The current anime season is winding down, and I’m trying to finish up the shows I’m watching so I can make room for the new ones that will be coming soon. One of the best-executed series in recent months has been Steins;Gate 0, a proper sequel to the 2011 anime and legendary visual novel, which our friends at JAST USA published in English. I was unsure at first whether we needed a sequel to what was already a perfectly balanced story, and thought that, like season 2 of Chu2koi, continuing the series might do more harm than good. Happily, the new series has been firing on all cylinders and bringing lots of new dimensions to the world and characters, taking us into the darkest places yet. But just what is the allure of Steins;Gate, anyway?
It’s a question the president of Nitroplus asked me once. He wanted to know why Steins;Gate was so much more popular than the other “science adventure” game + anime series made by Nitroplus and 5pb/Mages, which included Chaos;Head (about a series of murders in Shibuya, partially funded by Microsoft to promote the Xbox 360 in Japan), Robotics;Notes (robots and catgirl AR, yay) and Occultic;Nine (which was about, um, the occult and oppai if I remember correctly). I told him that there’s something about time travel, time displacement and time loop stories that holds a special magic.
Another aspect of the allure of Steins;Gate is that it’s one of the core series that encapsulates and defines aspects of otaku culture, allowing us to better understand and appreciate it. We respond positively when our fictional heroes are like us, fans of anime, comics, dating-sim games, prone to debate whether visiting maid cafes is “cheating” on our 2D waifus. Some other series that helped define otaku subculture were…
- Genshiken, the outstanding story of a university student who joins his school’s “visual arts research club.” Totally worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.
- Welcome to the NHK, the story of a university student who becomes a NEET, and the girl who saves him.
- The above-mentioned Love, Chuunibyo and Other Delusions, which took the idea of “8th graders’ disease”—the tendency for young people to respond to school and life stress by constructing complex delusional worlds—into the mainstream.
- Anime-Gataris, a light-hearted tale of one girl’s journey to being an otaku. Not the best show, but it knew how to break the fourth wall.
- Of course we can’t forget about the original, Ganax’s Otaku no Video, which made the term otaku a household word.
We love to stock region-free import anime games for PS4, and have lots in stock, including the new Steins;Gate version that adds to the original story. All games can be played on any PS4 anywhere in the world. Want to browse our new stock?