「双曲平面のアルタイル」 (Soukyoku Heimen no Arutairu”)
“Altair of the Hyperbolic Plane: Beltrami Pseudosphere””
Readers of a sensitive nature should probably look away.
I’m not going to beat around the bush – I pretty much hated this episode and everything about it. And that’s been the unfortunate trend with Steins;Gate 0 after it’s strong opening arc – every time it manages to conjure up a good episode, it follows it up with a clunker. For the sake of my own karmic health I try to keep this short of post short – I have a lot of affection for the original Steins;Gate and it gives me no pleasure to savage it now.
- OK, first of all – the soundtrack. So intrusive, so overwrought – I just kept screaming for it to stop, and it just wouldn’t stop. It was like the big-face girl on “Wings” – “When you look at where a face is supposed to be, you see face. But if you look to either side, you see…more face.”
- That ties neatly into the second point, which is that every time “0” tries to go for an emotional climax it delivers an overwrought (I tried to think of another word that would work so as to avoid using that one again, but nothing else fit) anti-climax instead. Steins;Gate delivered big drama, yes – but it did so organically. It was a product of the narrative – there was no clumsy manipulation involved.
- Last and worst though, that whole scene on the rooftop. My God, so many things wrong there:
- How did all those soldiers (and Kagari) get to the rooftop without Suzuha noticing them – was the D-mail really that riveting?
- How did all those soldiers (and don’t tell me you wouldn’t send the very best special ops people you have when a time machine is at stake) manage to miss Suzuha with automatic weapons while she was taking out most of them – with a pistol? You can’t have it both ways – Suzuha is such a super-soldier that she can take out an entire company of special ops, but such an incompetent that she doesn’t notice them arriving on a cramped rooftop?
- Why did all those soldiers stand around doing nothing as Suzuha – having just killed most of them, mind you – was standing over Mayuri? Why didn’t they riddle her with a thousand bullets?
- Why does Kagari still exist? Every time she appears the series goes to pot.
The really sad thing is, this should have been an effective development – Mayuri’s situation certainly has plenty of pathos to go around. But to me that makes the disappointment worse, because that means that this all comes down to a problem of execution. And next week S;G 0 may deliver another great episode and hook me back in, at least a little – that’s been the trend. But the ship has sailed on this series as a whole being considered a sequel on par with the original – I don’t know whether there was a story here that needed telling or not, but even if there is, it’s coming up short in the telling.