It’s been years since I touched Steins;Gate, but I still remember a few crucial details about its story. Basically, if Rintaro failed to rescue Kurisu, then World War III would break out. And this is the World War to end all wars. This is the World War that will pretty much devastate the entire planet. So yeah, you kinda want to prevent that. Saving Kurisu is great and all, but saving humanity sounds a teensy, tiny bit more important if you ask me! So near the end of the penultimate episode, Mayuri slaps some sense into her best friend. It’s not just about never giving up… it’s also the fact that billions and billions of lives is depending on him. As a result, he regains his spirit, sees the all-important scrambled video, then tries once more to save not just his girl but the entire world as well. Finally, after such a long struggle, we eventually get our True End. Cool? Cool. Now… what if the protagonist sucks? What if the guy just gives up? Bam, Steins;Gate 0.
In this alternate timeline, Rintaro couldn’t save Kurisu. In fact, he was left broken by his failure. As a result, he’s been trying to live a normal college life. Trying is the operative word. He’s joined the tennis club — yeah, tennis — he’s gone on group dates (it’s goukun, but I always misspell it as gokkun which is apparently a totally different thing), so on and so forth. Much to Suzuha’s chagrin, he never drops by his laboratory anymore. Y’see, she still wants to save the world. Unfortunately, the savior has been resorting to hypnotherapy just to keep his mind at peace. It’s that bad, I guess. I mean, you can definitely tell just from Rintaro’s personality alone. Like I said, I don’t remember much about the original series anymore, but I remember him having a much more boisterous personality than the one I’m seeing here. No longer is he the mad scientist. Instead, you just have a morose guy dressed from head to toe in nearly all black. Hell, he’s even medicating himself hard. If this is what normal is, then normal sucks.
This Rintaro is honestly kinda pathetic. He’s pathetic and full of denial. Sure, sure, this Rintaro has been left broken and scarred by his experiences. He can’t mentally endure the thought of jumping through time again and again. And before we continue any further, yes, I saw “23 β.” I know that he eventually decides to fight for the future again. But for now, let’s just talk about Rintaro as he is currently. Dude, 5.7 billion people are going to die. That’s what gets me. Kurisu is fine, I guess. I don’t have anything against her. Honestly, if I had to pick one of these girls, I’d waifu the shit out of her before anyone else. Especially before Mayuri, a.k.a. the worst girl. But at the end of the day, I don’t really care too much about Kurisu. It’s the 5.7 billion people, man. That’s so nuts. It’s like that dumb quote from Spiderman: “With great powers comes great something something…” I just can’t wrap my head around abandoning the world to annihilation no matter how traumatized I am. I just can’t.
Of course, this Mayuri doesn’t help. In “23 β,” she defended him from Suzuha, and she continues to baby him here. Mayuri practically spoils Rintaro. He doesn’t have anyone to give him any sort of tough love. And y’know, I don’t want to trivialize mental trauma. I certainly don’t believe that tough love can fix everyone right up. But there has to be a limit to that, right? When the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance, you gotta stop treating the so-called hero with kid gloves. But even though Suzuha wants to change Rintaro’s mind, she doesn’t even raise her voice. Her face looks angry, but she has little to say except that she won’t give up. 5.7 billion people! I keep harping on it, but it’s so incredibly selfish to just give up. When Rintaro starts freaking out and breaking down on the roof, it’s the only time when he might feel like his old self. Unfortunately, it’s been horribly warped with cynicism and depression: “Humans like us can’t tamper with the province of God!” But if God does exist, then you let him worry about that. You gotta do what you do and let God sort it out later.
Well, if none of his friends are going to do it, fate will. Fate will drag Rintaro kicking and screaming into heroism even if he doesn’t want to. When the guy attends a seminar on artificial intelligence at Kurisu’s university, he’s shocked to find out that a team of researchers has continued her work on memories and how they are stored within the brain. They’ve even gone and created an AI that they’ve dubbed as simply Amadeus. More importantly, this AI has a heart, because it has been built with authentic human memories. Well, even if you haven’t seen “23 β,” it doesn’t take a genius to guess whose memories it has. Or maybe you read the show’s synopsis… either way, remember Kurisu? She’s back! But in
pog form AI form! I was hoping to see the girl’s image show up on the big screen as the AI (like in “23 β”), but all we get is the ugly Amadeus logo. I hope nobody paid for that…
Anyways, the first episode is a mixed bag. The stuff with Rintaro, Kurisu, and y’know, the main story is fine. It doesn’t blow me away, but it’s functional. It sets up the rest of the story. All of the other nonsense, however, is cringy. Like meeting Faris at the cafe, or Yuki doing a fashion show at the lab. Just gimme a break with that shit, man. Unfortunately, this is a 2-cour series, so I’m certain that the show will have plenty of time to shove fanservice up our ass. Speaking of which, were the girls’ bust sizes always this big? Or am I just imagining thing? Also, why does Maho have to be so short? Is it just to fill some sort of loli quota? Gosh, we have a trap, a maid/catgirl, a time traveler, so on and so forth… hell, even the canon waifu can double as our AI waifu! But do we have a loli? Anyways, I don’t think I have much else to blog on Wednesdays. I guess I’ll just have to cover Steins;Gate 0. I should brace myself though, because I know how popular this series is.