Posted by Lenlo on 16 August 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

This must be what a disappointed father feels like. You want to believe the best, but they just keep letting you down. This week, Steins;Gate 0 has let me down. Hard. Lets jump in.

So, where to begin. First off, once again, Steins;Gate 0 proves its not an action series. So many still shots and poor choreography. So much of what happened was ludicrous and out of place for a series focused on character drama. I think the most egregious example of ridiculous action however is, of course, Kagari’s fault. The shot of her just… cutting a mans head off, a trained soldier, with her bare hands like a karate chop. I hate this shot so much. Steins;Gate is not a gory, super violent action series. This has no place, it doesn’t fit in what the series is. Speaking of Kagari, she is involved in/a direct consequence of everything bad about Steins;Gate 0. So you know what? Strap in, cause I am about to go on a rant.

How many times did Kagari get shot? or play dead, just to come back for “one last word” or to surprise the bad guys? Was it three times? Because I count three times and its just infuriating. We could probably up it to four, if we count the fake outs! She got shot in the face, but apparently the mask kept her safe. Then shot by soldiers, then by Leskinen, then finally died at the end. Somehow through all of this, and all of her actions until now, Steins;Gate also expects me to feel sorry for her. As if there was a character to have feelings for in the first place! God dang-it, I legitimately despise this character. The only upside we got in regards to her was Leskinen revealing that she wasn’t the only brainwashed kid, just the one that worked. Least shes not a fluke.

As for Leskinen, I was simultaneously disappointed by and in love with his character. I hated how he monologued the entire episode, detailing his entire plan and what he did to the people he knows discover time travel. For some reason he chose not to shoot Okabe, and finally, after apparently knowing the location of the time machine for awhile, he waits for the day everyone else tries to take it. Actions wise, Leskinen is far from the lovably goofy yet brilliant man I have come to enjoy. But, that isn’t to say everything he did this episode was terrible. The mans VA is still on point, and that opening “Howdy Lintahlo” was great. Really, if I just ignore all of the actual actions he took this episode, the man is still my favorite character. His whole reasoning/philosophy for all this was fun to listen to. Here’s why.

I found Leskinen’s “I’m a scientist, I do it just to see if we can” philosophy enjoyable. Leskinen doesn’t dream of world domination or anything. He’s just a fatalist in terms of being unable to change the future, and does what he does to see if he can. As Okabe put it, Leskinen is a true “Mad Scientist”. I am glad Steins;Gate isn’t trying to moralize him, or make him some kind of moral gray villain. Steins;Gate doesn’t need that, it has enough moving parts. A clever antagonist, one who is a real threat, is all we needed. Kagari fails at that completely, because she isn’t a real character, but Leskinen does it well. He’s charming, everyone loves him, and though he was the obvious villain from the start his reveal was still fun to see. Sadly, this is the only good thing to come this week.

You see, Steins;Gate 0 has narrative problems. They appeared before, but this is when they are really coming to the fore. Steins;Gate 0 is trying to adapt every route of the VN into a single cohesive story and it’s starting to fall apart. Characters have to do things out of character for them in this route, that wouldn’t be in others. Some characters have to monologue and spout information that was originally learned in other places. No characters that died in one route can die here, because they are needed in the future. Just look at what happened the the Mayurii death, we were cheated. She was “grazed”, got up, had her spiel, and is not “dead” again. Except odds are, since there is no body, she survived. And we will never know. Not to mention some of the lazy writing being used to consolidate all these stories.

One of the most egregious narrative decisions though is the terrible, the disgusting, “If you kill him your just as bad as him” line. Daru, why. I hate this trope, I hate this line. Its ridiculous. This man works for people about to cause a world war and is trying to steal your time machine. He killed Kagari, he was responsible/complacent in Kurisu’s death and he just held a gun to your head. I can understand not wanting your daughter to have to do that, but c’mon. She was a rebel soldier who has no doubt killed before. Getting rid of him would remove one of your biggest antagonists. Its just… this is one of my personal pet peeves.At least I was right about Reyes.

So, all in all, Steins;Gate 0 disappointed me substantially this week. The twists and teasing with deaths were disappointing. The monologues were basically required to get the story, yet they don’t fit Leskinen’s character. And finally the story only has one direction left for it to go. Leskinen said he wanted to trick the future, by faking the time machines destruction, and Kurisu in episode 8 hinted it to him. With Mayuri’s “death”, he now has motivation. So the only thing left is for Okabe to make the time machine, and figure out how to trick time into thinking Kurisu died. So what are the remaining 5 episodes going to do? I don’t see where 5 episodes of content are going to come from. And it concerns me. Deeply.

What do you think? Is Steins;Gate 0 still going strong? Or is it trying to do to much in to short a time? I know which one I’m leaning towards.

6 Responses

  1. While it extend to the whole of the episode, the first 8 minutes of this one, even if you discount the action sequences, is insultingly poorly animated. And being someone who studied film, the dutch angles and fight animation are equally insulting.
    The cop out with Mayuri feels like a cheat and it took Kagari forever to die and in a show where some of the melodrama actually did click well with me, this episode left me cold.
    To be honest I hated Leskinen’s reveal, completely hammy and cliched on top of feeling underwhelmed, his time travel dialogue was headwrecking.
    This episode has enforced that I will never, ever under any circumstances touch anything that uses time travel or resets.
    This felt like a premature ending episode also (will they just fill the rest with some filler?).
    On a reflection, this has been an experience of strong little moments wrapped up in a messed package.
    I suppose some of Okabe and Mayuri’s reactions in this episode could be a decent point.
    I refuse to continue this show until it ends before I consider having my time wasted.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Thats a shame, because the original is great.

      Its funny to, cause Steins;Gate 0 has actually had… almost no time travel.

      As for wasting your time, dude if you havnt seen the original, its already a waste of your time. Its become clear to me that this show is only enjoyable for people who loved/watched the original. And even then, it just doesnt have any of the magic. I love the concept of “The world line that failed”, but its just…

      Its 5 routes condensed into a single route. And its falling apart. I dont blame you for avoiding it. Im getting more and more upset every episode, and I love the original.

      For dutch angles and such, yeah. I have only so much I can focus on, without making these posts 2k words (Which I could easily do some weeks), so there are some topics I just dont mention. Im glad you also see just how… bad this episode was. Because a lot of people are just taking it at face value and loving it.

      • Some of the melodramatics in steins;gate 0, despite my dissatisfaction with some of the show, hit harder for me than the original.
        The original’s goofing off was more fun and, true,it did go on with said goofing off too long but when it picked up in the second half, it really picked up, wheras 0 in hindsight just feels like a mess with the occasional glimmer that only intermittently captures the original.

        • Also, since you started writing for the site, your posts have got me talking more week by week episode by episode, thanks for reading my long-ass blurbs, I enjoy conversing with you each week after the episode comes out.

          • Avatar Lenlo says:

            I enjoy it to! Ive tried to turn it more and more into a conversation starter, cause I love hearing what others have to say. Its community, we should chat!

            I also suspect its helped me with my writing. :P

  2. This is particularly what I like about your reviews Lenlo, how you bookend them with open questions, that combined with you giving a good short introduction before the reader clicks “more”, it makes them want to read more and engage both with the start of the review and after finishing.
    Good writing.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

15 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

Welcome back to Beni town!  After a two week break, Fire Force has awkwardly picked back up with its penultimate episode (for the first cour).  Missed Shinra and the gang?  Unfortunately, there’s some Catgirl this week, but aside from that, we have another solid effort all around.  Let’s get into it!

Vinland Saga – 14 [The Light of Dawn]

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s […]

Mononoke – 10 [Goblin Cat, Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, apologies for the delay, and welcome to the final arc of Mononoke! This is perhaps the most unique one yet. As we skip forward to a modern era, set the entire thing in a single location, and have ourselves a murder mystery. So, lets dive in! Right off the bat, as always, I […]

Vinland Saga – 12/13 [The Land on the Far Bank/Child of a Hero]

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go! […]

Dr.STONE – 14 [Master of Flame]

And so begins the 2nd cour of Dr.STONE, complete with a whole new OP and everything. However for us, we are just picking up right where we left off. With Kinro’s fight, Senku’s science and an old friend returned. Let’s dive in! In general I think this week was better than the last. Yes, the […]

Mononoke – 9 [Japanese Chimera, Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

And so ends another arc of Mononoke, in a way I never would have expected. As this week we solve a murder mystery, once again question our perceptions of the world, and get another new “favorite arc”. Apologies for the wait, sickness waits for no man, but let’s dive in. Starting off, as always, the […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 13 [FINAL]

I can’t help but feel disappointed when the epilogue of  Lord El-M skips the entirety of the epic use of Rhongomyniad, and Hecatic Wheel smashing into each other. It doesn’t make for an exciting climax when the antagonist just simply teleports away before those two noble phantasm meet each other in a violent explosion. I […]

DanMachi2 – 12 [ Goddess/Child (Song of Love) ] FINAL

DanMachi2 is the kid in class who everyone knows is smarter than their grades reflect.  If only they would get it together and take things seriously.  In the finale of this mess of a second season, DanMachi finally rouses itself and delivers an episode worth watching.

Dr.STONE – 13 [Masked Warrior]

This is a difficult week for Dr.STONE, with what it has to follow up. Everything from production to the story just couldn’t seem to meet the same highs. As we start the Grand Bout, progress the cure-all and Kinro learns a thing or two about science. Let’s dive in! Starting off, I hate to do […]

Latest Reviews

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]