Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Steins;Gate - Episode 5

Hououin has his all-important IBM 5100, but it's a long way back to the Future Gadget Lab with such heavy equipment - a good job then that his supposed assistant Kurisu Makise is there to help with that heavy lifting.

This duo's return to the "lab" also brings about a first meeting between Makise and Suzuha Amane - a meeting punctuated by the latter seemingly taking an instant dislike to the former, glaring at Makise and looking all set to outright assault her.  In fact, it's almost as though the pair have met before, and Amane's comments regarding both Kurisu and other matters in general very much suggest that there's more to this TV workshop part-timer than first meets the eye...

All of this is put to one side however as Daru is tasked with returning the IBM 5100 to full, working order so that it can be sued to unlock CERN's secret - something that it achieved that very same night thanks to Kyouma picking up some necessary spares.  With this ancient computer in place, Daru and company begins to unpick the truth about CERN's time travel research, finding out exactly how they planned to go about creating a time machine as well as what seems to be the initial results in the form of a series of bizarre human deaths from various past eras where the bodies had been turned to a jelly-like substance much like those bananas subjected to the Future Gadget Lab's bizarre microwave.  With this decidedly conspiratorial information in-hand, just what does Kyouma plan to do with it?

While Steins;Gate continues to take things slowly and deliberately as it builds up its mysteries and growing sense of foreboding, it continues to do so in a fashion which is in turn both entertaining and compelling.  The double-act of Makise and Okarin as intelligent, calm and collected girl and implusive madman works surprisingly well without the latter's schtick ever becoming too tiring, while this episode's revelations about Amane only things more intriguing from that particular angle of the series.  All of this is wrapped rather tidily around some arch conspiracy and science fiction that is often nonsensical yet fits perfectly into the world as portrayed within the series.  Even five episodes it still almost seems as though I'm feeling my way into this series, but despite that it currently remains very much one of the big hitters, and more interesting concepts, of the spring season.

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