Steins;Gate 0 – Episode 17
I had a bad feeling from the beginning of this episode. Steins;Gate has a few tells for when something distinctly bad is going to happen and one of those tells is the constant flashing of the date, world line and time. So I had a bad feeling from the start, it only amplified as Mayuri confronted Daru, Suzuha and Maho about the future and the things that they knew that Okabe had been through during the previous summer. She actually just barely catches Suzuha as Suzuha goes to return to the summer and try to change the course of history to get off this timeline before World War 3 begins. They outline to Mayuri what they know about the beta and alpha world lines and their belief in the Steins;Gate timeline.
As they explain these things to Mayuri, Daru gets Suzuha some of her favorite cake and uses it as a send off with the knowledge that they will probably never see each other again until she is properly born in this world line.
This really is too much for Mayuri. She knows, she knows that it’s her fault that Okabe gave up on obtaining the Steins;Gate timeline when she intervened during the summer. It’s why he’s suffering and why he’s become a different person. She breaks down and it wraps back to her feelings connecting to the festival of Tanabata, the things she discussed with Ruka in the previous episode. She deeply proclaims her love for Okabe, saying that she loves him just as much, no perhaps even more then Makise Kurisu ever could and yet somehow, despite this scene bringing me to tears and fully understanding where she is coming from. It did nothing but cement why I could never ship Okabe/Mayuri romantically. Yes, I think they are wonderful friends and probably one of my favorite platonic friendships in all of anime but I could never view their relationship as romantic because Mayuri says it herself.
More than loving Okabe, she loves Hououin Kyouma. She loves the crazy mad scientist, she loves the act that he put on for her to help and save her. She misses him, she misses that part of him so much that it’s making her sick. She wants to cry and she wants to scream, because she misses Kyouma. Okabe is there, but it’s not the Okabe she loves and that is why I could never ship them romantically. She would stagnate him.
The wonderful thing about her though is that she knows this as well, she knows that she can never be Okabe’s ‘Orihime’. Upon finding out what Suzuha is planning, she panics, she doesn’t want Suzuha to go and get herself hurt or in trouble. She calls Okabe and tries to speak to him, he begins to freak out because she wasn’t supposed to know. She didn’t need to feel the burden of knowing these things about the past and about the Future.
Though in the middle of their phone call all of the cell service in Akihabara goes down. Mayuri makes up her mind to go with Suzuha back to the summer and stop herself from stopping Okabe and goes to join her at the radio tower. Okabe runs to the lab to try to get to Mayuri, but nothing is going right at this point. The @channel is hacked, Amadeus’s server has been hijacked and is crying out for help. The data for the time machine technology trapped deep inside of Amadeus has been found.
Okabe books it to the radio tower, to try to stop Mayuri from getting involved with all of this. Suzuha shoots him to keep him back, and they are set to move to the future when there is a D-mail from Daru in the Future. Not the Daru that Suzuha originally knew, there had already been a shift in the timeline from their actions. He needed to tell her something, give her information on operation arclight when they find themselves surounded by men with guns.
They want the time machine, but they need Suzuha to start it up since it had a signature that only she can use. She heads in and then grabs a knife taped to the console to attack the people and steals one of their guns. She begins gunning them down and tells Mayuri to run, as Mayuri is running, she gets gun downed.
My throat closed up. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, in my head despite the fact that Okabe wasn’t in the scene and was resting on the stairwell from the bullet wound to his leg I could hear his gut wrenching scream as Mayuri fell to the ground.
As the person in spandex and the black mask we can only assume is Kagari once again walks up and sees the trail of blood slip from Mayuri I can only sum up my feelings for the end of this episode with one meme.
“Thanks, I hate it.”
Seriously though, I loved this episode. It was nice to get some kind of development on Mayuri’s end as she’s always been kind of just there. Yes, she’s always played an important role and had an important factor to her but that’s only in the value that other people [mostly Okabe], but on her. She has not had a lot of personal involvement in the events in either series and it was nice to see her wanting to step up and do something.
The most powerful line of the episode for sure was this.
“For today only, Mayushii will stop being a hostage.”