This show is going to break me. This show picks up from right at the end of the original Steins;Gate anime. In episode 23 of Steins;Gate, Okabe fails at saving Kurisu and is on the verge of giving up, but a video from the Okabe of the future of that world line sends him a video message telling him he needs to succeed. But where did this video come from? What is the story of that Okabe?
There exists an OVA, episode 23β which serves as the bridge between the main series and 0, in this OVA, Okabe does not receive that video and has completely given up on attempting to go back and save Kurisu. And from here, Okabe continues with his life trying to cope with the death of a loved one. A time skip occurs are we arrive at the start of Steins;Gate 0.
Okabe attends a conference discussing advancements in artificial intelligence and neuroscience. The presenters, Dr. Leskinen and Maho Hiyajou, showcase an AI called Amadeus that has copied the memories of a human and has recreated their likeness and personality. All this was thanks to the research of Kurisu before her unfortunate death. Someone questions the showcase and Okabe explodes in defense of Kurisu, which is what got Leskinen and Maho interested in Okabe. Their interest is in their hopes to develop Amadeus even further because Amadeus has recreated Kurisu and Leskinen and Maho hope Okabe talking to Amadeus will help improve the system.
The story so far is amazingly well done. The PTSD Okabe gets from his experiences in time traveling along with his slow attachment to Amadeus is one of the key moments that draw me to the show (aside from being a fan of the original). Watching Okabe struggle and how this is affecting those around him is like having a knife jabbed into your heart, and I love this feeling. Seeing Mayushi crushed at the thought of losing Okabe to Amadeus is also very soul-crushing but very necessary for this story. The suffering is real and It’s very intense especially if you fell in love with these characters watching the original series.
The themes of this show so far are some of my favorites in storytelling. They’re covering themes of AI and whether or not they can be intelligent enough to be indistinguishable from humans. They cover AI’s and romance. And the whole world-line/alternate reality from the original show still exists in 0. These themes are always examined differently in different stories and Steins;Gate has a very realistic view of them which is very enjoyable for someone like me working in the tech industry.
Overall, I know for sure this show will be good. I know onions will invade my room while I watch. This is a definite pick up for those that watched the original series, but I’m sure you’re already watching it or even played the visual novel. For those that read all the way through this and still have not started the original series, I highly suggest you go pick up that before jumping into this one. This will probably be a 10/10 for me like the original, I look forward to seeing how the β world line unfolds and how Okabe handles it. Let me know what you think in the comments? Are you as big a fan of this as I am?