「蝶翼のダイバージェンス」 (Chōyoku no Daibājensu)
“Divergence of Butterfly Effect”

At this point, how can anyone hate Hououin Kyouma? His eccentricity provides unlimited entertainment, yet he reflects on his actions like any properly raised human being. By that action alone, he’s far more realistic than any anime character I’ve seen in the past several seasons. He shows multiple facets with moderation, cracks the best jokes, changes up his laugh for no necessary reason, and even possesses a vulnerable side in caring for Mayuri. He singlehandedly supports the entire cast and leads as the main, and without him, everyone else would be typical simply by nature.

I’m a bit curious as to whether or not particular jokes completely go over a more casual viewer’s head, such as the ones usually thrown at Makise. Like the remark for Makise to stop trying to show what a klutz she is, then further referring to Mayuri rubbing her head to quit making a “yuri field.” The latter is pretty easy if you know what yuri means, but the former is a tad more layered. You’d have to know that these traits are considered “moe,” and that these kinds of remarks actually follow a consistency with the continual harassment of forcing Makise to unwillingly conform into a tsundere. I kind of see it as some “reward” for knowing the “anime culture,” but the controversy in this is that these types of jokes are often regarded as “killing” the anime industry. Casuals can’t relate, therefore are turned off by such things, and anime gets no additional business. In defense of S;G, I think if you’re going to do otaku-pandering references, this is how they should be done, and that’s far and few between without taking the entire focus of the show (like easter eggs). There’s also the perk of knowing English to “get the joke” before Okarin does, but I think as an English-speaking audience, we’re all fine with that one. 🙂

The plot makes quite a jump forward, as the time machine is quickly created to work once more (way quicker than I thought). Apparently they thought the microwave was still a teleporter until Makise tested it a bit more, revealing a bunch of facts that don’t really hold much weight right now since it hasn’t been put to use. The fragmentation of the text message and its limitations of certain lengths seem to correlate with the gel banana, in the sense that “things” are broken apart, smushed, and put together sloppily in order to proceed with time travel. And despite HOUOUIN KYOUMA’s cocky front, the seriousness of the issue is starting to get to him, contrasting the show’s general happy-go-lucky nature to remind us that this is some deep shit they’re all getting into. Suddenly he’s dreaming of himself and the universe, presumably all metaphors, with Makise advising him as if from the future. There’s probably some truth in there, such as him being unable to move through spacetime, but the rest basically implies that he’s some sort of transient god. If you go with the “mind is separate from the body” explanation, then he might be able to connect to the future while asleep, and if you relate the title of the episode “Butterfly Effect,” then one second equaling an eternity sort of makes sense. Basically, one second of his time that could possibly be changed would ripple through to the future and change an eternity. Also, somehow I don’t think they’re going to explain how the microwave really works, or why it needs a banana as some sort of prerequisite, but okay.

Moeka… is a character I don’t really like. It’s the same reason why I didn’t like Nagato from Haruhi, and yet a ridiculous amount of people fawn over her leaving me baffled how they can like a type of character that doesn’t even try to leave an impression (I know she was written to be that way and dat disappearance movie, but that’s not the point). Moeka is the same thing, except tacked on with some annoying qualities like an emo attitude and an insistence on texting in a time where it’s becoming a real stigma in the social world. The moe gap is her being cute on her text messages, but c’mon, how can I kawaii uguu over mere text? Regardless, she becomes the fifth member, bringing some mysteries such as her interest with the IBN’s previous owner, and FB (Fruits Basket? Ferris Bueller? Facebook?). “Oh no, is this becoming a harem?!” Nah, I have 100% faith that won’t happen, but if the other girls start joining too, it’s sure going to start reeking like one. And that just isn’t cool for this incredibly cool show.

No, of course that wasn’t a Star Driver reference, but huge points for multiple BttF ones. Delorean mail. Heh.



    1. that actually might be right, Okarin does login to forum board where he found John Titor, that’s the most reasonable explanation of FB i’ve seen since episode aired, people have been randomly guessting >|<

    2. As the game has been out for some time already, a search reveals the meaning of FB.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      The source is from the Chinese Wikipedia article, the first edit on 4th May.
      The Chinese wiki has other spoilers too, mostly on the true identities of some characters.
      The English Wikipedia article has a full story summary mostly focusing on the main characters.

      Feels like Steins Gate really got one hell of a story.
      Makes me wonder what will Robotic Notes bring.

  1. I guess that people like what they like. I agree, the emo-ness of Moeka is getting to me. It kind of makes me wonder why the producers even bothered to put her into the show.
    But moving on, it’s obvious this anime is going to anything but ordinary and is going to really bend some minds. That also has me worried since I predict that some of the explanations are going to get confusing or there might be a use of a deus ex machina, which just ruins stories sometimes.
    I touch on this a bit in my review of Stein’s Gate episode 6, and I also review a lot of other anime as well.

  2. I actually paused this to check to see if the post was up. lol… anyways..really..? NOSTALGIA DRIVE?!?!
    and jeeze.. Show Spoiler ▼

    … although I could be wrong in my speculating. I haven’t played the game or read anything about the story outside of watching the anime.

  3. “I kind of see it as some “reward” for knowing the “anime culture”..” “Casuals can’t relate..”

    Very true. Kyouma’s jabs at Makise were slick. I got a good laugh outta the first combo and a harder one with the followup super. I didn’t really know why I couldn’t stop watching before (heck I still don’t) but I’m hooked now.

    And Makise is the only one that wants to be in his harem. Shining Finger has an ulterior motive. 😐

    1. “Shining Finger has an ulterior motive.”
      I think so, too. The way she was asking for the IBN seemed very suspicious. =_=
      Also, did you design the format for your MAL yourself? Because that’s just plain awesome

    2. I think she had something to do with the original experiments in the past. Just speculation because the girl who scorns Makise is from the future. Perhaps Shiny Fingers is from the past? (Oh, Haruhi..)

      My MAL- Oh yeah.. I did. After seeing Judit in Astarotte no Omocha, I fell in love enough to make a whole new theme. I didn’t think anyone actually goes there. ^^; ahaha I appreciate your compliment.

    3. Actually, Makise is only interested in the time machine. She couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Okarin. I believe you were referring to Mayuri when you stated she is the only one who want to be part of Okarin’s harem. Mayuri is Okarin’s hostage (by choice), remember?

  4. @Kiiragi

    lol. You just hate some types of moes but we can’t help it since it is due to personal tastes.

    What people usually like about the “silent and emotionless” type is that we think as protagonist we want to be the one who fill her the emotions that no one was able to.

    Well, Moeka is rather somewhat different since since she is not emotionless but rather more like she has all her emotions contained and bottled up. She is just the silent type.

    But i do agree that it is a little annoying seeing her text anything she wants to say. But in the similar way, that comes to the challenge of making her “talk” just like our protagonist was able to make her to.

  5. moeka is john titor?!

    but meh, i feel okarin’s carelessness at revealing who actually owns the IBN will bite him in the arse later. i mean, moeka seems a little unhinged…

    1. LOL, I done that way before this anime was created…Yup, us stupid kids need something fun to done. Mine exploded, what did yours do?

      I also put an egg in there, then a bug, then a bunny…neither of them travel through time, they did however exploded. Mom wasn’t happy about the mess that she has to clean up…LOL

  6. You didn’t like NAGATO?! -cue the gasp-

    Different strokes for different folks I guess, I will say this though, sometimes the characters that doesn’t try to leave an impression eventually become the ones that leave the most, well at least to a specific audience *raises hand* but this is all Yuki cause I don’t know a thing about so-not-MOEka.

    Anyway, I agree that Okarin drives this series. The plot is interesting and so are the characters but that’s not exactly news because without our eccentric lead I can’t see myself enjoying this as much. Steins;Gate wasn’t always that show that I really look forward to every week but it doesn’t take a genius or someone who spoiled himself to know that things are about to get real and I’m definitely loving it.

      1. since CERN is an international organisation, I was thinking along the lines of international organisations and secret intelligence agencies that may be poking their noses in the matter

  7. If he’s sending text messages into the past, why are they marked as unread when he reads them in the present? Wouldn’t his past self read them when he gets them? Has this been explained or do I need to stop asking questions for full enjoyment? >_>

    1. You are a bit confused about time travel travel my friend. The problem is that you assume that time exist as one. Truth is it doesn’t, there are parallel worlds as well as possible worlds and time. So by sending a text message in the past, it will change the past of another timeline, but not this one. Plus, it is not an important chain event like Makise’s murder to alter anything major.

      1. “So by sending a text message in the past, it will change the past of another timeline, but not this one.”
        Wouldn’t this imply that he wouldn’t be able to read the text messages he’s sending himself because he’d be sending them to a different timeline?

        “The problem is that you assume that time exist as one. Truth is it doesn’t”
        This made me laugh, though. You sound so certain about a topic where not a single theory has or can be (at least with our current level of knowledge) proven.

  8. “Moeka… is a character I don’t really like. It’s the same reason why I didn’t like Nagato from Haruhi, and yet a ridiculous amount of people fawn over her leaving me baffled how they can like a type of character that doesn’t even try to leave an impression (I know she was written to be that way and dat disappearance movie, but that’s not the point).”

    For me, the difference between Nagato and Moeka is that Moeka has almost zero likability factor. The only thing people would faun over her would be her rather large bust and skimpish outfit (which you have better anime girls for, if you’re into 2d). Otherwise, her sociophobia is rather painful to watch, and the contrast in personality between the real person and her text messages just feels too emphasized, considering she only appears in text messages half the time.

    1. another diff is that yuki had character development to show that even if she is an alien, she has emotions. just that kyon can sense it.

      and yuki had time to slowly get into our hearts whereas moeka is still new.

      1. Probably gonna sound fanboy-ish, but I took an instant liking to Yuki after the revealing of her alien-nature to clone (about episode 3-4 of S1? been awhile), and have enjoyed her since. Moeka has proven to be annoying, which is quite strange, considering she’s a silent character. Hoping she actually does actually serve a point and prove she’s more than just a keitai-con, because I’ve wanted to punch her since episode 2.

    1. 3+ is a harem for me.

      2 is just a love triangle.

      1 is… well obvious.

      So as far as I am concerned, this has been a harem for a while. And I dun like harems…. but having the fat hacker there, and Kyouma’s very interesting character are enough to make me like it. Plus, all the girls don’t seem to have any “real” interest in battling for a relationship like most typical harems.

      In summation, this has the characteristics of a harem, but if I were to list this series genres in order harem would be the last thing after sci-fi and time travel.

      1. yeah, 3+ is definitely a harem already.
        its not quite a harem yet since they’ve not really shown much interest in him yet(aside from that crossdresser but im not sure it counts…).

  9. Well things are building up. Chris shows she’s really methodical with her testing, getting more information in a day than Okarin did. Part-time girl’s confirmed a time traveller IMO. Moeka i’m guessing is one as well given her “take photos so i know i was here” habit and since she knows about time travel using some jargon that no one knows like FB.

    FB = flashback?

    On moeka’s popularity, i’m thinking its identification with her shyness/introvertedness/anti-socialness? That and she has a good figure up and down and wears glasses (for the glasses fetish).

    I’m thinking why Okarin did not try and exclude Mayuri (which is a good idea) and linking back to her “hostage” phrase. Perhaps he’s the only thing she’s hanging on to and if he tries to exclude her she would die/break down/etc?

    Also Daru is a great supporting cast with his hentai actions and his total disregard for getting called on it. Now Okarin gets 2 tsukkomi with Chris and Daru.

    Zaku Fan
    1. That and Okarin is an airhead some time and say things he later regrets. In this case, telling Mayuri about SERN and time travel and later thinking how it might bring her into danger a few moment later. And partly because she is a member of the group, so it wouldn’t be fair to leave her out of things plus she wouldn’t understand any of it anyway.

  10. Those observations on the otaku-related jokes are spot on. What this show manages to do however, is to drive fear into me that I might end up like the super-hacker otaku guy (I am pretty asocial, sadly), even though I am nowhere near that right now. Not quite sure if that is also intentional.

  11. If you ask me, you can’t quite compare Nagato and Moeka. Sure, they both fit the classic “silent character” type, but they’re rather different characters. What I personally find appealing about Nagato is the subtle hints of emotion that seem to make a lot more impact when they oh-so-subtly break through her silent facade, if that makes sense.

    As you say Moeka has some rather annoying qualities around her, qualities which I certainly don’t find appealing, either.

  12. Whether it’s a good or a bad thing is debatable, but I learned the concept of an Event Horizon because of tvtropes. Thanks tvtropes!

    Reference humor works through the satisfaction of realizing where the reference is from right on the spot. I know terms like “Dojikko appeal”, “Tsukkomi”, “G-BACK” or hell, even “Kurisu-Tina” might not be more than a lame play on words or common knowledge for a japanese audience, but I think there is nothing wrong for western spectators to feel some amount of pride in spotting them. Well, at least that’s what I want to believe.

    I personally have a thing for meta humor. Making Daru do the references is one thing, but the main character? Genius! I swear Okabe had already won me over when he threw that corn cob at Suzuha back at episode 2– he’s just too charming. Hell, at this point, I seriously have no qualms with him getting a harem. God knows he deserves it. World Domination is still under consideration, though, because it feels like he’ll become the evil dictator if I’m following the hints correctly.

    1. I think you’d either have to be watching it without subs, never seen the references, or just completely not paying attention to not realize they were referencing those things. Judging by your other comments, I’m going to say you’re a really casual viewer.
      Short answer: Yes.

  13. “Divergence of Butterfly Effect”
    i think that’s referring to the fact that his phone received mail to his past and for some reason he don’t remember, yet Daru remember the first mail.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Been sorta confused by exactly which D-Mails can alter the past myself. Just from what I’ve seen though:

      [spoiler]Makise had no knowledge of the mail herself, since it was sent to Daru. She got saved because Okarin ended up on a different world line, where she wasn’t stabbed. The later messages like “Okarin is a pervert” are also random and insignificant, so they’re less likely to cause a greater change.[/spoiler]

      Time Travel hurts my head. =x

    2. Or it could means that Okarin is the time traveler and the timeline in this time does not affect him like it how affect other people. Nobody else remember Makise’s murder except him, meaning he retain his original memory from his original time (sounds like a time traveler to me). Only the time traveler can see the differences, but normal to everybody else.

  14. “Also, somehow I don’t think they’re going to explain how the microwave really works, or why it needs a banana as some sort of prerequisite, but okay.”

    I certainly hope they don’t explain it. Otherwise the physics side of me will cringe even more.

    1. That microwave has a lot of question behind it like:

      -how does it work?
      -where did Okarin get it from? (obviously not his seeing that he doesn’t know anything about it or how it works)
      -what can be used?

      I figure this anime relate to real world stuff so they are just gonna say it is a time machine and leave the rest to speculation. Beside, the anime is more about the characters and the situations than explaining how stuff works…

      Hell, if they can explain how it works, I will build one myself…go back into time and beat the shit out of myself and say, “What the hell were you thinking?!” Then hand myself an almanac on the future before I travel back through time.

  15. What I can’t tell, and maybe someone can enlighten me here, is whether or not Okarin is an actual scientist or not? It seems to me he’s more just a total nutjob :/

    1. He’s a self proclaimed mad scientist, but otherwise, he seems very jobless. (Maybe he just mooches off Mayuri all the time). How a random person created a time machine out of a microwave and cheap parts? We’ll never know.

      1. A microwave and cheap parts to build a time machine require a genius to put together. You just stated a paradox…

        Okarin does have a job, he’s a mad scientist who invented the time machine. The anime play him off as a delusional, jobless bum, but we can see from little clues in the anime that he is pretty smart. I guess that are trying to make him a dynamic character changing from dumbass to genius. There is a thin line between delusional and genius, you know.

      2. Well, you can’t really use the creation of the time machine as an example of his brilliance because it wasn’t intentional in the least. I haven’t the slightest clue what it was intended to do and I doubt Okarin knows either haha.

      3. I believe he really was trying to make a time machine or teleporter of some sort (after all he did go for a talk on time travel) but with never expected success. It was pure chance he succeeded.

        Zaku Fan

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