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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Steins;Gate Part One Review Clever Anime About Time Travel

Damn it, Funimation! When does Part Two come out? Wait, this December! Not so bad, but you shouldn't have left me on a cliffhanger! I guess it show how much involved I've gotten with Steins;Gate the very much hyped time travel anime. I've been waiting for this one since AX 2012 and it delivers with mad scientists, time travel and ladies. Dare I mention, the great writing and lead character who makes the anime stand out even with very little animation. I dare! I dare you to enter my Steins;Gate!

Steins;Gate Part One

Do you think there ready to enter it? Possibly? But, no I tell you if I need back up. Oh, sorry I was writing to my mysterious backers, much like how lead character Okabe will talk on his cell phone. Who he's talking to is revealed to be no one as he just does it, because he's an insane person.

He's your lovable mad scientist. Okabe might be more of a fan of science fiction than reality in his own mind, he however falls into a series of events letting him send messages into the past via text messages through his microwave. You've got me interested with that little factoid.

Though Okabe moves the show, I can't deny the rest of the strong cast. His "hostage" or really childhood friend Mayuri Shiina is moe to the extreme. She is cute whenever she enters a room with a theme introduction she says aloud herself. While caring little for time travel, she cares more about having tasty hot chicken to eat, which is dampered by a time travel microwave. Then you have the dirty Otaku hacker  "Daru" Hashida. Who says some of the dirtiest and off comment things that he should be slapped in the mouth. I'm amazed none of the girls hit him, maybe the dub changed what he was saying, but I doubt it. It's bad bananas are used as part of time travel experiments, if you get catch my drift, double en tundras anyone? If anything, these three show the excellent reversion of the script by Funimation, keeping it fresh and easy to understand for the English audience with their cute or foul-mouth talk.

Fresh might be what you call Okabe. Every word out of his mouth is like meme gold trickling out. He'll insult you in the most thespian way possible.  I hope the voice actor J. Michael Tatum gets an award for his word play and well as the writers for this reversion. When Okabe is pissed he just doesn't yell like a Dragon Ball Z moment he explains in great detail like an Edgar Allen Poe story. He is always the center of attention no matter the situation. He is affected by the time travel madness first  seeing how a satelite gets lodged in a building he was in. He was going to a speech on the subject of time travel when it occurred.

You have a silent sexy hottie on a cell phone, Moeka KiryĆ« , who plagues Okabe with text messages even if she's inches away from him. It's alluded that she might be a time travel, but I won't know for sure until Part 2. Kurisu Makise is the female protagonist caught up by Okabe in his time travel experiments and weird club he created to reach his goals of a mad science. She's sort of like the little voice, well really big voice going, "This is crazy, think about it", but all too soon she's part of the time travel experiments. Ruka Urushibara is a dainty little thing that seems to have a crush on Okabe. There's Suzuah whose definitely from the future, but no one seems to notice, maybe they just think of here as eccentric. She works below out mad science team. Finally, rounding the cast is Feris a cosplay queen of Akihabara. Oh, there's also John Titor whose more of a never seen character asking for help.

The story is on par with the early X-Files with Okabe and Kurisu a younger version of Mulder and Scully. There more like scientists than FBI agents and Okabe is much more of a jerk that Mulder ever was. Instead of aliens as the main theme it's time travel. After a shocking revelation where he sees an alternative timeline with Kurisu died, Okabe's somehow placed in an new timeline where Kirisu is alive and schools him at a time travel lecture. Soon after she joins his groups of misfits as they figure out time travel harnessed by there microwave.

Over the first part of the series you learn how time travel works according to their rules and that another group is tampering with space time. SERN making fun of the real world CERN seems to have darker goals then just learning things about the universe in Okabe's story. There's a lot of talk with old tech and science fiction bound as close to reality as possible. Everything has to be explained thoroughly or examined, making for an intellectual pursuit of how anything could be sent into the past. As intellectual it becomes the powers is used by juveniles with damning results.How about one episode where the fate of Akihabra is forever changed. Episodes sometimes changes fates on much more minor scales, but it still does it within set rules. One even delves into the subject of how useful text messages would be without cell phones.The series keeps a good pace of being a drama with humor for how silly it is that one man has learned to use time travel, but wastes it and keeps its almost out in the open.

The animation is fine, but for the most part it's shot like a TV drama. The colors are are bit toned down. There might have some weird angles I've seen in previous animes like close-up on computer cameras, but it's not an action-oriented anime.

Extras are two commentary tracks, and a map you can look at of the area where events occur. You can check out the clean opening where the hacker Daru is not seen very much. I guess only thin cute characters are allowed.

The series ended on a cliffhanger and it has me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait for Part 2 in December. It seems 12 episodes is where Funimation ends the line with a new series. It's painful to have to wait two months to see what happens.

The DVD/Blu-Ray's were provided by the publisher for review