|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Whatever enjoyment you can get out of Steins;Gate depends on how well you handle things in the show's first half considering the mellow, slice-of-life like plot developments that occur. While there are some moments shown that hint to a darker side to Okabe and his group's developments of the microwave time machine, it is mostly focused around the everyday activities and quirks of the group from Okabe's pseudo mad scientist getup to Mayuri's love of cosplay to Itaru's otaku interests. When I had heard of the show's premise involving time travel when I first heard of the series, I have to admit I was taken aback by the show seemingly settling into its slice of life mold with the various character archetypes floating around and allowing their desires to take effect with the time machine. The typical ramblings between the group tended to be hit or miss for me as while I got some laughs out of Okabe's mad scientist act and his interactions with Kurisu, I wasn't so interested in the otaku nods that the series made mention of from Itaru's enjoyment of dating sims to Feiris' promotion of moe. However, the darker material hinted throughout the first half kept me watching to see what the series had in mind.|
And when the second half finally does come in, it certainly did enough to shock me and change the mood of the series thanks to what occurs to one of the major characters of the series. This turns Steins;Gate into a serious drama where Okabe has to remedy the shocking situation that took place and involves dealing with the changes he made in time through his group's tinkering with events via the microwave time machine. For the most part, the drama made the second half more better to get hooked on after I struggled my way through the hit-or-miss slice of life developments from the first half as the desires of Okabe's group had more to do with some tragic elements to their characters which Okabe would have to sacrifice to resolve said situation. In addition, the show also reflects on some other problems faced by characters who didn't influence events on the microwave time machine, as well as what their alterations would lead to.
Visually, this is a slick looking series with defined details and subdued color shading for scenery and character designs, which do well at reflecting the tense and mellow mood the show gives off in its more serious moments. While animation isn't the prominent focus of the series as it relies on a variety of camera angles at points to create its suspenseful moments with the characters and plot developments instead of directly showing what occurs onscreen, moments of onscreen movement from characters do occur at a smooth and fluid pace.
While the first half of Steins;Gate was a bit of a rough ride to get through thanks to the use of slice-of-life elements, the second half more than made up for this with the shocking developments and revelations that drive Okabe on his roller coaster ride through time to correct the issues that led to said developments. This was a solid sci-fi/ suspense title for me to get into despite its rough start thus I will give it a strong Rent recommendation.
Last updated Tuesday, September 13 2011. Created Tuesday, September 13 2011.
Ok I logged in after a YEAR just to review this.|
It's EXCELLENT. And no Stretch, Stein's Gate isn't anything, as Okarin states, he made up the name.
Last updated Thursday, September 08 2011. Created Thursday, September 08 2011.
(11 episodes watched)|
This has been a very interesting series so far. Unlike Chaos;Head there really hasn't been any sense of urgency until episode 10. The show progresses fairly slowly, but I don't mind because it's funny and interesting. I really like the characters, especially Okabe Rintarou, the hilarious "mad scientist"; Makise "Christina" Kurisu, the genius scientist girl; "Mr. Braun", Okabe's landlord; and Amane Suzuha, the "part time warrior". The music is good, especially the ED, although I don't think Itou Kanako's voice fits the opening theme very well. This show has been great so far, the best of a very solid season, and I will certainly continue watching it in the summer.
(after 13) Wow, I don't want to spoil anything but the pace just picked up real fast. This show just gets better and better.
Last updated Monday, July 11 2011. Created Tuesday, July 05 2011.
(Rent+ or Buy-)|
(All episodes watched):
My first impression of Steins;Gate was that it looked like fun. The brilliant/crazy main character, 'Okarin', goes around investigating claims of the invention of time machines. He is obsessed with the supposed 'control structure' of the world, and a group called 'The Agency' which he believes is hampering his work. His assistant is Mayuri, a not quite so brilliant childhood friend. The clever dialogue and amusing characters stood out here; an important test of a new show is whether I give a damn about the main characters after an episode or two, and in this case I do. Best of all, while stories about time travel can easily get confusing and frustrating, this one largely made sense and I felt confident that I had gotten a good grip on the story without being left behind. Curiously, a character who winds up dead in this opening episode seems to be one of the most important ones in episodes to come. I'm not sure that choosing to limit the colors of this episode to drab shades was a good idea, though; it gets annoying at times. One thing I had a problem with right from the start is that Okarin and Mayuri are apparently the same age? It seemed to me that he was 30-something years old, and might easily be her father. But all-in-all, while I had misgivings about this show at the beginning, after an episode I was eager for more.
The show remains witty and amusing as time goes by. I am not completely up to speed on how a microwave oven is acting as a small time machine, or why a 'satelite' crashed into a building, but the characters are fun. I suspect that the main plotline won't be both clever and easy to understand (that seldom happens); maybe I need to rewatch some episodes. I kind of wonder why Okarin isn't more interested in the time machine that he has stumbled across--like, seeing if he can repeat what happened, or if it was a one-in-a-million coincidence. He is a bit daffy, of course. Still, you can sympathize with him easily. I had heard somewhere that there was a connection between this series and Chaos;Head, but the connection doesn't seem to be anything more than a semicolon in the title.
On the one hand the main characters are likeable, what with their strange quirks and all. A good number of them have accumulated. On the other, it's not easy to keep completely up with what has happened, how many changes to history have taken place, and what they mean relative to what's happening right now. Which changes still apply and which don't? I wish that once in a while a character would admit that, like me, he or she is confused and Okarin would summarize what is going on. Or maybe he could talk to himself more as he himself figures it out and thereby re-explain things that way. It seems to me that it is generally a good idea to not assume that every viewer will catch every important plot point on the one and only time that it is made. Still, Steins;Gate always remained a fun show that I looked forward to watching.
Around halfway through things get serious as it becomes clear that Okarin's paranoia had some justification to it. Something very bad happens, and it seems that no matter how many times he time leaps, things always end up essentially the same, one way or another. I'm really getting into this. All these girls accumulating around him weren't just a harem after all. One by one, pieces of the puzzle fall into place and each character is fleshed out until at the end we know all the secrets which they've been carrying all along. I felt a distinct thrill when John Titor turns up, perhaps because John makes clear what's going on. It becomes apparent that the casual time leaping in the first half of the series, which had seemed largely comical, has in fact created a wealth of problems which need to be undone in the second--sort of like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. This show became a current favorite of mine, to the extent that I was reluctant to watch the final episode or two because I simply didn't want the story to ever end. I feared that it might not be as good the second time around, since I would already know how things were going to work out. When a show can spend an entire episode with little more than two characters discussing the implications of the next, maybe final leap, and do it without boring me in the least, that's generally a good sign.
I felt another distinct thrill at the beginning of the final episode as the future Okarin explains 'Operation Skuld' to his current day counterpart. Although I couldn't explain to you exactly why things had to work out in the particular manner that was being aimed for, it was clear that everything depended on this final time leap. The final scene or two was cathartic; I really had no idea exactly how things would work out for Okarin. It might have been anything from a tragic, unrequited love to a cheap-shot unsatisfying fix. Instead, what we got made some sense and left me feeling good. Generally, series going for two seasons usually fill me with trepidation since they seldom deserve the extra time. But Steins;Gate was a classy show with an intriguing story which made good use of its time. If only more anime series could do so.
There is also an episode 25 omake segment in which Okarin and the others pay a visit to California. This was amusing (especially the way Okarin tries to explain himself to the airport security people), but the attempt to rekindle the romance didn't seem to amount to much, and it ended without anything significant being resolved.
My favorite line: "It (Dr. Pepper) is the intellectual beverage made for the chosen ones" --Okarin
P.S: 'Stein's Gate' seems to be a fictional principle of physics which governs time travel.
Last updated Wednesday, March 07 2012. Created Thursday, April 07 2011.
|Official Steins;Gate Web Site (Japanese)||http://steinsgate.tv/index.html|