29 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 23

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.

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28 Comments

  1. HomuHomu
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Sky-clad Observer playing at the end was glorio.

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I’d do Oldkarin. I have no idea why. But making him even older than me suddenly made him even hotter. Besides, he’s only like 19 right? I always assumed he was like 25. he looks 25. Well Oldkarin is like 33. Which is hot. I’d do Oldkarin.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      So long as I still get Kurisu

      • luffyluffy
        Posted September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Her and Oldkarin have probably been fucking anyway. I’m sure you’ll be honored to have Oldkarin’s leftovers.

  3. Posted September 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    “It probably wasn’t the intended effect, but when Okarin went all stabby stabby, I lol’d”
    Trying to shove in more drama when we had all this drama in the past leaves it overshadowed, I suppose.

    “It doesn’t really mean any­thing at all. Which, in some kind of twis­ted logic, makes per­fect sense for this series.”

    The title makes no sense. Nor the phrase. Even Okabe said it himself. A lot of speculation on what it means, but to just simply say that it means nothing gives a sort of relief, when this show leaves you thinking too much throughout the series.

  4. Edvardaz
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Okarin stabbing Kurisu was really predictable…

  5. 3242
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Obviously older okarin is convinced because he experienced it himself. Yeaah.

  6. Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I didn’t buy the Mayushi slap at all. It seemed born out of the notion that, well, it happens in every other anime, so it should happen here, too. Probably at least half the series each season culminate with someone slapping another person and telling them to get a hold of themselves. It’s not empowering anymore — it’s just silly.

    That said, I enjoyed the episode, even with the little flaws everywhere, and I’m looking forward to how everything concludes.

    • Kansokusha
      Posted September 8, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Nothing is as it seems. We have been following Okabe’s perspective only. That slap meant so much. Tho they will never explain it in the anime, there’s a story behind the slap. A story that will make you cry buckets.

  7. Derrick
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the episode, and as the animesuki forums pointed out I did get some warm fuzzies from the idea of future Okarin’s d-mail instantly changing his time-line to something vastly happier after he hit the send button.

  8. AzarelHikaru
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    “But this was such a silly way to force melo­drama out of the scene that I laughed the entire way through it.”

    Despite the melodrama of the scene, they did have it planned from Episode 1. They didn’t just pull it out of nowhere. So it didn’t seem forced to me.

  9. Posted September 8, 2011 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Mayushii’s metal Upa!

    • Scamp
      Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Metal Ooooooopa

      • luffyluffy
        Posted September 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        mayushii’s metaru ooopa~!

  10. kevin
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Steins mean stone. A stone, something that is near everlasting, big enough and it becomes immobile, strong, sturdy. Gate, an entrance to a place. Steins;gate, a place where the thingy-a-bobber doesn’t cause a continuous loop and fuck Okarin in the ass and giving him a super mind fuck.

  11. Posted September 8, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Some other timelines might not have been Okarin but Kurisu’s dad. Well it all would end up to Kurisu’s death anyway.

  12. romulus
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, nice episode.

    Knife scene was predictable but still shocking.
    It is fully possible that blinded by rage and carried by momentum Okarin stabs the wrong person with his full-body knife-tackle. Remember, he approacked the Evil Prof diagonally from behind with great momentum. What is more, those two certainly didn’t stand still. Not silly at all.

    I had to make a sad discovery, namely that now it can be proven how Steins;Gate isn’t perfect. The greatest weakness it has is that however perfect it may be, it is still an anime – the show is abundant with anime clichées like that slap and the ‘first kiss’ proclamation on the girl side of an emotional kiss scene.

    But these are nothing compared to how fascinating the whole thing is. I bit my nails, loudly cheered to Okarin, was happy to see Kurisu alive and did things typical of watching a five-star-quality work.

    Expecing final ep, also, Old Okarin rocks.

  13. Someone Else
    Posted September 9, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Check episode 1 and notice lots of things

    Also I knew that professor has to do with something, because Steins Gate loves to leave clues behind, as well as recycle characters lol

    Though I didn’t understand the deceive yourself plan at all

  14. Suzushina Yuriko
    Posted September 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    From RandomC:

    “This is actually a lot more convoluted than it seems, so I get the feeling that not too many people truly understand what’s going on. It took me a while to make sense of it myself and I had to refer to a timeline for the game to do so. For some of the not-so-obvious implications of all the time travel — which the anime probably won’t explain in anymore detail — see below.

    The main reason that Rintarou of 2025 didn’t send his video D-mail, a.k.a. movie mail, to Rintarou of July 28th and tell that version of himself to save Kurisu is because he wants to preserve the three weeks of hell he went through where he developed feelings for Kurisu. (Three weeks actual time, but he may have spent years repeating those three weeks for all we know.)

    It was that experience that drove the current Rintarou of August 21st to spend the next 15 years of his life with Daru creating a time machine and perfecting the video D-mail to try and save Kurisu. He wants to cause a divergence towards Steins Gate after those three weeks and not before it. To accomplish that, he needs Rintarou of 8/21 to do it for him. He also needs to trick history.

    The reason why the video D-mail from 2025 came after Suzuha from 2036 is because her arrival is a prerequisite to put the current Rintarou of 8/21 into a slightly modified version of the Beta timeline where he will send a movie mail back to himself. The reason why Suzuha didn’t go back in time until 2036 is because the time machine wasn’t completed until 11 years later. (Note: As Suzuha mentioned before, Rintarou was already dead by then, having been killed in 2025, leaving Daru to finish the time machine alone. Incidentally, 2025 is when World War 3 broke out in the Beta timeline.)

    In this version of the Beta timeline, everything from the “world’s perspective” remains the same. Kurisu is still dead, except she’s killed by Rintarou. History is fooled because Suzuha has inserted a change that allows Rintarou to receive a movie mail, while adhering to the effects of the Attractor Field convergence — the phenomenon where certain events in a given timeline are fated. Rather than fighting hopelessly against fate, Rintarou of 2025′s plan is to first go along with it. In other words, whether Rintarou or Dr. Nakabachi kills Kurisu doesn’t change the fact that Rintarou and Daru will spend the next 15 years of their life creating a time machine and perfecting the video D-mail. A change definitely occurred though since Rintarou of 8/21 is now responsible for killing Kurisu, but it’s so subtle that there was no perceived divergence. It went practically undetected by the timeline. As soon as Rintarou of Suzuha returned to August 21st, 2010, they were already on a path to a slightly different future though. According to the game, the shift was from only from 1.130205 to 1.130209~1.130211. i.e. a 0.000004~0.000006 change.

    The video mail sent to Rintarou on July 28th is only readable now because it is sent by the Rintarou of 8/21 that killed Kurisu. The original Rintarou of 7/28 (in episode one) received noise, because Rintarou of 2025 had to send one (even if it was blank) so that the current Rintarou of 8/21 will send one as well fifteen years from now when he becomes Rintarou of 2025. Remember, the subtle change on who killed Kurisu doesn’t change the current future. However, Rintarou can change the contents of that D-mail to himself like we saw here. The first Rintarou of 2025 who didn’t kill Kurisu left a future means to get a message back to Rintarou of 8/21 where he can keep trying to save Kurisu. This time, it’s over a span of 15 years and “our” Rintarou is receiving D-mails instead of sending them.

    Now that Rintarou of 2025 is getting closer to tricking history, he tasks Rintarou of 8/21 with the last part of the plan, to save Kurisu without affecting anything afterward that leads to saving her. It sounds absurd but makes perfect sense if you think about it. If Rintarou of 2025 or Suzuha of 2036 just saved Kurisu themselves, they would’ve pre-empted the very three-week experience that caused Rintarou to try and save her in the first place. They would’ve gone to a whole new timeline and who knows what would go wrong there. The plan is to stay on the current timeline but save Kurisu. To do that, he needs to make sure that the current Rintarou of 8/21 saves Kurisu while fooling himself on 7/28 so that everything that’s happened up to this point remains exactly the same. The divergence to Steins Gate comes from destroying the research papers, but starts from August 21st onward when the time machine returns to that day. It’s not explicitly stated, but I presume that would be another 1+% divergence since World War 3 will have been prevented.”

    • luffyluffy
      Posted September 10, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      wat

    • Posted September 10, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      TL; DR

      Largely in fear of spoilers.

      Was shocked by the stab, not because I didn’t expect it, but I didn’t think the creators would resort to an easy melodramatic out.

      But, perhaps because of that, I’m eagerly awaiting next episode!

    • Terra
      Posted September 10, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I thought all of that was fairly obvious.

      The only point I disagree with you on (but more like speculate about), the original Okabe from 2025 could have still accidentally stabbed Kurisu. Infact, I’m pretty sure everything went exactly as it did up until the video, even his refusal to keep trying, so instead he buried himself in time travel research, or something else came along to keep him in time travel. Anyways, none of that is certain, and none of it is directly talked about, but this is how I like to view it.

      I think the talk about Steins;Gate opens up an interesting topic as well. While I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean it in this way, when they very first explained it, I thought of how whenever he leaves a world line, that line remains, he just jumps to a different one, so somewhere, there are several very confused Okarins where he failed to jump and the line continues. This led me to think that steins gate could be sort of this lump sum of the world lines as if it was completely unaffected by time travel, but that also led me to believe that would be a very sad world.

      instead, steins gate is just a name for their “target world” which is made to think it is unaffected by time travel but really is? lol

      • Suzushina Yuriko
        Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I didn’t write this, Divine from RandomC did. I posted it because it seemed like Scamp didn’t get the whole picture, and that post clarified a lot of things for me.

        Why would the Okabe of 2025 deliberately time travel himself to try and save Kurisu? He deliberately spent 15 years making a complete time machine and perfecting video D-mail for the Okabe of 8/21 to realize exactly how Kurisu died and what to do to save her. Plus, there’s a higher chance of him creating a paradox because I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t remember where the Okabe of 7/28 went, and both Kurisu and Dr. Nakabachi would notice if the guy they met was suddenly 15 years older.

      • Someone Else
        Posted September 15, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

        So in other words, they make a future, a solid future where the future okarin helps the past okarin and then the past okarin becomes the future then helps again the past okarin and then repeats rather than forcefully change everything.

        That’s what I understood about what you said guys

  15. Escap3st
    Posted September 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I thought Oldkarin did a pretty good job explaining: Okabe needed those 12 episodes of time travel, because otherwise he would have no reason to save Kurisu. Yes, that the master plan boiled down to “fake it,” is a tad anti-climactic, but considering that Okarin spent the last decade and a half inventing and building a time machine in the midst of World War III, I’ll cut him some slack for not thinking the practical side of things.

  16. mod
    Posted September 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you guys hate cliche too much? This is a drama, not detective story nor sci-fi. Cliche and melodrama are necessary for drama, and we won’t be satisfied without them. At least, anime producers and Japanese fans might think so.

  17. FaS
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Yeah..at first I really wasn’t feeling the show, but me…running out of decent shows to watch, decided to drudge through. And lucky for me (as well as all of us), it wasn’t quite a drudgery at all :) but at any rate, I did enjoy the multiple concepts. At times I felt insanely stupid for not being able to keep up with EVERY/most idea ordevelopement that was thrown my way and for that, I sincerely wish it would have slowed down a bit when it came to explanations. Not the technical stuff like fitting through a wormhole, but moreso the info riiiight at the end with John Titor. Anyways, it was a good episode and I still have to catch the last episode. I just want Chris back.

    Sidenote: the hacker is extremely annoying with his nasally voice and slapping Okarin was stupid. Oh and screw iPads when it comes to watching flash.

One Trackback

  • By Steins;Gate – 23 - METANORN on September 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    […] are to 1. convince his past self that he really did see Kurisu get stabbed and 2. destroy the paper. As Scamp mentioned in his post, Okarin is special and it seems that as long as the past doesn’t change for him, the future […]

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