Take it or Leave it: Steins;Gate (Episodes 1 through 3)


This anime with the weirdly punctuated name (Steins;Gate – REALLY?!) is supposed to be my jam. I’ve had it downloaded for a while, but I was busy finishing up FMAB (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood…much better punctuation in that one). Barring a few exceptions, I’m super late to anime and only seriously got into it within the last five years.

This semi-wannabe-kinda sorta review thingy should be taken with this in consideration: I just came off of FMAB. And, quite frankly (hi again, Frank), I don’t think anything can or will ever top it. Naturally, after coming off of something of such epic magnitude, the first thing to follow is going to be a huge, flaccid disappointment. (Yes, I meant to say flaccid.) (Yes I know what flaccid means.) (Okay, I’ll stop saying flaccid.) (Prude.)

So. Steins;Gate.

The Premise

“After discovering time travel, a university student and his colleagues must use their knowledge of it to stop an evil organization and their diabolical plans.” (Premise brought to you by a direct copy/paste from IMDb. Because I’m lazy. But I’m no plagiarist – I cite my sources. Hmph.)

Here’s another direct copy/paste – this time from user j4x: “Okabe Rintarou, an university student who refers to himself as Crazy Mad Scientist Hououin Kyouma and his lab’s members work on a microwave device that can transfer messages to the past. Without getting captured, they should get it working in order to beat the evil organization, SERN and stop their evil plans.”

Sounds right up my alley, alright. So I understand the recommendation. Anime? Check. Sci-fi? Check. Time travel? Check. Conspiracy theories? Check. Mental disturbances? Check. Social anxiety? Check. Good vs. Evil? Check. Geeky/pervy techy sidekick? Check. Smart women? Check. I mean, really. There are so many things for me to like about this.

But I’ve had problems with it, and I’m only three episodes in.

Problems I’ve had with it, only three episodes inMayuri_full_profile

Mayuri Shiina is a major character. As the lifelong friend and financier/snack supplier of the main character, Mayuri is around a lot. She works at some cafe where she dresses like a kitty cat and prances and meows for customers. Look, I get it. A lot of pre-teen or even teenaged geeks really dig watching adult anime girls dress and act like helpless little girls in short skirts and tiny little voices. And oh my god does Mayushii have a tiny little voice. It drives me batshit. The character is sweet, unassuming, just darling. Fine. But does she have to sound like an infant? Grump grump grump. Steins;Gate does have at least one strong female character that I’ve met thus far. But Mayuri gets under my skin. I think FMAB spoiled me to strong chicks in anime. To be fair, they haven’t fan serviced her yet. Yet.

Let’s not even talk about the pink-haired coworker of Mayuri. She’s up there in the promo pic. So far, I’ve only seen her in her work costume. With kitten ears and making her hands into paws. So she can act like a cat. And meow. I may have just vomited typing that. Not yet. But close.

There are also these scenes where the mad scientist is hanging out in hacker chat rooms trying to solve his mysteries. (Are they mysteries, or is he crazy? That’s a major plot point, and that is somewhat intriguing. But I’m also pretty sure the answer to that is obvious.) Okabe/Hououin goes into these underground hacker/conspiracy chat rooms, and you (the viewer) are looking at the screen and inundated with lines and lines of chat room text. It’s overwhelming, and I get superanxious trying to read all of it. How are you to know which pieces to pay attention to and which to discard as extraneous information? ARGH! I should have taken a screenshot so you can see what I mean. But I didn’t, and I’m at work. So. Yeah. I kept pausing over and over and over again so that I wouldn’t miss a single line of text. I’m sure most of it was extraneous and irrelevant, but I couldn’t help myself. Text was there! Demanding to be read!

I just haven’t been grabbed. It hasn’t captivated me yet. Is it because of the annoying little things I’m picking apart? Or do I have time to pick it apart and notice annoying little things because it hasn’t captivated me yet?

Things I do Like Thus FarDaru_profile

Itaru, better known as Daru, is the hacker of the top secret future lab. UGH. And I just got a fucking spoiler when I looked for a picture of him to include here. And now I’m pissed! Hmph. Don’t google the show unless you want spoilers. Anyway! Daru is the stereotypical otaku guy. Fat, lazy, geeky, whip-smart with all things techy/computer. And he’s a pervert. It’s funny watching him call Okabe out on his eccentricities and delusions. And it’s funnier still when he tries to make the girls say things like, “his banana is floppy.” I like Daru. Daru makes me laugh, and that’s super important.

I love how weird and eccentric and over-the top Okabe is. His labcoat. His maniacal laughter. The way he speaks into his phone…while it’s switched off. How convinced he is of his delusions. And how real I really think they are.

The time travel. The conspiracy theories. The phone microwave time machine thingy. The gel bananas. The floppy gel bananas. The mean (but not really) super. The time jumps and multiple timelines. Love it.

To Continue or Cut My Losses

Only three episodes in, now is the time to quit if I’m not diggin’ it. I mean, I’ve only put in an hour of my life thus far. And that’s not too bad at all, especially when there isn’t much else demanding my time. But there are things I hate about it…cut and run.

On the other hand, not everyone can be royalty. I mean. It’s unfair to hold all anime up to FMAB or Ghibli standards (puhleeze). It would be akin to choosing your favorite artist or musician and saying that all else is garbage because it’s not such and such artist or musician. We aren’t going to fall head-over-heels for everything. It’s acceptable to just like something, right? But it’s also probably not a good idea to leave a RHCP concert and expect me to swoon over Yanni five minutes later. I mean, let’s get real. For fucks sake.

Yeah. I’m gonna give it more time. It’s not like I’m hating it. So I’ll watch a few more episodes and reassess.

See? That wasn’t so difficult, now, was it? Now to figure out dinner. Decisions suck. Grump grump grump.

12 thoughts on “Take it or Leave it: Steins;Gate (Episodes 1 through 3)

  1. I’ve tried to watch this one with mixed results – it seems pretty interesting, but my ADHD makes watching basically anything very difficult, and for some reason this gets amplified a lot when the show is anime (I mean, I adore Parasyte, Death Parade and Zankyou no Terror, but when it comes to more popular/”typical” anime, the attention just isn’t there… Anyway)
    I do have the visual novel (PC game) on my list of things to play, though (it’s installed on my gaming laptop, I really just need to click “start” at some point), so I’ll probably do a review of that on my other blog once I’ve gotten around to it. As for the show, I have no idea if I’ll ever find the attention span to watch it, but it might be interesting to compare, haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, that sucks. But we found something we don’t have in common! I could probably read and watch my life away if I didn’t stay aware enough to keep it from taking over my life. I used to be that way with video games as well, but I haven’t had a gaming buddy for a while…and that’s how I prefer to play. With a gaming buddy. Thinking about trading in my 360 for a PS3 or 4 at some point, though, and getting back into it. Whew. Look at me digress my butt off.

      I haven’t seen Parasyte, Death Parade OR Zankyou no Terror. In fact, I haven’t even heard of any of them. Adding to my list now!

      I think my favorites thus far – aside from Studio Ghibli stuff – have been FMAB, Death Note and Psycho-Pass. Oo Haibane Renmei and Watamote. If you’ve ever seen Watamote or do in the future, pretend I didn’t just tell you that I have so much in common with Tomoko that it was creepy to watch. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, I have phases where I could read and watch my life away, but I have a terrible habit of getting bored of literally everything (it makes life inconvenient because I can’t even settle on a field of study or possible career path since I keep getting bored of every option)
        I’ve always liked playstation better, but never got super into a certain console. I think more than anything I just get super addicted to every version of Fire Emblem that ever comes out, haha.
        That’s always my problem at anime conventions; it seems like nobody’s heard of the ones I like, well except for Tokyo Ghoul at least. But now I’m digressing just as bad!
        Psycho-Pass and Death Note are both amazing series! I haven’t seen the others, though, I’ll have to add them to the list.
        I always like finding those characters I have too much in common with (:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Heh. Yeah, it’s good and bad! I’ve discovered so many characters that remind me of myself. Sometimes it’s a great thing…other times, not so much. But I love anime as a medium. Some of them are just so pretty to look at! And the language is so musical…hell the music is awesome, too. Fun times. Now I want to go back home and crack out on video games and anime. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Steins Gate is one of those anime’s that you may have to watch an episode over again to catch everything that happens. It takes a premise like time travel and uses it in a unique way that I hardly ever really see. It’s hard though watching it after getting out of something as amazing as FMAB because it’s one of the best anime’s of all time. A good anime to watch that is short and sweet is one called Baccano! I would say something like Fairy Tail or Soul Eater but those have such a huge fan base that I am sure you’ve seen or at least heard of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baccano is one of the ones on my list. I have it downloaded and ready to go.

      I’ve kept going with Steins, and I’m so glad I did. I’m completely hooked now and invested with the story and the characters. It’s had me laughing and crying and frustrated. I love it…and yeah, huge mistake starting it immediately on the heels of the best of all time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Squeaky anime girls are the deal breaker for me.

    That and fanservice. Cheesecake has its place. If I order cheesecake, I want cheesecake. But if I order steak and eggs, I want steak and eggs; don’t bring me my steak and eggs with a piece of cheesecake on top of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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