It’s no mystery that Steins;Gate is one of the best shows of the season. Intriguing plot? Check. Check Let’s skip the checks and jump to straight to the triple check mark. Steins;Gate is a triple check. The semicolon-in-the-middle show moves at a steady pace. Not in a turtle-ish show pace type of slow. It stops then moves. It moves in a safe mindful way such as someone checking both sides of the street before crossing to the other side.
Okabe Rintarou student and self-proclaimed (we’ll take his word for it) Mad Scientist living in a cheap apartment in Tokyo. His goal? Desiring chaos as he claims, but who is still unsure whether to take the task of becoming messiah to save mankind from some twisted evil scheme looming over the world or to satisfy his curiosity. The choice is his to make, the outcome unknown.
The fickle, the unpredictable trait in a character and in a story is something that gets my attention because it brings new and rare developments to the story. Steins;Gate is the type of interesting show to analyze. Okabe is the type of character who is intriguing to look at from the screen. His antics make the show. That’s a point to be emphasized. He’s more fun to watch that the average anime character who gets caught in some serious trouble and has no idea how to solve it. He’s more intriguing when it comes to guessing what he is thinking when he isn’t revealing the secrets his mind holds in the most pompous manner possible while throwing his hands in the air followed by a high-angle shot brought to you by the Mad Scientist. The existence of unpredictable behavior a main character may possess, for me, in a story scores high points by developing a story where plenty of bizarre scenarios are possible, said possible events connected to how equally bizarre and outrageous the key players of the story are. HOUoUin Kyouma becomes the type of character that fits this profile, the intriguing character who the viewer tries to figure what he’s actually thinking and how he rationalizes the bizarre events in his world – guessing in reality what goes through his mind. Stories where the outcomes aren’t so easily discernible from the get-go.
What choices is he going to make? And how are they would affect the world?
When we are talking about main characters, unless the story strictly inserts themes of moral choices, characters are painted either black or white. Good guys do good deeds no matter and fight for the greater good of the world while villains do the opposite. Everything in-between gets thrown into similar categories of shades of black and white. The boundary of roles separating good guys, semi-good guys, and villains is momentarily broken in moments like this when a character doesn’t respond in the expected way. Fickle characters who remain unambiguous in nature and no telling for sure what their actions directly or indirectly will bring to the story. Main characters with fickle behavior and not set in stone goals creates the uncertainty that it is impossible to know how they are going to react to new events in a story. Positive or negative. By the end of the day many things could happen. A fickle character could change his mind and make the right move, but we don’t know that. They probably will do the right thing when the time comes, but we don’t know that. But we don’t know that. It’s probable, but never confirmed any of these events will occur. Be that positive or negative. It’s the level of ambiguity reigning in bizarre and fickle characters in a story where you can come to expect equally bizarre twists. Entertained yet? Why, yes.