Steins Gate 0 is four episodes in, and is still struggling to piece the various aspects of the plot together in a cohesive way. However, this week’s episode took some steps in the right direction.
Who is Mini-Kurisu?
The audience has seen glimpses of a child bearing Kurisu’s trademark red hair, but until now, no hints have been given regarding her identity. It turns out that this is an orphan called Kagari that Mayuri adopted in the future, and, plot twist, she came back to the past alongside Suzuha.
Here’s the thing: Steins Gate has always been subtle about its mysteries. That’s why assuming Kagari is Kurisu’s daughter might not be wise – it’s just too obvious. It seems certain that Kagari is human, though: while Amadeus may have advanced enough in the interim years to produce a physical avatar, in a worldline without the technology to support it, it’d be next to useless.
Shining Fingers, Lifeless Eyes
The problem is that Kagari has gone missing. Daru enlists the help of a private investigator, who turns out to be Moeka (also known as Shining Finger) from the first series. The audience knows by know that she’s actually an undercover agent for CERN, so this endeavour seems destined to end in failure.
Let’s float an idea, though. What if Okabe and the team could convince Moeka that working together was more important than simply securing the IBN 5100? She has a vast network of resources at her disposal and would surely prove useful with the challenges to come. This might be a pipe dream, but we’ll have to keep watching to find out.
History Repeats Itself
Okabe’s grip on reality is tenuous at best. Last episode, we saw him experience a vivid flashback, and in this episode, he’s told he did things that he can’t remember. This is a throwback to the start of Steins Gate, when he’s just figuring out how time travel works.
Circumstances seem determined to pull him back in, despite his best efforts to move on. This reinforces what we know about this show’s interpretation of time travel: if something is supposed to happen, it will. Just look how hard Okabe tried to save Mayuri in season one – no matter what he tried, that incident just wasn’t possible to avoid.
So is Okabe destined to meddle with time travel forever? It certainly seems that way. We’ve seen the effect that travelling back and forward in the same time period has had on him, and it’s easy to see how experiencing a war-torn future could break him permanently.
Perhaps Steins Gate 0 is just a slow starter. The first series was, so it’s only fair we extend the same courtesy to the sequel. The board is set, the pieces are in place, all we need now is some action.