Our paranoid protagonist, Okabe Rintaro goes to a university conference with his childhood friend, Shiina Mayuri who affectionately calls him ‘Okarin’ when he would rather be called the Mad Scientist, Hououin Kyouma, and while he intended to teach her a lesson at first, he ends up buying her a Metal Oopa.
Still figuring out which shows I’ll be blogging this season, and if anything the protagonist was more than enough to get me interested in this.
“Hacking to the Gate” by Kanako Itou. Download.
During the conference itself, he ends up calling the speaker, Dr Nakabachi out on plagiarising an earlier theory on time machines by John Titor, and before he can respond a girl pulls him into the hallway. Makise Kirisu, who he accuses of being an agent from the Agency as he pretends to talk into his phone, she catches him out on this and asks what he had wanted to tell her about fifteen minutes earlier. After he runs off he meets Mayuri again, who’s lost her Metal Oopa and how much one would go for online gets him interested, suddenly they hear a scream and as he looks into it, he finds Kurisu lying in a pool of blood.
Suddenly he finds himself in a crowded street with Mayuri, and as he’s about to send a message about what happened to Kurisu on his phone, he finds no one other than Mayuri with a bottle of Dr Pepper on the now crowded street, looking up to see a crashed satellite embedded in a building. After this it goes to him introducing the members of his ‘Future Gadget Club’, himself, Mayuri, and the super hacker, Hashida Itaru, along with giving directions to his lab, however he’s just questioning a monitor. Leading to an exchange of words about what those inside the monitor would see them as, and whether it’s actually possible.
A report of the fallen satellite then appears on the television, so Okabe tries to put the events from the earlier morning in order, only to find some obvious inconsistencies in them from Mayuri and Hashida. Of course he first accuses the Agency of this but soon sees it as a choice of Stein’s Gate, soon after this their television breaks down. So Okabe brings it to the man he got it from, Mister Braun who corners him into paying 2000 yen to repair it, and when he mentions to Mayuri that she shouldn’t hang out with a guy like him, she explains that she’s his hostage.
After this he sees it as an attempt by the Agency to sabotage him as he drinks another bottle of Dr Pepper and Mayuri’s figure reminds him of something. He soon decides to execute that plan, which is to basically put some bananas into their modified microwave, which results in them coming out not quite the same, and despite their appearance it also turns out that Mayuri had eaten some of them before. Hashida also tries to get her to say something lewd relating to it, but Okabe stops her before she finishes the sentence. They head out into the blistering heat after this, and as they arrive where they were going, Okabe grabs Hashida’s phone and finds that the message(s) he had sent him arrived a week earlier, stepping out of the elevator to find Makise Kurisu alive and well.
“Tokitsukasadoru Jūni no Meiyaku” by Yui Sakakibara. Download.
An interesting way to start a series, it may have been kind of confusing due to how disjointed some parts were but I guess that kind of helps it out as well. Especially how time travel of some sort will be involved. Above all though the most interesting part of this would have had to have been the protagonist, Okabe himself. Where his paranoia would have been enough to carry the episode on it’s own.
It’s just something kind of refreshing, Okabe is delusional and paranoid, and isn’t really afraid to hide it or pull other people into it all, which just makes for an interesting and entertaining protagonist as he goes around as if he’s a Mad Scientist and treats every bad thing that happens as an act by a certain agency to sabotage him. For all of this Mamoru Miyano just did a great job of voicing him and probably made up half of the entertainment value to it all. Alongside his paranoia it was also nice to see that he had a soft spot for Mayuri as well, where on a whim he decided to give her the Metal Oopa when he had originally intended to teach her a lesson about how harsh the world can be.
The characters we’ve been introduced to so far all seem pretty fun so far as well, where aside from Okabe we also have his childhood friend, the air-headed Mayuri voiced by the amazing Kana Hanazawa. Who pretty much seems to be roped into his delusions and goes along with it all. Next to her we also have the otaku hacker of their group, Hashida Itaru voiced by Tomokazu Seki, who instead just seems to put up with it all instead, also to a few fun moments like when he tried to get Mayuri to say something. Finally we were also introduced to who looks to be the main heroine of the story, Makise Kurisu voiced by Asami Imai, who only appeared briefly but already appears to be at the center of things. Overall though it feels like there’s so much more to these characters, so I’m interested to see how they’ll turn out in the later episodes, especially Makise who only showed up again towards the end of this one.
Aside from the characters the plot that the show seems based around also seems to be pretty interesting as well, involving a group of friends doing wacky things and unintentionally finding some way of time travel, but despite this there appears to be something much darker at foot. So maybe there really is more to Okabe’s delusions than there appears to be and the Agency that he thinks is after him really does exist, and on the side it could also be pretty fun just to watch the characters do stuff like putting bananas into their modified microwave.
If there was another thing that stood out about this episode though it was how confusing it was, early on it seemed to jump about and while there was a general order to the events that happened, they didn’t exactly feel like they lined up all that well. Leading to the episode feeling kind of disjointed as it went on, not to mention there was also that feeling that a lot of things that were happening would have some significance to what would happen later. Which didn’t exactly make it any better, but considering how time travel seems to play a role in the story, it sort of made sense and if anything helped show how confused Okabe was.
So overall I liked how this episode started out, the characters are pretty fun so far and there’s enough mystery at the moment regarding to the plot itself and Makise to keep me interested, while Mayuri being voiced by Kana Hanazawa would have just been enough to drag me along anyway. I must also admit that another thing that got me interested in this was that it’s an adaption of a visual novel by Nitroplus, and while I wouldn’t say that I have much experience with their works, what I have has been pretty good.