Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Steins;Gate - Episode 19

We haven't heard from her directly in a little while, but as Okabe continues his quest to reverse all of the D-Mails sent to date, so our thoughts turn to Moeka Kiryuu and exactly what she's doing in the current timeline.

After Okabe has to once again go through explaining to Kurisu what's going on and his desire to protect Mayuri above all else, he very quickly reaches a dead end for one very simple reason - Kiryuu is dead, having committed suicide in her small, grubby apartment.  Thus, it's time for another time leap (and another round of explanations) to reach his current target before she tops herself.

This time around Okabe makes it in time, but it isn't a pretty sight, with Kiryuu obsessing as we've seen in other timelines over the mysterious "FB", but this time with seemingly no contact from that individual on some time.  Okabe manages to violently wrestle Kiryuu's mobile phone from her (with little remorse - this is the girl who killed Mayuri to his mind after all), but sending the required D-Mail to counteract her own earlier effort does nothing and sees no change to the world.  Reasoning that she sent a second D-Mail unnoticed along with the first, Okabe quizzes Kiryuu, finding some additional morsels of information about "FB" in the process but ultimately finding himself unable to shift timelines at all.  Although Moeka is left mentally broken by Okabe's hard words towards her, he eventually gets perhaps an even more important piece of information out of her - the current location of the IBM 5100.

After the rather frivolous nature of last week's instalment, this episode of Steins;Gate really couldn't be much more different, as everything from its colour palette to its story-telling tone took on a decidedly dark age.  Most notable here were huge shifts in the attitude of both Kiryuu in this current timeline, and perhaps more markedly to Okabe - gone was the generally kind, concerned individual we're used to, replaced with a harsh, violent, cold and desperate man.  This, coupled with Moeka's mental state, made for a striking, hard to watch yet deeply compelling instalment that adds another string to the series bow while also turning our attentions in a different direction once again.  As has become par for the course with this series of late, it's fascinating stuff, archly delivered.

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