Lunar Sea Spire podcast episode 102: Mindful Education

PodcastTitleSophia, GC13, and Hunter discuss Steven Universe’s latest strike in the Feels War: Mindful Education.

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: Stevonnie is the best Yoshi, period. Also, the outfit that results when Connie is wearing her training garb is just great. (We may not be worried about that diamond that ends up on the outfit, but that can’t be accidental.)

So it was a very emotional episode with a very healthy message. Steven’s kind of been going through a lot of stuff lately, with plenty for him to be anxious about. The appearance of his mother’s face in his list of anxieties? Not surprising, given how central she is to everything that’s going on with him. It’s still sad though.


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    • Bugberry on August 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    When you said the guest animator was someone with a Japanese name, I thought they might be someone from Studio Trigger, and a moment later you confirmed it. Rebecca Sugar has actually visited Studio Trigger, and you can even see Rebecca, Ian JQ, and Connie in the background of the second Little Witch Academia movie. You can also see Garnet as a background character in Space Patrol Luluco at one point. If you’ve seen Little Witch Academia and/or Kill la Kill, you must watch Space Patrol Luluco. SU has already referenced a couple Gainax anime, and Trigger was founded by several people who left Gainax.

    I feel like my opinion of this episode was somewhere in the middle between GC13 and the others. While I agree that Steven’s issue with Rose is very general, my interpretation of this specific manifestation was that, just like he feels guilty for harming Jasper, Eyeball, and Bismuth, he might feel guilty for being born, since his birth is what took Rose away. As for dealing with Connie’s issue, the show has neglected issues before and dealt with them later, so I suspect we’ll get more on Connie’s issue eventually, probably when it causes an issue with her parents, which could coincide with when they finally meet Stevonnie.

    • Artemis me? on August 29, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Would like to point out the sling Jeff’s arm was in in the picture Connie showed Steven.

    I think the point of having Connie’s issue be simple was to show that it’s not a competition. Some things bother some people and some things bother other people. You could see it in Ruby and Sapphire’s issues: Ruby has one thing that’s bothering her that she focuses in on while Sapphire is paralyzed by countless ones, but neither is portrayed as *more* serious than the other. And it’s because Connie’s problem is overcome that she’s able to help Steven through his more complicated issues, if only for now, which again is portrayed and foreshadowed before the end of the episode with Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby deals with her butterfly and then goes back to help Sapphire.

    I also think the whole ‘child soldier’ thing that Connie’s going through is going to be an ongoing thing and hasn’t been solved in this episode. After all, it wasn’t solved in the episode it first showed up in and popped back up in this one.

    • Capsandnumbers on August 29, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I’m having an issue where the podcast sometimes freezes and I have to reload, sometimes a couple times per episode. I’m using the latest version of Chrome. Is there a way around this?

      • gc13 on August 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      I haven’t heard about this happening before. It shouldn’t happen if you just download the MP3 and listen to it from your hard drive.

    • SUfan on August 30, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Uhh, the diamond is a coincidence. The v neck covers the star except for the top point, nor Steven and definitely not Connie would ever join homeworld or yellow diamond.

      • Jon P on August 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Of course, but I do love the crack theories that someone in the Maheswaran clan has gem heritage. After all, Connie’s eyes tend to form diamonds, not stars. And then there’s the iris-out at the end of “Fusion Cuisine”…

        • Sufan on September 3, 2016 at 5:46 am

        Uh, no they turn into stars. Just not the five pointed ones. The maheswarans are humans..

        • Sufan on September 3, 2016 at 5:47 am

        A Gem cannot be a gem without a gem.

    • Jon P on August 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

    As with Bugberry, my opinion of this episode is between that of you all. It probably doesn’t crack my top ten, because that is such a high bar at this point, but it’s easily above average.
    I was disappointed in how Connie’s story was treated in the episode. Here she is, not quite a teenager, and being trained to destroy enemies stronger than anything she’s ever dealt with. And Pearl may be a great teacher of swordsmanship, but probably is not teaching her about picking your battles (literally, especially since that was never Pearl’s strong suit to begin with) or measured response. So she’s probably constantly on high alert and ready to go off. The fact that she was able to run away from Jeff was probably a good thing, because it means she was able to realize “Hey, this is not a fight.” But that’s something she’ll need further practice on, and yeah I didn’t like how it appeared to be instantly resolved, to serve essentially just as a set up for Steven’s problems.
    The way this show works, there are usually a bunch of lines of dialogue that fade away and then pay off down the line. One that’s relevant here is from the end of “Nightmare Hospital”, where Priyanka tells Connie “It scares me that you can’t talk to me. I need to know what’s happening in your life, and I need to step in when you’re in over your head.” Right after the battle with Jasper, Connie was on such an emotional high, and it kills me that we didn’t get to see her come down from it. Fighting gem monsters, she is over her head, but I don’t think she realizes it, and bringing full force onto a fellow child might be what gets her to realize “Hey, I need to take a step back and think about what I’m getting myself into.”
    Comic spoilers: And the obvious question is “How the hell is Connie not suspended from school or grounded until the abacus runs out?” but I’m choosing to believe that the school gave her a bit of leeway. After all, they just celebrated Connie Day in thanks for her part in saving them. Might also have something to do with the quick forgiveness Jeff had: it gets him a friend on the Junior Safety Patrol.

    That said, thank GOODNESS that Steven is facing his demons. The dude’s been through some stuff, and it’s been weighing on his emotionally because he can’t bring himself to feel anything but upbeat 24/7. I’m still not certain what adjective to use to label Rose’s face, but Steven’s sense of being has always been to live up to the legacy of his mother. And now, he’s learned that she was the most wanted criminal in the universe, and not in a “I been set up!” way but in a “No, seriously, I assassinated the president” way. We always thought she might be bad, now we’re sure that it’s true 😛 So Steven wonders, is THIS the legacy I’m to uphold? Is this what my life is from now on?

    Last thought is about what you were saying about how/when Greg learned about the War for Earth and Rose’s part in it. Obviously, she told him eventually, and I don’t think she saved it merely for “This is what you’ll need to know to raise our child”, but I do think she had made peace with it over time, which had to make it all the more devastating for Greg to hear it. If someone tells you all the bad stuff they’ve done in a break-down-and-weep way, it’s a lot different from a matter-of-fact “what’s done is done” way, and I’m sure Rose was the latter. It had to break his heart to see the gem he loved telling him all the horrors she’s been through.

    • Inky on August 31, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    You all didn’t seem to notice that Connie broke Jeff’s arm (or at least fractured).

    If I had storyboarded it, the second act would be Connie bringing Steven to school to lick Jeff.

    …it probably wouldn’t be very artful,

      • gc13 on August 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Oh believe me, I noticed. You’ll notice that we went really long though, so there was really no time to bring it up.

    • joseph lowe on August 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I originally thought it was going to be a misuse of power thing, rather than an accident, with connie.

    I don’t think steven even recognizes fall damage as a thing any more. And rightly so. I mean even Connie was like, ‘meh. this is fine.’

    I think the Rose head just meant multiple things. All the things. She’s a whole person, and the whole identity of rose in it’s entirety is it’s own problem for him. And she’s not pure loving face anymore. She’s edgy dark face now. Like his life is just dark edgy now.

    The connie thing did get resolved super easy, but it was within expectations for SU’s 10 min thing. I wasn’t surprised or bothered by it.

    • TBC on September 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out how so many people admit to openly sobbing over this episode. Maybe its because I’m emotionally detached from most TV shows and didn’t see it, but it wasn’t that much of a tearjerker (really only Lion 3 met the crteria).

    Not to say this was a bad episode, I liked the inward mental aspect they took and Estelle and AJ had great singing voices. Also, showing Steven confronting recent events meaningfully is crucial. Being relentlessly positive to the point of ignoring negativity is a bad thing, and when one person in a relationship is struggling, the whole dynamic is messed up (explains R+S and S+C here). Very well done artistically, and its definitely in my top quarter of episodes (I’m not even going to bother ranking them because I don’t have the time or mental power).

      • Jon P on September 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      I’m not a person to break into sobs over television, but I will say I’ve gotten misty-eyed over a decent handful of episodes (Lion 3, Scabbard, Crack). I thought this was a solid episode, but not one that I, personally, am going to get emotional over.

      I think the people who found this episode especially touching, emotionally, are those who heard it basically talking directly to them. I’ve seen a bunch of people talking about how they felt like this is one of the best representations they’ve seen on TV (much less cartoons) of coping with anxiety or the danger of keeping your emotions bottled up instead of talking about them and working through them. I’ve literally seen multiple posts about people adopting the mantras in “Here Comes a Thought” to get through moments of stress. I think it’s that kind of direct connection to the characters and what they’re going through that hit some people hard.

    • Punchy on September 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    In the future can we be mindful of Stevonnie’s pronouns? The cast and crew have said numerous times that Stevonnie used they, not she. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional at all, but it seemed everyone was referring to Stevonnie as ‘she’ a lot this episode and it was really rubbing me the wrong way.

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