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Watch & Learn: STEINS GATE #6

This is based on a video game, as I understand. I suppose it's saying "Continue...?" right now and I'm not feeling inclined to push the start button.

Let's get serious, though.
Let's get serious, though.

Back when I was living around Chicago in high school, I’d listen to Mancow’s Morning Madhouse sometimes on Q101 and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the… nature of how that show played. Mancow would do the usual shock jock routine for most of the show, and then he’d suddenly get really, really serious - - saying some intense bon mot like “Pedophiles should be executed” - - and none of his sidekicks would know what to say next. There’d then be a long stretch of dead air before somebody finally hit the button to cue the station ID bumper and start playing commercials.

The tonal jumps between commercials breaks in STEINS GATE aren’t as drastic as that, but they’re jarring enough to draw me about as far out of the viewing/listening experience. Even if I’ve noticed a routine where the first chunk of the show’s a cheery sitcom and the second’s some heady, doom-laden science fiction, it’s still something I’m not prepared for. More so, it makes me think that the creators of this show haven’t got a clear idea of the story they want to tell, which is the same thing I suspected during the latter portions of [C] – CONTROL.

Once again, I wonder if this is a case where a good dub job might better my appreciation of a show. I might latch onto the characters and their banter; I might find the tonal shifts to be more graceful. Some have suggested that it’s an anime with the sensibility of BBC programming and maybe that’s just it - - I’ve never been a fan of MONTY PYTHON or DR. WHO. As is, it’s not an awful show, but I’ve given it two hours to grab my interest, and it hasn’t, so it’s time to look for something else.

Watch this episode "Butterfly Effect's Divergence" here, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

antlertailon Aug. 6, 2011 at 9:38 p.m.
I actually felt pretty much the same way up until around this point of the series, and even stopped watching as well. A few weeks later though, a few words someone had written about the then current episode caught my eye and really caught my interest, to the extent that I felt compelled to give it another try. Low and behold, I found the show continued to get exponentially better from around episode 7 and on. The character traits I once found mildly annoying began to grow on me and become endearing, and most importantly, the plot became edge-of-my-seat compelling. I watched the next 10 episodes over the course of the next two days and am now eagerly anticipating the next one.
While I absolutely agree that the first crop of episodes are a tonal mess and far too slow, once the show finally hits its stride, it never lets up. Maybe you'll disagree, but if you've come this far, I'd highly reccommend you at least watch the next episode and see what you think. After all, a series I had once completely dropped is now one of my favourite current shows.
zaldaron Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.
This is my favorite show of the season.  You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not continue it.  Tone changes are a hallmark of anime as is genre bending but it is one of the reasons I like it.  This show has good characters that I came to care about (though yes they are quirky), humor, an interesting and thought provoking sci-fi plot and a smidgen of action.  Not all of it comes at once but that is a good thing.  One of the problems with C as you pointed out was that it didn't give enough time to develop its characters.  Here full play is given to the characters and the situation they find themselves in that means though that things do start off slow but when they pick up you know more about the characters and care more about them.  I enjoyed all of the aspects the early comedy made me laugh, the time travel stuff was truly interesting and when the tonal shift came and things started changing (has the cat eared girl sent her dmail yet) I was hooked.  If it isn't for you I will be surprized but only you can make that determination.  
Om1kronon Aug. 14, 2011 at 1:56 a.m.

I've watched the first episode and midway through the second I started to fall asleep. It's like they tried to make memeto the anime.

Dig Deeper into Steins;Gate

An anime adaptation of the 5pb and Nitroplus game. A self-proclaimed mad scientist and his friends accidentally discover the secrets of time travel through their microwave and dig into a possible conspiracy.

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