At the end of the last episode it was clear that something had gone wrong with the time leap. What exactly had gone wrong was left for us to guess until this weeks episode. Instead of leaping into the past, the Okabe of 2011 leaps 25 years into the future into the year 2036, right in the middle of World War III. Into his body, that had been in a vegetable like state since 2025, so 11 years prior and cared for by two of the only people who knew he was actually still alive.
He wanders outside of the place they had his body being cared for and almost gets gunned down before Suzuha saves him. Suzuha brings him to Daru, where he learns what happened to him and what the state of the world is now. Daru informs Okabe that everyone had been hoping to see him again and contacts the others.
Meanwhile, Faris and Ruka are out on a supply run. Only, they aren’t supposed to be and it’s a trap. Ruka stays behind and fights as a distraction so Faris and unnamed members of the resistance can get away. Can I just say that future Ruka is an absolute badass. Also super hot? Like, really, really hot. I kind of wish we got to see more of him, but when he is found by the group later. He’s dying, he literally dies in Okabes arms. Confirming something that has been bothering him for twenty five years.
If he is worthy of call himself their comrade. If he is truly a lab member. All the time Okabe spent shielding Ruka from the truth created that doubt and fear. Yet still, he fought hard to protect the lab members. He mastered the sword that Okabe had given him all those years ago and used those skills to protect people.
I am not going to lie. I was pretty close to sobbing my eyes out. Ruka has always been one of my favorite characters from the original Steins;Gate. I even played his route in the visual novel despite it ripping my heart out. I am glad that he got to die happy, but I am also pained by the fact he dies at all. Yet it does do one good thing, it really opens Okabe’s eyes.
Suzuha had been telling Okabe from the start that there was no good future in this timeline that he chose. He thought he understood the horrors she spoke of in her future. Yet he didn’t, he was only pretending that he understood and fooling himself into thinking he was prepared for it or that he could do something to prevent it and make Kurisu’s sacrifice worth something. He didn’t understand though, he never understood and now he hasn’t just lost Kurisu. In this world line that he’s chosen he’s lost Kurisu, Mayuri, Suzuha, Yuki and Ruka. It’s time to go back and fix what he’s done.
He confirms with Daru and Maho that the time leap machine still exists. Which it does, it’s what they used to put his 2011 memories into his 2036 body. He wants to use it and go back, he has to go back and find the world line that they refer to as Steins;Gate. No matter what the cost.
This was overall a really intense emotional episode, it looks like the plot is finally on track and rushing forwards towards the happy ending we know they can have. I just wish it hadn’t taken twenty episodes to get here.
I have to give Mamoru Miyano a lot of credit for his voice acting in this episode, conveying all of that emotion while trying to sound old and like you’ve been on life support for eleven years couldn’t of been easy. I am greatly looking forward to hearing Tatum’s portrayal when I get around to marathoning the dub.