A thoughtful response to current anime.

Steins;Gate – Episode 2

Steins;Gate’s first episode didn’t leave me with much of an idea as to what was going on.  There was a guy, and he sent phone messages to himself in the past?  There was a chick, and she was murdered, and then it was not the case that she was murdered.  Things weren’t staying happened, and probably time travel was to blame.  But I don’t have a lot of patience for watching things not make sense and assuming that it all works out in the end because of time travel.  Much better to have them make a certain twisted sort of sense that gradually gets peeled away as we explore the phenomena in more depth.  Even better to let the viewers in on the joke, so they can watch the characters try to figure things out with a sense of superiority saying, oh well obviously the answer is thus-and-so.  It’s “dramatic ironic”.  Well hopefully things will be explained to us a little better in episode 2 of Steins;Gate.

…thirty minutes pass…

Well, my interest in the show just spiked.

John freakin’ Titor is an honest to goodness plot point.  It’s… sort of strange, being connected to reality.  These things I thought I knew personally are showing up on TV.  It’s like seeing your neighborhood on the news, it’s like a bit character on a sitcom hailing from your hometown.  Or, not your hometown, because nobody loves your hometown, but you know, the town across the river.

Pretty decent episode, all in all.  Things didn’t get too mysterious, and we had a couple good bits, like the nekomimi maid cafe.  It was a little frustrating that the @channel bits didn’t get translated – yeah, it’s a lot of work for the translators, but on the other hand, the translation isn’t complete without it.  And this isn’t just random book titles on a bookshelf, either, this is content.  We need to know how the dark underbelly of the internet feels about John Titor.  If someone posts CHAOS in giant letters, that’s meaningful!  I ought to be told.

Also a concern is the large number of female (and femalish) characters being introduced.  I mean yes, it is based on a porn game, that is sort of how things go, but Chaos;Head introduced a bunch of chicks too, and their arcs all ended up hugely compressed and unsatisfying.  Visual novels run for longer (in terms of raw hours spent) than anime series do, plus they force you to focus your attention on a single target. To try to do every girl’s path in a six hour anime series when you can only do one in a thirty hour game is monumental folly.


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