A thoughtful response to current anime.

Steins;Gate Episode – 21

Last time on Steins;Gate, Okabe was faced with a dilemma – in order to prevent Mayushii’s death, he has to undo all his D-mails, but the next D-mail to undo is the one that prevented Makise Kurisu’s death!  It seems like sort of a false dilemma to me, though.  The timeline has already shifted once, from Makise being dead to Makise being alive.  Why do we have to go back? Why can’t we shift to a third timeline where both Mayushii and Makise are alive?  Maybe because Makise plays an important causal role in Mayushii’s death?  John Titor seemed to think she was a CERN spy, and we never really got a satisfactory explanation for that.  It seems like it would be worth a try, at least, though, and if you repeatedly fail you can take that as evidence that maybe Makise isn’t really even so much worth saving.  Let’s watch episode 21 of Steins;Gate to see how well Okabe follows my advice.

…thirty minutes pass…

What do you think the lab coat is for, then?

Kind of a heartrending episode.  I hadn’t even thought about the damage that information leakage would do to poor Mayushii’s brainmeats as she gets murdered again and again across dozens of similar timelines.  She’s so helpless.  She doesn’t know what’s happening, she only knows that Okabe is going mad (for real, not just play-pretend) and it’s her fault somehow.  She’s hurting him and she can’t stop because he refuses to tell her what’s going on, to make her a partner in her own protection.  Maybe he’s wise, though.  Maybe if she knew, she would take some sort of drastic action so as not to “be a burden”.  I doubt she’d be willing to sacrifice Makise to save her own like (I guess Okabe agrees with that choice).  She could force Okabe’s hand by killing herself, although as I understand time travel physics she would not be able to kill herself before her appointed time so that’s sort of irrelevant.

Hey you know who could maybe force Okabe’s hand by killing herself?  Makise.  This assumes she’s not a CERN spy, of course, and would mean she would have to be willing to sacrifice her own life to save Mayushii.  She seemed like a pretty reasonable, level-headed person, I would think she wouldn’t go for a gesture like that.  On the other hand, the alpha timeline… the alpha timeline is a good one, right?  John Titor didn’t come back until they moved to the beta timeline.  Or, no, John Titor came back at a different time in the alpha timeline.  The future’s still a dystopia in the alpha timeline.  No reason to prefer one over the other unless you prefer Makise over Mayushii.  Really, though, both seem pretty darn bad.  Rather than quibbling over the lives of two individual women, let’s forge a brighter future for all humanity!  For the sake of preventing dystopia, the agonizing deaths of the entire Future Gadget Lab is not too high a price.  Okabe is getting so hung up on saving the girl that he’s forgetting to be a hero.


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