Sunday, July 6, 2014

Anime Review: Steins Gate: Burdened Domain of Deja Vu

STEINS GATE: BURDENED DOMAIN OF DEJA VU: A somewhat unnecessary continuation to the original story, but good nonetheless

Burdened Domain of Deja Vu continues the story of the original Steins Gate series. The anime follows Okabe Rintaro, Kurisu Makise, and the rest of the Future Gadget Laboratory, as they experience déjà vu, a phenomenon wherein their memories from different world lines collide, causing certain complications.

Even though the original Steins Gate series is already wrapped up and doesn’t need an extension, Burdened Domain of Deja Vu is an interesting watch. Its approach is somewhat different compared to the original. It focuses more on the romantic component between Okabe and Kurisu, but still features the smart and technical time travel aspects that make Steins Gate so good. This combination makes Burdened Domain of Deja Vu a different experience than the original.

Because of this different approach, the anime lacks the action and darkness of the original series. This isn’t an inherent flaw, but it is subject to criticism because of differing preferences between viewers. Personally, the fact that it lacks action and darkness makes it an emotional ride. It reminds me of the magic of 5 Centimeters per Second, only with an additional time travel element.

The story can be problematic for some, however. It has certain elements that viewers won’t understand unless they’ve seen the original series. There are also some plot points that seem ridiculous if the viewers are not familiar with certain events and characters. The anime is basically exclusive for those who have seen Steins Gate.

But those who have will surely enjoy this one. Even though the other members of the Future Gadget Laboratory are basically environmental characters here, Okabe and Kurisu have sufficient character development to carry the characterization. My only gripe in the characters is the awkward dialogues that are just there to advance the plot.

Speaking of the plot, Burdened Domain of Deja Vu has some good and bad points. The bad point would be the general tameness of the conflict. Sure, it is interesting, but I think it relies too much on existing emotional investment, and the way it is worked out is somewhat passive. It lacks the immediate sense of danger that makes conflicts exciting. But the good point is, this follow up anime knows how to juggle its plot elements. The common fan of the franchise will not be disappointed, because it lives up to the smartness of the Steins Gate plot.

Overall, Steins Gate: Burdened Domain of Deja Vu, is more of a dessert for an already satisfying meal. It is not a necessary watch to appreciate Steins Gate as a franchise, but the fact that it exists just makes the Steins Gate experience a little better. This is recommended to those who have seen the original series.

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  1. As a big fan of the Steins;Gate series, I have been meaning to watch this for a while. I saw it on YouTube with terrible fansubs over Japanese subtitles after finishing the series, but I decided to wait until an official release, and I don't think I will be disappointed since my expectations are not terribly high. Great review as always!


    1. This one is actually pretty good. It has the same wit as the original series, but focuses more on the romantic aspect instead of the plot-orientation we've seen before.