Genre: Sci fi
Rating: 15 for violence
Score: Excellent

Hououin Kyouma (real name Okabe Rintaro) is a mad scientist, with a lab full of “future gadgets”. He’s visiting a lecture on a theory of time travel, when he changes upon a girl’s body in a pool of blood in the stairwell. But shortly afterwards he sees this girl alive and well – and recruits her into his lab by offering to show her his time machine.

Okabe has stumbled – more by chance than talent – on a device that can send text messages into the past. At first he uses this power freely, but soon realises the implications that changing history can have. Worse, the lab’s activities have caught the eye of a ruthless time travel superpower, the future despotic rulers of earth: CERN.

Time travel stories are hard to get right. Most are inconsistent and confused, or are too pleased with their plot tricks to worry about the characters. Steins;Gate has a convoluted plot that will have you scratching your head, with multiple timelines interacting and reversing each others’ effects, but I think it all hangs together. More importantly, the characters are what makes the series work, especially Okabe with his over-the-top declarations, useless inventions and bad naming sense. Through the series you see him progress through playful curiosity, arrogance, despair, hope, determination and love.

You may need to watch this twice.