Steins; Gate Episode #03 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Release Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A fourth member joins the Future Gadgets Lab and more mysteries unfold before us with tantalizing possibilities.

What They Say:
Episode 3

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The arrival of Makise in Rintaro's lair of evil, his mad scientist lab after they performed their experiment, has certainly unnerved him and rightly so on a couple of levels considering what he's seen happen with her so far. With the time travel thing he's somehow discovered, and the experiment that left a single banana turned all green and gooey, he sees a whole lot of potential for his plans for world domination and conquest, in his strangely restrained way, but the fact that someone was able to track him do so easily, and someone that he still thinks should be dead based on what he originally saw happen, leaves him feeling very uneasy in general. Of course, part of that is just his personality, but the whole situation heightens it for him.

Interestingly, even after being called perverts repeatedly, Rintaro makes a deal with Makise in order for her to learn the secrets of the Phone Microwave. Having her become a member of the lab seems like an odd choice, but it's one that may keep her away from asking more questions since she might not want to do it. Amusingly, the two are far more alike than they care to admit and she ends up becoming the fourth member of the lab, though she makes it clear what she wants to be called. It's cute how Mayu takes it all in stride, but it quickly becomes apparent that this group really does work well together as they work to ferret out the secrets of the Phone Microwave.

When the next attempt is made, it further proves what it is that Rintaro has in his hands and he keeps going back to what Titor was saying about 2034 with time machines and time travel, bringing out the potential that everything starts with what Rintaro has here. There's an examination of SERN a bit (renamed from CERN since there are times to not be letter for letter when doing shows like this) and the physics of it all. It is amusing how easily Rintaro has given up information to others without realizing, such as the shopkeeps daughter in the store down below, simply because of the name on the door and just how loud they all can be. As he goes on and on about secret organizations, it doesn't take much for even a high school girl to put it all together, but even she seems like a bit more than your average kid.

In Summary:
Steins; Gate offers up a whole lot of information in this episode as it progresses and details their version of how time travel alters time lines, world lines and memories. Fans of this particular kind of science fiction will be giddy with it as we see Rintaro going through various discussions about it with people and with a current timeline version of John Titor who wants to meet him and share information. There's certainly familiar aspects to this show from other science fiction shows and novels I've read over the years and plenty of comics as well, but it's execution and the characters involved definitely give it a flavor all its own that's very fun and extremely engaging to watch. Rintaro's definitely not the normal kind of lead character and the supporting cast is spot on in being just as slightly off center as he is. You can easily see how they were all drawn to each other and found working with each other vey natural. Steins; Gate isn't going to be the big series of the season, but it's likely to be the big cult hit over time that people will be talking about as a lighter, anime version of the live action film Primer in a way.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Steins; Gate