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?
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.