Steins;Gate – 14

One thing I’ve felt from the beginning is that Steins;Gate series has been exceptionally smart in the way it dishes out information. There’s always enough exposition every week to keep me from feeling completely at sea, but each bit of new information seems to raise two questions for every one it answers. For example – so Suzuha is, as speculated by many, John Titor. But what it her purpose in coming back in time 26 years? Who is Barrel Titor – could it be Daru, as some have speculated?

It took a while, but Okarin seems to have finally realized that his helpless flailing was getting him nowhere (I was screaming at the TV last week for him to stay as far the Hell away from Mayuri as possible, not that it apparently would have helped). Finally asking for help was the smartest thing he did, and Makise was likely the best person to ask. Her calm, common-sense analysis – jump back an extra two hours to before the memory machine was finished, the various possible causes for Mayuri’s continual deaths – brought a sense of relative calm to the proceedings that was much needed after the frantic pacing and Okarin’s emotional histrionics of the last two episodes. But really, even now she and Okarin are basically flying blind.

Blind, that it, until Suzuha steps in to take command. I see no reason to doubt that she’s Titor, and it certainly appears that she was in some way involved with the death of Makise and the satellite crash in episode 1. Her rope explanation makes sense, and it was a good demonstration for the viewer as well as Okarin and Makise. But what’s behind her initial hatred of Makise, and was she actually the instrument for her death? I think she’s one of the good guys, but there’s a lot she’s not telling us. “John Titor” clearly espoused the idea that Okarin could be a new Messiah with his ability to jump time lines, so it can be assumed that this is a goal of Suzuha’s – and perhaps, by extension, that Makise is an obstacle to that goal.

Other mysteries abound, too. Just who are the Rounders? And who is this “FB” organization that Moeka claims loyalty to? I get the sense that it’s somewhat if not totally separate from SERN. Why is she/they the one(s) to decide that Okarin and company must go down because they know too much? What’s the significance of the boy with the toy train, and the small differences in the various iterations of the scene behind him? And perhaps most unsettling, is it possible that the only way Okarin can save Mayuri is to jump to a timeline where Makise dies? We know this has happened already, in the first episode, where we switched from an “A” line where Makise died to a “B” line where she lived – the “1%” barrier” was crossed. What if Mayuri survived in that other line?

This show was quite literally gotten darker as the tone has gotten grim, with scene after scene in dimly lit rooms full of grey shadows. S;G has proved itself an exciting, chilling series over the last few eps but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the humor from the first 11 or so. Really, S;G has some of the best dialogue around, and Makise’s “Screw you, future me!” was a gentle reminder of how sharp the comedy can be. I know it’s really hit the fan and we’re in for a long, dark ride but I hope that there will be a few comedic moments (and “Tutturu’s!”) scattered among the dark ones over the next couple of months.



  1. K

    Its weird how the "Tutturu" has become a rallying cry for anime lovers everywhere. I've even see folks use it on World of Warcraft to rally their friends before a big battle or when they enter chat as a form of hello.

  2. It's the mysterious appeal of KanaHana, I suppose. It's becoming increasingly popular as a ringtone as well.

  3. T

    Excellent review, Guardian Enzo.

    I agree with you on how Steins;Gate skillfully slides back the curtain bit by bit with each new episode. By giving us a little bit of new information each week, the anime ensures that viewer interest is maintained, but by raising at least as many questions as it answers, it also keeps us on the edge of your seats wanting more. ^_^

    As for Suzuha and her dislike of Kurisu, I think it's important to remember that these characters can change somewhat from one worldline to the next. In fact, this episode demonstrates this very effectively, by showing how present!Kurisu slightly misjudged past!Kurisu's reaction to Okabe's reveal, leaving the "two" Kurisu's feeling a bit different from one another. And that difference comes through with only one time leap alone!

    So the Kurisu of Suzuha's original worldline might have been a fair bit different (and more antagonistic, perhaps) than the Kurisu that we know and love.

    Just a thought.

    Anyway, great write-up, and nice blog work. :)

  4. A very interesting point, RRR. I hope we at least find out what that Suzuha hated Makise for, though.

  5. M

    I find your 'what if Mayuri survived when Kurisu' died comment incredibly ominous, because it sounds so plausible – totally a steins;gate-esque tradeoff. In fact, if you remember, after Okarin saw Kurisu dead, he sent a message to Daru and suddenly everybody disappeared, right? And Kurisu was found to be alive? If he /didn't/ send that message, Kurisu would remain dead, and the people would still be there – and if his sending that message was the real cause of Mayuri's eventual death… oh my god, the more I write, the more I think that this is exactly what the writers are going to do.

    Also, nice work copypasta'ing your post from RC to here 😛 Maybe you should just put a prefix on top of every post you're not posting on RC that links to posts you've posted there?

  6. @Mushyrulez

    I definitely think that's a strong possibility for where the writers are going. It's an ugly scenario, but this seems like a pretty ruthless story.

    I plan only to put RC links for the series I'm not physically covering here – NY, No. 6 and Dantalian. Seems like the right thing to do to me…

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