Man, I was just talking about how Steins;Gate perfectly fits our expectations and this time, it just completely overturns them. How?
I was just noting how it made no sense that Mayuri’s death would go back a day every time a D-Mail is unsent – those events should have no connection with each other, right? Akiba being a moe hub doesn’t mean that Moeka’s squad will somehow be a day late, and Ruka being male doesn’t mean that they’ll be late either. They make no sense. They try to make it make sense, producing a convenient plot hole. Besides, they didn’t actually reverse the events – after all, Ruka’s mom still received a D-Mail (two, actually). The butterfly effect should guarantee that at least /something/ changes – not /absolutely nothing at all/. I understand that because timelines are stuck in attractor fields (no, I actually don’t understand), they’ll converge and make certain events happen (Mayuri’s death), however, even two different timelines in the same attractor field are different! There’s one timeline where Mayuri dies by train, and another one by bullet. Over seventeen YEARS, of course something has to change!
However, just when I thought the rest of Steins;Gate would proceed likewise, Moeka commits suicide. That was completely and utterly shocking, and definitely the high point of the episode. I have never felt another scene more shocking than that (Mami’s death was spoiled for me… actually, I started watching when some guy linked a game where you throw Sayaka’s soul gem into a truck, and by then (due to twitter) I already knew half the plot…). Even the following assault wasn’t as shocking, though it was emotionally incredible.
This is why I started watching Steins;Gate, this is why I love it – the plot moves at a breakneck place, going to places you totally expect and understand and other places that come out of thin air, but you realize make perfect sense.
Also, the hourglass measures the quality of the conversation – the more engaging it is, the faster the sand flows.
Anyways, back to how it overturns expectations.
I was just noting how the only redeeming quality of Steins;Gate was its plot (which was the best plot I have ever seen, ever), and how it almost never tackled big moral questions, which even Madoka did (before brushing everything aside with its ending). Sure, it said things about what it means to alter somebody’s past, whether or not saving someone’s life is actually worth it, and the value of life, but it never dealt with anything really big.
But now it does just that, turning Moeka more and more human, and Rintarou less and less – all characters are light and dark, and that’s exactly what Steins;Gate tells us. Yet, it doesn’t just tell us, it also leaves us to think – is what Rintarou’s doing really right? Is it really wrong? What about Moeka? Was she wrong to behave like that? Or was she right?
One of the amazing things Steins;Gate does is its fusion of every previous episode – whereas other anime may have an episode that stands alone, Steins;Gate builds every single episode it has on every other episode. This with its intricate blend of humour, suspense, and drama make this one of those 9/10, 10/10 episodes that you see once in a blue moon (e.g. once every two or three years).
(Absolute time is represented by the y-axis; the characters/space/whatever is represented by the x-axis; and the black lines is how the plot moves (forward in time, backwards in time, switching between characters, etc.)
A final thing to note (I’ve said it before, but just to re-iterate): Steins;Gate’s plot is very straightforward. See, a normal plot would have a main line and a lot of branching lines all moving forward in time; Nichijou’s plot is just a bunch of lines randomly scattered around; and Steins;Gate’s plotline moves forward and back in time around a single point in time. Although to us as the viewer it looks complicated, to Rintarou, it doesn’t – it’s just staying around one place in time and revolving around one person (Rintarou, of course!).
When I say final, I really mean final. I don’t know if Steins;Gate will continue delving into the realm of morality (in which case I’d have a lot more to say), but right now, as it is, I have nothing more to say. I’ve blogged Steins;Gate for eight episodes because I had eight episodes of things to say. Now, I’ll blog Tiger & Bunny instead. Besides, Steins;Gate is always late, anyways, right?