Posted by Lenlo on 19 May 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, Steins;Gate 0 has stomped the throttle and cut the breaks. Lets skip the intro and just get right to it. Early on I thought this episode was going to be slow, we were going to focus on our characters and relax a bit. I thought it would be drama free. Apparently however this was just the calm before the storm. Far earlier than I predicted, I was assuming ~episode 12, the shoe drops and our plot begins in earnest. I am so happy. This means, hopefully, that there are no more additional characters and that no more additional world building is necessary. For this shoe to drop, it means all of our relevant actors are in play. Now onto drama and theorizing!

First off, triggers. In the original Steins;Gate, as seen by the flashback, Mayurii’s watch stopping was the signal that she was about to die. However we know in this timeline that Mayurii lives. So the question becomes, who dies next episode? My money is on Maho. Shes gotten a lot of screen time, everyone loves her, and she clearly likes Okabe. Add to that the fact that Amadeus’ server gets shut off, and I think we have a new death-flag/dead friend combo. Maho also already had the foreshadowed stalkers/Dr.Reyes “mugging” incident, so the signs are already there. The only real hole to this I see is there is no D-Mail, so no easy time travel, at the moment. Killing off anyone here is a big commitment, taking them out of the series for awhile most likely. I legitimately cannot wait to see how this shakes out.

Onto the drama itself. We have to wonder, why is Cern attacking? Is it Amadeus? Kagari? What is it Dr.Reyes wants? And yes, Reyes is clearly the/a villain here. Every shot of her, like the one above, has her from a foreboding angle. It could all be a red-herring, but I don’t think so. At Least one of the new characters will be an antagonist, to go with Braun and Moeka., and Reyes fits the best. It’s either her or Leskimeme at least. Now back to what they want. It could be Amadeus, but that makes no sense, as Reyes already has access to her through Leskinen and Maho. The other, much more likely, option is Kagari. Reyes/Cern are clearly the other party searching for her and Braun/Moeka wasn’t interested in them until she showed up again. Makes you wonder why.

The last serious thing worth talking about is, once again, Okabe. He really dot continue to get the shaft in Steins;Gate 0. Just as he was getting over Amadeus, the mental aspect of Kurisu, and Kagari, the physical aspect, this happens. He was finally beginning to, healthily, move on from his loss. Amadeus and Maho were helping him cope. He was in the clear. Then boom, the death cycle starts all over again. Sucks for Maho to, because with Okabe moving on she finally had a chance. I am glad for this though, as I was worried that with Amadeus a robot and Kurisu dead, there wouldn’t be a strong female lead. As it is though I do enjoy every scene Maho is in. Shes Tsundere without being comically so. Like a different version of Kurisu. A shorter, older version, with her own accompanying meme.

Speaking of the meme, we have to mention Leskimeme and the rest of the pre-cliffhanger fun. We have apparently been cheated. We have been cheated of Leskinens catchphrase “Japanese Shaman Girls”, but it was replaced with the best reaction of horror ever. Truly Leskinen is a man of culture, to be so hurt by missing the new years festival. At the festival, a lot happened. Daru strayed a bit to far into “creepy” territory for my taste, though I do like the slow-roll on his relationship. Nice to have some side-romances going on. Remove some focus from Okabe. Im a bit annoyed that Ruka’s gender is still a gag piece. It was an amusing throwback at first but now its a relic of an older anime I feel.

So all-in-all, Steins;Gate 0 did a great job this week of slow-rolling to a dramatic finish. I spent the entire episode thinking it was going to be a relaxing character focused episode. I figured next episode, or the one after, was when the shoe would drop. Steins;Gate 0 really surprised me with the sudden shift in tone at the end. And the thing is, with the music slowly changing and the growing foreboding throughout, it didn’t feel random. The slow build with Maho’s stalker episode or the re-introduction of Moeka really helped build that sense of foreboding. Steins;Gate is doing a great job so far and I cannot wait for next week. There are no breaks anymore people!

 

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