Not exactly the secret lab base they were expecting
|It feels like I’ve been transported back in time, to when I used to blog about Steins;Gate each week. Ahh, good times. I had completely forgotten about this special bonus episode too, so it was quite the pleasant surprise to see it pop up!|
|This was unexpected. I almost forgot that a special episode would air this season. Though, this surprise was good and not underwhelming like Milos and even Gyo. Let’s get some time travellin’ fun done, yo~|
|YYYEESSSSSS!!!! MOAR STEINS;GATE!!!! I think I’ve been suffering from withdrawal symptoms ever since this show ended. I can’t wait to see what sort of shenanigans Okarin and the crew get themselves into. Should be good! xD|
|An extra episode of Steins;Gate? I must have not been paying attention. But wait… no DP in the fridge. While OC recaps, I’ll go to the CVS nearby to get some. Cya for end thoughts!|
Okarin and the other lab members (minus Moeka and Suzuha) are heading to the US for this glorious bonus episode of Steins;Gate. Everyone is going to support Feyris in her Rai-Net tournament as well as meet up with Kurisu. It’s a shame that just getting there is an immense struggle for Okarin, who seems to be a magnet for disaster. He gets apprehended by the police twice. The first time is at American customs when he decides that his “I AM MAD SCIENTIST” spiel is a good introductory speech. The second time is while he converses with Feyris about his usual crazy shenanigans after catching up to Kurisu.
After a (very) rough start, everyone crashes at Kurisu’s place. Okarin cancelled Feyris’ hotel reservations to avoid “The Organization” and so they’re stuck mooching off of everyone’s favourite redhead. It’s not long before Kurisu starts to complain about all the lab members raiding her house and kicks them out. Everyone is unceremoniously dumped at a cheap-looking Motel with only a handful of spare rooms left to squeeze into.
Kurisu feels bad, so she stays the night to keep the girls comfortable. Naturally, her comforting presence doesn’t quite reach Okarin and Daru who are forced to share a room and a tiny bed. It’s so incredibly awkward that Okarin relinquishes the bed and goes elsewhere. He runs into Kurisu as he leaves the room, and she asks to talk with him privately about the other worldlines. She’s been dreaming about all the time she spent with Okarin – especially that one kiss (although she never mentions it) – and asks him what it means. After some joking around he finally gives a serious response about their past together and what it means for this timeline.
The Rai-Net tournament takes place the day after and – surprise, surprise – Feyris wins! The rest is a bit of a blur, but we eventually end up in a maid cafe where Mayuri, Kurisu and Feyris help out at. That’s right…Kurisu in a maid outfit and cat ears! To turn the HNGGG up to 11, she’s acting as tsundere as ever to Okarin by asking him about her precious memories and whether she should forget them. She reluctantly comes to the conclusion that she should forget everything, which is a bit disheartening for the both of them. Okarin steps outside the cafe for a moment to think about his situation and ends up seeing a Suzuha look-alike step into a car and drive away. Caught up in the moment, he hails a cab and gives chase.
YOU! Serve me with JUST the cat ears on and I’ll give you a massive tip!
Apparently the girl who looks like Suzuha is actually her mother (well, future mother) so Okarin just wasted a bunch of money for a taxi ride to a bar in the middle of nowhere. He makes the most of his time and has a chat with her anyways before she leaves. However when she does leave…he’s screwed. No money, no cellphone signal, and no friends who know where he is. The only hint the lab members back at the cafe has is that “a brooding man hopped into a cab outside the cafe.”
Being an anime character, Kurisu uses this extremely vague information to pinpoint Okarin’s exact location with her car and save him from burning to a crisp in the sun. She thought he ran away because of saying she would forget everything, but we know that’s not the case. She gets embarrassed and starts to bring up the incident where they kissed in the past, but Okarin interrupts her before she can go in detail with a love confession. Kurisu’s response is…hmm…quite a familiar one, shall we say? You couldn’t ask for a sweeter ending than that.
1/3 people suffer severe side effects from ingesting too much caffeine
I know moe-fu, so back off, nyan!
CHRISTINA!!! I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU EVEN IF YOU TURNED INTO A GHOST CAR!
The girls were all snug in their beds / while visions of gel-bananas danced through their heads
Extra episodes are always nice, and usually playing it funny is the safest route to take. If you watch ecchi shows, you get more oppai. Durarara!!, you get more Shizuo or any of those characters, and I particularly enjoyed some of the Brotherhood OVAs. Sure, there value toward the overall show might be minimal in the grand scheme of things (some exclusions apply), but the good ones can leave an impression lasting enough to think back fondly on those anime series. Episode 25 is everything people enjoyed about Steins;Gate without any added junk food.
It’s pretty fanservicey actually, though not in the same sense as the ecchi series I discussed earlier. Putting the story after the events was seemingly a good call since they could be more free to make a unique situation for OSHMKUFA. More engrish and hysterics from Okarin, Daru’s waifu from out of left field, Dk Pepper, memorable lines such as, “…but he’s a boy”; basically anything outside of Kurisu, Mayuri and Feyris going to the hot springs. And maybe the biggest thing, solidifying Okarin x Kurisu, which all of us just assumed they’d be together. Seeing that actually (although not fully) happen is icing on the cake. It’s like they took all the parts of what made S;G fun and humorous, bundled them up together, and somehow wrote a new script that had a fun rhythm to it. I call it an extra episode, but as I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t any added BS like an extra character that didn’t fit in.
Who wants to see that hot springs episode now?
You know what, usually extras and special episodes end up being the fanservice fodder for the beach episode that a series never had or some lame holiday picnic. That’s what usually happens but then there are examples like Usagi Drop and even the current Toradora! Special, which reminds you of how a great series it was and why you should go and rewatch it NAO. That’s what a good follow up episode/spoecial/ova should do. And Steins;Gate’s 25th episode is exactly that, made with the amalgamation of the WIN material from the original and actually progressing stuff rather than those long running shounen series, using a complete new plot point/timeline (recent example is Milos).
This was literally like getting back to the series and remembering all the good parts. I mean, Moeka blushing while furiously texting like a total tsundere?! Feyris doing her usual nyan nyaan~ Ruka’s still being a guy, Mayuri’s airheadedness, Daru’s otakuness and of course Okarin’s idiocy is all solid in there. I mean, who would stand in front of an immigration officer and say, I’m a mad scientist and I’m here to invade your country… It was literally like getting back together with old friends and at least I enjoyed all the English that Okarin spewed out. Yes, all of this is still considered fanservice but this is classy fanservice and for an episode, it was all fun.
I liked how they found time to tie in some loose ends after THAT ending and how Kurisu hasn’t really forgotten about the time she has spent with Okarin. I remember feeling sad with him timeline jumping and thinking he would never get this time back with Kurisu but well, what do you know?! He did. Also, Suzuha’s mother! I’m glad she’s not a lab member (at least, not yet), I was having trouble placing Daru together with Feyris or even Mayuri. That meetup sure cleared things up and who knows we might actually get a Yuki x Daur spinoff sometime? Who knows, but if White Fox ever decides to release anything else S;G, be sure to check Meta out for it. Till then, El Psy Congroo.
Ah man. I believe it’s safe to say that Steins;Gate was indisputably THE hit show of last year and if you disagree, your opinion doesn’t count. Needless to say, it was like a dream come true when I saw that this episode was out. I was seriously more excited for this OVA than I’ve ever been for any other, Toradora and FMA included. With the exception of a serious plotline, we, the viewers, got cute romantic moments as well as ridiculous hilarity, along with some awesome revelations (LIKE SUZUHA’S MOM. Damn, Daru. You’re the man.) So, basically, we got all we loved from the series. This OVA was essentially fan service as far as I was concerned. xD
Okabe. Oh my god. Okabe. I have a list of top ten most amazing men ever, a list that is, clearly, not ruled by the realm of reality, and Okabe Rintarou retains a spot just behind Kanye West. Really, they’re practically tied. His antics in this OVA were a combination of sheer magnificence and LMAOLOLOLOLROFL. I couldn’t take it. His Engrish is PRICELESS. And he WOULD get arrested TWICE within the span of hours! Seriously, I can’t tell whether Okarin’s just dumb or his brilliance is simply too much for the social aptitude cortex of his brain to handle. I’m inclined to go with the latter of the two.
I’d like to end with the fact that the Kurisu/Okarin dynamic was precious. They were meant to be. It always made me really sad when I realized that Kurisu wouldn’t remember the times that they spent together, so it was really bittersweet to realize that she could remember things that she, in this particular worldline, hadn’t actually experienced. The sweet part of that whole situation is that she has recollections of her oh-so-romantic kiss with Okarin. It was amazing that they were able to get their feelings across without any obstacles like, you know, DIFFERENT WORLD LINES. The episode ended perfectly, as well. My final consensus on the OVA? Awesome.
This is what I would call a classy fanservice episode. I’ve been trained to expect as little as possible from specials and OVAs, since a good chunk of them (not all) tend to be lame attempts to squeeze some extra juice from the franchise. I’m talking about beach episodes, hotspring episodes and 5 minute chibi garbage that put the original series to shame. However, this Steins;Gate special was all good. Every character had their little slice of screentime, meaning that no one’s favourite was left out. Pretty much everyone had a chance to revive whatever long-running joke went on during the series. Rukako’s “daga…otoko da.”, Feyris’ playing along with Okarin, Daru’s 4chan speech, and best of all…Okarin’s engrish. All of the best jokes were basically recapped, which on one hand is a little redundant…but on the other hand, it still made me grin. Comedy call back, I believe it’s called. How they pulled it off, I do not know.
There was a small morsel of plot substance too for those who didn’t get enough closure from the final Steins;Gate episode. Just in case you didn’t feel secure enough in Okarin and Kurisu’s relationship, they make it very clear that the two of them are still in love. Kurisu retains some faint memories of her time spent with Okarin as well as her feelings. It’s nice that although in this timeline they’ve only been together a short while that Kurisu still felt close enough to Okarin to admit her love for him. Awwww. If you recall our V-day post, this is one of our all-time favourite couples of 2011. The chemistry between the two is just priceless, and the OVA took advantage of everyone’s love for these two by providing ample romance scenes as well as witty arguing. They knew exactly what made the series popular, and put all of those things into an OVA. It’s very indulgent when it’s all wrapped together like this, but I’m not complaining. Not at all!
Until we meet again, stay out of the Organization’s line of sight. El Psy Congroo.