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

Hello and welcome to another week of, I don’t really care anymore. Apologies for the lateness of this, but I have simply been so… un-enthused with Steins;Gate 0 recently. So without further ado, lets jump in and see why.

So to start off, Steins;Gate 0 has become boring. And here is why. With easy access to limited time travel removed, it is afraid to commit to anything that shakes the status quo. It took us 19 episodes to get to the lock-down point. The moment that Okabe is supposed to dedicate the rest of the season to fixing, the big “wow” moment. And now that we are finally here, what do we get? A “are they aren’t they dead” scenario where Steins;Gate 0 is afraid to actually commit and kill off any of its titular characters. Hell, the only characters Steins;Gate 0 IS willing to kill off onscreen are Reyes, who is criminally underused, and Kagari, a character whom I hate even exists. There are no stakes. Steins;Gate 0 has backpedaled or reversed every major event with nary a scratch on our leads. It’s boring.

Now onto specifics. First and foremost, what dragged me down the most this episode, was the complete and utter failure of Steins;Gate 0 to commit to its “big twists”. Just in the last two weeks we saw Mayurii “shot”, and then boom. She is miraculously alive again. This week, after a missle hits the time machine, Steins;Gate 0 once again backpedals, with this “they could have made it, there are no bodies” crap. It doesn’t matter if they made it, it doesn’t affect the story, so they might as well have died to give some actual damn tension! But no, the only characters Steins;Gate 0 is able to bring itself to kill off are the ones no one liked anyway, or the criminally underused. And believe me, I will get to Reyes. For now though, let’s focus on this rooftop scene shall we?

Somehow, even with the National Guard all over a presumed terrorist attack and with absolutely no training whatsoever, Okabe managed to sneak back to the top floor and listen in on what was happening. What? Okabe doesn’t have the skills for this. He has no equipment. He should not, flat statement, have been able to make it up there and hear that conversation. I get that convergence and world lines and such help him out a bit here, but seriously. Okabe’s defining traits have always been his intelligence and drive to never give up. Not his ability to solid snake behind soldiers onto a suspected terrorist site. Its all just kind of… disappointing. Okabe isn’t figuring anything out here, he’s not deducing how time travel works or how to undo something or switch world lines. Hes rebuilding something we already know he can make, very very slowly.

As for other issues, now is as good a time as any to bring up the Dutch problem. That’s right, Dutch Angles. All those weirdly off-kilter shots, where the entire world is sorta… rotated? Or its a really weird fish-eye sort of effect? That’s a Dutch Angle. Its purpose is to show unease, that something is wrong, or about to happen. Now, in some shots this is justified, it works. But when over 50% of your shots are Dutch Angles? At that point it’s just obnoxious. Every shot becomes a pain to look at and your audience never has a second to wind down, nor do you have time to build tension. Its just 100% always “something spooky is happening”, and it ruins the tone. I understand its a narrative decision, and it sorta worked in the original. But the original was also better in every other conceivable way.

Now, onto Reyes and just how criminally underused she is. Seriously, she appeared for maybe 2 episodes in the first half, then disappeared. Only to come back now as some expendable villain. Is this supposed to make me feel something? Am I supposed to care? She has had no development, barely any character and next to no time with our main cast. Maybe if she was a recurring character, like Leskinen, we would care. But she isn’t, so we don’t. She could have, should have, been the foil to Leskinen’s obvious red-herring nature as a non-villain. She was already setup through shot composition to be the most clearly evil. So why let that thread dangle? Instead we get this half baked “reveal” that she was a DARPA rounder the entire time, which was already obvious. As if Yuki’s bait-and-switch did anything. #Disappoint.

It’s not all bad this week, though the good doesn’t outweigh the bad. It was nice seeing a motivated Okabe this week. His whole arc wasn’t half bad. Seeing him broken down, start attacking his friends and such. I especially like how he didn’t try to play any games. He went back, and then outright told everyone exactly what happened. He didn’t mince words or anything. It was nice and quick, saving us a tedious explanation scene. It’s not a good sign though when the best thing that can be said about your episode is that you didn’t screw up your main character.

All in all, while not the weakest episode of Steins;Gate 0, it definitely highlighted the big issue of the series. Namely, that nothing lasting ever really happens. It is bound by the confines of the original, such that we already know how it will end. And that is often the problem with prequels, isn’t it? Figuring out an interesting way to get to an end we alreadying know. Initially Steins;Gate 0 got by on the strength of its characters, on Okabe’s depression and Maho’s newness. Now that one has disappeared and the other gotten stale though? It just doesn’t work.

But what about you? Am I being unduly harsh? It’s a decent melodrama, but when I inevitably compare it to its predecessor, it simply falls flat in every way to me. I am curious to see how others think. And remember! No Steins;Gate 0 next week, we have a break!

4 Responses

  1. Avatar houston says:

    Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many choices
    out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Many thanks!

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Well, I’m not sure I am the best person too ask since im pretty new at this as well, but I can give you what I learned.

      1st, WordPress has been good so far. For a free option, its not a bad place to start.

      2nd, For writing, I try to be as honest as I can. To get my thoughts out there without to much fluffy language. Not everyone wants to read a 2k word essay every week, so the more concise I can nail something down, the better. Its why I try to keep each topic to 1 paragraph. So I don’t spend to much time on any one thing. Unless its reeeeally important.

  2. Avatar Evaluator says:

    I have fell behind at like 3rd episode and I didn’t think the show was any good even then. But from what I keep reading about SG on this blog… I’s sad.

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