Steins;Gate 0 – Episode 8
After such a gut-wrenching episode last week that ended in a huge cliffhanger, this episode doesn’t disappoint. The opening scene brings up Kurisu in all her living glory and after a bit of casual talk, Rintarou can’t help himself and he hugs her. Soon it’s obvious through the conversation that neither him nor Daru visit often. He doesn’t see the Phone Microvawe and Leap Time Machine in the room and he also learns suddenly that Mayuri is not alive in this world line. Understandably, he is upset after finding out, so he goes out for a walk.
During this time, he meets Daru and they go to Ferris’ maid cafe. Here Rintarou meets Fubuki, and as she reminisces, she gets upset and he asks, “What if there is a world where she can live?” Daru gets angry and takes him outside and tells him that Rintarou couldn’t press the key. It turns out Rintarou and the rest wanted to do something about it, they thought they could, too, but in the end it was his choice to let Mayuri go.
Daru calls Kurisu and tells her about the argument and here I assumed she was starting to suspect Rintarou, it’s not too long before she finds him and asks if he’s from another wold line. Later she shows him that she’s rebuilt the Phone Microwave and he can get back to his time, but he admits that in his world line, she’s not around. He walks around the city for a bit afterwards and I must say the music during this scene is amazing, the kind of emotion-spilling music this show deserves.
The next day Kurisu wants to take him somewhere, so they ride the train together. There’s some cute banter between them and during this scene, Kurisu is shocked to learn Rintarou has been in contact with Maho and Leskinen and knows about Amadeus. She’s seems embarrassed by it. Afterwards, he talks about the events in his timeline to get her opinion.Once they get to the place she’s taking him to, Okabe’s expression changes drastically. The way they animated his eyes in this part was very careful, deliberate and appropriate. I appreciated it a lot.
The moment of respite did not last long, as Kurisu has taken him to Mayuri’s grave. She tells him about what this world line’s Okabe was like after Mayuri’s passing, in order to try to make his decision easier, but he despairs because in either world like he makes a choice that wrecks him with guilt. Although I must say he seems worse off in this one, considering what Kurisu said, but still, the beta line seems doomed, too.
In a very touching moment, the sun comes out and Rintarou does that gesture that Mayuri used to do, reaching out with his hands towards the sun. The significance of that gesture, the memories of the story behind it from the previous show, all came crashing back on my mid. I almost burst into tears, but kept them at bay (not for long though).
Later Kurisu and Rintarou go back to the lab and Kurisu is determined to send him back. Rintarou is still ambivalent about it, particularly after she asked him to forget about her (funny how both she and Mayuri are so eager to sacrifice themselves for each other and him!) He’s frustrated because she is the one person he loves, even if Mayuri is very important and dear to him. In a very bold move that also serves as a distraction Kurisu kisses him and sends the message which effectively sends a D-mail back to her. Either way we see her running in the past and she ignores the message, so I’m wondering what that means. That’s also when we learn which alpha timeline he was in.
This episode didn’t go at all like I expected! I thought we might get more info into the organization that’s trying to take Kagari or the reason why she might want to be taken. I’m assuming it’s because there’s more than a passing connection between her and Kurisu, but time will tell. Even if I cried my eyes out and even if it hurts, I’m still really happy to see Kurisu alive and kicking instead of as Amadeus. The kiss was also a bittersweet moment I’m grateful for. Leave it to this show to stir my emotions like crazy! Can’t wait to see what it has in store for us next.