You know when things go wrong and there’s always that person who tells you not to worry because it isn’t the end of the world? For Okabe that moment isn’t coming because in this episode he really is seeing what happens after the failure to ‘fix’ the future back in 2011.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that a lot of Steins;Gate 0 hasn’t quite hit its mark for me, but credit where it is due, the decision to skip the OP this week and to deliver us muted dialogue and a scene of us looking down on a very small Okabe on the hand of a clock was the perfect one to make. It set the tone beautifully for an episode that was going to be grim in its content and it also set the scene for the transformation Okabe was going to undertake throughout this episode.
Throughout the whole first third of this episode we’re either looking down on Okabe or he is deliberately placed to seem small and insignificant against the destruction around him. As we come into contact with the other lab members in this version of the future we start seeing him trailing behind characters or being supported by them. We aren’t looking down at him so often but that is usually only because the other character in the shot is being framed as strong and steady. Finally, Okabe faces another death head on and then we see him close up and we see his decision. It’s some excellent decision making in how this episode has been directed that really draws you back into the narrative even if the content here is not exactly exceptional.
That said, the notion of printing his 2011 memories over his future self was an interesting twist and if Okabe hadn’t already made a decision to change the future no matter how many times it took, this trip has certainly cemented the necessity of changing the future into his mind. However, that’s where I’m wondering why we needed this (other than we finally get to see this future world we keep getting told about)? Okabe had already decided to use the time leap machine and find a way to change things. Reinforcement of a motive is fine and all but I can’t help but think this was less a narrative choice and more an opportunity to pander to fans who wanted to see the other lab members as gun wielding soldiers in a dystopian Akihabara.
Still, fairly solid episode and certainly one that made me pay attention even if on reflection the payoff wasn’t as great as I’d have liked.
- Episode 19: Okabe the Hypocrite
- Episode 18: Even Knowing The Future Won’t Help You Make a Better Choice
- Episode 17: Choices and Consequences
- Episode 16: The World Or Mayuri?
- Episode 15: I Just Wanted To…
- Episode 14: What Happens If Okabe Isn’t The Protagonist?
- Episode 13: Ignore the Paradox
- Episode 12: I Wonder How They’ll Deal With This Paradox?
- Episode 11: As If Things Are Finished
- Episode 10: And This Is Why Characters Should Speak
- Episode 9: Putting It Together
- Episode 8: Reliving The Tragedy
- Episode 7: Leaping To Conclusions is Fun
- Episode 6: And Round and Round We Go
- Episodes 4 + 5: It’s Never Over
- Episode 3: Kurisu and Okabe Still Have It
- Episode 2: Okabe Reacts
- Steins;Gate 0 First Impressions
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