Why Steins;Gate is my favorite series of all time


(This post may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

I was going to do a Lasting Impressions segment of Steins;Gate, but I feel that my opinions would be too strong for a series I enjoy as much as this. Therefore, I have posted my reasons as to why I love the series as much as I do.

This is the protagonist folks.
This is the protagonist folks.

Some may wonder why I have such a fascination with the series Steins;Gate. After all, the main heroine is commonly used for purposes of my avatar or header. However, before I can begin on the amazing reasons as to why I enjoy Steins;Gate so much, I have to explain some details about myself.

I have always liked the concept of time travel, and even as a little kid I dreamed about traveling through time and controlling the concept of time. Due to this fascination, anything to do with time travel interests me. Of course, most mediums fail to capture an agreeable concept of time travel, such as the movie Looper, whereas some grasp the concept well by establishing rules and restrictions to actually create a story worth telling. Steins;Gate performed this task well, and greatly enhanced the reasons behind following the story.


At the very beginning of the series the rules of time travel are explained and set, leaving no room for confusion or error. While they aren’t explained to the viewer right away, little signs and warnings are set into place to show the rules are in place, yet not exactly explained. In addition, the way the series handles the concept is extremely well done, utilizing points and branches to demonstrate the travel of time and using a convergence meter to show what timeline we are currently seeing. What’s even better is the fact that these concepts were developed by actual scientists and the series merely borrows the concept to create a story. Steins;Gate uses an already developed theory on time travel and expands upon this theory, leaving only the development on the story and how well to tie things up in the air.

But he's a guy.
But he’s a guy.

While I enjoy time travel and the concept of controlling time, there are a few other ideas and concepts that Steins;Gate utilizes to appeal to me even more. Nitro+(Nitroplus) and 5pb(Mages) write fantastic stories that are often based on real life events and set in the present time. This allows someone watching the series within a few years of release to relate with the series even more, understanding the companies, events, and conspiracies that may be referenced in the series. In addition, the series often uses suspense to confuse and anticipate the viewer, which only adds to the greatness of the series. The story is never fully understood until the final episodes, where everything is finally explained and things start wrapping up.


As for the characters, it increasingly becomes easy to connect and understand each one. Okabe, the main character of the series, or rather, the protagonist, often comes off as crazy and comedic. However, once things actually start moving in the series, his true personality comes out as caring, compassionate, and lost. Mayushi often comes off as bubbly, airheaded, caring, and carefree. However, one can see that she does have worries and fears, and becomes a victim to later events. Kurisu can often be described as a typical tsundere, but she does keep her hobbies to herself to preserve her image as a scientist and a scholar. This often gets poked at by the others when she references internet memes and trends. Daru is the smart computer nerd of the group, used mainly for jokes and jabs at the NEET population and internet savvy user. Moeka comes off as unfriendly, unsociable, and self-centered. It later shows that she is alone and scared due to past events, and is merely following what she has been given to believe in. Ruka gives off

This is the supa haka, Daru.
This is the supa haka, Daru.

feminine vibes, yet is shown early on to be a male. Suzuha comes out of nowhere and seemingly doesn’t add much to the plot, save for the few moments of confusion she gives when her words appear to make little to no sense. Once her backstory is explained, however, things begin to fall into place and her true intentions pave the way for the later half of the story. Ferris probably contributes the least to the plot, only giving little appearances at the cafe and one little sub-story in the large plot at hand. Another reason why this series bodes so well with me also comes from the fact that every character comes into play at least once. While some characters don’t appear to have a greater significance, it’s later shown that there was more to said character than meets the eye.

Ferris Nyan Nyan Time!
Ferris Nyan Nyan Time!

Although the story and characters make up a large part of my admiration for this series, another key factor would be the art direction. I’m not going to go out and say that Steins;Gate had the best art of the season. However, I love the art style used for this series. This goes for both the Visual Novel and the Anime, as both have such a unique style that really contributes to the uniqueness and power of the series as a whole. The art direction works wonders, and really left an impact on me.

Forever Best Girl
Forever Best Girl

Of course, the series wouldn’t be as fantastic as it is without it’s awesome soundtrack. The piano tracks that play during the series are phenomenal, and I love the Opening and Ending song of the series. Kanako Ito is one of my favorite singers, and Hacking to the Gate is a lovely song. Speaking of Openings and Endings, the subtle changes between the Alpha Opening and the Beta Opening was a brilliant idea, and a neat way to change things up without being too obvious about it.

Overall, I feel Steins;Gate was an overall fantastic series. Would I consider it the best series ever? No, that would be implausible. However, Steins;Gate does fall under my favorite anime of all time, and for these reasons above, I feel that my reasoning is sound. White Fox adapted the Visual Novel amazingly, which after the Chaos;Head fiasco (Which, the VN is amazing, but the anime leaves much to be desired), was a breath of fresh air. I’m happy that they’re taking the series a little further with a movie, because the characters are unique and fun, but I do fear that they may ruin some of what the series stands for if they try to add more mystery to the series as a whole. I love the series because it wraps itself up perfectly, leaving little to no holes, and for fan service purposes, I’m fine with fun, extra adventures with the cast and crew. For all intents and purposes, however, Steins;Gate as a whole should be its own separate story, boxed up and independent from future endeavors.


Lasting Impressions : Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (My Sister is Among Them)

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

There were few shows that found my interest this past season, but this one somehow caught my radar with its art style, and with the fun-loving feel of the OP and the mystery aura of its story, I was easily hooked into watching the series. Is that a regretful decision? For now, I won’t say, but I can say that this series did hold some unique traits that not only pander to the younger generation, but also contains a decent story to hook older audiences.

Cast (Right to Left) : Rinka Kunitachi, Konoe Tsuruma, Shougo Mikadono, Miyabi Kannagi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara.

Story has always been a huge part of anime for me. If the series contains any trace of a decent story, one that not only sets up the stage for comedic elements but also pushes the series forward, it generally catches my eye and piques my interest enough to continue watching. When I first began this series, I was under the assumption that this series would follow the conventions of a harem or comedy show. While the show largely borrows ideas and aspects from harem and comedy series, there lies an undergoing story that moves the plot along. In addition, the air of mystery gives the viewers reason to continue watching. Perhaps it’s just my preferences, but I hate leaving mysteries behind and I have to know whether the story proceeds in the direction I anticipate.

Mister X – Best girl, hands down.

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru, or My Sister is Among Them!, proudly comes off as a harem series with little details to keep you watching. Using the generic plot progression of a young man finding a wife within his last few years at school, the stage is set and the story can move forward. Or so they believe. During the first episode, the reveal of a younger sister, unknown to himself and the world, who just happens to want to marry this fine gentleman.

Nothing happens because morals triumph desire; this doesn’t happen in every situation, but refusing to do anything because one of them may be your sister is pretty intense.

The story follows Shougo Mikadono, thrust into a new school to find the love of his life. During the next few days, he meets his potential soul mates: Konoe Tsuruma, Miyabi Kannagi, Rinka Kunitachi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara. One of which just happens to be his sister, and while he doesn’t know who the mystery sister is, he boldly claims he will not be found loving his sister as a wife. I think this aspect to the main character greatly improved my impression of him, as it seems more shows today would promote such values as incest. In fact, I’m sure most people don’t share my idealism of such values, and are disappointed with this outcome. Regardless, the series follows multiple phases, and progresses as a decent pace. After introducing each of the characters, we are also introduced to Mister X, a woman posing as a man to assist Shougo in his endeavors. While I could go on by listing reasons why she is best girl, I feel that it would be best to move forward and continue with the petty story.

Although this is a side character, I thought she would play a bigger role. I really liked her design.

This show teases at the fact that nobody knows who the sister is, and constantly leads to false accusations and endings that leave the viewer wanting more. There are bullshit excuses thrown out to give reason as to why Shougo was led to belive that this particular character was his sister, and once those claims are acquitted, it’s off to another girl that leads him on to believing that she’s his sister. Rinse and repeat for a couple episodes, and you’ve got the first half of the series.

Besides Mister X, I enjoyed Rinka as well.

The second half starts off with the big reveal of his sister(?), someone who wasn’t even a part of the original cast. This person, Yuzurina Houshou, comes out of nowhere and seems to put everything at ease, but once a big scandal begins to reveal itself, it’s once again proven that the search has yet to be concluded and the sister has yet to be caught. While I enjoyed this red herring, there were way too many questionable actions, mainly performed by the hidden “real” sister. Why the hell did the “real” sister hide while the “fake” took on this relationship? By doing so, and bitching how she wants to marry him even though she barely knows him and hasn’t seen him in ages, (Why do these sisters in anime want to jump straight into incestuous relationships? He sat there claiming he would love to love her as a sister, or in other words, a good happy family relationship. RAGE) she puts Shougo and his inherited company at risk due to a potential scandal. The actions behind some of these characters are ridiculous, and while it moved the main story along fine, the character progression suffered greatly.

As for the music, I really can’t remember the BGM of this series, but the OP and ED for this series are pretty catchy. The OP catches the viewer’s attention and introduces the main heroines of this series, while promoting the main premise of the story. The ED, while still poppin’ and rockin’, gets the viewer excited and ready to watch the new episode. I really enjoyed both themes, and if anything, they got the overall music down pat.

Just ending on best girl. Everyone knows this is true end.

Honestly, I really enjoyed the main premise of the series. A harem series that contained a sister with a protagonist who didn’t want to bang his sister. I really respected this side of the show, and the only aspects I really thought fell flat would be the character progression and development. The characters felt flat and uninteresting, and the decisions performed by these characters often appeared pointless and unreasonable. I’m happy the series successfully concluded, and revealed the big question every viewer was asking, the ending could have been so much more. The series ended in typical harem fashion, and just lost the last bit of momentum it held onto. This brings me back to the question of if watching this series was a regretful decision. While I critique this series due to its lack of character development, I really enjoyed watching this series. It still contained the humor and comedy of a generic harem series, and it had its moments. It’s not a series that I would deem a masterpiece, nor would I re-watch this series in the next couple of months, but I did enjoy the laughs and good feelings I received from this series. If you enjoy harem or comedy series, I believe Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru is worth the time. The art is decent, the music fares well, and there does lie a small intriguing mystery that can push you to conclude the series.


Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru OP -Choose Me Darling-

Initial Impressions : JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (Anime)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (2012)

I’ve heard a lot about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures throughout my time, and now that the anime series has finally begun airing, I finally have the chance to view this spectacle myself. With all that I’ve heard, I really had no idea what to expect in this series. However, I really think that this series has many qualities that characterize this show, and I can see how this story fares so well due to its uniqueness and story-driven plot.

Dio’s just lovin’ to point.

After watching this first episode, I can honestly say I am fascinated by the series. The rivalry between Dio and Jonathan, the connections between the Brando family and Joestar family, and the amount of character development in this series is superb. Just in this first episode alone, you can easily see how a story was formed between these two characters, and the development Jonathan goes through to match his new “brother.” While I didn’t find Jonathan to be the best character near the beginning, as he appeared a whiny, unappreciative brat, I later found appreciation for his character as he grew and evolved throughout this episode. To develop a character in such a short amount of time just demonstrates how much detail was put into this series. I haven’t read the manga, but from what I’ve heard there was much more time to develop on that medium, and I can only begin to imagine how detailed and vast the manga must be.

JoJo tries to have fun…only to have it end in utter defeat.

Animation-wise, I can easily say I was deterred after viewing photos of the series. The unique characteristics the animation holds definitely give meaning to the name of the series, and while the story alone proves to be wacky enough, the animation definitely struck the nail in the coffin to the word ‘bizarre.’ While it took a few minutes to get into the animation, once the story began to rev up I was able to cast my doubts aside and appreciate the series for what it truly was.

This is how you make an antagonist. Learn animation studios!

The OP, which arose during the second episode, gave a wacky and zany impression on what was in store for future episodes. Just watching the OP gives me the ‘bizarre’ feeling implied in the title, and the ED, while not amazing, doesn’t detract from the series as a whole. In addition, the use of foreign bands to perform the songs only added to the experience, as the setting of the anime lies outside of Japan.

While the series has only just begun, the vibes revived from this series were phenomenal, and I greatly look forward to future episodes. If you were on the fence about this series, definitely give it a try and don’t laugh it off until you’ve finished at least one episode. There’s a reason why Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures has such a vast following, and if the fan-base doesn’t expand to unspeakable territory, I feel this series can hold its own during the upcoming season(s).

Initial Impressions : Little Busters!

Little Busters (2012)

The time has finally come for another Key novel to be animated and have its story told anew. While it’s been four, almost five, years since that last adaptation, it feels like last week I was sitting in anticipation for the next episode of Clannad to air. While I’ve yet to play Little Busters!, I can say that I really enjoyed this first episode that J.C. Staff has brought to us.

Right to left: Rin, Masato, Riki, Kengo, Kyousuke.

I’ll be honest; when I first heard J.C. Staff was taking charge of this new project, I was hesitant to say the least. Hell, I still don’t know if they’ll do the game justice. However, after watching this first episode, I was able to watch and observe all the crazy antics that make a Key novel funny and enjoyable. In a way, it felt like another humorous episode of Clannad or Angel Beats!, and that’s not a bad situation to be in. However, I must re-iterate that this is the first episode, and what really matters is what goes on after this episode.

It’s only the first episode, but I can already say that Rin is best girl.

The story begins with the return of Kyousuke, a high school senior who completes the group of childhood friends who once called themselves the “Little Busters.” The group, consisting of five members: Kyousuke Natsumi. Rin Natsumi, Kengo Miyazawa, Masato Inohara, and Riki Naoe. At first glance, I had assumed the main character would be Kyousuke, as he’s the cool character with the aura of a cool protagonist. To my dismay, the story is told through the eyes of Riki Naoe, a junior who relies on the friendship and bonds these friends hold after he lost his parents at a young age. Luckily, the episode greatly follows the group as a whole, and doesn’t focus on one person.

Hey look, it’s your typical snob. Why does she matter at this point?

During some random course of events, Kyousuke decides that the group should spend their time forming a baseball team, and the episode primarily focuses on the crazy situations that occur trying to build up a team. The episode is full of humor, and I found myself laughing at quite a few scenes. However, this also worries me as I know the feels will be coming at some point, for there hasn’t been a Key work that hasn’t left me feeling for the characters at one point or another. Either way, this first episode was great, and I’m greatly anticipating the following episodes.

Finally, I felt this episode began the series off right, and while it didn’t clear all worries I have with this project, it did ease some of my anxiety over J.C. Staff animating this series. While they aren’t Kyoto Animation, J.C. Staff did a great job with this first episode, and I’m really hoping the following episode will not only be enough to tell the story, but also complete the story without leaving out vial details. Either way, I’m going to be playing the game at one point or another; with that, I’d really like to see this adaptation succeed and tell the story without butchering it. Let’s hope this series doesn’t crash and burn!