I knew it! I knew I could predict the future! Kinda, sorta, if you squint…. Maybe time leap machines are really quite common but no one has Reading Steiner? I’m just seeing echoes of a future past? I should reuse that line, it’s completely wasted in this silly preamble.

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
we have to talk about your post openings…

So friends, do you remember last week when I speculated that Steins;Gate 0 was throwing weird foreshadowing on Yuki simply to keep her relevant and make her romantic arc with Daru that much the sweeter? Remember? Ha!!! I was right! What? No one was disputing me? And it’s a little early to celebrate things could still take an unexpected turn? Well I was still right….

You know what else I said in last week’s review? I mentioned that Suzuha’s past was a barrel of nightmare fuel! We’ve always known this. Growing up in a violently war-torn country is just not going to be a picknick no matter what. Up until now though, we’ve only had a very vague outline. For the first time, Stein’s;Gate 0 gave us just a few tiny moments of Suzuha’s childhood. Like these things often go, it was both much better and much worse than I could have imagined.

The reason Suzuha held on to both her sanity and humanity despite the impossibility of her circumstances, is that she comes from a deeply caring family that loved her to the very tips of their fingers. The reason she is so rigid and uncompromising in her quest is that she saw that very family ripped apart and will do anything to avoid it. Both her softness and her resolve are built on that same love. And this week, Steins;Gate 0 gave us the very moment when that love bloomed. It shared it with all of us, like a little gift.

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
of course, booze was involved

For all intents and purposes, this week was yet another filler episode. I doubt we learned anything essential to the overarching narrative. However, as a balancing element, it brought something valuable to the story. The plot has been hauling us around breathlessly for the better part of the season. Breaks have been ruthlessly brief and few. There’s something grounding and precious about being reminded that all this suffering isn’t meaningless. That under all the tension is the simple and warm promise of a happy life surrounded by loved ones.

We saw it through the images of desolate landscapes on which little families take lovely family pictures. Of a young Suzu sulking at having to spend time with her parents, for no real reason. As we all have at some point. This meeting of the tragic and comforting spoke to me. I would also do anything I could to protect such fragile moments. They are everything after all.

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
the Back to the Future ref was amazing but they didn’t have to point it out…

This episode also wonderfully softened all of Daru’s most jagged edges. The character’s been slipping into creepy territory all season so it was nice to see him get pulled back into firmly lovable for a moment. This is the Daru I’ve been waiting for. The one that’s hiding his insecurities beneath all that pervy bluster. The one who knows a good thing when he sees it but gets paralyzed by the wonder of it all. The fact that Yuki happens to be the exact same type of dork is just icing on the cake. We all knew exactly how it was meant to play out from the very start. Just because something isn’t surprising doesn’t mean it isn’t satisfying. Yuki and Daru finally getting together was completely doki doki.

In the background of all this loveliness, events are still brewing of course. Steins;Gate 0 simply cannot stand still for one second. Maho is back and her presence promises future developments. Okabe and the mysterious Dr. L are getting closer for better or most likely for worse. And poor Mayuri, who’s really gotten to worst of it lately, is once again being pushed to the sidelines and ignored by everybody.

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
she didn’t even get a face this week

The delicate despair which is closing in on Mayuri is being carefully rendered in painful detail. Even if only in tiny moments during each episode. She has always been very important to the plot but as a catalyst and narrative device. Of all the characters, Mayuri is the one most consistently robbed of her agency. I wonder if they are slowly pushing her to the edge so that she may become stronger through trials and tribulations. I hope so.

I’m starting to think Steins;Gate 0 may be written for me. This is exactly the level of romance I am comfortable with. I enjoy my drama mixed with a good deal of comedy and mystery. As some of you may know, I’m a sucker for family dynamics. If I had been asked to write an episode – I would have written something completely different and much worse. We would all have missed out.

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
there would have been just as much drinking though

This week was a beautiful assortment of moments. That special instant when you connect with someone you really care about. That second when an idea takes over your mind and pushes everything else out. That day when you see your child as short-sighted and impudent and absolutely the very best part of you. That moment when you realize your parents are flawed and embarrassing and your heroes.

I was happy those moments were shared with me. I’m looking forward to more next week!

Steins;Gate 0 Ep 15 anime review
I have a feeling this may have been the calm before the storm

 A Nerdy Pespective opened my eyes to the wonder of slideshow galleries so that’s what I’m using this week!

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12 thoughts

  1. This episode is actually a good Daru summary for this season and for me: Daru comedy – meh. Daru emotional beats always hit home.

    To be honest, I’m not that into S;G0 currently, and oddly enough that was true for season 1 right around that time, too. S;G watching, for me, seems to be prone to a midlife crisis.

    I sort of want to play the game. It’s got to be multi-point-of-view. There are too many scenes that exclude Okabe. (If I kept track correctly, we’d need a three-way split between Okabe, Suzuha and Maho, maybe with a side of either Mayuri or Kagari?)

  2. “I would also do anything I could to protect such fragile moments. They are everything after all” For some reason that sentence brought a tear to my eyes, and I am not even joking this time. Maybe it’s because I am feeling a bit melancholy today, maybe it’s because I have started watching March comes in Like a Lion, but whatever the reason I found that sentence to be intensely beautiful, but then again the further I read in this post, the more that feeling lingered. For a show that I haven’t even started watching yet, you have managed to capture the feeling it can apparently evoke quite well. This was very beautiful Irina.

    1. Thank you Raistlin but I’m really just blindly wrote down what I was seeing. I hope you love March!

      1. Well, blindly or not, I really thought it was amazingly beautiful. And as for March, I am loving it so far, but shows like this always really get to me emotionally. Which I guess is a good thing 😊

        1. Season 1 of March doesn’t prepare you for season 2. Be careful. Be prepared. (It’s awesome!)

          1. Well, considering the fact that I just hit episode 11 after an afternoon of watching I can honestly say that I’m loving this one. And if season 2 will be even better I will definitely try to stay prepared for it as best I can. 😊😊

            1. Almost everyone I know says season 2 is better. But what I really meant to say is prepare yourself emtoinally. A certain arc is very hard hitting.

            2. Okay, thanks for the warning. I really had a hard time watching Your Lie in April as well, which truly made me cry. So a warning is very much appreciated 😊

  3. You certainly have a way with words, Irina. This made me appreciate an episode I liked but didn’t love at first watch. Thank you for putting it so eloquently, I may just have to go back and see the episode through different eyes.

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