The episode begins with Okabe chanting something and implementing another improvement to the D-mail, simply ripping the microwave’s door off. As far as actual improvements go they’re now able to send a message to any phone they like.
Remembering how pissed Mr Braun was last time though they first have to find out if their landlord is there, so Okabe runs outside to ask Suzuha and when they find out that he isn’t they send another test message. Sometime after this Kurisu comes back with some supplies which unfortunately lack the most important one, Dr Pepper and her answer that she couldn’t find any isn’t good enough for Okabe and he’s forced to settle with vegetable juice. He then announces that their next experiment will be to change the past, doing something as generic as using it to win the lottery and gives Kurisu another nickname, Celeb17. During all of this he’s been barraged with messages from Moeka and finds her trying to make off with the IBM 5100, thinking that not answering meant she could borrow it.
Following this they have Mayuri keep an eye on her so she gives her a tour of the lab, while the others check out the prizes for the lottery, for which Okabe chickens out and goes for the 3rd division which should give them around 700,000 yen. So they have Moeka write a message and set the D-mail for one week in the past, and as they do this Okabe and Kurisu argue as usual and she appears to know what tsundere means after Hashida makes a remark. And so Okabe recites the his usual phrase, El Psy Congroo, and sends the message.
Immediately after this Okabe finds himself in a familiar position where somehow this experiment hasn’t happened and a bottle of Dr Pepper now sits on the table. However while things may be like this Ruka arrives with a lottery ticket that Okabe had supposedly asked him to buy a week ago, confirming that the experiment worked. Confused, he reflects on how he’s been in this situation before and when he meets Suzuha outside, the way he describes the state he’s in gives her the impression that he’s been brainwashed. So she checks but can’t find any signs, they then start talking and only now does he realise that even someone on the street could clearly hear everything in the lab. Mr Braun comes back around this time so she rushes inside and tells his daughter, Nae to tell him she wasn’t slacking off, but it doesn’t work out that well.
Seeing his chance, Okabe runs for it and as Suzuha advised, he decides to ask John Titor what this all means. So while he’s alone in the lab with Kurisu he sends him a message, and as he waits for a reply he gets interrupted by other messages/calls. One of which is from Hashida about leaving his wallet behind and another one from Mayuri that appears to put him at ease. A response from John Titor arrives soon after this, where he comments on the idea of sending e-mails into the past and more surprisingly of his ability to remember things after a world line jump, and so he wants him to be the one who will lead humanity over the Divergence 1% and prevent a dystopia, the messiah.
Once again another all right episode, and as I’ve said before this gradual story progression is really something that I’m liking about this series. Where this time around we saw the experiments continue in far more definitive way and had none other than John Titor bestow upon Okabe the responsibility of saving world.
The thing about the experiments that stood out the most in this episode was that they were actually aiming for something, the messages weren’t just random ones that the recipient would expect from the sender and ignore. That there would actually be some sort of repercussions to them. So to see them aim at trying to win the lottery was good to see, and while this sort of thing can be kind of generic I thought that Okabe chickening out and going for lower prize sort of outweighed that genericness. However, if even a change like this was able to alter the present (switch world lines) to one where Kurisu had also found a bottle of Dr Pepper, I’m wondering how the numbers still turned out to be the winning ones. Though that’s probably opening an entire other can of worms and all I’d be left with would be a headache.
On the side it was also kind of nice to see who Okabe and Mr Braun were referring to a few episodes back, Mr Braun’s daughter Nae, and while she doesn’t look to be an important character the scenes she still led to a few fun moments where she blew Suzuha’s cover when she was slacking off. At this point Suzuha being suspicious seems to have pretty much become the norm as well and we can safely say that she is from the “future”, the things that point to it just happen far too often and are in no way subtle. Aside from that it was also interesting to see that everything that was said in the lab could be heard on the street, especially when the matter of having a successful time machine should really be top secret.
It’s something that really makes me worried for Mayuri, the moments between her and Okabe are just too sweet to forebode anything nice. But finally the point that the episode ended on was a good one, Okabe may have already resolved to beat SERN to the time machine punch a couple of episodes ago, but having the responsibility of being the one to prevent the dystopia they intend to bring about by none other than John Titor definitely took that up a notch. Let alone asking him to be a messiah. Which alongside his ability to detect and remember changes from world lines is really something only he can do, and really defines his position as the main character in the story.