Right, as much as I kind of feel Steins;Gate 0 has been overly drawn out for the amount of content it has and that about half the characters in it haven’t been needed for much of anything, I cannot deny the pure joy I got out of this episode. Hououin Kyouma is back.
There’s been some fairly solid narrative reasoning for Hououin Kyouma to have been missing in action for the majority of this season of Steins;Gate and yet the pure joy at his return, the way the whole show seemed to spring to life with his presence, and just how much more entertaining everything was just made me realise exactly what I’d been missing this whole time. And I get that the contrast is there for a reason, but all it did was emphasise that I haven’t really enjoyed spending time with a defeated Okabe. It might be argued that the long wait makes the return even sweeter, but for me it just makes it clear I don’t plan on rewatching this particular branch of Steins;Gate ever again. Once has been enough and there just wasn’t enough fun in the journey for me to do it over.
That said, I’m very keen on seeing how it finishes at this particular point in time. There’s been some interesting ideas along the way and some solid plot work weaving a parallel narrative that hasn’t undermined the original series. While I personally didn’t end up enjoying the characters as much as the original, I can’t deny the effort to make this fit in with the larger story.
So other than the resurgence of our favourite mad scientist, what did this episode do?
Well, Okabe completed over 3000 time leaps to make it back to the lab in time to try to save Mayuri yet again. This was impressive given how many times he might have wanted give up and how many things could have gone wrong with the plan along the way. Yet it really does show us just how committed Okabe is to his new resolve to no longer accept that there are fixed events that cannot be overcome. Which makes the end of this episode even more affective because just when it seems our hero is thing control of the situation fate or time or whatever decides to mess with him for one more round. While I don’t feel this will break Okabe’s spirit again, it is definitely not the outcome he was hoping for.
- Episode 20: It’s The End of the World
- 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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