Steins;Gate: Soumei Eichi no Cognitive Computing

Web (4 eps x 4 min)
3.659 out of 5 from 2,672 votes
Rank #3,544
Steins;Gate: Soumei Eichi no Cognitive Computing

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Warning, commercials are now considered canonical anime. Once upon a time there was an outstanding visual novel Chaos;HEad. It was hastily adapted into an anime to cash on its success and it failed miserably, disappointing newcomers and fans alike. Then NitroPlus and 5pb released Steins;Gate, the sister series set in the same universe as Chaos;HEad.  The visual novel got greenlit to be an anime as well, this time however the publisher learned from their past mistakes and adapted the anime properly. It became a huge hit universally loved and praised by everyone. The success had shown the corporate bigwigs S;G’s potential to be exploited for cashola and exploit it they did. Several mediocre spin off titles were released followed by an exclusive anime movie, which was horrible by the way. The big problem with Steins;Gate is that the story was perfectly finished in the original novel/anime and I feel adding anything new to the mythos will damage the whole.  It’s not that nothing new can be added, but nothing new needs to be added. With the OVA and its sequel trampling on everything established prior, the franchise is officially gone to hell, turning into an uninspired mess riding on the wallets of its fans. Which brings us to today’s review of Steins;Gate: Soumei Eichi no Cognitive Computing (SG:CC). This is a series of 4 short ads in collaboration with IBM to promote their cognitive computing intiative.  Set shamelessly somewhere in the canon universe, Okabe and the gang acquired a pink panda AI machine (resembling the series mascot Upa) that is the reincarnation of the aforementioned initiative. With Upa’s help they solve some mundane problems with cooking, picking clothes and shopping online, while being their clichéd selves like you’ve known and loved in the anime, minus any personality. Okabe’s performance in particular is so hammy, it becomes difficult to stomach. The sloppy animation is also noticeable in the first short, while it picks up slightly in the other ads, everyone’s faces remain strangely alien in close-ups. Poor Daru suffers most from this, his face changing in every scene. The only plus side is the original voices are all back, no complains there. SG:CC is a series of extended commercials grinding the last ounces of the franchise’s dignity into dust. With the exception of the second segment, which managed to get some tiny bit of emotion out of me, I suggest to pass this one up. It adds nothing to the existing story, nor does it offer any entertainment.

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