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The saga of the Crystal Gems concludes in “Steven Universe Future” but still leaves a lot unanswered


There’s a lot to say about Steven Universe Shippuden…. I’m sorry, Steven Universe Future. The sixth season/sequel series/whatever you want to call it follows Steven and the Gems two years after the series, and an undetermined amount of time later than the movie.

It’s only 20 episodes long and since it’s supposed to tie up all the loose ends that weren’t resolved in the series proper or the movie -such as the fate of the Cluster and forced fusions, how Homeworld would react to an upheaval in tradition, Steven and Connie’s relationship and how Steven will deal with his “happily ever after” after years of fighting an intergalactic threat – which is a lot to cover in such a short span. 


Especially with a show where episodes are only ten minutes, and is well-known for its “townie” or filler episodes.

But hey, they would know to rectify that for the final season right? Right?

No. Not quite. It’s gotta stay on brand, you know?s

Naturally read ahead at your own risk. There will be spoilers.

The Same Old Mistakes Again and Again

The very unfortunate issue with the franchise is that a huge theme is learning from one’s mistakes and making amends, but the creative team hasn’t seemed to have learned to fix their writing.

Pacing has always been a huge issue for the show. The episodes are only ten minutes long and conflicts and cliff-hangers usually get ignored for ages in favor of filler “townie” episodes with no bearing on the main conflict. It makes the arcs feel awkward and staggered, and it makes the characters appear as though they don’t care about the issues.

Pearl and Bismuth

And it makes the writers appear as though they cannot decide what the series is about. Also, the townie characters that appear tend to have the same plots every single time. It’s frustrating.

Half the cast wanted to make a cool sci-fi, feminist, coming of age tale and the other wanted to dig into emotions, community, and lots of issues that don’t really get covered in children’s media but it never really found a good balancing act.

Admittedly, Steven Universe Future does better than its predecessor because it is mainly focused on Steven dealing with all the trauma he was dealt back in the original series. He’s still trying to be Steven Universe in a world that doesn’t really need Steven Universe anymore.

Still a LarsX Sadie shipper

It’s a really interesting idea. For so long he was told he was special, there was nobody like him and as such, and due to his powers, he was the only person who could fix things. But what happens when there’s really nothing left to fix?

This is something that really could have been explored more. But like a lot of stuff, it feels underdeveloped.

That makes the episodes like Rose Buds, A Very Special Episode and Why So Blue feel kind of awkward. The first brings up far more questions than it answers, the second adds nothing to the plot, and the third, brings in characters that ultimately do nothing.

We meet two new Lapses, who we never see again 

In a finale, new characters shouldn’t be introduced unless they have some sort of major plot significance. Sometimes, you just need to deal with the fact that you can’t put all the characters you wanted into your franchise.

It makes the whole thing cluttered and awkward -and it takes away from finalizing development and relationship building of the main characters. And it also comes at the expense of getting to say goodbye and learn more about the more minor characters like Sadie, Lars and the Cool Kids. And even JASPER.

(Thankfully, we don’t deal with Ronaldo AT ALL, but we get a whole episode focusing on Onion antics, which I could have done without. It didn’t reveal anything new about him. He was just causing mischief.)

The only solution to heartbreak is cake

Kevin doesn’t even get mentioned. Apparently, genocidal maniacs are worthy of redemption, but shitty teenage boys aren’t. I mean, yeah, he wasn’t great… but you would think a meeting with him would be relevant to both Steven and Connie’s development. Besides, I want to see what came out of the asshole.

The crew seemed like they had a clear idea and a concise idea of the final few episodes of the series, but realized that since they wouldn’t be having a climatic final better (called it), they needed to fill up a quarter of the episodes but couldn’t do anything too drastic.

This sequel series still continued to struggle to find a solid identity. And it means that so many big questions regarding the series don’t get answered. 

The Rest is Still Unwritten and Unanswered.

I’m okay with some loose threads in a series. Obviously not everything wraps up neatly in real life. But TV shows aren’t real life, and that’s the point. There needs to be some amount of mystery and satisfaction.

Doesn’t she look like Rose? Does she know something we don’t or is just there to make everyone uncomfortable?

But  I feel like Steven Universe Future never really answered some of those questions and just added more. The Cluster Arc never gets fully resolved. That’s right…it’s still there and shows up for less than a minute in the penultimate episode and that’s it.

We never really get to see Steven reconcile with his mother. He’s accepted he’s his own person, but throughout this whole thing it feels as though he still hasn’t completely reconciled with his mom’s past, as evidenced by Rose Buds when he meets a trio of Rose Quartz soldiers, one of whom looks eerily like his mom.

I feel like there should have been more to this. Did she know more than she was letting on? How did they feel about being bubbled? Did Rose come up with the soldiers before or after she transformed?

I know that we’ve been waiting for literal years for these gems to be revealed to us ever since they first appeared and to have them all over and done with in a single episode feels like a waste. We also only get a peek at the Zoomans (they’re fine but still not over Greg.)

Sadie Killer and the Suspects are no more but they’re still friends

Same with Lars. He appears in a single episode, having run a bakery for a while but is going back into space with the Off-Colors. I understand that a huge point of this series is moving on, but it feels disappointing that we don’t get more time with Lars.

He and Sadie never got back together, and he’s accepted that. I don’t mind, Sadie seems happy with her partner Shep.

During the final episodes, we also learn that all the Diamonds’ powers work in reverse: Blue can make others happy, Yellow can put Gems back together and other Gems can channel White… I know I hate lore being explained, but this is INTERESTING stuff.

Them being good, unlocked new powers… What does that mean about the Diamonds in general? When did Pink discover she could manipulate plants and heal as opposed to destroy? Her powers are really helpful with organic life but that’s not really a thing on Homeworld… Why is it a power anyway??

Pearl and “Volleyball”

I guess I was also expecting something a little more about Gem history and culture. Why did the Gems even start colonizing in the first place? Where did the Gems come from? There is so much about this world to explore that ISN’T about Steven, and it’s frustrating we never get a larger picture.

And the show even goes out its way to show us that not everybody is happy with the changes, making it seem like something more sinister is going on, but nope, that never goes anywhere either.

Episodic episodes don’t work in this context

This new season also has a major issue in that it takes so much time to get to the damn point…that Steven is traumatized and hasn’t been able to develop his own identity. We only need one or two episodes to set everything up.

We know it’s gonna get dark, so why spend so much time pretending like everything is okay? It’s clearly not.


I know I went over this earlier, but the episodic and disjointed nature of some of the episodes would be fine, even nice, if this wasn’t the final season. You can’t take all the la-di-da time you need and investigate things that  have no bearing on the world they live in but don’t have any relevance to the story or plot they decided to go with.

And it means we don’t spend a long time on the consequences of any actions. Steven’s failed proposal is what sends him into a tailspin, but other things like finding out how Volleyball was damaged, Greg’s past and Jasper’s shattering (and revival) aren’t given a lot of time or focus.

Where is Rose Quartz?

I absolutely hate how we get to know a little bit more about Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond but the fact that her gem is causing issues for Steven, and she hurt so many doesn’t really get addressed. 

Seriously, the entire thing with Volleyball/Pink Pearl is over and done with in just one episode. Rose was the one that hurt her, and Volleyball obviously has a lot of issues, but we never get to see her again?

Steven meets Connie’s friends

Even after she fused with our Pearl?

It seems so weird that even after Steven had his Gem removed and met his other half, and then do nothing with it. 

Steven and the Stevens

Steven Universe Future suffers most of all by placing so much of his focus on fucking Steven. The whole season just seems to be Steven refusing to communicate with anyone, so he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Lack of communication is one of my least favorite conflicts and this season is rife with them. It’s even in the final episode. Steven gets upset because non of the Crystal Gems cry when he tells them he’s leaving -even though he knows Garnet has future vision and probably has been expecting it for some time.

Steven sees a doctor

You know if you just talked about it, especially after they helped you after you got corrupted, then this would be a far more interesting and compelling end. We’ve done the lack of communication or keeping secrets plot, so many times in the series.

I don’t see why it needs to happen again and again. Can’t we have a new conflict?

I wasn’t expecting the series to go out with a bang, but I was certainly expecting more than just a quiet drive away from Beach City.

I also thought that Steven being corrupted/being a gem monster should have gotten a little more focus. We saw him turning into a pinker, bigger, version of himself and I thought this was pretty cool. Ultimately though, we didn’t get to see much of it and his final corrupted form either. 

Steven isn’t himself because he’s having protein shakes

It’s terrifying and sad to see him trapped in this body and I’m glad it was handled with compassion and I’m glad the group hug didn’t fix the underlying issues he had, but it still feels like something was missing.

It still felt hollow.


They Should Have Shooed Out the Clown

I fucking hated Spinel in this series. She’s a great character, but her design seems so awkward and her humor irritating and cringe-worthy. Her Jersey accent was particularly strong, but mostly her wild emotions and tendency to be cheerful just really doesn’t fit into the situation at hand when Steven meets her.

Did we really need a Sonic reference in the finale? I don’t think so. She could have been so much less obnoxious.

This was a PSA announcement from your fave cartoon


Though I applaud the creators’ intentions and deliberation when it came to discussing mental illness and the importance of family and compassion -it feels like it came on quite heavy-handed and was focused on more that message than anything resembling plot or character development for anyone other than the protagonist.

There are subtler ways of doing it, that feel more organic and can go alongside the narrative. I mean they even had a whole episode that literally was a PSA, about time management, but still- It didn’t really fit in and was a kind of waste of an episode since it didn’t add anything to the plot, even the time management part, and focused far too much on Onion, without giving him any added characterization.

The Good, the Very good and the Beautiful

Steven powered up

That isn’t to say the whole series is waste. There are some very good things : I love how they deal with Lars and Sadies’s relationship- Sadie gets a partner Shep, who is the show’s first nonbinary HUMAN character which says a lot more than making an alien non binary, and even though Shep only gets about two minutes of screen time, they seem cool.

So that’s a nice representation win.

The song Steven sings to Connie before he proposes is beautiful and the set up he made is thoughtful, even though we all knew she was going to say no. The heartbreak after is palpable and real.

Steven’s proposal

The episode where we learn about Greg’s childhood explains so much even though i still don’t get why he lives in the van instead of the house with Steven. It adds some nice depth to the character, and why Steven actually never went to school or the doctor.

Dr. Maheswaran ’s analysis is strong and it’s where the PSA is really necessary for kids, I like how in this singular episode it’s made utterly clear how fucked up Steven’s childhood was. And I do like how they bring it back full circle with Cookie Cat.

But somehow as a whole it still rings hollow

I recognize that this show has irrevocably changed the face of Western animation for the better. Steven Universe walked, so that future shows could run forward with all kinds of LGBT characters and mental health acceptance, and damn good music. I gotta give it that much.

The Crystal Gems wave goodbye

But it could have done so much more.

It’s hard to believe, it’s over, isn’t it?

And that’s the scoop.

Keep healthy and stay safe everyone!

Score: 7/10


Year of Release 2019-2020

Episodes: 20 episodes, 11 minutes each

Creator: Rebecca Sugar

Executive Producers: Rebecca Sugar, Kat Morris (co-executive producer), Alonso Ramirez Ramos (co-executive producer), Joe Johnston (co-executive producer)

Producer: Jackie Buscarino

Voice Actors: Zach Callison, Estelle, Michaela Dietz, Deedee Magno Hall

If you liked this review read: Still sticking with “Steven Universe”

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