Posted by Lenlo on 3 August 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Hello and welcome to the return of Steins;Gate 0, this time with 100% more quality! This week, plot finally happens, secrets are outed and Okabe gets into a fist fight. Lets jump in!

To start off, simple general stuff, this is in my opinion the best episode of Steins;Gate 0 in a while. Mostly because things are finally happening, but even then, the 3 confrontations this episode were well done. This episode, finally, forced Okabe to confront and start thinking about time travel again. He’s been avoiding it like the plague, but with Daru and Maho’s secret out, he can’t any longer. From an animation perspective, there wasn’t much. It was mostly still shots. But those still shots looked good, the camera angles really worked. Even if there was some inconsistencies between shots in terms of position. The VA was the best part however. Specifically, Daru’s anger was perfect. For a second, I could really hear Gilgamesh for a few lines there. It was especially nice to see/hear the effects of Okabe’s attitude so far. Lots to unpack in these conversations.

First off, I am glad Okabe found out. More importantly, I am glad he did so with his own abilities. We have seen little of Okabe’s supposed intelligence till now, aside from writing papers for Leskinen and short talks with Maho. Now we see just how observant he is, figuring out from context clues that things aren’t right. The dawning realization and horror on his face really pushed the scene. The guy was breaking down. I’ve said it before, but for what was supposed to be a darker Steins;Gate, 0 has been rather chipper. It looks like instead of building into a coaster with multiple highs and lows like the original though, Steins;Gate 0 is banking on building to one big drop. One concentrated dose of suffering instead of a steady drip feed. If it keeps this quality up, it may just work. Now onto Daru.

Daru’s conversation, for me, was probably the best. Finally calling Okabe out on how neglectful he has been to his friends. Just based on what Okabe said this episode, he has been completely disregarding everyone’s feelings. Really, the only person who could call him on this was Daru. Daru, his best friend who has stuck with him this whole time. Personally, I wasn’t expecting this. I figured Okabe would have some sort of world line switch, and force himself to try to save Kurisu again after that drama. But I like this better. The other characters getting involved, trying to get him out of his funk. We saw it back in episode 8 I think it was, where a similar conversation took place with Kurisu in the other world line. Maybe confronting it from both sides will finally make him move forward. Sadly not all the conversations were as helpful.

Maho’s argument with Okabe, while visually being the best, left a lot to be desired content wise. First off, visually, the rainy roof was gorgeous. There were some inconsistencies in the puddle locations/sizes, as the overhead shot showed one single large puddle. But the reflection was gorgeous and made what was essentially 4 stills a lot more engaging. The content though… Im sorry, but I can’t side with Maho here. She got shown up in her research again and again, sure. But I simply can’t see how that equates to Okabe literally seeing Kurisu and Mayurii die in his harms dozens of times. They simply are not the same. I understand what Steins;Gate 0 was going for with this, but it just comes off as insensitive on Maho’s part. I get shes trying to encourage him, but shutting down his trauma is… not the best idea.

The most effective conversation, at actually getting Okabe to think, was probably Mayurii. For obvious reasons. Mayurii and Kurisu are the two big flags, one for each world line. He already got yelled/confronted in all this by Kurisu. Its what helped him finally let go and accept what happened. However Mayurii seems to be the one who will, finally, try to bring him back to who he was. Really, Mayurii has probably suffered the most in Steins;Gate 0 so far, seeing Okabe how he has been this entire season. She even outright says it, that the one he loves is dead, and just how hurt he is. I figure this talk, seeing how Mayurii is suffering, is what will finally push him to care again. For her sake, not his, clearly. He will probably choose to hurt himself to make her happy. And I look forward to it.

So all in all, while it may feel like nothing much moved forward in the plot this week, a lot of secrets and relationships finally started to boil over. Okabe knows about the time machine and Mayurii is guilt-tripping Okabe into caring again. Maybe now he can finally be a proactive protagonist again eh? The way I see it, Okabe is going to end up helping Maho fix the time machine, and then Leskinen is going to get involved. Thats when everything is going to go to shit. Most likely the last few episodes are going to be firing all on all cylinders. If not, if Steins;Gate 0 drops the ball again after this jump in quality… then I will probably stop caring. I can only take being let down so many times, and those slice-of-life episodes were… dull to say the least.

What about you? Where do you sit on this weeks episode? If nothing else, there wasn’t a single sighting of Kagari, so that should make everyone happy! See you next week!

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Amagi says:

    This episode showed what’s good about Zero: giving the other characters more time to shine, especially Daru. But as you said, it was also nice seeing Mayurii actually commenting on the problems as well instead of being the oblivious character she usually is. I am not a fan of series that have this one allknowing perfect main character who is doing everything and getting all the screentime so it’s nice seeing the roles being reversed here to some degree, here it’s Okabe who’s the one clinging to the (depressing) status quo instead of doing something about it and the others that are actually working on the problem.
    I guess this episode is the turning point of the series. They’ll now try to fix things and that’s where the villain comes into play- I agree it can only be one person, looking at the cast.

    In the end the pacing is similar to S;G which developed the story very slowly, even mixing it with SoL stuff up till the point at which some people gave up on the anime only to build an awesome climax that stretched till the end from episode 15(?) onward so I expect a similar pacing here. Still curious about how that whole Kagari side plot will become relevant here though, of if Kagari is just supposed to be a random brainwashed not-Kurisu enemy to add more drama.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Why am I writing these when you sum it up so nicely in a single paragraph? Right on the money.

      For the original S;G, I would say it got started a bit earlier, but thats just me. So long as these last 8 or so episodes really bank on the the goodwill/suffering quota they have built up, should end up atleast as “fine”

      Thats excluding Kagari of course

  2. In a way, I’m quite glad that the initial part of this most recent episode of steins;gate was slow , because it allows the viewer to be lulled in before that big scene with Daru and most people will say thats the best part of the episode and it is indeed a strong moment, that and the scene with Maho later in the episode shows that when anime melodrama is pulled off correctly, it lends itself to tense moments like that.
    And I like how that spat between Okabe and Daru is continuing to allow the latter’s character to shine more.
    The last scene with Mayuri, while not quite as strong as the emotional peak the episode where Okabe went back and saw Kurisu, is the episode’s strongest moment for me, because it makes me feel the way I felt things years ago when watching anime.
    I’m still suspicious this might be a bait then switch though, but we’ll have to wait and see.
    There are too many Dutch angles in this series, Mayuuri makes me feel protective things and want to save her.

  3. Maho getting embarassed though in that one scene though was kind of jarring though.
    Also I agree that the animation is crap.

  4. Avatar Lenlo says:

    Yeah, I forgot to mention it, but I found that it ruined the pacing of the drama. The sudden comedy just doesnt work. Maybe its better when theres a commercial break there, like I suspect on TV, but not in online commercial free format.

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