Steins;Gate Episode 3
(Insert your very own completely inappropriate sexual harassment joke here!)
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Steins;Gate is a 24-episode weekly television series that started in April 2011, based on an X-Box video game by 5pb. A small group of friends headed by self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe (a.k.a. Hououin) manage to create a way to send messages into the past using a modified microwave oven. However, a larger, more sinister government organization has also been doing research in time travel and Rintarou’s group soon finds itself in danger.
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ep. tl;dr review: Kurisu joins the team and freaks out; Strange things are afoot at SERN; Plot moves along at a glacial pace.
Episode Summary: After some verbal jousting, Kurisu is allowed to examine the “microwave time machine” after agreeing to join Rintarou’s troupe. After confirming that the microwave can, in fact, send messsages into the past, Kurisu beats a hasty retreat, while Rintarou entreats Itaru to hack into SERN and find out more about the possibility of time travel and mini black holes. They discover that SERN has, in fact, secretly managed to create a mini black hole, but in an experiment it resulted in someone’s death.
My Impressions: The story moves along at a glacial pace, adding one small clue after another as Rintarou puzzles out his timey-wimey microwave (*name subject to change). Not that I think there might be a real, pseudo-scientific explanation to the whole alternate-reality-time-travel stuff, but at this point it’s all gooblety-gook. More interesting is to watch Rintarou himself — that man truly is insane, in a Walter Bishop sort of way — a curious mix of rational thinking (when needed) and paranoia that is more charming than annoying.
There is also many questions I have about some of Rintarou’s “harem”. There is definitely much more to Kurisu (“Christina”) than meets the eye; first of all I am glad to see she is not some shrinking violet, but able to deftly deflect Rintarou’s nonsense and stay on target. However, her unexpected appearance (under the guise finding out why the “crazy man” said she was dead earlier) and hard-nosed insistence on his experiment, followed by her total freak-out when the microwave went kablooey were suspicious, to say the least. Who is she really working for? Then there’s the bike shop girl Suzuha, with her spying and inordinate interest in the lab. Hmmmm.
I’m still bugged by the rather curious choices of camera angles and framing of shots, plus the eye-squinting washout effect of everything appearing in too much bright light. The jury’s still out as to whether the story is actually worthwhile…yet. Three episodes in, and it’s moving verrrry slowly.
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (May 19th) and Episode 2 (September 2)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- If you like this, you might also like: Noein or Future Diary
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “There’s certainly familiar aspects to this show from other science fiction shows and novels I’ve read over the years and plenty of comics as well, but it’s execution and the characters involved definitely give it a flavor all its own that’s very fun and extremely engaging to watch. Grade: A-.” – Mania.com
- “I don’t know if I’m going to last another week of this. This is away from the nonsensical harem building and back to the nonsensical technobabble. They could say that the damn thing works because its manufacturer is the last descendant from Mu and he cursed it using Mu-tanium and I’d be fine with it. Yes, I’d make fun of it, but then we could move on and focus on the characters and what is happening with them now.” – Tenka Seiha
- “Although we did get a lot revealed this episode, it slowed down noticeably. The episode was primarily just talking and explaining these revelations. You would think an episode so full of dialogue would get boring, but the writing is so sharp and the seiyuu so talented that it doesn’t become much of a problem.” – The Super-Ultra-Laggy Metanorn
- “Now that the character introductions are out of the way it’s as if the story is finally starting to move forward, becoming all the more interesting as it does. However as it does this I can’t shake off this feeling that something horrible is going to happen to those around Okabe, and knowing Nitroplus, I wouldn’t put it past them.” – Gin no Dangan
- “Steins; Gate has a great chemistry between the characters and makes great use of it, but is getting too wrapped up in the details of its pseudoscience. Trying to explain illogical things like this only serves to take the mystery out of it and point out to the viewer that it doesn’t make any sense.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
ROUND THREE RESULTS FOR SPRING 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Three: Steins;Gate
Thumbs-down for Round Three: None yet.
Coming up next (in this order): Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Moshidora, Ano Hana, Tiger and Bunny, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Nichijou, Yondemasuyo Azazel-san, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, X-Men, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono