I finally finished Steins Gate. Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed. It is still good, even great. But I don’t think it is a classic as some may suggest. And the quality (both visual and story-wise) definitely declines about mid way until it came back up again near the end. I guess it is common as the studio is sort of running out of money half way the production.
Be warned, spoilers ahead…
To me, the story really reaches climax when Mayuri died. The story is still running strong for several episodes after that. But I feel that it begins to fall apart afterward as many filler moments appear (Okabe’s date with Ruka, for example). The main story becomes less convincing after a while also. There is no very convincing reason why we must go back to the Beta world line to save Mayuri. Moreover, we never know that if Mayuri is supposed to die or not in the original world line also. Are they too sure that they can save Mayuri just by “erasing” all the change? And if shifting one world line is possible to change the destiny of Mayuri, it isn’t too convincing that further changing things won’t eventually change her destiny again and effectively saving her. After all, Okabe has an infinite number of chance to try. The ending isn’t very convincing also, even Okabe sees that Kurisu appears to die in a pool of blood. He would figure out that Kurisu wasn’t really dead as Kurisu is famous and her death will be reported on the news. So the future Okabe can’t really trick the passed Okabe with what had been done alone.
Another thing bothered me a little bit is that Okabe suddenly became a hot blood typical shonen manga protagonist about mid way in the story. His strong emotions with Kurisu and Mayuri are understandable. However, he suddenly wants to save everyone including Moeka whom he hated just a moment ago. In any way, Okabe is depicted as the indifferent type loyal only to his closest friends at the beginning of the show but his character slowly drifted off inconsistently. The part that he becomes more serious after all the suffering is understandable. But be a hero trying to save everyone? Doesn’t seem to be him.
In any case, I guess the story is still great. And it probably is very hard to make up a perfect story without fault. The show is still a strong B+. But probably no classic.