52 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 5

You know you want some of my soft banana. You jelly?

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.

More pictures of Kyouma pulling “you jelly?” facial expressions.

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.

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52 Comments

  1. Posted May 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Just so you know, Steins;Gate doesn’t have those “character routes” you assume it has. It’s quite different from your average VN. It only has one true end and is pretty linear.

    It’s really good that you’re appreciating this show. People are really missing out when they choose to skip it. I’ve played the VN, so I should know – this anime, if done right, is going to be freaking awesome.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      VNs still have a rather jarring way of telling their stories though (at least, the anime adaptations do) that’s rather noticeable

  2. Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this episode. There were weird things, suspicious things, funny things, disturbing things, exciting things… man, it had it all.

  3. Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Hououin on one thing: Who WOULDN’T want to wear a lab coat?

    Anyway, I think the show is getting pretty good, but the utter crappiness of Chaos;Head is still leaving me wary — but, for now, I can at least roll with the crazy fantasy science being thrown about, because it at least works in the context of the world and story. And at least the characters have decent chemistry with each other, whereas in Chaos;Head it seemed more as if the characters interacted because the plot dictated it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I’m with Hououin on one thing: Who WOULDN’T want to wear a lab coat?

      Everyone who ever wore a lab coat in school. They’re also horrible when it’s warm outside. Having to work in a lab coat during hot summer days is akin to torture by being strapped nude to the ground to bake in the sun.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Who cares if it’s uncomfortable so long as it’s cool!

      I think this was the episode I stopped caring about its relation to Chaos;Head. It’s plenty good enough on its own. It’s also good enough to get me moderately interested in checking out a VN for once

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

        The only cool labcoat I’ve ever seen (in an animu) was in G.A. Art Design Class. Just a labcoat for the sake of a labcoat is stupid. And hot.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this epis­ode a lot.

    But it had as much pervert jokes as any episode of Fractale!

    I’ll write more when I have the time…

    • 1tsu
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Maybe, but in fractale they weren’t actually jokes, just people accusing Clain of being a pervert…

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        You’re not Scamp. Why do you respond?

      • Posted May 7, 2011 at 5:09 am | Permalink

        because he secretly wants to be scamp, as do all of us 8D bwahahaha~

  5. Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    You bring up an excellent point with your description of Kurisu as a “tsundere.” I was actually just walking with someone about this the other day, and completely agree that most well-rounded characters are going to have this frequently misused personality type. It’s the rare person who is completely honest to themselves and to others about their true feelings all the time.

    Another interesting dynamic to add to the Kurisu/Kyouma relationship is that often he’s not embarrassed by the things that she is and vice versa. He’s still a bit of an enigmatic character, so I never know if he’s just pretending to ignore social norms, or simply doesn’t care. Either way, they’re great when they’re together. The dialogue between the two is always entertaining.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Spike Speigal is a tsundere

      Just sayin’

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        ……..

        Brilliant.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        Oh mans, Cyborg Bossa Nova is such an awesome anime. I totally forgot about Spike Speigal, but yeah, she totally is tsundere.

      • Posted May 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Are you talking about Spike Spiegel? (Who is male…) *confused*

  6. mcm38
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Christiiiina~ isn’t a tsundere if you ask me. She is acting totaly natural as she did before. She also doesn’t show that much of ‘grumpy’ personality. She was that kind of character since the very beginning, but she could still become a proper tsundere when she reveals a weaker side of herself to Huououin. And she was very close to it when she acted scared to the Huououins outbreak.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to go full on dere to be a tsundere. There just needs to be the promise that it exists

  7. Chipp
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeMqM4DIzNY
    the next episode’s gonna be freaking awesome, I suppose.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Holy sh*t! Did he try timetravelling there? His hands were turning to jelly.

  8. Milfeulle
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    “Enjoy. I demand it.”

    You wish you were as cool as Kyouma.

  9. Mr. Anon
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    >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

    The phone they hooked up to the microwave was the phone Kyouma had on him when he time travelled in the first episode, right? So without already having a time machine in the first place, you can’t build one this way.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      So it holds the powah of time travel already?

      Or something. I have no idea how that microwave is supposed to work

  10. luffyluffy
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Totally off topic but I don’t care.

    Just watched 4 episodes of Fireball Charming. But it’s not like I did it for you. It was just there, so I watched it on a whim!

    dat Gedachtnis tho

    • Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Gedächtnis is awesome.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Do you also regret Scamp not blogging Fireball?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Now watch the first season

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Make me

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        First season has a Behind the Scenes which is better than the 4 episodes out thus far for season 2. Think about that for a moment.

  11. Posted May 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I was also very pleased with the episode as a whole and with CHRISTINA’s development. As unique as her normal top is, I think I prefer her in a lab coat and goofing off in the lab.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Her normal top? You mean her coat/jacket that she refuses to wear normally and instead keeps in place with leather straps on her upper arms? I can’t wait till someone tells her to stop being a hipster (for lack of a better, short term) about it and just wear the jacket or not.

  12. Posted May 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I have now officially a fetish for lab coats. Wait, I had that before, too. Damn you, Koisuru Boukun!

    “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..”

    I’m stuck with tvtropes like every day now, and it doesn’t stop me from regularly commenting on your blog.

    On another note, I ship them. Those two are really aving great chemistry here, and I’m enjoying their bickering. Excuse while I’m off searching for fanarts of Okabe and Kristina in lab coats.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    To build upon my previous comment and the others made thus far. I too think Chris is not a tsundere, at this point. Until the moment where Kyouma and Chris are actually in a romantic relationship you can’t say she’s a tsundere. The love is the important part. If there is not going to be a romantic plotline, there’s no possibility for any tsundere to be.

    At present, Okabe and Christina are rivals. Not lovers. Just because she has a trauma (why oh why are we told 10 seconds after her freaking out that she hasn’t spoken to her father in 7 years), doesn’t mean she’s in love with him. We are shown Christina freaking out after being shouted at by Okabe so that we know that she has had a traumatic experience in her past. Unveiling another hook for her character to develop in the story.

    What do we know about Kyouma? He’s intelligent and eccentric, has a pathetic ‘evil’ laugh and that’s pretty much it*. He also wears a lab coat everywhere as if he’s Bill Nye.
    His character still only revolves around being eccentric and thus far in my opinion he, like QB, are nowhere near eligible for being the best character of 2011. QB’s a cardboard cut-out, a computer. He had zero, 0, development as a character and without development you cannot be the greatest character of the year. Again, just my opinion. My two cents (which have more depth than Kyouma).

    * I’m slightly exaggerating hit flatness. They should keep fleshing out more of his personality, but there was very little between the fleshing out of Chris and their building relation.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Agree on Christiiina~ not being a tsundere yet. And Huououin, does not have some development atm, that may be true. But new characteristics are being shown, like him not totally being a douchebag and him knowing how to act as a man and a scientist at needed times.
      Also development or not. Huouoin is still the most interesting character this year.

      Btw, they’re not rivals. Christiiina~ is Huououins assistant. XD

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        Hououin is a fun character, but most interesting this year? Thus far he’s up there. Doesn’t put him in the running for best character of the year though. We can discuss who the best character of 2011 is in 2012, so please have some patience people.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink
      • Anonymous
        Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        Reading through that blog post I see nothing supporting your claim. Hell, that entire post is incomprehensible in how garbled it is. There isn’t actually anything being said in that thing. And then there’s this magnificently retarded line:

        Kyou, in case you haven’t noticed, is hot (and I’d be thoroughly disturbed if this turned out to be a completely subjective statement)

        I’m assuming the writer is a very disturbed person at this point, because stating whether you think someone, or a character, is hot, is an opinion. It’s subjective.

        Tsundere, by definition, requires a romantic interest. That’s what the ‘dere’ is there for. Without the love interest, there’s no ‘dere dere’, without the ‘dere’, there can’t be any tsunDERE. A character can still be just tsun, sure (even though Christina isn’t even that). If you want to label characters that you now stamp with ‘TSUNDERE’, find a new word. Or better yet, stop trying to put characters in boxes. Because all you’re doing now is contributing to Internet slang going the way of the dodo. Everyone is using every single term for everything. Everything is trolling and everyone is tsundere and you’re mad and jelly whether you agree or disagree, or say nothing whatsoever. In the same way people want folk to stop raping the English/whatever-is-local language, people also want folk to stop abusing every single buzzword that appears on screen. Saying ‘hoopy frood’ don’t make you no cool guy, yo.

        Also, shame on you Scamp for linking to such a trash blog. I haven’t read anything as disjointed since I read a chapter of grammatically correct but otherwise unreadable English. Which was the result of a computer program just spitting out text according to rules it had learned from reading text. Shame on you.

      • Posted May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?

      • Posted May 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        y u mad tho?

  14. Knee House
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I’ve been reading the blogosphere’s take on Steins;gate, waiting to see the early verdict before giving it a try, and I think this post is the final straw.

    Specifically, it was your description of the characters’ chemistry with one another–particularly the awkward scene you describe between the bickering two–that was the tipping point. Such moments, when captured well, are a delight, and it sounds like ita good example of your description of the character dynamics. Thank you!

  15. Posted May 7, 2011 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    bah. this episode confirmed it. christinas a tsundere ;( at least the kind i’m familiar with. she makes resentful comments to kyouma, then she’s pleasantly touched by his kindness, etc. and then the whole trauma thing and then him being nice to her and her being surprised. my eyes couldn’t roll harder if they tried. lol, sorry, once i have it for a character, i won’t stop D: sorry christina. besides, red hair = close enough to pink hair = irrational hatred forever.

    anyways, this ep was awesome as usual, even though things are moving ever so slowly, but not in a frustrating way like kimi ni todoke. the little revelations to the mystery plus the character interactions are more than enough to keep me entertained. even though i had to laugh in this ep since the VN harem elements are becoming more and more apparent. which isn’t necessarily bad. i’d lol forever if this had a harem ending. the idea of kyouma being a pimp to random tsundere’s, yandere’s and traps is beyond amusing anyways.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      A pimp? WTF? He’s a proper madt scientisto, don’t confuse him with some sh*theads. And no Christiiina~ is still not a tsundere. Look at my previous posts for the reason. To lazy to retype.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Why you hate the gingers?

      Also Kyouma is hardly being a nice person. He’s too out there to do such things as that

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Gingers have no souls.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Exactly!

      • Posted May 8, 2011 at 5:43 am | Permalink

        i don’t hate gingers, just anime girls with pink hair or anything close to pink hair. red is close enough and she’s already pushed appropriate buttons (i am a bit prejudiced against gingers though, lmao).

        kyouma being thoughtful is close enough to being nice. why else would he give her dr. pepper, mad scientist’s choice drink?

      • mcm38
        Posted May 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Ugh… -.-
        We’re watching to much South Park. But I am also getting tired of anime girls with pink hair. Ow Mai Gawd, the agony of having to think all cute girls should have girlish pink hair.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 9, 2011 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      the VN harem ele­ments are becom­ing more and more appar­ent

      You haven’t watched either the OP or ED or something? Those are gushing at the seems with almost only having female characters in it, and then the show focusses on Hououin. Why oh why…

      • Posted May 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        i almost never watch OP or ED for any anime <_< besides, just because something is portrayed in an OP/ED doesnt mean it'll come to be in the story or whatever. some OP's/ED's are ironic, some are satirical, some are pandering to shippers, others are just random (honey and clover op ftw).

  16. Posted May 8, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Kyouma! Best character ever such a fun guy to watch, well finally some explanation into the whole jelly! Guess people should not go back in time! Well until they fix it…

    Now I need a Dr Pepper…….

  17. Posted May 10, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Huooooouin is still my favorite character this season. Every night spent watching this is one night spent gleefully dissecting what’s going on and speculating on future events, all the while enjoying his antics. Definitely my favorite show in general thus far.

  18. Duelit
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    O.o so long since I’ve been here, but couldn’t help it since the pc was broken. Glad to see Steins Gate got on the list for reviews ^^

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