Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Steins;Gate - Episode 13

To call the end of last week's episode of Steins;Gate a bombshell would be putting it mildly - needless to say, that's only the start of it, but beware of spoilers in this entry if you haven't watched episode twelve yet.

With the sudden appearance of Moeka and an armed gang as the bad guys of the moment, and with Mayuri killed in cold blood by Moeka as she looks to capture the rest of the Future Gadget Lab's mainstay, things have clearly taken a turn for the worst - cue the reappearance of Amane to show off some impressive fighting skills and generally cause enough disruption to allow the others some time to escape... or rather, to allow time for Makise and Okabe to set up and use their time machine so that the former can "time leap" a few hours into the past in the hope that the knowledge he has can save Mayuri and stop these terrible events from happening.

Although this time leap works flawlessly, the rest of the plan proves to be rather more difficult - although Okabe cancels the forthcoming party and races off to find Mayuri, he neglects to factor the shut down train lines into his escape plan and thus, eventually, the horrible chain of events that lead to Mayuri's death occur once again, albeit in a very different way.  On this occasion, Okabe makes good his escape from his pursuers, giving him the chance to time leap once again and have another crack at saving his long-standing friend - even third time isn't the charm in this scenario however, as it seems that it's simply impossible to save Mayuri no matter what he attempts to do...

Having found myself to be more than a little excited at the prospect of Steins;Gate getting to the real meat of its already delicious proverbial baguette, my excitement has proved to be entirely justified as things take a turn for the serious with the beginning of the show's second half.  If the shock of seeing Mayuri die wasn't brutal enough, this instalment somehow manages to keep the tension high during Okabe's successive rescue attempts, giving you the feeling that he really can making it before dashing those hopes on the rocks of anime misery.  It's compelling stuff despite its recurring iterations (are you watching, Endless Eight), and absolutely top-notch in its delivery.  It's almost scary to thing that this is only effectively the beginning - we still have so much more to learn about this show's characters and circumstances (although the flashback to Mayuri and Okabe's formative friendship was actually a great addition this week), and that prospect doesn't just leave me on the edge of my seat, it leaves me planted firmly on the floor with an expression of blank yet rapt anticipation.

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