Steins;Gate has progresses onto yet another new level of terror, this time the revelation that Okabe is the only one who retained memories of the experiment while also drastically altering time (obviously for him to get his Dr. Pepper!). With the interweaving mysteries that steadily evolve into increasingly complex issues and the further understanding/misunderstanding of their selective form of time-travel, there’s still one commonality that remains consistent throughout the series. That would happen to be the comedy.
The comedy of Steins;Gate seems to be the only regular aspect when comparing the series thus far. The casual and perfectly-timed humor that Steins;Gate has been recognized for has been consistent between the various events of the series. The story, while always a point of intrigue, follows a more cyclical pattern, peaking during certain scenes and virtually absent from others. I suppose that’s due to the writing reflecting the structure of the visual novel’s story rather closely. The mysteries go through a similar pattern, at least in our minds, since we tend to lose interest in them when something presents itself.
However, the comedy remains and has actually improved in areas. Okabe’s naming system remains an appreciated and amusing element, dishing out unwanted nicknames like it’s going out of style. The addition of Moeka’s random texts is highly entertaining, interrupting Okabe only for him to turn and see her standing in the background waiting for his reply via text. Her rather stoic persona adds an unseen element to the group being that everyone else is rather animated and jubilant (with some more than others). Suzuha has been seen in more jokes lately, like when she was slacking off work with Nae, Mr. Braun’s daughter. I had always imagined her to be one of the more serious characters. It just goes to show the versatility of the comedy in Steins;Gate.
However, not all the comedy is praiseworthy. Itaru’s constant references to perverted or otaku humor have grown less amusing when compared to some of the other comedic elements of the series. You imagine he won’t stop anytime he hears anything sexually-suggestive and need to repeat it in case anyone missed whatever innuendo his mind picked up on. Some of Kurisu’s reactions, the ones that try to humor the audience, are also somewhat hit or miss. The whole ‘tsundere’ scene seemed a bit below the intelligence of Steins;Gate, but I’m sure there were some out there who chuckled at the quick exchange. And I’m not sure how to differentiate between ‘scenes where Mayuri makes a joke’ and ‘scenes where Mayuri is shown to be cute’. They share similar qualities but I tend to think they’re all scenes to show off her innocence/cuteness rather than for her to be a comedic character like the others.
Going into real stuff now, we witnessed another alteration of time in which the world around Okabe changed yet he retained his memories. It’s interesting that by sending the text message allowed him to transcend these two timelines in which he remembers the experiment but no one else does. Later, during the voiceover by our manly aid, ‘John Titor’, we saw a montage of unimportant city folk using their cell phones as they talked about retaining memories. Toward the end, specifically when talking about retaining their memories while shifting between timelines, we saw Moeka staring blankly through a pane of glass. Could she have retained her memories of the experiment as well? Does she have proof? Well she should, having taken pictures of the apartment and of Okabe and Kurisu between the time they were talking about what to do for the experiment and the actual experiment itself. But who’ll bring that up to her to confirm? Or what if she doesn’t have her memories but instead a cell phone with unexplained photos?
You can tell but I’m very curious to what role Moeka will play in the story of Steins;Gate. Her trigger-happy camera skills will almost certainly come in handy and I’ve begun to wonder about sending picture mail into the past rather than simply being satisfied with text mail. It’ll be fascinating to see how they can harness the power of memory retention with time-travel since that seems like the most significant usage of the time-machine than just simply sending broken and perhaps enigmatic texts.