With Steins;Gate manga, it's hit or miss. Some are not very good, and some are decent. To waste little time, this manga is the best of them. It maintains a good plot throughout and sheds light on some of the lesser-focused characters, most obviously Mr Braun and his past. The art is very refreshing and clean, and readable as well. The mood is constantly realistic, as opposed to some of the other S;G manga featuring action and fanservice.
Something of note: don't read it until you have played the V/N or watched the Anime! It is centered around a plot twist in the original S;G works,
so you'll ruin it for yourself if you watch this first.
This review is spoiler-free even though it contains spoilers from the original Steins;Gate anime. You should not read this spin-off unless you have completed the original Anime or VN anyway.
The one very sad thing about Steins;Gate is that no matter how Okabe manages to change worldlines to reach a happy ending, the events and feelings of the people in other worldlines were very real at one point in time. That's why I've always been curious about the stories of other worldlines while watching the anime, especially the one of Suzuha's life after she time traveled to 1975.
The fact that they decided to show this story
through Mr. Braun's perspective is a very interesting choice as it manages to give a fresh look on this while answering the fans' curiosity. All in all, this spin off does a great job in that regard : the pacing is good, the elements of the story give depth to many aspects of the original storyline and the slightly altered ending feels more satisfactory for Mr. Braun's point of view. We'll deplore losing some depth compared to the anime though. If you liked the reading between lines and the scrutinizing of every word to understand the original story, you won't really find it here. While the plot stays very solid, the storytelling is pretty simple and straightforward but manages to convey emotions very well.
While all of this is pretty good, what really sets Brownian's Motion apart from the rest, and I didn't expect that from a Steins;Gate story, is the maturity of its characters interactions. While keeping a lot of comedy, the relations between the protagonists are more serious, which in relief to the emotions of the events creates an absolute masterpiece of balance.
At the end of the day, this spin-off brings fresh air to the Steins;Gate series and makes for a very solid read especially if you didn't enjoy the foolishy vibe of the anime.
"If a rope descends givin' you a chance to escape to escape that hell, the natural choice is to grab on and climb it, right?" - Tennouji Yuugo
Before you start reading this, I want to state that I am by no means a professional reviewer, and that this review may contain some sort of bias.
After watching the anime series and achieving a very high level of satisfaction of it, I've decided to pick up on the mangas, whether they are prequels, sequels or spin-offs to enjoy myself some of Steins;Gate, but I've got to say, I'm quite shocked to see how they aren't more popular/talked
about since the actual anime is so sucessful.
Onshuu no Brownian Motion or Braunian Motion of Love and Hate in English, this manga goes into the backstory of Tennouji Yuugo also known as Mr. Braun, which occurs in the Alpha world line.
And we actually get to know a lot of it! Such as Nae's mother, Imamiya Suzuri, his past with Hashida Suzu(Amane Suzuha) and how he ended up grouped with SERN rounders.
It's a Steins;Gate story, if you enjoyed the main series, you will obviously enjoy this!
There were some panels that I didn't got delighted at, but the art overall is very solid and clean.
We get to see some old and new characters here, and a lot of development as well.
I skimmed through the manga in 2 days, during some breaks I had here and then, and every single I spent reading it was worth it! There's some emotional moments as well and an ending that might just not please some people but I enjoyed this manga as a whole.
The thing about Steins;Gate Onshuu no Braunian Motion is that, as a standalone manga, it's really mediocre. It only has genuine value, and what it brings to the reader can only be brought forth if that reader has at least watched the S;G anime. Tbh I'd go as far as saying that the minimum is playing the VN and completing all the routes (Essentially 100% completion); that's how contextually dependent this manga is.
Still, inspite of this glaring limitation, Steins;Gate: Onshuu no Braunian Motion is able to tell an engaging story that gives much needed depth and characterization to the most criminally underused
character of S;G: Yuugo Tennouji. This manga's story is essentially Tennouji's backstory, and it doesn't suffer from this nature because of its short length.
But the thing about the story is that, while compelling on its own, it wouldn't work the way it does were it not for the characters. More importantly, its how the mange explores Tennouji's past with his family and Amane Suzuha that stands out, at least to me. I think the reason for that is because they were made to interact in such a way that, for people fond of S;G everything feels nostalgic and bittersweet. I think the strongest example of that came with how the manga handled the confrontation between Okabe and Yuugo and the new perspective that it gave us. Its able to evoke genuine empathy in readers, or at least in me.
The weakest aspect of the manga has to come in the form of the art, specifically the switch in artist between volumes. It just doesn't feel right to me, and it's unfortunately the single greatest issue with all manga adaptations of S;G. Independent of one another, both artists to a great job. Though I must say that the better style is that of the second volume, done by Yoshida Tadasu. The key factors in this are the character designs, the super thin lines, the facial shading and his use of screentones and overlays.
I really enjoyed reading this manga, but I think it's because I can easily overlook its flaws and shortcomings. I think that has to do with me having had consumed all S;G related media before reading it. It was something I never knew I always wanted and also really needed.