Posted by psgels on 1 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



This episode was wonderfully atmospheric and paced. I really liked the parts about time travel that go more and more in-depth. There were some things that bugged me about this episode, and it was more than just inaccurate fansubs.

Steins;Gate is a harem, but beyond that it doesn’t suffer from any badly used tropes or one-dimensional characters. Mostly. After nine episodes, there is one harem cliche that gets more and more on my nerves: the best friend, and the lengths that the writers go through in order to make this guy an unlikable asshole, or in other words: someone who has no chance of stealing away all of the females from the main character. Harem cliches on their own aren’t bad, but it really gets to me when creators are sacrificing their characters, just to adhere to these cliches. Daru is a cliche for the sake of a cliche.

My second problem is with the ending of this show, because I couldn’t relate to it in the slightest. Tora no Ana shops (I suspect that those are doujinshi shops) are gone from Akiba. Okay. So what? Are we supposed to feel sad about that? That entire part, including that cat-girl whose name I’ve forgotten at the moment were completely ridiculous in this episode.

Nevertheless, this episode juggled around the butterfly effect brilliantly. Shining Finger also was great: first to have her run off with the IBM 5100, only to take it away from her again through another D-Mail. I also really liked Mayuri’s subtle developments. That really was a hint that the creators are planning to use her for something interesting.
Rating: * (Good)

23 Responses

  1. UnknownVoice says:

    The episode requires knowledge.

    Tora No Ana is THE biggest comic-book/doujinshi seller in Japan with focus on akibahara.(they are as recognizable names as, let’s say, Dark Horse or Barnes and Nobles in USA)

    In 2000, when the computer industry was plummeting, bankrupting computer stores would sell their places for new businessmen who would focus on otaku subculture and whole moe stuff. Basically in 2000, Akibahara stopped being “electronics town” and became otaku-mekka we know it as now.

    Tora no Ana is one of the MAJOR things in Akibahara. It being gone, as well as ALL THE MAJOR SHOPS and otaku-related stuff(as Okabe noticed looking around) being gone (Akibahara generally has thousands of huge wall sized posters with anime chicks and stuff on the buildings and various anime themed places).

    Not much is needed, just compare the landscapes and backgrounds in previous episodes and this episode to that of the ending where Okabe looks around. :)

    Basically “Akibahara” no longer exists. Akiba is simple Japanese town with somewhat successful electronics industry that has nothing to do with otaku subculture.

    Thus it continues the whole alienation thing- with every timejump, okabe sort of grows further apart from everyone else(notice how he asks “you still want it” to mayuri about metal oopa and mayuri is confused – to Okabe its something Mayuri already has and something he knows, to mayuri its a fresh and still ongoing obsession).

    Okabe towards them and they towards okabe – with each jump, they feel like even more different people. They have same faces, but they have entirely different experiences that get even more different with each jump. ANd its just the same with them looking at Okabe(as Mayuri says, “he is getting further away from me” because of those experiments)

  2. Rimah says:

    The point of this episode was to show the effects of time travel and i think this was done very well. They could have used any other building or shop, but this way they got a little story for a “cliche”-character.

    Okabe trusted his friend to send a message, that they didnt know the content of (all the previous mails were discussed with the other labmembers) and it changed the course of a whole ward.

    When they were walking home, he then notices all the “new” shops and wonders what changes his own mails caused, maybe not in his immediate surroundings.

    As to why did the moe-Akiba-shops vanish? Feirys mentioned, that she asked for the moe-boom (i assume because she was lonely) and with the mail she made her father/parents not leave her -> no need for the moe-boom.

  3. anotaku says:

    can’t wait for the next episode

  4. jmsm says:

    I agree with both of you… Even i, who don’t knew Tora no Ana, noticed the big difference that just one D-mail did. That final scene was very good… Most of the time i agree with you Psgels, but this time i think you missed the goal of this episode… Keep the good work anyway!

  5. AidanAK47 says:

    Here’s a bit of info Psgels.
    Almost every single Visual novel in existence contains a harem. Fate/stay night, Clannad, Sharin no kuni, Kira kira, etc. Even Higurashi. The goal in most Visual novels is to get the route of one of these girls. You can’t really see a visual novel adaptation without it coming with a harem. So clichés are unavoidable.

    Of course that does not mean that these Visual novels follow the same pattern as typical harem anime. The more serious ones just use the harem as a method of seeing the story from a different angle.
    However Chaos head and Steins gate are Linear I think…or at least Chaos head was…

  6. troy says:

    Akibahara is a freakin center of the whole otaku culture in Japan. Its as if you were walking aroud Holly Wood and sudenly it was full of cake shops and there were not a single movie related building site. You don’t have to be in to movies to understend the impact it must have had. Think Okabe,probably lived there his whole live, and in essence the whole city he lived in vanished replaced by something completely difrent.

  7. Ransom says:

    Akiba stopped being Akiba. How can you not realize the big cosmological consecuences of such a thing!!? XDDDD

    Anyway, a few things to consider:
    1. Cat-girl was basically the founder of Akiba as an otaku-culture hub.
    2. Cat-girl has some issue about her past and my guest is that it most likely involves her dad.
    3. Cat-girl definitely changed something important since Akiba never came to be.

    I’m enjoying this show more and more, can’t wait for next week

  8. Tsao says:

    I actually enjoyed this episode :o I took the thing with the akiba to be okabe’s realization that they’re changing people’s lives and the track of what originally happened by just sending a simple message. it shows his alienation to the society as well as him finally realizing the weight of what he’s doing and how he can be disrupting the lives of others because of his own wishes

  9. totoum says:

    Whoa psgels,I’m surprised.

    ” Tora no Ana shops (I suspect that those are doujinshi shops) are gone from Akiba. Okay. So what? Are we supposed to feel sad about that?”

    I’ll use some clichés but I want to get the point across

    Manga shops define Akiba,Imagine waking up tomorow and discovering that the red lights district in Amsterdam is now a family residential district with nothing sex related there?And when you ask what happened you’re told it’s always been this way.
    Now you might not have hanged out there so it wouldn’t change your life but still wouldn’t you freak out and wonder what the hell is going on?
    I live in Paris,if I wake up tomorow and see that the champs élysée is just a normal residential avenue instead of an avenue with some of the biggest shops in town I’d definatly freak out

  10. UnknownVoice says:

    @totoum

    Or even better examples:

    Waking up in paris only to see that there is no Eiffel tower.

    Waking up in the New York to find out that not only the World trade center buildings are still standing, but that there are THREE of them.

    Or even more personal example:
    Waking up to find out that your blog is no longer about anime, but instead about cooking recipes…

    Generally speaking, Okabe lost his entire hometown, which was replaced by something that looks similar but is entirely different from what he remembers.

  11. Denozin says:

    You’re not supposed to care that Tora no Ana disappeared, you’re supposed to think “holy shit, they just completely changed the history of a town”. The point of that scene was to show how, due to Okarin messing with the past, an irreversible change has happened in the form of Akihabara, as we know it, disappearing. You’re looking at the scene from the wrong perspective, or maybe you didn’t realize that Akihabara itself was completely changed.

    Also, it should be obvious to you by now that no character in this series is as they seem, and they will all go through something through the course of the series. I didn’t play the game so I don’t know the story, but that’s pretty fucking clear at this point. This includes Daru, he isn’t just there for shits and giggles and to show how Okarin gets hoes. That said, it’s hilarious that you call this a harem when there has been almost no romantic tension between any of the characters besides Okarin, Mayushii, and maybe Kurisu.

    This post just makes it sound like you’re trying to find something to criticize. You can say Daru is annoying with his otaku-ness(which I find hilarious) but don’t go say the creators are falling into tropes just because Daru is an otaku, when that isn’t true.

  12. garfield15 says:

    I would like to add also that S;G isn’t a harem. Yes, there are a lot of girls, but I should note that only two of them are actually romantically interested in him.

  13. Scruffy says:

    @garfield15 Are you counting the one that is actually a boy in that count?

  14. kazid33 says:

    Well whit a lots of arguments, this was a very nice chapter. I dont know why you miss the charm of this chapter. Whenever I love the most, the last scene The Okarin face of that scene had not price. See your entire town change its no laught matter.

  15. sadakups says:

    I’m not a fan of Daru as well, although it’s really ironic that I look like him IRL, and I’m also into computers like him.

    Basically everybody who has posted so far have explained it. The gist of the episode is that the change was major this time rather than the previous ones that were rather small in effect.

  16. anonymous says:

    Steins gate isn’t a harem anime.

    – Kyouma is filled with faults, distasteful to the average female, and ten times more interesting than any other harem lead could possibly be.
    – There is very little fanservice. I challenge you to name me a true harem anime with less.
    – There is no wish fulfillment. You will empathize with him, but there will be a point where you will realize that no sane person would ever want to be in Okabe’s shoes.
    – As said before, at most only 3 out of 5 heroines will ever be romantically interested him in the anime. And it will happen no more than two at a time.
    – There is no “harem end” in the VN, and the anime won’t be one. All of the ends have you choose one girl and forsaking the others to even somewhat cruel fates.
    – S;G is first and foremost a science-fiction story. Romance develops as a subplot. There is only one kiss. Okabe will never ask “Will you go out with me?”
    – I understand that harems often have a male support role who gets none because of some defect in his head, or out of some unreasonably bro-like consideration for the protagonist. What I don’t understand is how you think Daru fits this role.
    1. He’s not romantically interested in anyone or wallowing in asinine self-pity.
    2. He’s not a true bro, has his own interests (when he blabs the time machine), and occasionally looks DOWN on Kyouma.
    3. SPOILER: He gets some.

    I’m only typing this out, because I’ve read your other reviews and was shocked that you’d somehow completely fallen off the rails and are housing this deep misconception about S;G.

    “X chromosomes > Y” does not mean it’s a harem.

  17. AKI says:

    I love Kyouma’s face at the end. Started out pretty laid back but gotten pretty interesting at the end. Now I’m wishing the next episode will air soon. Damn, can’t wait!

  18. Suzushina Yuriko says:

    Like others have said, I do think that you have something terribly wrong with your line of thinking here.

    That’s probably your biggest fault. From time to time, there just seems to be a gap in understanding in some of your posts, where you have some huge misconceptions on the stories. We’re not supposed to feel sorry that Tora no Ana disappeared – we’re supposed to feel shocked that an entire city’s history completely changed due to one text message. Daru is not an asshole and is certainly not there to try and “steal” females away from the main character. In fact, where did you get the idea that this was a harem in the first place? Just because it was adapted from a visual novel does NOT mean it is a harem. In fact, romance hasn’t even been present in the series yet, so why are you so insistent on calling it a harem anime?

    I think you need to go back and rewatch the episodes.

  19. saed says:

    You may have blasfeemed… blasphemed…
    well…
    Blass somthing or other.
    Later.

  20. gecd says:

    “without love it cant be seen”
    and it’s clear now that you do not love S;G

  21. MM says:

    Wow you’re stupid if you think this is a harem. Like, really..

  22. saed says:

    Im stupid cause I want it to be a harum… hair-em…

    Screw it.

    Mayu x Criss

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  • Friend
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:48 PM)
    Is anyone going to review the YuruYuri OVA?
  • Zo
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:40 PM)
    Man all your writers are lazy as horseshit. This blog sucks.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 03:44 PM)
    @Emma, Can’t. Ninja said he wanted to review it.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Or as we Persians call it “Yalda’s Night”.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Happy winter solstice y’all!
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:47 AM)
    Though Aidan this is your chance to throw up a full review as a blog post that isn’t for an ongoing series.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:37 AM)
    Wait, ha I’ve figured it out, most of his work I couldn’t give a toss enough to get immersed in the plots either. Though yes I got immersed in Saya, which really goes to show that if a story is good enough to me I should be able to be fairer and not be too hard on the characterization.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:32 AM)
    Even though his works alienate me with their poor characterization, still still I was able to not care about that issue in Kikokugai and Saya no uta.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:24 AM)
    I forgot to say also a few pages back it needed more action scenes also. I could honestly see myself getting distracted from the thinness of it if there were more.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:24 AM)
    I wasn’t tying Gargania and Aldnoah. Hell Gargania was a step in the right direction for characters. Problem was that Gen only gave an outline. It Gen can’t write characters then he should leave them to other people and just handle story structure and the plot. It worked pretty damn well for Fate/zero.

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