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Why You Need to Watch: Steins;Gate

Jack Berry, Managing Editor

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For my final Why You Need to Watch, I figured I’d talk about a series near and dear to my heart, and one that has been back in the news recently; Steins;Gate.

Steins;Gate (SG) follows Future Gadgets Lab, a “laboratory” in an apartment run by Okabe (A self-proclaimed mad scientist, who goes by the pseudonym Hououin Kyouma) and his two friends; Mayuri (Okabe childhood and childish friend) and Daru (an internet troll and expert “Haxor”). The Lab manages to create a machine to send emails back in time, which messes up the world. Okabe is the only one who can remember the unaltered past, and works against secret organizations, time travelers, and other foes to set the world right again. Along the way he is joined by Makise Kurisu, a scientist who Okabe thought was murdered but was mysteriously alive and well, and Suzuha, a girl who works at the shop beneath their lab.

There are a lot of aspects of this series that make it shine, but the most important are its tone, story, and characters. When SG begins, it has a lighter tone, with Okabe prancing around as Hououin Kyouma and Mayuri as her carefree self. However the series slowly slips into a more serious tone, until when something big occurs in episode 13 which drags Okabe into the pit of despair, and shows how terrible time travel can be. If you’re a fan of dark but not edgy shows as I am, you’re in for a treat! However, in the end the series sends a hopeful message for the future, and one that I hope it’s viewers take to heart.

Time travel stories are well known for their inconsistencies, deus ex-machinas, and rather confusing story, but SG avoids all these issues handily. It’s world stays consistent from the beginning, and the mechanism for time travel and changes from it make perfect sense within the world.

The series follows the “Many Worlds Interpretation” of time, which states that every action creates a universe for every single possible outcome of that action. For example, there is a universe where you ate toast instead of cereal for breakfast this morning, or one where Albany High doesn’t exist because someone built a house here 300 years ago. Not to mention that the series takes on a whole different meaning when watched for the second time.

Finally, the characters. Most of the characters are immersed in nerd culture, and often make references to memes, video games, TV shows, movies, and anime, and not in a cringy way but in a way that real people would talk. As a fellow nerd, it was refreshing. While Mayuri and Faris can be annoying at times, they add to the juxtaposition between Okabe, aware to the outside universe, and the rest of the characters who are ignorant. The interactions between the characters are believable and often drove me to laugh or cry, particularly between Okabe and Kurisu, Okabe and Mayuri, and Daru and Suzuha. Also, the art style is pretty unique and looks amazing.

Overall if you’re interested in a gripping, competent, and dark time travel story then Steins;Gate has you covered. And if you like it, then maybe check out Steins;Gate 0, its even darker and maybe even better, sequel which is releasing as of the time of this writing.

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