Steins;Gate Episode 8
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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Episode Summary: Rintarou continues to experiment with the microwave, sending a D-Mail that causes Moeka to have never come to the lab and become a member of his group. At the urging of Ruka, he sends another D-Mail, this time to Ruka’s mother before he was born, urging her to change her eating habits in an attempt to affect Ruka’s gender, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.
My Impressions: Didn’t any of these people see the movie Butterfly Effect? Okay, I admit I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I’m familiar with the story and concept, which is based on the idea that the tiniest of changes in the past (as in the flapping of a butterfly’s wings) can cascade into monumental effects over distance and time. It’s a fairly well-worn trope that has littered the science fiction pulp scene and B-rated movies for years, so it is hardly something new.
So Rintarou sends a message a few days back, and it causes and immediate and fairly major effect that alters the past few days — Ms. Autistic (Moeka) is no longer a member of their troupe. (Mind you, for a minute there he thought she might be dead or no longer exist…until texting her to make sure she’s alright). You would think that sort of realization of power and the dangers of unintended consequences would put the fear of god into him. But…NOPE! Shortly afterwards he’s preparing to send a text on Mr. Trap’s (Ruka) behalf, going back to the mid-nineties.
Well, first of all, the whole idea of “eat a lot of veggies will cause the gender of an unborn baby to be female” is a new one to me, and of course has absolutely no scientific basis. I suppose that is Rintarou’s conceit as to why he allows such a message to be sent, knowing it probably won’t do anything. Except someone should have whispered into his ears, “butterfly wings…” How can he know what the tiniest of changes fifteen-plus years ago will do? I suspect we’ll find out soon enough.
Still have no clue as to why Rintarou is so damned special that he is the only one unaffected by the time shifts — it goes against the “logic” of the dimension-altering rules as they are generally known. I’m sure there will be some sort of explanation later. And Steins;Gate continues to move along at a near-glacial pace — you really don’t get very much out of each individual episode. I suspect that this is one of those shows best consumed in 3 to 4 episode blocks.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources:
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “This episode consisted of Kyouma trying random things to change the past. The things he did seemed innocuous enough, but I think they’re going to end up having larger consequences than it initially seems. This is especially the case with Moeka’s message. I don’t think anyone actually saw what she typed, and I’m very curious as to whether she actually sent the message she said she was going to.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “The story is without a doubt deep, involving and impossible to turn away from. But it’s slow. Oh is it ever slow. You know it’s bad when you travel through time TWICE in an episode and still have nothing happen. It’s more than usual, mind you, but we don’t get to see the true effects of all this rippling yet.” – Metanorn
- “Here’s the thing, I like the show, there’s a lot to like about Steins;Gate. Chiefly, I love the heavy atmosphere that looms over it’s fictional universe and the smart dialogue exchange between characters. But it’s definitely going at a slow pace, especially because it’s mostly plot-driven. Unlike the other 20+ episode series this season, Steins;Gate is progressing it’s plot so it gives some (I daresay, impatient) viewers the impression of being slow. I on the other hand, love the way it’s going.” – Hachimitsu
- “Damnit Kyouma, you call yourself a scientist? Don’t you know what could happen? Your beautiful lab assistant could disappear if you’re not careful! Why are you messing about with the time travel so haphazardly!” – The Cart Driver