I think the main problem with Steins;Gate 0 is that it is burdened deeply by the fact that the original Steins;Gate is so beloved by fans.
I’ve been thinking about it for weeks now, what exactly my problem with Steins;Gate 0 was. I’ve been mulling it over and over, trying to pin point exactly what it was that was irritating me about it and at the end of the day I think I found my answer. We’ll get to that though, first let’s mull over this lackluster final episode.
We begin the episode where the last one left off with the shift in the timelines.
The D-Rine is a success and Amadeus never comes to be. The group still meets Maho, yet through different means. The world lines and events may change, but the bonds that bring them all together don’t change.
Suzuha and Maiyuri manage their way to the past with a little help from Moeka, Okabe and Kagari. Kagari, who isn’t completely brainwashed by the professor in this world line. Who’s goal in stopping them from going to the past can be summed up into she doesn’t want to move into a worldline where she doesn’t meet her mother. Okabe convinces her that she’ll be able to see Mayuri again.
I have, so many questions that I can’t even begin to handle dealing with.
Well anyway, they manage to get the machine to go back before it gets blown up. Operation Arclight is a success in which Mayuri convinces her past self to give Okabe the push he needs to save Makise and reach the timeline known as Steins;Gate.
By far, the best part of the episode is when the song “Hacking through the Gate” the opening to the original anime kicks up as Mayuri slaps sense into Okabe and drives him to make his leap.
The Mayuri and Suzuha in the time machine are thrown into the abyss as the time machine now without gas throws them into a undisclosed place in an undisclosed time.
Cut to the future of the timeline we’ve been following all along, with the lab members and a young Suzuha. Where Okabe ‘dies’, but in this worldline it means take the time machine they built and successfully go looking for Mayuri and Suzuha and hopefully bring them back safely.
I HAVE EVEN MORE QUESTIONS. Still, despite my massive irritation with this. I can’t deny for even a second that Okabe doesn’t look Badass as hell walking dramatically with his lab coat flapping in the wind blown sand.
Overall it was a pretty lackluster ending. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, something flashier maybe?
I thought about this a lot. What was it about Steins;Gate 0 that didn’t live up to what I wanted it to be? The characters were great as always, the animation was lack luster but I am not really picky so It doesn’t matter much to me. So what was it?
I found the source of my dismay at last and it’s odd, and it sounds petty but I think it was the lack of Makise Kurisu. It would be an understatement to say aside from Rukako, she is my favorite character from the original. She plays off Okabe amazingly, she’s funny and interesting and just overall a great character. Steins;Gate 0 felt hollow without her.
The one episode she was in was one of my absolute favorite episodes!
I would of loved to have more episodes like that, episodes where Okabe ended up in timelines with her on accident or on purpose and she helped him along the way.
One of the things I loved about the original was the Okabe/Makise romance. My usual issue with animes based off of games with multiple romance endings is the animes tendency to not pick a route and stick with it and that is something the original Steins;Gate subverted. It took the main romance and ran with it, without trying to push the other girls routes unnaturally on us while still giving us a feel of everyone’s feelings for Okabe.
So it was just empty to me without any romance or interactions between the two of them. Even Amadeus, who was meant to be the stand in for Makise felt underutilized.
I think the story I really wanted to see was Okabe realizing he’d made a mistake in choosing this future, this worldline and realizing that Makise’s sacrifice was in vein and then him and her working together across time and space to get back to one another and see each other again. I’m a sucker for star crossed lovers okay!?
I guess in the end i’m disappointed. Aside from opening up a bunch of plot holes and creating time paradoxes that don’t need to be there, 0 just didn’t work on a level of having as interesting of a story as it could of. I really liked the original Steins;Gate, but 0 just couldn’t live up to the legacy that was left behind by the original series. Which is a shame. It has some good ideas, some good episodes but in the end it just didn’t work out.