Steins Gate Season One Review

steins gate

Steins Gate follows Rintarō Okabe, the founder of the Future Gadget Laboratory and his friends and fellow lab members. Okabe is a self-confessed mad scientist and complete eccentric, but still remains an incredibly likeable character. He lives with Itaru ‘Daru’ Hashida, a friend from high school and a well-experienced hacker. Together they have created ‘future gadgets’ to a pretty low standard of functionality.

Mayuri Shiina or ‘Mayushii’ is a childhood friend of Okabe’s and she frequents the laboratory and is also a member, though has more of an interest in cosplay than science. Together the three of them accidentally stumble on a way to send text messages back through time using a microwave, during a series of experiments with bananas. The group enlist the help of Kurisu Makise, who Okabe constantly calls Christina; she is a well-versed and published scientist who cannot resist joining the group and helping develop the time machine.

The team learn that SERN (never spelt CERN) have been researching time travel and have been for many years. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is in fact central to this research and many of the experiments that have been publicly hailed as failure, actually worked. With the aid of an old IBM computer they decrypt the reports and find out that SERN have been attempting to send people through time for quite a while.

With a mix of other characters the plot twists and turns as Okabe swaps ‘world lines’ with each alteration their messages make. It’s hard to work out who is on his side, if there’s a mole in the group and just who is sending the threatening texts.

Steins Gate is a really different kind of anime to many out there; there’s no gun fights, aliens, tentacles or anything like that and the speech between the characters seems different too, more lifelike. There are many pop culture references in the series, covering memes on the Internet, sci-fi shows and general popular speech, which makes the series seem slightly more Western somehow. This doesn’t detract from the programme at all though and it in fact makes a refreshing change to not have the characters all coming out of the same cookie cutter anime mold.

The show brushes with reality quite a lot too which keeps it far more grounded and real than a lot of other series, even if there is time travelling bananas. The frequent talk of the LHC, IBM and a forum poster named John Titor (who claimed to be a time traveller on the Internet in 2000), all keep the plot within the realms of believability and keep you watching.

Steins Gate is a great series and one that you really need to check out if you’re into science based anime, or just fancy something a little different to the usual craziness. I for one am now aching for the second series to come out in September; I need to know what happens!

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