Posted on 1 September 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Apologies for the lateness of this entry. I finally thought that that I’d have some time to catch up to everything this week, but then I caught a cold, so at the moment I’m not really 100%. I do want to respond to the surprising amount of comments who found it strange that I didn’t have this ranked as my top series for my August Summary. It’s pretty similar to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica earlier this year: yes, this is undeniably awesome, and this episode was no exception. There just are series that I like better.

The reasons for that are always tricky, but I think that me having trouble to identify with Okabe’s angst has some part in it. There are a few things about this series that I just didn’t understand that have to do with that, and which have been bugging me for quire a while now. The first one I mentioned before: what about all of the time-lines that Okabe left behind, where Mayuri just dies. What happens to them? I find it a bit hard to believe that they just… disappear. The second thing I didn’t understand though: why is Mayuri fated to die? I mean, I can understand the first time she died: Moeka was ordered to do it, so she did it. Fits totally with her character. However, why does every single truck, train or vehicle hate Mayuri to the point where they just have to run her over? This series has this idea of “fate” that I just don’t understand, and for as far as I picked up, it just refuses to explain exactly why.

Still, the plot, and setting here still are top notch and amongst the best of the season. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the characters: Hyouge Mono, Natsume Yuujinchou, Tiger & Bunny, Penguin Drum, and quite possibly even No.6 all have a characterization that I consider to be better and more interesting, varied and dynamic. Does that make the cast of Steins;Gate bad? Hell no, this episode was awesome and an excellent climax for the romance between Okabe and Kurisu.

I do guess that my expectations were a bit off about these past two episodes, but instead I got two very character focused episode. First one about Mayuri, then one about Kurisu, all about Okabe trying to decide to which time-line to go, all assuming that Kurisu’s death will be unavoidable like Mayuri’s. I admit that I did expect something more fast-paced.

The thing is though, that if if the plot wasn’t this good, I wouldn’t be able to have all these criticisms. The dialogue was wonderful and the conclusion of this past two episode arc, while I do feel that it was a bit dragged out, was excellent. I also really have to give props to the excellent use of the ED and that final climax afterwards.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

20 Responses

  1. Carbine Gammaximon says:

    well made points, even though I would put steins gate above tiger & bunny solely on ‘new concept’. most people simply have one criteria above the rest.

    Interesting how they pull a twist at the end when Amane Suzuha managed to contact Dan and thus okabe. even though they are now in the alpha world line, we still have new stuff to worry about. how that will tie in with Kurisu being rescued if possible is anyone’s guess, given mayuri died in multiple ways…

  2. Spike says:

    @psgels – Going by what’s been presented in the series and extrapolating a bit from other movies and mediums about time and fate, Stein’s Gate has some events that cannot be changed in a particular world line or worldline cluster. In a world line, once a character for whatever reason is fated to die, it is unstoppable. It could be a shooting, car crash, accident whatever, it doesn’t really make a difference that person is going to die no matter what. You need to go to a different cluster (the beta world line) to get that event to change any other attempts are pointless.

    ‘Time and space’ though, in Stein’s gate is completely relative. It’s pretty complicated but when a world line moves, the previous world line ceases to exist and all the memories accrued in that line are mashed together into the brains of all the people in the world. It is just a hazy mess that most people cannot recall, ‘REading Steiner’ allows Okabe to recall those memories at will that exist in ALL people. His clear memory allows him to help other people narrow their memories and recall other world lines. But people can also naturally recall these memories too they just don’t really realize it. (Mayushii’s death dreams) Do you get it a bit clearer?

    Off-topic but now you kinda wonder if those dreams you have where you die maybe happened in some world line if Stein’s Gate is correct in it’s concept of space time :P

  3. Frost says:

    For a long time Ive thought our dreams are actually memories of a self from a parallel universe… Because we constantly dream of things we have never seen before, and some of them feel so real

    Anyway, being a Kurisu fan, this episode was amazing… That had to be one of the best kiss scenes in anything ever, so well done… Its amazing how good Steins;Gate becomes once you remove Mayuri, shes the only thing dragging this down from being absolutely perfect

  4. unknownvoice says:

    and now for coherent answers:

    About things not being able to be changed: are you familiar with probability theory as well as avalanche effect. What causes a landslide? Small point, small location. In this case its the first d-mail. And once that starts, you might chance overall things but landslide still happens. The only way to prevent it is to not let it happen.

    Its all in probabilities – WE all WILL DIE one day. Okarin’s actions just caused that landslide of various events, all of which slowly increased Mayuri’s chances of dying soon. Thats the avalanche caused by the first dmail he sent – all of his actions were because of it and led to the same thing, thus only by undoing the cause you can do a big impact enough to change the result.

    It has been illustrated multiple times on how completely random things can result in unexpected things – sending a simple banana dmail leading to dr-pepper bottles actually being at the store for example. Each Okarin’s dmail caused big enough ripples, big enough butterfly effect to give millions of things that lead to Mayuri’s death. EVERY dmail added an infinity of new parameters into complex machine and all of them happened to lead towards same thing.

    AS for worldlines – from Okarin’s point of view, only one worldline exists. Existence is something that needs to be observed to exist, like with example of Schrodinger’s cat. From the omnipotent extradimensional point of view, all of time happens at once, thus all those worldlines and all those okarins and all those futures pasts and presents both exist and do not exist at once, like schrodinger’s cat. Okarin does not “create” worldlines, because he already did that from fixed pov. Thus its more about reaching a place where mayuri lives than just saving mayuri, however from psychological pov of Okarin and everyone – Thats the very same thing, because for the versions of charcters that we observe, only one universe currently exists, even if all others do to from our pov.

  5. Tashi says:

    Yeah, I loved the realism of the kiss scene. I really appreciated the real conversation that happened after it, Okabe’s mundane and mood-ruining clarification that wasn’t his first kiss. It ruined the ideal romanticism of the kiss, which shows like to pretend exists forever, but this is what happens in real life because perfect romanticism is fleeting. I also loved the realness of the follow-up kiss because that is exactly what would really happen and with that same excuse too.
    It was really well executed. Amazing.

  6. Anon says:

    @unknownvoice Yes!! it wasn’t mention in the anime but Nae isn’t as clean and innocent as the girl portrayed in the anime. In the visual novel, she had used okarin’s time machine to avenge his father. Thus resulting in moeka’s death and okarin’s assassination (removed from the FB arc due to budget and time constraint) . So Nae’s push wasn’t really accidental I believe.

  7. Thomas says:

    About the Okabe that was left in different timelines – we must rely on explanation by Kurisu- machine is copying memories from brain and sending to the past. That means:
    -either Okabe simply put on the Earphone, start the machine , and for him nothing happens he must live in this world
    -or he’s left ‘brain dead’ in that world because of the trauma

    Since our Okabe done ‘jumping’ into the past many times and we didnt see him developing brain cancer (so the proccess is not dangerous) I assume that first option is correct.

  8. Rintarou says:

    @psgels: All the questions you asked were answered back in Suzuha’s arc…you should go back and rewatch those episodes.

  9. Rihan says:

    Thinking about general relativity while making out…Only Kurisu.

  10. unknown says:

    >6
    You are wrong, only in the world line where Okaebe and Moeka finds out who FB is will cause the Butterfly Effect to start which turns Nae into a psycho.

    Nae pushing Mayuri onto the track was pure accident, it is stated in the official guide book.

  11. Anon says:

    @unknown- oh sorry, looks like Japanese needs a bit more practice. I wasn’t too attentive on parts with loads of scientific theories since there are too many kanji I’m not very familiar with. Guess my Japanese is still lacking….

  12. Wolf says:

    Is there an equivalent Western story out there for Stein;s Gate? If not, I would not be surprised if this particular series became popular among philosophers and scientists who otherwise might have no interest in anime at all.

  13. Rihan says:

    After rewatching episode 1, I think its likely Okabe will use Suzuha’s time machine to go back to the day of Makise’s death…I just hope he can prevent it somehow.

  14. Raggers says:

    just as in Noein, i think okabe is THE observer. whatever world line he is in exists, but the others are merely unrealised possibilities.

    Now, think of each event in time as a dot. And now think of a timeline. Pick any spot on the timeline and there are actually multiple different events that can happen – possibilities. However, there are certain events which must occur – at that point in time, there is only one possibility, which time must flow through. This is Mayuri’s death. A set of these major events is a world line.

    Okabe changes time by altering events – e.g. by altering someone’s action with a d-mail. The bigger the difference with the original action, the greater the divergence between the original timeline and this new one – the divergence meter shows this. However, changed minor events will change other minor events so the major events still occur.

    Okabe is attempting to put divergence >1%. At this point time can no longer adjust the minor events to fit the major events, so a new world line is created, with different major events.

    Preventing Kurisu’s death changed divergence by over the 1% barrier, switching to the world line in which Mayuri dies. To save them both, Okabe has to switch to a new world line he has not visited in this series – ie not the a-worldline, b-worldline, but the c-line.

    At least that’s my understanding. Sorry if its a bit complicated.

  15. Blue Bomber says:

    I think they may already be in the “c” timeline. Suzuha apparently remembers Daru is her father when she arrives in the present, since she was able to contact him as soon as she arrived, instead of searching as she had previously done. Oh yeah, and the whole WWIII thing instead of SERN’s takeover. ;)

    Either way, the future has probably already been irreversibly altered through the collected memories of what has happened so far. It might not be possible to return to the course of the original timeline because of that.

    Obviously, Okabe’s current plan is to stop all work on time travel due to what he’s been through, but time travel still exists in the future of the current timeline, proven by Suzuha’s reappearance. Unless SERN becomes the good guys in this timeline, Okabe and Daru are most likely the ones to create Suzuha’s machine.

  16. Raggers says:

    i disagree. Okabe has yet to visit the c-line. if we take 0-1% as a-line, 1-2% as b-line, etc. in the first ep he moves from b to a, and in this ep he moves back to b. i know this because whenever he shifts it shows the divergence meter shift to his new world line, and in this ep the last seen number is 1.13…% Okabe merely undid his first (v. important) d-mail and the effect it had (Cern learning of their existence) he needs to make another big shift in this worldline (b) to get to c.
    As to Suzuha, some events can be the same in both worldines, there is no reason they cant be, and we never got to this point in the b-line.
    And, i just checked the first ep, cant be sure, but i think the first number on the divergence meter was 0.6… ie, okabe has always been in the a-line, meaning Mayuri’s death will just be delayed by one more day. Possibly.
    Basically, anything is still possible. Damn.

  17. Raggers says:

    wait, rereading that – okabe has always been in the a-line, now in b-line.
    OR
    okabe went from b-line to a-line and back to b.

    In the first possibility, both Mayuris and kurisus death can be avoided. In the second, kurisus death is next to certain (probably).

    Lets just wait for the next episode.

  18. lostsage says:

    @Raggers
    That’s all a possibility but it’s not an entirely new timeline. If they were in a completely new timeline aka Gamma (alpha, beta, gamma) then it would be a completely different world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQy79q0GyE4

  19. Rihan says:

    @psgels
    Read this to clear your confusion about time lines and fate, this is the Attactor Field theory…

    http://ibm5100.net/steinswiki/2011/08/30/attractor-field-theory-world-lines-explained/

    I am just going to emphasise the main point from the link, about your question of what happens to the previous world lines when Okabe shifts to another world line.

    Time is made up of infinite amount of world lines. But only 1 world line can exist at a time. When the world line changes the past and present get reconstructed.

    The link should also clarify why Mayuri’s death is inevitable.

  20. UnknownVoice says:

    |Time is made up of infinite amount of world lines. But only 1 world line can exist at a time. When the world line changes the past and present get reconstructed. |

    Except that only makes sense from okabe’s POV and not from universal pov, as it clashes with the very principles of time travel.

    To be exact, all those timelines exist always. However only one timeline exists for those who live in it and all those timelines existED for Okabe who could perceive them but stopped existing when his perception ended. However omnipotent person would perceive all those timelines at once as they all exist at once in parallels and have already happened.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:59 AM)
    Actually given that I mentioned Genshiken, glad to have gotten back into that even if I only read it now for Hato, suu and Madarame.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:57 AM)
    Also Aidan, Mikey, coin toss, which is worse Chiaki Kon or Mari Okada..yes I’m forcing a choice =P
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:54 AM)
    While reading swan song..I ended up seeing a picture of Madarame from Genshiken…from that moment on everytime I looked at Kuwagata I was forced to imagine him as Madarame…why brain why do you do this to me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:48 AM)
    The shoutbox was very inactive today unfortunately.
    And Alec theres a lot of rumour going around about psgels now, from plane crash, to being to busy , to getting a girl pregnant, getting sick of anime.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:46 AM)
    Another reason I’m putting off more visual novels at the moment is because I’m more seriously considering the possibility of hunter x hunter…well the chances are higher now at least.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    In any case Mikey finish off Comyu and let me know your thoughts on that, taking a break from visual novels for a bit as they are quite time consuming though Grisaia is next, that is unless both of you feel I’d be better off with the anime and think it’ll benefit from being trimmed down in an adaptation.
    In any case thank for the recommendation this is the kind of story which hits on all of the right notes for me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    That atmosphere was further help by the bleak style it went for, it successfully got to me through its dark content.
    Now I did have some issues, while I love this genre, it did feel overly familiar a little, it could be slow going at times, I couldn’t get into Yuka x Tsukasa and the Hentai scenes were really dull to be honest. I went for the bad ending in the second last act, because really for this story to be true to itself, that’s what I wanted to see.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    It had its fair share of tense moments. Apparently some didn’t go for the art style, I felt rather satisfied with it. The atmosphere is immersive and it almost feels as if the setting and “humanity itself” is a character in its own right. It was very addicting to read and I found myself marathoning it moreso than Saya, fate, sharin, maou.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    As far as characters went Kuwagata , Nogi, Tsukasa got the most attention and interest from me, especially Kuwagata, other characters I did eventually warm up to but I would call them competent . The heights of this were the arc where they were at the hospital/middle school and also the religious crazies arc, felt real bad for the raped girl too.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:43 AM)
    Well Mikey and Aidan I have just completed swan song, felt I’d throw in a little review of sorts then.

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