21 CommentsSteins;Gate / By Scamp /

Steins;Gate Movie review

Steins Gate - Movie - Large 45There are two kinds of anime movies from existing franchises. The first is made because the creators wanted to continue the story in movie format. The second is made because the original TV series gave them a lot of money and they didn’t want to waste the brand. Steins;Gate is the second type. Of that second type there are three further types. The first is the rarely used complete rewrite where the creators decided to fuck the original story and make up an entirely new ones because they’ve got so much creative juices they can’t be bound by canon. This was not the Steins;Gate movie, although I wish that is what they did do. The second type is the movie set randomly somewhere within the established canon where nothing of consequence ultimately happens and everything returns to the status quo at the end apart from the one character they introduced for that movie along. This is what Shounen Jump movies usually do. This was not the Steins;Gate movie, although it would have been preferable because at least then it tells a self-contained story.

The third type is movie hastily bolted onto the end of a story that was already completely wrapped up and the writers were just desperately trying to force some kind of conflict that tampers with the original ending and makes the whole thing feel pointless and silly. This is the Steins;Gate movie. Funnily enough, it wasn’t very good.

Steins Gate - Movie - Large 13The movie plays out in a very similar fashion to the Steins;Gate TV series, complete with the same animation quality as the TV series which was a little disappointing. I would have liked improved animation since they had the time and money for it, but whatever. I like the directing style in Steins;Gate enough to get a kick out of seeing it again, and there’s a limited amount you can do with its grey muted tones by throwing money at it. Watching Okarin flail about like the nutter he is, interacting with Kurisu and Daru and co has all the same charm as it always did.

Due to the limited time it does have the problem franchise movies often have where they have to hastily reintroduce all the old characters and make them do their one character quirk before disappearing again. Not that I had any affection whatsoever for the stupid cat maid or the trap, but the scenes did feel rather forced. The earlier scenes between Okarin and Kurisu though do no feel forced. They work great and are ultimately the highlight of the movie. For all the dramatics and long monologues and time travelling that happen later on, the best part of this movie will always be Kurisu rubbing her face against Okarin’s cheek.

Then, much like the TV series, after a period of characters mucking about and little weird things happen, time travel goes crazy and Okarin disappears. Sort of. I won’t spoil why or how, but the upshot of this is that Kurisu ends up taking the reign as main character, which ultimately ends up being the downfall for the movie. I love Steins;Gate because of Okarin. It’s his interaction with characters and his view of the world that makes this tale exciting. How his delusions turn to reality and the shift is his character from that. Strip that out and you have a decent time travel story that moves a little too slowly. And that’s the main series. The time travel story in this one is even more nonsense than the original and doesn’t have time to play around with the possibilities that made the slow pace interesting from the original.

I like Kurisu a lot, don’t get me wrong on this one. Having a movie from her perspective sounds like a great idea. Turns out that’s not the case. Living in Kurisu’s head is boring as fuck. The back third of the movie is spent listening to Kurisu monologuing incredibly boringly about how she’s kinda sad. There’s no dressing to this narration. It’s just a bland boring monologue. Combine this with the grey artstyle and I honestly started to drift off during the movie. The oppressive grey art style only worked because it was combined with Okarin believing conspiracy theories. From the mind of Kurisu and her more sane view of the world, it just makes Akihabara look like the dullest place on the planet.

Finally, and arguably even more damningly than making Kurisu the main character, you can’t help shake the feeling that this was just tacked on at the end because they needed to extend this series further. The entire central plot and what’s happening to Okarin was clearly created long after the original script for Steins;Gate was written. I know this is all franchise movies ultimately, but there are ones that do it well without feeling like I’ve been suckered. Trigun did this really well with Badlands Rumble. Steins;Gate not so much. I do love me some Steins;Gate, but I would recommend just sticking to that original series.

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21 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    “The third type is movie hastily bolted onto the end of a story that was already completely wrapped up and the writers were just desperately trying to force some kind of conflict that tampers with the original ending and makes the whole thing feel pointless and silly”

    So it’s like the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa? Welp, there goes my motivation to see this.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Nah, Conqueror of Shamballa (as well as the second half of the tv show) was definitely the first example that screws with the original tale to create something completely different, while Sacred Star of Milos would be the inconsequential add-on that takes place within the original show and has no impact on the rest of the story. For all Shamballa’s faults, I can enjoy and respect it far more than the latter.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Oh, come on. Alchemists vs. Nazis? Dimension travel? Let alone the shark – that thing jumped the whole Sharknado for sheer absurdity.

      • Scamp
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        It sorta felt tacked on, but only because the original TV series didn’t end properly in the first place. It was a very silly movie altogether, but I will concur that it’s better than Sacred Shite of Milos

      • Nagisa33
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Though different from the original, I liked the first FMA / Conqueror of Shamballa. Though I enjoyed Brotherhood more as a whole some parts of the first series were even better IMO. I never saw Milos bc I heard it was meh. FMA is great anyway you slice it.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted January 17, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        I haven’t seen Milos either. I just think every original part of the first FMA was increasingly silly and badly written, and that trend culminated in the pointless, plot-hole ridden shitfest that was Shamballa.

  2. Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    So, any plans to see and review the Madoka movie?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Whenever it’s out, sure. There’s no screenings of it over here in the UK

      • Kimera
        Posted January 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        I know that feel ;_;

  3. Ken
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with everything in your review but as a Steins;Gate fan-boy I enjoyed seeing these characters interacting together again. For that alone I found it worth watching.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I know the feeling, and I sorta dug the first half of the movie for that. The second half of the movie though was just Kurisu monologuing so it couldn’t even deliver properly on just letting us enjoy the characters.

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Remember when the Steins Gate ova came out and people thought it was fun, but just a repeat of the jokes and conclusion of the tv show? This was basically even more of that. Sure, the perspective is shifted to Kurisu, and there’s a new time dilemma to be overcome, but for intensive purposes it may as well have been a recap/compilation movie. The characters interactions revert back to how they were at the beginning of the tv show (the same trick the ova already pulled), recycles the same jokes, then time shit goes down and needs to be resolved in similar way. Both the humour, plot, character growth and overall themes and conclusions have already been established by now. I didn’t need to watch this movie. I’d already seen it.

    Let’s hope this is it, because I don’t need yet another instalment of Okabe and Kurisu between all snarky and uncomfortable around each other, before realising their true feelings. Three times is more than enough.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      But that OVA was great as a piece of fanservice. It reminded you why you liked the characters, gave us a few neat glances into what the future would be like, and told a nice little story. That was good. That was the nice little extra Steins;Gate fans deserved. This though was not that

  5. HenryIsHot
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Steins;Gate, when was the last time you ate a cow? Was it happy?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      I should watch the new episode of Silver Spoon by the sounds of things.

  6. zhengbenny
    Posted January 17, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    I thought the movie was good, it just didn’t live up to the hype

  7. Posted January 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I guess Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer goes to the same category as Steins; Gate.

    • Posted January 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      The damage the endings to both Trailblazer and Loading Area of Deja Vu did to my eyes is something I will never forgive.

  8. Shikamaru
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    The movie was okay. I don’t regret seeing it but I will never watch it again. Okabe really makes Steins;Gate so when Kurisu is your main character suddenly it’s just big disappointment. Okabe was also IMO acting out of character when Kurisu was drunk. And that’s one stupid anime cliché that I hate. Girl/woman drinks one beer and is instantly drunk.

    There were some references to the game in this movie and that was pretty cool. I still recommend the game to anyone who is Steins;Gate fan. Visual novels and anime are two different kinds of media so they had to cut at least 50% of the text when they turned the game in to anime. And there is a lot of interesting dialogue in the game. Okabe also calls Mister Braun’s daughter “Sister Braun” or “woodland creature” in the game and I thought that was hilarious.

    I don’t expect you to review the game because the anime follows the game so well, but please, play the game. You won’t regret it.

    Also a little question. Do you watch Wooser? I think it’s really funny because it’s basically Mamoru Miyano having a blast with his role.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Nope, saw the first episode of Wooser and couldn’t be arsed with any more

  9. Julz
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    That’s a shame! I’ve only seen the series so far, which I loved, so may hold off on the movie for a while longer. Have you seen Robotics;Notes? I read about it here earlier and it sounds like it;s kinda similar to Steins;Gate? Would be interested in hearing if you think it’s worth a watch!

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