It’s hard to tell if this episode is being mean or giving fans a hard overly deserved lesson. Ronaldo realizes he’s being racist after a talk with Steven (Oh if it were only so easy) and decides to become a Crystal Gem. From their the entire show seems to talk directly to the fandom and remind everyone of some of the problems they generate.
The episode makes you feel divided. Some of the points are just. Ronaldo comes into the Crystal Gems and then tells Steven he’s not doing it right. This is something everyone has experienced at least once. Someone who wasn’t into a series or franchise as long as you have comes along and insists your not appreciating it properly. Insinuating you aren’t as loyal or as big of a fan of them as they are and makes you feel bad because of it. It happens way to often. Poor behaviors like this needs to stop as it creates an atmosphere of elitism. As Steven says, “The second it wasn’t about you, you stopped caring” which is the essence of what eventually creates a bitter fan.
At the same time though, some parts come off as mean spirited. They go straight for the “Sad Anime fans practicing with their Katanas” joke. They also take a swing at the idea of a fan created character as Ronaldo starts insisting his Crystal Gem name is Bloodstone. Not everyone who watches anime, creates a fan character, or attends conventions is necessarily a bad person. At this point it felt more mean spirited than a gentle lesson in fan etiquette.
In the end its not necessarily a bad episode just a bit middle of the road and kind of preachy. It may give some of the fans something to think about though. Maybe everyone will realize they shouldn’t create an exclusionary environment and let everyone enjoy what they love. Ah, its fun to dream.