Anime Editorials Reviews

Changing the flow of time

Time travel always seemed like a cool concept to me. I could go back in time, make some money and live an easy life. That’s just an immature way of looking at things, though. When I imagine going back, I’m not thinking about the people around me. I’m being selfish, just thinking about material things.

This is a line of thought I’ll find myself considering when I’m watching Steins;Gate. Every time Okarin jumps back, he loses moments shared with his friends. Through him we see what life really amounts to; a collection of moments shared, each one connected to the last, none of which are trivial. Each jump back is painful because we’re aware of what he’s losing, and how lonely it must feel. Each connection made, that timeline, that place, those people. They will never be the same again, every moment replayed will be different. I wouldn’t want that.
Sometimes I’m lazy and just want to be able to wake-up slowly, watch anime and click around the internet, and I’ll think, “what if…?” But it’s not worth it. Deep down, I cherish the flow of time. Sometimes I feel anxious about it moving too fast, but I also feel safe knowing that I’m sharing it with you.

2 replies on “Changing the flow of time”

Ahhh, you beat me to it! That’s what I get for resting on my laurels… I’m about 9 episodes in, but I think Steins: Gate is the best show of last season. At the beginning the time jumps were very disorienting (as I’m sure they were for Okarin) and I wondered if Okarin was just an unreliable narrator. Now I think he might be just crazy.
I think the humor in this show is easy to pass over. It has so many great otaku jokes, they lighten the mood and keep the show from taking itself too seriously.
This show is a great relief after so many so-so alternate reality/time travel anime (I’m looking at you Noein), I’m really looking forward to seeing how it ends.

I’ve found Stein’s Gate kind of disappointing. I’m still watching because it’s not bad per se, but I do keep waiting for it to kick off and 10 episodes in (for me) it still hasn’t.
It’s an odd series (and I’m not just talking about Okarin). It drops these hints about something big, potentially bad and mysterious going on but thus hasn’t pushed those ideas forward. So it sort of sets itself up as an… for want of a better word “adventure” series without providing any action or excitement. On the other hand there are elements, mostly in presentation, that make it feel like more of a techno-mystery series, almost Lain-esque. I’m thinking of the dark nature of Okarin’s flat, the empty streets contrasted with the buzz of Akiba, among others. Yet it doesn’t push those elements particularly hard; it’s not SO mysterious and odd that it ends up like Lain or Boogiepop or Paranoia Agent. It’s sort of a fudge – and even the characters are like that. The treatment of time-travel is quite refreshing and Okarin is quite an original lead but at the same time there are all these elements that pander to the typical otaku (Feyris, the geek speak), maybe so Stein’s Gate doesn’t scare too many of them away?
I think the fact that the series isn’t exactly one thing or the other is what bothers me. I’m still watching and enjoying it but I do find myself in the odd situation of thinking every couple of episodes, “I’ll give it one or two more eps and then drop it if it doesn’t take off,” whilst repeating that same line when I’m still watching one or two episodes later!

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