Today's show is an absolute corker! The fact it's rated #3 all time greatest of MyAnimeList is a discovery I made afterwards when popping it on my profile and I can see why even from the foundations the initial episodes lay.
The reason I went and shoehorned this show in to the list this month is because I went back through the old AniMAY episodes from my second channel (all privated now), nooooo not the ones with Sparkles* but the even older ones from 2011/12
Anybody remember the green wall in my dad's old guest room? LOL
After glancing at the various thumbnails I only had faint memories of most shows contents and no recollection as to why I dropped some. It could've been lack of interest or simply being swamped with the YouTube and College juggling act.
I went on to complete Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and completely indulged in the One Piece manga as opposed to the show but the rest... I'm unsure.
Let's hop in to and unpack Steins;Gate then!
SETTING THE (RING)TONE
The first thing that struck me about this show is that much like Death Note, the artists aren't afraid to live in a unique colour palette. Even when the scene's mood doesn't call for it, the visual reside in a continual state of grey, contrasted only by the engulfing white light of the sun that douses just about everything unimportant and anything that escapes gets heavily blurred. It sounds like it would be overkill but it's actually very effective in guiding the audiences eyes to focus points and deepening their immersion. The peak of its use so far is during the empty city scene and really made it a haunted space, almost like a limbo between worlds (which it could pan out as having been).
Character design wise, there isn't a rainbow of hair colours here and generally the characters have very such slender framing compared to most anime. There's no huge busts on the females and even our protagonist looks somewhat malnourished which given his financial constraints starts to make a lot of sense. There's nothing here to distract you from the narrative and I applaud that.
On the topic of money, Okarin (I'm going to refer to him as that for the purposes of this blog, I can't be arsed with his 3 different identities haha) seems to stagger and audibly gasp at the idea 10,000 yen "ichi-man?!" which might sound like a lot but at current rates it's about £64..
I'm not sure whether the value of the yen was significantly higher back in the late 00s when the source material was published or whether this universe's financial situation differs to the real world but given a TV repair costs about 1k, it doesn't seem too odd. Is there something I'm missing? Let me know.
TIMEY WIMEY SLIMEY NANA
I haven't been exposed to the full details of time travel in this story yet (I'm 3 episodes in) but the preliminary details from John Titor's online posts keep it simple, you change the past, it creates a new future. One where you didn't, one where you did.
Something I'm VERY intrigued to see is whether any of the characters interact with themselves because Titor confirmed that it's possible due to diverging paths. I'm sure that'll be a plot device for later oooooor Titor really is just an online troll back in Okarin's original timeline.
The looming threat of SERN, a corporation which apparently in the future has the sole control of all time travel and is using it to create a dystopian timeline sets up a 'big bad' for the later episodes and could bring some validity to Okarin's "Organization" theories.
Whether it's Okarin's faux-confidence that's immediately switched off at the threat of his rent being doubled or his bellowing laugh in gotcha moments, the main character is surprisingly hilarious. Bizzare naming conventions for gadgets and his secret agent audio logging all make for a paranoid yet brilliant character.
That's not to say he's stupid though, it's evident that the people he surrounds himself with have respect for his mental prowess which might be why Mayuri and Itaru play along with his stories and why Kurisu didn't write him off as a nutjob, so actively sought him out later on.
There's also a compassionate side to Okarin too in the way he treats Mayuri and Luka that I've found really endearing. I just hope those two stay safe and aren't used as kidnap mechanics to further the story, gah!!
The constant ribbing on Itaru about his digital Waifu's, bolstered by his shamelessness about it and Mayuri's cuteness being cut by bluntness here and there make for a really comedic harmony that I'm looking forward to more of.
THERE'S NO TIME
Much like the show, I'm going to leave this post on a cliffhanger (it does these so well btw), mostly because I want to dive in to more episodes right away (even if it's at the expense of catching up on AniMAY properly today haha), this could potentially be my #1 so far this month.
On that note, I've been toying with the idea of doing a TierList stream at the end of AniMAY where we sit down and pop every show in to a bracket from A to F, so keep an eye out for that.
Edit: I forgot to mention how dope the opening song is, the vocalists has a unique flair and I can't quite pin what it is but I'm here for it, I'll investigate more
Full list for AniMAY can be found here:
I've added this show to my personal MyAnimeList so you can see how I progress: