Steins;Gate – 21

The juicy information revealed in this episode is that Mayuri has seemingly existed through, or retains memories, of all the D-mails and time leaps that Okabe has carried out thus far.  If that is true, then Mayuri and Okabe are well aware of every event and every death that has happened thus far.  You can’t help but feel bad for Mayuri after witnessing all that’s happened.  But it’s not for the multiple deaths she’s had to bear.  No, seeing Okabe and her grow more distant over the entire season is truly the most difficult and depressing thing she’s gone through.

Only recently did the idea of non-Okabes retaining memories of former world lines come up in Steins;Gate.  We saw Faris and Ruka both recall previous timelines which helped in the process of reversing their D-mails.  But now it seems Mayuri can remember all the former timelines, too, especially all her deaths.  And she remembers them much clearer than anyone else besides Okabe.  She may not understand why she has these frightening memories since she’s never around for any of these D-mails, time leaps, and cannot do anything after these deaths, but she’s been together with Okabe through all these different worlds.  Although not together like they once were.

We’ve heard Mayuri mention time and time again about how Okabe has changed as the series has progressed.  It’s true, we’ve seen how he has become obsessive and depressed over trying to save Mayuri and return to a timeline where no such problem existed.  But up until now, we thought only the audience could see such a transformation happening.  Now, it seems that Mayuri has memories of every timeline meaning she’s seen Okabe slowly change into the current form we see before us.  The one obsessed with D-mails and time leaps.  The one who is relentlessly depressed.  The one who is constantly at work, always doing whatever he needs to do rather than having fun with his friends.  The one who doesn’t spend any time with Mayuri.

Up until now, we assumed Mayuri was like the rest in that she did not preserve memories from across world lines.  We knew she was something special, from the short backstory we have of her and her opposition to D-mails and time manipulation, but we had no proof otherwise.  But now things are beginning to make sense with her admitting she has recollections of terrifying ‘dreams’.  Her dislike of time travel is beginning to make more sense now, too, as well as her claims of Okabe changing.  And seeing her best friend change to where he never spends any time with her, talk to her, or even look at her must be the worst part about her retaining her memories.

Mayuri has seen Okabe be consumed by time travel as he constantly strives to save her life.  Obviously Okabe is undertaking a noble mission, doing his very best to save his childhood friend, but these details are unknown to Mayuri.  She just sees Okabe be distant to her and without any reason.  She tries to reach out to Okabe but his responses are always cold.  It must be hard to Mayuri to be living through all these timelines without the Okabe she knows and loves.  Her constant deaths at the end of each line are certainly depressing events but they’re not the same as seeing your best friend ignore you without cause, especially when you have nowhere else to really turn to.

It should be interesting to see what happens to Okabe and Mayuri once they arrive in the best possible timeline.  Okabe will need to repair the relationship between the two due to his actions in the previous timelines.  However, I fail to see this being difficult or long as Mayuri is the type to quickly forgive and forget.  But the major question would be if Okabe chooses to tell Mayuri about what was happening and why he did what he did.  In a show like this, it seems likely they’ll have a talk alone where Okabe explains everything (and usually that’s when Mayuri would forgive him) but I wonder if Mayuri, already knowing everything, will tell Okabe to simply hush and let the two enjoy their time together without worrying about the past.  Would be a nice, happy ending if that were to happen.

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  1. #1 by zammael on August 25, 2011 - 1:57 PM

    This is what makes Steins;Gate different from other time traveling scifi — the retaining of memories from other worldlines.

    Perhaps this doesn’t need to be explained — sometimes mystery adds to the mystique — but sometimes I feel it’s a device that exacerbates the drama too conveniently but it’s also a novel twist.

    • #2 by avvesione on August 25, 2011 - 11:37 PM

      I was a big fan when it was revealed that the characters retain their memories since it allowed for some consistency and connectivity between the timelines. I still am now that we’re seeing Mayuri remember the details about her deaths, too. That and my friend pointed out Kurisu going back to the scene of her murder after Okabe mentioned it, which is interesting by itself. It’s a twist that greatly helped the series in my eyes. I don’t mind if it’s just a method for the drama to expand or become more dire or whatever; it’s something original to the series and its integration into the story has been fantastic.

  2. #3 by Seinime on August 25, 2011 - 3:53 PM

    Sad that Mayuri can remember her deaths as well…poor Okabe.

    • #4 by avvesione on August 25, 2011 - 11:38 PM

      Yeah, it’s sad that both Okabe and Mayuri remember them. At least right now Mayuri thinks they’re just nightmares but Okabe knows they’re all too real. Hopefully happy days lie ahead for everyone in the series.

  3. #5 by Parth Srivastav` on August 25, 2011 - 10:59 PM

    its not just mayuri, kurisu also retains memory from the beta world line because it was kurisu who mentioned that she’d be dead in the beta world line and then okabe realized the problem with reversing the last dmail. in this episode she returns to the place she was killed

    • #6 by avvesione on August 25, 2011 - 11:46 PM

      I don’t think Kurisu remembered the beta world line until Okabe told her in this episode. At the end of the last episode, she was merely joking around with Okabe about the first D-mail in which she was stabbed (she smiling and hardly serious in that conversation). She probably thought it was all a joke then. It changed when Okabe explained everything further, especially after he stopped Daru from deleting the D-mail. But you’re right in the fact that Kurisu mentioning the first D-mail caused Okabe to be aware of the murder and that Kurisu remembers the beta world line now. She even went to the former crime scene at the end of the episode meaning she recalls the murder.

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