Gems CAN Reproduce
So, I don’t think it’s a huge secret that Steven universe is heavily inspired by anime. In particular, Puella Magi Madoka Magica was one of the leading inspirations for a lot of the ideas behind the gem race
Like gems, mahou shojou in Madoka are more than your average magical girls. For starters, their body isn’t really the thing that contains their mind and soul, that’s found in their soul gems, magical crystals that are actually the real individual
In addition, when a magical girl in madoka becomes severely emotionally unhinged and her mind starts to break down, she and her gem become corrupted and turn into a monster as was confirmed in Monster Reunion.
A number of literal and thematic similarities were noted upon long before Monster Reunion came out, to the point that from as early as season one people had figured out that Gems became corrupted the same way as Magical Girls to the point that the theory was actually called “The Madoka Method”
However, a stray thought today made me start to wonder if there might be another layer of reference in the series that I didn’t notice before: The notion that certain gems may be capable of asexual reproduction WITHOUT mechanical assistance.
In Madoka, the corrupted magical girls referred to as Witches were never seen alone. Many of them had the ability to create entities called Familiars. Many gems in the show, such as Centipeetle were able to create “familiars” of their own.
However, in Madoka, the familiars presented a special danger: while they did not have soul gems themselves, if they were not caught and killed they would eventually grow one of their own and become a witch in their own right.
Oddly enough, we may have seen this exact mechanic in play in the show. Notice Centipeetle’s babies up there? Look at the the drawings she made of her crew in Monster Reunion
Notice how her whole crew, who followed her orders, were smaller than her and didn’t have the same mane of white hair that she did. I immediately assumed that these were her familiars, but then dropped it at the end when we met the two other full centipeetles, but what if I was right all along?
I think those WERE her familiars, and I think over 5000 years they managed to become their own gems!
Doesn’t it seem like to many weird coincidences? That a gem who could create servants was a captain? That her underlings later turned out to be identical to her despite not having looked like her in the past? That her species just happens to be based on a type of monster that does the same thing?
And you know what the weirdest thing about all of this is? There’s actually one uncorrupted gem we’ve met that had the power to generate familiars from the same holographic material as her own body and which could persist and function even when she was poofed: The one gem who takes an active role as a mother
Holo Pearl is a familiar!
Oh, is that too much of a stretch for you? How about the fact that in the concept art for The Answer that was posted on Ian’s Tumblr, the low-end pearls present at the meeting looked almost identical to Holo-Pearl!