Steins Gate 21 ~ I want to talk to you
August 24, 2011
Episode 21 of Steins;Gate is aptly titled “Paradox Meltdown”. Outwardly Okabe has returned to his earlier disability. He has taken the responsibility all onto his own shoulders, but in so doing he loses the ability to move. In truth this is used by the show’s producers not to produce dramatic tension, but to give the three principle characters an opportunity to breathe.
While some other interesting things happened, such as Okabe’s attempt to sacrifice himself to save both Mayuri and Kurise, and Mayuri’s talk with her grandmother, this episode was largely a roundabout way of getting to Okabe’s necessary admission to Kurise about the flaw with their plan. If they return to the original world line, Okabe will return to a world in which Kurise is dead. If he saves Mayuri, Kurise dies, and vice versus, thus the paradox in which Okabe finds himself, and the cause of his meltdown. But while Okabe spins his mental wheels unproductively, his interactions with Mayuri and Kurise are opportunities for fine performances from all three seiyuu, and excellent opportunities to observe the depth that has developed in all three characters. Okabe goes as far as renouncing Hououin Kyouma, and acknowledges the selfishness of all that he has done. Mayuri bravely protects Okabe, then pours out her feelings at her grandmother’s gravesite. And Kurise attempts to comfort Okabe, and put a brave face on, when she is finally told about the final hurdle.