Story – 5.0
Starting after the events of the series, the OVA is basically a way of tying up loose ends. Lets face it, the chance meeting of Kurisu isn’t enough for the avid fan, you gotta see them get together!
One thing I appreciate the creators of Steins;Gate is that they took the time to nail it. Instead of a rushed TV schedule, the creators were able to take all the time they needed for the OVA, and that’s something every good show knows to do.
I think the real advantage of the episode is its redeeming value for viewers. Okabe gets to show how much he has matured, and there is a general consensus that the two of them are destined for one another.
The conclusion is supremely satisfactory and I think when you consider the OVA, Steins;Gate comes off as the best piece of Anime to come out in recent memory…or ever I’d wager.
We start with Okabe back in Japan. He’s met Kurisu, but sadly enough nothing really came of it besides becoming good friends. The arc is around going to see her in Los Angeles for a science conference, but more importantly regarding the side effects of changing world lines.
If you recall, there are some memories that can be remembered by people so long as they are put in a position or thought that was very important to the former World Line. I really appreciate this view of the timeline, as it acknowledges the other world lines were real, so unlike other time travel adventures this leads to an unparalleled satisfactory ending.
Some of the side things, like meeting Suzuha’s mom was pretty cool, as well as further explaining the Steins;Gate effect. While I don’t want to get in the way of my next section, you can be assured the OVA plays out like the other episode, if not more masterful and tactful then ever (is that possible?).
Emotional Draw – 5.0
If you liked the previous romantic scenes from previous series, prepared to be dazzled!
Whether its seeing Kurisu dressed up for the Maid Cafe (the interaction with Okabe was classic stuff) or when everyone stays at the dusty hotel overlooking the desert, the emotions come of fantastically.
My favorite scene, as hard as it was to choose, is when Okabe tells Kurisu he’s madly in love with her, but asks how she feels about him. “that’s….not fair…” was the quote of the century the way it came out. It was so easy to put yourself in her shoes (obviously, being a man I can empathize with her embarrassment, limited as I am regarding the fair sex).
Another thing I noticed throughout the series and especially in the OVA, is how natural and real all the lines were, and how much the characters have depth to them. Your interest in them isn’t fazed by any glaring moral depravity, or character that is unfit for a man or woman of character. You can imagine your right there, as if you are one of them, if need be, which is exactly what plays are supposed to do.
Seeing Kurisu have her memory jogged by Okabe as he explains why she has those memories of other world-lines was done very sweetly, and is sure to bring a smile on your face.
But did I mention the ending was downright epic? instead of trying to make up a great moment, Steins;Gate has Kurisu’s answer of how she feels about Okabe, fall clearly on recent memory of her first kiss. Familiarity is comfort, and also makes sense to capture the most captivating moment in the series.
And like a true masterpiece, you don’t even need to see them lock lips, it’s just that good. Instead, as comforting and exciting as can be, all you need to hear is her say “close your eyes.” to melt with the emotions…..
Yeah, definitely not cheap Soap Opera… 😀
Characters – 5.0
Okabe – 5.0
As classic as ever, Okabe also shows he’s matured a lot. I think that played a lot in making the romance seem that more real, as his foundation is quite adequate for a relationship, and marriage (the union between the sexes).
Solid performance for a solid show.
The English performance by Jackie was brilliant. So many great lines where her voice hit the mark, and of course an easy character to like. I love how the lines also felt as if you were peering into our Heroine’s soul.
And if you thought her performance was pretty good, the ending knocks your socks off!
Creativity – 4.9
While not branching far from Steins;Gate in terms of music, it’s still an excellent production. Especially in any of the sensitive scenes, the music was spot on and helped push the mood, which was great.
Artistically speaking, Steins;Gate is simplistically solvent, but the OVA gets to add a few great scenes, like that Highway or lone diner Okabe ends up at. And in particular appreciation the last scene was done as tenderly as you could ask for, with the fading sun in the distance for that added depth of emotion.
Final Grade – 4.98
(exactly what any fan of Steins;Gate would want and a superb example of what all Romances should be like. Real, Fresh, Redeeming, and just superfluous)