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Summer season ended some weeks ago and with it, Steins;Gate 0 came to an end. Being this the only Anime I followed (and did episodical reviews for the PT website where I write), of course, I had to do a review of it.
Before we start though, I just want to say that the original Steins;Gate is an Anime which is really close to my heart and one that I think as a masterpiece. This way, I had high hopes for this one and less than perfect would not cut it for me! However, I know many people love this show and, therefore, this post will be me trying to understand if I should consider it as a masterpiece or a flop.
– Synopsis –
Well, I have to say that the description on Wikipedia is wrong. As also the description in Steam for the Visual Name which was the source to create Steins;Gate 0.
In both places, you can read “an alternate ending” or “an alternate worldline”. Well, if you already watched the Anime you know that this is not true, so let me write what I think it should be the synopsis for this sequel.
Steins;Gate 0 shows the path Okabe had to take to be able to make the video explaining how he could save Kurisu.
That’s it. There is no other way around it. It is no “alternate ending” or “alternate worldline”. In fact, it’s even a good thing they did that since it was not explained in the original Anime.
– Plot –
I’m going to be completely blunt… Steins;Gate 0 was made so they could milk more money from the gigantic success Steins;Gate had. I don’t know about the visual novel, but the Anime just shows that.
First of all, let’s start with the pace. If we look at the episodes in a singular way, not taking the overall story, 99% of the episodes are great! Normally they always have a combination of emotion, action, and intrigue. Moreover, they did a great job when it comes to creating those cliffhanger moments to make you want to watch the next episode.
However, when you look at the episodes as a conductor of a storyline, the pace starts to become a little… strange. First of all, those cliffhangers most of the time end up being nothing in the next episode. So, you may make me want to watch the next episode the first 3 times you do that, but after seeing a pattern of nothing happening in the next episode, then it loses the magic of a cliffhanger.
When it comes to Steins;Gate you have a really slow beginning where they take their time for us to get to know the characters and fall in love with them. Then, the show starts speeding up and only stops by the end of it. Now, in Steins;Gate 0 it’s a constant of on/off when it comes to the development of things. You can get a full action with a lot happening in one episode, finishing with a huge cliffhanger and the next one is like nothing happened and everything is kinda slow again.
Moreover, do we need really 23 episodes to get to the point we got in Steins;Gate 0? I don’t really think so! It would have been a better idea, in my opinion, to just make a movie out of it. Even if they wanted to go for an Anime, probably only one season of 13 episodes would suffice. With 23 episodes it felt that we ended up getting many similar events with the same idea all over again. Maho feeling that she won’t ever be as good as Kurisu, Rintaro inner turmoil of not knowing if he should press forward or not. I mean, we even got an episode where he just had gotten the Houma Kyoma vibe again, just to see sad Rintaro all over again in the next episode.
Last, but not the least, I need to talk about all the things they completely passed over for the sake of the plot. I think the main one was the huge hole they created with the Kagari being the one teaching a music that would later result in having Mayuri teaching her the music in the future. It’s a paradox! You can try to defend it on the comments and I’m interested to hear your theories but I think it’s going to be difficult to explain this one. Did it gave a great emotional and cute moment? Yes! However, for me, it just broke many of the foundations that Steins;Gate 0 had to follow for being a time travel show.
So, in the end, for me, the story was not as good as I would want it. You can say it’s a masterpiece, we all have our opinions of course, but not in a million years I will put Steins;Gate 0 at the same level as the original.
– Characters –
When it comes to the characters we already know and adore there is not really much to talk about. They are already more than presented. I think the only ones are worth talking about is Rintaro, Maho and Kagari.
Rintaro presents himself as a broken guy, an empty shell of himself if you want. I liked this more serious approach to the character. The evolution was also good, but it took way too much time to happen. I don’t want to make spoilers, but there are many times where he is presented with someone giving him what he needs to hear and make sure he did the right thing. However, while he seems to be more at ease, right in the next episode is already feeling guilty as hell. I mean, it’s realistic, to be honest. But, on the other hand, it made me want to scream “Come one! Get a hold of yourself please!”
We would think that Maho and Kagari, being the new characters would have a lot of character evolution. But, by the end of it, I don’t feel like that at all. For Maho, most of the things are presented right in the beginning and she only seems to change a little bit by the end of it. We can see her opening her shell a little by a little throughout the Anime. However, for a 23 episode Anime, it felt that it was not enough.
When it comes to Kagari, someone Suzuha had NEVER talked about in the original show, which makes me wonder how concerned was she with her best friend, well… Can you really say there is an evolution? She comes with amnesia and most of the Anime her thoughts are not really hers, so… I don’t know… Well, yeah there was evolution, of course, but… I mean, is it evolution on the character herself or the environment around her?
– Audio / Animation –
I do have to say, I loved the more dark environment and the music was really cool! Although I could pass by without so many eye close-ups xD
Nevertheless, the animation is on point and the feel of this being a darker path which Rintaro has to cross is well captured and transmitted!
Regarding the music, it was also on point and to be honest, I loved all the intros and outros. Something that it’s not really normal for me xD You all know that I normally don’t like the intros of Anime most of the time 😛
– Conclusion –
Is it a decent Anime? Yes! Should you watch it? Of course! Is it a masterpiece? I don’t think so. Maybe if it was a stand-alone Anime I would be happier for it. However, I believe that when you are doing a sequel you have to be conscient about the original. If you did a masterpiece, then you have to make sure the next one will have, at least, the same quality.
So, the answer to my question is… IT’s neither a masterpiece, neither a complete flop. What about you? Did you watch Steins;Gate 0? Did you like it? Tell me all in the comments! 😀
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[Amazon.co.jp Limited] Steins;Gate Zero Volume 2
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