In the ninth episode of Steins;Gate, this is rapidly becoming Not Okay. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steins;Gate.
Oh. OH GOD. Y’ALL. This is getting incredibly messed up??? I know that’s the point, but if Steins;Gate had a slow start—which I’ve been fine with—it is absolutely starting to pay off. All the elaborate character building that we’re getting is leading to these complex ramifications for the use of the PhoneWave, and unless they actually start undoing this shit, I imagine it’s only going to get more convoluted and more distressing.
Guess what? I am certain they’re not going to try to un-do anything.
So, let me start with Feyris and end with Feyris, because holy shit, all of that stuff with her club and the game and the culture of “moe” (which is finally named here; I did not know what this cultural obsession was called until this episode) was built up so that we could feel the horrible impact of all of it being stripped away. There’s a mystery within the greater mystery of the world lines, and it’s the content of Feyris’s message. Well, Feyris is the character, Akiha is her actual name, the daughter of the owner of Akihabara and the person responsible for moe culture spreading about the city. Her request doesn’t occur until halfway through “Chaos Theory Homeostasis II,” which was a good thing because there was still the tangled thread of Ruka’s message to unravel from the previous episode. (Which makes me think that is why the episodes are titled as they are; they are intended to seem connected.)
And about that… there’s no answer to whether or not Ruka’s desire came true. Instead, after the hilarious scene at May Queen Nyan-Nyan (I think I got the name right???), the team returns to the lab to discuss their next step. There’s another brief moment between Okabe and Kurisu that I thought might lead to some insight into her character. I desperately want to know who she was on the phone with and why that conversation made her cry. Unsurprisingly, Okabe ruins the moment by slipping back into his mad scientist character, which… y’all, I hope there’s a reason he has adopted this character? I’m not saying that would exonerate him from what he’s done—he’s routinely been rude and dismissive to other people. But we get these brief moments where he sheds the character, when we see Okabe for who he is… and then the character comes right back, and he’s being rude again, and OH GOD, WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS.
ANYWAY. Round Table Meeting! Ah, I will never tire of Okabe making Grand Announcements That Are Very Important and then being met with utter silence in return. It will always be funny, and so I was laughing at the meeting right up until I wasn’t laughing, which was when Kurisu and Daru both make references to being unable to work due to the IBN 5100.
Because it’s gone.
Because they never fucking found it.
So, even if Ruka didn’t get what they want, that message on Ruka’s mother’s pager somehow dislodged the world line so that the IBN 5100 never ended up at the Yanabanashi shrine, and Okabe never found it. Now, the SERN files are impossible to decode, and even worse, they are back at square one in trying to find the IBN 5100.
And then there’s Moeka’s part in this episode??? Which I understand none of in any context? She’s still looking for the IBN 5100, as she was before this world line shifted, and she is deeply, deeply upset that she did not find a thing where FB (WHO THE FUCK IS THAT) told her it would be. I don’t even have a theory anymore, y’all. What’s going on???
I don’t have answers, and I don’t think I’m supposed to. One thing I admire about this episode and how the show is progressing as a whole is that we are not handed the ramifications immediately. One of the biggest changes thus far in the series isn’t even evident until the team leaves Akiha’s home, after she sends her secret email to… well, we don’t know who got it, either, so there’s no way to check.
I initially thought that her message had to do with her father because he was suddenly in the same room when he hadn’t been there. So I wondered if her message had some how conjured him up? But this is a misinterpretation, I think, because we have no indication that Akiha’s father was ever missing. However, I have a different theory. What if Akiha never wanted moe culture to be brought to Akihabara? What if she wanted her father to attain success a different way? Is that why he appeared so suddenly and why Akiha appeared to have a close relationship? It’s the only thing I have in terms of a guess because what the FUCK would change the ENTIRE cultural make-up of a city???? THE WHOLE CITY IS DIFFERENT. HOW. HOW DID SHE DO THAT?
One last thing: I noticed a decimal point in that weird number that flashes onscreen whenever Okabe experiences a world line alteration. That seems… intentional? I know this one started with 0.40 something, so the next time it happens, I’m going to see if there’s a change in it? But what does it measure? IT CAN’T BE A MEANINGLESS. Oh god, it probably is and I’m just chasing nonsense, HERE WE GO.
The video for “Chaos Theory Homeostasis II” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff