Steins;Gate Anime Review
Aired from Apr 6, 2011 to Sep 14, 2011
Rated R (According to MyAnimeList)
“No one knows what the future holds. That’s why its potential is infinite.”
-Okabe Rintarou, Steins;Gate
Steins Gate is one of my favorite anime of all time. Time travel, conspiracy theories, awesome characters, and plot twists all attribute to how spectacular Steins Gate is. I think Steins Gate surpasses other popular time travel shows like Doctor Who. To me, Doctor Who has a cheesy element that prevents me from taking it too seriously. Even though Steins Gate had a bunch of comedy speckled throughout, it had its fair share of serious and tense moments. Another amazing thing that Steins Gate did was the way the anime intertwined real life events into the story. John Titor, Kerr Blackholes, and Sern (CERN in real life) are all prime examples of that. Let me tell you what made me fall in love with this anime from the very first episode.
Story of Steins;Gate
I’ll sum up the whole entire plot for you: bananas and microwaves. In all honesty, the story is of course a lot more than that, but it really does start with those two things. Intriguing, eh? The quirkiness of the plot made me fall in love from the first episode. In the first few episodes, Okabe, our mad scientist protagonist, attends a time travel meeting. After the lecture is over, he wanders the building for a bit. He discovers a girl with red hair stabbed to death. It appears to be the girl he meet earlier. Okabe rushes out of the building in shock. Rapidly, he sends a text message to his buddy at the lab about the girl being stabbed. Things get weird the moment after he sends the text. People disappear for a second and when they reappear, there is a machine that crashed in the building he was just in. The machine wasn’t there a second ago. Things just get more and more confusing from there.Soon, Okabe meets the red haired girl, whose name is Makise Kurisu, again. She’s alive mysteriously. He persuades her to visit his lab and tell him what she thinks. Makise begrudgingly agrees and follows Okabe, Daru, and Mayuri, back to their lab.Shortly they arrive. Okabe shows Makise the microwave that turns bananas in “gel-nanas”, which are bananas that have turn into green, gooey, gel. Okabe thinks that the microwave have to do with all the strange things happening. His lab mates claimed that the time travel lecture was canceled, and he never went. Okabe is perplexed, frustrated, and determined to get to the truth. It’s as if the entire world around him has changed the moment he sent the text.
Makise and Okabe tinker with the microwave some more, eventually causing a banana to go back into time! Could their messed up microwave actually be a time machine? They begin to experiment with it, eventually being able to send texts messages into the past. The world lines converge each time they do this, changing the whole world around them. Okabe later has to deal with the consequences of screwing with time.
Now, I really don’t want to give any more away. The story starts out confusing at first, but trust me, everything will fall in place as time goes by. There are plot twists along the way to keep things interesting. The beginning I have to admit, is a little slow, but it still was entertaining to watch. Watching the characters find out everything bit by bit, left you guessing a to what was ahead. I loved how the show brought in real life events that related to time travel. There is a John Titor in the show. In real life, he is a guy that claims to be from the future and he predicts all these terrible things to come. Of course, none of his predictions ever came true, but his supporters claim that he can be from another world line. Who knows, right?
Anyhow, the story Steins;Gate has is one of my favorite stories of all time. It does all the plot elements of a story perfectly, and for the most part, at a reasonable pace. A few parts even brought me to tears, even when I watched it the second time. The story was so interesting and excellent, I watched all of the episodes of this anime within a few days. It was like a good book, I didn’t want to put it down. The ending was quite spectacular too. Since I don’t want to give anything away, I’ll just say it was the ending the series deserved. This story made me have a little more faith in anime.
Characters of Steins;Gate
Okabe Rintarou (Okarin)
He is a mad scientist and head of the labatory. Throughout the years, he has created many small gadgets, but nothing huge. That all changes when he finds out that the can use their microwave as a time machine. Somehow, throughout the years, he has messed with the microwave enough to turn it into a machine that can warp time. Yeah, pretty wacky. Okabe has a quite unique personality; refreshing from all the generic male leads. He is crazy and he’s not afraid to show it! Being a mad scientist and all, he has an awesome crazy laugh. Okabe can have a distorted view of reality, but when the time calls for it, he will jump to his friend’s rescue. I love his quirkiness, humor, and courage.
She is one of my favorite female anime characters. Makise is from America, a well-rounded and intelligent scientist. At times, she can act like a tsundere, even though she will never admit it. Tsundere or not, she is a sympatic person and always works her hardest. Throughout the series, Okabe always manages to tick her off, making her blush angrily and yell at him some more. I adore her cleverness, wit, temper, and kindness. Towards the end of the series, you really get to see her soft heart and warmness that can be tough to find for some. She quickly bonds with Mayuri, the other female lab member; even though she won’t ever try on her cosplays. Makise is the perfect character to complement Okabe and try to keep him grounded in reality.
Shiina Mayuri (Mayushii) <3
Mayuri is the cutest character to ever existed! I swear, she is amazing. Even though she can be an air-head, she is the kindest lab member of them all and simply wants peace for the world. Her character isn’t all cuteness, however. She can be sad and solem throughout the series. You’ll get to see her backstory that she experience with Okabe. Since Okabe and Mayuri are childhood friends, Okabe decided to take her under his wing and let her hang out at the lab. There, she tries to help out the best she can and make money for the lab by working at a maid cafe. Mayuri likes to cosplay and make cosplay costumes, although nobody at the lab ever wants to try them on. She is an adorable, sweet, kind girl who is amazing. Too – tu – ru! (Her little cute fanfare to greet people.)
Hashida Itaru (Daru)
Hashida is usually called “Daru” instead of his real name. He is the tech guy for the lab, even having sharp hacking skills. Daru can be very perverted at times; making jokes about bananas and such. Okabe tries to keep him in line. He is also an otaku, a video game and anime one. Even though he jokes around and gets distracted, at the end of the day he will get his job done. He definitely wasn’t my favorite character, but he was vital for the lab to function and succeed in their missions. He also is nicknamed “Super Hacker” because of his flawless hacking skills. In fact, that’s the main reason he’s at the lab. Well, also, he’s another one of Okabe’s friends. A nice character to keep everybody laughing and the show moving along.
The characters were a big thing that made the show excel. With one character missing, side or not, the show just wouldn’t feel the same. As the side characters get introduced, they begin to play a role in this time travel drama. I felt as if each character was unique and each person had their little quirks. You end up getting attached to evey single one of them. Awesome characters deserve a 9 out of 10.
Sound of Steins;Gate
I love, love, love, the opening song. I have listened it too many times to count. I haven’t found another opening song that could possibly replace it. I’m glad that they didn’t change the opening song throughout the series, except for the last couple episodes. When they did that, they had a special reason for doing so, not to just change the opening song. I don’t want to spoil it for you. The edit song was also very nice, growing on me after each episode. Both songs are so marvelous, I’m happy to listen to them just by themselves.
The background sound and music was good. I liked the buzzing sound of cicadas to add to the background noise. A couple of the songs that were used during each episodes were quite magnificent, but most of them were just there to add some suspense and music. Fairly nice.
The Japanese voice acting was amazing! I know I say that a lot, but Okabe’s evil laugh and Mayuri’s cute, tender, voice is difficult to pull off.You could hear evey drop off emotion coming from the voice actors. The English ones, eh, not so much. Most people loves their voices, but me, not so much. Maybe I just naturally prefer the Japanese voices.
Art of Steins;Gate
I know the animation doesn’t look that special, but art doesn’t really influence my rating that much, only if it’s really good or really crappy. The Steins Gate animation was fairly standard, good scenes here and there, but not that detailed or beautiful. I think the animation is still really fluid at times, making scenes look more alive and fun to watch. The animation for the opening was arguably the best for the whole series. At least the animation stayed consistent and you knew what to expect.
Enjoyment of Steins;Gate
I enjoyed every second of Steins Gate! Even after rewatching it, the show still doesn’t get old. The character interactions and the quirky storyline make this anime very amusing. After a couple of the plot twists hit, I just couldn’t stop watching it! I had to force myself to put the show down and get some sleep or I would have finished it up in one night. The pacing starts off slow, but I still enjoyed watching the characters do their things and discover the true nature of the microwave. Nothing felt purposely dragged out, they just needed to set the stage for future events. The combination of excellent storytelling and unique characters had me enjoying this anime to its full extent.
Final notes and overall rating of Steins;Gate
If you love a unique time travel story with even more unique characters, you’ll sure enjoy Steins Gate. I am a big science nerd, so I loved the science aspect of the show. If you like that sort of stuff, you’ll enjoy this show even more. A fun, but serious show. I think this would be a great show to get somebody into anime. Also, it’s nice to watch this show with a couple buddies. This show has the ability to make you weep, but it can also make you laugh at other times. The plot twists give you shivers, the ending gives you a warm feeling. You will learn that in the end, time shouldn’t be messed with.
I gladly give Steins Gate a 9 out of 10. A well-rounded anime that was entertaining every moment. Go out and watch it as soon as possible! You won’t regret it one bit! After 24 episodes of the series, there is a special and a movie to watch. Although those aren’t as good as the series itself, they’re still worth a watch after finishing the series. Steins Gate is a series I’m sure you’ll remember and have fond memories of. Too – tu – ru!