“Steins;Gate” is an anime series based on the video game, which showcases Rintaro Okabe, a mad scientist who discovered a way to connect with the past. The proposed research aims to examine the concepts of time travel in relation to other works of science fiction that offer their outlook on time travel and its impact on the events. Therefore, this proposal argues that “Steins;Gate” offers a unique outlook on time travel and the consequences.
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The plot of this anime is intriguing because although time travel has been the central theme of many science fictions works, in “Steins;Gate,” it is presented in a unique manner. Okabe uses his cellphone and a microwave to create a connection with the past. He sends text messages, which affect his present life. The main characters, Okabe and his friends do not directly engage with the past, meaning that they cannot actually travel back in time. It should be noted that later in the series, Okabe’s colleague improves the microwave-cellphone technology so that it would allow one to travel through time. Instead, they send so-called “D-mails,” and through them, they are able to save the life of a neuroscientist who died at the beginning of the series.
Similar to other well-known works that depict time travel, this anime shows viewers the moral or the dangerous consequences of intruding the time. The theoretical approach for this paper is a review of other literary works and TV shows that depict time travel and comparing them. The working thesis statement for this paper is that “Steins;Gate’s” characters developed a unique model of time travel, which distinguishes this anime from other science fiction works that have the same theme.
The concept of science fiction implies an imaginary story in which the main character experiences an adventure by having a journey, for example, to outer space or a different time. This is the definition of science fiction proposed by Roberts, and it suggests that time travel is among the central themes of this genre (1). This work will contribute to the research because it outlines the main concepts of science fiction and its distinct characteristics. In addition, it helps one understand the complexity of science fiction works, which will allow defining the main elements of “Steins;Gate,” which make it unique.
In the original anime, the so-called “mad scientist” creates multiple timelines and struggles to return to his friends. MacEgan analyzes the plot of this anime and reviews the concept of time travel used in this TV show. The author offers an analysis of the alternative endings of these stories, providing more insights into the plot as he discusses how Okabe has to choose between the two of his best friends since one of them dies in the alternative version of the timelines. The moral dilemma that the main character faces is an essential element of “Steins;Gate,” and this review will contribute to this research because it assesses the main details of the story.
Since this proposal aims to compare different depictions of time travel in science fiction, it is necessary to incorporate a source that analyses other TV shows. Decker reviews the concept of time and time travel depicted in the popular show “Doctor Who” (1). The storylines and incorporation of time travel in these two works are distinct since Doctor Who is an immortal being traveling both through time and space in his time machine. Comparing the two will help the analysis for this research.
Roberts, Adam. Science Fiction. Routledge, 2006.
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MacEgan, Mattew. “Steins;Gate 0: A sequel to the popular time-travel anime series.” WSWS. Web.
Decker, Kevin. “Gallifrey Falls No More: Doctor Who’s Ontology of Time.” Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, vol. 2, 2019, pp. 1-10.