With Steins;Gate getting into the meat of time-travel now, it has become apparent that a certain aspect of time-travel will become the dominant focus in this series. Even after only two episodes, this specific trait has been used or discussed several times already. And if you think about it, it makes sense from the perspective of a storyteller to focus in on this characteristic. Well, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
The aspect of time-travel that I noticed central in Steins;Gate so far has been the specific direction of time-travel. That is to say, all the discussion and usage has focused on traveling to the past. So, no, unless you were thinking about how the series has focused that particular direction, then we weren’t thinking the same thing. Then again, that doesn’t nececassarily mean your idea was wrong, but this fixation on time-travel to the past is the characteristic I picked up on. And so that’ll be the first topic of this post.
It makes sense that Steins;Gate has focused on time-travel to the past rather than the future, both from a storytelling sense and from the characters’ point of view. For one, the premise of the story will be to evade the pursuit of SERN, the organization who controls all the world’s time machines in order to rule the world from the shadows. If the characters could send messages into the future regarding knowledge they learned, then it’d be worthless since it would accomplish the same result as writing a note and then reading it a few days later. With the possibility of messaging someone in the past, then one can convey information and instructions to that person in order to change what happens in that timeline. Whether or not the person in the past uses this information or even believes it, such as Daru (Itaru) when he received Kyouma’s (Rintarou’s) text, then the timeline will still be affected albeit in a different way. So from the perspective of a storyteller, then using the past makes sense.
Secondly, from the characters’ perspective, time-travel to the past is what’s relevant. Right now, only two characters seem to be interested in time-travel. Kyouma has a fascination with this phenomena, attending two lectures thus far on time-machines (interestingly enough, one was on a new theory then another claiming it to be impossible) and reading all about John Titor. The other character is John Titor or rather the person posting on the message board that Kyouma visits. For Kyouma, time-travel means having a formidable weapon when facing off against the secret organization that’s out to get him (and all his insane thoughts). For the person on the message board, it’s much more real. He had gone back to this point in time to save the future from SERN, who mentioned previously, controls time-machines and has a powerful influence in the future world. Both are trying to use time-travel to the past to their advantage, in order to defeat their competition before they can win. For the characters in Steins;Gate, time-travel to the past is a logical tool for their goals. It’ll be interesting to see how they use it when they can finally utilize its potential.
In other news, four new characters were introduced in this episode, although honestly, we were barely got to meet each one. Ruka, Suzuha, Moeka, and Feyris were all shown for an especially short time each, only getting enough to show their faces, their names, and a small few seconds of their personality. It’s too bad they didn’t spend more than one scene on-screen each. I would’ve liked to seen more time spent with each of these new character in order to get a better idea what role they’ll play in the story but for now, simply introducing them is enough. It seems like they’re not relevant to the plot just yet, so maybe it’s a good idea they only had minimal screen-time right now. Had they each taken up more time, then the episode would’ve lost focus on its plot and the audience would have been distracted. And instead of waiting to introduce them later, we get to see them now before they’re relevant to the central plot of the story. That way, we learn a little bit about their personalities and such before having them take center-stage and leaving us wondering who they are and why they’re doing whatever. So while I would have liked to see more of these new characters, I think the anime did a good job of introducing them and then returning to the still developing story.
The background music in Steins;Gate deserves some praise as having an dramatically effective and beautiful soundtrack. Steins;Gate does a fantastic job in the way it uses its background music to create eerie and ominous atmospheres. In addition to that, the music seems to enhance the mood of every scene, not always creating an uneasy feeling but helping to build tension behind the actions on screen. Not every show has a score that can do that but the background music in Steins;Gate has been very effective at doing just that. In addition to that, I really like how the music sounds. It’s just the kind of soundtrack I like for these types of shows.
Also, with all the cell phones in Steins;Gate, I wonder why they didn’t pull a Tiger & Bunny on us and sell advertisements with all those different models. Guess they could’ve done that with Dr. Pepper, too, if they wanted.