Wait…did the show call him Jellyman because he reported on the people who turned to Jelly? That’s kinda lame. I prefer to think it’s because he was jealous of his bosses new lab coat instead, so that’s what the crew at
SERN CERN called him as a nickname.
I enjoyed this episode a lot. The plot has been unveiled and it’s of pretty large proportions without being too spacey and out there to break our suspension of disbelief. Of course it’s hardly entirely realistic, and the fact CERN needed to build a LCD-tan to create a time machine when all they needed to do was attach a phone to a microwave is rather amusing, but for a show that’s very insistent on having so much technobabble, and explaining the technobabble to us in bite size chunks so that we’ll understand, the fact that this time travel theory fits in with everything else the show has gradually told us is a massive plus. I’m not exactly an astrophysicists or anything, but I have a blaggers ability to pass off as one to the uninformed, but that’s not exactly the important point here. The important point is this show is setting up its rules and sticking to them. Setting up the parameters for how far out this plot is willing to go and keeping the thrill coming.
It’s all in the foreshadowing. The Gel Banana idea has been placed into our heads since the very start of the show, so obviously we know time travel doesn’t exactly do nice things to those involved, whether they be human beings or phallic yellow fruit. I could link you to the Chekhov’s Gun page on TV Tropes, but then you’d never read this blog again because you’ll be stuck reading tropes until you die of dehydration, but it’s effective use of foreshadowing that’s making this mystery work. That, and the gradual rising of the stakes. Kyouma may have been grandstanding in front of the computer when he told them all that there was no turning back from this point on, but that’s exactly what’s going on now. Shit Just Got Real.
The more we see of Kyouma, the better he becomes, which is quite the feat in of itself, considering he’s already top contender for character of the year (although he’d have to edge that bastard Kyubey aside first). Asides from all the usual stuff about him grandstanding every minor incident in his life, I like how his grandstanding makes him occasionally oblivious to what’s actually going on around him. We already know he’s more observant than he pretends to be, and picks up on when he can skip out on paying his lunch fees, but his obliviousness to Mr.Braun’s assistant’s reaction to Kurisu’s name, along with how unaware he was that he’d scared Kurisu by yelling at her until Daru pointed it out, is a side we haven’t really seen. Better than all that though, was the final scene on the rooftop. For the first time in the entire series, his Mad Scientisto~ shtick looked genuine. He had created a Futuristic Device that actually worked and was legitimately dangerous. You’ve earned that Mad Scientists monochrome laugh on the rooftop this time Kyouma. I was so used to him being a lovable old fool who was just feeling a little bit self-conscious for hurting his attractive assistant’s feelings that I was caught off guard by the true Mad Scientisto~ side making a grand appearance.
Outside of just regular old plot though, Steins;Gate, in this episode at least, has reached that glorious sought after realm of being entertaining even when it’s just the characters fucking around. Kyouma is Kyouma and will always be awesome, while Daru is great foil to anyone he interacts with, but Kurisu is finally working as a character. In the earlier episodes, when I was bitching about how the introduction of the various female characters felt like a harem anime cycling through the choices, Kurisu I marked out as being not actively annoying but not demonstrating much of a personality to make her stand out otherwise. At the risk of damning her with anime meme speak, she’s a tsundere. A proper fucking tsundere too, not one of your shitty ones that simply say the opposite to what they feel and then call it a day (fuck you Mayoi Neko Overrun). A tsundere where you have to construct the surface personality, the underlying personality, and what it takes to attack that overlying covering layer. Most good characters have that as a natural part of their makeup anyway. A side they hide from the public under a mask. Tsundere just so happens to be a Japanese term for the specific type of character that the mask happens to be a grumpy personality over a softer, more nervous side.
Still not quite ready for any KyoumaXKurisu shipping though (otherwise known as the Lab Coat Flag, or the Dk.Pepper flag). The show does feel like it’s pushing a relationship between the two, and it is certainly a fascinating and great duo to watch. The scene with the two of them on opposite sides of the room stank of that awesome awkwardness when two people get into a fight but still have to remain in each other’s company. It showed the perhaps more human side of Kyouma for a change, and also that they both care about what the other does enough to get embarrassed and annoyed by the other. Their relationship could end up remaining simply as fellow scientists with a strange sort of friendship, and this is simply me being a stupid anime fan who insists that any two people who talk to each other in a show I watch are automatically in love (regardless of gender). But a few signs, from the hand holding to blushing, show the anime is perhaps trying to push a different angle. Or maybe that’s just Steins;Gate’s visual novel routes showing again.