I was going to look for fanart of Large Hadron Collider-tan after this episode, but I’ve been burnt before when it comes to fanart for adaptation material. I was spoiled for a pretty large plot twist in Durarara by something as innocuous as fanart before and I don’t want the same thing happening again. If anyone has any kawaii LHC-tan fanart to share then that would be greatly appreciated.
Watching Steins;Gate is less a process of seeing if the next episode is as entertaining as the last one, as it is hoping that the next episode won’t be the one that sees this show derail completely. I’m just so wary that SteinssemicolongGate will go the way of the dreadful VN adaptation plot-focused route and turn into complete nonsense (Umineko, Ookami Kakushi, ChaossemicolonHead), that it colours how how approach every episode. Mind you, it hasn’t diminished my enjoyment of the series thus far, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. The mystery is still unfolding at a perfect rate. It’s still focusing on the little strange things that are unsettling rather than head off into sheer gaga land as a mystery of this type is bound to do towards the end. Also, now that we’re 3 episodes in, we’re starting to uncover a Bigger Picture here, what with CERN (not SERN you stupid anime) being connected to events and this whole story starting to come into focus a bit more. Obviously it’s throwing up more questions that answers, but we’re 3 episodes into a 24 episode long series. That was always going to be the case. I’ve been massively impressed by the pacing of the show so far, so long may that continue.
Huuooouuoouuiiin Kyouma is as awesome as ever. The two pillars that make this show enjoyable are himself and the ever-expanding mystery. My personal favourite parts is the subtle little changes from self-proclaimed nutjob to actual nutjob to grounded individual. There’s very little difference outwardly between the three versions of him, but the flit between them happens in mid-conversation so it can catch you off-guard and you only realise afterwards what he just implied. Walking off from dinner without paying is a pretty well-worn joke (although it still made me laugh), but it was other little things like his commenting on the otaku’s hacking capabilities or the conversation with Kristina (drop the -tina) that this flitting between states was used to the greatest effect. I also love how the eccentricities of his lifestyle are naturally dropped into regular conversation with his fellow researchers. Yeah, I still grin at every time he calls one of his contraptions a ‘Future Gadget #5’ or whatever, although still my favourite was his remote control in the shape of a ray gun.
Because Kyoma and the mystery make up most of the show, it manages to still be an incredibly enjoyable show even when some of the other areas are a little patchy. The animation and artwork are decent enough. I get what they’re going for, trying to make the scenery oppressive by running every single frame through a grey filter apart from some select items (well, mainly just those incredibly vivid bananas) but it does leave the whole thing looking a bit dull. Mind you, at least they’re doing something to make what is essentially a whole load of dialogue a bit more interesting to look at as it would do in its original format (take note, Bakuman producers). The BGM is non-existent for the most part. Well, unless you count this as BGM…
I think I prefer the summer sound of wood pigeon here in Ireland/England to the summer drone of the cicada. You know, the wood pigeon call. It’s all like whu whoooh, whuh whooh, whu whuuuu whoooh…yeah, bird calls don’t work very well in text format, do they? I tried to find a video on youtube of the cry, but all I found were a bunch of people shooting pigeons. Anyway, my point stands that it’s an infinitely more enjoyable background animal noise to have than a cicada chirp, although perhaps not as menacing and foreboding a noise as Steins;Gate wants. Hard to be foreboding over pleasant birdsong.
Away from bird calls and back to cartoons, there was the entire skit with everyone calling each other perverts, which caused a brief moment of relapse as I remembered Fractale. The classic line I heard someone Fractale as was “I quite like Fractale when it’s not making pervert jokes. In other words, I hate Fractale“. But then Steins;Gate actually did something legitimately funny with the whole thing, even if having the otaku ask for Kurisu to repeat a sexually suggestive line involving a banana has been done before. But then it went on with the pervert jokes and the Fractale flashbacks returned. No more pervert jokes Steins;Gate, please. You’re not really hurting yourself that much. It’s just you keep having aspects to your show that other dreadful anime had. Same with the plot-focused VN adaptation worry. I’ll get over it eventually, but only when Steins;Gate proves it truly has its head screwed on correctly compared to its predecessors.