This is one of those spoilery episodes. Spoilers I will be talking about below, so if you haven’t seen this episode yet it’s probably wise to just close this window and watch the episode. This line is to make sure that those spoilers don’t show up in blog aggregators.
I’m of course not talking about the identity of Suzuha’s father: Daru. I think it really was clear with the name of the time machine: if Okabe was really Suzuha’s father, then it’d have a really fancy and screwed up name, and yet her father just had to be an important character. I still think that Daru’s voice actor was a bit of a mis-cast. There was this one line where he tried to act cool, but instead sounded more like he does usually. Overall he just sounds strange, in a way that he’s forcing a different voice from his usual range a bit too much.
In any case though, what really struck me about this episode was Suzuha’s death, and how she failed to change the future for more than one percent. Throughout the entire scope of Steins;Gate, the concept of travelling to the future has never been hinted as plausible, and this episode really confirmed that it’s a one-way ticket. On top of that she also gave really strong background to the landlord.
I’m also fascinated at the complication that this has for the future. Especially since this episode was purposefully really vague on what else has changed: what happened to Makise Kurisu? What happened to the IBM5100? I mean: what was the reason why Mayuri’s death was evaded? I see three possibilities:
1. John Titor II never existed and he never gave Okabe the inspiration to experiment with time travel.
2. The message that Okabe received from himself scared him really badly and made him decide to abandon the time machine research.
3. Makise Kurisu never got involved and therefore the time machine is currently different.
I really suspect that a lot here is connected to each other. Suzuha travelled back in time, pretending to be John Titor probably was the cause that Makise Kurisu became a lab member. Interestingly, what would have happened if Okabe never went back in time to where Makise Kurisu was alive, back in that first episode? That also would have been a big setback for CERN. It’s also interesting how the time machine really seems like something that Daru would have built: one that focuses on sending stuff back to the past. It was Makise Kurisu’s influence who suggested sending thoughts back in the past, which so far turned out to be by far the most convenient time machine. I also suspect that that’s the reason why CERN was so easily able to take over the world.
Rating: ** (Excellent)