「亡環上のネクローシス」 (Boukanjō no Nekurōshisu)
“Missing Link Necrosis”

Thank goodness, the humor is back in Steins;Gate, even if it’s been suitably scaled back to reflect the gravity of the situation. But I definitely know the way I’m going to introduce myself the next time I’m in Akihabara:

“Hello, I am mad scientist. So cool. Sonuvabitch!”

Although things are still pretty grim, this episode felt slightly less dark and depressing than the last few. It was a breather episode, for starters. As usual it was Makise who calmly thought of the best short-term plan to maximize our heroes’ chances to effect a change in circumstance – go back 5 hours to the creation of the time machine, then use it to go back the maximum 48 more, thus giving Okarin the maximum 53 hours to organize countermeasures to Moeka and SERN.

But it also felt less grim because the lab members were finally fighting back – hesitatingly, somewhat blindly, but not on the frantic defensive run that Okarin had been the last few episodes. The change in tone was subtle, but definitely present, and that was what allowed a little of the humor this show is so good at to re-enter the picture (such as when Okarin made his grand announcement of his @channel identity). Not coincidentally the lighting itself was brighter as well, even a glimpse of blue sky showing through – just compare the screencaps to what the last two eps looked like if you don’t believe it.

In terms of exposition and speculation, at this precise moment you can either take Suzuha at her word or not. For the sake of argument – and lacking strong evidence to the contrary – let’s do so for now. So what do we know? She came from the future (2036) in a kind of dystopian nightmare (anime loves those) where SERN rules the world with an iron fist. She intended to go back to 1975 and find an IBN 5100, to hack into SERN to prevent Okarin’s initial D-Mail from triggering their time travel search engines (powered by Google), thus hopefully preventing them from ever developing a time machine. She stopped in 2010 to find the Dad she’d never met, who developed a time machine independently from SERN and willed it to her. Okarin founded a resistance, invented the divergence meter, and also died before 2036 – without ever meeting Suzuha. The time machine landed on top of the Radio Kaikan building in 2010 by mistake, but worked at the time. It’s since been broken – possibly by lighting or flooding.

So where does that leave us? Counterattack. Daru works on fixing Suzuha’s Dad’s machine while Makise completes the original memory time machine (which still needs to actually be built for Okarin to use in 48 hours). Meanwhile Maysuhi takes it on herself to try and find Suzuha’s father – with some eventual help from Okarin and Suzuha herself – with nothing to go on but the fake name “Barrel Titor” and some sort of pin badge. All of the scenes involving that hunt were delightfully relaxing, not least because it was such a relief not to be consumed with Mayushi’s death for a little while. Her preposterous “kidnap flyer” scheme was a classic of absurdity.

So that’s what we know and where we are – but what do we suspect? The hinting that Daru is Suzuha’s father could hardly have been stronger, which lends an ironically humorous tinge to his ecchi comments to her. He recognized the tech in her time machine, for one – indeed, seemed quite at home working on it considering the technology is from the future. There were lots of long, lingering close-ups of his face when he was speaking to Suzuha. And most obviously, Mayushi – who makes up in perception what she lacks in book smarts – pointed out how natural they looked together. It fits in every way – the timing, the location, even the pathos and poetry of the situation. If Daru isn’t Suzuha’s dad that would constitute a surprise for me, at this point. I’m even very open to the idea that Feyris-tan could be her mother.

This really is an outstanding show, and adept at transitioning between different moods beautifully. It would work strictly as a fun intellectual puzzle, but the fact that the characters are some of the best in anime this year makes it something special. I’ve come to like and care for all of them, and it was nice to see them take a hesitant step back from the brink of despair, at least for a week. The battle is truly joined now, it seems, and I expect the rest of the series to be a fast-paced and often difficult experience. With that in mind, every peaceful moment and razor-sharp bit of comic dialogue should be appreciated to the fullest.

105 Comments

  1. I think I figures out that badge. I’ll spoiler it… just in case.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Kuppo
    1. I had the same suspicions. Just to make sure I don’t tick any spoiler radars I’m gonna enclose the next paragraph as a spoiler too.

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Why didn’t I think that the “A” could have been Amane?

      If Justin’s idea is correct then … Show Spoiler ▼

      Oh the mystery is making me want to see the next episode now!

      1. I don’t think it’s Amane because:

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Kuppo
      2. I think DevilFisch is correct since the Show Spoiler ▼

        There’s no real paradox because Suzuha did not exist at the current time period unless she creates it herself (for example killing Okarin). Since she is wary of doing so, it will not happen. Now if a Suzuha from 1975 interacted on a serious level (not just passing by each other on the street) with Suzuha from 2010 (or alternatively Suzuha stayed and survived until her birth – 2018?), then it might cause a paradox though what would happen then is unknown.

        There is one more problem in that we do not know if Suzuha’s time machine uses d-mail style or time leap style travel. Its a lot easier if it works d-mail style since she is simply shunted into one of the infinite world lines. If its time leap style, then Suzuha would have always been in 2010 and future Okarin would know what he knew now including Suzuha’s existence and his own death before seeing her.

        As for who made it, i’m guessing its Show Spoiler ▼

        Zaku Fan
      3. after watching it again, if Amane suzuha implies a paradox, then Makise will also imply one as she is woking for SERN in the first time.
        If we accept M is Makise then A is Amane, I guess the paradox will be explained later.

      4. I further analyzed my second theory and realized that it isn’t as complicated as I thought it would be although I might not be able to explain it well. Show Spoiler ▼

        My understanding on the time machine Suzuha used is that … (hidden as a spoiler because it might be one) Show Spoiler ▼

      5. Thing is, there is a simply theory that makes paradox’s impossible… Relativity, time is relative to the person. So therefore as mentioned before Suzuha would still exist even if she killed her father.

        Zakalia
      6. Zakalia nailed it quite well! 😀

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. “sunovabitch.” I laughed at that! I’m really starting to think Daru really is her father, especially if he’s able to fix the time machine. Like G.E. said: “If Daru isn’t Suzuha’s Dad that would constitute a surprise for me.”

    =^.^=

    Nekore44
    1. We highly suspected it. There are more and more hints that he is. I am pretty sure Daru is her father mainly because of the forum meeting in earlier eps and Mayuri add how they shared a mysterious resemblance. Once again Mayuri showed a beyond normal reality wisdom…

      chaos
    2. I’m 100% convinced that Daru is Suzuha’s father now. The hints were there before, but this episode is literally the first time we see Daru get any sort of character development. And it was through a conversation with Suzuha. It would make the part where he was hitting on Suzuha hilariously awkward though. Can’t wait for the reveal now.

      fragb85
  3. Why did the trains stop working earlier than usual? Usually, when the trains stops working is a prelude to mayuri’s death. Mayuri is still alive?? am i missing somehting?

    deafvader
  4. I find it sweet that Okabe cares so much for his lab members, regardless of what they are. Just this episode we can clearly see a degree of seriousness between Okabe and Daru, clearly showing that yes, they are good friends. Makes me wonder if he can redeem Moeka, assuming he forgives her.

    fragb85
      1. I believe a youtube user stated this fact the best:
        “I am fully convinced that Mamoru Miyano is allowed to do whatever the Hell he wants when he’s recording.”
        -Suravukun30

        Need_Help
  5. When you start to love all the characters you know this show is amazing because everyone had some sort of bond with the viewer which is rare these days. Reminds me of CLANNAD like development but it had more than this show. Either way it’s a good thing, best anime this year.

    Jason Isenberg
  6. Given her mother’s name is Amane, Feyris would have to change her name (not surprising if she needed to hide) to be Suzuha’s mother. I don’t see Makise helping SERN but its possible her theories or notes fell into their hands. With both Okabe and Daru gone by 2036, it becomes logical that Suzuha had no inkling on Moeka and her actions.

    Mayuri really has that moe that right down that when Okarin raises his voice when he knew about the party continuing, it seemed like kicking a puppy. She really also brings across her desire not to be a burden or useless even though she doesn’t have relevant skills or knowledge like the others.

    I liked how they animated Daru’s reaction to Okabe’s seriousness, it gave the impresson that they really trust each other so when Okabe is serious even if he explains nothing, Daru knows something heavy is going on and he’s not explaining for a very good reason.

    Okabe really needs to be more careful since that street vendor could just be setting up a trap.

    Zaku Fan
  7. oh well, Daru IS having to be Suzuha’s dad now… and it is amazing because this means he’s gonna get laid somewhere in the future 😛 …possinly even with Feyris-nyan!

    ewok40k
    1. A similar plot twist was done by Futurama Episode Roswell that Ends well, where Fry became his own grandfather (by having sex with his grandmother and accidentally killing his former grandpa) which later resulted in his lack of delta brain waves and defeat of the giant brains.

      smokey
  8. Not a spoiler or anything, because I have not read any wiki spoilers or played the visual novel. This is just my speculation, but just in case it might actually be a spoiler, ill put it in spoiler tag. Help me out guys or gals about my understanding of this timeline so far:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Can anyone explain the technical details about how the dmail and time leap works? To my understanding, the D-Mail can change the past and by doing so the world line alters or basically Okabe’s memories gets transferred to another Okabe in another world line that got affected by the D-Mail. So the Time Leap Machine actually allows the person to retain their memories by compressing them and send them like the D-Mail process to the past (just like Okabe’s reading steiner) BUT the major difference is that it can only be done 48 hours into the past and that this doesnt actually affect the world line? This means that through the use of Time Leap Machine, Okabe stays in the SAME worldline? Is that right? Basically a worldline where Mayuri will die. So isnt a Time Leap Machine pointless in this case? Wouldnt the D-Mail which can actually alter the worldline be the better choice? If the time leap machine doesnt alter the world line, then isnt that like a paradox? Like everytime Okabe uses it, only his memories gets transferred, so technically there should still be an Okabe that stays after he used the time leap machine. After all, its not like his whole body and mind actually gets transferred into the past. If anyone can clarify this from your knowledge of how it works from the game, this will make things a lot clearer for me. Thanks a lot!

    Break
    1. Wow those are a lot of questions, but here is what I think.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I hope you can understand what I wrote ’cause I’m still practicing my Engrish…so cool! XD

      BlueFalcon
    2. This is what I figured out:
      When Okarin uses the time leap machine, his memories are sent to his past self. Everything after that point in time is simply “rewritten”, it doesn’t exist anymore.
      I think of the worldline as a road that’s being constantly built. When Okarin sends his memories back, he “destroys” part of the road and starts rebuilding in a different direction. When Okarin sends a D-mail instead, the road changes (unpredictably) starting from the moment the D-mail arrives but he is able to remember the old road thanks to his Reading Steiner. If he hadn’t his “magic eyes”, he would never know that the past changed.

      Son Gohan
    3. because the characters are living in the timeline they are now, they are referring it to the ‘alpha line’, because they have no knowledge of the other one. Would you purposely refer to your own timeline as a ‘beta line’ for any random reason?

      Sai
    4. Based on what was explained by Suzuha and following the basics of the many world theory:

      Think of a single line highway called “alpha” going forever at an incline up, every meter there’s a side road that slopes down for several meters before it slopes up and runs parallel to the original road. Every meter on this new side road is another exit to yet another side road.

      What happens with D-Mail is that your car is safely thrown sideways to a sideroad whose exit could have been quite far back, maybe several hundred kilometers back.

      For time leaping, your car gets forcefully but safely towed back. You remember exiting to the side road about 10 meters ahead. Now because your car got towed back, you get to choose if you want to exit there again or to another side road further up or a sideroad before 10 meters.

      Apparently at some points on this highway, the side road exit tends not only slope down but also run for several kilometers at a 90 degrees right angle to the original road before again running parallel to the original road. This new road is very far off from the original road and is termed the “beta” highway

      Zaku Fan
  9. There sure is one thing that I hate about this show.
    That is when your watching it so intently then……….BAM! ENDING CREDITS!
    I WANT MOOOOOORRRRRRRREEEEEEE!!!!!!

    Jhacks
    1. Noticed the same. Some of the picture links are dead, so we only see the thumbnails.

      This felt like the most harmless cliffhanger ever to me, since it’s so obvious who is Suzuha’s father.

      As for the mother, considering how bad ass Suzuha is, wouldn’t it make more sense if Moeka, having regrets in the future, were her mother? 😀

      boingman
  10. Rintarou is being…Rintarou again. Nice. XD

    Those were some very astute observations, Guardian Enzo. Indeed, when I thought about it, they changed the moods very, very well by using the lighting and the music (a comparison where there was a lack of music in previous episodes or ominous tones compared to light-hearted and heart-warming notes here). It does feel much calmer and the additional knowledge of Suzuha’s future makes this a very qualified breather episode.

    Okabe just increased in the ‘cool’ factor again (no, not about Mad Scientist Cool XD). Sticking to his guns in saving Mayuri, showing an unexpectedly warm side in caring for his comrades and then leading a resistance to save the world? Man…If it weren’t for the emotional burden, I’d want to be in his shoes too.

    I like how the focus stays on Suzuha and Daru in this episode. Don’t think it can get more obvious that they are related in some way. The heartwarming factor played no small part too, with the mentioning of ‘comrades’ and ‘friends’ constant as well as Mayushii’s valiant but ultimately hilarious efforts in searching for Suzuha’s dad.

    Maybe I’m a little too paranoid, but anyone thinks that Okabe might be running into a trap set by SERN? They might have been moving already and tracking them for all we know. Then again, it could just be a simple case of Okabe finding out the real identity of Suzuha’s dad (and mom – possibly Feyris =3).

    Lastly…Chestnut Rice and Kamehameha suddenly got so much more awesome. XD

    Owaranai
  11. About Suzuha’s mother, don’t speculate only with the present character. In 2036 Suzuha is 18, which means she’s born in 2018. Daru still have at least seven year to met her mother, she could be a totally unknown character we haven’t meet yet and may never come to.

  12. Argh, this “different timeline”-thing is so damn confusing…

    One question: Enzo, you wrote in your post für ep 14:
    “… is it possible that the only way Okarin can save Mayuri is to jump to a timeline where Makise dies? We know this has happened already, in the first episode, where we switched from an “A” line where Makise died to a “B” line where she lived – the “1%” barrier” was crossed.”

    But that (Okarin crossing the 1%-barrier, from rope “A” to rope “B”) never happened, or am I wrong? Okarin just shifted between the threads of rope A, if you want to use Suzuhas picture. The divergence was only 0,57 or so.

    Aozora
    1. We don’t know if Mayuri would have died in first world, so we can’t say it was another rope.
      The decision upon Makise’s death may just be a world line (and not a rope) in the rope where Mayuri is fated to die.

    2. I think the divergence meter only checks the difference between the transfer from world line 1 to world line 2. As such, they could potentially be on a “Rope C”, where Makise dies in the Radio Kaikan building in most of the scenarios.

      Whatever the case, Show Spoiler ▼

      Soiyeruda
  13. i think daru is suzuhas father because of what guardian enzo has already stated but also remeber back in ep 10 when daru got tricked into leaving his time machine forum by okabe
    and later in the ep you find out thats were suzuhas father was supose to be but wasnt

    padrailmli
  14. Am I the only one who has realized that if they put mayuri on the time machine with suzuha then she would be removed from the time paradox and not die? Thus she would also then fit into the dream of finding the correct line that Kyouma had.

    hjerry
  15. Mayushi or Mayuri WAS INCREDIBLY CUTE THIS EP! Damn I love how she made that plan and how she explained it! Ah man, I can imagine how tough it must be for Okarin to choose between Mayuri and Kurisu, well if he was really a mad scientist, I’d say go for BOTH OF THEM! Knowing Mayuri’s personality, she would probably be ok with it!

    Gotta say, just like everyone else here, I do miss the light heart and humorous moments of S:G!

    X
  16. I have two questions:

    1. Why is the time leap limit only 48 hours till the completion of the machine? What happens if Okabe leaps more than 48 hours?

    2. Why does Daru need to fix the time machine in less than 48 hours? I guess it’s to avoid Mayuri getting shot again on 8/13/2010 @ 8:00 pm, right? If i’m right, why does this matter? If Suzuha is going to go back to 1975 to try to change from world line Alpha to Beta, it doesn’t matter if she goes back before Mayuri dies or after.

    Please someone answer this, it’s been bothering me for a while now

    Janus
  17. Please, if someone notices a problem with the english translation…

    Would you please note so with a post, and possibly start the post with TUTURUU in all caps to make it stand out?

    Thanks

    sad

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