40 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 20

Apparently going on holiday and not checking the anime news isn’t a good idea. I turned my back for barely 4 days and BANG Black Rock Shooter in Noitamina and Project Ice is getting an English dub.

*sigh* oh well, back to the bread and butter of Steins;Gate episodics.

One thing I’ve liked about Steins;Gate is how deliberate the way everything has unfolded. The contrast between the quieter first half with the manic halfway point. How there were plenty of hints given before plot twists were revealed, such as how Daru was Suzuha’s father. Which is why I’m really not so keen on the dramatic revelation that Mr. Braun was FB. His naming after the original Braun was not a hint. That’s far too obtuse. I mean, maybe I missed some of the clues, but I’ve been paying pretty close attention to Steins;Gate. It’s not like Umineko where I might have missed the hints and explanations because I was either dozing off or laughing at it. You can’t pass it up as CERN SERN picking Braun because he lived below Okarin, because that happened way too far in the future for it to be of relevance at the time. It smacks more of the show deciding upon Mr.Braun because he was the one character who hadn’t been given importance in the story yet.

That minor piece of whining aside, I really enjoyed this episode of Steins;Gate. I love how Okarin’s character has developed over the course of the show. He starts off as a young man with delusions of greatness, hiding beneath a persona, convincing himself that he’s grander than he is. But the further he delved into the the CERN SERN conspiracy, the more his Mad Scientist persona was stripped away and the more human and panicky he became, culminating at the halfway point where all illusions were destroyed and he became the scared young man that he really was. Yet, even through all this, there was always a hint that there was a ruthless, true mad scientist side to him. One that would mess with the fabric of reality because he was capable of doing so. The further he progresses through the time leaps and D-Mails, the more detached from human feeling he becomes, ignoring the very person he started this quest for.

But, just as there’s always a Mad Scientist part of Okarin, there’s also always that human side. I was a little iffy about the reveal that he has to choose between Kurisu or Mayuri, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. It’s not like Okarin hasn’t done this before. Didn’t he just erase the life of Feyris’s dad? He perceived that as the right thing to do because that wasn’t the ‘true’ timeline. So now what Okarin? The true timeline is one where Kurisu dies, so why don’t you change it? It’s a little different when it’s a person you know personally, sitting in front of you. Where it genuinely feels like you are the one who’s killing them in order to revive the other. He was able to detach himself from Feyris and Rukako because he never quite perceived them as real, but now his human side is brought into play because he has to kill Kurisu.

4 episodes left, and this is the final decision that makes or breaks the series. My theory is that Okarin will jump to a divergence point where he’s the one who dies, leaving Kurisu and Mayuri both alive. Just so long as it doesn’t pull a bloody Deus Ex Machine ending.

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39 Comments

  1. Gentlegiant
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t really related to the current plotline but it’s kind of messed up when you think about it. It occurred to me during this episode that Okarin’s fudging about with all these timelines is leaving more and more devastation each time. The time line doesn’t merely disappear when he jumps (and he creates more every time), the other people (and a different Okarin) have to stay and mourn the tragedies caused there.

    Only question I had was why Braun had to do himself in? He was no longer of use to SERN now that he had the IBN5100?

    • mcm38
      Posted August 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      By killing himself he will prevent SERN from using his family, his daughter Nae, as a hostage in the future when some other things might pop up. He did it to save his daughters future or at least thats what I think.

  2. Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Again, I think it’s safe to spoil this time…

    Wait, what? Maybe a picture will say things better:

    http://yfrog.com/hs6ygmuj

    I think that pretty much shows just how much the adaptation was forced to leave out. Shock value aside, the direct use of FB was still well-done.

    Oh, and FB was already part of CERN prior to even meeting Suzuha in the past. It was alluded well enough in the episode itself.

    4 episodes to go, and I’m bloody anxious. The likelihood of something on the scale of Phantom Requiem’s adaptation ending is increasing, which doesn’t really bode well.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Okarin is looking pretty Crimson Chin there man

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    This might just be me, but as the plot goes on and on, all I want to do it embrace Okarin and give him a gigantic hug. Like, a big squishy tight one. A scientisto one.

    Oh yeah, slightly off topic, go download Okarin and Christiiiina’s character CD’s. Okarin’s comes with a divergence meter screensaver that tells the time, and Christiiiina’s has a puzzle game. A damned hard puzzle game. And if you fail at it she berates you in moon. But if you do good, she treats you nicely! It’s wonderful praise from my sweet mother of time travel.

    • mcm38
      Posted August 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Does it realy exist? I kind of want the Okarin screensaver. Where do I download it?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Each CD comes with a fun gadget. Some are games, some are screensavers, and Suzuha’s is a… clock, I think.

        http://illyachan.com/2011/07/steinsgate-stuff/

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        I went through them all. Okarin’s is a Divergence Meter. Tells the date and time. Mayushii’s is a timer or a game I guess. No idea how it works. Daru’s is a screensaver which has him hacking into Sern (Human is Dead, Mismatch.), Kurisu’s is a puzzle game, Moeka’s has a screensaver where things fly across the game, Ruka’s is a game or something, and Suzuha’s is a clock. Have fun (Y) I can’t choose between Flying Cellular and SERN Hacking… :(

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Feyris also has a screensaver. I forgot her because fuck it.

        To run the screensavers, put them in the windows folder and run as Administrater. That’ll install them. Then, go to your screensaver changer and it should be there. It’ll be in Moon though, so you might want to change it.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Okay I tried Fayris’ screensaver. It’s a nebula and then you’re assaulted by Gel-banas, bloody heads, IBN 5100′s, omlets, jello, and all sorts of things.

      • mcm38
        Posted August 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Tx, the Feyris screensaver sounds interesting. 8P

  4. Derrick
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    > “His nam­ing after the ori­ginal Braun was not a hint. That’s far too obtuse.”

    I may be misreading that statement, and It is rather early… But Mr. Braun’s name is Tennōji. Okarin’s the only one who calls him Braun. I’ll agree though, it did come totally out of left field.

  5. fathomlessblue
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    There were some hints as to FB’s identity, e.g. the ‘I ‘heart’ CRT t-shirt, but I’m with you on the idea that Mr. Braun was picked because he was in the show, rather than fitting into the plot. It’s Daru all over again!

    • Scamp
      Posted August 21, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Nah, the Daru thing had some actual hints given away. I was able to swallow that revelation. But Braun being FB was a bit much

  6. Posted August 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Deus ex Machina means “God from the machine”. Given that Okabe can use a machine to return people to life, etc. etc. we are already there.

    • romulus
      Posted August 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      no, it means a plot development, one where “a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved” by the “intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object” (wiki)

      So Scamp hopes that the show won’t end in a primitive, childish, happy-go-lucky way where everyone survives. (for example by finding a timeline where it happens that way) The problem that either of the girls have to die shouldn’t be swept aside

      …or were you joking?

      • Posted August 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        The thing is, ending where everyone survives IS the True End (at least as far as the game is concerned).

        The problem for the adaptation? There’s no more time to even get there anymore. 4 episodes isn’t enough to squeeze the story of Timeline Beta, so I’m guessing we’ll just get Bad End… What was it again, 2?

        Anyway, Phantom Requiem/Inferno TV ending, so to speak.

      • w_t
        Posted August 20, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink
      • Someone Else
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Wouldn’t it be fun if the ending became a movie? The problem is that we have to wait for so long because dvds/BD from japan takes forever to be released

  7. 3242
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Next episode, Okarin realizes that to stop SERN, he must prevent them from helping the internet into creation!

  8. Posted August 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I had this hunch for the longest time that Braun was FB all along.

    • Posted August 20, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Braggart! Hope you break that hand patting yourself on the back. ;)

      I smell an End of Evangelion in the offing. Basically, there won’t be a Deus Ex Machina for Scamp to have a shitfest over.

  9. romulus
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    End is in sight, fightin’ on with full power!!
    Go, my magical Maddo Scientisto!!!

    Sorry, I watched many old animes nowadays. Ep totally rocked, I hope that the remaining ones will be just as good.

  10. Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    All the obvious mystery aside, I agree about Okarin developing as a character. It seems the growth is two;fold.

    First his taking on of all the responsibility (forced or voluntary), but also his ability to now easily relate his back from the future adventures to Kurisu after each quantum leap. It’s that second part, to me, that should make the ending pretty interesting.

  11. q
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Every episode I keep trying to figure out how we will reach episode 1, Okarin #2. Maybe… He will choose Mayuri over Kurisu but will go back in Daru’s time machine to try to stop the stabbing in person? But I wonder what (/ who) made him scream like that.
    Sigh, is it Wednesday yet??

    • luffyluffy
      Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      What if he stabbed Kurisu, and that was him screaming in terror o-o

      • mcm38
        Posted August 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        If it’s Steins Gate we’re talkig about, it might be true. But I’m guessing if that happens it’ll be probably the cause of an accident.

        It also bothers me a lot. In that Beta thread two Okarins were in the same place at the same time, which is the only time that happeed (one of the unrevealed msyterys). Yet all he did at that time was to accidentaly send a D-mail and the timeline broke trough that 1%. Here lies the problem. That D-mail was sent to the past. However it was divided in parts and was sent to Daru, who didn’t realy give any attention to it. So how caused it that much difference in the timeline. That D-mail was random unlike the other D-mails which had a proper message in it to change the past intentionaly.

      • Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:17 am | Permalink

        As far as I’ve gathered, that D-mail changed things because it was picked up by an automated system of CERN’s intended to monitor communications for signs of things like evidence of time travel. Whatever they did in light of this new information changed the word line in such a way that Kurisu was never killed and Suzuha’s time machine arrived cleanly on the roof rather than materializing halfway into the building.

        The presence of two Okabe’s (hardly a definite thing, as we’ve only heard what may have been his voice) makes sense only if he used the future time machine like Suzuha had. The reason we never saw two of her was of course that she went back to a time before she was even born.

        Given that the future time machine right there and conveniently unoccupied, I think it’s a fair bet that he’s going to wind up using it for one reason or another in the next few episodes.

      • q
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Two Okarins are a definite thing. “What were you trying to tell me about 15 minutes ago?”

      • Posted August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Was that really an Okabe from another world line existing at the same time, though? I figured it was just as likely that he had actually said something to Kurisu, which he wouldn’t have remembered due to his ability. Since he brings with him all of his memories across every change in world lines, he lacks the normal ones he should have from the line he arrives in.

        Of course, that begs the question of why he made contact in the first place, and what he said.

  12. LordOmnit
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    There’s only problem with Okabe jumping to a point where he dies is that if he does that then Mayuri is almost sure to follow- or at least wither away, considering that he was the one keeping her from withering like the time her grandmother died. I guess it would depend upon the strength of the other connections she made while Okabe held onto her. Or maybe that’s when we’d get Mad Sci­ent­isto Kurisu who would have been left a message by Okabe detailing how to save Mayuri when she gives up on life and it would be a yuri-ending. Then we’d get a whole other set of misadventures coming up with this picture being a staple of every episode.

    • LordOmnit
      Posted August 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Oops, heh- *The only problem

  13. mcm38
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I wonder, isn’t it probably because the VN producers where to lazy to create new characters and tried to use every single char available? I won’t be surprised if we see the coffee-house-waitress-woman getting involved with some fighting scenes in the coming weeks.

    • Posted August 21, 2011 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      Other than the logistics of having to make up some more sprites for the game, I doubt it was a case of laziness or convenience. These things tend to be written up and brainstormed well before they’re produced, meaning that if they wanted a character nobody had met to be FB (or just a different one) they would have done it.

      Steins;Gate has a deliberately small and focused primary cast inhabiting a world populated by mostly faceless ancillary ones with no middle ground. It’s probably designed this way specifically because the audience can make clever speculations about each individual person without having a whole city to confound them. Think of it like a game of Clue or a closed house murder mystery, where the more people there are, the harder it is to suspect anyone in specific.

      Because of this, when Steins;Gate introduces enigmatic false identities like FB, John Titor, or a potential CERN infiltrator, I always knew that each of them was probably a character we had already met. But which one? Pointing fingers and inventing hypotheses is the fun of the setup, isn’t it?

      • mcm38
        Posted August 21, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Oooh, I see. A true mystery puzzel. (Or at least something along those lines.)

      • Posted August 21, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Exactly; it’s a bit like the first impression I got of Umineko except not pants-on-head retarded. I swear Umineko is the only anime I’ve seen that I can honestly say deliberately avoids good, compelling ideas (disproving “magic” as an explanation for murders, the classic one-death-a-night murder mystery, the inheritance dispute) in favour of utter nonsense like meta-gaming in alternate continuities which never leads to any conclusive facts or revelations.

        I think there was also an episode of Gosick of all things which had the same premise, with a small group of people in an isolated train compartment, none of them who they actually appeared to be on the surface.

  14. Someone Else
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Then a flying panther came and saved the day!

    *cough* anyways, I’m not being to idealistic but my brother pointed that there’s a possibility of Okabe to receive reading steiner when he was a child or he could have time leaped when he was a child. Either way this was a so-so episode, but the choice between Kurisu and Mayuri is definitely the best plot point

  15. gw_kimmy
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    for some reason i was reminded of that movie “the butterfly effect” when watching this ep. as long as it doesn’t end up like that shitty movie, i’ll be satisfied.

  16. seansky
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Guess i was the only one who tot FB was Mr Braun 2 episodes ago then. I used a different thinking tho. I tot it was simply “Female Braun” since moeka thinks is a female character. :P

    I dont understand why you try to jump to the old world line to save someone tho…… wouldnt u just jump into a third one? :P

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