Why did it take 19 episodes of Steins Gate 0 for us to start feeling the hype? This week’s episode was slightly delayed but proved to be well worth the wait. For the first time, Steins Gate 0 truly was the sequel we had all been waiting for.

A Return To Form

At long last, some time travel! Last week, we saw just how far Okabe was willing to go to save Mayuri, and in episode 19, he almost entirely changed as a character. Gone is the meek, unassuming Okabe Rintarou – he’s been replaced by Kyouma once more – albeit a more driven, less chuunibyou version.  Despite all that was going on around him, this Okabe actually seemed to almost relish his new role; it could be that he’s really feeling alive for the first time in quite a while.

steins gate zero episode 19 review
White Fox. 2018

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The future, as we know, is resistant to change. The first attempt to save Mayuri failed, and this one was no different. That said, he’s found ways to change the course of history before. Now, it’s just about finding the right sequence of events. With the team’s determination newly galvanized, there’s no reason they won’t succeed. The real question is “will they do so in the few episodes that are left?”.

Second-Best Syndrome

We also saw Maho’s character grow pretty substantially. She gave it her best shot, but in the end, needed help. There’s nothing wrong with that, even as a scientist: in fact, the majority of academic papers are written by teams of people working together. Sure, she had to rely on her rival at a crucial moment, but the ability to do so showed that she’s really progressed into a far deeper, more complex character than the one we saw at the start of the season.

steins gate 0 episode 19 review

It’s especially interesting when you note the contrast before Maho and Leskinen. The latter is a scientist through and through, wanting to experience everything for himself. However, he’s cold and calculating. By comparison, Maho doesn’t mind working collaboratively to explore new possibilities, and actually seems to like being around other people. These are the factors that separate the truly great from the reckless, and we believe that this will show come the season’s finale.

A Short Delay

Now, this week’s episode was delayed by an hour or so, but due to production issues, the next episode will air on September 5th. If nothing else, this gives us time to speculate on where the series is headed, and whether a third season is justified. What do you think? Will they stop at just two, or is Steins Gate 0 just the latest installment in what will be a long-running franchise? As always, feel free to leave a comment below letting us know what you think.

Ian Garland

Just an ordinary guy who woke up one day in the magical world of anime reviews. Check them out... or don't, i-it's not like he likes you or anything...

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