Steins;Gate 04

Okabe and Hashida look further into what they’ve found but Hashida hits a brick wall when he’s faced with a strange programing code, which also happens to remind Okabe of the IBM 5100 and what John Titor told him.

He and Mayuri head out to do the laundry after this and bump into Suzuha, who happens to already be pretty familiar with Mayuri but gets scolded by Mr Braun for messing around during work hours. When he and Okabe start talking about her she also speaks up about how she’s already a soldier. After this Okabe spots Mayuri in a familiar position to him, the stardust shake hand, where she tries to reach the stars.

In her hotel room Kurisu looks back on how what the Phone Microwave did was impossible and back at the laundromat Okabe and Mayuri throw their laundry in before Mayuri has to go back to her part time job. His phone also happens to go off and among all the messages from Moeka, who he’s dubbed “Shining Finger” he finds one from Titor in response to the image of the strange programming language he sent. Confirming that it can be decrypted by the IBM 5100, but when he tries to tells Hashida that their battle with an organisation that controls the world has begun he finds that he’s more interested in sleeping.

The first stage to this battle would be to acquire the IBM 5100, something that he thinks he’ll have to do alone, but just as he considers exchanging information with Moeka he bumps into Lab Assistant No. 4, Christina. Once again she isn’t too happy with being called this as he drags her aside, and just as she regrets getting involved the mention of the laundromat gets her attention. So they both head over to it and when he calls the Phone Microwave a time machine her response gives him a hunch that she may have some past trauma to them, eventually getting the response that she doesn’t want to make the mistake her father did. Seeing this though Okabe decides to let her leave the Future Gadgets Lab and prepares to make a cool exit, but she points out that he still has to get his laundry. Leading to them starting to bicker again until he brings up the IBM 5100, and seeing that she’s interested informs her of it and SERN’s plans.

While she seems to dismiss this it sticks with her as she leaves, and at the restaurant Okabe receives a message from Mayuri about the IBM 5100, so he makes a dramatic exit and shortchanges the staff. He eventually ends up at the maid cafe Mayuri works at where he must face Feris in a game she happens to be quite good at in order to get details about the location IBM 5100. So he initiates operation G-Back as he prepares to face her, only to be completely defeated, however this was his plan all along with G-Back actually refering to Jibaku(自爆), or blowing oneself up as the only condition was that he had to participate. So Feris is forced give in and tell him that it was last seen at the shrine.

Due to this he asks Ruka about this who will ask his father about it, and not long after this he gets a call from Kurisu who he meets up with at the shrine. Where Ruka confirms that the computer they’re looking for is there, with his father telling them that someone gave it to them ten years ago and told them that a young man would one day come for it. Something Okabe sees as a choice by Steins;Gate. Ruka’s father lets them borrow it and Okabe and Kurisu now have to struggle to carry it back to the lab.

Thoughts:

It may just be me but at four episodes into a series things start to cool down a bit and a series doesn’t really seem as new as it is, that novelty is just kind of gone as things start to become routine. But with this I can’t exactly say I feel that, as even if it is little by little the story is slowly moving forward at the same sort of pace. With this episode allowing the Future Gadget Lab to get their hands on the IBM 5100 while we got to know Kurisu better.

At this point I can actually understand how some people could think of Okabe as being too childish, I may have said that he was awesome at first, and in a way he still is. But there were some points where it can be painful to watch, particularly after the big reveal with Kurisu when she revealed that her reasons against time machines were actually quite personal, he wasted no time in reverting to it. It was the sort of thing which you would expect him to pull it down for and at least apologise or something for getting her so worked up. But that said I still think he’s a fun character as those little things like when he claimed that the world only needed one Mad Scientist and over dramatically ran off without paying enough for his meal are still great.

Of course one of the good parts about this episode was that it allowed us to get to know Kurisu a bit better, giving us a few points where she could almost be thought of as cute (such as how she only followed Okabe to find out where the Laundromat was), and giving us a few more of those scenes where she argues with Okabe which are just a joy to watch. It even ended on that sort of note. More predominately though the exclamation she made also hinted the reason for why she was trying to prove that time machines were absolutely impossible, suggesting that her father may have devoted his life to attempting to create one but failed. Which really gave us a better insight as to who she is and her actions, not to mention why she now appears to be interested in what Okabe and the Future Gadget Lab are up to.

If anything the most prominent thing about this episode would have had to have been the search for the IBM 5100, which actually seemed a lot more easier than it should have been. As think about it, in the past few episodes it’s been built up as some incredibly rare computer that was released around 35 years before the series and didn’t really catch on, and not to mention that there are quite a few people who are trying to get their hands on one, as other than Okabe we also have Moeka and even Titor himself trying to find one in Akihabara. So while I won’t admit that I’m a fan of running around meaninglessly for these sorts of things it just would have seemed appropriate in this sort of situation, and it would have helped for a few more things aside from the match with Feris to get this difficulty across before magically finding that Ruka and his father somehow had one. All that said though I still kind of liked it, the match with Feris was kind of fun and there has to be some extra meaning to what Ruka said about someone pretty much dropping it off for Okabe to pick up ten years later.

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