Steins Gate 13 – death of a friend
June 29, 2011
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.
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!
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”.
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.
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 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.