|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(14 episodes watched):|
I quickly became confused regarding what was going on during episode one. This can't be the same timeline as was underway at the end of the original series, can it? Because that story had basically come to a happy ending whereas here trouble is brewing. Sure enough, this is some alternate reality. It would have helped if I remembered better exactly how the first series had concluded and who's who among the large cast. If I understood correctly, events in episode one are moving inexorably towards WWIII, which will happen unless something is changed. Also, the female scientist protagonist Kurisu is dead somehow (and was she really just 17 in the original series?). Actually, it's looking like she's not quite dead, because an amazing AI program, 'Amadeus' (which is billed as 'Artificial Intelligence with a heart') has been created, and it looks like it will have her personality. So, I wish episode one had made it more clear exactly what's going on here, perhaps by providing a brief but concise summary of what has and hasn't happened. When there can be all sorts of alternate versions of reality in parallel timelines, it's important that it be made clear exactly where things stand. So, while I was eager for this sequel to a favorite series of mine, I went into it with some trepidation that I might never fully understand what was going on.
Fortunately episode two went well. It looked like the assumptions I had made were largely correct and I didn't have much trouble getting into the story. The progression of events made sense and was believable, which helps when dealing with a topic like time travel. Basically, this show was looking to be of similar quality to the original series, which was just what I wanted. What was unclear, even after three episodes, was what sort of short term problem was brewing--would Okabe fall in love with Amadeus or something like that? What sort of scheme is one of the girls planning? She mentioned needing to take Okabe to the gate, or something like that.
I wish I had taken note of exactly who the girl who has been missing for twelve years after engaging in some time travel was, in particular if she was related to Kurisu, because her spitting image turns up in episode five. Curiously, this girl has amnesia while Amadeus has all of Kurisu's memories--that doesn't sound like a coincidence.
Eventually, Okarin finds himself in the same damned-if-he-does-and-damned-if-he-doesn't situation as he did in the original series: There's a timeline where Mayuri lives and Kurisu dies, or vice-versa, but there doesn't seem to be one in which both survive. He and his friends will have to figure out a novel solution. I still feel that this sequel is more confusing than the original. Which events from the original series have also happened in these alternate timelines, and which haven't? You don't know exactly where you stand. I can succinctly summarize the plot of the original series: they stumble across a time machine (of sorts), use it carelessly, then must race to undo the harm they have done. Here things seem far more complicated and confusing. They are basically in an alternate version of the 'undo' phase, but exactly what they must accomplish hasn't been made clear. People appear and disappear; mysterious organizations attack the cast then vanish. If I am supposed to be keeping track of all this and divining some pattern from it, I have failed. Still, it's a fun show with intriguing ideas and colorful characters which I will definitely be watching to the end. I just wish the main plot had the same sort of discipline as that of the original series did.
In episode 11 it almost seems that the show is coming to an abrupt end without a clear resolution--as if Okarin will be satisfied with the modest improvement in his mood that has come about as a result of rediscovering his friends (and making a couple new ones). But no, there's at least one more episode to come, and probably a second season.
My favorite line (so far): 'We call it a lab, but it's basically a place where we just screw around' --Okabe
Last updated Friday, August 10 2018. Created Sunday, April 22 2018.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://steinsgate0-anime.com/|