It’s unfortunate that Maho seems destined to fall for Rintaro, ’cause it’d never work.
— So Maho loved Kurisu… as a friend. But it’s more than that. In the cold opening, she compares her relationship with Kurisu to the one between Mozart and Salieri. I must confess that I’m not all that familiar with either of these composers. I hear they had a contentious rivalry, though. So for this comparison to hold true, Maho must feel inferior to her friend, but I’m curious if there’s a deeper complexity to their relationship than just that.
— They really need to let go of the person who designed the Amadeus logo. It looks like something that belongs to a second-rate e-sports team, not the biggest breakthrough in AI known to man. I’m also surprised that someone even designed a tacky background full of random binary code.
— At least Amadeus is back.
— The AI keeps teasing Maho about Rintaro. Since Steins;Gate as a series has always been a quasi-harem, I’m sure Maho will certainly fall in love with Rintaro in the near future. Up until now, however, their interactions have appeared platonic to me. Then again, maybe I’m blind and I’m just not seeing what Amadeus is seeing.
— The professor just gives off untrustworthy vibes.
— These two girls are cute, but they’re way too messy to ever live with. For me, anyways. Those empty cans alone bother me.
— Even though a fake Kurisu is better than no Kurisu, his own waifu told him not to talk to Amadeus anymore. Will Rintaro respect Kurisu’s wishes? Or will he tempt fate? He knows talking to Amadeus will likely bring them all closer to the possibility of WW3, doesn’t he?
— Unfortunately, Rintaro hands over his phone. He says it’s time for him to move on, but I don’t see how this helps him.
— Right now, we’re dealing with some stupid gag about Nae cleaning Maho and Moeka’s shared living space. Wake me up when we’re back to the serious plot stuff.
— This is just boring.
— In a talk with both Moeka and Maho, Rintaro slips up and mentions SERN. Maho, however, doesn’t press him on the matter. I would’ve.
— Besides the whole inferiority thing, is there really any other parallel to draw between Maho and Salieri? She might have been somewhat envious of Kurisu and her genius (and maybe she still is), but I can’t imagine anything else about her resembling the troubled composer. Then again, there’s probably a lot we don’t know about Maho yet. Maybe she’s not as innocent as she looks.
— Speaking of which, she’s handing Kurisu’s laptop off to somebody for analysis. I feel like she’s too cute to be an evil character. That’s just how it is with Steins;Gate. Most guys seem to be evil unless it’s Rintaro or Daru. Most girls tend to be innocent unless it’s Moeka. But even then, she’s a pitiable character. She’s not straight-up evil. She’s just had a shitty life and equally shitty influences.
— I’m probably missing out on valuable Moeka character development by not paying close attention to this scene, but c’mon, I don’t wanna watch Faris molest the girl.
— Besides, so far, it’s pretty basic anyways. As usual, Moeka has no self-worth, but Maho tells her not to live her life by constantly comparing herself to others. It dawns on her, however, that she’s a hypocrite because she’s always comparing herself to Kurisu. As a result, she cuts herself off and the night ends on a sour note. I just wish we didn’t have to watch 10 to 15 seconds of continuous breast-fondling just to get this tiny bit of character development.
— The funny thing here is that even if Maho is being a hypocrite, it doesn’t mean what she’s saying is wrong. She shouldn’t cut herself off.
— This is an odd thing to care about. Apparently, Maho is a huge computer parts nerd.
— So far, Rintaro’s just hanging out with Maho and Amadeus. We learn a bit about the short girl, and he also teases fake Kurisu about being an “@channer.” But so far, nothing too juicy yet. Whatever it is, it’s probably being saved for the cliffhanger at the end of the episode. In the end, Rintaro wins one of those silly stuffed dolls for Maho, which she will then turn around and give to Kurisu’s mother as a present. I guess this is where she starts falling for the guy. I don’t really understand what she finds appealing about this Rintaro, but whatever. Like a lot of anime, Steins;Gate acts as if no other guy would ever give Maho the time of day, so she has no choice but be swept off her feet by such a small gesture. Oh well, they’re doomed as a couple anyways since his heart belongs to a dead girl. I mean, even without Kurisu, Maho would probably be a distant third to Mayuri. Not to me, but this is probably true for most Steins;Gate fans.
— I’m curious about something, though. We know that ultimately this Rintaro can only save Kurisu for the Steins Gate world line. He loves her so much that he’ll save a version of her that he’ll never get to be with. I wonder then if Maho is the consolation prize, which would only make her even feel more inferior to Kurisu. What I mean is once Steins;Gate 0 ends and the Rintaro from Steins;Gate achieves the true end, what will this Rintaro do with the rest of his life? Since he’ll have saved Kurisu, he’ll need to move on, right? He’ll have to eventually fall in love with someone else and go on with the rest of his life, right? Shrug, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the guy chooses to do. Maybe someone else will need him to save them.
— Oh, Maho is returning to America. Nevertheless, she wants to visit the place where Kurisu died. Surprisingly, Rintaro agrees to accompany the girl. Breakdown incoming?
— Breakdown achieved.
— Maho feels powerless; she wishes there was something she could do to save Kurisu. Of course, Rintaro chimes in and tells her that it’s impossible. Blah blah blah, you can’t change the future. This moment is probably the start of something important between these two characters, though. After all, someone or something needs to convince Rintaro that it’s possible to reach the Steins Gate world line. Maybe it’s Maho. Maybe she’s the push that he needs. They both love Kurisu in their own way. He’s understandably pessimistic because of everything that he’s been through. On the other hand, Maho is a blank slate. If and when he finally tells her about everything, i.e. traveling through time, the various world lines, etc, then she can be the optimism that balances him out. Maybe.
— Maho is smart enough to realize that the relationship between Rintaro and Kurisu was a lot deeper than he’s letting on, but he’s not ready to open up about it. Maybe he never will let her in.
— The girl then reveals that she has Kurisu’s notebook. Not only that, she’s having someone crack the password on the machine so that she can understand what her late friend was researching. Naturally, this freaks Rintaro out. This should freak all of them out. After all, if the US and Russia can’t get Kurisu’s time-travelling theories from Amadeus, they most certainly can from her notebook. At the same time, however, Maho couldn’t really comprehend the true gravity of the situation. Rintaro might have tried to explain the whole WW3 threat to her, but this is not something you can just believe at the drop of a hat.
— And on that note, the episode comes to an end. I expect Rintaro will try and get the laptop back, but I doubt he’ll succeed. After all, we have to be nearing some sort of bad end, right?
— I just realized that this post is full of Maho staring at the audience with her mouth wide-open. Whoops.