Steins Gate

************* Contains spoilers!  Do not read until after watching the anime!  If you just want an overall opinion on the anime without spoilers, just go to the very last section.

OK, so I just finished a series called Steins Gate.  I said I wouldn’t write a blog until the semester is over, but I have to write this down before I forget it.

A quick overview of the anime

Steins Gate is an anime about time travel.  The basic concept is that once you change something in the past, the future changes, and so the world splits into different world lines: one world line in which the original event happened, and another world line where the event changed.  For example, if I went back into the past and gave myself the numbers for tomorrow’s lottery, the change is big enough to trigger the world to split into two world lines, one in which I never got the lottery ticket and another in which I won the lottery.  The two lines would exist at the same time and both would continue to play out forever.  The main character is supposedly the only person who can retain memories between world lines.  His goal is to change the future so that World War III won’t happen and the world will not end in a dystopia.

Questions/Inconsistencies

What determines if an event is significant enough that it can’t be changed?  Why was Mayuri fated to die in world line A no matter what, but Kurisu’s death could be faked?  Shouldn’t the same rules apply in all world lines?  If Kurisu is REALLY fated to die, why could it be prevented?  For Mayuri’s death, fate always got her NO MATTER WHAT, even when Okarin successfully stopped SERN’s attacks.  This doesn’t make sense!

How can Okarin change the past without affecting the current future if it was something as big as preventing Kurisu’s death?  Future Okarin tells himself that Kurisu’s death needs to be faked because past Okarin needs to witness her death in order for him to be driven enough to create a time machine to save her in the future.  HUH?  This means that the past Okarin would live a life in which he was so driven by Kurisu’s death to dedicate his entire life to creating a time machine WHILE SHE’S STILL ALIVE.  Could he really be that dense that he’d be oblivious of Kurisu being alive while he worked on a time machine to save her for 15 YEARS?  Isn’t Kurisu some kind of renowned scientist that’s known worldwide?  How could he not notice that she was alive still?  It doesn’t seem plausible to change the past of something with that much impact without changing the current future.  This doesn’t make sense!

Who sustains memories/dreams of other world gates?  When Okarin is supposedly already in Steins Gate, Mayuri has a memory of Kurisu being inside the lab with them, even though that had happened in a different world gate.  Doesn’t that mean that even though they’re in Steins Gate, they’ll have memories of the preexisting world gates that end in dystopia?  As long as the other world lines exist, the people in Steins Gate should supposedly continue to have nightmares about all the bad things that happen in other gates!  Also, won’t the people in the dystopia have memories of Steins Gate?  Why do only certain people sustain memories of other world gates?  This doesn’t make sense!

What’s the point in changing  what happens in a world line if the other world lines will continue to exist and ultimately end in a dystopia?  If the other world lines that end in dystopia continue to exist and play out, the dystopia is never really being prevented, they’re just creating a new better world line for other copies of themselves.  The other people, including the people from the original gate, Gate B, are fated to stay in their world line forever which includes the inevitable future (-cough-WWII-cough).  If this is the case, WHO CARES ABOUT THE OTHER PEOPLE?  You’ll still have to stay in your own world line in which you’ll never escape your fate anyways!  (unless of course you’re Okarin)

What determines Steins Gate anyways?  Stein’s Gate is supposedly the perfect world line in which WWIII doesn’t occur, but wouldn’t there be other world lines in which WWIII didn’t happen exist as well?  Like let’s say in world line A, where Mayuri dies, that world’s Okarin becomes so upset about her death that he decides to create a time machine or whatever in the future that will change the past without affecting the current future (just like world line B Okarin did with Kurisu’s death) which produces ANOTHER world line in which WWIII didn’t happen AND Mayuri and Kurisu never died!  Then there would be TWO Steins Gates right!  This doesn’t make sense!

Review of the anime:

Episodes 1-13:  It’s slow as hell and really confusing, but you try not to fall asleep and hope that the confusion will be explained later.

Episodes 14-22:  Things are starting to make more sense and you start to get an idea of how this all works, but hope that it’ll all make sense at the end.

Episodes 23-25:  It’s the end and it still doesn’t make sense.

Something to think about…

Oh yeah, you know where in the beginning his whole goal was to stop World War III from happening?  IT TURNS OUT, all he had to do to prevent the whole war was to put an extra 100 yen inside the toy machine so that Mayuri wouldn’t get the metal toy bear.  DOT DOT DOT much?

Conclusion

Ok, so this anime was full of inconsistencies with a painfully boring and confusing beginning and an unsatisfying and still confusing ending.  They never really clear up a lot of the questions I had throughout the anime, but I’m definitely glad I watched it.

The story had strong characters with an amazing main character.  Honestly, Okarin’s character is one of the best characters I’ve seen in an anime.   His character has depth and his development throughout the series is impressive.  You can see his transformation from this geeky and almost annoying science fanatic who is curious about time travel and obsessed with getting famous to a driven, serious, and passionate scientist who is dedicated to solving the mysteries of time travel for the people who are most important to him.

He starts off wanting to become the “Messiah” who will save the world from World War III and overthrow the oppressive organization known as SERN, but somewhere in the middle he completely forgets about the world and its impending dystopia and is even willing to give SERN anything they want as long as he can put things back to the way they were.  The ONLY thing that matters to him is saving  the most important person in his life, and he tries and tries to save her, desperately.   His dedication to Mayuri is admirable and his struggles throughout the anime are convincing!  As he races through time trying to save someone so important to him (Mayuri), you just can’t help but root him on.  In the end, when it turns out that the only way to save his Mayuri is to sacrifice the second most important person to him, you can’t help but feel bad for the guy!

The supporting characters also have solid personalities and development.  There wasn’t a character that didn’t have a purpose, which is always a good thing in an anime.  Each character ends up having to sacrifice the most important things to them in order to save their friend.  I have to admit, when Feyris ends up having to sacrifice her father, I felt heartbroken!  But when you see how desperately Okarin wants and needs Mayuri to live, you just know that Feyris has to sacrifice her dad.

It makes you wonder, if you could change the past, what would you change?  Would you still change it knowing that it could potentially change your future drastically?  Would you change it if you knew that you could risk losing someone important to you?

The anime’s art is stunning and the story is thought-provoking (mainly, “HUH, that doesn’t make sense!” moments) and unsettling (is this a good thing? idek).   It really does give you another perspective on the time traveling concept (with multiple world lines).  However, if time traveling really worked like this, my conclusion would be who cares about changing the past?  It wouldn’t affect me either way!

Next Morning Thoughts

You know, I’ve decided, this anime WAS really good.  I guess it didn’t really impress me last night because I was unsatisfied with the ending and kind of outraged about the inconsistencies with the time traveling logic.  Thinking back at it now, this anime was much better than a lot of anime I’ve seen.  There were scenes that genuinely terrified me, scenes that broke my heart, scenes that had me cheering the mad scientist on, and generally just had me glued to my screen.

The anime had me constantly thinking throughout the entire anime as well.  Throughout the entire series I would wonder, “but what if this happened…”, “but how would you explain…”, etc.  It was just like you were right there with the mad scientist trying to figure out how you could solve the problems of time traveling!  The anime kept you involved for sure!

The concepts were exceptionally interesting too, I mean it left me wanting to know more about time traveling and had me googling John Titor and Everett’s many-worlds interpretation of time travel.

The only problem I saw with the anime is its inability to explain holes in the time traveling logic, but if the logic was perfect, I guess there wouldn’t be any other time traveling theories out there, right?  At least it’ll spark interest about the theories and have you thinking for yourself how time travel could really work.

Like I said before, the characters were fantastic and the art was just amazing.  The anime keeps you thinking to the point that you’re still thinking about it when you go to bed.  An anime really has to be something if it leaves such a heavy impact!

If you have 8 hours to spare, I suggest you try watching the anime yourself!  Watch it with an open mind though, unlike me, who had already gotten the impression that it was supposed to be the BEST anime ever and was expecting too much from it.  Just be patient with the slow beginning because all of it is important to the main story.

All in all, very good Steins Gate!  VERY GOOD.  BUENO.

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    • dash-cohen
    • April 24th, 2012

    Do I read this? I think I got the spoilers already…it sounds good…
    You sound genuinely absorbed in this anime, I would want to watch it.

    • DON’T LOOK DASH IT WILL SPOIL IT! -covers your eyes-

        • dash-cohen
        • April 25th, 2012

        -peeks through- YOU TOLD ME THE ENDING ANYWAY!

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