49 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate episode 7

For those who disagreed with my argument that Kurisu is a tsundere, they have declared it in the show itself. Kurisu being tsundere is now canon. Victory is mine!

(Although this does bring up the point: If someone calls you a tsundere, how do you respond? If you say yes, then you’ve admitted you’re a tsundere. If you say no, people will just say you’re being tsundere. The liars predicament. Catch 22)

Speaking of dredging up old arguments, the responses to last weeks post were fascinating. Generally commenters will respond to something I’ve written in the post in regards to plot theories or adding their own thoughts to parts I liked or disliked. This time though, when faced with a post that talked solely about the animation and directing, the responses fell into two categories. Those who totally ignored what I wrote and simply talked about the episode themselves, or those who responded with simply “yeah, but the animation isn’t that important compared to the writing”, and then proceeded to talk about what they liked from the episode anyway. Now when I talked about the animation, I wasn’t talking simply from an animation quality standpoint. I’m talking about how the directing of the animation helps enhance the story. Anime is a visual medium. The story should not be told solely through dialogue. The old ‘show, don’t tell’ mantra, that I want to shout into Makoto Shinkai’s ear through a megaphone. Compare the total inability of Bakuman to tell anything with its visuals to Madoka Magica’s story, which is told almost entirely through the visuals. Writing is the bones of the work, but the directing and animating flesh out the story. Saying it’s not important is missing the point of the animated medium.

After writing that post though, it was at the forefront of my mind going into this episode, and I have to say the directing in Steins;Gate is better than perhaps I gave it credit for. Just because something doesn’t smash you over the head with its symbolism like Madoka does, doesn’t mean it’s not well directed. The portrayal of Kyouma is great, through random fish-eyed lens, or swooping angles as he spouts something overly dramatic, followed by the bland overhead shot as the other lab members’ reactions roll out, thoroughly uninspired by his latest declaration. Another thing I liked was the depiction of the lab. The show is incredibly good at giving you a sense of space around the room and where each member stands. How they crowd around either the computer or the microwave, giving us the shot from the piece of electronics viewpoint so you can see how intently each person is looking it. It’s a great and simple trick to show how each of them currently feel about events by reading their expressions. Or how when they have a round table, the viewpoint drops back to include the entire room to deliberately contrast the claustrophobic clutter around the more significant plot development scenes.

So yeah, Steins;Gate isn’t so bad in the animation department after all.

I suppose I better, you know, talk about the plot for a change. What I liked about this episode was how it played with the viewers knowledge of how a typical Steins;Gate episode plays out. The spend a while chatting about, then they get experimenting, chat to a few more people, then shit starts to get more serious and they delve deeper into the plot. How this episode played with that was how the twist sorta leaped out of nowhere. The stuff that we thought was just mindless chatter, as is per usual in Steins;Gate, turned out to be stuff we should have been paying attention to. Little throwaway details changing is pretty standard for time travel plot lines, but Steins;Gate played that well by keeping to the same style of the past 6 episodes. How were we supposed to know this latest chatter over Dr.Pepper would actually be brought up again in a plot-related point? Or, more importantly, how did Ruka buying a lotto ticket suddenly change the world enough so that they ran out of Dr.Pepper? Seems like a rather strange thing to diverge on.

Now Kyouma is the Messiah. Great, another anime drawing its lingo from that bloody bible again. I mean, sure, two of my favourite anime of the past 4 years had more bible lingo dominating its plot points. Noblesse Oblige, please continue to be the Messiah. Madoka becoming Godoka. Heck, my all time favourite anime has the entire plot revolving around the line “I shall become the God of this new world”. It’s not that I necessarily dislike this lingo as a plot device, when used where relevant and revealed carefully. Even in Steins;Gate, the plot built up carefully to making such as statement so that it didn’t come off as ridiculous. But it’s when lesser anime try to follow this lead, they stumble horribly and become pretentious messes. It just gets on my nerves that so many high concept stories end up reverting to religious lingo to describe their plots.

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48 Comments

  1. Avv
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I understand you don’t like seeing biblical/religious themes in all your anime but the examples you gave above only dealt with God and stuff. Do you feel the same when you see the evil/demons/etc represented in anime, like the little demon girls or all the 666 symbolism (time limit, Mikuni’s card, etc) in C? Or Kyubey playing the role of Mephisto in Madoka? I’m just curious what you think.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Kyubey very deliberately is a reference to Faust. Which, sure, is about making a contract with that Devil fellow, but at least they’re doing it in a rather different way

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        You mean Madoka Magica the anime is clearly a reference to Faust. Kyubey just fills the single role of the devil in that story (and Madoka outsmarts him).

  2. LyricDawnhagen
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope what John Titor was asking our mad scientist friend to be was a “messiah” (dictionary definition) rather than the “Messiah” (bible reference). John Titor is looking for Kyouma to be the leader in his quest to prevent whatever terrible event he remembers occurring in the future.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I tought this too. Messiah as in savior of the future of humanity. Not a Messiah as bring peace by standing up with religion.

      And she wasn’t a tsundere in the previous episodes. But she just became one. Honestly, it’s done with you if sb asks wether you’re a td and you hesitate/blush while answering.

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted May 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        She always was tsundere, and it was always obvious.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        How can she be a tsundere when she never showed her dere side before. And the thing about revealing her past can’t be counted as being dere. (It was just something she remembered on herself and didn’t realy want to tell anyone. There might have been a bit of her lonely and painfull memories she wanted to talk about with others, but you can’t say that was being dere.)

        Thus if we can’t see her dere side clearly when she is talking with Kyouma you can’t call her a Tsundere. But her shy and hesitating reaction to the tsundere remark gave herself away, even tough she didn’t dere before.

        That’s why I said she only became a proper tsundere this episode.

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        >How can she be a tsun­dere when she never showed her dere side before
        You don’t have to change your behaviour every ten minutes to qualify as tsundere. In fact a classic tsundere (cf. Lucky Star) could conceivably be tsun for most of a story!

        >But her shy and hes­it­at­ing reac­tion to the tsun­dere remark gave her­self away, even tough she didn’t dere before.
        Your argument that she wasn’t tsundere is based on the observation that’s she was not being dere? Then when she does show her dere side, does that disqualify her as tsundere because she’s not being tsun?

      • Scamp
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        You are a wise man Mr. Anon

        My point from whatever comment I made ages ago was that you don;t need to display the dere to be a tsundere. You just need the promise of it being there. Case point: Aoba from Cross Game

      • mcm38
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        -.- isn’t that a bit too overall? I mean anyone can be a tsundere as long as she or he displays a bit of a cold reaction. That doesn’t make sense.
        I think the dere side needs to be shown, before we can call it a tsundere.

        >Your argu­ment that she wasn’t tsun­dere is based on the obser­va­tion that’s she was not being dere? Then when she does show her dere side, does that dis­qual­ify her as tsun­dere because she’s not being tsun?

        No, I’m saying a tsun has to come before a dere. But the dere should still not replace the tsun.
        What I meant with her shy and hesitant reply is even tough she didn’t show any dere she did indeed subconsciously give herself away. She knew she was being dishonest by being tsun. And when sb asks her she starts blushing like she thinks they found out and starts a typical tsundere denial.

        >You don’t have to change your beha­viour every ten minutes to qual­ify as tsun­dere. In fact a clas­sic tsun­dere (cf. Lucky Star) could con­ceiv­ably be tsun for most of a story!

        Note the ‘be tsun for most of a story’. This means the dere was indeed there.
        We don’t call it a tsun, but a tsundere. Hence only tsun doesnt make it a tsundere. That’s just a plain old tsun.
        On the other hand dere also can’t become a tsundere without the tsun.

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Just that you haven’t seen it yet doesn’t mean it’s not there. :)

    • Rex
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      It’s actually just “savior” if you read from the Kanji (救世主). Not really a bible reference, the subs just added that for whatever reason.

      It’s been a while since the last proper tsundere.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, after I’d written the post, I’d figured it was just in the translation. Honestly, this is just me overreacting over something really minor

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Please continue to be the messiah

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    So really, should I give this a try Scamp? Use all the odd knowledge you’ve gained about me and tell me.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      I-It’s not like I did it for you or anything, but I started it.

  4. Posted May 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Meh. I made a big comment about how this reminds me about 1984, and now I’m very angry that it’s lost.
    On another hand, are you a tsundere, Scamp?

  5. Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Sigh.
    *trying again*
    Showing Kyoumas fear in this episode is a good move. Makes him more multifaceted. The whole “changing the past” thing reminded me of the novel 1984 I read a short while ago: when you can change the past at your will, you can control the present, giving him or her the power to change what they want and who they want,to make their truth into the only truth, thus giving them ultimate might. And this episode has really shown (first with Okarin not wanting to have so much money, second with him being reluctant about sending that D-Mail, third upon seeing the changes, fourth upon receiving that answers from John Titor) that Okarin fears that might. I would too, to think you have the power to control your friends is really frightening. And if one could control the whole past, you would be… not human. A god. A messiah.
    And Kyouma is still a human, he can’t shoulder all that. People who have such power thus often end up alone… like Madoka!
    But enough of that rambling, I’m still very curious who the hell that pigtail-girl is. Seriously, she basically tells us she knows about mind control, and then this episode does not touch upon that anymore? Why didn’t Kyouma bug her about it?

    And why do I have a feeling like “John Titor” is a girl pretending to be male or something?

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Ruka is John Titor

    • Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      do you mean 1984 by george orwell or another completely different novel?

      ^ ruke as john titor = best plot twist ever.

      • Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        George Orwell, of course.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Don’t think Ruka can be John Titor. John Titor is the one guiding Huououin trough the plot to find out about the timemachine and SERN’s secrets. If Ruka was John Titor, she would have at least mentioned about an IBN5000 to be present at a nearby shrine, while talking with Huououin on the net as JT.
        Considering this didn’t happen and Ruka only coincidentally helped out Huououin with the IBN5000, it’s out of the question Ruka being John Titor.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        What realy might be possible is Christiiina~’s father being John Titor.

      • Posted May 20, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        okay good. for a minute i thought there was some other novel named 1984 since i didn’t remember any time travel in the orwell novel. but now i see where you’re coming from.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      John Titor is Kyouma from the future!

      Or something…

      BTW, I like that point at how this is the first time we’ve seen Kyouma properly scared. He’s whined at little things and been surprised a few times, but this is the first time we’ve seen the guy genuinely scared at something

  6. Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    this was by far my most favorite episode up to date. general shenanigans at first, and then holy crap, the plot moves, and moves brilliantly.

    i also didnt take “messiah” as being jesus per se, but like eden, just a fancy, intimidating word for superhero. (speaking of eden, i half expected john titor to be like “here’s 2 billion yen” before i remembered: wrong anime.)

    but yeah, my mind was blown at the dr. pepper part. shit just got real.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      They probably used the first episodes till now to give a thorough introduction of the characters and their relationships with eachother. Also a slight intro was done with Kyoumas bizarre personality and the first murder and revive case, after which he also added The Zombie as nickname to Christiiina~. (Man, I can’t get enough of Huououins clever nicknames.)
      And just when you think, is that all? BAM!!!! They reveal there were important details in those episodes. Very clever and something unique we haven’t seen in a while. Just like Madoka (altough I still didn’t watch it myself, but I can guess upon reading your comments and posts on it).

    • Scamp
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Nah, best episode was 5 when they read Jellymans report. That was the first time in the anime they truly realised what deep shit they had gotten into. Plus I loved how they combined the various plot points together at the end, with the Gel-Bananas and Gel-People

      • Chipp
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        I predict that from the 10th eposide shit will start to become real.

  7. Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Oh, and I want an El Psy Congroo T-shirt. Almost as cool as the Ore no T-shirt.
    http://www.amazon.com/Steins-Gate-Congroo-T-shirt-Black/dp/B0031M96R2

  8. Chipp
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I really love their method of making previews to next episodes! (even with new bgm every time)
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SGTVanime#g/u
    The last is great too

    • Scamp
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Ah, so that’s where they keep the next episode previews

  9. Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I liked the fact that things like the Dr. Pepper appearing are both important indicators and easily dismissible. I mean no one is going to believe you if you say there was no Dr, Pepper; it just sounds like the kind of strange BS that Okabe makes up all the time. Same thing with Part-time Warrior and the chip scan. Yes, it was disturbing for a moment, but even Okabe would credibly believe that she is just playing around.

    But the bigger questions remain: what the hell was that satellite? Why was Christina murdered, or UN-murdered, for that matter?

  10. mcm38
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    About the satellite crashing and Christiiina~’s murder. Note that ‘somebody’ cancelled the lessons the day that satelite crashed. Also the first episode in which our Mad Scientisto Huououin finds Christiiina~ dead, than runs away from it only to see her later alive and kickin. Then Christiiina~ also tells him he came up to her 15 mins ago and told her to be carefull because she was going to get killed.

    If you carefully consider all of this, somewhere in the plot a satellite falls and to prevent any casualties ‘someone’ *cough* Huououin *cough* cancels the lessons that day.
    Also Christiiina~ says he came up to him to warn her because she might get killed. With everything we saw up till now, I can only say Huouoin has been going back and forth in time to make changes so those things wouldn’t happen. Notice that also when he sent a D-mail he went back in time himself. Meaning he does indeed have the means to travel in time.
    Well only my simple assumptions.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC7RtVJ4OVI&feature=related

      I just can’t get enough of these XD evil laugh to your harts content mad scientisto

    • Chipp
      Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      But in episode 6 he was told in his dream that he now can travel in time but not in space yet.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        That dream was dumb.

        Besides one can do those things without travelling trough space. The first D-mail made Ruka buy a lotto ticket. Even tough it was meant for Huououin. This shows as long as you can guess what the reaction of the person in the past will be, you can make things happen the way you want it, without travelling trough space.

      • Chipp
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Anyways I hope that Hoooouin will try to make space travel possible too.

  11. Scamp
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I was going to bring up the point of the first episode in this post, but I was too busy talking about animation again =P

    I think we still have too little information to make sense of that first episode. I’ll probably do a Baccano and go back to rewatch the first episode when I finish the series

  12. Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Strangely, this is the one series that I’m enjoying this season that I haven’t been speculating on again and again. I’m happy enough to go along for the ride, deciding whether the plot twists are great or just unnecessary (So far they’ve been great).

    For awhile, it felt like it was stuck in a rut. An entertaining and somewhat thrilling rut, true, but it didn’t seem to be breaking out of it. This episode completely flipped that notion on its backside.

  13. Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    What John Titor says is “kyuuseishu” (救世主), which is used alongside the loanword “messiah” in Japanese Christianity, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to them. The kanji means “king of salvation,” more or less.

    • Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Oh, shoot. I’ve been scooped. :(

      • Scamp
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        You gotta be quicker to outsmart me!

        …if only because everyone else is so quick to do it

  14. Anonymous
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    So many freaking comments when there weren’t even subs out yet. Quick comment, being called ‘tsundere’ doesn’t make one ‘tsundere’ in the same way that being called an idiot doesn’t make you an idiot. Stop turning language in a homoeopathic remedy you assholes.

    • mcm38
      Posted May 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      O.O Read better plz

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Read better? Maybe practice what you preach. If you don’t match the description, then obviously you shouldn’t feel offended. Scoot along now.

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