What’s the important information? Steins;Gate 0 is a Spring/Summer 2018 science fiction anime that aired 23 episodes from April to September. It is based off the visual novel of the same name which is a sequel to the first Steins;Gate anime and visual novel.
What’s it about? In a divergent timeline from the original Steins;Gate series, Rintaro Okabe fails to save the life of his love interest Kurisu and is presented with a world in which World War 3 will occur from the major global powers fighting over time machines. Several months have passed and Okabe is learning to live life again when he meets two former colleagues of Kurisu’s, Hiyajo Maho and Alexis Leskinen who have been working on an AI project called Amadeus—based on the compiled memories of Kurisu just months before her death.
Why did you watch it? The original Steins;Gate anime is one of my Top 10 anime of all time and any chance to have more experiences with the cast and setting that I loved so much was something I was eager to have! There’s no mistaking that it was my number 1 most anticipated show of Spring 2018!
Did you enjoy the show? I reviewed each of the 23 episodes weekly on the site (links can be found below) and almost immediately I was enraptured by the more personal, more contemplative version of Steins;Gate and specifically our protagonist Okabe. Everything was darker, more subdued, more meditative and I loved it so much for it, it wasn’t ~trying~ to recapture something from the past, it was its own show and all the better for it.
What was your favourite episode? I said it during the reviews and I’ll stick by it, Episode 22, struck a perfect balance and showed Akihabara—a city I have great fondness—for in such a reverent way. It also put to rest the long lingering mourning that Okabe had for Kurisu by getting rid of the AI Amadeus, but doing so in an appropriately emotional way for everyone concerned.
What were your most favourite things about the show? That this was its own show and not a lazy cash-in or fan-service laden rehash. With the exception of a few late-game moments Steins;Gate 0 is it’s own unique beast. I love that the series shows the effect of grief so thoroughly and doesn’t brush off the lasting impact losing someone (repeatedly) has on a person’s mind, body and soul.
What were your least favourite things about the show? I don’t know… while there were individual episodes that I nitpicked a lot in hindsight nothing really seemed especially egregious. If I were forced to choose, I’d say some characters were perhaps underutilised given we were introduced to new characters and had all the old ones return so content was perhaps stretched thin so that everyone had something to do—even if it was seemingly inconsequential.
Who was your favourite character? Maho! Maho is best girl, better than Kurisu, better than Mayuri. What’s that? You didn’t ask me who was ‘best girl’ but ‘best character’? I’m sorry, I don’t see the difference!
Thoughts on the OP (opening) and ED (ending) and the soundtrack in general? It’s a hard act to follow, having an OP that compares to the brilliance of the original Steins;Gate’s “Hacking To The Gate” by Kanako Ito. And kudos to the lady she comes close—arguably the lyrical content of Steins;Gate 0’s OP “Fatima” is better it’s just not quite as catchy as the original. The first ED, “LAST GAME” by Zwei is great, evoking almost a late 90’s James Bond credit aesthetic that I totally dig! While the second ED “World-Line” by Asami Imai is pretty much trash.
What’s something unique about this show? It’s hard to imagine something that is ostensibly alt-fiction of a different timeline to not only be so compelling but also almost supersede the original in terms of narrative satisfaction and yet here we are. My love for the original series perhaps makes me a little biased but I can’t help but be enraptured by this more mature approach to the series.
What other anime are most like it for the sake of comparison? For once this is an easy question to answer, put simply if you like Steins;Gate you should find something to like about this series unless all your after is more of the same as the original in which case just go watch the original again.
Who would you recommend it to? Firstly, watching the original Steins;Gate is absolutely a pre-requisite, you’ll be lost otherwise. So if you’ve watched the original and want a darker-alternate ending that not only compliments the original but expands the universe and narrative substantially then this is the show for you!
Sum up the season in one sentence: ‘The past is the past, let’s focus on the present and make the most of it.’
Final score? 95 out of 100.
Previous Steins;Gate 0 Reviews:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review
Episode 10 Review
Episode 11 Review
Episode 12 Review
Episode 13 Review
Defying the Protagonist – Episode 14 Review
When Daru Met Yuki – Episode 15 Review
Truth Is A Mirror – Episode 16 Review
A Life Sentence – Episode 17 Review
Blowing Up The Gate – Episode 18 Review
The Definition Of Insanity – Episode 19 Review
Living On Sorrowed Time – Episode 20 Review
Making Up For Lost Time – Episode 21 Review
A Night To Remember – Episode 22 Review
A Means To An End – Episode 23 Review
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