Steins;Gate – 4

I’m very much of two minds about this series. On the one hand, the dialogue is clever, subversive and frequently hilarious. There’s a great attention to detail, and I love all the small nuggets of Akihabara lore in there – the logo on the recycling bins, the “I Heart CRT” T-shirt Braun was wearing. The banter between Okarin and Makise is world-class – full of spit and piss and sass.

On the other, though, I think the show sometimes makes it a little too clear that it doesn’t really take what’s happening seriously. The show is certainly trying to walk a line between hard science-fiction and comedy, and often succeeds. But this week, so very little happened. They did laundry (amusingly). A very silly game with Feyris-chan. An encounter with world-class trap Ruka and his father, the Shrine Priest. It was all good, but considering the magnitude of events that are supposedly happening – or at risk of happening – I think a bit more gravity occasionally would be a positive thing.

Given that we have two cours of this on the way, the slow pacing is probably not a major flaw, at least. It’s a series that’s portioning out information at an agonizingly slow rate, clearly on purpose. A tiny nugget about Mayuri here, a hint about Makise there, a text from John Titor – you just have to be satisfied when the story occasionally meanders back to the main plot. And the thing is, it is an interesting plot – the shrewd mix of science fact and science fiction is interesting, and there’s a very real sense of something big lurking just under the surface – that Okarin’s conspiracy-theories might just have some basis in fact. If they ever get around to showing it.

Oh well. With dialogue such as “Like the universe, Daru is constantly expanding” I can live with a little plot drift.


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