Seeing this episode really made me wish that Funimation will hurry up and announce when the hell they’re going to release this show, but it also made me realize how no one could ever do Okabe’s voice justice, so I probably wouldn’t even want to watch the dub. I just know the second I hear his dubbed voice, I’m going to change it to subs, because no matter how good a job the voice actor does, it just won’t be Okabe – there’s absolutely no way.
Anyway, for a long time people have been talking about how this episode may bridge the series and the movie, and in a way, I guess that it kind of does. It takes place after the series in the new world line that Okabe has created, which would make it seem like it could lead into something else, but it doesn’t really leave any loose ends to be wrapped up or explained in the movie. It’s already been said that the movie will not be a retelling of the series, but whether it will be somewhat of an alternate scenario in a different world line or it will continue on from this point isn’t really evident through this OVA/episode.
But regardless of the fact that this didn’t give any new information about the movie, it was still good. It was pretty much an epilogue for the series, and though it was mainly just a filler episode it at least brought Okabe and Kurisu’s relationship back up to speed. And even though it was just filler , we all know that a filler with Houin Kyouma and company is never truly a filler. Okabe brings all of his insane awesomness with him to America, even thought it does result in him being arrested a few times. Now, they’re in LA right? I find it kind of hard to believe that the LAPD, out of all the crazy shit I’m sure they see in a day, would arrest some random guy just shouting and doing nothing else wrong. I didn’t know public disturbance charges worked that way. Daru’s future wife and/or baby momma also makes an appearance, but it isn’t really anything more than just saying that she is indeed real. So, all in all, good bonus OVA that doesn’t really do to much for the future movie, but it’s more Steins;Gate, so who can complain?
Another year has come and gone, and with it tons of shitty anime. You know what I’m talking about; the shows that don’t really exist for any other purpose other than the fact that Japan is the most sex-crazed country in the world, those that are made because Japan will throw insane amounts of money at anything they deem cute enough, or those that are just plain retarded. Yet, every year a handful of people in the industry decide to actually try to make something good. It’s rare, I know, but it does happen, at least a few times a year. These shows are the reason I continue to watch anime, because I know that deep in Japan’s erotic and perverted bowels there are people who really want to make shows that are entertaining, fun, and visually unique.
5 – Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
While I never really paid a whole lot of attention to Nichijou in it’s first half, for some reason I just decided to watch every episode I had missed in a day, and found out that I actually really liked this show. For one thing, comedy anime are now a dime a dozen; ever since Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star, everyone has wanted to cash in on the fad of ordinary girls doing ordinary girl things. Almost all of the time these aren’t funny at all, because they rely too heavily on lame, overused gags and some “Oh, I do that stuff too” thrown in for good measure. Nichijou, however, decided that everything that happens should be as crazy as humanly possible, which, as much as I normally don’t find random stuff funny, I actually thought it worked really well. I don’t know what it is that makes it so different, but I think it may be because it’s so obviously not trying to be normal and relatable, or it may be because the characters are actually supposed to be the source of humor, instead of just the situations they find themselves in. It’s kind of sad that this show didn’t end up selling all too well, probably because OMG IT ISNT AS KAWAII AS K-ON 😦 BOOOO, but I suppose that’s the price you pay when you don’t give those Japanese otaku enough kawaii, and instead try to do something that’s actually funny.
4 – Fate/Zero
Well, I’m kind of cheating here, since this show isn’t really finished airing yet. But hey, MAL lists the first and second seasons separately, so that’s my excuse. To be honest, I wasn’t too sold on the first episode of this show. To me, it seemed like some huge in-joke to everyone who had seen/played F/SN and I wasn’t going to have a clue what was going on. And the hour long episode of pure exposition didn’t really help matter much. Yet, after that first episode, I thought it was great. It’s rare that something that is essentially a big tournament/elimination anime is done as well as F/Z has done it. For the most part, all of the characters are interesting, though there is a problem with the sheer number of them. So far the story hasn’t really been too much of anything, but that’s too be expected, as it’s taking it’s time developing characters and building suspense for when people start to die. And if the second part continues to be this good, then I have very high hopes for this show.
By the way, has anyone seen the price of the Blu-ray boxsets of this that Aniplex is selling? Go check it out, it’s unreal.
3 – Madoka Magica
Overhyped? Yes. Awesome? Yes. I’ll be the very first to say that people are a little too firmly attached to this shows nuts to see that it isn’t the epitome of anime as we know it today. And I really like how everyone goes on and on about how it has revolutionized the magical girl genre, because of how dark it is and everything. I suppose none of these people have ever seen Utena, so I guess I have to forgive them. But no amount of hype can change the fact the Shaft is awesome and so are the visuals of Madoka, and honestly if this had been done by another studio it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it was. The combination of Shaft’s animation, the genuinely interesting story, and the dark tone it takes makes it one of my favorite anime this year (and in a while) but I’m not so on board with calling it the anime of the decade or anything.
2 – Mawaru Penguindrum
Uh, well I just wrote a whole bigass reveiw of this series so, if you want to see me ramble on why I like this show, go check that out. It had nice artwork and animation, a good (yet pretentious) story, and plenty of weird stuff to keep you wondering what the hell is going on.
1 – Steins;Gate
With this show being related to Chaos;Head, I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel about it. I mean, I liked Chaos;Head well enough, but it’s problems with it’s sporadic story and lack of subtly didn’t really sit too well with me in the end. Another big thing that I thought would be a problem was the time travel aspect of the show, since the concept of time travel in any medium of entertainment is hard to pull off; you know, since it doesn’t exist and all. However, I thought the way it was handled in Steins;Gate was fairly interesting, since for a good portion of the show, they can’t technically “time travel”, and can only communicate with the past. And the fact that the series shows what everyone knows would actually happen if a bunch of random “scientists” in their twenties found a way to manipulate time made it even better to me. Although a lot of people didn’t really like that the story didn’t develop into anything too big, I was actually glad for once that everything didn’t turn into a classic “We have to save the future” scenario. Well, it did, but that plot point wasn’t that prevalent throughout most of the series. But the biggest reason of my love for this show is it’s main character: self-proclaimed mad scientist HOUIN KYOUMA!!! Call him Okabe, Okarin, or Houin Kyouma, he is the anime character of the year, without a doubt. He is hysterical, fun, and genuinely interesting, and takes this anime from being good to being great. Honestly, if some generic geeky/smart character had been the main character instead of Okabe, how much less awesome would this show have been? And while it may not have truly been the greatest anime of this year, this series simply made me realize why I suffer through all of the stupid and shitty anime that come every year; for shows like this, that are just plain fun to watch and experience.
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
Witness Mindfuck HERE
Well, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen Chaos;Head, but the first episode of Steins;Gate is hella confusing. Like Chaos;Head, this anime starts off with some characters you don’t know, some news-worthy event happens and someone dies. Basically, the whole first episode is a setup for the “text message to the past” hook of Steins;Gate, and it works quite well; In my opinion being confused about the first few episodes just makes it more interesting, and is a much better way to introduce a plot that the standard “here’s what’s happening” way. The first episode follow the main character (God knows what his real name is, they call him Okarin) as he attends a seminar on time travel. While there he meets a girl who claims he tried to tell her something a little while ago, though he can’t remember even meeting her. Later he hears a noise coming from the floors above him and discovers her stabbed to death on the eighth floor. Mindfuck then ensues and she’s alive at the end again, presumably because he (unknowingly) sent a text to the past to his friend saying she had been killed. One thing that deserves to be stated is the use of lighting in this anime; everything is very over or under-saturated with light, and it creates a kind of mysterious atmosphere. No opening and ending themes so far, and, personally, I hope it stays that way.