I’m not necessarily trying to blog Steins;Gate episodically, but when something happens like it did in [C] I sometimes feel compelled to write on it multiple times. This post will focus on two particular parts of episode 22, the confession scene and the return to normal life or what may be normal in any case.
The kissing scene between Okabe and Kurisu had been coming for a while in my opinion. Much as Hououin Kyouma had been an act for Okabe, the tsundere act was the same for Kurisu. I thought it was rather well established for her to have that sort of act as she was completely inexperienced with relationships and she was integrated into a culture where tsundere characters were prominent. Thus it made sense in my view that she chose that whenever she was uncomfortable with where their relationship was going.
In the buildup to the confessions the fact that Okabe was a broken man clearly loomed large. He was willing to go back repeatedly and witness Mayuri’s death over and over again rather than undo that first message. There’s something quite touching about the fact that he is willing to destroy himself to save the one he loves more than anyone. If his priority at this point was Mayuri he would have had few issues with undoing the timeline, but he had to be convinced.
However, the trips through time themselves could also explain his feelings. He had gone through the same struggle tens, if not hundreds, of times. In each of these he had been helped by Kurisu, and it would be hard to say that this fact of always being supported by the same person played a larger role than it would have.
Then moving on to the kissing scene itself, the buildup was filled with cliched lines about romance and time travel. When it got to the first kiss itself, I was impressed that the music instantly stopped. The scene was left to linger properly until they separated, after a bit of banter over the kiss they go at it again. All the while we hear Kurisu’s rather romantic thoughts on relativity.
Now to the end of the episode. After Okabe made what he assumed would be his final trip back, he gave a rather psychotic monologue as Kyouma. One of the concerns I had was how they would address his return to normal. Would he be able to adjust to not having to see death repeatedly without issue, or would it start to resemble PTSD? With the conclusion of the episode, that is no longer a concern. Should that seem like such an easy way out?