29 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 6

I’m on the Metanorn Podcast! Listen as I talk about how I got into anime blogging, reminisce over Hetalia, bitch about the Evangelion ending and (pretend to) suck my finger.

My general approach to episodic reviewing is to take screencaps, then do the actual writing. However sometimes I get distracted between the screencapping and the writing and have to go do Cool Stuff, like drink beer and have sex, only to come back to writing and totally forgetting what happened in the episode. Normally I could go back through the screencaps and that would re-jig my memory, but not so for Steins;Gate. This is because every episode looks the exact same (aha, this wasn’t a generic opening paragraph that merely serves as the metaphorical obese polar bear to break the ice. It was some actual critique of the show). That is, apart from the one Naked Floating Through Space scene towards the end of my screencap list. I wonder how it is I’ve managed to not have Naked Floating Through Space as a tag yet.

Since I spent the entire last Steins;Gate post praising the series, time to get out of bed with it and point out its flaws, for I am a balanced and diverse reviewer. There’s only so many times I can go on about SteinsunnecessarypunctuationGate’s evenly paced plot and wonderfully strange lead character without getting repetitive and dull. What does get repetitive and dull though, is the presentation and directing (wow, what a wonderful and skilful lead in there Scamp). The visual novel routes are again pretty obvious here, and this time I don’t mean that in the ‘cycling through the various girls you can get naked’ approach. This time I mean in the ‘characters face on the screen accompanied by a line of dialogue’ approach. Every now and then they do something mildly interesting with how they present Huououououououououin’s mad scientist side, but even some of those approaches are getting repetitive. Dutch angle from below as he stands up, swishes his lab coat and spreads his arms out like a man holding an extremely fat cat has been done several times already. Although at least that’s a Dutch Angle for a purpose.

For those who don’t know, a Dutch Angel is an extremely tall girl with wings and clogs who lives below sea level when I hit the ‘e’ button before the ‘l’. A Dutch Angle, on the other hand, is when the camera is tilted to present the shot in a slightly uneasy way. I get why they do this for Kyouma’s mad scientist rants. It’s because the guy sees himself as being more grandiose than he actually is, hence the use of the needlessly dramatic presentation. But in many other cases, as in the one above, it serves no purpose beyond to show maybe the camera man is extremely drunk. I’m rather sick of Dutch Angles for the sake of Dutch Angles, but this is what happens when you decide not to use anime’s unique characteristics in how it can present a scene. Part of the reason why I’m rather fond of the overly dramatic in anime is because studios are much more willing to use animations’ capabilities there. Oh sure, Wandering Son gave the more grounded setting an attempt at using animation imaginatively by having the artwork so light they couldn’t even finish drawing the characters’ heads, but that rather pales in comparison to rushing dramatically through monochrome vision backed up by Latin chanting that Death Note had to offer.

The one time the episode had the chance to do something slightly different with the animation was the dream sequence, yet what do they do? A naked floating through space scene. Sure, it had to do with being forced through a black hole, and therefore had slightly more to do with space than your average reason to visit the great nudist beach in the sky, but it’s so cliche that even a legitimate reason for it comes off as naff. Why couldn’t he float through his dream naked on a giant gel-banana being held by Kurisu as she directed it towards a black hole inside the microwave? Not only would it have conveyed the exact same meaning as the above scene, but it would have also represented repressed sexual urges for his assistant who he might have thought deep down was only using him for her own scientific gain. All very Freudian and ridiculous, but being ridiculous is a hell of a lot better than being naff.

Plot? Characters? Pah, according to the massive stinkin’ elitists on twitter, anime blogs should talk about animation more and not the writing. Not that any of those whiners will read this post, because Episodic Blogs Suck Despite The Fact The Most I’ve Ever Read From An Episodic Post Is Glanced At Random Curiosity Once. For those who will actually read this post, act as though this is filler material. Filler in which I complain about a fairly static characteristic such as the animation while I give the aspects I care more about, such as the aforementioned characters and plot, time to develop further so I have more to talk about in the next episode.

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29 Comments

  1. luffyluffy
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    So it this a trainwreck yet or….?

    • Posted May 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t watched it yet (still stuck on #5), but it’s just quite the different show without Hamasaki around. He made this style work in Texhnolyze (granted he was helped by the script) but the difference here is fairly obvious.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Urgh, Texh­no­lyze. I could go into why I dislike that, but I’d be here all day

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        scamp

        scamp

        i’m dying

        you sound like matt smith

        i will sit here consumed in lust for the rest of the evening

  2. Posted May 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    wat. as i was reading the post i thought “i wonder what happened”. don’t be discouraged, honestly some people really do need to complain about the stupidest things in order to feel alive <_< /cue eye roll

    i did lol at the space flying scene though. i instantly thought of madoka and was like "KYOUMA IS NOW GOD OF ALL MAD SCIENTISTOS"

    i cant really comment beyond that since it's pretty much a repeat of my other comments on this show (kyouma = amazing, christina = bah, etc.). but i will say that mayuri has gained 238479247 points from me for referencing back to the future. delorean emails ftw. i now require a fanart of kyouma as doc brown, daru as einstein and maybe mayuri as marty.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Complaining about stupid things? I talked about the animation. How can animation in an anime be considered a stupid thing?

      • Posted May 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        …i meant people complaining about your blog or whatever it was you were talking about. o_o

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        It kinda sounded like someone criticized your blog because you talk about plot.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 12, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        …sorry, I misunderstood ={

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        We were worried </3

  3. mcm38
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh some updates are done on your blogg. You can modify the size of the textblock. Prett convenient seeing how each end of my sentence disappeared in the sideline so I wouldn’t know if I had done a typo.

    Anyways, Steins;Gate is still doing great. Some new expressions of Huououin was shown this episode. Like him suddenly remembering all those jelly and him getting angry when Shining Finger ‘talks’ with him. And we finally see the part-timer and the shining finger in some actually sensemaking scenes. Altough there was the one time before where the part-timer suddenly went all nin-nin when she saw Christiiiina~!

    Honestly I was also disappointed with the classic naked trough space scene. Not exactly that I agree with Christiiina~ should have been there to pull him trough it.

    Oh and Huououins evil laughter is still the second greatest I’ve ever heard.

    ‘Can you repeat that part about the hole being tight?’
    ‘Put the banana in.’
    XD Go Daru, go!

  4. Jeff
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Although the animation is kinda plain just because it’s doing the same thing every episode, it’s really a very minor point. This isn’t an action show (yet), so who cares. There aren’t many scenes with derp eyes, and it’s not nearly as bad as Yumekui Merry was.

    I could screencap any part of Lucky Star, and it would all look the same too lol

    But since this is just filler I understand. I happen to like Random Curiosity a lot xD

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      See, I don’t really like that approach. The animation isn’t a minor part. Perhaps the quality some people go overboard about, but the directing and storyboarding do as much to tell the story as the dialogue should.

      I guess Madoka from last season showed me how well you can tell the story through how you show the scenes, and now I’m judging everything by the same standards

  5. CS
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    The animation maybe plain, locations repetitive, and have slow moving story but the dialogue is amazing and name dropping Deloreans and Leaping Thorugh Time was totally worth any bad points.

  6. Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    B-But if they did the dream sequence with a giant gel banana, there would be no naked Kyouma D: And I like that mad~o scientist body!

    …Admit it, he’s hot.

    Oh, and by the way plot > animation. :D

    I saw that argument on twitter.
    I also listened to the podcast. It was all nostalgic you talkin about the old times. Your wonderful biased views shall go~<3

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      You.

      Remember how you asked me if I trawled Pixiv for hours like you do?

      I do now.

      I just don’t ship Tiger/Bunny. NOT SURE WHY, I JUST DON’T.

      But, want to help me get a T&B category on fanfiction.net?

      I need more friends who watch this :(

      • Posted May 12, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Hurray. Welcome to the club. <3
        Fanfiction?
        What do I need to do for that? I can't write, if you mean that. I could ask a few friends though.
        Also, we are already friends, right? :D
        What do you ship, then?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        You’ve gotta email support@fanfiction.net and ask for a a new sub-category for Tiger & Bunny.

        As for shipping, I SHIP KOTETSU AND HIS WIFE LIKE A WEIRDO. I think after Hetalia, I’ve been kinda turned off from Yaoi.

        As for being friends, we should probably take this off of poor Scampu’s blog. You got a Tumblr?

      • OHEMGEE
        Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Awh.
        Friendship blossoming ;-;
        and also- omg tumblr.
        *forces link upon you*
        snazzycatch.tumblr .com ~~

      • Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Sadly no~ o__o But I will figure it out one day and then I contact you. But I still have msn. Which is kind of an old hat but one can still talk there. Oh, and I have send the message. Tiger & Bunny needs more love.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted May 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Well, my tumblr is chicken-in-a-basket.tumblr .com, and my MSN is violently_vicious@hotmail. com

        lolololololololo

  7. Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Elitism fail. I would’ve mentioned Hiroshi Hamasaki’s work on Shigurui and Texhnolyze, and compared his attraction to ‘organic’ horror to David Cronenberg’s ouevre, particularly ‘The Fly’ (both that and Steins;Gate have scenes where teleportation goes badly wrong.) So, nerrrrr :p

    • Scamp
      Posted May 12, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I realised as I proof-read the post that I needed more name-dropping to be truly elitist. Then again, any post with the line “meta­phor­ical obese polar bear to break the ice” isn’t very elitist in the first place

  8. hikaru
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Lol, I had to reread the Dutch Angel thing cos the first time made me go ‘huh’?! (Didn’t help that I misread the ‘l’ as a capital i, I blame it on the whole Red Vs Blue Bungie->Bungle->Bingle thing).

    I thought the cut to the dream sequence was really abrupt. It was like *Okarin stares at the wall* and then suddenly he was naked and floating o_O

    Moeka reminds me of Switch from Sket Dance, they are both kind of boring (and refuse to open their mouths to talk…).

  9. Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    “Stop Making a Yuri Field and prepare the D-mail”

    Best line from this episode.

  10. Thrashy
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    HououOUOUOUOUOUOUin KYOUMA!!1! and his self-conscious mad scientist act still annoys the everloving crap out of me. One would think that, having stumbled over *actual* mad scientist events, he’d either snap out of it and get serious, or really step into the role and own it. Mayuri’s dogged commitment to the cutesy airhead shtick is equally perplexing. One can’t actually imagine that those are their genuine personalities. I suppose one can’t expect too much in terms of characterization from a visual novel adaptation…

  11. Posted May 12, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Those guys need to clear up their audio– I can’t hear your beautiful voice! :)

    Steins;Gate really is visually lacking at times. It’s a shame, but it also speaks for how good this show is that I’m willing to ignore so many Noodle People scenes.

  12. Posted May 14, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Bah, anybody who complains about plot being the focus of an episodic blog isn’t worth the meat space they inhabit. Animation is certainly important to the quality of the show, but it’s nothing if it isn’t supporting an excellent plot, aside from a beautiful yet forgettable distraction. Then again, I subscribe to the ideology of substance over style in my media.

    And, to add a modicum of conversation to this post, this episode was the anime highpoint of my week, space floaty scene aside. It just didn’t add too much to the show that wasn’t added already.

  13. Posted May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Yes, more crazy animation please. Although, I do like the lamp above Christina Kurisu’s head in the screenshot you posted. At least they’re taking advantage of the setting a little bit, even if it’s a common device.

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