Posted by psgels on 7 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Okay, so my post about Stein’s Gate 09 was a complete disaster. I had problems with the episode but blamed them on something completely stupid and irrelevant. I still hold that Daru needs to shut up, though, but more on that below.

First of all I want to say that before watching this episode, I got intrigued by a message of PL on the shoutbox, where he (she?) claimed that “Suspension of belief cracked”. With that, I assume that that referred to the scene in which Okarin assaulted Rukako. And yeah… that was out of place. If everything around Okabe changed, wouldn’t it at least have crossed his mind that the thing they tried to change in the first place? I mean, it’s a ridiculous scenario, but when the entire area I lived in changed dramatically, I’d at least consider buying flying pigs.

In a way, the more realistic a show is, the more these small inconsistencies tend to stand out. That’s what makes these kinds of series tricky to do, but that does make them really interesting. This episode may indeed not have been the best of the series so far, but I still really liked the turns that the plot took in the end.

In any case, let me try to actually explain exactly what has been bugging me about this series. It’s got nothing to do with plotholes or cliches that may or may not be there; that kind of suspense of disbelief is just the effect it has. Instead this is about storytelling versus characters. Steins;Gate is brilliantly told. It’s a pity that it chose the same season to air in as Hyouge Mono so that it can’t exactly boast the best dialogue of the season, but the camera work, pacing and atmosphere: I’ve said plenty of times that they’re amazing.

When looking at the characters though, I’m missing something. I keep praising other shows this season for adding to their cast, and giving their characters more depth by developing them, but I can’t really do that with this series. In fact, this episode finally took an in-depth look at one of the characters: SuzUha. With this episode her character finally changed, or at least our perception of this. In the meantime: all we know about Okabe is that he once got sick in the past. Mayuri meanwhile has a sad past that caused her to remain with Okabe, Daru meanwhile is a typical Otaku and it feels like all Christina has been doing is either be quiet or act tsundere.

Instead this show has been fleshing out its characters, and that’s another thing that it can be really good at. As much as I dislike Daru, I really like how he in this episode went out to a meeting of various members of a forum. The times that the characters spend shopping and doing the laundry are also quite cute. But at the same time they feel repetitive. Especially Okarin, Daru and Christina are guilty of this. Okabe’s monologues were once fresh, but after ten episodes they sound too much like each other. Daru was better in this episode, but generally he feels very repetitive whenever he’s not involved in the plot (I also realized that he’s voiced by Tomokazu Seki, and oh my god: he’s really forcing his voice here, making the acting of this guy just bad).

In short: too many characters are just repeating themselves too much. They mostly tend to shine whenever the plot is involved, but that’s because the plot is so incredibly good, not because the characters themselves are enjoyable to watch (or not as much as I’d like anyway).

The big question is of course: is this intentional? With 24 episodes, this could just be a form of build-up. The characters right now are slightly annoying because the creators are building them up, to give them some good depth in the second half. This has been done quite a few times, but there also have been plenty of shows who didn’t. The repetition in the banter right now however is something that’s irking me.

And why did I get a deja vu when I just wrote that?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

22 Responses

  1. Dude says:

    Has Okabe really sacrificed his special moment with Makise to ‘save’ Suzuha? On the phone Makise looked pretty pissed instead of having this almost kiss-scene. Poor guy as only he remembers :/

  2. Rex says:

    @Dude
    I guess that will be a plot point later on, okabe might think he advanced with makise, but she thinks the opposite.

    @psgels
    So what about then plot points this episode? The ending revealed some pretty damn big revelations.

  3. Frost says:

    I really enjoy the characters interacting with each other, and I find Makise cute to begin with, so I approve of the little romance

    Anyway, I said it here first: John Titor is the son of the part time girl sometime in the future

  4. Wolf says:

    @ Frost
    It’s obvious that she and John are somehow linked, but I read an interesting theory on another page: DARU AND THE PART-TIME GIRL WERE GOING TO ATTEND THE SAME FORUM CLUB MEETING, AND THAT DARU IS THE FATHER WHO DID NOT SHOW UP AT THAT MEETING. DARU BECOMES HER FATHER IN THE FUTURE. Anyway, that was the guy’s theory. And… it actually makes sense.

  5. gecd says:

    no
    not deja vu
    that is reading steiner

  6. @wolf just wait as the story goes on. . . Im glad this show is 24 episodes, the plot points are awesome especially when you know whats actually going on

    but Daru being John Titor has actually been hinted at in the Anime…once the story goes on, you’ll probably remember it.

  7. m says:

    I think Makise Kurisu is the only character in Steins;Gate that I would willingly socialize with if they were all real people. However, even in a series where the characters appear to be either mentally ill or hammered out of bad archetypes, you need to develop a sense of normalcy before you can lose it, and that means spending some quality time with the main cast. Quite possibly this entails recognizing that you might not align perfectly with the target demographic of the VN (or the anime as it were), and so there may be some dissonance between the characters and the sort of characters you generally like. So long as you are able to look beyond this to experience the story from their perspective, Steins;Gate is pretty entertaining. All I had to do to enjoy the dramatic significance of events was to empathize with them.

  8. tanukichan says:

    “In a way, the more realistic a show is, the more these small inconsistencies tend to stand out.”

    Agreed. While I have no problems with the Rukako assaulting scenes, I find it unrealistic that they didn’t use their phones to light up their way when the light went out. I don’t know about everyone else, but Okabe always has his phone by his side.

  9. AKI says:

    Who the hell is watching Okabe? I got petrified there for a second…Red jello sure can be frightening!

  10. AidanAK47 says:

    Hehehehe….oh Psgels
    Internet discussion 101:
    Whenever someone has been proven wrong in their argument they will either
    a) Attempt to salvage their point by moving it in a different direction
    Or
    b) Find other faults to focus on to try to save face.
    Here you are doing both. That quip at Daru’s voice actor was a cheap shot and you know it.

    Anyway considering this is a mystery series you can expect characters to get in-depth coverage from the get go. However we have received hints. Christina for example has given hints of having either an overbearing father or problems with abuse. When Okabe jokingly started intimating shouting at her instead of shouting back like normal she became terrified. The girl has got some daddy issues, of that I am sure.
    Suzuha obviously came for either the future or a different world line that had some sort of dictatorship. At the first mention of brainwashing she overacted and started looking for signs of it.
    Feiris probably is the typical “Family works all the time and cannot spend any time together” or possibly her father was previously dead which lead the business to fall into her hands. So she sent a message to save her father. In turn prevented the business from falling into her hands and never turned Akihabara into Moe paradise.
    You have to look out for the little things…

  11. AidanAK47 says:

    *intimidating shouting

  12. UnknownVoice says:

    Calling it: Daru is Part-time-girl’s father.

    Its obvious that she is from future so her father must be young yet and not know about her. They almost went to same time-travel forum meeting. and so on

    One thing that interests me is that it seems that not only we now have TWO John Titors(japanese and american), we now have THREE titors total(2 johns and one barrel).

  13. UnknownVoice says:

    Also anyone noticed that in the scene in the night where Okabe is searching for the girl, the satelite is missing on that building?

  14. Rex says:

    @UnknownVoice
    I was thinking about that too, my guess is that its the part-timers timemachine.
    Think about it, when makise was killed, the timemachine hit hte building, part-timer killed her. She KNEW that makise was holding a lecture there.
    Someone travelled through time, so the worldlines changed (only okabe knows), “erasing” John Titor so he did NOT appear in 2000, making it so that makise was NOT having a lecture. She was in the building, but okabe meeting her, then being in shock that she is alive, might have kept part-timer away so she couldnt go in for the kill.
    Makise might be responsible for something in the future, that part-timer thinks is so bad she travelled back in time to kill her. But now she might have realized that the worldlines changed into something that possible might not have makise do something horrible in the future.

    Thats just my theory.

  15. AKI says:

    @Rex, you know what, that sounds entirely plausible. I was really thinking why is there a need to kill Kurisu in the first place? Was that random? Or was there an intent to kill? Now that you mentioned it, only Suzuha has that close-to-intention thing to murder Kurisu. Oh man, the mystery and all that is very intriguing. I’m liking this show more and more. By the way psgels, do we have confirmation that this is slotted for 24 episodes? Wikipedia says it is, but others I saw only 12.

  16. Rex says:

    Whoops, i can see now i forgot to write what my original intention was about my previous post.

    >timemachine crashed into building
    >suzuha tries to kill makise
    >suzuha tries to find her father
    >fails and says goodbye
    >timemachine is gone.

    also, she stares at it all the time. and besides, why havent anyone bothered to remove it, or check out to see what it is?

  17. Wolf says:

    I just rewatched episodes 1-4. I’m pretty sure that the voice of John Titor is being supplied by the same man providing the voice of Daru.

  18. LMekko says:

    AKI, according to http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-03-26/steins-gate-anime-final-bd/dvd-to-include-special there’s going to be 24 eps and a special on the last blu-ray disc.

    Also, anyone know about the book Makise hit Okabe with? Paused during that and it was titled Der glücklichste Gedank meines Lebens by Hans Schmidt. Some googling turned up that Gedank meines Lebens translates to “happiest time of my life” or some such, but that was about it. Ok, and lots of German pages but I don’t speak that :p

  19. tomphile says:

    If Daru turns out to be John Titor, my whole world would be flipped. But thinking on that more, it isn’t so far-fetched. Daru is smart, no doubt about that, plus, he was at the same Time Machine gathering that Suzuha’s father, Barrel Titor, was supposedly at. This gives them a connection and if current trends are anything to go by, you shouldn’t leave out unlikely links like that one.

  20. meow says:

    If Daru turns out to be John Titor

    I strongly doubt if Daru could be the actual John Titor that was conversing via SMS with Okabe. It makes more sense for him to be just using the handle “Barrel Titor” in the internet forum, in reference to his body. He had the IBM in his hands but wasn’t particularly excited about it and only used it to crack those encrypted SERN mails. Big question mark about Suzuha and why she ran away pre-D-mail. She obviously partied with Daru post-D-mail so if he is her father, why didn’t she recognize him? Was he supposed to do something at the meeting? What’s with the pin? Well, Daru and Suzuha have the same hair colour anyway.

    Btw, I’m seriously impressed that Daru is performed by Tomokazu Seki. I’m alot more familiar with his FMP, Seed, Nodame roles and I totally didn’t recognize his voice at all.

  21. Rex says:

    Remember, the real John Titor that turned up in 2000 was american.

    Somehow, when suzuha travelled back in time (when the satelite crashed and okabe saw makise being killed), the original john titor was erased and replaced by someone else, suzuha using john titors name.
    Which again is why makise was suddenly alive when the worldlines changed, since the original john titor didnt exist, she wasnt holding a lecture etc. etc.

    Anyway, i think its important to keep the real john titor in mind as im sure he will play a role later.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 12:52 AM)
    Well in the case of Samuel Jackson playing nick fury, I never truly gave a crap about the comic book character. But I have never taken Jackson seriously as the head of shield. It hard to see him as a dependable leader.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 11:29 PM)
    Synecdoche, New York:
    What a great film. Charlie Kauffman’s directorial debut is a post-modern surreàl piece about fear of death and mortality. There are few editing and pacing issues which a more experienced director could’ve ironed out, and the very nature of the movie begs to be called pretentious and boring by shallow viewers. Yet this is still an honest and meticulous piece of artistic filmmaking which shouldn’t be missed by those who enjoy the craft.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:56 PM)
    I did think some of the outburst though in death parade 04 were verging too far on the melodrama though.
    Still like Garo this week, still a very watchable episode.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:35 PM)
    Come to think of it In kingsman they changed the villain to be black also. Of course all this I consider pretty minor. Moreso I’m tired of seeing Samuel L Jackson playing himself in everything.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:28 PM)
    But in the case of the Marvel stuff, with Nick Fury and Human torch, I know its a crap complaint but for me its a case of “He doesn’t look close enough to the comic”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:16 PM)
    @Aidan: They think they are promoting diversity but all it ends up being is completely tokenistic to the core.
    The fantastic 4 have always struck me as characters that were too difficult to get right/write.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:08 PM)
    Sort of like how skyfall made moneypenny black for that “OOHHH SNAP!” moment. Disregarding the point of moneypenny and not to mention making her a character who was so incompetent a secret agent that she was demoted to Secretary.Or like how they made Annie black. Just why exactly?
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:06 PM)
    So the new fantastic four is going to have a black human torch. So…why is he black? I mean I don’t really care as long as the character is portrayed well but this feels like the only reason they made him black was just cause.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 09:51 PM)
    Death parade episode 4 then, I appreciated that it wasn’t as “sweet” as last week, the middle aged woman’s backstory was a highlight moreso than the guy who appeared this episode and her reaction later on was great to see. Like what Decim was up to this week but I wasn’t really feeling the tension in this episodes game as much as I should have.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 09:47 PM)
    What on earth was up with Garo this week, heh, monster of the week healing German, still at least the ending to that episode definitely catches my attention with its last scene and it was a step up from the goofiness last week.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Death Parade – 04

Now this is more like it. An arcade game between two strangers with dark pasts. Excellent. But both did have a similar problem. That being they are both people who couldn’t see past themselves. It’s nice to see people react differently to the game. Here we have the two of them mistaking it for a […]

Durarara!!X2 – 03

If its one thing you to can credit Narita for it that just when you think he cannot possibly make a stranger character, he then does. So the monster that Shizu smashed into the air in the last moment gets their story told and I am sure there are not many who would have guessed […]

Death Parade – 03

Well this isn’t quite what I expected. This episode was a much more lighthearted fare with it being about love. It was better than the last episode but still not to the level I expected from this series. The game this time barely factored into the story at all. The twist on it was that […]

Durarara!!X2 – 02

If this episode had a focus then the stars would be Celty and the Orihara sisters. Though there were other events such as Anri and Mikado going to karaoke with Erika and Walker but it wasn’t really all the important and seemed to be there to foreshadow a new character and set up what looks […]

Death Parade – 02

Well this isn’t the best start. I must admit to being disappointed in this weeks Death Parade. Mainly because it was essentially a recap of the first episode. This episode was from the perspective of two characters who were watching the events of the first episode. With a white haired ponytail girl introducing another to […]

Some Really Quick First Impressions: The Leftovers

Sorry for leaving these out but they are not really worthy of a full impression. So I am just tossing down my two cents here. Seiken Tsukai no World Break – Hoo boy…maybe I spoke too soon about Juuou Mujin no Fafnir being worse than Absolute Duo. Because beside this trash heap it’s at least […]

Some Quick First Impressions: The Rolling Girls, Yoru no Yatterman and Sengoku Musou

The Rolling Girls Short Synopsis: What did I just watch? I am just going to break it to you. I have no idea what to think of this show. This is a work by the same studio who animated Attack on titan. It is an anime original show (meaning it is not based on anything) […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Durarara!!X2, Soukyuu no Fafner Dead Aggressor – Exodus and Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Durarara!!X2 Short Synopsis: People are strange, when you’re a stranger. It felt like a lot happened, but nothing really changed. That is the first season of Durarara summarized perfectly. The show itself even seems to revel in this. That said the main enjoyment of Durarara is seeing the cast of wacky characters interact with each […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Kantai Collection, The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls and Tokyo Ghoul √A

Kantai Collection Short Synopsis: Our protagonist sucks at playing battleship This is an anime based on the popular browser game of the same name. I haven’t played it but from what I hear it has ship daughters and some form of strategy. So I went into this blind, not knowing what I would get. That […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]