There is one thing at which Steins;Gate is unrivaled at compared to anything else that aired this year: its plot. If it’s originality, creative twists and multi layers that you want, then this is a must-watch. This has a bit of a slow start, but as the series goes on its intricately woven plot about time travel shines like no other and this show is masterful at combining seemingly insignificant hooks into gripping plot twist. This definitely stood out as one of the most solid shows of the past half year.
Helping with that is a unique style of this series. The entire series is animated with dull and washed out colours, the animation is simple and only becomes really smooth when it really needs to (with great effects, by the way),and a lot of time in this series is spent on characters just talking to each other while the plot slowly progresses. It’s slow, but each episode has its purpose, even though this only may become apparent later on. The lead characters’ monologues in particular are well written, but on top of that this is a series that really did its research into time travel. It may not present the most logical way that time travel might be possible (I mean, there are still parts where you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief), but it’s very well researched.
The weakest part of this series is its cast of characters. Obviously they’re not bad, but they do have a few quirks that didn’t make them as interesting to follow as some of their counterparts. In particular, the acting of the main cast leaves things to be desired, in which they’re trying too hard to fit themselves into certain stereotypes. Daru, Kurisu and Mayuri are the biggest examples of this, which often makes them annoying to watch. The main character Okabe meanwhile just tries too hard: during the dramatic parts he tends to act too dramatic, and during the light-hearted parts he tends to act too over the top (which becomes rather repetitive after a bunch of episodes).
That’s pretty much what held this show back for me. Do not let that discourage you however, because there have been plenty of people who experienced the characters in a completely different way. Heck, at the beginning of this season I did not expect another series this year to come close to the amount of acclaim that Madoka Magica got. I personally did have these beefs with the characters, but even there there are still plenty of good parts about the cast of characters, in particular their development.
|Storytelling:||9/10 – Really knows how to deliver stunning plot twists. Has a unique and down to earth style and uses it really well.|
|Characters:||8/10 – Some annoying and forced acting was probably the thing that bugged me the most about this series.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Very smooth animation is wonderful to see, though there also are many inconsistencies during the quiet scenes.|
|Setting:||10/10 – A truly excellent story about time travel and all of its intricacies. It’s creative and boldly written together.|