope.” Not even the off col- “NOPE.”


What’s that supposed to be? Is it something important to Homeworld? “We’ll get to that later. Let’s move on.”


Ooh, are there more ships like this the CGs could use for space travel? Maybe spruce ‘em up with Pearl and Peridot’s technical abilities? “Nah, this is all we got and Centipeedle lives there now so… Sorry.”


Man, this place looks cool. Connie might consider this since she handles weapons and might want something new, like armor or throwing weapons. “Look man, this tour is scheduled. You’ve seen it, we’ll get back to it later. Moving right along.” This tour sucks. “You paid for it, my friend.”


Egoraptor said it best: I’m not witnessing an adventure, I’m a guest at their theme park. This is Kingdom Hearts levels of dragging it along, and I know…
“But Monkey Network, they might come back to all that stuff soon. It’s called foreshadowing, you whiner.” To that, I say HA! There’s a huge difference between foreshadowing and giving us cameos. And that is in…

PRESENTATION!!!

Long story short, if it’s subtle and holds a threatening or vague presence, THAT’s foreshadowing. If it’s already out in the open and is not given a lot of screentime or detail, that’s cameo-ing and waiting for more. The last thing a show should do is hold back and have its audience wait like shoving a secret box in our face, and that’s all Steven Universe has been doing. That’s why so many rant about what’s filler or not. That’s why so many theorize on the most reaching of details. That’s why people proudly growl at what could be the crew’s simple decisions. Because when everything must come back to Beach City, post “Full Disclosure”, exploration can be limited, detail can be limited, and it’ll be up to the audience to speculate/construct the world-building for themselves, making the control and experience for the show feel one sided, therefore UNFAIR. To summarize, I can present the fandom’s frustration…through song.

Like I said, the things I’ve seen offer so much to think about, but Rebecca Sugar sack could’ve done better with presenting them in a better light than a dim mode. The fate of Steven Universe’s future is a mystery to me, and I don’t know what they’re gonna cram in season 5 this fall. All I know is MJ (or Mystery Girl) is fine as fuck and we’re all gonna get something good eventually. My man Ian Jones-Quartey said good world building takes time, and they sure are taking their time.

Originally posted by gameraboy

And we will be waiting, that’s for sure

Analysis/Theory: Lapis is a lot smarter than people think

OK, she may not be an ‘intellectually-oriented’ Gem like Pearl and Peridot are, but she actually seems to be smarter than most other characters from the show. If you’re like me and feel that she knows much more about stuff than she’s letting on, it’s for several good reasons.

Keep reading

aquamarine/peridot rant-(LONG POST)

one thing i (albeit as an amateur) tend to do when creating a wide cast of characters is ask “if i replaced the person in [scene] with another would their actions still be considered in character? would anything be different?”

(for example, characters that i’ve seen to fail this “test” of sorts include stan and kyle from south park, and basically every character in the early days of eddsworld. you could swap them around and nothing about the story would change.)

and if i find the answer is yes, i take that as quite a bad thing. the way i see it is: each character should have diverse and alternative reasons behind their actions, otherwise you could argue they’re just recyclables. like there’s no point having two characters that are just going to do the same things/act the same way. i mean how is that in any way interesting or emotionally gripping?? it should be a given that it’s not a good thing. but according to the squad at good ol Stevie U Studios™, this thought process doesn’t seem to occur, really.

because after watching 2 minutes of “are you my dad?” and the entirety of “i am my mom”, i’ve already concluded that Aquamarine and season 2-ish Peridot are essentially the same character.

Aquamarine and s2 Peridot are both work-orientated, obedient homeworld gems who do their job with the help of futuristic tools (limb enhancers, gem destabilizer, the bow wand..thing). they are both mischevious, with a sassy streak. both borderline immature in their approach, yet tend to keep a cool, collected front about them. this may be getting a bit too nitpicky, but they’re also both neon, somewhat-triangular-haired gems who both refer to steven as “THE steven”. like, they didn’t even try to change that part.

if that isn’t bad enough, if you put s2 Peridot into Aquamarine’s role in the aforementioned episodes, it’s quite shocking how little things change. i’ve seen something before the leaks came out describing aquamarine as a “smaller, ruder peridot” (paraphrased) and like?? that’s so bad?? if your character is being described as a “better/worse/more xyz version of [other character]” then it’s time to make some changes!! because that is not good!!

i don’t know man. it’s just so frustrating to see a show that was once praised so much for its diverse and very much alive cast throw out what’s essentially a carbon copy of one of their most popular characters (for a season FINALE no less) and expect people to role with it. even if they HAD acknowledged the link to peridot, set it up in such a way as to say “hey, look, this is what Peridot could have been like had she not joined the cgs. reflect on that.” or SOMETHING like that, at least then there would be some sort of POINT or EXCUSE for Aquamarine’s characterisation. but hey, univen’s steviverse is made for embryos by embryos, so who cares?

Remember that sorta unique gemsona I made a while back? Ha, well I made a villain that I think would be more fun to be than the boring, timid Ocean Wave Agate. And thus I present to you, Golden Beryl

What I have so far on her bio is below the cut. Feel free to ask questions about her or critique!  

Keep reading

3

So hey, who remembers back when I did Weird!Gems, that fun AU where everything else is the same but the Gems all look really, well, weird?

Say hi to the Abstract Gems AU, which is basically the same thing except better and weirder than ever. Look forwards to the Diamonds and Crystal Gems, coming… aaaat some point!

Some specific little fun tidbits about each of these three under the cut:

Keep reading