Apparently unsatisfied with its rapidly expanding character roster, Steins Gate 0 added yet another character in episode five. Its main focus, however, was on driving the plot forward, something it managed incredibly well.

Time Travelling Upa

After a fruitless search, Kagari appears at the lab. There’s a catch, though: she has lost all of her memories. Worse, the only clue to her identity is a worn Upa figure. This makes it abundantly clear that it really is Kagari and not a red herring thrown by the writers. We’ve seen this memory loss problem before, too: who could forget Suzuha’s tragic “I failed” note from season one? That scene tells us one vital piece of information – Kagari’s memories are still there, hiding below the surface, ready to be unlocked.

steins gate 0 episode 5 upa
An old yet only recently released Upa (Photo Credit: White Fox, 2018)

Luckily, this episode also introduced Judy Reyes, a foreign professor specializing in psychophysiology. Okabe has all of the elements required to resolve every problem he’s faced until now, he just has to make use of them. Convincing the Amadeus team to help out is sure to be a monumental task, but even they’ll have to admit that Kagari is an interesting test subject.

Big Brother Is Watching

Steins Gate 0 has already thrown a few hints that the team are under surveillance. The first and most obvious is Moeka’s presence. She observed the lab members closely in season one, and we can be fairly sure she’ll do the same again in this timeline. Second, her notes indicated that someone else was also looking for Kagari. It’s unlikely she’d give away this information if it was the FB or SERN, so there’s probably a third party. Finally, there’s the person that stalked Maho through Akihabara.

steins;gate 0 episode 5 maho

Okabe has struggled with paranoia all throughout the series. He knows better than anyone what the consequences will be if anyone gets wind of his activities, and this added pressure might be all that’s needed to spur him towards action. After all, he knows that if he does nothing, there will be millions of casualties.

Dumb It Down For Me

Steins Gate has never been a simple show. This season has struggled to explain complex topics including artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and time-travel paradoxes. It could be that these new characters are being added in order to provide reliable, easily-digestible summaries to ease the viewer in. Let’s be real: if Daru was to Google these topics and deliver their essence in a big exposition dump, the accuracy would be questionable at best, and it’d be a lot less exciting for the audience.

steins gate zero episode 5 judy

The show is finally starting to find its footing. We’ve seen the pacing significantly improve from the opening episodes, and the pieces are starting to come together in a way that’s fresh and exciting. Best of all, it does so in a way that’s satisfying to long-term fans. Everything that made us fall in love with Steins Gate is present: drama, wacky antics, and of course, the famous tuturu~.

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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