Steven Universe Future Episodes 15-16 Review
I knew going into the second half of Steven Universe Future that things were going to get dark. However, after watching last night’s new episodes, I found myself in a state of shock. I swear I could feel my mouth hanging open for a minute or two as I processed what I witnessed. The epilogue series has already given us many dark moments, or at least reflected on them. The penultimate episodes before the series finale, though, may be the darkest the series has ever done.
In “Mr. Universe”, Greg tries to help his son deal with his trauma by taking him on an impromptu road trip. It goes fine at first, until Greg decides to show his son what inspired him to become who he is. As a result, they end up sneaking into a house that is eventually revealed to belong to Greg’s own parents!
It turns out, Greg’s parents were very strict when it came to his upbringing, never really let him do anything fun. So after hearing a song called “Mr. Universe”, Greg finally snapped and left on his own, and now he hopes that same song will inspire Steven.
Greg’s solution backfires in the worst way possible. Unlike his dad, who wants nothing to do with his uptight folks, Steven’s ecstatic to learn he had human grandparents this whole time. That soon transitions into disbelief and finally rage, though, as Steven can’t understand why Greg would give all of that up and just snaps at him. I don’t blame him, either. This epilogue has been all about Steven dealing with the angst of his childhood, and to have him learn that he could have led a normal life this whole time? That would seem like a huge slap to the face. I get what Greg was trying to do: he wanted Steven to have the freedom he never did, but not telling him about his grandparents, ironically, took away that choice for him. Not cool, Greg.
Nightmare Fuel Scene
As if “Mr. Universe” wasn’t jarring enough, “Fragments” felt like it was going to give me nightmares. Steven’s anger continues to go out of control and the Gems have no clue how to help him. Thus, Steven decides to turn to the one Gem he think can help, Jasper, to teach him how to channel his anger, with almost tragic results.
In my review of Future’s premiere, I compared Jasper and Steven’s relationship to that of Piccolo and Gohan from Dragon Ball Z. However, now I see it as a dark and twisted reflection of the rapport that Gohan and Piccolo built. Jasper’s “training” is basically teaching him to let his anger loose without restraint. As a result, we get a visually impressive battle that ends with a far darker Steven shattering Jasper’s Gem.
Even before I saw what Steven had done, I could tell by his reaction what it was. But when I actually saw Steven trying to heal Jasper’s gem, I almost felt my heart break. While he does manage to save Jasper and keep himself from becoming a killer, the damage is done. Poor, sweet Steven must now only see himself as a monster.
Steven Needs Help
I’ve said it already, but I’m going to say it again: Steven needs help. He’s spent his entire trying to help others, putting everyone’s issues before his own. Now, though, we see that its subjected him to trauma and stress that no one should ever have to endure. At this point, I don’t even know if Steven can ever fully deal with what he’s gone through, and like a lot of fans, that’s enough to make me cry. He doesn’t deserve this!
Next week, we have the series finale and the end to Steven Universe the show, and I’m wondering if Steven will be able to recover in that short time. The only way I can even remotely see a light at the end of this tunnel is by everyone Steven’s ever helped coming together to help him in his time of need. It’s a bit cliche, but it would also bring the series full circle by showing us how much Steven has done for everyone before showing what they do for him. Here’s hoping.
I Give “Mr. Universe” and “Fragments” Each a 5/5
Click here to see my other animation stuff.
- I loved how the scene in the bathroom parallels the moment when Steven’s restoring the Corrupted Gem in “Little Homeschool”
- Steven’s unkempt hair reminds me of Josuke Higashikata from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure