Rintarou Okabe is a self proclaimed “insane mad scientist” which is a tad redundant. Insisting that he be called Kyouma Hououin, he’s a paranoid wreck. His Future Gadgets Lab is of much success. Their latest invention being a microwave that turns bananas into jello and freezes objects at random. Okay, lets be real. His lab is more of a hideaway where he is allowed to indulge in his fetishes with his two friends Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. It’s goofy and wacky but suits the characters and the overbearing atmosphere of the anime.
Steins;Gate isn’t a slice of life anime nor is it a comedy. There is a clear cut direction in which the story follows. Rintarou Okabe, hereby dubbed Okarin because it’s “cuter” says Shiina Mayura, is the victim of strange occurrences. While visiting a time traveling seminar he witnesses a murder. In texting his friend, time seems to warp and shift around him and he awakes in front of a crashed satellite in the middle of Akihabara. Flashing forward, Mayuri told him that he began to ramble about the organization and proceeded straight to the crash site. Even weirder, the time traveling seminar had been canceled and his text arrived a week earlier to his sending. The girl that was stabbed? She’s alive and kicking, ready to meet them at the end of the episode. This progression is veiled heavily by scatter shot pacing but it seems robust enough to hold my interest.
What carries the anime for me are the characters. The two supporting characteres foil Okabe nicely. His insanity is contrasted with stout logic and ditsy cuteness. It’s a very good combination and the convoluted plot may have been lost without this ragtag group. The voice talent is exceptional as well. Okarin is played by Miyano Mamoru. Seki Tomokazu and Hanazawa Kanna play the roles of Itaru and Mayuri respectively. How can you not like it?
I had glossed through the prequal, ChäoS;HEAd, and was not intrigued. The plot there was rushed and the twists were dismal. Hopefully Steins;Gate does not follow suit. I wouldn’t want such an excellent first episode to go to waste.
Oh, and did I mention that the art direction is huke’s?