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Weskalia's Steins Gate Tv Review

Steins Gate Steins Gate Screenshot This is a Future Gadget Lab, and you're my hostage! Steins Gate Screenshot The genius Makise Kurisu. Steins Gate Screenshot Join the Dark Side now Tuturu! Steins Gate Screenshot Even time cannot stop the mad scientist and his assistant.

Steins Gate tv Review

The story starts off with Rintarou Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist who goes to attend a presentation about time travel with his friend Mayuri, but discovers the body of researcher Kurisu Makise. When he sends a message to his friend Daru about the matter, he suddenly finds himself in the streets of Akiba with everyone gone. After Mayuri wakes him up, he discovers not only that the presentation was canceled, but that a large satellite had crashed in the very building he was in earlier.

Shortly after, he and Daru go to attend a different lecture; there, they find Kurisu alive, and Daru mentions receiving a text message from one week ago. Investigating further, they discover that their microwave machine can send text messages back in time. Unfortunately, they're not the only ones interested in time travel. The shadowy organization SERN has been running their own experiments, and thanks to Rintaro's frantic text to Daru, they've clued in to what Rintaro and his friends have discovered, and are closing in...

Synopsis: Weskalia

Story & Characters

In the eighties, the Back to the Future trilogy set the standard for the sci-fi and time travel genre, it has been an upsurge in popularity in the past few years, including Frequency, Timeline, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban. Thus it is somewhat surprising that it took this long for a dedicated anime version to pop up. Anime adaptations of visual novels would probably get a better rap if more of them were like Steins;Gate, a psychological thriller from the same studio that produced Chaos;Head. Set in 2010, one year after its predecessor Chaos;Head, the story revolves around time travel, featuring many elements of the genre such as the cause and effect concept, the world line theory and story of the famed John Titor.

On July 28, 2010, self-proclaimed mad scientist Okabe Rintarou (aka Houhouin Kyouma) and Shiina Mayuri visit Akihabara to attend a lecture about time traveling. There, Rintarou finds the body of Makise Kurisu. Panicked, he sends a text message to his friend Hashida Itaru about the incident then strange thing happens: city crowds briefly disappear while he's crossing the street, and a satellite crashes into the building that he was just in. When he tries to discuss this with the others, no one seems to have experience the phenomena nor has any memory of it. The mystery deepens further when a text message seems to have been sent into the past and Rintarou encounters the woman he had seen murdered standing around as if nothing had happened... yet. After investigating, the group discovers they can send text messages into the past but doing so would also alter the current reality. Oblivious of the consequences, the experiments end up trapping Rintarou in a world of conspiracies and murder. Upon realizing their mistakes, Rintarou travels back in time to bring back the original world line and sorts out the chaos he has caused in the past, present, and future.

The strength of the series begins with its concept. Text messages sent into the past that will cause a long lasting effect in the alternated future seems very exaggerated, but a setting in which the protagonist time travels in between many alternated timelines to change the impossible is quite unique. This setting creates a neat little guessing game of imagination versus reality and past versus present (or future?), while the characters' odd personalities give them an intriguing, dark-edged quality. As you'd expect of a series intent on engrossing take on time travel horrors and ratcheting up incremental suspense, Steins;Gate is heavily atmosphere-focused. It moves in a haze of curdled peace, never hurrying and rarely breaching the unnatural stillness. When the stillness is breached, however, it is with hallucinatory ferocity. These bursts of extreme stylization can seem a little messy and pointless at first, but their cumulative effect - in putting viewers on edge and heightening the notion of time - reveals them to be anything but.

From episode 12 onward, the series seems to have abandoned its intro of time experiments and starts feeding into the overall plot involving Rintarou's efforts to return to his original world line. From that point on the series slowly but steadily builds a twisted plot involving characters' backgrounds and their motivations to change, dark secrets, John Titor's real identity, a story about a theorized World War III, all laced with a high degree of subterfuge and brought to a head in an initiation disaster that comes around Titor's time in this alternate world. Certainly the content has no shortage of drama and intensity, and while some of the early episodes are a bit silly and slow, helps building Steins;Gate's plot one of a kind.

Naturally the cast is populated with eccentric characters, but these are not the same old, dry stand-bys. Rintarou is written as almost a joke, a mad scientist who has a loft full of useless gadgets, and two employees who are mostly along for the ride. From the way he babbles about the "Organization" and his trinkets, he could easily just be a lovable dreamer, or a borderline lunatic. But it's the somber atmosphere that makes you wonder just how much of Okabe is comic, and that is mostly true because the buffoon that he seems to be early on is later shown to not be his true character; his steel determination, high and mighty ego and psychopathic attribute are what make him the perfect embodiment of a true mad scientist. A few more interesting characters to help are very strong. Rintarou's roommate, Daru, is a more "traditional" overweight otaku hacker who tries to make girls repeat dirty sounding phrases whenever possible. The girls in question are Shiina Mayuri, a cosplayer who claims to be Okabe's willing "hostage," Makise Kurisu, a more realistic young scientist who gets sucked into the crazy experiments.

Heavily-focused though it is, this show is as much about Rintarou's relationship (mostly with Kurisu) with the cast. All the while that he tries to save his time, he learns about everyone's issues as well as overcoming his: Rintarou trying to convince Kurisu to help him and grappling with the implications of having romantic in this desperate timeline, and Kurisu trying to treasure her feelings for Rintarou even as it can result in uncertain grieve. It's an unusually complex emotional core for an action series, and an effective one. Although the characters are written funny at first, they completely don't disappoint, and that makes Steins;Gate flourish in both plot and characterization.

Rating: 10

Art

One of a strong draw of this series is the artistry; based on the advertising blurb for this series, this newest effort from studio WHITE FOX (Tears to Tiara, Katanagatari) really does involve time travel. Mayuri and her cosplayer friend Feyris, with their cute maid outfits, petite figure, are the epitome of Akihabara moeness; Kurisu's design maybe a bit newer, in the original novel her hair color was brown whereas the anime has it somewhat reddish, but still very attractive when being embarrassed or mimicking Rintarou's evil laugh. All of the other character designs are also clean and appealing, and background art is attractive, nicely-rendered, and tweaked appropriately for the mood of the scene, with serious moments generally being darker and more light-hearted fare generally being brighter.

Rating: 9

Sound

The producers provides an effective and nimble score which handles both dark-edged and deathly series scenes with equal skill and knows when to be quiet, too. Itou Kanako, who previously did for Chaos;Head, offers the series the strong and intense OP "Hacking to the Gate" which embodies the show's mysterious elements, and sang two different EDs for the last two episodes, both are calmer and more relaxing than the usual "The Twelve Time-Governing Covenants" which gets the chance to show off at the end of episode 9 where the first consequence of time traveling enters. Notably, the lyrics for both songs slightly changed in the last few episodes.

Amongst the vocal performances, the standout is Miyano Mamoru in the lead role - and he may be perfectly-cast, as he occupies most of the show's time and the character being a mad scientist. Here filler dialog is used seamlessly, performances are uniformly smooth, and seiyuu are not using inappropriately wacky voices. Imai Asami, who has made her VA career primarily out of voicing the "typical teen" parts, is a welcome surprise with a quality turn as Kurisu, while Tamura Yukari is a particularly good fit at Suzuha despite her complicated background and veteran Seki Tomokazu is perfectly-cast as the nerdy Daru.

Rating: 9

Presentation

In theory, time travel has always been one of the strongest and most beneficial concepts, but practically speaking, not everything can have the amazing budget and loveable screenwriting of Back to the Future. Comprehensiveness in this respect has caused the longer of the previous 5pb. titles to drag at times, though, so the decision to focus on only a handful of cases may have been the lesser of two evils. The series makes up for that with intertwining storyline, unique characters, though, one which waits until the last few episodes to reveal the true meaning of the series' title.

Other than that, this is one of the most complete series of the year and also one of the best, and to think that there's still the movie adaptation to catch is incredible. Creating a series ostensibly incomprehensible events which fit as seamlessly together as Steins;Gate is a tricky business, and doing so with the uniqueness and emotion for success that this series brings is worthy of the overused epithet of "genius."
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 10
Characters: 10
Art: 9
Animation: 9
Voice: 10
Music: 8
Overall: 9.75

Good:
+An excellent balancing act of music, comedy, thriller, drama, and emotion wraps around a compelling story that is quite possibly one of the strongest of its kind since Back to the Future.
Bad:
+If you don't follow it closely, and don't understand it: your loss.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

9.33 (very good)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Sep 18, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Sep 18, 2011

    I've seen both chaos head and steins gate and I have to agree with you, this anime was well worth the wait. I found it quite interesting to state the least and I liked the review well done. I also have to agree this is one of those anime that you must watch, if you just watch it and/or read the spoilers you're probably not going to capture the full depths of this anime. and time travel is one of my themes I like in an anime not to mention in a movie, etc. I thought you compared it nicely with back to future, it is also one of my favorite movies, all of them are.

  2. MisaSasekage Moderator Sep 20, 2011

    I got into this show about two weeks ago, it's not bad. Okabe is hilarious. Nice review Wesk!

  3. zalin Sep 20, 2011

    Very nice review, I myself thought that this anime is the best anime to come out in a very long time I loved every episode of it.

  4. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator Sep 20, 2011

    Wooh, very nice and descriptive. Having it be a little bit longer than some of your more recent reviews creates a nice balance and mixing up your writing style every now and then is pretty cool; variety is the spice of life after all and makes your reviews interesting each time. :) Anyhow, your thoroughness is great and I'm excited to watch this series; it sounds fantastic and right up my alley! Some of the description also makes me think of Doctor Who, one of my all time favorite shows. :) Great job!

  5. mbeckley Sep 21, 2011

    I added this anime to my list. This review makes it sound amazing. xD
    I had always liked the time-traveling concept. :)

  6. Mibelle Sep 21, 2011

    Awesome review! Steins Gate quickly became one of my favorite series. When I first started it I was like eh, this is a bit too confusing for me. But after a few episodes, I think it was after 3 I was hooked. After that it was just mind blowing to me. It kept me attached to the characters and their relationships and just everything about it. Also after finding out that it's based on a real life character made it even cooler to me. ^^

  7. aozoraskies Sep 28, 2011

    The plot sounds heavy in this one. *nods sagely* The story section is ever so compact and bursting with all this information. Gasp, and I thought that Steins Gate was a light-hearted sci-fi show, with a dash of action. SO wrong. I guess making assumptions from 'But it's a..' videos just don't count, huh?

    So... Time travel. And sending texts to the past. Plus a not-so-serious, wannabe scientist. That all sounds familiar. Pretty sure I read all that in a certain manga. But then from your review, there just seems to be the right amount of crazy balanced out with worthy characters, atmosphere, chemistry and pace - To think this concept came from a Visual Novel! :o I'm surprised. I know there are VNs that have dark tones out there, but I always thought that most fall into the trap of some sappy romances and over-fanservice. Well, this looks like a treat!

    I find it curious that you start off with comparing it to the sci-fi movie classics and all. Well, I'm glad that the anime appears to be on par with them~ I know I loved Back to the Future when I was a kid. An anime with the same enthusiasm and energy and daring? Win.
    Your art section is shorter this time, but well *gestures at story section* that makes up for it some. xD
    Complex plots are difficult things to balance out and apply in such a sense that the audience are not lost. I hope Steins Gate has as much capability in it as you describe - because boy, does this sound temptingly intriguing with the three wacky characters. :D

  8. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Sep 29, 2011

    Goofy me, here I go reading the review, thinking I commented only to find out I never did. My mind must certainly be gone.

    Steins;Gate was a series that had a lot of hype around it and I won't lie, I watched one episode and was done with it. The show just didn't click with me and the mad-scientist's assistant annoyed the hell out of me and I certainly didn't want any more of that. However, from what I've heard from many individuals I started to reconsider this decision. It wasn't until I read this review that I decided that my poor decision ultimately caused me to miss out on a wonderful series.

    I plan on making up for lost time now.

    In terms of the review, I really enjoyed it. It was really easy to get into the series and excited about it just by reading the review and in my eyes that's the sign of a perfect review. When someone really enjoys a series and when they write it up properly, you can really feel it and it becomes contagious. I have to admit I really enjoyed what you did here and I can't say too much else other than the fact that I'm re-watching the show right now based upon this review. That's all I can say.

  9. AirJack Oct 08, 2011

    Great review actually got loss for a few episode but then I understand it.

  10. SolemnSerpent Oct 13, 2011

    After reading this review, god, I really want to see this series. The plot alone makes me excited, and with my love for Back to the Future already set in, anything that successfully pulls off elements of time-travel leaves me with a lot of anticipation. Strangely though, whenever I think of time-travelling and assistants, I think of Doctor Who. Not to mention that I love plots that require the one watching to pay attention to all details; dullness & predictability are the biggest turns-off with anime, for me.

    After reading many of your reviews, I have to say I love the flow of writing of this one most. One of my favorite lines is the description of Okabe Rintarou, '...his steel determination, high and mighty ego and psychopathic attribute are what make him the perfect embodiment of a true mad scientist.' such an awesome sentence; I don't think I ever wanted to write epic fanfiction for an anime I've never seen, so much.

    Overall, excellent job on this review, it stands as one of my favorites from you and I plan to watch the anime as soon as I finish watching/adoring Blood+.

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