Tag Archives: Steven Universe Future

Final Thoughts: Steven Universe Future

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

The number of shows, both anime or otherwise, that I would consider truly important to myself is one that fits comfortably within the number of fingers on my hand. Steven Universe, for better or for worse, is one of them. The show’s final season, Future, was not only good in all senses of the word, but it has also come to remind me just how much I have both grown as a person, and still need to grow.

Steven Universe and The Hero’s Journey

Many who watched “Steven Universe’s” first episode and nothing else probably assumed the show is pretty simple, at least in the sense that it is just a stupid cartoon and and has no deeper sociocultural implications. In that sense they would be wrong. However, looking at the through a critical lens, it feels pretty accurate to say that everything up to future is just a repetition of The Hero’s Journey.

For those uninitiated with the idea, Joseph Campbell’s monomyth describes a broad literary category in which some hero gets called on to face a challenge, goes on an adventure, and comes back transformed. This makes sense because, as anyone who has seen the full series can attest, “Steven Universe” is nothing if not journeys and transformations, both literal and figurative.

In fact, one of the first, and arguably most important, journeys Steven takes is one where he, and those watching, learn about Fusion. While on a mission with pearl and amethyst, Steven is captured by a giant bird, and so Pearl and Amethyst are forced to fuse in order to save him.

Fusion throughout “Steven Universe” serves as both a power up for the gems as well as a storytelling mechanic. It involves two gems becoming one and taking on a new form, and also signifies a more intimate relationship in gems, both emotionally and physically. Often times it serves as the resolution of a given story arc within the show, when a conflict has come to an end, and to characters understand each other more.

“Future,” however, is quite the opposite.


Steven Universe Future as a Deconstruction

One thing that remained constant throughout “Steven Universe” until the series’ final season was Steven’s quest to find out about his mother’s identity, which he ultimately did. Still, despite getting the answers he wanted, and saving the universe along the way, Steven was still left feeling a sort of emptiness

As Rebecca Sugar, the show’s creator, confirmed in a recent interview, “Future” was Steven finding out who he was, in contrast to all of his adventures that came before. In this way, “Steven Universe’s” final season was an excellent deconstruction.

All throughout the series prior to “Future,” Steven’s own identity is consumed by the shadow of his mother Rose Quartz, who it turns out is also Pink Diamond. Each mission was creating a path forward towards his goal of finding out about his past. But this goal was not without its struggles and harms.

Identity and Mental Health

One of “Steven Universe’s” best traits is its Stalwart commitment to the idea of inclusivity and acceptance of others, especially in regards to gender and sexual minorities. Most of the gems that populate the world of “Steven Universe” remain gender-less while pretty clearly presenting female, a nod to Rebecca Sugar’s own non-binary identity.

This kind of acceptance and understanding is present in Steven as well. He is presented with many tough situations throughout the show, most of which it would have been easier to simply write off the other characters in the show as evil. However, Steven operates off the fundamental principle that every person is deserving of kindness, and chooses to take on their burdens.

Still, as it is explored in “Future,” this ends up being detrimental to Steven’s physical and mental health, to the point where his gem powers run rampant and cause him to turn into a monster.

I think it is also important to emphasize relationship between someone’s perception of the world around them and their mental health. Although Steven is literally his own person throughout the whole show, to him, it never feels that way because everything he does was either in service of finding out about his mom or rescuing other people.

In other words, nothing Steven ever did before the events of “Future” was for himself. On top of that, he was put through many life threatening situations, which caused him a lot of stress on top of what he was going through.

This realization in “Growing Pains” was probably one of the most self-reflective moments I have had in a while, and it honestly made me step back and look at the more traumatic experiences in my life.

The Story

It is easy to forget that aside from its important messages and critiques of social norms, “Steven Universe” has always been a show with mostly good writing, and its latest season is no exception.

“Future” manages to keep itself focused on the topic Steven’s identity, and rarely veers from it, unlike the show’s first five seasons, which were, in a lot of ways, littered with plenty of unnecessary filler. Each episode feels like it has an intended purpose within the arc, and ultimately moves the story forward.

The season also handles tone incredibly well. While the first few episodes come across as light-hearted, it becomes apparent fairly quickly that the story to come will be much less so. However, the show never has to sacrifice coherency to make this jump, and in that respect does a great job.

The ending was also standout moment of the series. The last episode of the series shows Steven telling the other crystal gems about his plans to move out. While getting ready to leave, he wonders why they are not more concerned. As he is getting ready to go, he confronts them about this, and the four of them break down crying.

It is a great vignette that highlights one of the show’s most important messages, that people should always be honest about their feelings.


The End of Steven Universe

It is at times like these that my head usually rushes to thoughts like “If only there was one more season, one more episode,” etc. I think now is not the time for thoughts like those. Just like Steven himself, it is important to let this chapter close, so that a new one may open. While it is worth appreciating “Steven Universe” for the foreseeable future, it is also important to understand when to let a good thing end, and now is certainly the time.

I have always felt Final Thoughts was a bad title for these kinds of posts because, in reality, this probably will not be the last time I talk about this show. In fact, I have thought about doing at least a few more analytical posts on this show, but at the moment I am not sure. Time will tell, I guess.

Do you have any strong feelings about “Steven Universe Future?” Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

The Newest Age of Steven Universe: Future

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

In the weeks following the “Steven Universe’s” four part conclusion to season five titled “Change Your Mind,” there was a good amount of speculation about what the future of the show would look like, given that it seemed like an almost perfect ending. Fans of the series got their answer late last year with the release of “Steven Universe: The Movie,” a film set two years after the event of season five.

After what most considered an incredible movie, many thought that “Steven Universe: The Movie” would be the last of it. As it turned out, they were wrong again. In December of 2019, “Steven Universe’s” Sixth, and likely final, season began airing, appropriately titled “Steven Universe Future,” given that it is also set two years after the events of the last season.

It focuses on Steven’s life after ending the reign of the diamonds, where gems are free to live there life as they choose. The first ten episodes thus far have followed Steven’s endeavors with Little Home-world, a school designed to reorient gems towards being able to live alongside humans. Steven leads the organization in hopes of helping gems learn to be themselves.

Up until season six, “Steven Universe” had already been known for tackling darker topics, such as abuse, war, imperialism, etc., and did so in a way that showed an understanding and appreciation for those going through them. Each arc of the series had added either a new character or a new dimension to the overall story of Steven Universe, while also building on its core themes of love and acceptance, even when it did not necessarily make the most sense plot wise, such as during the arc with Jasper and Lapis.


“Future” leaves a lot of that behind in favor of focusing more on Steven, at least more than previous seasons had already. Specifically, season six not only focuses on his time running Little Home-world, but his character and psyche after saving the universe.

As it turns out, Steven has had a lot rougher of a time emotionally after the confronting the diamonds than before. During the last five seasons, Steven always had a purpose, that being to help the Crystal Gems and to find out more about his mom and her relationship to the diamonds and the war on earth. Each episode, and consequently each new adventure was a step towards that goal.

Now, in season six, Steven has to confront the reality of changing times. Connie, Steven’s best friend and who only appeared briefly in “Steven Universe: The Movie,” has so far not made an appearance. Meanwhile, his other to friends, Lars and Sadie have started to move on with their lives as well. Sadie has quit her band so that she can be together with her new partner Shep, and Lars has quit his position at his bakery in order to travel back out into space with his gem crew, as shown in the episode “Little Graduation.”

Meanwhile, scars from his mothers past are still rearing their head. In the episode “Volleyball,” the pearl that served under white diamond wants to fix her scar. However, when Steven takes her to get the scar fixed, it is revealed that the scar on her face is not a crack in her gem, but rather an internalized pain from when Pink Diamond hurt her physically.

All of this has left Steven a bit out of wack, to say the least, as shown in the last episode to come out as of the writing of this post “Prickly Pair,” which shows Steven after his decision to step down from Little Home-world and focus on himself. He decides to take up gardening, but while doing so accidentally brings one of his cactus’s to life. Soon the cactus is able to speak, and learns from Steven. However, the cactus has also heard Steven talk about his true feelings about his situation, and how he thinks the gems have been annoying as of late. The cactus then eventually goes wild, and repeats all of the things Steven told it.

And with that the show was left on Hiatus, with more episodes likely coming later on this year to finish out the series. The turmoil present in “Future” for Steven has already led to some pretty dark places, even without the threat of another gem war. In the first ten episodes alone the show has had stories about losing friends, getting over the trauma of abusive relationships, and finding purpose after losing it.

It is unclear what the exactly is going to happen next, whether Steven and Connie will reunite at all, what his relationship with the gems will look like after “Prickly Pair,” or even what Steven plans do next.

All that can be said for sure is that “Steven Universe Future” is an incredible continuation for the series. More than anything, though, it is an unique look at life for Steven after the saving the Universe, and it is likely that the series will continue to build in a strong direction during its next round of episodes.

What do you guys think of Steven Universe Future? Let me know in the comments below?

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!