About a hundred years ago great scientist and physicist Albert Einstein introduced the world with his famous Theory of Relativity. Now a hundred years later we got ourselves the greatest time travelling anime of our time called Steins Gate!
Steins Gate (written as Steins;Gate) is a Japanese science fiction visual novel from a series of visual novels named “Science Adventure”.
“Chaos Head” (written as Chaos;Head) was the first of this series. Steins Gate is the second one which is about time travelling, time paradox and stuff. Now some of you might not know what a visual novel is so we need to explain it first. But since this article is not about visual novel, we’ll only scratch the tip of the iceberg. Let’s start off by knowing what a visual novel is.
A Visual Novel is a game, based on a story which mostly uses static graphical content or still images.
As the story progress the player will be given multiple choices. Based on his choice the story will progress. So a visual novel has many different endings. You can say that the choices are yours but everything else is at the hand of the creator.
Science Adventure was developed by 5pb and Nitroplus and released their first game Chaos;Child in the year 2008. Every game in Science Adventure follows a science fiction story which uses real world scientific concepts and theories in the story. So this creates an added realism in the story. As of today (April 27, 2019) Science Adventure has released five different visual novel games.
These are –
- Steins;Gate 0
- Robotics;Notes DaSH
Among all the stories of Science Adventure, Steins;Gate is currently the most popular one. The popularity skyrocketed after the release of its anime adaptation in 2011.
But What Makes Steins;Gate So Popular?
What makes the story so compelling that it quickly claimed 2nd place in the popular anime ranking site My Anime List (MAL)?
The first one in the rankings was none other than the famous Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (FMAB) which is the remake of Full Metal Alchemist (FMA) from 2003.
FMAB was released a year before Steins;Gate and claimed the first place of MAL. It has a rating of 8.7 rated by 31,916 users in IMDB which is a lot lower than it deserves.
But enough with the ratings and positions!
Where is the real deal?
We still haven’t found the answer to the question – “Why Steins Gate is the Best Time Travelling anime Ever?”
As we said before, Science Adventure uses original scientific facts and theories to create a science fiction story that creates an added realism in the viewer’s mind.
Steins;Gate is no different from that.
Now let’s just face it everyone, there are a lot of time travelling and time paradox stories.
But are they any good?
Remember that we started with Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity at the beginning of this article?
Let’s go back to that for a bit.
When Einstein wrote and published about his Theory of Relativity it literally shook the whole scientific community. Almost everyone was denying it and laughing at it.
No one could believe this shit!
And why should they?
This theory of whatever it is, is so unrealistic and bizzer.
Time moving at different speed at different place?
Do you think time is a car that can change its speed?
What nonsense is that? How can you prove such talk of madness?
Interestingly though Einstein didn’t prove his theory. He let other people do it for him. He was always a scientist that thinks, writs, do the math and think some more. He gave ways to prove his theory wrong. It’s called the falsification test. When you give a new hypothesis you need to provide a falsification method with it. There could be thousands of ways to prove ones hypothesis but the scientists don’t have that much time in their hands. They will only see how it can be proven wrong. If there is a way to prove it wrong then they’ll try it out and if it doesn’t work, then congratulations! It means that the hypothesis is not wrong!! Which in other words make it right.
Do not listen to the philosophical bullshit – “Just because you are not wrong doesn’t mean you are right!”
Well, actually there is no philosophical quote like that I think. I was merely referring to a dialogue of Shirou Emiya from Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 2nd season Episode 20. On 21:37 of episode 20, Emiya Said to Archer – “Just because you are correct doesn’t mean you are right.”
Funny isn’t it?
Well let’s end this topic right here and get back to the topic at hand which is the sub topic of our original topic.
Einstein’s theory could not be proven wrong. For hundreds of years, people are still trying and they are still failing. Even the photograph of Black Hole which was taken recently established his theory even more. You might ask what does that have to do with Steins;Gate being the greatest time travelling anime of our time?
Honestly speaking there are none! But on a different note it has everything to do with. Theory of Relativity is the reason that the time travelling concept was created. No matter how controversial this theory was or is, the science fiction writers didn’t seem to care. They just grabbed it and used it to create a new path for the fiction writers.
So it’s safe to say that Steins;Gate is the product of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which made hundred years of progress for mankind in overnight. That means if hundred years ago Einstein didn’t gave the theory then hundred years later we still would have been hundred years back.
Now how’s that for a paradox!
Alright now let’s focus a bit on Steins;Gate being the best time travelling anime. We know there are many time travel related stories, movies, animations thanks to Einstein. At first, when it was a completely new concept, people were just mesmerized by it. But in time it became boring. There are two types of time travelling story actually. One where time travel happens and the rest of the story has nothing to do with the scientific facts and time paradox.
Another kind of story takes the scientific approach. It actually tries to explain about time travel, its theories, paradox and everything related to it.
Back to the Future is a famous movie example of that kind of story. And there is also the Looper movie.
So let’s just call the two categories of time travelling stories – scientific and non-scientific
In every time travelling anime (aside from the non-scientific ones) there is a major problem. Each and every time a paradox arises in the story which can never be broken. It’s called the Grandfather Paradox.
It’s a paradox of time travel which is the product of changing events in the past. It was described in about 1931.
If you can travel to the past then you might be able to change it as well. If you can change the past then the future must also be changed because of that. But what if you went to the past and killed you’re own grandfather before your father was conceived?
You might be thinking – why should I do something this horrible?
Well, for example, we send a mad serial killer in the past and he killed his grandfather. Then what happens? If his grandfather was killed, then his father was never born. And if his father was never born then tough luck for him to be born!
If he himself was never born then there is no way he can go back to the past and kill his grandfather. And if his grandfather was never killed then he would have no problem being born. And that brings us to the beginning of the paradox. The mad serial killer is born and he will go to the past and… and so on.
So What is Happening?
Can he kill his grandfather or not?
If he kills then he is out of existence and his grandfather cannot be killed.
That means he has existence and he kills his grandfather.
Pretty confusing right?
To tell you the truth, the real fun of a time travelling story actually lies within this paradox.
But unfortunately there was no story that could pull off the paradox properly. In every story on time travel they screwed up with the paradox part. There was always a loop and they never could give a perfect finishing. Someone who is watching the detail could never say that it gave a perfect closer.
So how can you solve this problem?
How Can You Avoid This Time-Loop?
The scientists gave a new hypothesis to cover up for the Grandfather Paradox. They theorized that time travel may be possible but major past events can’t be changed.
Which led to the 3rd part of Harry Potter movie “The Prisoner of Azkaban”.
There we saw the implementation of this theory. Harry and Hermione went to the past using the time turner clock and saved Series Black from the dementor’s kiss. It seems that nothing changed because everything that happened in the future happened just because they did all those things in the past!
It was a brilliant display of time travelling concept and a very good way to avoid the grandfather paradox. But people wanted more. In their deep desires they want to change the past and have their own existence intact.
It’s not a very big thing to ask is it?
We all just wanted to avoid grandfather paradox like good citizen so that we can kill our grandfather before our fathers are born. Just an innocent little act of curiosity right?
Now here comes the surprise Christmas gift! Steins;Gate has solved the problem of grandfather paradox! Amazing isn’t it? Now we can all kill our grandfather with our hearts content without any grandfather paradox!
Well technically Steins;Gate didn’t solve the problem, it’s story writer just used a hypothesis that happen to solve the problem.
You heard me right!!
Or in this case you read me right!!!
Which Hypothesis it Used?
Well to have that answer you have to watch the anime or play the visual novel game. The answer, as well as the solution, is given within the story itself.
So is this why Steins;Gate is the best time travelling anime?
Well part of it.
I mean after watching so much movies with plot holes on time paradox and time traveling, who wouldn’t want at least a decent story with no or minor plot holes?
But does it make the story that great?
The answer is no.
Steins;Gate is a story which is actually known for its nerve wreaking suspense.
It will start as slow and may appear boring to some at first. But it’s promised that it will take you to a ride of joy, hummer, suspense and an ending that you’ll eventually yarn for.
The opening and ending song as well as the background music will also add to your excitement. If you observe the lyrics of both the op and ed song then you will realize their meaning more and more as the story goes further.
And there are also the pure scientific facts and theories. Science geeks and lovers will definitely have something to chew for.
While watching Steins;Gate you’ll know for sure that it’s a time travel story going right. You’ll want to become the Mad Scientist Okabe Rintarou himself and let the wave of adventure carry you into the sea of Butterfly Effects where you will drown beneath the waves of the world lines but will not die. You will rise with the fact that Steins;Gate is the most perfectly executed story on time travel yet.
Now don’t you guys want to know where the name Steins;Gate came from?
Remember Albert Einstein??
How does Einstein’s Gate sounds to you???
Does it ring any bell!
Well I hope you all liked this long boring explanation about an entertaining anime which of course we watch to keep away this kind of boringness away from us. But I thank you for that and congratulate you if you have gone through the whole article.
Dude you must have a lot of time in your hands!
And last but not least,
El Psy Congro!!