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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Part Two (Episodes 13-25)


Starring (voice): Asami Imai, Mamoru Miyano and Halko Momoi
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 30 September 2013

While attending Doctor Nakabachi's seminar on the possibility of time travel, Rintarō Okabe runs into Kurisu Makise, a very strange young woman who tells him that she had talked to him just fifteen minutes ago, even though he knows that he has never met her before. After leaving her he returns only to find her, apparently murdered, in a pool of her own blood. This chance meeting will set off a string of events which will challenge Okabe’s view of reality and time...

Steins; Gate Part 2 (2011) is an anime adaptation of the original light novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The second half of the show is presented on a two disc Blu-ray set containing episodes thirteen to twenty-four.

The second part of the story opens with the death of Mayuri, it’s not something that’s going to make a whole lot of sense unless you’ve watched the first twelve episodes. By this part in the plot Okabe has not only gathered together a group of friends but has also adapted a microwave which allows him access to different time periods. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that Okabe uses his device to travel back in time in an effort to save Mayuri. Unfortunately, for him, her death appears to be a fixed point in time and no matter what he does he is unable to prevent her murder.

Trying to explain the rest of the plot would be akin to unravelling a Gordian knot with a toothpick. The characters travel back and forth in time, so that events early on in the story are explained by time jumps later on. Okabe’s jumps through time create divergences, changing both history and in some cases characters sex from male to female.

Unlike The Butterfly Effect (2004) Okabe is not travelling for his own amusement, but in a similar way he is trying to create a divergent world where all his friends remain alive. This might have been a fairly simple proposition were it not for the groups that are out to stop and possibly kill him. Scientists at SERN have created their own black hole time machine, intending to use it to control the planet and Okabe’s ability to travel through time represents a threat to their plans.

The more I watched the show, the more I liked it. Intelligently written, it uses the premise of time travel to tell a good science fiction/thriller story, imbued with real emotion, there was something heartrending about watching Okabe trying time and again to stop his friends from dying, unable to change their fates.

There are audio options for both Dolby TRUEHD: English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0, with optional subtitles. Both tacks have nice separation, even though this is, for the most part, a dialogue heavy show. The show is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 for its 1080p transfer.

There are a few extras, like the full length commentary on episode nineteen and twenty-four, from the English adaptation team. There are also two textless opening and two closing sequences, allowing you to listen to the four songs used in the show. I’m not sure that you would call the last item an extra as it’s been included at the end of the list of normal episodes, but the package also contains the OVA, Egoistic Poriomania, and a standalone story.

The second set looks as good as the first one did, pin sharp with good blacks and no colour bleed. The overall look of the show is quite muted with a lot of use of greens, greys with bright splashes of colour. Tonally, the show has become much darker. Gone are the comedic overtones of the first half, now people have started dying, some time and again, the show beautifully takes you through a complex tale.

If you’ve not seen the show it’s well worth picking up this slice of adult anime.


Charles Packer

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