Posted by psgels on 9 August 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Holy crap! Talk about being completely different from the previous episodes! While those episodes were tragic and bitter-sweet, this one was just completely brutal. The writing in this was just brilliant, as things slowly became clear about what was going on with Moeka, and how any of Okabe’s attempts to change that were futile.

What’s bizarre is also the strange message that she sent. Because she sent a message to herself to buy a new phone, she received the message from a mysterious FB (who seems to be the mastermind behind everything) with the message of where the IBM 5100 was… and yet she just put it in a safe and didn’t hand it over to her subordinates. What’s going on here?

Right now this might be a bit premature to say this, but at this point Steins;Gate has pretty much the best plot of the year for me. Of course, the series hasn’t ended yet, and that FB could very well turn into a generic villain after her revelation, or a very forced alias for a main character (Visual novel readers: please don’t spoil anymore than you’ve already done), but the way the plot is weaved together, the plot twists are delivered, and how this series changes with every passing episode, there isn’t really any other plot to match up to it. Even Madoka Magica, Hyouge Mono and Tiger & Bunny are inferior to it with their storylines.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

42 Responses

  1. Avatar Jsl273 says:

    It gets better…

  2. Avatar Scruffy says:

    This show has been keeping me on the edge of my seat! Absolutely awesome. Whoever FB is they’re a real bastard using people like this!

    In reference to the D-mail I don’t think she sent the one about changing the phone, but instead at the last minute changed it to being about the location of the IBN5100.

  3. Avatar Rex says:

    Uh, she lied about the phone bit, it was her who sent the d-mail of the ibm’s location. thats how i understood it, which makes more sense.

    And i guess she should just take the ibm away from okarin, she didnt need to hand it over to FB.

  4. Avatar Elestia says:

    Well going by the subs, Okabe said Moeka sent two messages within the D-Mail.

    Also, I’m speculating why she didn’t hand over the IBN 5100 was because she was waiting for FB to contact her again before she handed it over.

  5. Avatar Frost says:

    Huh yeah, some people said something about a certain known character being Moekas boss… Now Im wondering if its that “FB”

    Anyway, I loved Moeka here, she was so… wild
    I think it was this powerful because youre using to her barely talking and just being a complete introvert, and then she suddenly goes nuts

  6. Avatar gecd says:

    from now on till final episode this series will keep better
    S;G still hide its hidden cards

  7. Avatar AKI says:

    I agree, I spoiled myself by playing the game since I can’t get enough of it. Steins;Gate is still keeping the Kings and the Aces. FB is, well, you’ll be surprised. Best plot of the year, hands down, belongs to Steins;Gate. Hope Robotics;Notes will be this awesome, or, better.

  8. Avatar jzar says:

    Now I’ve gotta go back to episode one, so much I just didn’t get then. I have to admit I’m really liking the show. It has really created a great plot line.

  9. Avatar CJay says:

    My favorite part about this episode is how realistic it was. I feel that in other media the main character wouldn’t resort to that kind of brutality to get the phone but it was carried out here perfectly and realistically here.

  10. The plot induced stupidity of the whole moeka putting the ibn in her locker thing gets surpassed by the reveal that I hope doesn’t come…

    Other than that the plot is pretty good, but as you look back at the characters a bit closely, youll realize that everyone (especially Okabe) made some really STUPID(to the point of being unrealistic) “wtf retard” worthy decisions.

    even so I still like the show, I am more interested in how the anime is going to adapt the various things to happen in the “future” . . .hell maybe they will patch over some of the “Wtf retard” worthy moments with some of the good storytelling they have been doing

  11. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    While I agree on the plot of Steins;Gate being awesome (though I wouldn’t call it the best of the year), it’s another anime doomed by being conceived an anime (I know it’s based on a visual novel, I’m not a complete moron, but I am watching the anime). The characters are annoying to no end. Seriously, an underage genius physicist who’ll hang out with a bunch of losers, who happened to get caught into a time travel conspiracy? And although to some extent it got fixed during the second part of the series, what’s with everyone’s acting, couldn’t it be just a bit more realistic (Kurisu being the main culprit).
    Again, it is worth watching for the plot, but I couldn’t recommend it to any of my friends. Such a shame to see it wasted…

  12. Avatar umm... says:

    Although the characterization may seem hollow, that doesn’t make it a bad show. In fact, all of the characters were most likely intended to seem vapid and uninteresting until now. The beginning of the show was about Houin, who was too self absorbed to feel empathy towards others. As he learns how to live for others he is discovering an entirely new side to people, beyond the titles and roles he had assigned them in the past. This form characterization relies on an intricate plot to be effective. If it were any other show, it would have caused it to flop. Steins Gate, however, is unique and is (presently) executing it almost perfectly.

    My guess is that FB is Okarin from the future… :O

  13. Avatar Spike says:

    You seem to dislike anime Perrin. If you want realism go watch CNN. Seriously people’s gripes with shows get more rediculous every season. Hating is the cool thing to do now apparently. This show has a bit of that same Bombasticness that other widespread appeal shows like Code Geass and Gurren Lagaan had. This show has the same popularity potential (it was already snatched up by Funimation before it even finished) so it’s your friends loss since you can’t get over yourself :\

    This VN told a great story and this anime has so far been a fantastic adaptation. Moeka’s screams for her phone actually startled my dog lol xD

  14. Avatar umm... says:

    Yeah I was going to say that Perrin was probably being cynical for the sake of being cynical because he probably thinks that being against the “popular opinion” makes him smart, however all of his arguments are actually rehashed reviews from this very site and that his comment in reality has no real content whatsoever, but I didn’t want to seem confrontational.

    Well said, Spike, though.

  15. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    @Spike: You don’t seem to get what I dislike. I definitely don’t hate anime, and it’s not realism I am after.
    First of all, since when was popularity a way to measure anything? Why do you bring up shows like Code Geass? It doesn’t help you make your point.
    You know, I don’t care about teenagers in anime. I don’t. My favorite show this season is Penguin Drum, all its main cast are teenagers. But the thing is, they act like teenagers, they aren’t geniuses who can fix time machines they can’t even understand the concepts they are based on… In short, in Penguin Drum, they fit perfectly.
    The same I could say about Madoka Magica. They were teenagers, and they fit in their story perfectly. They acted like I’d expect teenagers to act (mostly), I came to care for them.
    I could give you a list of anime in which the teenagers acted like teenagers, and moved their story forward perfectly, those two come to mind immediately though.
    And now let’s take a look at Stein;Gate. We have a bunch of underage people, who get caught into a Time Travel conspiracy. Not only are they underage, Mayuri is incapable of having a conversation with anyone, apparently, maybe she’s just retarded, the fat guy… Has no purpose whatsoever, and of course, he could fix a time machine he created in the future (Does he even understand the physical concepts upon which time travel works?), Kurisu blushes at anything that Okabe tells her and acts like the annoying harem teenager stereotype, and, of course, is a genius Physicist…
    I’m not after realism. Take Lost, for example – in the end most of the mysteries didn’t make sense, but the story it told, and its characters, everything was so engaging and well told, I didn’t care. It wasn’t one bit realistic. Steins;Gate’s cast is only there to get on my nerves, and is the living embodiment of what is wrong with anime characterization. If the visual novel is the same, then the writers have a terrible problem at creating characters.

  16. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    @umm: I love Penguin Drum and Usagi Drop, which most people seem to love, how does that make me being against the “cynical for the sake of being cynical because he probably thinks that being against the “popular opinion†makes him smart”?

  17. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    I posted something a few minutes ago, but it seems it needs psgel’s approval, so for now, let me just state that when watching Steins;Gate, I don’t feel I’m watching human beings. I feel like I’m watching the “teenage Physicist genius”, the “crazy scientist”, the “fat otaku”, the “cute moe girl”.

  18. Avatar umm... says:

    I’m sorry if I seem like I’m making baseless assumptions, which I am to an extent, but your argument to why you think this is a flawed show is very lacking and I have a hard time taking it seriously.

  19. Avatar TheBlimp says:

    How many more D-mails are there left to undo after Moeka’s? Only ones I can remember are the lotto one and the one about Kurisu getting stabbed.

    Also, couldn’t Okabe undo Moeka’s mail by sending himself a mail telling him to not let Moeka send the D-mail in the first place? Admittedly it wouldn’t make for very interesting plot but hey, its nice and easy.

  20. Avatar Scruffy says:

    @TheBlimp. They don’t need to undo anymore D-Mails as they now have the IBN5100 back.

  21. Avatar kuuuristina says:

    ^Above

    Okabe needs to undo the D-mails because that is the only certain way to revert back to the original timeline. If he did it any other way, it would have variations, desirable or not.

  22. Avatar foamer says:

    hmm i’m beginning to be suspicious of the bald guy and the little girl, can’t trust them o_O

  23. Avatar Morgoth says:

    @Perrin4869: Hmm, I’d argue that while the basic premise of the characterization seems implausible it was done for the sake of the entertainment value of these characters. They were developed quite good as far as it was possible with the not-so-serious premise.
    But I understand where you’re coming from, it would certainly help the tragic nature of the story if one could take the characters more seriously by making them more realistic. But the not-so-serious premise for this series is essential for this series humour, I think. With that in mind I’d say that the series never even tried to be realistic in the way you describe it and I think it’d be a bit harsh to criticize the series on terms it never even tried to meet.

  24. *Disclaimer, if you are someone who is easily offended, or someone who feels that an assault on a manga/anime that you like is an assault against you, please skip this post…you have been warned.*

    @Perrin You took the words right out out my mouth! Im glad someone spoke up about it. . . its a shame that most of it fell on deaf ears and instead of trying to discuss it, try to passive-aggressively bash and insult you.

    Anyway, I could make a whoooole long list proving your point but really it just boils down to this: The creators just want to make you focus on the plot, the characters are pretty much just walking plot devices with little to no background/development (Chrisu is an exception)

    Okabes antics is just there to distract you from that fact. It works though, especially if you watch it week to week and not marathon it, but eventually people will watch it a second time and be like “wait a minute. . .wtf”? and not in the “omg the plot is awesome whats going to happen next?” but more like who ARE these people? WHY do I care? WHY SHOULD I care? etc etc etc.

    Yes the show is entertaining and fun to watch which is enough for many people-and in some cases enough to the point that people get offended when others don’t like the show and throw out veiled insults to relieve their frustration(a.k.a fanboy/girl-ism) but really other than entertaining and having a very interesting plot/setting/atmosphere by heavily relying on the “Mystery” factor and the time travel premise (which I admit I am a sucker for)
    Other than that, the characters dont really ,match up to the hype.

    “I don’t feel I’m watching human beings. I feel like I’m watching the “teenage Physicist genius”, the “crazy scientist”, the “fat otaku”, the “cute moe girl”.

    Pretty much, this, although the teenage physicist DID get some background on her (even though if it is only for the purpose of the plot)

    . . .anyway. . .its pretty interesting about how people cant take criticism on the *shows* that they like with people saying such BS like: oh its harsh to criticize this anime for “insert BS reason here” its like. . .then why even come here? if your just going to circle jerk each other off over shows that you like, why not just go to a fansite? Why get offended and get sand in your vaginas when someone “harshly” criticizes (a.k.a points out glaring flaws) in a show that you happen to like? hell I like this show and some of the criticisms makes sense. . .Its pretty hard to discuss shows if the average maturity here is that of a 12 year old.

    I think I will personally stop commenting here, I cant take the childish BS that a lot of you just throw out, I know of other places where people can have discussions without being afraid of offending someone for “bashing” or whatever, Ill still be a fan of psgels, but really Ive gotten tired of you other people, Its no better than going to a Bleach fanboy website and and when you point out something amiss everyone jumps on you. . .instead of talking about it like adults would.

    さらば。

  25. Avatar Spike says:

    @Perrin I didn’t bring up those shows because of their teenagers or whatever. I brought them up because the story and characters have a similiar Bombastic Over-The-Topness that makes for an enjoyable series. Frankly The people watching anime for the most part, don’t want to see how a ‘normal’ person/teenager/adult would react in these situations. They build these shows using common tropes and archetypes of characters and thats why they become popular. Realistic potrayals are very niche. So my inference that you don’t like ‘anime’ is mostly true because your words SEEM to indicate you only like a small niche segment of ‘anime’. You are dogging on ‘anime’ for using the things that, well, make anime popular.

  26. Avatar Morgoth says:

    “. . .anyway. . .its pretty interesting about how people cant take criticism on the *shows* that they like with people saying such BS like: oh its harsh to criticize this anime for “insert BS reason here” its like. . .then why even come here? if your just going to circle jerk each other off over shows that you like, why not just go to a fansite?”
    Wait a minute… If you’re referring to my comment with this, I didn’t say that the basic premise of these characters is great and I pointed out that the series indeed would be better if it had took its characterization serious.
    My point was only that the series never even tried to go up that alley since the characters aren’t based on what behaviour one would expect from them (which of course doesn’t do the series a great service to use its full potential, I admit). They follow their own concepts instead of the plausible ones. And my opinion is that one should criticize a series for what it’s actually aiming for instead of what one thinks they should aim for.

    Another strange scene nobody had mentioned yet here was the moment as Okabe holds Moeka down and keeps her silent while a neighbor-lady comes to look why Moeka is screaming and all. So she sees a stranger struggling with Moeka – and somehow comes to the conclusion that it’s “just a thing modern couples do”. And with these words she leaves again as if that’d explain everything.
    The appearance of this neighbour just made this scene even weirder, I think, for showing how nobody reacted to Moeka’s screaming and the sound of her fighting with Okabe.

  27. Avatar lostsage says:

    @ Carbuncle, Perrian I understand your point but how can characters be anything other than walking plot devices? That’s what a character is. The only shows where characters move without being plot driven are slice-of-life.

    Take penguindrum, Himari is the obvious plot character. Mysterious deadly illness? Check. Her brothers’ actions and skills are completely driven by trying to save her (the plot). Like being able to pick locks is a skill most teenagers pick up. Regardless of what they do, saving her is the basis for basically everything. Ringo being a stalker is simply to make her stand out. She could have been a super genius with a notebook telling her things to invent things rather than being a stalker, and the plot would be unaffected. Background stories are just disguises for the characters so it isn’t completely obvious they are totally plot driven. The “believable teenagers” only come out for the slice-of-life bits like the date in the park.

    Your comment could have been “I don’t buy the backgrounds of Steins;Gates’s characters and the slice-of-life scenes come off as unbelievable.” And you would have gotten a reasonable response. Instead you were confrontational “Such a shame to see it wasted… ” and got a confrontation.

    And is bashing people for defending shows they like against gross exaggerations (except Mayuri is useless) and misunderstanding kinda vague criticism the right response? I guess telling people who disagree with your opinions they have “sand in your vaginas” is how “adults” handle things.

  28. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    @Carbuncle MIchales Jackson elliot: Oh yeah, the time travel mystery is very well developed in the anime indeed, I’m a sucker for it too.

    @Morgoth: Well, this might be just a difference in tastes, but I do believe that having good characters is pretty much vital in a thriller such as this. Failing in that point pretty much takes all the thrill from the story (at least from me)! Of course the science fiction is as enjoyable as ever though.

    @Spike: Again, you are misunderstanding. I’m not after how a “normal person would react”. I just want engaging, deep characters, at least as much as possible, and this anime isn’t even trying. It does lots of things right, as psgels pointed out, you see them going to the supermarket shopping, there are lots of neat details to appreciate here, the plot is awesome, but without good characters…
    Also, you just did a terrible disservice for anime. I don’t know what you watch normally, or what your tastes are, but to say that most anime just use archetypes… That’s is just plain wrong. Most anime strive to have engaging characters, heck, all fiction strives to do that, otherwise, let’s throw all fiction and just pick up a math book or something. Even the most popular anime like Naruto try to deliver there as much as the author’s talent and experience allows him to…

  29. Avatar Perrin4869 says:

    @lostsage: Uhm… Yeah, I guess I did come off aggressive. Sorry. And Mayuri is not the only one useless, Daru falls into the same department too.
    But yeah, I guess most of my gripes do come from the slice-of-life moments coming off as unbelievable.

  30. Avatar Morgoth says:

    Well, that discussion of the characters just reminded me… When was actually the last time where one could call an character honestly smart in a Shounen-series? Most of the time the characters that are “supposedly” the smart ones are reduced to talking heads just explaining what is happening and what should be done in the future without ever deciding anything essential. Shounen-Animes seem to like it far more to see their protagonists struggle on an emotional level than on an intellectual one.

    The main problem of the plot right now is indeed Okabe, I think. It all depends on what kind of character he’s going to be after everything’s done. I mean, right now he isn’t the most engaging character since his motivation is rather dull. So he wants to save Maya, why? Because she’s his friend, because he loves her? There’s nothing conceptual deep about his adventures to save her. It’s all on the surface of things with the momentum of the plot right now. Steins;Gate is a very simple story in its concept but the way it uses its time-travel-mechanics and lets the characters interact with each other is rather good, I think. Although it is a matter of taste how much one likes it. Steins;Gate is a good series but it’s certainly not one of the great ones out there, I’d say.

  31. Avatar umm... says:

    Just because they don’t dedicate entire episodes to backstory doesn’t mean there isn’t any character depth. You really have to pay attention to the little things in order to appreciate these characters. There are so many subtle nuances and bits of dialogue that, when pieced together paint a vivid portrait of each character. In this show, just like in real life, you have to actually pay extremely close attention to understand other people.

  32. Avatar Morgoth says:

    @umm…: So where is the depth specifically? The dialogue is good enough to give the characters a sound reason for what they are doing but beyond that there isn’t much to it. Okabe wants to save Mayuri because of his personal feelings for her, the series showed that but what is the meaning beyond that? What is the point of Okabe saving Mayuri? That’s where the ending is the deciding point of this series, I think, where everything comes together and says what it wants to say because until now it’s not very clear what ultimately the point of the characters actions is.

  33. Avatar Spike1 says:

    The point of the series is about the realities of fate and choice. Does a character REALLY need a reason to want to save their most cherished friend? I don’t see how it’s unclear what the show is trying to do…

  34. Avatar alt says:

    I totally agree that steins is the best show on this and last season. This episode was actually disturbing to me tho. Simply because OkaRin has reached his limit. The stress has gotten to him and he simply has no idea what to do. As a result he is totally relying on “Krisu”.

  35. Avatar a says:

    7/31 11:30 moeka’s dmail “IBN5100 in yanabayashi”
    7/31 12:31 okabe serch start IBN5100(titor mail”you get 5100″)episode 4

    himself d-mail?
    no sence.

  36. Avatar gecd says:

    people will talk good about anime they like
    and talk bad about anime they hate
    its very simple

  37. Avatar Okabe Rules! says:

    Um, since when does one need a meaning beyond “I want to save my CHILDHOOD BEST FRIEND’S LIFE”. I hope you’re never my friend and I suddenly need your help, because without a deeper meaning behind it I’d be screwed.

    Seriously. And if you can’t see all the meaning behind this show then you should take off your glasses.

    1) changing the past effects the future more than you know.
    2) The drive behind the characters who attempt to right their wrongs, whether they fail and commit suicide, die a lonely death, etc or succeed.
    3) The friendship of Okabe and his “Lab assistant” and how valuable someone you can speak to about anything is.
    4) Trust, every time he jumps, his friends believe what he says afterwards. Let me tell my friends I’ve just come from the future etc…
    5) The mystery behind each character and the way they are revealed. (we now know why ms textalot never stops text messaging and why she is so shy when it comes to anything else. I for one can’t wait to see what happens because the show, for what it is, is awesome. I don’t need super deep characters to make the show warm. I dont care what happened to everyone when they were younger or what their goals and aspirations are. They are now, they are here, and this is their tale, take it for what it is and stop asking for time to be wasted on what isn’t of importance in this tale.

  38. Avatar umm... says:

    @Morgoth

    Are you familiar with philosophy? If not, then I can understand why you aren’t seeing the things that I am seeing. This series is ripe with concepts of perception of reality and causality (causality does not equate to the poorly expanded “cause and effect”). There are evem elements of modern Chaos theory thrown in.

    Notice how people use different names for Okabe even in this comments section. Some people call him Houin, some people call him Okarin, some people call him Okabe, some people call him Rintarou. Okabe bestowed titles to all those he comes across with because he believed he was the world and everyone around him was merely a projection or fragment of his existence. Their lives did not matter, as they only existed to serve him. Mayuri is the only one who was not given a title. There is meaning in this. Mayuri is “special”. Her parents are dead and she is alone. Her existence is thin because there is nobody to acknowledge it; it’s as if she would float away if not tied down or disappear. Okabe was the only one who acknowledged Mayuri because he was afraid of that happening. That is why he took her as his hostage (maybe). After Mayuri died, Okabe felt alone because the only person that he had ever felt as if he had shared an existence with was gone. The only person that he could acknowledge as a true being left him, since only one who has experienced loneliness can truly exist. As he delves into the lives of the people around him in order to stop the inevitable, he begins to understand the problems and emotions of the people he had previously on thought of as cardboard stand-ins in his life. As his perceptions of the people around him develop, so do ours.

    That is why the character development was thin. The story is not about “Okabe and friends”. It is about “the world”. In other words, it’s about “Okabe/Houin/Okarin/Whatever.” I wrote too much sorry.

  39. Avatar umm... says:

    Also, he is using peoples’ given names more often now.

  40. Avatar kll says:

    who says they are underage? lol. I thought quite a few of the characters are uni students

  41. Avatar FormX says:

    @umm…
    The chances of ppl coming to this page again is slim, but I gotta say that was somewhat deep and impressive.

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Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]