This is some kind of really gay anime about this bitch here bitchin’ ’bout someone stealin’ her pudding and this jerkoff being all gangsta scientist who doesn’t afraid of anything. Or something.
I guess I wanted to watch it together with my boyfriend, but… We both were supposedly supposed to watch Vertigo together too, and that didn’t go so well for the reason I don’t really want to spell out here right now, so, yeah… I just told myself “Pfft, why the heck not?” and kinda watched Steins;Gate alone. Twice. In original Japanese and English dubs. And what do I have to say about it?
Time travel. You’d think that invention of a time machine would change the world forever. Imagine a bunch of students screwing around with a microwave in a one-room apartment above a TV-repair shop to the point that anything connected to the said microwave would start sending things back in time, thus making time travel as real as the feeling of your boyfriend’s morning wood sticking to the side of your leg every morning. And with this kind of fantastic, for the lack of a better word, technology, imagine what scientific discoveries our heroes would spawn, how many new horizons they would open, how many Noble Prizes would just jump into their hands… Simply… IMAGINE all that. You did? Well, now take all these pictures, mentally roll them up, and – yet again, mentally – stick them into your anal cavity as far as you can manage, because none of that happens in the anime. Time travel used for science? Yeah, right! In the end it all boils down to reversing the timeline a shitload of times to save your love interest from an imminent danger and eventual demise. Yeah, take that, Einstein! This is my scientific anime right here. And you know what? It’s touching as hell.
I did say that. All this time machine business is just a set up for a beautifully crafted love story. Dystopian future, Large Hadron Collider, SERN and liquidized bananas stop bearing any significance if you can’t even protect the person you care for the most. And, considering the butterfly effect-like plot structure of the anime, our main character is going to watch himself fail miserably at that “protecting” thing again, again and again…
We follow the misadventures of Okabe Rintarou, nicknamed Okarin (or Hōōin Kyōma, but I’d rather not talk about this one since the manner it’s been repeated in throughout the anime kind of scarred me for life a little), a self-proclaimed mad scientist, and his lab crew – fat otaku hacker dude Hashida Itaru, nicknamed Daru, short perky otaku girl and Okabe’s childhood friend Shiina Mayuri, nicknamed Mayushii, and a scientific genius, Okabe’s so-called (by Okabe only) assistant Makise Kurisu, nicknamed Christina… and The Zombie… and Celeb Sev… but mostly Christina. They all rent an apartment above a TV-repair shop using it as their laboratory where they try to do their mad sciency stuff.
To be honest, I fell in love with Okabe instantly – you don’t meet characters this charismatic in every anime, mind you. I’m not talking just about the looks – although tall and skinny types are definitely my thing – I mean mostly his whole “mad scientist” persona which is utterly ridiculous yet immensely likeable at the same time. As Gigguk put it, “Cause apparently all you need to do to be classified as a mad scientist is wear a white lab coat, shout everything out in a loudest and most obnoxious manner you can possibly think of, and laugh like a retard”. Add an almost unhealthy addiction to Dr. Pepper, an insatiable need for freaking the hell out of everyone around you and giving them stupid nicknames, a habit of talking on the phone with yourself, and constant ravings about some made-up bad guys going by the name of “The Organization”, and you’ll get pretty much the whole portrait of our main character. But despite his childish behavior Okabe is, without a doubt, an intelligent and promising renegade researcher, mostly thanks to the fact that he still trusts his own imagination more than common sense. It’s, like, “discover the undiscoverable, invent the univentable” right here.
That’s probably one of the reasons the story gets so tear jerking the farther it progresses – because we actually get to see this cell-phone wielding weirdo in a lab coat being gradually broken by the events his own discoveries have caused. It all starts kinda innocently: one day Okarin & co find out that it’s actually possible to send text messages to the past, using a cell-phone attached to a microwave that’s been preliminarily fucked up in a very special scientific way. Everything goes well for some time, the girl genius Makise Kurisu gets onboard fascinated by the possibility of creating a time machine, our heroes start to experiment with all this massages-to-the-past stuff, and then… then things start to go a little downhill up to the point when Okarin has to put his own life on the line for saving two most important girls in his life.
Oh, yes, about them. We’ve got Mayushii, an energetic, optimistic, all and all sweet, but, unfortunately, not very bright (in contrast to Okarin, Itaru and Kurisu) cosplay costume maker extraordinaire, who calls herself Okarin’s hostage… aaaaand most definitely doesn’t have a slightest idea of how weird it really sounds. Also, she’s the only one member of the lab who actually has any fucking normal job at all. Well, if you can call satisfying perverted urges of fat, sweaty, ugly catfags at a maid cafe a normal job.
She’s pretty touching and cute as a person, but BY GOD, her TUTTURU shit gets on my non-existent balls like a bitch. Just tell me you can listen to a minute of this and not wish your ears were stuffed with cotton balls covered in concrete. I DARE YOU!
But, in all seriousness, it seems, what doesn’t go into her brain goes into her heart and touches the hearts of everyone around from there. She always paints a much simpler picture of the world for herself, so the most ordinary things like caring for people you love and keeping everybody’s spirits up no matter how hard it gets don’t get lost amidst other, less important things. Yes, she doesn’t want to think about world conspiracies and the impact invention of a time machine would have on the world. To her, it’s much more vital what impact it would have on hers and Okabe’s relationships. The world can go and drop itself into a black hole at this rate.
Then we’ve got Makise Kurisu. And boy is she awesome. A bilingual tsundere redhed, a scientific genius who published her first paper at the age of 18 and hadn’t even thought of boasting about it in front of our loserly heroes. Well, almost. >_> Now, she looks like a woman worth risking your life for. I honestly wish I could have a
girlfriend like her, but not just because she’s supersmart, strong-willed, and has a nice jacket. There’re also all these painful insecurities she’s constantly trying to hide under the mask of a stuck-up bitch she really, really isn’t, and which you just can’t help but want to see her overcome. She’s kind, yet she gets awkward whenever somebody else shows kindness towards her. Used to the world of cold-headed and cold-hearted scientific sharks, always putting emotions and affections aside, she is utterly surprised to see this kindergarten of a lab Okarin runs and actually enjoy its friendly, family-like atmosphere. And, no matter how hard she denies it at first, YES, IT ALSO INCLUDES OKARIN’S COMPANY. To her, witnessing and being a part of an improvised scientific facility where human emotions don’t have to be exorcised in order to achieve required results is as much of an important life experience as finally getting acknowledged by her dickhole of a father, a scientist himself.
A character like her kinda makes me feel proud of wearing tights and shorts myself. If anyone ever tells me they don’t go well together again, I’ll just be like “HeY! This is totally Makise Kurisu style, BITCH. Get lost and watch some Steins;Gate” or something.
But back to the topic of Kurisu. I simply HAVE to say this: she and Okabe make one of the most perfect anime-couples I’ve seen so far. Yes, even I can take that over a 13-year old brat bossing around a hunk in his early twenties anyday. They just seem to have this very special something going on between them, you know? Up to this point I thought that the only straight pairing I’ll ever acknowledge would be Katsuragi Yako and Nougami Neuro just because their relationships are so fucked up you just have to see the tension at some point. And if it wasn’t there, you’d have to invent it in the fanfics. But now it’s all about Okabe Rintarou and Makise Kurisu to me. Both are smart as hell, both are scientists in the very true sense of the word, both get freaked out by each other on the regular basis… And both glug that Dr. Pepper as if it was tapwater.
Side characters are all quite interesting too. Among them we have: a trap, a moefag catgirl, a pair of antisocial boobs, a genuine timetraveler (yes, it’s a spoiler, bitch) and a guy who’s been spying on our heroes all along and has been found out in one of the timelines and shoots himself out of desperation and you’re all like “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA??? NO EFFING WAY!” (definitely another spoiler. Bitch.), but if you want to read about them all, you’ll have to go on Steins;Gate’s wikipedia page. I don’t wanna turn this review into a character list.
Let’s talk about the voicing instead. I’ve watched original Japanese dub and English dub and was quite pleased in both cases. But let me tell you this – as much as I fucking love J. Michael Tatum, I still think that Mamoru Miyano’s voicing of Okabe is far more superior. Just… Just listen to this:
Sorry, Mr. Tatum, but I’ll have to take this “Sonavabitch” over you this time. It was just TOO FUCKING HILARIOUS to translate in any way. Besides, you’ve gotta give it to Miyano, he’s one of those voice acting geniuses who always manage to sound different no matter how much of a recognized voice they have. Compare Okabe and, for example, Tamaki from OHSHC, and then those both to Yagami Light and you’ll see what I mean. Yup, you can always tell that it’s pretty much the same dude in every case. But the mood, the tone, the charisma coming through the voices of all of the mentioned characters are so distinctly dissimilar that you almost think that Miyano specifically gets people to club him repeatedly over the head with a titanium dildo to develop amnesia and invent a new personality for himself every time he prepares for the role as some weird way of method acting. Just like in Hiroshi Kamiya’s case, when you really can’t shake off the feeling that Oriwhora Trollzaya sounds just like Zetsuboshita-kun, yet you’re kinda sorta almost ready to believe they were voiced by different people.
Generally, I fucking loved Steins;Gate. It has drama, humor, wonderfully written characters, a hint of mindfuck, nice OP song, and lots of Dr. Pepper product placement (kind of like Code Geass with Pizza Hut). I like Mayusii’s haircut. I like Okarin’s somewhat successful efforts of trolling Kurisu. I like Daru’s hackspeak and Beavis & Butt-Head-esque comments. I like those little details that make the show a wee bit more alive and relatable to the real world: for example, when Kurisu tries to plug/turn something on under the microwave and bumps her head on the table while getting up. That was not all that necessary plotwise but it definitely added some cute slice-of-life-ish streak to the scene.
It is a great show, probably slow at first, but turning into a full-blown shitstorm afterwards. And boy do I love a good shitstorm.
PS: HOW CAN YOU FUCKING RESIST THIS?????