Alex: 2011 is a good year for anime. And for me, actually…This is the second epic masterpiece that this year has thrown on us whilst we were unaware, the other one being Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, of course. But…well. Steins;Gate outdoes Madoka in every aspect. Steins;Gate is just so good it’s not funny.And this review is so scary to write it’s not funny, either. Well, Steins;Gate knocked its way up my favorites as it went, eventually perching at a comfortable Number 1, outdoing things such as Clannad After and Towards The Terra. It even beat my all time favorite anime, Kino No Tabi. And over the course of this review, I want to show you why. Why the plot, the characters and the sheer amount of genius that went into writing this show should send the competition running in fear. This is the choice of the Steins Gate! (bad Okarin joke n.n)
So, where do I begin? Let’s start at the beginning. Steins;Gate focuses around a group of friends as they accidentally stumble across a machine that can change the past. In other words, a time machine. But this is where the brilliance of it comes into play. The time machine itself is merely a microwave that’s hooked up to a phone. I won’t lie and say that I understand the science behind it all, but it’s done in a manner that’s both convincing and realistic, so there really aren’t any problems there. As they do more and more with the past, they slowly start to realise that they’re changing something way beyond their power, and well. It all goes sour at the halfway point, as they discover that they’ve done a terrible mistake and have gotten themselves stuck in a time loop of misery and misfortune.
This plot just won’t work without the characters. So it’s good that the characters here work. Enter Okarin, AKA Hourin Kyouma, the self proclaimed mad scientist. Being the only real lead of this anime is a lot to ask of any character, but this is where the actual troubles come into play. Okabe’s development is not the normal way to develop people. So much of it is heavily implied and not actually shown on the screen that the average user might have some serious problems seeing him as anything more than a two-dimensional character. If that kind of person is you, then go back to your harems and your moe/tsundere animes, this is for those who want a mature story that doesn’t spell every little thing out for you.The same style of development is used for Makise Kurisu, AKA Christina/American Virgin/Assistant/@Channer/The Zombie and whatever crazy names she got given by Okabe. She’s a great character, and a lot of fun to watch on the screen. Mayushii is what many would consider to be the last “starring” character, and she’s the one who you’ll either love or hate. She isn’t the best character, but she’s a good one, and she serves her purpose…which is more than the majority of anime characters have to say about themselves.
The rest of the characters are pretty much relagated to supporting roles, but they serve a very strong point in going from Point A to Point B, and they even have some very powerful scenes. Daru, the Supah H4x0r, Feryis Nyan Nyan, Suzuha the Part-Time-Warrior, Ruka the transgender and Moeka, better known as Shining Finger. Like I said, they aren’t the best of characters but they’re strong, powerful characters when they need to be.
Then again, I might have gotten along better with the characters because of a stronger personal connection. On a very personal level, I relate my character to Okabe very strongly. We both act like some free, crazy idiot who’s enjoying life to it’s fullest, for a reason that we feel unable to tell anyone and to talk to anyone about it. Accompanying me on a personal level is this blog’s co-writer, Mimi. Mimi is very much like Christina, both in our unique bond of friendship we share and in the way that she acts. It’s really unusual for a pair of oddballs such as ourselves to manage to relate and connect with an anime character, so this was a more than welcome treat and something which boosted the connection with the characters – I managed to understand them before their development.
The plot is…well. To use one of my favourite phrases, Steins;Gate turns the chessboard around. Using a clever mix of scriptwriting, scifi jargon and characters acting, the plot itself turns on it’s head so many times that you lose the ability to predict what utterly amazing plot twist it’s going to throw at you next. Because to be honest, all of the plot twists are utterly amazing…and they throw the viewer for a ride. They keep you on the edge of your seat, and they manage to make you chuckle to yourself whilst being kept in suspense. Like I said, it’s got the best thought-out plot i’ve seen in my lifetime, and it’s coupled with the best light-hearted comedy i’ve experienced, working together to create an amazing atmosphere. Result!
The story has clearly been thought out really well. I would love nothing more than to talk about it here, but since it’s so chock-full of spoilers, there are bound to be people who havn’t seen the entirity of the anime, and this would jst completly spoil it for them.Just…take my word that the plot is something which can only be described as a sheer stroke of genius, which is turning into a dying fashion as we go through the moe boom.It’s even so good that it’s worth watching it again, just to pick up on all the clever little hints you’ve missed first time-around.
To conclude…Steins;Gate is what i’d consider to be the best anime i’ve ever seen. Not just because it appeals more to my personal taste, but because it’s the best. It’s not a stupidly long anime, at 24 episodes, so you don’t really have an excuse not to watch this anime. Do it for yourself, because if you’ve stumbled onto this review you deserve brilliance.
Alex’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)
Mimi’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)
Liam’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)
Dusk’s Score: 10 Meeps out of 10 (Masterpiece)
^Woah, how often are we gonna see that?!
Doofus’ Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)