Posted by Lenlo on 26 April 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Welcome to another episode of Steins;Gate 0. This week we have suffering Okabe, suffering Mayushii and, oh yeah, suffering viewer. It’s a good week to be a Steins;Gate fan. Lets jump in!

This episode hit me about as hard as it hit Okabe, for one simple reason. I fell for the exact same trap he did. Throughout the entire episode Okabe is talking with Amadeus, more than any other cast member. He speaks to her before/after class, during lunch, before dates, while just walking around town. Both Okabe and we, the viewer, get more and more comfortable with Amadeus and we watch him get more and more animated. It gets to the point where he leaves a Christmas party just to talk to her, hes like an addict and shes his drug. And I loved it. Steins;Gate 0 used the entire episode to build up to one simple reminder: Kurisu is dead and shes not coming back. S;G 0 is determined to break us down before getting to time travel shenanigans and its working.

Normally in a story you would expect the low point, the nadir of a Heros Journey, to happen near the middle or 2/3rds in. For Steins;Gate 0, we are starting at that nadir, since technically Steins;Gate 0 is actually the 2nd half of Okabes story. So it makes sense that we are, as of episode 3, seeing Okabe hit rock bottom. What is interesting for me though is that Maho, 2nd Best Girl, is actually saddling up this season to go through it with him. I expected her to sort of take Kurisu’s place as the confident lab assistant. However she is fitting in with the cast well and shaping up to be just as compelling as Okabe. I think the funeral flashback was a bit overdone, but I can’t deny that I enjoy every time she is on screen.

Speaking of Maho though, I have to mention her boss and Best Boy Dr.Leskinen. This man is beautiful. He is the perfect source of comedy for Steins;Gate 0, since Okabe and Mayushii’s antics are muted in this World Line. His excitement at the mention of a party, shoving Maho into a Santa outfit or his “appreciation” of Luka. My goodness I was glad to see that joke make a comeback, with a perfectly timed microwave ding and 3 second pause to go with. Thats how you do comedy. And the commitment of the VA, Youji Ueda, to the English is just perfect. The man makes every scene he is in better with his well aimed antics. I have also been told to be on the lookout for “Japanese Shaman Girls”, and based on Leskinen’s lines this episode, I can see he to is a man of culture. Long story short, Cult of Leskinen is a go.

The last bit I wanna mention is the rest of our cast. Most of the screentime has gone to our love polygon of Amadeus/Okabe/Maho/Mayushii, with good reason. The rest of our cast though… I hope they get some more screen time. Suzuha is having her paramilitary guilt time, which is interesting, but the rest? I wanna see Daru’s relationship with Yuki and how that pans out, I want to see how Luka and Faris handle Okabe’s current state and depression, just like we are getting with Mayuri. I enjoy the subtle jabs and scenes, showing how Mayuri really isn’t handling this Okabe well. But as a fan of the original I love all of these characters. Thats my biggest fear with Steins;Gate 0. That it will focus to much on Okabe and forget those around him. So far its done well. Lets hope it continues.

So yeah, all in all, another week another heart wrenching episode. White Fox is doing a good job. It feels like they used Re:Zero as a practice for the whole “Being [MC] is suffering” style and its paying off. They know how to use facial expressions, when to be quiet and how to stay just shy of ridiculous melodrama ala Clannad. Some cuts are weird, like the sudden musical shift from jovial to serious in the alley with Okabe, but those are so small that they hardly impact anything. It may be to early to say if Steins;Gate 0 will meet or surpass its prequel, but none can deny its starting strong.

See you next week, and remember! Don’t fall in love with an AI.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Evaluation says:

    I guess 3 eps of S;G0 are enough for making some kind of statement, so here I go.

    I like the show, but I’d expect more. Has nothing on the lvl of polish of S1. I think this may be a funny case where S1 > VN, but S2 < VN (btw I havent played the second game). It seems to me that first VN had some issues that were lost with the transition to the anime, leaving even more solid result, but with S2 I feel like lots of the issues I have with the anime would not be issues in the VN.

    Some observations:

    + the show recognizes the importance of the S;G cast, i.e., Feris, maids, otoko da, hanging out at lab and all of that made it, and probably will keep making it. Good.
    + feels are real

    – characters made it on screen, but it doesn't feel that natural. S1 was literally perfect in this aspect, so far S2 mediocre. Okarin takes way too much focus so appearance of others looks random and unnatural. It's either rushed or unbalanced, I don't know.
    – S2 tries to ground its characters in reality, rather than the more simple anime representation of it, as S1 did. So suddenly we get side-side characters, random chatter, walking down the street, colleges, colleagues and whatnot. Characters have their lives, they are multi-faceted. I do not like this change! It takes away lots of the magic by trying to be more realistic. Less is more. S;G did not need this.
    – Mayuri design is too different, I kinda hate it.

    I'd like to hear what those who played the game think about this adaptation so far.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I heavily debated playing the game or not before this came out, but in the end wanted to experience it fresh. If your looking for VN players, I would recommend Aidan. He played/is playing it as this airs so try to catch him in the chatbox or ask him on discord.

      For your +’s
      I agree on both counts.

      For -‘s
      I can understand this. I think they either needed to A) Cut back on other character appearances and let Okarin take center stage for the first few episodes, or B) decrease his screen time. Personally I love Okarin’s screentime, because I like tragedies. Im a bad person, I know. But Depressed!Okarin with PTSD is my favorite thing. I don’t know why.

      I agree here completely. We don’t need all the background characters, or cosplay friends, and such. We only need characters who serve the plot.

      Finally, my god yes, I dont like Mayushii doubling in breast size or anything. Shes like a swaddled up doll in her outfits now and her hair is so.. different. I get that its winter but please.

  2. Thank you Lenlo for covering this show!
    Now having caught up with it today, I have a few thoughts of my own.
    -I find this alot easier to get into than the original series, which while I enjoyed, it wasn’t as much as others.
    -This seems to be focusing itself more seriously off the bat than the first, that along with his freakout moments,a grimmer tone aswell which suits me down to the ground.
    -I’m wondering and interested in what they’ll do with blond American guy
    -I still hate Ferris
    -I wish Ruka wasn’t just played for laughs
    -Now that Kurisu is essentially portable, the scenes of Okabe talking to App/ai Kurisu made me think of “Her” by Spike Jonze.
    -I’m glad to see the return of a time travel show that doesn’t gimmickify the premise .
    -The comedic bits don’t do it for me anymore.

    On to Megalobox next!

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Some of the comedy is definitely out of place. Like the sudden tone shift in that alley scene with Okabe and Amadeus was just weird, and the picture time with Maho in the santa outfit was unneeded.

      I think its because, as a darker premise/story, these light hearted bits just dont flow as well.

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