Welcome one and all to the greatest show on earth! Well, at least for someone that is!! This is the newest installment in the series Anime we Love! This is simple in idea and execution. I find a wonderful person on the interwebs, and just simply interview them about their favorite anime. I feel like the culture and fandoms we see so often are just a distorted, and ugly place more often than not. I’m tired of all the perverse and/or mean behavior. People insulting things just because, and then in turn insulting the person for having unique tastes. It’s awful and needs to stop. So, I am here to spread the love.
In the 7th installment we shall be talking about Steins;Gate! Yes, you know the time travel show with more waifus than you can count on one hand, and full of time travel hijinks. That is the one ladies, gents, and those who have yet to decide. Today I am joined by my excellent friend Dyna! He is someone I’ve known for around 4 years now, and is even my cohost on an anime podcast I help create. We shall be discussing the 2011, 24 episode series produced by Studio White Fox based on the visual novel of the same name. Everyone, sit down, pull out your phones, and prepare to be taken on a journey through time….well someone’s time with anime….ah close enough!!
DISCLAIMER: This post contains spoilers for the anime Steins;Gate. If you have not seen the series and want to avoid spoilers I recommend coming back to this post afterwards. Thank you so much for your time and now on to the interview!
Do you recall when you first started watching the series? Was it something you already had planned to watch or was it on a whim of sorts?
Dyna: Firstly, thanks for having me! I first watched it when I first got into anime about 5 years ago. I did not plan to watch it at first. Since I was a stressed out college student, I was looking for a show to watch and relieve my mind. I scoured around the internet and looked at multiple anime ranking sites, and pretty much all of them unanimously had Steins;Gate in the top 3. The other top one was FMAB(*Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood), but at that time I was in no mood to start a 64 episode series. I read the synopsis, and I was immediately intrigued.
Doaki: Oh yes, you have to love the trials of college life don’t you? I think many an anime fan in our age group discovered their passion for the medium around that time, myself included too! You say the synopsis is what got you hook, line, and sinker; could you tell us what about it specifically stood out so much to make you take that dive into this unknown land?
Dyna: I’ve never been picky about my anime, especially back then. Pretty much the first episode got me hooked when those elevator doors slid open and I saw Kurisu alive….when minutes ago her bloodied corpse was laying on the ground. That was pretty much the spark for me.
So now for the best part. Tell me a little bit about what makes this anime stick out so much for you. Why do you love it so much?
Dyna: I loved this anime so much because as someone who is heavily in the science field, anything science related was fascinating. Albeit I am not a physics major (health biology was mine), I was still extremely interested in the concept of deep space, black holes, time travel, time dilation, and many other aspects of quantum physics. It is interesting and mind-boggling to think that everything in the world can be broken down into subatomic particles and thus can possibly be “transported” or manipulated (i.e. time travel and traveling between dimensions). It’s an area of science that remains a mystery and breaks all the modern rules of physics. I also loved the fact that Steins;Gate had references to real life details. CERN (SERN in the anime), John Titor, LHC (large hadron collider) are all organizations and objects that exist in our life. Small relatable facts like that really draw you in and immerse you in their world. The show also does a fantastic job at taking a known concept, and telling an engaging story that is easy and conceptually believable! It had me on the edge of my seat, and as someone who looks for thrills in their anime, this anime sucked me in beyond the event horizon ;)…. Couple that with the fact that suspense and thrillers are my favorite genres to engage in, and you have a show that is nothing but a winning formula!
Doaki: Lest we forget the classic IBM 5100! I would whole heartedly agree that one thing that makes many folks so enamored with this series in particular is definitely it’s usage of real world names, and mechanics in a pragmatic fashion. I see the science behind it all though was something that really grabbed you by the shirt and tossed you headfirst into this journey! It really feels like the premise plus the thriller aspect of it all was an inevitable hit waiting for you to discover haha.
The series has a fair amount of memorable cast members, and I assume you have a favorite of the handful. Who is it and why are they the personal favy?
Dyna: My initial favorite character was Makise Kurisu, due to her incredibly smart and tsundere nature. But as more time passed on, I could help but think how badass and amazing Okabe is. Someone to go through that many timelines countless amount of times, witness the death and murder of his best friend and love, only to come back every time and rebound. I know in Steins;Gate 0 (I’m assuming this based on some scattered rumors), he doesn’t achieve in helping Kurisu and thus the series goes into the beta timeline where he doesn’t go back and save her, but that doesn’t matter since in the alpha timeline, he achieves in fooling himself and basically controlled time itself. Okabe is the definition of someone who calls themselves a mad scientist and I’d WANT to hang out with them (who knows, maybe I’ll get into Dr. Pepper 😛 ). He is smart, rambunctious, proud, witty, but also a caring character that will throw away everything for the sake of his dearly companions. Buuut I wouldn’t argue with you if you claimed Kurisu to be the best character. Both are smart, funny, and marvelous people.
Doaki: None too surprising the leads that anchor this series ended up being the primary ones you found yourself in love with. Topped with the fact that you have an enduring nature to love science and tsunderes a great deal! I do like the majority of the cast myself, but I would have to agree Okabe is by far the one that stands out to me the most in terms of characters I would pick as the best. Also many of those traits you named are similar to myself…..Are you calling me MAD!?
Are there any particular scenes in the series that really exemplifies your love for it?
Two moments stood out to me. One was the episode halfway through the series that rocketed the series into a thriller. The episode where he went back in time constantly to constantly save Mayuri. The amount of times he went back and the trauma he goes through only to see his childhood friend die everytime really shook me. It was what turned Steins;Gate into a pleasant mystery slice of life into a full on suspense thriller, where the stakes went from 0 to 100. Plus I also did not expect Moeka to be the culprit and harbinger of Mayuri’s death. I love surprises like that. Looking back on it, you can really tell that the show teased Moeka’s suspicious relations.
The second moment was the last couple of episodes, where Okaba has succeeded in saving Mayuri and realizes that he is in the timeline where Kurisu died. When you thought the series had reached its pinnacle point, the series throws you back into the original spot where the problems all began: alllll the way back to episode 1! And just how Okabe had the absolute confidence and skill to trick HIMSELF and basically trick time itself in order to achieve the impossible: move the worldline without leaving the Alpha worldline. A world where WWIII has been averted and Kurisu is alive! What a wonderful way to top the series off!
Doaki: Oh those are definitely some of the biggest key moments of the narrative for certain! I still think the line about the pocket watch being broken is the the most memorable line possibly in the whole show. On another note relating to the scenes of the series, were there any comedic scenes that you found yourself in a gigglefit over? The series is known for being a good balancing act of all of those different genres afterall!
Dyna: Honestly, the main laughs came during the calm beginning when Daru and Okabe were teasing Kurisu with those pervert jokes, and Okabe was making Mayuri repeat the phrase “Gel bananas are very sloppy and floppy”. Then the second half came, and there was nonstop adrenaline rushes with minimal comedy to break the mood.
Are there any particular episodes in the series that stand out to you as being pivotal to your love for it?
Dyna: This is in conjunction to the previous question, but it was the ending of episode 12 that kicked the series off for me. It really took the show into overdrive. Everything after that was a thrill ride.
Doaki: I think that would be the point when most folks went from…ah not too bad to, HOLY HECK GELNANA MAN, THINGS ARE GETTING HEAVY! I couldn’t agree with you more on that if I tried.
Music always plays a large part of any anime. It’s rarely an exception. What musical tracks were your favorite and why?
Dyna: The ending song “Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku (刻司ル十二ノ盟約)” by Yui Sakakibara will always be one of the best songs to me to end off an episode. With its mysterious and ominous melody and the feeling of impending paradoxical doom, it always made every episode end with the perfect tone. I never skipped it. The OST throughout was pretty good, but the main highlight song was “Gate of Steiner”, which always gave the best feeling of adventure and exploration, and then shift into a more melodic tune like it is the calm before the storm. Many of the ost is based on the main melody of this song, such as “Believe me”, and it plays during the emotional scenes. The soft piano instrumental gave a foreboding sense of mystery and enigma. Fantastic soundtrack.
Steins;Gate is often praised by most, except for the “slow” start. Would you agree this is something hard to enjoy, or do you have a rebuttal for why it is superb as is?
Dyna: I believe this show is fairly easy to get into. Unless you have an absolute loathing of physics or slow beginnings or even fatalism, you will have a fairly easy time enjoying this show :). Once it gets going, it’s hard to believe anyone wouldn’t enjoy it.
Doaki: It is rare for someone to dislike this huh? Do you think there is some sort of quality the series carries that makes it so worldly beloved by the masses, versus just being another one for another season type of series?
Dyna: I believe an aspect that has prolonged it’s longevity has been the fact that it is one of the few anime that has gotten and executed the concept of time travel correctly. It explains it in relatable terms that most can comprehend. It ends in a very satisfactory way too, and we are all too familiar with the cliffhanger endings with no sequel announcements are. Couple that with the fact that there are many lovable characters and best girls, it gives the show it’s unique charm and appeal.
Doaki: I see…I see. In layman’s terms it all comes down to a few things. It has something most folks can understand, no go buy the manga ending, and of course the all important best girls factor. It is becoming clear to me why you love it so! 😉
If you had to say one reason that is the definite reason you would recommend this series to someone, what would it be?
Dyna: A complete 24 episode story with mental thrills, suspense, lovable characters, engaging plot, and a very satisfying conclusion.
Doaki: For a man who has elaborated on why the complex nature of this series was one of the inciting factors for you loving it overall so much, I am impressed by the simple and beautifully put answer haha.
Describe your perfect day together with the lab members!
Dyna: Any day spending time with them chilling and laughing while not having to worry about impending dimensional paradoxical chaos is always nice!
Doaki: Are you telling me you aren’t interested, even a liiiiiiiittle but in doing some science hijinks with the labmembers!? I can’t see you spending all day talking to the llama man on the TV instead of being more, how you say inventive!
Describe Steins;Gate to someone who hasn’t seen it in 10 words or less!
Dyna: Make CERN great again!
That is it folks! Thank you so much, Dyna for your contribution. This could not have been done without you! So, there isn’t much I want to say in regards to closing this article. I just want everyone who has seen Steins;Gate, and those who haven’t, to see why someone could love it so much. Why do you love your favorite anime? It’s a great question that people don’t take the time to ask. Why would that be so important? I think it is good to step back and appreciate what you love and why you love it. Enough of this world of criticism and judgement! I want a place where we all sit down and learn to love why someone else loves their favorite anything! Spread the love ❤! That is all my friends, and until next time take care my wanderers of the internet.