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Steins;Gate Episode 12

At the start of episode 12 of Steins;Gate, Okarin and Mayuri have time traveled 70 million years into the past. They are in an arid desert environment which appears to be the inside of an hourglass. Mayuri says that you could say that they are just one of many versions of themselves, but you could also say that they were the originals. Shortly before dissolving into sand, she says that their wills will carry on to the versions of themselves in Akihabara 70 million years in the future.

Steins;Gate Episode 12

In the future, Okarin snaps out of a daze, like he does when he time leaps. Does that imply that Okarin remembers the incident? Was the incident symbolic? If this was one of Okarin's attempts to save Mayuri, why didn't it happen in the alpha/beta/gate timelines?

Steins;Gate sort of uses the many-worlds time travel theory referenced by John Titor. There are many discrete worldlines, like parallel universes. When Okarin leaps to the past, he is moving from one worldline to another; his actions do not affect the future in the worldline he leaped from, only the future of the one he is currently in. The worldlines exist independently. Kurisu talks about this briefly in episode 22, shortly before Okarin time leaps.

However, Steins;Gate 0 still has a long way to go on that yet. After establishing the nursery rhyme as Kagari's subconscious link to Mayuri, most of the episode is devoted to Okabe and Mayuri walking Kagari around town to figure out its source. Kagari heard present-day Mayuri sing it, and Mayuri says she heard it from Suzuha. After discovering Suzuha winning a curry-eating contest, Suzuha confesses to Okabe that she heard it from her mother, and it just so happens that they discover present-day Yuki out on a date with Daru. This is a fairly cute moment, if only because it's been a long time coming, though Okabe's surprise seems somewhat out of place given that he's one of the few people that know Daru is destined to marry Yuki and have Suzuha someday.

After the gang plays telephone for an interminably long time, the episode offers its first surprising moment when Yuki tells Okabe that she learned the song from one of her college classmates, who turns out to be Okabe's mother. Given how little of Okabe's home life has been addressed in this series, it's nice to know that Okabe has some sort of family out there, but it's even more interesting to learn that Okabe's mother learned it from Okabe himself; he used to sing it when Mayuri was feeling down after her grandmother died. The full implications of this supposed dead end aren't actually addressed until the episode's post-credit scene, since the show has to make time for a visit to Mayuri's grandmother's grave, so she can tell her late relative all about her new friend Kagari. I was not a big fan of this development, since it mostly felt like more stalling for time and highlighted how little Kagari has contributed to the show's ensemble despite being in the background for so many weeks now. I know that Mayuri becomes best friends with everyone, but even the cross-temporal family connection hasn't elevated Kagari's position in the story beyond acting as a plot device.

After episode 12, the narrative takes a dark turn when Okabe realizes that time traveling produces or leads to, unrepairable events- following the principle of chaos theory. This dark turn also brings out a new side of Okabe in full bloom that had been festering in him for the previous two episodes. The playful paranoia that Okabe has been acting out since the beginning gets back to bite him when Okabe realizes that he has really messed things up.

Watching the final episode of Steins;Gate is a crazy ride, as audiences finally get to see how the sprawling story of world lines and time travel final wraps up. Seeing how everything neatly goes full circle while also recontextualizing the events of the first episode adds to the entertainment value and emotional gratification.

After more than 20 episodes of insults, evasions, and mad scientist rants, Okabe and Kurisu admit their feelings for one another just before Okabe undoes the first D-Mail. They confirm their love by kissing each other in the lab where they spent three weeks bickering over time travel and other things.

The anime has an approximate run time of 24 episodes * 20 minutes each (excluding intro and outro time) which is 480 minutes in total. Steins; Gate also features only 8 leading characters and 4 recurring side characters. Comparing other TV series like Dark and Agents of SHIELD, which have a significantly higher runtime, greater number of lead cast members (and a significantly higher budget as is the case with most TV series, but that's a discussion for another day), Steins Gate writers do an incredible job to take up the complex concept of time and infuse it with a fictional storyline.

Steins Gate does take its time to take off. But it is all a lead-up to the events that transpire in episode 12 (the first instance when SERN attacks the lab and the SERN squad kills Mayuri. That scene was painful, to say the very least). It definitely did not match the brilliance and the pace that the latter half of the show had, but was very much enjoyable. The characters being silly and pulling each other's legs add an interesting flavor. To quote an example, establishing Okabe's craziness about his desire to take down the fictitious villain at the start of the series makes the incidents in the latter half of the anime much more convincing.

But, this set of 12 episodes could easily disinterest a first-time watcher, and I believe the same objective of establishing characters and their mannerisms could have been achieved in 2-3 fewer episodes. Nevertheless, sticking through this is absolutely worth it (in case you did not like it). 041b061a72


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