A thoughtful response to current anime.

Steins;Gate – Episode 9

Last time on Steins;Gate we set about making major changes to history for the first time.  Really, they should have explored in more depth the consequences of making minor changes, and then they should have experimented for a while with moderate changes, but what’s done is done, and the important thing is for them to learn what they can now.  It’s really surprising that being born a girl doesn’t seem to have changed Ruka’s life too much – she’s still soft-spoken, still hangs around the Future Gadget Lab, still doesn’t have much in the way of breasts.  But Hououin said he felt something change: what could it be?  Did girl-Ruka clumsily drop and break the antique PC, instead of lifting it with big manly arms?  Did girl-Ruka actually succeed in seducing Hououin, given that the only reason Ruka failed originally was that he was a dude?  Did various chaotic effects lead to John Titor never coming back, or coming back in the 90s again, or coming back at some point in the future as yet unvisited?  We’ll see about this in episode 9 of Steins;Gate.

…thirty minutes pass…


Seriously dude, don't bother. You can wreak all the havoc you want just by passing messages.

Well, I’d like to take credit for calling his destruction of the antique computer, but that’s a little overshadowed by my failure to predict his destruction of Akihabara.

Haha.  Haha.  That’s what you get!  That is what you get for messing with forces you don’t understand, that’s what you get for treating things like a game, that’s what you get for letting people you barely know borrow your time machine without even telling you what they plan to do with it. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, FUTURE GADGET LAB, THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Honestly, they should consider themselves lucky to still be alive.

When I was studying for my engineering degree, they made me take a class on professional ethics, so that I did not e.g. design a substandard circuit and electrocute people.  It seems like somebody should have made Hououin, or at least Makise Kurisu, take a professional ethics class, so that they do not let random strangers off the street borrow their time machines!  This is Manhattan Project-level stuff!  You can’t just walk up to a physicist and say “hey, can I borrow your nuke, there’s something I want to blow up.  You want to know what I want to blow up?  Well gee, that’s kind of a personal question, don’t you think?”  Some people say that physicists should have kept nuclear fission a secret, to head off the arms race and protect humanity.  I don’t agree with them, but man, there are limits to how open-access you can be with ridiculously destructive technology.  A Time Machine Is Not A Toy, you guys.

Hououin really needs to start keeping a diary of the various things that have happened and facts that he knows if he’s going to continue altering the timeline willy-nilly.  That way, when he feels himself shift, he can just pop it open and see what events in there don’t match his recollections.  I guess he’d have to be able to recognize absences of entries too, because he’s not going to write “Didn’t meet Shining Finger and invite her to my lab”.  Ideally he should have started keeping this diary already, but with the power of D-mail, it’s never too late to have already started.

It might seem like all I do in this show is bitch about how dumb the characters are, but they’re dumb in lovable, plausible, entertaining ways.  This show is really great and engaging precisely because the characters are so foolish, you just want to write a two page essay on how you would do better if you had a time machine instead.


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