Steins;Gate casts a wide net to create a diverse audience of anime fans. There are elements present to please every fan, from the sophisticated/elitist fans, who enjoy storytelling, mystery, and intriguing science fiction, to the more otaku/repetative fans, who enjoy nekomimi maids with their traps. I often felt these elements would create a schism between Steins;Gate fans since the different pods of anime fans have dissimilar preferences in their anime and they’d enjoy the anime for opposite reasons. Well, this episode provided a new element that both sides are sure to enjoy. And that is action.
The recent addition of action in Steins;Gate should satisfy all of the diverse anime fans watching Steins;Gate. Not only was the action sequence enjoyable to watch, I figure most otaku fans would enjoy something like that, but it was relevant to the story and came at a necessary place in the story to advance the plot, something that the more sophisticated fans would enjoy.
Not only was the action sequence one of the most notable scenes of the anime to date, but it featured the characters in a dire situation where their acts would determine the result of their very future. It sure beats scenes of the characters sitting around the lab talking about theoretical mechanisms of transporting memories through time and then chickening out. And I’m much more interested in the mystery and time-travel aspects than trying to figure out who Okabe will end up with (yeah, I’m a sophisticated/elitist while watching this which is why I tag this series as Brain On) out of his six-member harem. But the action is a welcome change in the series that had started to become a little stagnant in recent episodes with no signature twists or revelations lately.
Still, despite how much I enjoyed the action scene, both for its visuals and its purpose, I feel the need to ask a simple question: why did this happen so late in the series? And I’m not talking about Okabe rushing home with a look of terror on his face only to sneak a peek at Kurisu and Mayuri bathing. I expected scenes like this to start around the seventh episode before the season started and, after seeing Kurisu’s murder in the first episode, I began expecting guns to be as regular a part of the series as cell phones. Additionally, I thought there’d be more chase scenes and manipulation of time to alter outcomes to always keep our heroes one step ahead. Granted, I am ecstatic and loving all the various unavoidable deaths of Mayuri because it shows the time-machine isn’t a ‘fix-all’ like I was thinking it would be used for (which I was okay with, too). But I thought there’d be more action in Steins;Gate, especially at this point in the series.
While on the topic of action, I feel there should also be a follow-up question, especially now that the episode is over (well over by the time this is up). When can we expect to see action like this again? I feel there might be a drop off in the next few episodes when Okabe begins to solve everyone’s problems but I could very well be wrong. It’s just there has been minimal action of this kind in the anime to date, at least to the level in this episode where bullets are hitting bodies and confusion is rampant as the characters try to make the best of their hostage situation. Hopefully the action remains in the following episodes, especially if Okabe decides to pay a visit to Moeka. Otherwise, I may have to go back and focus on the mystery and the science fiction aspects of the series, which I still find are stellar elements for this outstanding series.
Most anime that last two seasons have two opening and two ending sequences (sometimes more). But we just passed the halfway point in Steins;Gate, eclipsing episode 13 out of 24, so we might be stuck with these current sequences for another eleven times. But you won’t hear me complaining. I’d consider a change in these musical sequences a minus for the series since I already love both the current opening and ending songs and won’t mind listening to them until the series is over. If they end up changing and end up even better, then I’ll be satisfied, but a little disappointed since those two songs have been some of my favorites this past season. If not, then you can be sure I’ll be listening to those openings and endings during and at the end of every episode.