This episode is fantastic. THIS is how I wanted Steins;Gate to end. One of my only complaints with the original series is how they had to have episode 24 and how it felt like they undermined the tragedy in the story to give everyone a happy ending. To me, it was like the creators were afraid of leaving it as a tragedy for fear the fans wouldn't like Kurisu actually dying as if to discard the entire point of the series itself: The choice. Who do you choose to let die? Your childhood friend who has become part of your identity? Or the
only girl you've loved?
I honestly enjoyed the throwback with the art and animation. I appreciate that they didn't update the look and instead it felt like a alternate version rather than an addition. I understand completely that Steins;Gate 0 will look relatively different (it'll be 1080p, have the look of the VN, and will obviously be better funded) and I have no problem with that, but it was really nice that they stuck with what they did in the original series in this one.
I thought that the mini-development Okabe went through in this episode is terrific. Obviously having previous knowledge about his character helped our foundation, but we could see before our eyes him mentally snapping. He just crumbled. With this crumbling, he matured. We could see at the end how Okabe is now a college student, he's accepting adult responsibilities, dressing in a more conventionally appropriate way, and he even remarked that he's socializing. I could be wrong, but the phone call Okabe had sounded like he was either going on a date, or meeting up with some friends to eat or go to a movie. This is something the Okabe of the original series wouldn't have done. His development is masterfully portrayed.
After watching this episode I am even more excited about Steins;Gate 0 than I already was, and that's all a special really is, isn't it? A way of putting out something for people to see and get excited about. This is a wonderful "prequel" episode to the events that are about to unfold and I, personally, can't wait to see what comes next.
Thank you for reading my review, and as always, feel free to leave a reply on my profile if you liked or hated it and need to tell me why. Either is fine, I don't mind.
*This review contains spoilers along with my own opinion bias, read at your own risk, and I really mean it when there's HEAVY SPOILERS for at least the first watcher.*
* Also if you're a first watcher, don't watch the regular episode 23 followed by this alternate episode, watch the series then probably the movie, followed by this.*
Steins;Gate episode 23 β is an episode that was aired on NicoNico when the countdown for newest visual novel from the Steins;Gate series, Steins;Gate 0 ended, which was on December 3rd, logically every S;G fan began to get hyped and anxious about this new episode.
This alternate episode starts off
just like the regular episode 23. (Only about 7 minutes towards the end are different) Oh, you don't remember what was going on in the episode 23? Here's a quick reminder!
Steins;Gate (regular) episode 23 title is "Open the Steins Gate" and it beings with Suzuha explaining that Okabe MUST save Kurisu and avoid World War III, and enter the world line known as Steins;Gate, these two time-travel together to the past, most precisely to the building from episode 1 where everything started, and Okabe hides in the room where Kurisu was stabbed. Kurisu's father, Dr. Nakabachi meets Kurisu in this room and goes berserk on her trying to kill her, Okabe tries to save her... only to kill her herself, oh how cruel is the fate that the mad scientist must go through to save his loved ones. When Okabe returns to the present accompained by Suzuha, he keeps muttering "I killed her..." in a very despair-inducing tone while refusing Suzuha's attempts to return to the past a second time and save Kurisu. While he is on such as traumatic state, Mayushii slaps him and gives him a pep talk insisting that he should never give up, followed by Suzuha telling him that he should have failed saving her... that it would unlock the video message that was unwatchable the day Kurisu died, which contained his future self telling him how to achieve Steins;Gate.
But on the alternate episode... Suzuha tries to slap Okabe so he will try the second attempt, but is stopped by Mayushii, who proceeds to comfort the devastated blood-stained Okabe, hugging him while he cries.
This scene ends and we Okabe lying on the lab couch, with his lab outfit thrown on the ground... in a chill inducing epic post traumatic stress disorder scene hearing some words over and over and over. Shortly after, there's another scene transition where Okabe (damn he looks good in black) meets Mayushii in a park, they walk around for a while while talking, but as we get to know from their conversation, Okabe doesn't go to the lab anymore, meaning he dropped his mad scientist persona.
Okabe then has a monologue "Mayuri is safely here with us. Not this town... Not myself... Nothing at all... has changed." which is followed by the ending music, which completely gave me flashbacks from episode 9 and a complete chill on my spine.
After the ending ends, we see Kurisu... on what appears to be a TV, and Okabe looking at it dumbfounded hearing voices in his head, and accepting the fact that fate is converging yet again.
I personally can't wait for the wild ride that Steins;Gate 0 is gonna be, and this alternate episode is the hype generator for it! The art seems the same as the original S;G which I'm all up for it, since I enjoyed it a lot, the soundtrack is ever-so great along with the voice acting (Mamoru Miyano as Okabe is so freaking good that I can't never have enough), and the plot had a magnificent introduction here. As I finish my review I'll leave these final words.
El. Psy. Congroo.
Review in brief: White Fox, wanting to show the world that Steins;Gate 0 would be adapted into anime, decided to go the extra mile and made this alternate version of Steins;Gate episode 23. While this special was carefully made to blend in with the original episode and give a subtle peak at what’s to come, it forgets one very important thing: to properly cement itself as an ending of Steins;Gate.
Review in full: I've always felt that episode 23 was one of Steins;Gate's best episodes. Re-visiting the events of episode 1 and revealing just how much was actually going on gave credence to
the sudden turn of events at the end of episode 22, and Okabe mustering the strength to try one last time to set things right despite all that he had been through was one of his defining moments. Heck, what Okabe ended up having to do by the end of it to succeed was one of the defining moments of the entire show. The reason I consider Steins;Gate to have a good ending, or even an acceptable ending, is because of how episode 23 played out.
Of course, the reason this alternate version of episode 23 exists is to show where the path splits to allow Steins;Gate 0 to happen. It certainly looks and feels like it came straight out of the original show despite being made four years later, and considering the original's quality it's impressive that way. What’s on display here cements it as being just as much a part of this Steins;Gate as it is a part of Steins;Gate 0.
For that same reason it's somewhat understandable for it to reuse 2/3rds of the original episode 23, but it doesn't leave itself much time to show the difference. Maintaining the old episode until the path splits gives it authenticity, but it should have allowed itself to be longer than a standard episode to fully explore its alternate direction because it leaves a few gaps in its wake. It ends up feeling like a partial showing, one that was meant to create confusion rather than provide resolution, and considering the time skip it contains there’s little chance that Steins;Gate 0 will clear things up.
**Spoilers for both this special and the original Steins;Gate follow**
First of all, there's no particular reason given as to why Mayuri decides to comfort Okabe after his failed attempt to save Kurisu instead of snap him out of his depressive state like she did in the original. Every other time different events have occurred at the same point in time in this series (aside from Okabe meddling with them using time travel of course) it's been across two different world lines, whereas that isn't the case this time. Meanwhile Suzuha does nothing to change what's going on despite knowing that the failed attempt was necessary and that future Okabe was going to send a message to the past with further details (details she seems to have known herself even!)
Despite these unanswered plot-holes, this special nails the sense of failure Okabe initially finds himself drowning in. His loss and regret are strikingly portrayed, and it only took a couple scenes to convey this thanks to the ever-well coordinated and fitting visuals and sound work. Then, as depressed as Okabe is that night, we don't get to see how he brings himself to recover in the next month or two, which is a shame because Okabe simply doesn't receive the extra development he did in the original (and for that matter Mayuri really didn't either since we already knew her nurturing side.)
**No more spoilers beyond this point**
We get to see what Okabe becomes as a result of this alternate experience, which is important in its own right and got the attention it needed, but without a smooth transition it ends up looking like Okabe suddenly wiped his memory to alter his habits instead of consciously changing himself as life continued around him. It doesn’t feel right, and with no indication that he intends to revert him back to the way he was it doesn’t feel intentional either. Fate might have other plans for him of course, especially with how this special ends (or rather teases the beginning of what’s to come) but the unnatural presentation of Okabe’s self-change still left a sour aftertaste.
Verdict: I can appreciate this special for how it bridges Steins;Gate to the new story to come but I’m not pleased with the one-way nature of it. By lacking the story detail needed to provide proper closure it fails to be the keystone that the original episode 23 was to Steins;Gate. It works well as Steins;Gate 0 episode 0 but it’s not a proper ending to Steins;Gate despite containing the plot and production values to have managed it with the proper direction & length. By both showing Okabe try to leave this special’s events and not showing what led him to that course of action, episode 23 β forgets some of the elements it needed to be cohesive and comprehensive, even if the rest is well-presented.
This Steins;Gate alternate episode cuts into the main series and changes the story completely to make it possible to have Steins;Gate 0. It's hard to rate or review something that is simply another episode of a series. It's not like the sequel special (Steins;Gate: Oukoubakko no Poriomania) where that has a beginning, middle and end. It's just a convenient replacement for episode 23. I don't know if to rate it the same as the main series, or try to dissect it as a stand alone. It fits perfectly, picks up just fine, and feels very natural to the main series; but, it doesn't do anything
in itself other than undo the original ending. By itself, it's not better or worse than the original episode 23.
With this special you are treated to the typical Steins;Gate feel. The story, albeit one episode was fantastic. The Art and Sounds are remarkable yet again. For the Characters, you get the simple step into. Nothing too exceeded, neither sucked to dry. Really nice enjoyment.
To go further with the story, well firstly it's an amazing way to have a little preview for the upcoming Steins;Gate 0. In spite of it being a mostly recycled episode, the subtle additions at the end were fantastic. Giving me more and more hype for Zero. To mention the characters as well, well they are the same. Except a nice
little change for Okabe at the end. Gave him a little more "come to terms with it" look. Until he realized it's not over yet. Really the enjoyment was top notch, even with it being a mostly recycled preview to Zero.
To finish the Art and Sounds. The sounds are a mirror, recycled. But not put dull. But did seem to be a bit sharper, so it seemed more lyrical to the ears. And the art, again recycled but a sharper view. It was more absorbing, you saw and felt it was nice. With the extra scenes the art seems great, advanced but still sticking to the Steins;Gate style we all come to love.
This episode was simply great. Why? That's 2 reasons.
01) The change of the Okabe we know to a completely sociable and grown person, with some responsabilities, studying in a college, and making "normal friends". This show how the universe was unexplored, and there will be more to come, and show us the "other side" of Okabe.
02) All the characters can be reformulated too, and can be really outstanding to think on a world line where the things of the main worldline have never happened, leaving the possibility of the start of a entire series. I, personally, wouldn't like to see this universe to change, because
I love the characters how they are in the original series, but this can be a "front door" to the person that doesn't know about the series.
I love this episode, and I recommend to every fan of Steins;Gate to watch it and see "the other ending".
In 2011, when Steins;Gate was uber-cool, and I was just taken away how intricate, search-able terms, and mind-boggling Steins;Gate is. To this date, in 2018, no time-travelling anime can top it. Erased is a different breed, but others like it sounded childish compared to this.
So what happened, then, in 2015, we're given this "alternate version", and this is an appalling, offensive OVA. I'm all for emphasizing story points, arc, plot, and character development, however, 2011 was such a long time that by 2015, we'll have to be convinced that "no, no, there's an alternate version ending and here it is!".
Steins;Gate is a visual novel to
start with, so it should have multiple endings BUT that is in the realm of visual novel.
In anime, or manga, there has to be one definite ending, because that completes the ethos of storytelling, you can't just make multiple endings or stories and cash yourself in it, otherwise that rightly states that:
1. This is a milking cash-cow episode.
2. The original creators don't know what they're doing.
There are those who said this is how Steins;Gate should end, and I agree---I very much will like this to be the path or "world line" of the plot, IF THIS WAS what it was supposed to be in 2011. Otherwise, this is a fuck-off piece of 23mins episode wasted. You watch this so you can watch and understand the premise of Steins;Gate 0, and thus you make the creators smile.
The visual novel has four writers: Chiyomaru Shikura, Naotaka Hayashi, Shimokura Vio, and Tanizaki Ouka. However, the writer for the anime version, in the 2011, and this OVA, and on the Steins;Gate 0, is a prick named Jukki Hanada.
It seems that Jukki Hanada realized he could cash Steins;Gate for more, and thus created this abomination, and the "alternate sequel" Steins;Gate 0. Somebody should create a time machine and prevent him from becoming the writer of Steins;Gate anime, at all. Since the visual novel was already established, any competent writer who hopefully won't turn to greed, could do the same thing of writing that he did.
And don't get me started with alternate sequels, for example, I've like Fate/Stay Night so much despite its honest cash-cow arc, but that's because it's on fantasy genre, and it's established that Fate/Stay Night has the Saber arc (the original), the Tohsaka or the Unlimited Blade Works arc, and the Heaven's Feel or Sakura arc. So we accept that as it is; it's an honest cash-cow and we know there has to be THREE storylines of the Fate/Stay Night anime.
But Steins;Gate only has "one" arc, given with multiple endings. And that's a load of bull to put two different endings on an acclaimed anime. That makes it cheap, and an obvious cash-cow loot.
The original Steins;Gate is the 2011 version with its 25thepisode OVA, and the Deja Vu movie. THAT'S IT. That's all you need to watch and get along with Steins;Gate as one of the greatest anime of all time.
Otherwise, if you want to contribute to the cash-cow, then watch this appalling alternate version, and its abhorrent alternate sequel called Steins;Gate 0.
After watching a few episodes of "How to not summon a demon lord, I finally mustered the courage to watch (Steins;Gate: Kyoukaimenjou no Missing Link - Divide By Zero).
This is the prequel of Steins;Gate 0 and the alternate episode 23 of Steins;Gate where Kurisu wasn't saved...
Assuming you've watched Steins;Gate, I'm going to give my first thoughts/expectations before watching. I thought this alternate setting would be something along the lines where Okabe could not fake Kurisu's death that she would somehow wake up after he tasered her...
...But it was none of that... The trigger for Kurisu's death or survival is actually...
saw that coming at all... Mayuri, the center of everything... How could i not have noticed. The plot, the suffering, the grief it all pans around that makeshift loli...
Now I'm going to re-watch Steins;Gate 0. I seriously wish I could time travel and watch S;G first before watching S;G 0... I blame myself for not checking if S;G 0 had previous seasons and for being hasty
I don't like that. It's not fair for Mayuri character. I find for way better when she told him to go and help her because she was important to him.
It felt undone when it ended like that.
I'm sure creators did the right choice thanks to this episode. Also leaving Okabe's character in such a pain isn't cool.
I haven't yet watched Steins;Gate 0 but i have read the synopsis so i can see it gives the perfect beginning for Stens;Gate 0 and i appreciate that. This is the best reason to watch it ! It was shame that the bigger part
of the episode is what we already saw in the original ending tho but its still acceptable.
This review will contain heavy spoilers so read at your own risk.
I've come across the debate among many fans of the show that an end of despair would've been a perfect and a better ending than a happy one. Regardless of that, the ending for Steins;Gate came as hugely popular and propelled the show to a high and resounding stance on the Top Anime of MyAnimeList. While it greatly satisfied the majority of the populace by having Okabe save Kurise while at the same time not altering the Alpha World Line, which also saved Mayuri. This was one of the reasons which made Steins;Gate
a great thriller. Whether it was a sad ending or not, it was something that was logical and made sense.
Now this special episode titled as "Steins;Gate: Kyoukaimenjou no Missing Link - Divide By Zero" is a twist in the tale and an alternate ending to Steins;Gate. In essence, this is another episode 23 but with a following of events that is the opposite from what occurs in the actual episode. So in reality, there is only a few minutes of footage which is actually 'original' in the whole timeline of Steins;Gate and so there is a good possibility that it would be underwhelming and you'd feel like you re-watched the entire thing just for a few minutes of new, never-seen before sequences. As a matter of fact, it's only after even the credits roll out and the ED is completed that you realize that what you see now is the true preview of the upcoming "Steins;Gate 0", which is expected to be a more detailed sequel to this alternate episode 23. Everything until that feels dull and even the brief synopsis of this title on MyAnimeList would have done enough so to match your curiosity to find something new in this episode.
That being said though, the true sequel to this is still to air, so it can be said that "Steins;Gate: Kyoukaimenjou no Missing Link - Divide By Zero" is basically a hint on what is to follow and its true relevance lies on that. Right at the end in this episode, there is a scene where Makise Kurise appears on a TV-like screen and gives her greetings. I don't follow the Visual Novel so this is just my theory: From the synopsis of Steins;Gate 0, I can state that its some sort of a new program that can store memories of humans and create them with their personality and characteristics as a simulation. This might give a clue on Okabe Rintarou to try and revive Makise Kurisu, however not by time-leaping but by sending a cryptic video mail which is seen in the actual episode 23 to the Okabe of the past. This explains the pre-requisite explained by Amane that It'd have required Okabe failing the first time in saving Kurisu to work. The true answer lies in Steins;Gate 0, which I personally am hyped for to start airing.
So, i was pretty stoked when I learned that steins;gate 23(b) was out as a precursor to steins;gate 0. However, I honestly didn't really get the change. It seemed he had given up on Kurisu, which was sad and disappointing. But more than that, it didn't really give me a lead to what S;G 0 was going to be about.
Dont get me wrong, I LOVE stein's gate, but half of it felt like a rerun and then diverged into a plot that was not fully explained as far as how it was supposed to transition. It didn't serve
They kept the art original to the steins;gate series and so it was very reminiscent of it. Not much else to say in that regard.
Sound: 7/10 because it was still original to the steins;gate series but nothing new was added.
The reason why I felt this way is because in my experience reading the VN and watching the original S;G anime, Okarin just didn't act like himself. He wouldn't have given up after just one failure. His character changed but only because he was arbitrarily given this new quality inconsistent with the series.
They left at very little of a cliffhanger.
"How life must have been to the 33 year old Okabe?" (Oops, triggered a baby spoiler). This was one of the questions wandering in my head after watching the first TV series! And as I watched this, I already knew that this leads to the answer. This was just the start of the answer, there's still the creamier part found on the waiting movie, Steins;Gate 0.
As for the first TV series, you guys must have realized that on the 23rd episode, That world line's Okabe is not the first Okabe who experienced the tremendous 3
week world line battle or let's name it Operation Fenrir for the meantime xD (or did Okabe officially named it Skuld? . . whatever). Regards to my question on the first sentence of this review, get filled with the darkness awaiting to the Okabe who first engaged Operation Fenrir. You will surely notice that it is similar with the 23rd episode but you will also find things that are missing which makes it different.
Story - For giving me the appetizer for my question, I automatically rate the story 10. I already have high hopes for any new Steins;Gate series as it has impressed me enough on the first series which also leads . . .
Enjoyment - to 10. You would love to see a new Okabe either a more cheerful or tragic one. Not to mention new clothes.
Art - it has always followed the consistency from the first series. The animation is outstanding as well. 10.
Sound - 8. One thing that bothered me is how they imitate voice hallucinations. I don't have a good definition of it but I think it's not how it should sound.
Edit: I just re-watched Steins;Gate, so I added a sentence or two more with my fresher perspective on how this episode really fits in:
This won't have explicit spoilers, but it will have implied spoilers, so read at your own risk!
I personally didn't like this episode as much as I liked the original ending. That said, this was still a great episode and retained most of the important parts that I liked about the original episode 23. I'm slightly disappointed by this ending, because it feels like more of a cop out than the original ending was, and it doesn't cleanly end the series. I think
that the cleanliness of the original ending is one of its strengths. This ending is the same as the original for about half of the episode, before it turns away to do its own thing.
WHY I LIKED THE FIRST ENDING MORE: The original ending felt like the one that the series was leading up to throughout the show. This made the original ending feel like it gave adequate closure. It fit in line with the development of all the characters throughout the series, and didn't vary from that development or the previously established plot. For those reasons alone, I think that the original ending was slightly better than this one.
WHY I LIKED THIS ENDING: This ending was still true to the spirit of Steins;Gate, and, besides changing the overall way the series ended, retained moments that made the first ending impactful. It offers a few new ideas that were absolutely relevant to previous plot and character development, but that felt a little too sudden for me to be happy with them. Additionally, I think that a different ending doesn't take much away from the series because it just feels like an alternate world line; so I'm not terribly mad at it for simply being different. The biggest thing I think it brings to the table is building off of the original episode 23, and building excitement for Steins;Gate 0.
The 4 sentences immediately after this one (which I'll put inside of [[brackets]] to make it easier to see when it's done) will be the heaviest implied spoiler, so skip it/move straight to my summary if you want to avoid even implied spoilers!!!!! [[While I'm fine with, and can appreciate, the fact that they chose a darker ending, I think that this ending suffers from the fact that it is such a shift from what happens throughout the series. It felt like there was a bunch of development that happened throughout the series that was just ready for a bit of a push to climax and falling action, but then character development in a different direction suddenly occurred halfway through this episode, which gives it a sort of whiplash and disjointed feel - a sort of build up to nothing. That's the primary thing that makes this ending slightly worse than the original, IMO. That said, the point of this episode *isn't* to tie off Steins;Gate - it's to lead into Steins;Gate 0, so from that perspective, it gets the job done.]]
Regardless of which "timeline" ending you prefer, this is still a great episode. Definitely worth the watch if you like the series, and I think worth watching immediately after finishing Steins;Gate, and/or immediately before Steins;Gate0 (since the point of this episode is to lead into 0). If you're watching it immediately after the original ending, you can skip to about halfway through, because the first half is the same as the original. If you're taking this episode as an alternate ending to Steins;Gate, it's the weaker ending of the two, IMO, but it's fine, and still interesting, as a lead-in to Steins;Gate 0 (not sure that it adds much substance to the Steins;Gate 0 overarching plot, though)!
[Spoilers of Steins;Gate]
Well, I have mixed feelings about this.
I liked some parts, but...
I just gonna say... why?
Why throw it all away at the end?
That's not what Kurisu tought you, Kyouma.
But hey, I admit is pretty interesting to know what is going to happen now, but I didn't like this alternative ending. I kinda understand that Kyouma didn't wanted to try again, but the original ending made much more sense; why stop when you can solve it! Where did all your determination went? You saw Mayuri die a lot, but at the end you saved her.
(for the original series and for the upcoming S;G0)
"Steins Gate: Episode 23 (β), Open the Missing Link" is the alternate ending to the original series.
Or is it? Well, kinda. But this episode is also the prequel-episode to Steins;Gate Zero which is technically a prequel to the original series.
Wich means that this episode and Zero is a(n important) part of the original storyline. Confusing, right? After all, this story is about time travel. So it has to be a bit confusing.
In this worldline Okabe refuses to attempt a second try to safe Kurisu.
And this leads to the events in the upcoming 0-series. The
Okabe we see in this worldline is the 33 year old Okabe who sends the video-message from the future to the one we see in the original series.
So do I recommend to watch this? Yes.
Especially if you want to watch Steins;Gate Zero.
My overall rating is mainly based on the rating of the original series.
I should mention that the first 14 minutes are the exact same as in the original episode.