Posted by Lenlo on 29 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Hello everyone and welcome to the midpoint of the season! This week we have the weirdest game of anime telephone I have ever seen. Lets jump in!

So first off, the big thing, Steins;Gate 0 this week is a B-plot. A side-story almost irrelevant to the main story. Its cute, its fluffy, it gets a little dark at the end and it all wraps up in a single episode. Thats not necessarily a bad thing. Its pretty clear that Steins;Gate 0 is going for a time-skip, we already skipped 2 weeks. Instead of jumping straight there it looks like they are taking the chance to tell some side stories. Considering how “finale” episode 11 was, the timing works out. Its just… it wasn’t the best episode. The problem with B-plots like this is they don’t really push the story forward. We get context and moments of certain relationships which we really needed, we will talk about some of those later. But what really happened this week? A glorified game of telephone, that’s what.

It wasn’t even a good game of telephone either. It was time paradox weirdness telephone. Basically, Kagari learned it from Mayurii, who learned it from Suzuha, who learned it from Yuki. She learned it from Okabe’s mom, who learned it from Okabe, who learned it from… Kagari in the past. Welcome to circular time paradox’s, which leave me with one simple question: Who learned the song first? I have seen some explanations, such as the Okabe from this world line knows it, but our Okabe is from another world line and so doesn’t. But however true that may be, its simply not satisfying. The only thing this telephone game did was give us a good excuse to check in with all of our characters after our time-skip. Good enough I suppose, but you could probably skip this episode and lose almost nothing from the upcoming second cour.

As for Kagari and Steins;Gate 0’s focus on her this week, my only response is ‘eh’. Kagari as a character is not very interesting. She has a demur, almost non-existent personality and her entire character is based on her lack of memories. The only interesting thing involving her are the forces looking for her. That said we did get some curious information about her. I quite enjoyed learning the reason for why Kagari tried to shoot Suzuha during their first stop in time. That scene has up until now confused me, I had no idea why she would do that. This makes sense however. Its like… some kind of reverse Stockholms? It is probably the only relevant or interesting revelation of the entire episode, sadly.

We also got to see some of Steins;Gate 0’s side characters this week, got to see what they were doing. First off, to get the out of the way immediately, Suzuha’s curry scene was pointless. Terrible. I see no reason for it to exist, it is just a time filler. We understand each other? Good, on to Daru. Getting to see Daru and Yuki together was good. We know they get together, because time travel, but at some point Steins;Gate 0 has to sell us on this relationship. If this episode was already going to basically be filler, might as well make it useful filler, and that’s exactly what this is. Just some quite scenes of the two when the world isn’t falling down around them. It and some of Okabe’s scenes are the best things to come out of an average-ish episode.

Lastly we have Mayurii and Okabe. Once again, not much happens with them, the status quo remains the same at the end of the episode, but I enjoyed them. Okabe’s short talk with his mom, her “macho psychologist” and his reactions were great comedy. We also got some interesting actions/reactions from Mayurii throughout the episode. We continue to see how she misses the old Okabe, she wants her mad scientist back. Its always good to see how Okabe’s radical shift in personality affected his friends, and with Mayurii being his childhood friend, she would of course be the most affected. I hope that gets confronted at some point. There is a lot of potential in their relationship.

So, yeah, closing out, filler episode. This week is largely skippable to me. The status quo is unchanged, nothing meaningful really happened. It was nothing but a check-in, time-skip episode. Its weird how an “average” episode can be considered a disappointment. Not considering what had happened up until this point. The story, the characters, Steins;Gate 0 has managed to stay above average for so long that this is actually the low-point in terms of quality to me. Its… odd to say the least.

But what do you think? Am I just wrong, a pessimist? I am very curious how other people saw this episode. Did the downtime work for you? Or do you also want to dive right back into Maho, Amadeus and time-travel shenanigans. Let me know below, and see you next time!

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