「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.


  1. While Kagari hasn’t added much, I wouldn’t blame HER for that. It’s just that the story spent too much time tying her to the mystery surrounding the evil forces that are after her and the time machine and not enough getting to know her, because personality-wise, she’s really a good addition to the cast (I still haven’t forgotten how she’s not above teasing Mayuri when everyone else wouldn’t). I don’t see why you’re mad at her Enzo.

    1. I agree, she’s not the major problem with this ep and I was just venting. But entire episodes have been spent on her backstory and I think they’ve been pretty bad, frankly. That sets back the narrative momentum of the entire series, and that’s a real problem.

  2. It probably convergence now that I think of it for why Suzuha could not be hit at the end there. I have read too many heroes on the battlefield accounts to discount the first part of her fight if this was reality. In reality, the people who are hero’s or Ace’s, similar to sports superstars often make even very well trained opponents to look horrible at least till their luck runs out and sometimes their luck never runs out. But it is a bit less believable in fiction. So it probably convergence which would cause duds if too close to miss, rocks to fall out of the sky, rouge lighting bolts and what ever is necessary to prevent Suzuha death or bing unable to act if she is effected by it.
    But yes the whole sneak up seams false but I don’t judge that type of stuff till next episode has chance to explain.
    Sorry story not doing well with you as it seams to be doing quite well with most commenters and I have been enjoying this episode. I sort of still hate convergence back in the original show but at least this show acknowledged convergence does seam like divine intervention. But the whole story built around convergence so it cannot be removed.

    1. The whole sequence doesn’t make sense when compared with the VN materials, as the sequence of events in the VN shows that Mayuri and Suzuha are not necessarily covered by convergence.

  3. Unfortunatly i no longer have the patience for this show “actually stopped watching Many eps ago”.

    Would some kind soul simply tell me how it ALL ends??

    I have a feeling its still a work in progress

    BROOKLYN otaku
    1. Don’t tell him how it ends, it would spoil it for Guardian Enzo who admits he hasn’t followed the visual novel. As a moderator he would be obliged to check your spoiler tags for anything untoward.

      1. Oh anytime. It wouldn’t have been nice for you or anyone who isn’t familiar with the VN to get spoiled like that. Especially when the anime has episodes where you kinda question while you’re still watching but want to see how it ends. If someone ruined that, they’d just be a jerk.

  4. I cringed when the soldiers completely surrounded Suzuha– it’s a terrible formation, as each soldier’s firing arc can hit one or two of his buddies. *facepalm*

    And the action choreography is awful.

    Magnus Tancred
  5. Unless this is a new time line, doesn’t that mean Mayushi can’t die and probably doesn’t go to the past? Can’t say I understand the D-mail enough to contradict that.

    I wonder if we’ll ever know who this is:
    Can’t say I appreciate the scenes after that. When Mayuri got shot, what I thought was: “About damn time!”. A totally different reaction from every other time Mayuri got killed.


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