The final episode of Steins Gate 0 felt a little strange, almost as though there was an episode missing. But how well did it tie together the over-arching plot? And, more importantly, is it worth watching if you’re a fan of the original Steins Gate?
Intermittent Pacing Issues
For the first half at least, Steins Gate 0 moves slower than a tortoise on a newly tarred highway. Once you’re more than five hours in, though, the increase in pacing will give you whiplash. Problems are solved seconds after they’re announced, and the writers frantically try to find a solution that works without destroying the rules of time travel they created.
This was most evident in the opening minutes of the finale. Despite trying over and over again to stop the time machine being destroyed, Okabe manages it. How? We don’t know. The show never explains it. Just lucky, we guess. It’s a sorry end for a series that once enraptured audiences all around the world.
A Rotating Door of Characters
Judy Reyes. Yuki’s friends. Amadeus. Steins Gate 0 has so many characters designed to fill one specific purpose. Once this is achieved, they’re gotten rid of. Characters come and go so fast it’ll make your head spin. One in particular, however, made this show deeply unpleasant whenever they appeared.
We’re talking, of course, about Kagari. Her babyish way of talking, her need to make the stupidest decision possible at any given times, even her cut-and-paste, budget Kurisu appearance, everything about her is irritating. Like Okabe, she too has a special ability; it’s not Reading Steiner, though: it’s the ability to make any scene she’s in last 100 times longer.
A Lack of Progress
Well, we called it: the time machine is gone. Better yet, everyone survived! Except Kurisu, of course. So what’s changed? Really, not a whole lot. The gang exists in 2010 just as it had before, except Mayuri and Suzuha aren’t there anymore and Okabe is a bit happier. We’ve essentially spent 23 episodes circling back around to where we started. This begs the question: “what’s the point?”.
Here’s another issue: in the post-credits scene, Okabe rescues Mayuri and Kurisu. Where do they go? They can’t go back with him, since there’s already a version of them in that future and this would create a paradox. So do they just go back to 2010? You can’t help but feel that this scene wasn’t very well thought out.
Should You Watch Steins Gate 0?
Maybe we’re being too harsh. If you really liked the original Steins Gate, or if you played the visual novel and want more, there’s no reason not to check out Steins Gate 0. However, it doesn’t live up to the original, and you may not want to recommend it to long-time fans. In short, Steins Gate 0 is less Steins Gate quality, more Occultic Nine.