「シュタインズ ゲート 横行跋扈のポリオマニア」 (Oukoubakko no Poriomania)
“Egoistic Poriomania”

It would be hard to imagine a S;G fan not enjoying this bonus episode, because it managed to hit pretty much all the right buttons.

It’s great to have Steins;Gate back, if you’ll allow me to state the obvious. This was one of the best series of 2011 (I had it at #3) and probably the most accomplished, in that it told a complete story from start to finish and combined comedy, mystery, suspense and romance brilliantly. If I had to pick two elements that I loved best among the many I loved, I think the first would be the dialogue – it’s razor-sharp with an irresistible rhythm of its own, like the banter of a 1930’s screwball comedy. The other would be the stunning work of the cast, especially Miyano Mamoru as Okabe. This was my #1 seiyuu performance of 2011, and to hear Miyano-san in the role again is a joy, especially coming as it does during the run of Chihayafuru, where he’s delivering my favorite performance of 2012 as Taichi. That one actor could excel in two such spectacularly different roles is a testament to just how good Miyano is.

In terms of the bonus episode, it offered a little of everything that viewers (fans of the game and new alike) loved. We had lots of otaku meta-humor, great banter, Okabe-Kurisu romance, and loads of self-referential world-building. It also offered a pretty good head-fake in the intro, which featured Okarin walking through what looked like a post-apocalyptic wasteland talking of The Organization having bested him. But this wasn’t a new world line – no, just the desert east of LA, and Okarin had (as usual) gotten himself into trouble of his own making. It all starts out innocently enough, with Okabe, Mayuri, Daru and Ruka jetting off to LA to catch Feyris in a Rainet tournament (which she wins). This is the America as seen in anime – absurdly overdramatized, with every stereotype played up to the max. Kurisu (who has returned to America after the events of episode 24) drives a pink Cadillac, and just outside LA is a stylized world of 1950s motels and Route 66 diners, as if LA sprawl stopped at Disney Hall and Eisenhower was still President.

While the raison d’etre of the episode was to get Okabe and Kurisu together to further explore their feelings, there was a whole lot of fun stuff on the way. We had Okabe getting arrested twice, the first with Miyano-san getting to show off his hilarious Engrish again. Note to self – “I am mad scientist. United States. Chaos. And invade!” is the wrong thing to say to Homeland Security. And trying to talk your way out of trouble in German probably doesn’t help either. And leave to to S;G to distill the essence of trap-moe into one concise phrase – “He’s a dude, but who cares!” There was the little matter of the sleeping arrangements in the fleabag motel Kurisu found for the group, with Ruka being only too willing to share with Okarin. And for good measure, we got Diet Dr. Pepper and Kurisu in a maid costume with nekomimi.

On a slightly more serious note, we also had a chance meeting between Okarin and who I can only assume is Suzuha’s mother – there were certainly enough hints dropped, right down to Daru sneezing when she talked about getting married and having a kid in seven years. It’s a lot to ask of coincidence but who knows in this mythology, and it was nice to see Suzuha involved. In Okabe following her to the desert as she made her way to Vegas, it was also the setup to the main event of the ep – Okarin meeting up with Kurisu, who’d chased after Okabe to rescue him from himself. After Suzuha’s Mom leaves the diner where Okabe had finally caught her up and continues her journey, Okabe is stranded with 67 cents and a dead cell phone – until Kurisu finds him (herself with a dead pink Caddy and a dead cell phone) sprawled on the road.

Now these two certainly had unfinished business after the finale, and it was pleasing to see how direct Okabe was in addressing the feelings unspoken between them. He had to tread carefully, but once he was sure she still had memories of what they’d shared – albeit only in her dreams – he had the green-light to open himself up to her. It was interesting that while Kurisu was still in Japan he’d brought her up to speed only on the general topics of the world lines and the time machine, but not of his confession. But this time Okabe laid it on the table, telling Kurisu that he’d confessed to her in that world line, and that the event had been totally real – to him – and that he loved her in any timeline. While some may feel the episode ended ambiguously, I think it was very clear what was to come after “Close your eyes”.

If indeed this is the finale for this version of the S;G universe, I think the extra episode provides excellent closure and does so in a manner consistent with the quality of the TV series. The upcoming movie may or may not be set in this world line, but at this point I’m happy either way – there’s plenty more of interest if they choose to pick up from here, but I’m happy leaving the characters where they are if it’s set in an alternate timeline. In any shape and form, more Steins:Gate is always a good thing.

92 Comments

  1. Awww yeaaahhh, a bonus episode for arguably one of the best visual novel adaptions of all time.

    For a bonus episode made solely to draw in more Blu-ray sales, this was a damn good episode. And even though I’m currently ignoring the highly inaccurate depiction of LA for now, this had all the bits and pieces aside from the sophisticated plot (but that’s unnecessary at this point!!!) which made viewers fall in love with Stein’s; Gate. I loved how the OVA answered some of the unanswered questions and built upon what we were already given (although I don’t consider this the true ending of the series).

    Click
  2. A perfect combination of cute and spicy, wedding all the daily life elements in the first arc of Steins;Gate to the finishing touches in the last. Definitely a satisfying post-finale.

    hoiut
  3. That ending was absolutely perfect. The desert felt more like a drunkenly-staggering-out-of-Vegas moreso than LA. Either way, nothing short of perfection for our favorite mad scientist.

    Jif
  4. This episode perfectly fulfilled the role of an extra episode which is to give its fans more of what made made the original so good. Watching this made me reminisce about all the good times we had with the Future Gadget Lab members in the series, from Okarin’s hammy act of a mad scientist, to the awesomeness of traps in the form of Ruka, or Feyris-tan steamrolling all to reach the pinnacle of the Rainet world. It made me realize how much I’ve missed all these people and their antics, and in that regard I think that this extra episode is a big success. In the end, I have just one thing left to say:-

    El. Psy. Congroo.

    1. Exactly what I felt as well. This episode included everything that I loved about Steins;Gate. From Okabe’s hilarious engrish to the reminder that Rukako is a guy (I had completely forgot), everything was was done perfectly for me.

      Kentaiyoshimi
  5. The last scene between Okabe and Kurisu was done exceptionally well. It got me to rewatch ep. 22 (great episode, btw), which reminded me exactly why I love this series so much.

    El Psy Congroo

    Kentaiyoshimi
  6. I haven’t even finished watching but to my fellow anime expo goers:

    Didn’t that scene at the Staples Center and the one with Kurisu serving Okabe TOTALLY remind you of Anime Expo!? It’s almost like.. it could have happened.

  7. This anime in my opinion is a masterpiece , I confirmed it with this OVA *-*
    There wasn’t any “Tutturu~” but the Engrish & okarin being arrested was enough *0*
    EL Psy Congroo~

    Miharu~
  8. Wait what!?!? Is she supposed to be Yuki Amane!? Because she looks nothing like Daru’s future wife! She isn’t even a cosplayer like the side materials stated. The Stein’s Gate adaptation has been faithful to the source material, so how could they possibly miss that!? Unless she’s either a retcon or a red herring.

    Other than that glaring mistake the rest of the episode was great. I enjoyed how OkabeHOUOIN KYOUMA keeps getting arrested for stupid reasons. Was that a subtle take that to homeland security? Of course whenever he’s with Kurisu its always sweet DAAAAAAW moents.

    fragb85
    1. I noticed that too, but can’t tell if that was an oversight or not. Unless Daru’s wife is wearing both a wig and contacts in those pictures, they look nothing alike. She never mentioned her name though, so we’ll never know for sure if it really was Yuki, even if Daru sneezing seems to suggest so.

      I guess they just needed an excuse to show Suzuha’s ‘form’, seeing as the special episode is a reunion of sorts to showcase all our favorite characters again.

      Kiryu
  9. spelling mistake: “Okabe, Mayrui, Daru and Ruka jetting off to LA to ”
    Mayrui –> Mayuri

    El Psy Congroo.

    PS why was there a timer? did whatever-that-happens-right-after-the-“close-your-eyes” happen at exactly the same time in the different worldlines? :O

    Styfles
  10. I can’t talk, the Organization is on to me. All I have to say before they trace this account is that this episode was enjoyable, and I couldn’t help but lol at the sexy weather woman. Crap. It seems I was too late. Start Operation Exodus Valkyrie.

    E.l Psy. Congroo.

    Avalanche
  11. This is the America as seen in anime – absurdly overdramatized, with every stereotype played up to the max. Kurisu (who has returned to America after the events of episode 24) drives a pink Cadillac, and just outside LA is a stylized world of 1950s motels and Route 66 diners…

    To be honest, I do have this image of L.A. – well, at least in the outskirts – in my mind…

    Really good, quality episode. The scenes in the desert (e.g. motel exterior, Okabe running) have outstanding art and animation.

    JD
  12. Starbocks and Dk Pepper spotted!

    Rukako sure have it hard… Trap moe is more popular in US?
    Kurisu in maid suie… ’nuff said. (from Hiyoku Renri no Darling?)
    Mayuri needs more tuturus~
    WTH does Moeka wants?

    Note to self: Dont act lk a mad scientist in US.

    D-LaN
  13. Okabe has got to be a prophet. Seems like he finally got what he wanted – attention (albeit unwanted) from the authorities twice.

    Superb ending. I love how they actually teased us with the ending. Though we know what’s coming next, we don’t get to see it, but are left to our imaginations to pan the scene out.

    This is the will of Steins; Gate, indeed.

    Owaranai
  14. I was too pre-occupied by the Okabe x Kurisu that I didn’t realize. How ARE they going to get back?

    Indeed all this episode was missing was the Tutturu~!! Hopefully they’ll abuse it in the movie to make up for the lack of it here.

    Any ideas on the movie? Can’t wait for it. Like you said “In any shape and form, more Steins:Gate is always a good thing.”

    Matt
  15. Kurisu: Close your eyes.

    Damn, I felt a chill down my spine <3
    I'd say this is the perfect ending for them. And at last, Supah Hackah's wife was finally shown in TV!

    The Story You Don't Know
  16. This was a great episode, i laughed at Okarin getting arrested twice for his silliness and the scene where everyone was doing what they did in the lab as Okabe stared at the tv wa a great call back. Mayuri must really like sewing. As an episode to finally wrap up Kurisu and Okarin’s relationship, its a fitting end to the series as a whole and props to Okarin’s VA for doing his character so well especially the gentle but matter of fact tone where he told Kurisu he loved her. The only missing thing was more Moeka, whose VA really impressed me during the episode where Okarin forcefully grabbed her phone.

    Zaku Fan
  17. I really miss this show alot. That rare type of “awesomeness” anime that comes once a year if you’re lucky.

    Good thing though I have both the VN for PSP and PC so I’m good till either the movie or the 8-bit game sequel to come.

    …Or till at least Robotic Notes get’s a release.

  18. What do you mean, “Excellent closure”? How the hell are they supposed to get back to Japan with no gas, no money and dead phones?

    I kid, I kid, it’s so nice to have the cast back for more antics, especially when there are no inconsistencies with time travels around. Proved to me once again that S;G is all about its characters, not its plot.

    SingerOfW
  19. All this aside, what I really want to know is what happens to the original Mayushi that isn’t affected by the World Line changes? Is she just going to die alone there with Suzuha? I’m talking back in the anime how Okabe “dreamed” of Mayushi original speaking about being the beginning of the world and fade to dust. Later on it was shown that when Okabe took the time machine to save Kurisu for the first time and he failed, what actually happened was he gave up and lived normally and 23 (future Mayushi) + 1 (failed to save Kurisu world line Mayushi) years of regret Mayushi had was delivered to the present (world line A) Mayushi through a cell phone call from future (1 year later) Mayushi. Telling her to stop Okarin at all cost, that’s why Mayushi slapped Okarin on the face and told him to not give up and go back to saving Kurisu again.

    But the 1 year later (original) Mayushi who traveled back in time to call the present Mayushi went back with Suzuha on the time machine but it ran out of fuel and was sent into a time warp whole into anywhere within history (which is shown in Okabe’s dream as in the beginning of the world).

    So what I REALLY want to know is since no changing the past and world line can change the fate of original Mayushi because she’s so far in the past that no matter what past is changed, it will never reach her and thus she’ll never change because changing the future isn’t changing the past, which she waits for Okarin in. Does she literally just fades into dust like Okabe’s dreams or will she ever be saved? What the heck is going to happen to her?

    thenewhorde
    1. She’s gone, basically she and Suzuha are going to be stuck there until they run out of air, food and water. Also, that was not the original Mayuri. That was a Mayuri from one of the infinite or near infinite time lines in the Alpha world line. I think the drama cd you’re talking about mentioned the divergence number.

      Basically with the many worlds interpretion and SG’s attractor field concept, there should be 1 original timeline branch that kicked off into the Alpha timeline. That should be the original Mayuri though, who she is (ie which divergence number) is really unknown.

      Zaku Fan
  20. Awww…I wanted something more concrete after the ED, but I guess the tsundere ending is more Steins;Gate like. Still, nothing to complain about, bonus episode was everything I loved about Steins;Gate and then some. Awesome manly confession from Okarin on par with Araragi’s.

    https://randomc.net/image/Steins%20Gate/Steins%20Gate%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    I like how they even cloned the cafeteria area from LA Convention Center where Anime Expo is usually held.

  21. I wish there was a new anime that make me participate in discussions of this blog x)

    God, almost one year, just watched this ep : Nice conclusion
    It would have been a nice paradox if Daru actually met his future wife thanks to Okabe like : “in fact, Suzuha was born ’cause Okabe knew she had to and he’s the reason of her birth” but that’s just me being picky

    Have to admit, I haven’t seen anything as good as this show since then…

    MimS
  22. This was one of the best series of 2011 (I had it at #3) —-> For me S;G is the best series of 2011 (1.S;G 2.Ano Hana 3.Hana Iro)

    May be I should start play S;G vn after all?

    Topboy

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