Steins;Gate, for me at least, was not really a psychological thriller, it is has strong similarities with Clannad and Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, at best it could be compared to Higurashi no Haku Koro ni Kai. Yes, it's another "group of friend" animes, with extremely strong similarities to the first two I compared it to. While I felt Steins;Gate was probably more funny and the characters were more likeable, the story line was far less complex or intelligent and it's drama was pretty cheap. Seeing as there's no synposis, here is the general story.
Okabe Rintaro rents out a small room where he spends his time with his childhood friend Mayuri and his super haker friend Itaru, he is an erratic self-proclaimed mad scientist who creates all kinds of inventions. However by accident he creates a time machine, as the lab members begin to experiment with it, their membership increases over time. Furthermore they have learnt that SERN, a company that will stop at nothing to create their own time machine in order to rule the world. Okabe and his new found friends have to stop SERN before falling victims to the enigmatic dangers that come with with time travel.
Everything that happens is very predictable, in a Clannad-like fashion we about the secret burdens of each member as they all change the past with the powers of the time machine. However the characters lack the depth that many Clannad characters did and a lot of episodes took to long to show uninteresting things. On the other hand, just like in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, everyone gets dragged into seeminglessly insignificant task and whatnot, the whole group gives off a very SOS Brigade feeling. For those of you who gained nothing from these references, I'll say that Steins;Gate's enjoyment won't really be found in the time machine but rather the characters, and their interactions. In this sense, it's not really a psycholoical thriller. While it does have aspects of drama and violence, like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, where the friends all sacrifice themselves for each other.. it's really just a slow paced drama.
Some may disagree with me there but that's how I felt when watching it, very unoriginal but always somewhat enjoyable. However I'll warn you now, the fun days of the lab members at the start don't last forever, and when they leave they will never come back. I don't think I would have watched it had I known the storyline was like this, from an analytical pov, this anime was pretty horrible. However if you can easily get attached to characters, find appreciation in slow-paced anime and you don't mind the lack of content that comes with time travel, then perhaps you will enjoy it.
Like usual, not bad but did nothing special that I noticed, people even wore the same clothes every day.. 7.5 is generous from an analytical point of view.
Mamoru Miyano (Best known as Light from Death Note) is always really good and unique sounding, the others were pretty standard. I didn't really like OST/OP/ED, mainly because they reflected the anime's intentions to go into a drama when I expected a psychological thriller. Very calm, slow and bright... I wanted something more powerful and dramatic, to shake off the spell that slow-pace anime's place on you. However while it didn't suit my personal preferences, I will still give it a decent rating seeing as it was clearly in sync with its other compontents and that's good.
I will rate this section hard because the characters were everything to this anime. It's drama, it's comedy, it's romance etc, a lot of time was spent into these characters and in my opinion, it shouldn't have been. The characters with the most potential were Okabe and Ruka Urushibara, however interesting premises fell away as the deeper you went the more holow they became. For me, no character interested me at all other than Ruka, and she ended up being boring too, many characters simply had easy words thrown at them like scraps of meat and then they would shut up. Their problems were never truly confronted and most characters had very mundane and boring problems to begin with. That's what seperated Clannad from Haruhi Suzumiya and what seperates Clannad from Steins;Gate, the characters didn't really have interesting issues and they weren't really confronted. I did like some of them for superficial and meaningless reasons but when almost all the content is put towards your story, it has to be better than it was. Comedy was the only redeeming factor and when that went, so did my enjoyment of the anime.
I felt obligated to watch it to the end even though I knew what would happen, there were different routes Steins;Gate could have taken which I think would have resulted in a great anime. However if Steins;Gate was to go the way they went, they needed to go hard or go home. Characters needed to be truly interesting and dealt with in powerful ways, drama had to be swift and dramatic, romance had to be epic and heart breaking. Instead, characters with boring storylines got pushed to the side, drama was slow and without climax and romance was expected and casual. What could they have changed to make this happen? The characters? The storyline? The sound? In my opinion, all of it. And that is why Steins;Gate will recieve the average rating of 6/10. I wouldn't recommend this anime to many people, but I don't think I regret watching it, it's very forgettable but I still enjoyed some of it.