Steins;Gate is one of the best psychological thrillers not only in the last few years, but in my opinion, of all time. A time travel anime created by White Fox and set in the summer of 2010, it centers around Okabe Rintaro, a mad scientist who runs a laboratory called the Future Gadget Laboratory alongside his friends, Shiina Mayuri and Itaru “Daru” Hashida. Check out the official trailer below!
Without a doubt, Steins;Gate masterfully represents the concept of cause and effect and how it plays a major role in the events we see today. Due to its myriad possibilities, time travel is not something to be taken lightly and is not nearly as simple and straightforward as some people are led to believe. No matter how much you may wish for a certain outcome, by altering just one minor thing, you create a ripple that changes everything else thereafter.
The character development in Steins;Gate is nothing short of spectacular. Okabe Rintaro and Makise Kurisu are among the best one-two punch duos I have ever seen in any anime. You may think this sounds like an outlandish statement but I can say this confidently because they not only match up together perfectly, they complement each other just as well and help each other aspire to greater heights. As they overcome the many struggles and challenges that come their way, their relationship also flourishes into something special and beautiful.
The animation and art are without a doubt, the best of their kind in many ways. What matters in any science fiction or time travel related story is applying actual scientific rules while being creative and thinking outside the box to craft a narrative that keeps the audience guessing and on their toes.
Steins;Gate presented a well-defined rule of how the universe worked; the effect time travelling has on the present and ultimately, the future. The concept of parallel universes and timelines is also well presented in the anime and makes it that much more thought-provoking.
If you haven’t watched the Steins;Gate anime yet, read no further! The rest of the article contains spoilers so come please come back after you’ve finished watching it.
Along with Mayuri and Daru, Okabe discovered a time travel method allowing them to send messages to the past. Thereby, affecting what takes place in the present time. This method was discovered at a point in time when he found the woman who was to be the love of his life, Makise Kurisu, dead. He sent a message to his friend, Daru, but later discovered that Kurisu was actually not dead while the message got to Daru even before it was sent.
They began to research and discovered that the phone microwave they were working on could send messages called D-mails, back in time. Eventually, they were able to model it into a machine that is able to send a person back in time via their memories.
Meanwhile, SERN, an organization involved in time travel research learns of the Future Gadget Laboratory’s discoveries. SERN invaded the lab to take possession of the time machine, resulting in Mayuri being tragically killed.
Wanting to save a loved friend, Okabe attempted to go back in time again and again only to realize that saving Mayuri would cause an equally tragic disaster with the death of Kurisu. Eventually, a young girl leaps from the future to Okabe’s time to warn him of the eminent World War III and what he has to do to prevent it.
In order to save Kurisu, the only way is to keep Kurisu’s father from killing her to steal her time travel theories. Eventually, he travelled back, deployed a method and saved Kurisu’s life from the hand of her father.
All in all, the plot development was simply awesome. There was coherence and fluidity, no boring monotony and repetition. Each of the characters had their own stage to get entangled in one conflict or another and also to resolve it by using their own strength to overcome it.