5 Oct 2011

Steins;Gate (Anime) Review

Steins;Gate (2011)
Format: TV Series, 24 X 24 minutes
Director: Hamasaki Hiroshi and Sato Takuya
Score: 4 stars
Summary: Despite some slow moments the plot manages to hook you in week after week.

The gang at the beginning

The "mad scientist" Okabe Rintaro leads a rag-tag team of otakus to carry out weird experiments. Steins;Gate had one of the best opening episodes during the season it aired. Right off the bat, WHITE FOX showed off great animation and great direction. But what really hooked me in was the intriguing atmosphere. It constantly stepped on the line between believable science fiction and crazy jelly-man science fiction.

Gel... banana?

Umm... lamb... man? 

Human is dead? Yup, that's an error.

Among the crazy cast of characters, only Mayuri was immediately likeable. Everyone else took some time to get used to. Okabe was too crazy for my liking, and Hashida's voice was just weird. Eventually though, everyone fell into place and felt like one big happy family. Kudos to the seiyuus for bringing alive a believable cast of weird friends. Hanazawa Kana was awesome here as usual ^.^

Part-time warrior 

 Feyris NyanNyan

Trap Ruka

Tuturu~ Mayuri 


WHITE FOX might not be a household name, but they did Katanagatari, which was quite a decent show. Their 2nd effort here is much more consistent in grabbing my interest. The pacing might be slow, but there were enough questions to keep me coming back and eagerly waiting week after week. Animation-wise, they showed a lot of potential in the first few episodes, but then regressed to minimal action subsequently. The characters and backgrounds were at least mostly drawn consistently, unlike the mess that was IDOLM@STER (which has quite a long list of 2nd Key Animation assistance).

The visuals can get really crazy at times

The plot is not without its fair share of holes. Some things were never satisfactorily explained, and the ending kind of played out like the multi-ending style of visual novels (which it was adapted from). It kind of worked here due to the time-travel shenanigans of Okabe Rintaro, but the emotional connection felt kind of... disconnected. How did he go from sacrificing everything for Shiina Mayuri to dropping everything else again for Makisa Kurisu. In the grand scheme of things, maybe that doesn't really matter, because the biggest mystery of all is how they secured funds for all their crazy experiments in the first place.