20 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 25 (DVD/BD special)

Remember this shot?

Remember these characters?

Remember when everyone was losing their minds over a visual novel adaptation for something other than emotionally manipulative melodrama?

Remember Steins;Gate?

Most people crying for Kurisu fanservice will gravitate towards the maid costume scene. I instantly home in on Kurisu wearing Aviators and driving a convertible. That was one of the things I found the most amusing about this special. What the writers of Steins;Gate thought America was like. Motels, long stretches of roads in the middle of scrublands and overly cautious police. It also gave us the chance to hear more glorious engrish. Considering possibly the best scene from the original was I AM MAD SCIENTIST, giving us two scenes of him interacting with english speakers. We’re being spoiled. Also did you notice the cab driver was the same black dude as the guy from that SONUVABITCH scene?

OK, back up a second here. For those out of the loop, this episode is an extra special DVD/BD episode titled as ‘episode 25′. In the timeline, it occurs a few months after the events of the original. There wasn’t really any loose ends the series needed to complete, so really it’s just a bunch of fanservice for people who wanted to see Okarin and Kurisu together for real, and not just heavily implied that they would.

Speaking of fanservice~! Heh, funny how my idea of fanservice is simply give all the characters sunglasses.

I was unsure as to Steins;Gate would work without the mystery that hovers beneath the events. That’s one of the major points that made the TV series click was that, even during the dumber moments, the danger of a building conspiracy was palpable and gave the atmosphere an edge. I does work though because they do actually build a story of sorts in this episode, while indulging in shameless fanservice. Letting Okarin be Okarin is entertainment by itself, but what I liked is how they built on his adventures in the TV series. He still babbles about the organisation, but he now also has lived through crazy timelines which gives his grandstanding more weight. That’s one part I really liked about the final episode of the TV series too, and it was fun to see that played out a little more. It’s fanservice, what can I say.

Some more fanservice was showing Daru’s future waifu. Shame they couldn’t go the full haul and show them meeting each other and how on earth Daru managed to woo the wuvely lady.

I’ve had plenty of time to think about Steins;Gate since it ended, and what it reminds me of in many ways in a series created by an internet personality. One of the ones that maybe started as a pet project by some bloke on the internet but became immensely popular really quickly because of some clever writing and entertaining character, so he created a grand story and became more dramatic as it went on. It’s less that it was made up as it went along as it is a crowd-pleaser, throwing the characters into situations that fans want to see them in. This is far from a bad thing. It’s because of this that we got to see Okarin involved in a wide variety of situations that fully explored every side of his personality. This does leave the plot a bit all over the place and also means the series lacks depth or meaning, but as entertainment I can certainly understand why it captured so many people.

What gave Steins;Gate that push it needed to become a bit more than a crowd-pleaser comes down to the directing. Yes it’s overly dramatic, but that’s the point. Through Okarin’s viewpoint, everything is overly dramatic and he does live in a dystopian future where the Organisation is controlling everything from the shadows. Just very simple things, like how the shots are cut for comedic timing or knowing where to linger on a characters changing expressions, it’s always been a fantastically well-directed show. Or maybe I’m just remembering things incorrectly because this episode nailed so many of its cues that it brought to mind all the other times Steins;Gate nailed similar scenes. I’m sure there were moments when the directing was rather questionable. I seem to remember there was at least one flying naked through space scene.

Speaking of fanservice, Diet Dr.Pepper! Sorry, I mean Diet Dk.Pepper. I think the fact that this, Hawaiian shirts and aviators are what got me most excited probably shows what kind of fanservice I really like.

So yeah, Steins;Gate. That was a pretty good anime, wasn’t it? Nice of them to remind us of that.

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20 Comments

  1. Anonomyous
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that flying naked through space thing? There’s a timeline for it. Its in one of the drama cds.

  2. Chipp12
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Now we’re ready to wait for the film!

  3. Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    As someone who thought the show was an excellently directed one but with no heart and lack of convincing or enjoyable character relationships, I absolutely loved this episode. As you write, it was just wall to wall fanservice. I never found the romance between Okabe and Kurisu to be at all believable – in fact, it felt totally artificial and forced – but Kurisu in her tsundere glory was a sight to see. And the way it ended, “Close your eyes!” was just about perfect. It makes for a far better ending to the series than the TV one did.

    Hopefully the movie will have the same great directing of the show and the soul that this OVA did.

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I was having Terminator flashbacks throughout this episode; hurray sunset shots of people with sunglasses in cars! Also, I hope that shot of Kurisu looking up at the sky in her aviators was a reference to Mari from Eva 2.22. Probably not, but I prefer my fantasy version of events.

    This was pretty much everything I could ask from an ova episode; comedy, fanservice and some juicy plot tidbits. I don’t think I’ve been as impressed by supplementary material since the Baccanno specials. I’m actually surprised there were some serious moments amongst the fun. The extended scene of Okabe staring at Kurisu outside the motel was glorious!

    Also, finally we have an answer to who Daru’s wife is. I thought it was funny that scene took place in a bar; what are the chances she’s already on her way to full-blown alcoholism? Seven more years and Daru could well have a chance. Finally, the greatest mystery in Stein Gate; revealed!

    • Scamp
      Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Special additional episodes that were impressive:

      Durarara specials: Lots of Shizuo and Izaya fighting, which is all you really want
      FMA Brotherhood: These are surprisingly good, both serious and comedy stuff
      Full Metal Panic TSR: An entire episode devoted to Tessa fanservice. Godly stuff
      Genshiken OVA: Ogiue’s introduction
      Hare Guu: The Deluxe OVA is possibly the best in the series
      Kino’s Journey: Basically just more Kino, which is good stuff
      Kurenai OVA: Surprisingly, I enjoyed this a lot. Very different but I liked the difference
      Panty and Stocking: That nipple pole-dancing scene
      School Rumble: That is, the one between the first 2 seasons. NOT that shitty 3rd season thing
      Seto no Hanayome: Again, it’s just more Seto no Hanayome being hilarious and lots of Die Hard
      Spice and Wolf: Arguably the best episode of the series

      Even discounting stuff like Darker than Black and Black Lagoon, there’s still plenty of stuff

      • Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes, the Kurenai OVAs were great. Loved the character redesigns, much prettier than the relatively generic art of the TV show. Plus, instead of being filled with uninteresting melodrama like the show, it just had funny little stories.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        I’ll agree with you on FMP, Spice and Wolf, and one of the Durarara episodes (the one that didn’t contain Izaya’s sisters). The rest were decent, but not amazing for me. The Hare and Guu ova’s were basically just continations of the manga, and while I enjoyed that series, I felt it had runs its course before the end of the tv show. There’s only so many times I can watch Hare shouting loudly after being trolled by Guu, episode after episode.

        Genshiken and Kurenai are sadly still on my shame list. :(

      • Scamp
        Posted February 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I’d agree Hare Guu eventually run its course, but I guess the humour clicked more for me because it only got old in Final. Deluxe was crazier than anything even the TV series pulled, which kept it fresh. Then again, I saw that a long time ago.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    God I fucking missed this.

    I honestly cant believe that I wasn’t planning on watching this at first.

    But yeah, the episode was mostly fanservice of the best kind. Thanks White Fox you guys are golden.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      By the way, have you seen Gyo yet?

      • Scamp
        Posted February 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes

        It wasn’t very good

        Not terribad

        But definitely not good

  6. Moomba
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I still find Okabe slightly irritating when he goes full-mad-scientist outside his brilliant Engrish lines. While melodrama can be a pain when it’s overplayed, I kind of really like the more serious side of him that shines through at those points (and outside those points, albeit extremely infrequently).

    Steins;Gate to me started as an interesting anime, what with the science themes, but it was when shit hit the fan that I really became hooked and that first episode. Man, that first episode that contained so many spoilers for the rest of the series left in plain sight but weren’t really worth mentioning until the end of the series. That was genius.

    The OVA was pretty cool – nice to see the characters being themselves again. While I enjoyed it, the only thing about it that was really awesome to me was the appearance of Daryl’s future wife. That’s probably mostly because I may have made some bad false assumptions during the series though… so it came as an interesting revelation.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      I find it interesting to see how differently everyone treats Steins;Gate. Some people much prefer the dramatic second half of the series, while others prefer the first. Some prefer the plot, some prefer the characters. It’s a real mixed bag in that regards, which is probably more a strength on its behalf. It’s the Code Geass of VN adaptations

  7. lostsage
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    That wasn’t his wife actually. I have no idea why they would troll everyone like that.

    I really thought how they portrayed LA was funny since i live there and stuff. TSA scene: funny and mostly accurate, TSA agents have no souls and are incapable of laughter. Okabe getting arrested: if the cops arrested everyone in LA who was yelling like a madman on the sidewalk 1/4 of the population would be in jail. And there are plently of sleazy motels and roads in the middle of the desert, just none without a TON of cars on them.

    Also i think the VN is done/almost done being translated.

  8. Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    To be fair to the artists, seeing their rendition of Los Angeles’s Staples Center was kinda cool, especially given that’s where Anime Expo has been held for the last 3 years or so. And Okarin would have had to take one hell of a ride to get somewhere that desolate. At least, in this day and age.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Would you give a ride to a hitchhiking japanese mad scientist?

  9. Lathrin
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if you know, there are 4 oav episodes for Fullmetal Alchemist (each one is a different plot). I think theyre worth watching :)

  10. gw_kimmy
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    aww, it was cute. i missed this anime!

    daru’s future wife was amazing.

  11. Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    This is the kind of specials studios should work on (Usagi Drop comes to mind too), which reminds the audience of why we liked them in the first place. The resolution of series ending and the progress between Okarin and Kurisu was worth it, along with the right fanservice of Okarin’s laugh and English.

  12. SENSEISHUN
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I remember when this show first came out & i watched 1 episode only to drop it because it was overly dramatic & weird. 4 months later I decided to give it another go only to finish it in like 2-3 days. I’ve watched over a hundred anime & i would only say 10-12 interested me as much as this 1 especially when i understood what the hell was goin on. I was satisfied with the ending, but a little fanservice never hurts. Still waiting on the day a character gives me an adrenaline rush like LeLouche, Light, & Luffy does though. Okarin came close, but not quite.

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