Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finally, a REAL contender to Death Note

Lately I've been reviving anime as one of my main hobbies by watching an anime series after so many months. I've stumbled upon Steins;Gate as I googled which 2011 anime series are worth watching. There are many good reviews about this one so I started to watch it.

I know it's a bit redundant since you can easily search Wikipedia or ANN about this one but let me tell you what the story is about from the episodes I've watched so far. A self-proclaimed mad scientist named Okabe Rintarou aka Hououin Kyouma together with Mayuri, a part-timer at a maid cafe and Daru, a perverse computer hacker are developing "future gadgets" and at the moment, they develop a microwave that turns out to be capable of sending SMS to the past. Joining the motley lab crew are Makise Kurisu, an 18-year old super genius and Moeka Kiryuu, whom Okabe refers to as "Shining Finger," a mysterious silent girl who constantly sends text messages to Okabe.

They are perfecting the microwave along with the idea of time travel itself. On the other hand, an international scientific research organization named SERN (yep, I spelled it right...:P) are already researching about time travel for quite some time and are planning to use it for world domination. With this, Okabe and his team must stop SERN from succeeding in their plans. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention Amane Suzuha who came from the future and is a part-timer at the CRT TV repair shop of Okabe's landlord. She's constantly poking around the development of the microwave.

As I looked around the Net about this series, I learned that it is a continuation to Chaos;Head. What I'm happy about this series is that it did not make the same mistake as it predecessor. I really liked the concept of Chaos;Head on multiple dimensions and their overlapping altogether but the plot failed big time to make the audience catch up with its ideas and so, it almost literally just turned my head into chaos. Steins;Gate, on the other hand, was able to really explain what's going on without resorting to a "crash narration" which is a very big bummer for me. Although it is relatively slow-paced, the essential parts of the story are scattered in ample amounts through "tidbits."

The story is sophisticated but not complicated, and very engaging. As a matter of fact, it got me thinking whether such dark motives is indeed possible in the realm of science. Well, it turns out that science stripped away of ethics is a never-ending quest for seemingly infinite knowledge that will stop at nothing to achieve what it must achieve.

For me, this can be a real contender to Death Note. Don't get me wrong; Death Note is a real winner in terms of epicness but story-wise, Steins;Gate presents a similarly deep and engaging story that really gets you on and make you think.