Welcome back! So, if you were paying attention to last week’s installment, you learned that I have fallen completely in love with the Steven Universe… well, universe. This week I decided to finish up the segment by talking about how truly important the Future mini-series is and how perfectly it sums up the story.
I’ll try not spoil too much because this series actually did just conclude last year, so I’ll touch on a few points that truly stood out to me. For starters, a basic summary of Steven Universe Future follows a now sixteen-year-old Steven living a blissful life in the universally recognized Era 3 where the Earth is no longer in danger of attack from alien invasion. He’s finally able to live as a regular person without fear of constant destruction. This is where the story gets pretty real-world, as far as a cartoon aimed at young children can go.
There are no longer any outside threats that endangers Steven or the world. Instead, each episode delves deeper and deeper into Steven’s mental state with his power changing drastically to match. From not being able to handle the ending of his friends’ relationship to not understanding how to interact with ordinary humans, Steven tries to figure out life post battle of Homeworld.
I loved every single episode of Future, but my favorite is most certainly Growing Pains. During this episode (you know, while trying to still not spoil anything) Steven is taken to the hospital to see if anything can humanly be done about his random episodes where he literally glows pink. It’s discovered that he has never been to a doctor in his entire life, so Connie’s mother performs a complete exam on him. She then compares x-rays of the Gems to one of his… and I had to pause the episode right here:
I don’t know if it is because I’m an adult, but this scene hit really freaking hard. All throughout Steven Universe you see this kid taking hits and falling from heights that would have killed regular humans. Watching it at the time you just brush it off because he was a superhuman kid and the show didn’t really go into any further detail about lasting physical injuries. Hell, you didn’t even see Steven actually bleed until the movie. But seeing this x-ray and having it explained that he has multiple fractures that healed as best as could be expected over the years despite never having any medical care his entire life was pretty jarring. Dr. Maheswaran then asked if he had any traumatizing events happen during his childhood that he might not have dealt with, to which put Steven on a pretty heavy spiral from there.
As interesting as it is to watch, it’s heartbreaking when you realize that many of the problems Steven faces and ends up having to face later in life could certainly be felt by anyone who might also have spent their childhood fighting an impossible battle to where living in a nearly perfect world afterward feels like a different kind of battle needing to be fought. I believe Future is a great way to teach young people (or old people like me) the importance of dealing with trauma in a healthy way and that it is perfectly fine to get therapy.
I wish I could go on and on about how much I love this series, but I would love to hear your opinions! What did you think of Steven Universe Future? Let us know in the comments below – we want to hear your take! ✨🌟✨