Steins;Gate Review

by Chad

Steins;Gate is one of the anime shows currently being aired that I prioritize watching after being released every week, along with Natsume Yuujinchou, Nichijou, Gintama, Baka Test, Usagi Drop, No. 6, Carnival Phantasm, Dantalian no Shoka and many others. I’ll try to blog about them as soon as possible.

Originally a visual novel for the Xbox 360, this franchise has expanded not just in other platforms like Windows, PSP and iOS, but in anime and manga as well. The story is supposed to have taken place a year after the events in Chaos;Head – a horrible anime you should never watch. Surprisingly, Steins;Gate is quite the opposite and has regained my trust in 5pb. and Nitroplus.

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It’s already on it’s 22nd episode (two more to go) and I’m eagerly awaiting for the awesome finale. The main setting of this anime concentrates on the value of time and the choices you make via time travel scenarios, but it also goes with the concept that you can’t change fate no matter what you do. Our main character would stand up and battle the cruel destiny that awaits him – a somewhat similar predicament to Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni‘s Rika Furude.

Plot: Self-proclaimed mad scientist Okabe Rintarou, founder of Future Gadget Laboratory, discovers a way to send text messages to the past via their Future Gadget #008 dubbed Phone Microwave (name subject to change) along with other lab members Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida.

Capable of informing people in the past via SMS, or D-Mail, they are able to alter the present timeline but at the price of everyone forgetting the previous timeline like it never happened (as technically, it never did – it was overwritten in the new world line). All except for Okabe. This is due to his ability which he calls “Reading Steiner.”

After conducting a number of experiments, they are suddenly discovered by SERN, an organization conducting similar research that is now bent in tracking them down and capturing them. In the middle of the series, (SPOILER ALERT!) Mayuri is killed by SERN but at that point in time new lab member Makise Kurisu is able to finish a pseudo-time machine that can send one’s memories to the past. Now, what must Okabe do or undo to prevent the tragedy to befall them?

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One of the interesting things that make Steins;Gate shine is its fictional concept on world lines and the so-called Attractor Field Theory. “An attractor field is like a rope. It may look like a single line, but actually, many threads comprise it. The threads are world lines. Each never touch the others, but they all go to the same place – a world where ‘that’ tragedy happens. But if the world line drastically changes from the alpha world line to the beta world line over the 1% barrier (a different rope), another outcome would occur.”

Simply put, Okabe is trapped in an attractor field full of world lines where ‘that’ tragedy happens. And it won’t change no matter how many times he travels to the past and try to prevent it. He must find or trigger a world-changing event that will let him cross over the 1% barrier in the divergence meter and with that, he’ll be able to transfer to another attractor field where ‘that’ tragedy never happens.

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Although time travel-themed shows and movies can’t be considered to have been executed in flying colors because of their being cliche and full of loopholes, I definitely recommend Steins;Gate to anyone looking for an action,drama and comedy watch revolving around time travel bundled up with weird yet interesting characters and a plot that will most probably keep you glued to the screen. Try out the first five episodes and decide for yourself!

And now I end this post with the anime’s OP and awesome ED:

 

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