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.

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