Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Steins;Gate - Episode 17

Although it appears that Amane's attempts to secure the IBM 5100 failed, and as a result the world line hasn't shifted over to its hoped-for "beta" value for Okabe, but has enough changed to at least save Mayuri?

Well.... no - although her fate is delayed a little, it remains inevitable with the world in its current state.  So, is there really no hope for Okabe?  As far as Kurisu is concerned, the game isn't up just yet, as she believes that all that is required is possession of the IBM 5100 to win the day, and that the easiest way of getting hold of this is to effectively "reverse" all of the D-mails that have had a major effect on the timeline previously.

With that plan in mind, the first D-mail which needs to be undone belongs to Feyris - a mission which finds Okabe aiding her with her escape from some unsavoury (and unlikely) individuals before he even gets to quiz her on his true concern, that being just what she'd sent to her father to change history so massively.  Despite her initial reluctance, Okabe's persistence as he explains the alternate world he remembers complete with its moe-centric Akiba finally strikes a chord with Feyris, even causing her to remember that initial timeline and eventually leading to her spilling out the whole truth - a complicated story which weaves together many of the issues facing our misfit of a hero, and more importantly one which makes any decision to "reverse" her D-mail all the more difficult.  Eventually however, we do move one step closer to Okabe's goal - so what next?

Although aspects of this episode felt a little flimsy compared to what we're used to with Steins;Gate (the guys chasing Feyris felt like the stuff of a pointless visual novel sidestory and didn't add much apart from a lot of running around, and Feyris' eventual ability to remember her alternate world line somewhat spoils the unique nature of Okabe's "gift"), this was still a smart and well-considered instalment overall that was impressive in its nature as it managed to make its tangled web of machinations all the more complicated as it pertains to the "real" past and that all-important IBM 5100.  It's this ability to weave those complexities together so smartly that is making the second half of Steins;Gate so compelling when added to the already stellar character dynamics and mixture of humour and drama - it looks like we can expect a fair bit more of that as Okabe continues his attempts to reverse past D-mails.  It isn't the direction I expected the series to take at this juncture, but now it's begun I'm all for it.

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