What’s the show? Steins;Gate 0, Episode 7.
And what profound pontificating on life do you have to say about this episode? Always, watch ’til after the ending credits. Always.
Jumping a bit ahead aren’t we? Maybe but literally the most important plot point of the series thus far happens after the ending credits. I know a lot of anime do this and I totally get why too, but still this is a ~massive~ plot point to throw in when probably half the audience has already turned off, especially those watching on a streaming service.
Okay, I get it, something big happened! But can we ~maybe~ talk about this episode ‘chronologically’, you know as intended? Fine… so picking up immediately from last week’s cliffhanger, Okabe and friends have their New Years Party interrupted by a gang of masked, gun-toting ‘bad guys’. Thankfully, unlike the last time someone with a gun came to visit the lab they’re not here to kill—just to kidnap the amnesiac time traveller Kagari. Thankfully the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ bit of foreshadowing last week showing Mr Braun from downstairs seeing these masked goons head upstairs allows him to get the jump on them and intervene.
Crisis averted then? For now. After securing Kagiri and moving her to a secure location—Ruka’s shrine house—Okabe enlists the permanent assistance of Mr Braun, but not before ensuring he’s on their side—at least for the time being.
Oh? He wasn’t before? Well in one of the timelines of the original Steins;Gate series he was a Rounder, working with Moeka for the shadowy evil science organisation SERN. I’d almost forgotten this plot point (it’s been a while since I saw Steins;Gate, okay?) and so it was nice to get this information reaffirmed.
Uh-huh. So anything else noteworthy happen—aside from the post-credit scene! There was a particularly touching moment between Ruka and Suzuha, where Ruka—who’s always been on the outside with regard to her knowledge of the time travel shenanigans—finally grows a pair (if you’ll pardon the irony) and asks to know what the heck is going on. At first I was like “right on!” and “you better tell Ruka everything he wants to know!” Because I can’t imagine how frustrating and lonely it would be from Ruka’s point of view, always on the periphery of the truth. But Suzuha’s reasoning for not telling her was so honest and sad, I couldn’t fault her.
What was it? Well, Suzuha’s obviously been told to keep it a secret by Okabe, and she says something along the lines of, “he wants to keep you out of it so you’re just in this world”. He’s simultaneously trying to save her the heartache of knowing how much pain he’s gone through while having an unspoiled tether to a world outside of all the timey-wimey stuff.
Hmm, fair enough. So I guess we— Yes! The things I’ve been waiting to talk about this whole time! Right, so just before the credits the gang + Mayuri’s friends are trying to figure out the meaning of the code that one of the ‘bad guys’ used during their confrontation at the lab. When suddenly, “Reading Steiner” happens… and then the episode ends. Decent cliffhanger, except POST CREDIT SCENE. Okabe’s in the lab, but no one is around, he hears a noise, calls out for Mayuri and Daru when who should appear from behind the room’s partition but Kurisu, actual Kurisu alive and in the flesh! Please allow me a moment to contain my emotions and pick my jaw off the floor…
So big deal then, huh? Big deal? The biggest of deals, I can only imagine what’s going through poor Okabe’s head! The woman he loved and lost is now alive again, but only because he’s travelled to a different world-line! Which means is Mayuri dead again? Or is this a different world line entirely? What if this Kurisu doesn’t even know who Okabe is at all? So many questions! I tell ya, this show just keeps getting better and better!
Previous Steins;Gate 0 Reviews:
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Categories: Spring 2018 Anime