A time travelling anime that threw me on to a rollercoaster and never let me get off until the end. It was an emotional ride with an intriguing narrative that made me cry! *blows nose loudly* (Some Spoilers)
Okabe Rintarou is the name of our main character and he is self-proclaimed “mad scientist” who invents future gadgets in a “lab” in Akihabara with his friends Daru and Mayuri. One day, a gadget of his has turned out to work. A mobile phone with the power to send text messages through time.
As usual when I read a synopsis, it doesn’t sound interesting but I decided to give it a shot. I’ve never watched a time travelling anime before so I can go in without knowing what to expect.
Okabe came off as strange and confusing at first because I couldn’t keep up with his randomness. After a while I gradually got to know his character and how he interacts with other characters. He likes to refer to himself as “Hououin Kyouma” which is a nickname for him. He used this nickname to refer to himself to other characters. Most of the characters brush his nickname off and call him by his real or in Mayuri’s the nickname “Okarin”.
At the beginning of the show, Okabe would pose as the “organisation” that he thinks is always after him, he thinks it makes him cool but to other he comes of as delusional which was my initial impression of him at first. But he is an entertaining though I would question why he called characters everything but their real name.
Couldn’t he see that other characters were annoyed by him like Makise Kurisu who he referred to as “Christina throughout the show. We later find out that his whole “mad scientist” persona is a facade for his childhood friend, Mayuri. Mayuri’s grandmother died when she was little and she feel into despair. (*whispers* Junko….) On that day, Okabe declared her his hostage and started acting goofy for her sake.
When I found this out, I thought it was so sweet and showed what a great guy Okabe is. Although people think Okabe is crazy I guess that’s ok with him so long as he makes Mayuri happy he doesn’t care in my opinion. Finding this out made me learn to appreciate the lengths Okabe will go to make Mayuri happy. (It makes it all the more tragic 😦 )
I liked her from the very start. I’ll tell you know, I’m not a fan of tsunderes, Why? Well their aggressiveness, brutality towards the MC, feeling that their better than other people, I could go on but I’ll stop.
Kurisu was the exception. She showed a mature attitude and was very calm and collected when someone was in trouble mainly Okabe. Kurisu refuses to believe that the “phonewave” is real as she believes that time machines are fiction. Kurisu later comes around to believing that the phonewave is a time machine after Okabe and the rest of group look up SERN’S (the Organisation yes, it exists) research on time travel.
Not only was Kurisu mature, she was sarcastic as well. I love sarcastic characters. Her sarcasm would show when Okabe would call her all the nicknames he’s given her. When he called her by her real name, she realised something was up which show’s she’s an observant character. Kurisu’s success as a young scientist sparked some jealously among people who believed they were above her.
Her relationship with Okabe was great. Their interactions were funny and they really supported each other well, especially towards the later half of the show. That episode before the ending was amazing and heartwarming. She was a great character and showed that a tsundere doesn’t always need to be aggressive all the time, they can get angry at time and happy as well.
They don’t need to have one existing emotion before they become soft. They can juggle both. ( Now I’m thinking of tsundere girl juggling their emotions at a circus XD. One giant angry emoji on fire burning their hands in one hand, and in the other hand, a happy sparkling emoji that’s dropped to the floor due to unbalance that is the angry emoji XD)
The art style was lovely, the expressions were on point and when things got crazy they designed the scenes well. Everyone had great character designs and no one looked the same. The designs matched their personality’s greatly. They eyes looked well animated and expressive. I know this is from a visual novel but the art style of the visual novel translated well onto the screen.
Overall this was a great anime, it had emotion, great characters and the time travelling story was tackled amazingly. The plot didn’t feel sloppy at all, the anime studio did a great job tackling the up’s and down’s of time travelling. This was a time loop story that didn’t feel repetitive, each time loop felt different.
I let my mind wander as I tried to figure out what timeline Okabe had landed in. What had changed? Who disappeared? Or died? Did the setting change again? This anime showed how much a time loop can have an effect on a person. It was hard to watch Okabe lose hope over and over again.
I wanted his suffering to end so badly. I wanted to go back to the goofiness that was waiting for me in the early episodes. So you know what? I decided it was time for tea!!! Yes, tea my friends! Why tea? Tea helps me relax, It allows me to take my mind of the day’s events. To sort out the mess that was mind on the day I watched Stein’s Gate.
This story was a story about a young who had to choose between two women. Whether one lives or dies, it’s all up to him. Imagine having changing time constantly to find a way to have both women live. It really was soul crushing watching Okabe go through this mental torture. He chooses in the end, but it’s not a good choice.
But what could he do? He had to let one of them go. The power emotion, the music and the dialogue for that scene was amazing, so powerful it really made me cry. It hurt to see them have to part like that but it was for the best unfortunately.
One issue, I had with this anime was the final, final episode. What happened? You took the emotion and tragic ending this anime had and decided, “Ok, let’s wrap it up!” “Okabe’s needs to be happy”!. I mean don’t get me wrong, Okabe deserves a happy ending but not like this! The anime tried to create a happy ending and a tragic one but it lost its emotional tie in the end which makes me sad.
This anime had great world building and emotional characters who really made the anime worth it in the end. If you like time travel anime with fun and interesting characters, then this is the anime for you!
Let me know what you thought down below! 🙂
Title: Stein’s Gate
Genre: Sci -Fi, Thriller
Released Date: April 6, 2011 – September 14, 2011
Directors: Hiroshi Hamasaki and Takuya Sato
Animated: By White Fox