Review of Stein;Gates Japanese anime

steinsgate

By Nathan Danczak, Class of 2015

 Based on the Japanese visual novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus and released for the Xbox 360

 Set in the summer of 2010 in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintaro Okabe lives in an apartment that he has turned into a so called “lab”.  Occasionally, he conducts experiments with the help of his good old friend Itaru “Daru” Hashida, an experienced hacker, and his other longtime friend named Mayuri Shiina. Rintaro and Mayuri then later attend to a radio building where a lecture about time travel is being held where Rintaro meets up an 18 year old girl named Kurisu Makise  who is extremely talented and is also an neuroscience researcher at an American university. 
 
Makise claims that she had earlier spoken to him despite Rintaro not having the exact clue what she is talking about. Moments later, Rintaro finds the girl dead in a pool of her own blood. He texts Daru as soon as he can when suddenly strange things start to happen around him and he soon sees that a strange satellite has crashed into the building he was just in. People then start to desert Rintaro and then reappear again as if nothing has happened. Rintaro  realizes that the microwave in his apartment was running the exact same time the text was sent to Daru, which he somehow sent a week into the past. He then discovers that Makise is still alive and well, apparently not having the slightest clue that she was stabbed to death a little back.
 
Rintaro comes to a theory that they’ve now invented a time machine out of a microwave that is able to send text messages back to the distant past along with sending d-mails[deLorean mails] which can create alternate universes in the timeline of itself and pull that person who sent the d-mail back into the past. Rintaro does so with the help of his newly befriended lab members, Makise, Daru, Mayuri, Rintaro’s friend Feris who works in a cafe shop, and his equally trusted new friend, Suzuha Amane, who may be harboring secrets of her own. They then face trouble when they learn an organization called SERN has done previous experiments on their own of this theory and have actually succeeded in taking people back into the past themselves but are brought back dead on return. SERN soon discovers the group’s experiments and plan to retrieve this themselves.
 
Okay, now Steins;Gate is based off a video game which usually tends to be more promising then the anime it was based on, by adding in some more detail that the anime would usually ignore instead rendering for it’s own kind of production based on what it has for telling it, and giving creative ideas, and so on and so forth. Steins;Gate mostly sticks to that aspect and honestly, it is one of, if not, the best anime I have seen in the scientific genre, and one of the best adaptations from a video game I’ve seen.
 
You can tell that a lot of effort and care was taken by the people who were just making the adaptation itself and it shows from the quality of the animation to the numerous twists and turns the show gives in your direction as it begins numerously deceiving you from each and every end on “what character is going to do what” and “which plot point is going to lead into another” and so on.  The story really is done in an entertaining kind of way, with all of it coming across as rather interesting and subtle in a form that you want to learn more by each episode’s end.  It also helps that the characters are so involved in what they are doing that you just can’t help but pay attention to every word that is being said, which is another major positive for this show in that it’s premise is never taken too seriously so that anyone who does not care about the scientific points will enjoy it as well.
 
Being in Japanese, you would either have to go with dub (English voice acted) or sub (English subtitles) on this show.  I would prefer it if you listen to the show in the English dub because the dialogue coming from all the character’s mouths just sounds more witty and interesting than in the Japanese, which has it’s wits as well. But for me, the dub is where you want to go.
 
I should now mention the excellent animation that was given to us by the backbone of a rather obscure animation studio called “Studio White Fox,” who have only three major series of which they produced and animated.  The animation here is fluid and solid, with a lot of movements and colorful beats added in to give us a visual treat. This more prominently being featured in the opening of the show itself, which features countless instances of overlapping animation and a nice use of black and white color scheme to give us to our desires.
 
This was a continuation of another series based on the same creators called Chaos;Head and right now a third installment created by the same staff and production is also being aired called Robotics;Notes.
 
One last thing, Steins;Gate is an excellently done science fiction show combining thought, ideas, intelligence, wit, comedy[did I mention this show is VERY hilarious when needed to be] and enough solid character interaction to leave viewers coming back to see what is going to happen in the story.  For those of you who are not a fan of the whole time travel aspect of the show, I can assure you will find enjoyment out of it as well.
 
For combining science fiction with comedy perfectly, I give Steins;Gate 3.5/4
 
 
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