Steins; Gate 21 — The Hostage has Escaped

Through death.

So this was another Mayushii episode, the calm before the storm in which Okabe spends some time with her before the final battle.

I’ll be honest: with Okabe’s all-encompassing drive to save Mayushii, I’m surprised that even Christina’s impending death was able to sway him from his course. But as Mayushii dies again and again, I expect him to at least attempt something (if Christina doesn’t do it herself first). Christina’s death may be the key to preventing Mayushii’s death: her murder is much more suspicious than Mayushii’s diverse array of deaths, and seems to have a clear-cut cause other than the spirit of the universe conspiring against her. This also means that it will be easier to prevent. And who’s to say if Mayushii won’t die just a day later in the original universe as well? What Okabe really needs to do is bring the watch to get repaired, that should keep her going for a few more years.

This episode continued to bring home how unavoidable fate is in the Steins; Gate multiverse. Okabe tried to commit suicide to save Mayushii, only for her to jump in front of the car to save him. The only way to change fate is to run away to a different timeline. But this seems to me like an intrinsically selfish action, unless we accept the notion that there is one true universe, the one Okabe inhabits. Otherwise, the characters in all the other universes are still left to their fates. It is only Okabe that gets a happy ending. In this sense, to say that Okabe is doing everything for Mayushii’s sake is foolish. The Mayushiis that will die, will die, regardless of Okabe’s actions. The only thing he controls is whether he lives in a universe with a living or a dead Mayushii.

On her deathbed, Mayushii confesses that she is grateful she was finally “useful” to Okabe. Of course, Okabe does not feel the same about this particular act of “usefulness,” but regardless… She mentions the same thing on the phone, that she is being a burden to Okabe. And then once again in the graveyard, where she worries about Okabe’s suffering. My guess is that Mayushii’s realization of self-worth will be integral to her eventual salvation.

The bleeding over of the parallel universes continues in full force, with Mayushii now remembering her own deaths and all of the lab members, including Suzu who she should have never met in this timeline. Soon everyone will be seeing Steiner. The only one left is Christina, and once she does remember the past universes, I’m sure she’ll make more sense of things than Okabe.

Speaking of Christina, the dialogue between her and Okabe continues to be superb, twenty episodes later. Here’s my favorite sequence from this episode:

Ah, I can’t get enough of this. I’m kind of surprised Okabe actually thought he was fooling anyone though. The next episode should be good: it looks like it will be Christina-centric, with her hunting the building she was killed in for clues.

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