It just occurred to me that I haven’t reviewed the original Steins;Gate anime. Why I do not know but I’ll have to fix that sooner rather than later, in the meantime here are my first thoughts on this spin-off/alternative take thing.
Steins;Gate is one of those anime that people tend to fall in love with or forget about fairly quickly. It takes awhile to get going but once it does, it doesn’t stop and the character interactions are really what hold the whole thing together even when you might feel like poking a few holes in the narrative (it is time travel after all and there are always holes). That said, the anime really did leave a mark so with the announcement of a new season that explores an alternative time line, the question had to become whether or not this show could deliver.
And the answer after one episode is yes and no. Where they have certainly set up an interesting narrative for this spin off to explore, looking at a future where Okabe didn’t save Kurisu, stopped going to the lab and took up tennis (though the hypnotism and medication strongly suggests all is not well), what I can’t help but feel is that something of what made the original so gripping has been lost.
It took awhile for me to put my finger on it and that’s because it is something really weird. The dialogue pace has slowed down. I remember struggling to keep up with the subs as the dialogue came thick and fast from multiple characters and so much of the dialogue came in biting jabs between Kurisu and Okabe and this has been lost for the moment. Of course, it is only the first episode.
Realistically, this was pretty solid. I’m not entirely sure we needed this take on the story but the set up was interesting, I’m curious as to where they intend to go, and other than the characters feeling a little bit flat I have really no complaints. The same can’t be said for the person I watched this first episode with (he loved the original Steins;Gate anime and was pretty unimpressed with this).
On that note, I’d love to know your thoughts on this first episode so leave me a comment.
Thanks for reading.
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