Steins;Gate 0 Final Episode (23): Bringing it all around

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This finale really had me hyped up while I was watching, and the final scene was just amazing. This series took its time getting started, but the ending has been a great ride. The tie-in with the original series was done well, and I’m reasonably confident that discrepancies I could have thought of were covered.

This might be a weird comment, but I felt like this series was one that punished me a lot more for watching as it aired than I can notice in other series. Because of the way certain episodes start and end, I could end up being totally lost when I started watching an episode after a week had passed. Just a random thought.

You know, this episode had me thinking that Kagari would jump in front of the missile and somehow chop it in half in this world line. Still, I have no complaints with what actually happened. The actual events make more sense given how convergence works.

I have no specific comment, but this screenshot is pretty epic.

I’ve been confused about Operation Arclight for the longest time, and this scene finally made it all click in my head. I couldn’t remember a second Mayuri in the original series, and I couldn’t think of an explanation for the lack of a second time machine. Turns out, it’s as easy as using a cell phone and shooting the second time machine into the aether.

I’m actually curious about this scene. Would it really cause a paradox? If my understanding of how time travel works in the Steins;Gate world is correct, then I think it would be fine. I vaguely recall a line about the impossibility of two time machines in the same place, but I still stand behind my assessment.

I’m okay with a surviving Kagari. She deserves a break from being used as a time agent.

This scene is easily my favorite scene in the episode. This type of scene really suits a character like Kyouma, and it’s a great resolution for Mayuri and Suzuha. I couldn’t really have asked for more.

Final Score: 8/10 Solid for a VN adaptation. It’s hard to talk about this series without comparing it to the original, but I did like how the series expanded on some of the time travel concepts in ways that weren’t mentioned before.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 22: Back to basics

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I’m pretty happy with the way this episode turned out. I was a little disappointed at how the AI angle ultimately took a back seat to the time travel in this series. I think that the time travel part is important, but there was a lot more that could have been explored with Amadeus as an “almost” person. Her conversation with Rintarou in this episode is great, but it felt a little incomplete.

This is a quality scene. I have no further comment.

This plan is pretty interesting, but I’m not sure I fully understand it. The leap from the Russians destroying the computer to needing to stop them from interacting with Amadeus didn’t quite line up for me. I guess it’s just the idea that the Russians could only have learned about time travel from Amadeus, but it doesn’t feel like a solid idea.

RINE is here to save the day! I’m not sure I get why D-RINE is more secure than D-Mail, though. Wasn’t the issue spawned by the fact that they needed to hack SERN to power the microwave? I can see how a RINE message might be harder to decrypt, but SERN should still notice, right?

This is an interesting conversation. I would argue that the world we live in similarly has rules that limit it, but I can see what Amadeus says about purpose and cutting waste. It would be fun to explore, but alas it’s not that kind of show.

I strangely like the cruel irony in the fact that Rintarou must once again sacrifice Kurisu in order to save Mayuri. It’s a great call back to the original series with a twist.

This smile is painful to see. Stop making Kurisu suffer!

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 21: The grand return

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This week’s episode felt like a pretty good payoff for everything that has been set up so far. Kyouma’s return was awesome, and the beginning of the episode did a good job of illustrating everything Rintarou has to go through to get him back. Also, the three thousand time leaps Rintarou does in this episode are a good callback to his endless time leaps when he tried to save Mayuri the first time. Still, these cliffhangers are getting out of hand…

Amadeus Kurisu is still Kurisu, I suppose.

I really like this little moment where Rintarou praises Maho for being able to go further than Kurisu was able to go with the time leap machine. She deserves it.

I have a bit of a problem with this scene, even if it’s a small one. Similar to when Daru talks about his own future creating the time machine, I have an issue when people take the future they know as a given. Plus, the other lab members even told Rintarou that his time leaps could change the future and kill himself. Still, I can mostly accept this as Amadeus trying to appeal to Rintarou’s emotional side to calm him down.

Big moments.

Seeing Rintarou bring things together was pretty nice, but that’s honestly not what surprised me the most about this scene. Can we talk about how Mr. Braun is shown seemingly having taken down Kagari non-lethally by himself? We saw Kagari chop some dude’s head off with her hand, so just…how?

These cliffhangers are so merciless. It’s hard for me to guess where things would go, since there are still enough episodes left for Rintarou to time travel yet again. That being said, this goes back to something I said earlier about futility.

Given that we saw Rintarou “beat” his own convergence point earlier in the episode, it would seem pretty weak if he fails to do it for Mayuri in the end. There’s also the possibility that a later episode reveals that the time machine always makes it to the past despite the missile, so I’m kind of waiting for that.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 20: Feels bad

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The suffering just never ends with this show. Still, it definitely felt like there were a lot of cool things going on in this episode. Most of all, I like the idea that Rintarou had to literally be brought into the future to see things firsthand to truly understand the gravity of it. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Well, I was wondering how the series would show the World War apocalypse, and I’m totally fine with how the series did it. Seeing the older versions of the characters was really cool.

I’m curious about how the mechanics of the time leap machine worked in this scenario. Maybe I’m just forgetting something about the time leap machine that was explained in the original series. Based on what we see in this episode, it sounds like the time leap machine sends a copy of Rintarou’s mind to a different timeline, rather than outright sending his mind. Given how Amadeus worked, it makes sense.

Future Rukako was really awesome, and I liked how his story ended up progressing. I wasn’t expecting him to be such a badass.

I wasn’t a huge fan of seeing Rukako die, especially given how little he tends to contribute in the present day. But I will admit that his final lines were really good. The fact that he never truly felt like he deserved to be a lab member was pretty heartbreaking.

I guess some things never change.

You broke time the last time you tried this, man. You sure about this?

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 19: Back to the past

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I’m happy that the series finally seems to be ramping up. The reintroduction of the time leaps was something I really wasn’t expecting, and I’m looking forward to seeing more. My only worry is that this stuff is coming a bit late in the series, so I’m not sure how everything is going to get resolved by the end. Seeing World War III is starting to feel like a dream.

Good on Daru for calling Rintarou out on his hypocrisy. Daru’s really been great in the past few episodes as the reasonable one.

I also really appreciate that Maho swallows her pride when she realizes everything is at stake. I thought it was a bit strange that she seemed to walk back on it later in the episode, but I thought this scene was great. She and Daru really outdid Rintarou in this episode.

Woo? Amadeus is back?

The time leap machine construction montage is super random. Still, it’s pretty cool to see the time leap mechanic back in business.

Professor Reyes is the most random reveal in this episode. I guess she’s supposed to be the original masked figure that was hinted at for so long, but it feels like we should have seen more of her. That being said, Rintarou did time leap again, so it’s possible that she will have another chance to be relevant.

Well, this line feels like a misdirection. Now that I think about it, this series has had a lot of misdirection.

Oh crap…he broke time.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 18: The mad scientist is here

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I sense that we’re getting to the parts I want to see in this series, but this episode wasn’t particularly great. I know it’s unfair to expect a show like this to handle action scenes well, but the action in this episode was so laughable that it was ultimately distracting from what seemed like fairly emotional content. I look forward to seeing where the series goes with this, but the episode was tough to watch.

Leskinen’s really showing off his training as a horror villain.

These guys haven’t gotten any better at shooting main characters since last week. This guy’s not even pointing his gun at Kagari. Meanwhile, Kagari’s taking people’s heads. How exactly does this work?

It also makes it a lot less convincing when Kagari goes down. The scene doesn’t really give me the sense that she sustained a full hail of gunfire.

The fact that Leskinen’s plan crosses timelines is pretty cool. The fact that he’s supposed to be the embodiment of the “mad scientist” Kyouma used to be is also cool. However, I don’t find Leskinen super convincing as a villain. His motivations aren’t really explored, so he just comes of as a crazy person with the means to manipulate time.

Are you sure about that, Rintarou?

I wasn’t a huge fan of the scene where Daru stops Suzuha from killing Leskinen. I get that Leskinen needs to survive, but the generic “you would be no better than him” line doesn’t feel like it makes sense in this situation. How exactly does killing Leskinen make her as bad as him? I can see how beating him up to inflict more pain would make her as bad as him, but I don’t see how killing him would…

Well, Mayuri referenced the code word that future Daru said last week. Everything is okay!

After last week’s fake death, I’m not going to believe this one.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 17: Tragedy has returned

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After much meandering and a few fake outs, it seems like we’re finally at the tipping point. I have my reservations about where this story is headed, but this episode really worked well. Mayuri’s moments were great and really hit hard.

I was really glad to see Mayuri taking the initiative to find out about the future. Rintarou really went too far in the previous episode when he basically told her that she didn’t deserve to know anything. It’s basically the “I didn’t tell you to protect you” trope on overdrive.

It was really hard to take this scene seriously given that we knew Suzuha had no plan.

Well said, Mayuri. I think we’ve all missed Hououin Kyouma.

Oh yeah…I forgot Amadeus existed. I had trouble following this one. Why would accessing Kurisu’s deep memory banks have anything to do with time travel? Wasn’t Amadeus taken before Kurisu met Rintarou?

Isn’t it kind of defeating the purpose of this series if they solve their problem with another message from the future telling them what to do next? I thought that this series was supposed to explain Rintarou’s message from the future, so it seems a bit weird to use yet another message from the future.

Oh hey, I didn’t know stormtroopers were in this series.

So, we’re back on this again? I know there’s an emotional angle here, but I really don’t like the idea of killing Mayuri again, which is why I’m hoping this is a fake. The entire reason that Rintarou chose this world line was so Mayuri could survive. If she dies anyway, it feels like a cheap motivation, since it’s just getting rid of that reason.

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 16: Eavesdropping everywhere

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Okay, this episode hurt. The emotional scenes in the episode were great. I really liked the arguments from this episode, and I really hope they’re finally enough to kick Rintarou back to his old self. So, does this mean we’re finally in the endgame? Honestly, my biggest hope in this series is to see more of World War III, but I have no idea where it’s going.

I’m glad they didn’t drag out the second Phone Microwave thing. Let’s get things moving.

Busted.

It’s still possible that later episodes will change this, but Maho’s reaction to the conversation she overhears was great. She doesn’t get hysterical when she finds out about Kurisu and uses the knowledge to finally speak her mind to Rintarou later.

This episode is just full of eavesdropping, isn’t it?

Nicely said, Daru.

Maho’s argument here is great. Rintarou has decided that Mayuri’s death is set in stone because he couldn’t find a way to change it. Maho’s rebuttal makes a lot of sense given her research background. Accepting that “law” as definitive goes against a researcher’s nature. All conclusions are tentative in nature, and the stakes here warrant a more exhaustive examination. Keep trying, Rintarou!

Why do you do this to me?

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 15: Random love advice

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This episode was a pretty solid development for Daru and Suzuha. It’s kind of a weird time to be doing this, but I still enjoyed the episode. And I’ll admit that the photograph was a huge red herring that I completely fell for. That aside, the episode seemed to be coming back to the story at the end, so maybe things will get more tense next week.

This photo was great for multiple reasons. The small Back to the Future reference was nice, but I was legitimately scared that the series was messing with its own internal consistency in order to make that reference.

Because this series uses separate timelines, it shouldn’t be possible for the faded photo effect to happen, so it’s actually a really nice trick. And it couldn’t happen to a better character, since Daru is the most consistent offender when it comes to relying on knowledge from the future. He has mentioned multiple times in this series that he shouldn’t need to worry about creating the time machine because Suzuha has proven that he succeeds. So, it’s like the episode itself is telling him that he’s wrong.

Phew, the first date in this episode was really hard to watch. I know the point was to show that Yuki accepted Daru for who he was, but it’s kind of a predictable point. As a result, this scene becomes even more painful to watch. What can you do?

Aww, I wanted Daru to say that he knew all along that he couldn’t rely on the events in Suzuha’s timeline to just happen in his timeline. Still, this scene might suggest that he really does understand that fact but chooses to hide it. I can hope, right?

The fact that the focus shifts to Rintarou’s phone when he agrees to go with Leskinen makes me think it’s really important that he didn’t immediately go to talk with Mayuri when she asked. Please spare Mayuri.

This is a great scene, and Suzuha’s memory of her mother’s death is absolutely heart-wrenching to watch, but what exactly is Yuki thinking here? She shouldn’t have any context, and Suzuha is just crying in her arms. Does she think Suzuha’s just really happy that Daru got a girlfriend?

Steins;Gate 0 Episode 14: And we’re back

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Back after the break, this week’s episode was really entertaining to watch. It felt like the events of the episode messed with my expectations, and I respect that. Also, it really felt like a lot of things were happening in this episode. It seems like the series is laying out its endgame plan, so I’m pretty curious to see what comes next.

Maho somewhat overcoming her inferiority complex in this episode was pretty nice. I just got the sense that it was less dramatic than I expected. It’s possible that her change isn’t completed yet, so I’ll give it some time.

I guess I’m supposed to be suspicious of this girl too with her frequent hospital trips.

The timing of Leskinen’s return to Japan seems a bit convenient given Kagari’s attack later in the episode. I almost didn’t notice it because of how the episode started with a few months of time skip.

I really wasn’t expecting Suzuha’s shower trick to get the drop on Kagari, but it was a cool switch. I still wonder how Kagari knew when to enter the lab. Is it as simple as hidden cameras?

I think I would have been more upset if this act from Kagari actually worked on Suzuha. However, Daru ends up being the distraction that allows Kagari to escape, which didn’t bother me as much.

Well, this makes things interesting.

Okay, this reveal felt a little weird. I would have been fine if Suzuha was simply putting the pieces together, but she makes the Professor out to be such a big deal. It makes it harder to believe that she just forgot about him.