I really liked this scene. Where the two of them were sitting in the time machine and Suzuha said those white balls appear every time she travels, but nobody knows why. It gives this notion that there’s a vast world to explore in the area of time travel. There are other anime that do this to much larger degrees, like Redline or Haibane Remnei, but I liked this single nod to how little any of the characters have really explored time travel.
And so we reach the ending. All Okarin needs to do to get the ultimate ‘Good End’ is to deceive his past self into thinking he say a dead Kurisu and the world will keep her alive. I’m sure if you poked the whole process hard enough, you’d fine multiple plot holes with the whole process. Did he really need to go through all the previous 12 odd episodes of time travelling when all he needed was sleeping pills and some ketchup? I know Future Okarin said this gave fruit to his devotion to the task, but 15 years of theorising gave him nothing more complex than ‘fool yourself’? Plus what makes Future Okarin so convinced this will work? I suppose I should hold off declaring the plan a load of nonsense before the final episode and Okarin has to actually put the plan into action. I certainly can’t see it going down without a hitch.
One part I did find interesting was how Future Okarin phrased the whole business. “Deceive yourself. Deceive the world”. I’ve found it weird before how other big events, like Feyris’ dad dying or the moe in Akihabara, had little to do with the timelines. The entire world seemed to revolve around Okarin’s life. Which, from Future Okarin’s words, it pretty much does. The timelines that is. The timelines to quite literally focus solely on Okarin. He is the Master of Time, or however you want to put it. He has the Reading Steiner and all. The entire story has always been seen through the eyes of Okarin. The overly dramatic presentation, with dutch angles up the bum. How the story always followed his view of events. How the world looks like one of a dystopia, with the dull grey colours everywhere, because he views the world as though there’s a mysterious organisation after him at all times. The viewpoint and story has always visually revolved around him, but for the entire world to revolve around how he sees events is clever. I like that a lot. Bravo Steins;Gate, especially for keeping that reveal until right at the end.
Okarin stabbing Kurisu was just silly though. I mean, I suppose it’s theoretically possible that in one of the Mayushi timelines, he pushed her off a building or something. That might have been a bit easier to stomach. But this was such a silly way to force melodrama out of the scene that I laughed the entire way through it. Also, since I’m complaining, why do slaps in the world of anime have some sort of mythical force that forces characters to instantly change their minds? The sheer power of an open handed slap to the cheek causes all other sounds to be drained away and for time itself to slow down. That it came from Mayushi as well felt even sillier. This was back in the past again, where Mayushi hadn’t been watching Okarin constantly ignore her. I can simply not imagine Mayushi ever even playfully punching someone on the shoulder, let alone slap someone.
But to end on a positive note, we learn what Steins;Gate really means: It doesn’t really mean anything at all. Which, in some kind of twisted logic, makes perfect sense for this series.