Summer jobs are in full 9 to 5, cosplays being planned, and carpools are being set up. Yes, people, it’s Convention Season 2013 and it’s in full swing, and I am certainly no exception to all the activity. But while I wait, it’s summer so that means stay inside and read as many manga and visual novels as I can stomach. And with that, come and let me show you a tale of something as complicated yet beautiful as time travel.
Yes, I speak of the visual novel turned anime series known as Steins;Gate. This indirect sequel of Chaos;Head from developers 5pb and Nitroplus is the second in the (so far) trilogy series of “Science Adventure” visual novels. Originally in Japan, it was a visual novel for the Xbox 360 which later was ported over to the PC. The story follows the player as self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintaro Okabe who often calls himself by his other alias, Hououin Kyoma. He as well as the other growing members of his group are known as the “Future Gadget Laboratory”. After he witnesses the “death” of a known scientist which he texts his friend about, he discovers that his text message actually moves days into the past. With his discovery of actual time travel, he soon finds himself very deep with his developments.
While time travel is the primary element throughout this novel, it surprisingly goes into great detail about the theory. It mentions multiple discussed time travel theories including black hole theory, light speed theory, and primarily the theory of world lines proposed by Herman Minkowski. While these theories are mentioned throughout, full knowledge of each isn’t needed to progress but is actually interesting. Also introduced in the novel is the “Phone Trigger” decision point that was introduced in Chaos;Head under the name “Delusional Trigger”. During minor and pivotal points of the story, the phone is used to message other characters that have different effects on the end outcome of the story.
What brings me to recommending this visual novel is due to most of the overall story and interactions amongst characters. Each character has their own dynamic sense of style that makes them each very much unique in their own ways. Not to mention the way the entire concept of time travel is handled is simply amazing. I’m hoping to see more series’ manipulate this concept of time travel in the way this series did.
If you wish to play a little compare and contrast, the anime is also available from FUNimation Entertainment!