Steins; Gate Review — B+

Steins; Gate tells the tale of Okabe Rintarou Hououin Kyouma, a mad scientist who has developed a time machine that allows him to send text messages to the past. He experiments with it, changing the future slightly, only to discover that his friend is fated to die. The rest of the story chronicles his efforts to save her.

There’s a lot to like about Stein’s; Gate. We have a great setting, complete with time travel, paradoxes and international criminal conspiracies, led by the most evil organization in history, CERN, with their diabolical plan to construct the Large Hadron Collider.

But the best part is simply the characters and their interactions. I enjoyed watching them hang out in the lab nearly as much as I enjoyed the time travel. Okabe is a fun character, hovering on the border of insanity. It’s mostly an act, but it’s still a pleasure to watch, especially with the excellent work done by his voice actor. The best evil laugh since Lelouch?

Okabe only gets better coupled with Christina, who argues with him all the time. Steins; Gate sports the sharpest and wittiest dialogue of the year.

The show’s biggest weakness is the harem setup: there is a sequence of episodes whose sole purpose is to add girls to the harem. Ruka in particular seemed utterly pointless (and Feyris to a lesser extent). But this only lasts a few episodes.

Otherwise, it’s a great show, with enjoyable characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing. Go watch it if you haven’t already. El Psy Congroo.

  • Plot / Script – 10 / 10 – The best dialogue this year.
  • Characters – 9 / 10 – Mostly strong, although a few of the haremettes are weak.
  • Production – 9 / 10 – A dark, gritty feel. Superb voice acting for Okabe.
  • Overall – B+

Recommendations – Noein, The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni

18 thoughts on “Steins; Gate Review — B+

  1. Hm, another show I will pick up sometime later. I always told myself that I should watch ChäoS;HEAd first, but considering it not really being connected with Steins, I’ll skip it.

          1. Yeah, pretty much. “Good” might be stretching it for the beginning, but it definitely got worse.

    1. Oh noes! It’s a… *deep thought*… 8.75!

      I’m thinking about changing my rating system… 0.25 increments is kind of silly. But ratings out of ten are too coarse, and out of 100 is too fine. What I sort of want is letter grades (B, B+, A-, etc.) but then for failing we only have F and I can’t distinguish between different levels of fail.

      Not that the number is all that meaningful anyway… I’m impressed that someone actually noticed the discrepancy. 🙂

      1. I tend to favor these two systems:

        1. 1-6 rating (or 1-5 and minus). 1 is horrible, 2 is bad, 3 is decent, 4 is good, 5 is very good, 6 is super.

        2. A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. A is very good, B is good, C is bad. They use it on 1up, the gaming site.

        But now when I think about it, I prefer the first one.

        1. Thanks for the suggestions. I think I’m going to give letter grades a try, at least for a while. I’m not sure if 1-6 would be precise enough.

          My main objection to the letter grades was that I couldn’t differentiate between terrible shows, but now that I think about, who cares? Terrible is terrible regardless. And I can give Ds.

          1. I actually believe 1-6 is good enough. Not too much, not too little.

            And you don’t need more than 1 and 2 as bad scores, since, well, why bother when it’s bad anyway?

            It also helps with the problems 1-5 usually has: what is 3? In 1-5, 3 can be both good and decent/mediocre. In 1-6, decent/mediocre is 2, good is 3.

            Oh well. The ratings aren’t that important anyway, they are just there to give you a bit of a “short overview”.

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