Anime Review: Steins;Gate (2011)
Directors: Hiroshi Hamasaki, Takuya Satō, Tomoki Kobayashi
Studio: Funimation Entertainment
Released: September 30th, 2014
Runtime: 600 minutes
Availability: Buy on Amazon or RightStufAnime
A so-called “mad scientist” Okabe Rintaro, also known as Hououin Kyouma is visiting the Radio Kaiken building in Akihabara in Tokyo to attend Doctor Nakabashi’s lecture. After the conference, Ritnaro meets Makise Kurisu and shortly afterward, discovers her dead. In a panic, he texts his friend Itaru "Daru" Hashida, and discovers the streets are suddenly empty when they were full of people before he sent the text. He also discovers that Makise Kurisu is alive.
Rintarou tries to figure out what happened as he and the Future Gadget Laboratory conduct experiments involving time travel.
The Story is Amazing!
The story of Steins;Gate is amazing. While I did enjoy its predecessor Chaos;Head (2008), that adaptation was bad enough that I really hope they’ll license the original visual novel so I can read the story so it can make more sense. Unlike Chaos;Head, Steins;Gate does have an amazing adaptation and the visual novel is licensed for you to purchase on PlayStation 3, Vita and PC with the Steins;Gate Elite version coming out sometime this year with new animated cutscenes by White Fox, which is something I am very excited about as a fan of the anime. I do have the original PC version but I will be picking up Steins;Gate Elite for my PlayStation 4.
I love the story, it’s such an interesting take on time-travel. Sure, time travel stories have been done before, but not like this. It’s also unique because of the world-building and the characters in the story are very different from the characters you usually find in the genre.
This story is amazing, but I can’t spoil it for you, you need to watch it for yourself.
The Animation Looks Really Great:
Studio White Fox did an excellent job animating the series. Steins;Gate is not an action-oriented anime, so there isn’t really focus on fight scenes, instead, there is fantastic direction and use of lighting and animation.
Character movements are animated very well and the backgrounds are nicely drawn. What stands out is that the animation is very fluid, and anime companies will sometimes cut corners for anime that is not very action-oriented, but White Fox made everything look very good and don’t have any noticeable quality dips throughout the anime.
Audio and Subtitles:
English (Reviewed) (Streaming on FunimatiomNow)
Javanese (Streaming on Crunchyrol, Hulu)
The English Dub is Amazing!
The Japanese dub is amazing for Steins;Gate. I can tell you this even though I’ve only watched the Steins;Gate 0 in Japanese, it’s the same voice cast and it’s very well done. Although Daru’s voice is definitely better in the English dub and sometimes the Japanese seiyuus overact their parts like Mamoru Miyano as Okabe, he’s not a bad voice actor at all; he just makes overdramatic line deliveries.
The Japanese is great and if you prefer the original language you’ll definitely love watching Steins;Gate. I prefer English dubbing for the most part, so that’s why I talk about it when I write my reviews.
J. Michael Tatum is also great as Okabe Rintaro. He can be both funny and dramatic and he did a fantastic job in this role. It’s also the anime where he had a nervous breakdown during recording on Episode 14, so it did affect him.
He also did double duty as the writer for the script, and while it doesn’t follow the Japanese script exactly, the writing is still fantastic. He did an excellent job with the English scrip of Steins;Gate.
Trina Nishimura is fantastic as Makise Kurisu. This was the first anime I ever heard her voice work in and it’s always left an impression on me. She’s a fantastic voice actor and I love her work and I’ve followed her voice work ever since I watched her in this anime.
Ashly Burch was wonderful as Mayuri Shiina, She doesn’t normally voice act in anime as she mainly works in video games, but she is wonderful in the anime she does voice act in. She is so endearing as Mayuri and it’s one of the roles that really stands out when you watch anime in English. Her alias she used when recording is Jackie Ross.
Tyson Rinehart is hilarious as Itaru "Daru" Hashida. He doesn’t get into the super serious side of the plot as much, but he’s still immensely important to the plot. He’s hilarious as a character because he’s a fountain of memes and references. His voice actor did a fantastic job and he is a really great voice actor. He has butted heads with his fans over his decision to include a GamerGate reference in Prison School which was later changed for the home vido release, but that has to do with him as a script writer not as a voice actor and he’s a great voice actors.
Brina Palencia is really sweet as Nae Tennoji. She doesn’t have a major role in Steins’Gate but she’s an important side character. She does show up in Robotics;Notes (2013) which takes place after Steins;Gate as a side character.
Christopher R. Sabat was great as Yugo "Braun" Tennoji. He does tend to show up in a lot of anime, but he really did an outstanding job in Steins;Gate. He was great and I really enjoyed him in this role in Steins;Gate.
Cherami Leigh Kuehn is wonderful as Amane Suzuha. She’s always been an outstanding voice actress, and she was a staple of Funimation dubs before she moved out to L.A., even though she doesn’t show up in as many of their dubs nowadays she’s still doing an amazing job, this is one of her more outstanding dub performances back when she was a Funimation regular.
Jad Saxton is great as Faris Nyannyan, she’s fun an energetic and has a lot of personality. I really enjoy her work in this dub. Even though Faris doesn’t appear as much as the other cast members she’s still a very important part of the story.
Jessica Cavanagh is great as Moeka Kiryu, her voice acting was great, and she had a challenge because Moeka doesn’t speak a lot because she constantly texts as her way of communicating with other people, so when she does talk she has to really convey her emotions because Moeka doesn’t talk much.
Lindsay Seidel was great as Ruka Urushibara, yeah, he’s a dude, but he’s so feminine that they gave him a female voice actor in both English and Japanese, and since his gender is a very important plot point, it made sense to cast a female voice actor and she did a great job.
Will you watch Steins;Gate?
The Soundtrack is Amazing!
The soundtrack for this anime is so good! I love it; it fits the story very well and has many memorable songs in the soundtrack. The music is so good for this anime. I love listening to it.
The music is perfect for the anime and I really enjoyed it a lot. It’s an excellent soundtrack that is very well done and very memorable.
Steins;Gate Opening "Hacking to the Gate":
The Pacing is really Slow at the Beginning:
Like a lot of other visual novel adaptations Steins;Gate starts off very slowly at the beginning. A lot of people drop the anime because of the slow start, but if you can watch Fate/Stay Night or any other visual novel adaptation with a slow-paced beginning, you can watch Steins;Gate.
I know a lot of people say it gets “good’ at episode 12, but it was always good from the start, you just weren’t invested in the characters until episode 12. If you’re not invested in the plot and the characters from the first few episodes, telling you to stick around until the halfway point probably won’t convince you to not drop the show if you’re not interested in what you’re watching.
It’s One of My favorite Anime:
Steins;Gate is a lot of fun, I really love watching it. It’s one of my favorite science fiction stories and it’s one of my favorite anime. I know there’s a lot of hype around this anime, especially with the midquel Steins;Gate 0 that came out this year. A lot of new people are wondering if they should watch this first before you start Steins;Gate 0, and the answer is yes. Stein’s;Gate 0 is not for newcomers since it is a spin-off of the Steins;Gate visual novel and anime.
Steins;Gate is a wonderful series, don’t let the slow pace stop you from enjoying the series. It’s an amazing anime and if you don’t like slow pacing you should at least give it a shot.
What Doesn't Work:
Great story, characters and world-building
Slow pacing might cause audience to become bored if they aren't invested in the first few episodes
Unique take on time travel
Great animation and art style
Great English and Japanese dub
Final Grade: A+:
Steins;Gate is a wonderful show, not just because it has great animation, great dubs in either language or a wonderful soundtrack. Steins;Gate is a wonderful story because of the characters and the excellent writing, with a lot of emotion in the story and a wonderful use of time-travel that’s completely unique to this anime series.
I know there is a lot of hype since the midquel Steins;Gate 0 is out now, but if you’ve been hearing about Steins;Gate and you want to check it out, now is the perfect time, because you get to experience more after you’ve finished the main story.
I have it in my anime collection and it’s one that I highly recommend you buy for yourself; even a blind buy is worth it. It’s one of my favorite anime and I love it a lot.
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