In order to start their next experiment Okabe times it in with having Suzuha distract Mr Braun, and while the distraction may have failed he stumbles upon a missing piece to the mystery of the D-mail. It’s Lifter.
This means that the television downstairs needs to be on in order to use it and even though Kurisu shoots down the idea of physical time travel she believes it may be possible to transport something else, memories. Essentially sending the nerve signals back in time to give the subject the memories they would have from the future, resulting in a time leap. And so Okabe kicks off the next operation only to have a list of parts given to him from his lab assistant.
So as he’s taking orders from his assistant he walks through the streets of Akihabara looking for them, explaining what this method will entail and how it should give them more control on what they change, despite this though she’s uncomfortable with retaining memories when everyone else loses them. They soon bump into Moeka who asks if they’ve gotten rid of their time machine and learns about the idea of a time leap, and after this they meet Suzuha and Nae for which the latter wants to apologise to Okabe for her father hitting him. But he tells her not to worry about it and as they’re about to part, Suzuha leaves telling him that Kurisu works for SERN. As he ponders this back at the lab he exposes her message boarding habits again and feels that she couldn’t be a spy.
Other than that Kurisu also appears to be quite hesitant about getting started on the time leap, feeling that she would be spiting her father by completing it. And because of this she decides to tell Okabe about him and just what happened between them, of how she grew up reading his papers and debating with him, but through this she was unintentionally tearing apart his pride. Causing him to lash out at her mother and withdraw himself. It’s because of this that she worries about what will happen but can see herself doing it anyway, and upon hearing this Okabe announces that they’ll be going to Aomori so she can reconcile with him.
Following this Mayuri arrives back to find them in an argument about pudding cups and it’s decided that she and Kurisu will be staying over while Okabe buys more pudding cups in compensation, but as he buys these he receives another mysterious message. This time telling him he knows far too much with a bloodied doll, without question he panics when Mayuri doesn’t answer her phone and runs back to the lab at full speed. Finding it completely empty until he unfortunately barges in to find Mayuri and Kurisu bathing. After berating them Hashida arrives back and realises that in hacking SERN they opened a connection that’s effectively been allowing them to stand outside since then. Giving Okabe a hint as to where those messages have been coming from.
Another fairly solid episode, we may be approaching the halfway point in the series but it already feels as if it’s about to take a darker twist as those mysterious messages continued to come in and started to make Okabe fear for those close to him. As while there’s still a few fun moments every now and then things are growing creepier and more worrying each time one of these messages show up.
Not to mention that the sky was heavily overcast, that’s never a good sign. But what’s more worrying was the fear I had a few episodes back had actually happened, where through Hashida hacking SERN he had unintentionally left a connection for them back to their lab. Pretty much saying to them that a bunch of kids in Japan were messing around with time travel and were actually getting solid results, a different approach but a far better result than anything they were doing. And it’s because of this I think they’re behind those creepy messages, it’s almost as if they’re intended to intimidate them into dropping out of the time travel race, but the question is who could be working with them, could it be an already introduced character or a new one entirely?
Through this we were also able to see just how much Okabe cares about Mayuri as well, and that if anything she really is his weakness. Since as another one of those messages came in she was the first one he thought about, and the fact that she didn’t initially respond was enough to make him drop everything, panic, and run all the way back to the lab. I’d also have to say that I loved the animation for this point, the black and white somewhat gritty style to it seemed to perfectly reflect the state Okabe was in and just how worried he was. That said considering that Mayuri really is his weakness I’m kind of worried about what could happen resulting from the mysterious messages, if something happens to her it really seems like he could break down, and if not something worse could happen.
But on a slightly more positive note Kurisu got a good amount of development for her character in this episode, while the bickering between her and Okabe along with her 2channer/message board habits have pretty much become common place. We were able to learn that she considers herself a scientist first and foremost and more importantly about her father, and just what divides them, that while she hadn’t naively intended to do it she had crushed him as a physicist. It started off fairly heartwarming but slammed down quickly, it’s not hard to see how he wouldn’t resent her, at such a young age. And from what Okabe said, I really do hope that he can take her out to Aomori to reconcile with him within the series, or at least have it implied that it’s what they did at the end.