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Steven Universe, although set on an Earth very similar to our own, usually goes out of its way to avoid using real-world places. For example, Empire City instead of New York, Jersey instead of New Jersey, Empire State instead of New York State, Keystone State instead of Pennsylvania, and of course the assorted cities of Beach City, Ocean City, and so forth. The phrases “USA” or “America” are noteworthy in their absence, with frequent references to “the country.”

However, in Season 4 of Steven Universe, Pink Diamond’s palanquin is mentioned as being in Korea (despite it being entirely unnecessary to mention its location, much like the various places that the Gems warp to, many of which aren’t near Beach City, but are still in unknown locations). It’s even repeated several times. Is there a reason for this uncharacteristic reference to a real-world location?

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    Maybe the animators held the season for ransom until they got a shout-out? – Ryan Veeder Aug 15 '17 at 3:36
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    Any chance the "home country" isn't specifically named to keep it relatable for all viewers no matter whether they're from the US or not? – Mario Aug 15 '17 at 5:49
  • @Mario - Possibly. It's definitely the USA, though. – Adamant Aug 15 '17 at 6:55
  • "Empire State" is a nickname for the state of New York in the real world, as well. – JAB Feb 23 '18 at 16:43
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Presumably because it allowed the characters to visit their own production studio and shatter the fourth wall.

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In addition, mentioning another country by name is a good way of reinforcing that Homeworld controlled all of Earth, not just Stevens local region.

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Perhaps it is a play on the ambiguity of the fact that there are TWO Koreas?

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    This is a bit speculative, I think? Do you have any evidence of this? Besides, “Korea” is basically what most people in the US call South Korea. – Adamant Aug 15 '17 at 4:10
  • We've seen flags of South Korea in that episode. Seems pretty unambiguous to me. – b_jonas Feb 23 '18 at 12:41
  • Why is this downvoted? There is no "Korea" just as there is no "Jersey" or "Empire State" in the real world--those are all real-world nicknames subbing as real names for their SU counterparts. – thumbtackthief Nov 26 '18 at 19:11

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