"Everyone has shit taste in anime"
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Yeah, I doubt Menma will still be around at the end of the series, it'll likely be a bittersweet ending. As far as Lotte, what I've said all along is that it's wildly inappropriate in its backstory, but a lot of the actual story is quite childish or light-hearted. But the plot has picked up in the last two eps, and in terms of a romance story, if I venture my guess it's gonna have the most awkward mother, daughter, same guy triangle romance ever. And personally, I like anime that push the borders of what can be seen as acceptable content (which is why I love Seikon no Qwaser).
I think the reason why Jinta can't just have Menma to prove herself came up at the end of ep 5 when Poppo started trying to talk to her and all she could do was cry. She has an identity crisis which in the final analysis is an extension of Jinta's insecurities. In other words, even at this juncture, there's a part of Jinta that wants to believe that Menma is not there. But more generally, he's wallowing in his own self-pity and regrets the course his life has taken. It won't be easy, but one would expect that he'll eventually come to accept his delusion, and that will be a turning point/ climax in the series... I agree that the Anaru x Jinta connection seems to make sense. And it's interesting to think about how that relationship would possibly develop considering that Anaru is not the female lead, in fact she still harbors some resentment towards Menma, yet it is certainly possible that she could end up with Jinta in the end, who obviously still has an emotional connection with Menma. I don't think there's any other relationship schema like it, so it would really be fascinating if they pulled it off.
The remarkable thing about Steins;Gate is exactly the many directions the plot can take... What did you think about the new AnoHana? It still makes me wonder whether my initial idea that everyone would eventually share in Jinta's delusion of Menma might still come to fruition. Also, I don't think that Yukiatsu is really an asshole, he's just messed up and has trouble coping. He'll probably be the last of the group to come around.
I only recently found out about the fact that these were games, but what you suggest is also what I'm even more strongly affirmed of after ep 6 with regards to the part-timer and Christina. And what of this 'Shining Finger' chick now? She might also be from the future, but who's side is she on? The intrigue continues to build. But fyi, Chaos;Head wasn't that great (in fact, it's hard to believe these anime are made by the same people). Also, I have a hypothesis, what if the part-timer is actually John Titor?!?
So we're basically in the same boat then... And as far as Steins;Gate, yes, it's a series that's been on a massive incline. It started up really obscure and convoluted but now everything is starting to fit into place. I love the interplay between the mad scientist and 'Christina.' And now the series may well be at its most intriguing crux because ep 5 at least made me wonder, is 'Christina' actually a "bad guy"?
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