「漸近線のリコグナイズ」 (Zankinsen no Rikogunaizu)
“Recognition of the Asymptotic Line: Recognize Asympote”
I spent a good deal of time on idle stalling before finally starting this post, because I couldn’t think of much to say about this episode. To be honest, I still can’t. It was fine if you’re a fan of the Daru-Yuki subplot I suppose (which I’m not, really). But what it felt like more than anything was yet another shoehorning in of a side story from the VN – fanservice for the VN veterans rather than anything integral to the anime’s storyline. And Steins;Gate 0 has had a few too many of those eps already.
As I’m finding more and more often to be the case, my favorite moments of the episode involved Maho – especially that bit where she “appeared” in Narita, completely hidden by her suitcase. This edition of S;G has a much different composition than the first anime did – there’s a lot more otaku pandering here, a lot more focus on subplots, and a generally less punchy narrative. To be blunt a lot of “0” feels very lethargic when compared to the original series, and Maho (and her boss) proves a nice respite from that. But there wasn’t enough of her.
The plot driver for the episode was Suzu (with the help of Feyris) doctoring a photo of herself and her mother (the story behind the actual photo was a lot more engaging than the one behind the doctored version) to convince Daru that he needed to act fast and win Yuki over. Maho gets dragged into this too, as she attempts to help give Daru the self-confidence to confess to Yuki. None of this is especially compelling, and while Daru has his moments he’s a character I think works best in modest doses. The emotional payoffs in Steins;Gate 0 just don’t pack much of a punch for me of late – maybe you have to have played the VN to feel differently, but even if that’s true it’s still pretty damning, because that certainly wasn’t the case last time around.
As for Okarin, he’s once more a relative bit player in all this. That said he does have a very good scene with Professor Leskinen, where the latter tells Okabe that his modesty isn’t necessarily a strong point on the academic path he’s chosen to follow. Especially if he goes to America, and this is a salient point. In Japan modestly is very much an innate quality for most people, but in the West sometimes if one has done something outstanding they have to go out of their way to call attention to it if they want to get ahead…