Summary: “If you relish the idea of a gripping and thought-provoking anime, set against a mysterious and ominous backdrop, and spiced with humor and emotional moments, you could not go wrong in watching Steins;Gate.”
Steins;Gate is perfect. It is the epitome of psychology, the embodiment of intrigue, and the quintessence of written art. It stands above all anime which have come before it. It excels. It micrifies all of its predecessors in all mediums, be they novels, manga, anime, or films. It radiates brilliance. To say that anime actually existed before the rise of Steins;Gate is false. Everything in the future, nay, the future itself, will gaze with awe toward the pinnacle of beauty that is Steins;Gate and find inspiration and hope. Steins;Gate is a sufficient reason for one’s existence. If Shakespeare or Tolkien were to read the plot of Steins;Gate, they would see their first glimpse of true greatness and be humbled. Like a many faceted diamond, there are many brilliant faces to Steins;Gate: plot, characters, setting, art, character dynamics, humor, and theme; and none of these faces are anything less than perfect. Already since the creation of Steins;Gate, the world has become a significantly better place. Criminals are left with no desire to harm others. Governments strive toward newfound benevolence. All people love each other out of heartfelt generosity. Those who experience Steins;Gate reach a level of existence beyond that of anyone else. To not watch it is to be missing an aspect of your life. The story of Steins;Gate commands your attention by the sheer authority of its breathtaking development. Steins;Gate wins. It displays truth to a nearly matchless extent. It is a necessary part of the world and of life. Through all of these observations, one solid and faultless truth is found. Steins;Gate is perfect.
Glad to get that out of my system. Now, the objective review.
The plot of Steins;Gate is well thought out, creative, and captivating. Intrigue pulls you into the plot of Steins;Gate, and as you continue watching, you yearn to know what happens next as choices are made and mysteries dazzlingly unraveled. While some revelations are not hard to guess at beforehand, others leave you speechless. I have had several chills run down my back as I learn some of the amazing truths behind the original surface of the plot, whether the identities of certain characters, or the reasons for certain events. That being said, I'm also glad at where the author did not choose to leave the viewer guessing. For example, right from the start of the anime, you know who the enemy (organization) is. Also, it does not take long before the characters clearly learn how to achieve certain feats. But because of this, you end up wondering "what will the characters do with this? How will they escape the enemy?" These types of questions, though they don't leave you looking for hints or decrypting riddles, are mysteries of their own, and they keep you clicking "next" after every episode.
I'm a great fan of psychological anime. When I say psychological, I do not mean mentally torturous, as in mind-f or horror. I mean thought-provoking. Anime with choices to be made. Consequences for those choices. Themes running through actions. Steins;Gate excels in all of these areas; and it should, since the plot is built on a concept fraught with consequences - time travel. Nearly every episode in Steins;Gate, there are choices to be made. At first, choices are made quite easily, and great joy comes from the characters' actions. As the plot progresses, however, consequences begin to appear, and we learn that nothing is as simple as it seems. A tension appears between choices' benefits and their consequences. This tension progressively builds until it seems like saving some any hope or dream requires crushing others. The butterfly's wings are flapping.
The characters of Steins;Gate are fantastically creative and compelling. Several of them seem, at first glance, to exemplify certain anime stereotypes. But as you experience more of the story, you get to watch the actions of these characters, hear their opinions and thoughts, and realize that for each of them, there is more going on than meets the eye. This is especially true for Kyouma. As the story progresses, he learns more about the consequences of time travel, and he learns more about the other characters, and his enemies. You begin to see beneath his epically flamboyant exterior a thoughtful man whose joy is beginning to be sapped by the circumstances around him.
On the lighter side, all the characters are also really entertaining. Despite the overall serious nature of the anime, there are amusing aspects to each of the characters; from Kyouma’s spurts of “madness” to Daru’s perverted jokes and net-references, to Kurisu’s overt tsundere-ness. These fun aspects lead to many entertaining moments. The occasional romance also adds to the entertainment. Nothing definitive really happens, but there are plenty of amusing and sometimes meaningful moments between Kyouma and a couple of the others.
I never noticed much about the music of Steins;Gate. Looking back, though, that's just because it matched the scenes so well. There are definitely both intense and subtle moments in the music, paired well with the plot. The opening and ending also match the anime quite well, and have (to some extent) both an epic and meaningful feel to them. There's nothing ridiculously powerful like Tori no Uta or A Moon Filled Sky, but those both come from solely drama/romance-focused anime, and Steins;Gate isn't that type of anime, so it's not going to have those types of tracks.
I'm not a great connoisseur of animation, but the animation of Steins;Gate seems smooth and appealing. It's unique without being weird. Backgrounds are detailed and characters are portrayed well visually.
The plot of Steins;Gate is well thought out, creative, and captivating. The themes are deep and the choices complex and sometimes painful. The characters are entertaining and fascinating. The sound and animation suit the anime well and make it more amazing. If you relish the idea of a gripping and thought-provoking anime, set against a mysterious and ominous backdrop, and spiced with humor and emotional moments, you could not go wrong in watching Steins;Gate.
Note: This review is 1,058 words, about 1/60th the length of the average novel. Tl;dr.
Whenever there's been literature about time-travel I'm always hesitant to get involved with it. Though I had no idea what Steins;Gate was about when I started watching it - mostly trusting in its popularity for approval - I was already compelled to renew an interest in the sci-fi niche. Steins;Gate's story is without a doubt complicated, if you're not paying attention that is. It lays out a world in which time travel is a very real concept invented in the upstairs apartment of the Future Gadgets Lab - a student work-space consisting initially of three members: the eccentric and self-proclaimed "mad scientist" Hououin Kyouma (real name "Rintarou Okabe"); a nonchalant high school girl, Mayuri; the genius hacker Itaru "Daru" Hashida.
By inadvertently discovering time-travel in the form of sending text messages to the past, Okabe is compelled to explore his curiousity with zeal. This becomes the main plot for the first dozen or so episodes, introducing new characters who all become members of the lab, often against their own knowledge. I can't say much about the time-travel mechanisms without spoiling the discoveries the characters make over the course of their experiments, so as I intended this to be a read-before-you-buy sort of review, I'll just say that for a skeptic of time-travel fiction, I was impressed.
Not only have they handled the concept remarkably well but they've adapted the traditional sense of time-travel into something original (you'll get what I mean). Sometimes the plot may become a little convoluted, and this is when you have to train your senses to keep up, particulary in the last quarter you would want to watch without distractions. I can say it is worth it though, for the elation I felt in the last two episodes was a great conclusion to Okabe's struggle with his opponents.
As I mentioned before, Okabe routinely defies his opponents with the time-travel mechanism, but perhaps his greatest opponent was himself. Again, without spoiling too much, Okabe forces himself to relive events over a short period of time that take a drastic toll on his psyche. This comes to a head in episode 23 when you get to see how a normal, albeit kooky, student finally feels the weight of everything on his shoulders. It is both heart-breaking and fulfilling from the audience perspective.
But don't let that discourage you, for Steins;Gate has a cast of amicable characters that regularly inject humour and joy into the season's 24 episodes. The on-going interactions between Okabe and Ruka, coupled with Okabe's obliviousness to personal space and comfort zones, reflects well in Okabe's general mischief that frequently puts him at the mercy of Makise Kurisu's anger. Though Kurisu is not the stereotypical tsundere she initially appears, she is an intelligent person responsible for the improvements to the time-machine, and her sentimental side is never forced or contrived. Her cold exterior is never really blockaded by the same lack of emotion other characters often suffer for no reason. No, Makise knows her cleverness but is humble about it, she places pride in her work but her desire to impress her - 'scuse me for saying, dickish - father often creates conflict with the idea that Okabe has made time-travel possible.
The other characters all deserve their notation, even minor characters like Mr. Braun and Moeka, whom I do hate, yes, but for personal reaons. Moeka is a finely crafted picture of mental instability, and it doesn't feel insulting to mental health in the way the writers created her. She struggles with her own demons and this could produce a sympathetic response in some of you.
While it does have a number of flaws at several stages, the animation overall compliments the style and tone of the series rather well. I find there are a few facial angles that stand out to me as irregular, but other than that it is fluid and well drawn.
At a science-fiction viewpoint there's not much to be said about the actual science behind time-travel, so don't go into this expecting detailed reviews of Einstein's theory of Relativity, you will be disappointed. It doesn't concern me either way because the characters are so great, and I had my emotions tested at times in the later episodes, that it's evident this is not a thesis on space-time. This is a character driven story that will make you care, time and time again, about their actions and whether they can find happiness.
It's has the most captivating story line i've seen in a very long time. It's complex and somewhat intelectual in parts. The charcaters are very defined in charcter the attention to detail is insane. It is also a very unique concept based of the Story of John Titor which was very cool and intresting event that was made and comprised to look almost flawless. The depth in which so far it's gone intot the world lines theory is good. It could be a bit more psyhicy but that could make it a bit to complex for some people.
All in all its amazing concept that you can't stop watching i refuse to be interupted while i watch it and when i do watch it gets 100% of my attention you can pick out lots of small details you might otherwise miss. The humor is both dark anf funny the balances are great it makes refenrences to message boards jokes such as "YO DAWG"
I highly reccomend this to people with intrests in science, technology, time travel, theorys. It left me guessing at the very beginning which is great but it lets you know enoguh so that you can still figure some stuff out
No stalling from me this time, no sir! Steins;Gate is an absolute must watch. The 2nd half of the series (minus 1 ep) is absolutely flawless. Each individual ep is a masterpiece of its own and together they produce a level of brilliance that is not soon to be surpassed. Drama and romance, suspense and surprises galore, Steins really has everything. But now I'll rein myself in so I can move forward with a more succinct review. Also, I guess I should say that while I'll bring up the 2nd half of the series a lot, that doesn't mean the 1st half was bad. Great anime of the 24ish ep length require the 1st half for in depth exposition and rising action and that is exactly the case with the 1st half of Steins;Gate. While it is certainly not as entertaining as the 2nd half it is vital towards the success of the 2nd half (and as such the series as a whole). So now, where to start is no small task, but may as well begin with simpler matters, so how about the music? The OP is incredibly addicting once you get into the series a bit and it fits the series beautifully. It's one of those memorable anime OPs where no more than 2 seconds in you can identify the series it came from and even already feel some of those emotions from watching the series. The ED complements the OP nicely as it has a more subtle impact and acts as a strong clincher for some of the more suspenseful cliffhangers in the series. For me it inspired contemplation after each ep which really what you ask for from an ED for this kind of series. The animation is nice as well. I don't like to go too above and beyond when describing animation design because I have no business being an artistic critic, but I always believe you know it when you see something you like aesthetically. The overall animation is very solid and critical moments of the series are complemented by subtle differences in lighting and other aspects of design. Now I'm really in a bind, story or characters? Either is a lofty subject. Well, the story I'll give a brief overview lest I go spoiler happy. The main character Okabe is a self-proclaimed mad scientist and it turns out that he accidentally created a machine that can send messages to the past out of a microwave and a cell phone. So Okabe and his lab member cohorts proceed to send several messages to the past, each seeming to alter the present more and more. Then comes the traumatic climax <gasp>. So Okabe and his assistant Kurisu have to try and make right what has gone wrong. How's that for a bare bones, no spoiler summary? Obviously the plot has great depth (otherwise I wouldn't score it this high) and there are several surprises in store including one towards the end in the 3rd to last ep. And a great complement to the overall plot structure is that the viewer was able to so naturally read between the lines in such a way that it provided even further depth without directly using air time. But possibly the greatest success of the plot is the character development and overall character integration. It's certainly a strong cast of characters and one might be compelled to say that they are more than a sum of their parts (as is usually the case with a larger cast of characters). However, this wouldn't be an appropriate description in the case of Steins;Gate because individually a number of characters shine. So a more appropriate description would be that while the characters individually are good to great (some are better than others of course) as a whole the cast is superb. The interplay while not necessarily huge in quantity is huge in quality. Even moments in the 2nd half of the series between Okabe and some of the minor characters are emotionally gripping. There is also a good scene about midway through between Daru (the 'super hacker' and otaku among the lab members) and another minor character. And don't get me wrong, there are some tremendous solo scenes as well and of course great scenes between the two leads Okabe and Kurisu. So it seems I've basically transitioned to the characters now. The cast of characters could merit a review all their own. I think I'm just gonna go down the line here systematically (I won't hit everyone), starting with... Okabe aka Okarin aka Hououin Kyouma was the perfect wacky-yet-grounded character to have played the male lead in this series. He is able to make the series playful yet keep the serious tone throughout. And his progression from a bombastic 'Mad Scientist' to a bombastic Mad Scientist (notice the loss of ' ') is quite an intriguing ride. The female lead role through the 1st half of the series or so is played by Okabe's childhood friend Mayuri aka Mayushii. Tuturu!!! On the surface Mayuri also adds a playful air to the series as well as a pure heart. But as the story progresses, you come to see the burdens she has to bear and the melancholic nature of her character both symbolically and somewhat literally. In truth, she's quite a deep character. The female lead through the 2nd half of the series is the 18 yr old genius Kurisu aka Christina. Kurisu's character is the one most positively influenced by the viewer's high level of emersion in the series. Most of her character comes through subtle cues until it is expanded upon in the last few eps. She is an incredibly likeable character although that may not be your first impression. Can't go into more detail sorry (spoilers). There is at least one more character that deserves notice here. However, if I were to reveal who, I'm afraid it would be a massive spoiler to the plot so alas I'm at a loss. But know there is more to the quality of the characters than just the three I've listed here. And a great success of this series is that almost all the minor characters contribute in some significant way to the main plot. Hmmm, what to say now? I'll give you one quasi-spoiler cause I just can't contain it. There's a great kissing scene in this series that for me was nearly the equal of the famous Toradora kissing scene. Watch to see who it is! Also, the ending is great. Ordinarily I go well out of my way to give praise to a great ending, but there was just so much to talk about with this series that I couldn't really fit it in there. But the last two eps are so exciting they seem to only take about 5 min each. The only minor complaint I might have is that the ending didn't really involve Mayurii which is surprising in that she seemed to act as a significant symbol throughout the series. But hey, that leaves some content for the movie right? So in conclusion, Steins;Gate is a 10 out of 10 no question. And this is one of the most highly rated series by category that I've reviewed. Does that mean it's a personal fav or even one of the Greatest ever? It's hard to say so suddenly, but it has that level of impact. And that should say it all.
I have finished the Stein;Gate anime, watched the ova, and finished the movie and I must say this was a pretty good series.
Characters: They were all likeable (even Moeka tho she's still a crazy bitch). Okeba isn't a crazy idealist and his reasoning isn't completly random which I personal thing I like in my Main characters.
Music: The ost isn't the best but it know when to the right song at the right moment which is something a lot of other anime have a lot of trouble with.
Plot: The plot a bit predicable at time however saying this there was time where thing happen that I didn't see coming is saying a lot for an anime bounded by the rule of time traveling.
Animation: The animation is top-notch and it's still looks great today after 4 years.
Final Verdict: I do not agree with those who state that this is a flaw-less anime but I must say it definitely has way more up then down.
Ranking as Honorable mentions in my personal anime ranking.