Steins Gate 13 – death of a friend

June 29, 2011

Okabe suffers through the loss of a friend.

If you haven’t been watching Steins;Gate, turn back now. There is no way to do this post without spoilers, and your priority should be on starting at the beginning of this great series, and watching it first-hand. You can come back and read this once you’ve caught up.

Part-time Warrior versus Shining Finger!

Picking up where we left off, Suzuha bursts into the room, knocks out Moeka’s lackeys (YES!) and, during the above standoff, announces that the lifter has been activated. Check out that screen shot. What a cool picture! The low camera angle adds to the dramatic tension, but it actually makes sense, instead of just being bizarre. Moeka literally has the upper hand, but Suzuha has one scary look on her face. Also, you see this kind of standoff frequently in anime, but I always wonder why people are so hesitant to shoot. I mean not shooting just seems to be waiting for the other person to shoot first, and my guess is that shooting first would be a lot safer than trying to be the one to take the second shot. At any rate, Suzuha uses the moment to give critical information to the others, as mentioned above, then takes the shot. It isn’t too surprising that she missed, given that she is shooting over her back, but it shakes Moeka up enough that Suzuha has a chance to get to a safer position. This was probably one of the most effective uses of this setup that I have seen. Well done!

Umm. This is just here because I think Moeka looks hot with that pony tail.

In the chaos of the moment, Okabe sets off one of the future gadgets. I love it when things introduced in passing, turn out to have a real utility episodes later. Again, Well done!

Christina dies, again.

Okabe and Christina hurriedly set up for the time leap, and Okabe’s last sight, before the disjunction, is Christina being shot. This whole sequence, the brief fight, the standoff and the way they got out of it was well executed. The pace was relentless, and as, I’m sure, all viewers anticipated, Okabe would use the time leap machine to try to avert Mayuri’s death. The continued carnage, only adds to the necessity of his risking the as-yet untested “leap”.

OkarinXMayushii ~ Okabe and Mayuri share an unexpectedly romantic moment.

In the disjuncture between worldlines, while Okabe is leaping, we are treated to a memory of Okabe’s in which he seems to be losing his childhood friend, Mayuri. Okabe takes bold steps and declares that Mayuri is now his hostage, and that he will perform human experiments on her.

Okabe's leap into the past has a tragic result. Although in a different way, Mayuri dies once more.

For some reason, Okabe doesn’t explain what really happened. This is a pet peeve of mine, but Okabe has shown himself too stubborn to reveal the threat all along. Honestly, I think I could understand not wanting to try to explain that Christina was dead at first. But he is hiding pieces of the puzzle from his team mates. He needs to find someone to trust, and have a good conversation with them, because, as I have mentioned before, he acts impulsively, and now, more than ever, he needs a well thought out plan, not more rash action.

Okabe leaps into the past once more, only to witness his beloved Mayushii die for a third time.

Okabe escapes from his SERN pursuers and “leaps” back in time. This time he covers some of his most obvious mistakes, but he still refuses to communicate what he knows with the others. What’s worse, Mayuri’s death this time seems unrelated to SERN. As the episode ends, Okabe is still resolved to prevent her death, somehow, but he doesn’t appear to have an answer as to how he can do that. Note that even if Mayuri hadn’t died, running at this point is unlikely to solve much. Christina and Daru are still in danger, even if they stay out of the lab, and the time machine itself can be confiscated.

Although this episode used one of the devices that really irk me, a character who perpetuates difficulties by not communicating with the people around him, it also did a good job of maintaining tension, and had me yelling, “Okabe, you jack ass!” every time he decided the best approach was to simply run (physically run around!) instead of talking with Christina or Suzuha, who at the least should be told about the very serious events about to happen.

8 Responses to “Steins Gate 13 – death of a friend”

  1. tomphile Says:

    It’s not really an issue of him not communicating enough, it’s just that fate is a big asshole and intends for Mayuri to die no matter what.

    I guess there’s a way to save Mayuri, Okabe just needs to find it.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      If there is a way of finding it, I bet he would have an easier time of doing so if he accepted the help of his very capable friends, particularly Christina (brains) and Suzuha (brawns). Even if he doesn’t get help from them, giving them information can help THEM keep safe, given that Moeka could hunt them down and capture or kill them. Either way, communication is a good thing.

  2. Tsuki Says:

    It is a bit annoying how Okarin refuses to consult Makise or Suzuha here. However, I do understand why he refuses to consult them.

    He obviously doesn’t want any other lab members involved in the danger at all, especially considering how he knows that SERN seems to be specifically targeting him. After seeing Makise shot before the time leap, it’s probably safe to say that he doesn’t want that situation to ever unfold again. Thus the whole “hiding it from everybody” that Okarin’s been doing.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yeah, and even if I disagreed that hiding things will make them safe (which I do, that is I think his friends would be safer knowing about the threat), I can see how Okabe might believe that he is protecting them, and is thus acting rationally.

      I just disagree with his assumption about safety, and think he would be more effective towards his goal by gaining the assistance of Suzuha and/or Christina. That is, I think he can keep everyone safer, including Mayuri, by communicating wit the others.

  3. Ginnodangan Says:

    Well I was expecting some connection between Okabe’s behaviour and Mayuri but for it to be related to how she’s always considering herself to be his hostage caught be offguard a bit. It really puts all those moments into an entirely new light.

    But yeah, I’d agree that Okabe is being a little too impulsive. He may be panicking with the idea that SERN will make their move and Mayuri will die within the next few hours but it’s really only making things worse. In a sense he has the upperhand but he isn’t taking full advantage of it. And It also really needs to be asked, if he really does manage to save Mayuri how many of his other friends could be unintentionally sacrificed as a result? The road to a happy ending in this sort of scenario won’t be easy at all.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      While they could spend some time working towards the optimal solution, I don’t see Okabe having that kind of patience. I think he is basically a good guy, but that he follows the shiny thing in front of him. Right now he is trying to save Mayuri. If he succeeds at that, at the cost of, say, Daru dying, I think he would take it.

      If it were someone with a different personality (Christina, for example), I could see her trying to root out the problem, instead of just trying to avoid the most onerous results. We’ll have to see what Okabe can accomplish, he’s already let things get quite serious.

  4. Mad Chemist Says:

    Yeah, Okarin trying to keep the others out of this was a big mistake. Suzuha and Christina can obviously help out in a situation like this, but I’m sure that even the rest of the lab can do something. That said I’m also wondering why Suzuha didn’t say anything about the attack, since she clearly knew what was about to happen – did she know that Okarin would use the time machine anyway?

    Great episode, though. I do think that Okarin trying to save Mayuri could become repetitive if it goes on too long, but this was a very happening episode. I’m just curiously what he’s going to do from here on out, and when (if?) he’s going to let everyone else know.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yes, I enjoyed this episode, but hope this doesn’t become the substance of the show from here out.

      I’m not sure what Suzuha was thinking when she ran out of the room. That would be a great thing for Okabe to discuss with her. Especially if he can do it BEFORE the event. It almost looked like she noticed a camera or something that was watching them, but I couldn’t be sure.

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