Steins Gate 23 ~ to rule time is to rule the world
September 7, 2011
Steins;Gate has been a wonderful show, with only a couple of weak episodes over the run. Last episode was a touching farewell to one of the best characters. Could the ending really live up to what had gone before? Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be one of the best episodes of Steins;Gate so far? I even got a chill in the brief segment before the OP. How is this series so good?
Hououin Kyouma, Okabe’s mad scientist alternate persona, would have gleefully jumped aboard the time machine, but Okabe has genuinely grown through some very painful experiences. People talk about character development all the time, but Steins;Gate showed true development, personal growth, in the character of Okabe Rintarou. He made bad decisions, and paid for them, and made sacrifices. Now he doesn’t want to give up the little bit that he managed to pull from the fire. Further he realizes better than anyone, that fixing a problem with time travel isn’t as easy as it seems, due to the power of the “Attractor Field”, which keeps the integrity of a world-line, despite small changes.
Okabe had legitimate reasons for rejecting her, when Suzuha asked him to help her save the future, but when she told him that the key to saving the future was to save Kurisu Makise from being murdered, I got chills, because I knew that this was a legitimate reason for him to change his mind. We get to go in a time machine after all, it is sensitive to the character growth that Okabe has undergone, and we even get Kurisu back as a character. What a great and happy ending right?
Unfortunately things go horribly wrong. It seems Kurisu is just as fated to die (via the “Attractor Field”) in this world-line as Mayuri was in the Alpha world-line, so now Okabe has an even more vivid memory of his girlfriend’s death. Now the only person who can save the world from World War III is … Hououin Kyouma!
Wow. Wow. Wow. Steins;Gate continues to impress. Was this episode truly one of the best of the season? Or is it more accurate to describe it as the payoff for what has been built up previously? Or is there even a real difference? Regardless, this episode was a treat, and Steins;Gate continues to be one of the best series released in 2011.