Steins;Gate – Review
You know, I think I could forgive you if you didn’t like Chaos;Head, but if you can’t find something to like about Steins;Gate, you simply fail at life, lose the internet, and whatever other meme dealing with not succeeding you want. Steins;Gate does something that most anime fail to do; actually make it’s story seem convincing, as well as make you wonder what will happen, even if the premise is completely illogical. What bad there is to say about this show is almost pointless to mention, and its flaws actually kind of fit in its genre, if you could call it that.
In it’s simplest form, Steins;Gate is about time travel, but it’s not quite that. It’s about a young self proclaimed mad scientist, Okabe Rintaro, and his “lab members”, who consist of an obese 2-channer, and a generically happy girl at the start of the show. One day Okabe attends a scientific lecture and finds the body of Makise Kurisu, a genius girl who had recently disputed his claims about the probability of time travel. He then sends a text about what happened to his overweight 1337h4x0r lab member, Daru. The next day he and Daru encounter Kurisu alive and well, and while Okabe is shocked over it, Daru claims Okabe never sent anything to him about her dying. Upon retracing his steps, Okabe discovers that Daru’s phone had been attached to one of their experiments, the Phone Microwave (name subject to change). Because of this, Okabe discovers that he and his “lab” have accidentally made a time machine. The story goes from there as any time traveling thing would. Kurisu joins him as a lab assistant because of her curiosity about the time machine. Their microwave can only send texts back in time in order that change it, and they begin to perform experiments to see how the present will change. However, their experiments quickly get out of hand and their world becomes drastically different from what it was, and Okabe, the only one who has the ability to retain memories when jumping between world lines, has to find a way to save the lives of everyone and stop an evil organization from obtaining their time machine.
Yeah, the “evil organization” thing sounds pretty cliched, but don’t worry, it’s really not that relevant to the story of the series. Obviously the story is the main point of the series, but it really never develops any of the characters other than Okabe, Kurisu, and Mayuri, Okabe’s generic attractive happy childhood friend. Also, a few of the characters a pretty pointless, as they serve no other purpose than to be roadblocks on Okabe’s trip to fix what he messed up. Characters like Feryis and Ruka honestly have no purpose in the story at all. As per most time traveling stories, a bulk of the show is repeating things over again to change it, which can get kind of tedious but never feel pointless, except for Feryis and Ruka’s episodes, imagine that. Yes, there’s lots of crazy stuff and plot twists, but none of them feel like a “That was complete bullshit” twist.
The visual style is really cool too, as it seems like everything is perpetually trapped at sunset. I honestly think that about 60 percent of the animation budget went to the lighting department, because this show is all about some shadowing and lighting, and it looks very good. Other than that everything looks about standard for your modern anime, though I can’t really recall the animation standing out too much in any one area. However, the stylized art work fits very well with the series, and I couldn’t imagine the show without it. Obviously voice acting is good, except for Okabe, who is fucking amazing. Whoever did his voice was absolutely hysterical, though that may have been just because of the character himself.
All I can say is that Steins;Gate is badass, if you didn’t like Chaos;Head, because it was just too damn weird, you should really check this show out. Although it does kind of play of the normal conventions of time travel themed works, it does manage to change a few things up, and to not have the story go in a completely normal way. Even thought the ending was kind of “meh” it wasn’t too bad. The characters that the show actually chooses to care about enough to develop are all interesting, except for Mayuri. Kill me if you want, she’s too generic for such and ungeneric anime.
El Psy Congroo
- Story – 9
- Art – 8
- Characters – 9
- Sound – 8
- Overall – 9