「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…
The Suzuha in 0 really tries too hard. Always viewed her as a tragic character. Someone who tries her best but always gets the short end of the stick. Even if it was a mission successful. Here it looks like she was better off not doing anything. Her interventions seem to complicate things that would have gone in a good direction if left alone.
Never felt that way in the original series. Even with her ongoing feud with Kurisu.
The problem with Steins Gate 0, is that even in the VN its feel like its nothing but a collection of (unfinished) subplots that never gets anywhere. So it’s really not surprising that the anime is doing something similar.
I’m still curious as to how they’ll actually conclude this anime as a VN reader.
Yeah, I have to say that 0 just doesn’t hold up well enough to the original. I’ve stuck with this long enough that I’m willing to admit it. Which sucks because I would recommend Steins;Gate to everyone I know who were unsure of anime.
Yuki’s cosplaying Orisaka Mei
from Phantom Breaker, a fighting game 5pb published in 2011, which features Makise Kurisu and Sakihata Rimi (from Chaos;Head) as playable guest characters.
It’s also a seiyuu joke since Tamura Yukari voices both Yuki and Mei.
The new cast is interesting because they actually matters to the story, the same way the first cast was on the first season. Now they’re just comedic relief characters who occasionally have a serious moment, which just doesn’t work. 0’s best moment is only in the Amadeus arc, which has ended. So it’s probably downhill from there.
I think it’s just a problem of too much filler at the moment, because otherwise, the main story arc is amazing IMO. Too much side tracking, not enough real business.
Common problem with titles which become quick major hits: too much pressure to keep existing fans.
Daru’s not unlikable but he’s always been too much of a snapshot: we know nothing about him out side of the lab (Okarin’s story)
The idea he has a daughter in the future is great; having his future wife be an otaku bombshell who crushes on him with no-screen buildup feels fake.
Isn’t this entire series one big sub plot? I’m personally really enjoying these seemingly self-contained mini-stories that always seem to end on a high note.
While I can understand if people don’t like these random forays into side stories, I rather like them. There was also a middle section in the first Steins;Gate where Okabe was faffing about with the timelines making Ruka a girl and giving Faris an alternate life, so this isn’t a particularly new thing that they’re doing now, it just may be the characters we played with the last time felt more compelling to others. This time it seems that Suzuha wants to catch a glimpse of her parents in happier peaceful times and be assured that they will be okay as a couple before she goes to complete her mission because it seems like Okabe isn’t going to help her. Speaking of, I’m interested in this running thread of Okabe trying to get his life together and put away timetravel and alternate timelines to actually live his life, and how this new life is at constant odds with what his closest friends are doing, particularly Mayuri. He destroyed himself to make sure that she’s alive, but now in his pursuit of normalcy he’s relegated her, unintentionally, to a ticked box on a checklist. He doesn’t have to constantly keep an eye on her to ensure her survival as long as he isn’t playing with things he shouldn’t. But where does anyone fit in this new “non-delusional” version of him? He doesn’t want anything to do with the name Houin Kyoma, he barely visits the lab, and he’s studying and doing classwork. I constantly forgot that he was a student in the first season, because he never seems to go to class. What he has become now is a person more adept at being in normal society, but where does it relegate his friends? What consequences will it have on Mayuri? Where will this new path take him? That seems to be what they are building up to in the background while everyone else is doing the standard Steins;Gate antics that Okabe used to be the ringleader of.
And that is what I mean when I say “more real business”. But you put it in a more convincing way than I did.
Yeah but all of those stories ties in to the main plot. Not this one.
So far it appears that there is stuff going on in the background that will be plot relevant later on. Or rather that is the hope. Like I mentioned before there’s this growing sense of isolation Mayuri is feeling from Okabe, Suzuha is preparing herself to do something with that time machine, Kagari’s issues, Leskenin and Okabe. The question is: will these plots that we let build up actually come together in a meaningful way? I would like to trust White Fox and say yes. They have a good track record with me so far, so I will see how this goes down.