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Steins; Gate Episode #12 Review

4 min read

There’s something to be said about a prologue that talks about an Okarin and Mayushii that’s seventy million years in the making.

What They Say:
The Time Leap Machine is complete. Makise found a way to use the LHC to compress the contents of an entire human brain down to 36 bytes. But Okabe decides not to test it, and instead to go public with it…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Steins; Gate has been a fascinating series to watch but it’s reached a point just prior to this episode where it really needed to hit something big, something significant to really give us a feeling that they’re making progress with it and not just spinning theoretical wheels about what they can do. We’ve seen some significant changes and the conspiracy side of it has been a blast to watch as it’s caused Okarin to really pay attention to everything and become paranoid on some level. With the way certain changes have unfolded, often with him being the only one who realizes it, it’s made him much more nervous about things. The combination of events and now the revelation that the Time Leap Machine has been completed and they have found a way to compress memories and mind down enough to send it into the past, onto an earlier version of themselves, it’s a big moment.

While they have this huge amount of potential ahead of them, Okarin has made the surprising decision to back away from it all and just make a public announcement of what they’ve achieved, opting instead to have some other organization take it over as it’s just too much power, responsibility and danger to have on his own with his small team of lab mates. Considering his mad scientist credentials, it’s an amusing turn but not a surprising one since he has a conscience and really isn’t a bad guy. But this whole thing is just getting too big, too wide ranging with what it can do that he has to take a step back for fear of things getting truly out of control. All of it is raising tensions though about what will come and what Okarin’s responsibilities are to his lab mates. They’ve had quite a history so far with a lot of discoveries and all of them are feeling very invested in things.

The arrival of Suzu into the lab continues to be an odd thing as she’s the one that has a lot more knowledge than she lets on, or tries to hide as she’s made several gaffes so far, and her personality is one that really pushes you away from her. She’s grated on me from the beginning and watching her interacting with the group only reinforces that. While Suzu certainly has you wondering what her real deal is, the same can be said for Mayushii as continues to have this very otherworldly feel about her where you almost get the impression she has a better idea of what’s going on in a grand sense of things, an epic scale of sorts, but it’s all distilled down to a very simple view on the world, where she’s the essence of the phrase “stop and smell the flowers.” With the way the episode plays out when it comes to her, and the way things change in tension towards the end, it’s all very disturbing in its own way but you can’t quite place your finger on it.

In Summary:
While Steins; Gate as needed a big moment, and it gets it here at the end of this episode, it remains to be seen if they can truly capitalize on it in the next episode. That will be a big make or break moment for me on whether the show can successfully go into the second half and maintain an interest. It’s offered up a lot of potential here but now it’s going to try and really be a game changer. This episode is like a lot of them though in that it’s fairly mellow and dialogue driven for most of it, and it certainly has its moments as it reinforces who these people are and their connections to each other. But it needs a bit more prodding at times to start moving things forward in an active way. It continues to offer some neat ideas and has capitalized on them a bit, but it still needs to do more. Yet it does just enough to keep drawing you back, which is a big point in its favor.

Grade: B

Simulcast By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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