The glory of ancient Rome is only part of the story.

Thermae Romae is already half over. This review is based on viewing the first three episodes. Behold the story of Lucius, a Roman architect, who finds inspiration in the most unusual of ways: via a hot tub time machine. This short series is entertaining in a low-key way. For the most part the humor is found in looking at ordinary Japanese customs from the perspective of a stranger.

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After all that he's been through, Okabe doesn't want to get involved with time machines ever again.

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?

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The satellite disappears.

Episode 16 of Steins;Gate was full enough of twists that I don’t really want to say too much. Suffice it to say that John Titor travelled to the past twice in this episode, and at great cost. It was an oddly emotional episode, with enough surprises to be quite entertaining, but by no means have the Future Gadget Lab members resolved the most important problems facing them. In particular they have yet to reach 1% divergence.

Our only clue.

Steins;Gate is a remarkable show. Reaction from the aniblogiverse has been uniformly positive, which is not usually the case. From the short and sweet, to more detailed comments, bloggers appreciate the consistent development of the story, the great characters, and the entertaining bits of humor. Episode 15, though tense, was not as dark as recent episodes. As Guardian Enzo points out, this was in part because the Future Lab members are fighting together against the future, and those who will control it.

To some extent, this episode was expository, but we had some interesting developments with a possible path (to the past) that might save the future. As time travel shows are likely to do, this situation raised a paradox in my mind: If “John Titor” does travel to the past, and Okabe has to time-leap, does he run the risk of preventing the time machine from having been repaired? Alternatively, might the time-machine’s journey prevent the time-leap machine from having been created?

Either way this is the one show that has continued to deliver for those of us following it. Certainly Steins;Gate is a standout example of recent Science Fiction anime.

Okabe goes shopping for pudding, and receives another mysterious threat.

Episode 11 of Steins;Gate introduces a new concept: the time leap. A time leap occurs when one pushes one’s current memory state back in time to a previous you. Presumably this avoids the problem of jellification, as instead of sending the entire mass of the human backwards in time, only the energy pattern (information) is sent. Seemingly it is Okabe’s discovery of the time leap that triggers another threatening message. This post speculates about who might be sending Okabe these threatening messages.

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