Blu-Ray Review: Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2

The adventure continues in Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 and what take a closer look at what the UK Blu-Ray release via Manga Entertainment UK has to offer.

Synopsis:

Okabe couldn’t save her. Plagued by the guilt, his only solace lies with academia and with his friends who have been by his side from the start.

But nothing’s ever easy. While Okabe struggles to leave his traumas in the past, he meets a familiar-faced AI that re-opens old wounds and could lead to a terrifying new future.

Our View:

The time travelling escapades of Rintaro Okabe comes to its thrilling conclusion within this final instalment of Steins;Gate 0, but sadly the ending isn’t as thrilling or exciting as the journey that led us. Satisfying entertainment delivered in exceptional circumstances, but a rather uninformed ending leaves much more to be desired from the characters that reside within.

Continuing the events from the first half of Steins;Gate 0, of which saw Okabe  enter the Beta World line which sees Okabe meet Kurisu’s friend Hiyajo Maho who has created a digital variation of Kurisu’s personality through the system known as Amadeus, we now find a new storyline unfolding. Firstly Kagari begins to regain some of her memories but shortly after this she disappears without a trace, with the group searching for her without any success. Fast forward one month and everyone is going about their daily lives with Daru attempting to restore the Time Leap device through the use of Maho’s assistance.

It’s at this point in the Steins;Gate 0 storyline begins to shift in a unusual direction. In one instance we have Daru, Suzuha and Maho working together to build the Time Leap machine, while another sees all the females attempt to help Daru with swooning Yuki off her feet to help build their relationship.

Okabe meanwhile focuses on his studies in order to travel overseas to study with Professor Lenskin while Mayuri remains unsure about her own feelings and what it means for the future. Doubt is constantly thrown in the air and while the focus of Steins;Gate 0 seems to be placed in a stale mate the character build-up and relationship exploration does not, with each key character receiving a set focus on their development – whether that be it emotionally or physically – something which we do not often see.

Regardless this acts as a clam before the storm as the remaining selection of episodes seemingly are best watched in one big chunk. It begins with Mayuri being told everything that has happened, both in the past and future, with Mayuri making the decision to travel to the past in order to force Okabe to save Kirisu and upon learning of this fact Okabe heads off the confront her.

Upon arriving at the Radio Building Okabe realises that ‘this moment’ is the catalyst for starting World War III, with multiple organisations arriving at the building in order to secure the Time Machine. A Fierce battle takes place, with casualities and surprising revelations taking place, but alas it results in the destruction of the Time Machine and the death of comrades.

Determined to change the outcome Okabe completes the Time Leap device with Daru and Maho in order to send himelf back into the past in order to protect Mayuri and Suzuha. At first this works but upon failing to save them he tries again, only to be thrown into the future in 2036. Unwavering Okabe forces himself to do over 3,000 time leap trips in order to return to the timeframe where Mayuri attempts to travel into the past and just like in the original Steins;Gate series Okabe will not give up until he finds the outcome he desires; an ending without death but with salvation.

You could say it is a ‘rinse and repeat’ moment for Okabe, but with each Time Leap something changes – albeit slightly – and it creates some intensive action in a series which, in this first half at least, has been rather slow placed.

Extras:

Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 remains consistent with the previous instalment by offering a nice selection of supplementary content ranging from English Cast Commentary to textless songs of both the opening and endings used in the series. As per usual majority of the bonus features can be found on the second Blu-Ray disc with the exception being the Episode 20 Audio Commentary which can be found on the First Disc.

Once again the English Cast Commentary, of which is a Video Commentary for Epiode 18 and Audio Commentary for Episode 20, provides a unique insight into the production of an English Dub as well as the adaptive process required to bring it to life. Unlike other commentary tracks on other FUNimation releases it does provide some insightful and informative content.

Although not strictly a bonus feature, as it is listed as part of the main episode line-up, this release of Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 includes the OVA episode Valentine’s of Crystal Polymorphism: Bittersweet Day. This particular episode, of which takes place around the events of Episode 12, sees the female cast create valentine’s day chocolate.

The comical aspect of this episode is that Suzuha is concerned on who Kagari will give the chocolates to, as it could effect the course of the future, and acts suspicious around everyone. Just like the rest of the series it is presented in both English and Japanese (with English subitltes) and provides a nice change of pace to the main story of Steins;Gate 0.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:40:10 (Disc 1), 1:13:28 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby True HD 5.1 (English) & Dolby True HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 brings the Steins;Gate 0 storyline to its conclusion in a rather unconventional way that leaves more questions than answers, but at the very least it provides an exhilarating watch from start to finish. Generally Steins;Gate 0 Part 2 is separated into two distinctive scenarios, the first of which focuses on Kagari and the relationships surrounding her, while the second distinctive scenario is the creation and implementation of the Time Leap device so that Okabe can travel back into the past in an attempt to save everyone he cares for.

Naturally there is to these scenarios than one might expect, as characters and storylines intertwine with each other to create a bigger understanding of what is going on – especially when it comes to the different military factions trying to capture the Time Machine; but at its core this is what Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 is about.

Surprisingly the build-up in the first half, with Okabe’s relationship with the Amadeus variation of Kirisu and Maho are relatively unchecked in this second half, BUT, they do plan a vital role in further developing the ending and Okabe’s own mental state. Some interesting twists indeed, and not exactly the ending I expected to see that, as mentioned, leaves me with more questions than answers. Perhaps the original source material (i.e. PS4 and PS Vita game) can provide the answers I seek.

Regardless in the series chance of pace, and then latter rinse and repeat to time travel approach, Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 delivers the consistency one would expect from the series – and this Blu-Ray release via Manga Entertainment UK is no different.

Once again the English and Japanese voice cast return to reprise their roles for their respective characters and, as with the previous half, the English dub it is provided in 5.1 Surround sound for that added cinematic experience. The subtitle presentation meanwhile is the same as other FUNimation releases, with White subtitles presented for both Dialogue, Songs and Signs. As Steins;Gate 0 is a dark toned series it is easy to read these subtitles.

Overall Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 continues the momentum set by the previous instalment by creating its own path that further explores the characters within and the lengths that they will go to in order to make their ideals a reality. Initially this story begins in unfamiliar circumstances, with love and relationships in the air, but sit back, relax and soon enough you’ll find yourself in the oddly familiar world of Steins;Gate; just a with a different set of characters and in a much darker tone.

Score: review-stars-5

Steins;Gate 0 – Part 2 will be available on the 30th September 2019 as a Blu-Ray and DVD Combo Pack.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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