Steins;Gate is a rare science fiction show that turns a home-brew science experiment into an extraordinary mind trip through time. This review covers the first eight episodes.
This show might turn out unbelievably far-fetched, but the dense dialogue of Steins;gate is rich with emotion. Rather than focus on a professional group of techie policemen or engineers, this anime focuses on a charismatic, low-budget scientist named Rintaro Okabe.
The show staggers in the beginning as a series of mundane run-ins with Kurisu Makise, a mysterious scientist girl at a time travelers’ conference in Akihabara. When he encounters her dead body in a closet, he freaks out and sends a phone message to his otaku assistant at the lab.
Unbeknownst to him, his phone message somehow triggered a time paradigm shift. Somehow, he made Kurisu return back to life by using his cell phone text message. The entire incident is so shocking that he spends the first few episodes trying to discover how he did it.
Action fans may want to steer clear from this, because the show’s dialogue is boring when compared to Ghost in the Shell or Evangelion. However, patient anime nuts will love all the playful banter between Rintaro and Kurisu as they attempt to unravel the secrets of changing the past. It’s like watching The Da Vinci Code, except that this anime actually is fun to watch.
The series only gets funnier as it keeps progressing. Eventually, Rintaro and his friends discover that they can somehow change past events by using a microwave, an old IBN computer and a cell phone. However, only Rintaro remembers the actual experiment taking place.
It’s a fascinating plot twist that is both fascinating and dangerous. The “revived” female scientist, Kurisu, especially has an emotional grudge against the use of time travel. Her father even neglected her as a child, because he was so obsessed with time travel research.
I’d love to see if the animators can keep the momentum rolling throughout the rest of the series. Steins;Gate is an eclectic show that might actually be one of the sleeper hits of the year.
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