r#102 – steins;gate: the sagacious wisdom of cognitive computing

What’s up, internet people, nesha is coming back again, straight at you with another anime perspective. Anyway, is now the weekend already? Darn, time does go so fast. For you who haven’t read my main review for this week, go ahead visit my review of Sword Art Online’s latest movie that I posted earlier on Monday (click here). But to fill the time being before you jump to the last day of the weekend where you will fill it with laziness, I want you to watch something first!

As we all know Steins;Gate as one of the most successful anime franchise so far; with its first season of the franchise has stayed in the top five of the most ranked show on MAL, together with its airing second season —Steins;Gate 0— that is currently ranked fourth and never gets lower since its first episode release … Steins;Gate is an awesome franchise and everyone in the anime community knows it. But, do you know about something that you probably have missed? Well, here’s the fact; Steins;Gate actually has aired four bonus episodes asan original net animation which directly released onto the internet, and according to the MyAnimeList’s statistic, sadly only 19.4% of the original Steins;Gate watcher who actually has watched these four comedic bonus episodes … and most likely, you’re not included in that 19%.

I know, I know … sometimes the special or bonus episodes like these are not going to be that worthed as its parent series. But what if these comedic episodes actually are free and you can legally watch it on the internet? What if these episodes won’t take you longer than 20 minutes to watch it all? What if … these episodes are actually good and satisfying to watch? Well, let me answer those questions by breaking down all the hidden facts and meanings behind these short four episodes! Let’s do it!

hmm.

“Steins;Gate: Soumei Eichi no Cognitive Computing” is a series of four anime shorts that actually sponsored by —the real-life— IBM aka. the International Business Machines Corporation, an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. This is a serious fact! Remembering that the plot of Steins;Gate was featured and tied so tight with a device known as the IBN5100, which is actually inspired by one of the first real-life portable computer known as the IBM 5100 … it was amazing that an anime franchise such as Steins;Gate actually could draw a super huge technology manufactures and markets with its client including the U.S. Government itself, to sponsored in the making of a Japanese animation. That is, my friend, a real achievement of a franchise that we will not hear about it often ever again in a long time, unless of course, if the Japanese animation will have a serious leap in its creative writing and its production.

Aight so, this official collaboration between Steins;Gate and IBM began when the creator of the series talked with the Japanese branch of IBM, and these four episodes were created after both of the sides managed to overdone the idea and approved the partnership. And now, we can have 15 minutes of anime shorts where they talk about how computers could improve life in the future and introduce us to a term called Upa —or OOPArt if you intersted to know its scientific spelling— which is an acronym for the Out of Place Artifact that supposedly referred to every futuristic artifact found in an ancient archaeological site. Fun fact; even the very existence of Upas is debated as the evidence of the time traveling that has happened before. So yeah, this overdone idea is absolutely not a bad concept at all!

Even later in the series, this device known as Metal Upa is going to be revealed the key item in the world line divergence. So if you think these are just going to be a plain of bonus episodes; well, it’s actually not. These four episodes are connected directly to the introduction of OOPArt, and there’s a possibility where the future of Steins;Gate actually depend on this thing. So try to consider it once again if you think these four episodes are not worth your time to watch.

So, this out of place artifact thing is called Metal Upa by our well-known characters, and the name itself is actually adapted from a fictional game invented on the Comiket 80 which titled the Rai-Net Access Battlers. It is a board game based on the German-made game Gaister! die guten und die bösen (translated to English: Ghost! – good and evil) where you can divert the main units from Geister! instead of making them yourself. The other differences are the two players of the Rai-Net Access Batlers could play on an 8×8 game board instead of the original Geister’s 6×6 board, and two server port cells aka. the ‘stop cells’ are located at the centre of both the players’ front row, plus here the foremost area of the board is famous for being called as Stack Area. But anyway, this is not the main point we’re going to discuss and you can always ask Google-sensei to find out more about what this game really is if you’re interested.

so, who are these for?

Now we’re back again talking about the shorts itself, we’re going to discuss its general review … and what do we have here? After we learnt that these shorts are a collab project and pretty much is just a commercial for the IBM’s cognitive computing or whatever they want to call their artificial intelligence technology is, but all the fans of Steins;Gate will be happy for these as it’s actually pretty entertaining episodes as well. Moreover when an uncommon element added to the story, it’s pretty interesting to see how a character development can be moved and be re-built to a degree that is mischievous by the help of a silly robot with an AI.

The shorts itself is consist of an episode of Cooking Log where Mayuri and Kuriso get the help of Metal Upa to make a fried chicken, a Navigation Log where Okabe and Kurisu get the help from Metal Upa in navigating their direction, a Fashion Log where Nae can’t stand Okabe and Daru who are always wearing the same dirty clothes all the time and beg Kurisu to coordinate outfits for them, and a Meeting Log which happens when the Metal Upa is brought in to facilitate Okabe’s 140th round table meeting (*140th? pfft. everything is funny anyway, so whatever). In case you’re interested, Metal Upa is voiced by Yamamoto Ayano aka. the same voice actress who voiced Tennouji Nae, and she’s quite funny if you ask me.

Okay, back to the question above; who are these four episodes for? Well of course it’s for everyone, considering that almost every dedicated otaku have heard or even watched at least the first season of Steins;Gate, so this is pretty much an easy watch for everyone. And this is a comedic four episodes that aren’t really added anything that is value to the main plot of Steins;Gate anyway, but at the same time it also brings back many nostalgic feelings when you watch it, though that is only if you have satisfied with the first season of Steins;Gate.

It was quite different from what I have imagined; I thought the shorts won’t tell its story as good considering that each episode has only about 3 minutes duration, and I thought the animation quality will be choppy with bad movements and boring environment. It’s all came from the fact that the production was sponsored by a company that absolutely have no any understanding about anime, it’s also comedic episodes so it has more percentage to go wrong, and it seems that the number of fans who have watched it is pretty low. Though I watched it anyway because I already planned to watch it, everything seems not promising until then I realized in the first episode that I worried too much about everything.

Yes, these are just some comedic bonus episodes, and yes it was sponsored by an American multinational technology company; but it was also fine, and even personally amazing for me who did give this short series a rating of eight out of ten. So yes, it was that good even though it only took 15 minutes of my life —it was absolutely a good 15 minutes.

closing – nesha’s final verdict.

So let’s all forget the fact that these are just an advertisement about AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing service that its both educational resource and concept platform are constructed and developed by the real-life International business machines corporation. Because no one wants to watch an advertisement, but hei; let us face the fact that sometimes an enjoyable advertisement just came out from nowhere and seeing them on screen suddenly become a pleasure to us. That’s the fact!

So watch this four episodes if you haven’t, especially those you who are a fan of Steins;Gate, considering that only 19% of you have watched these short episodes —which making me so sad that not many people have found this enjoyment. Even, can we consider these as a gem of Steins;Gate? Maybe yes, despite it has only 15 minutes of duration and it may seem like something that is not a big deal, but it’s actually a good deal and definitely a quality time when spent on it.

And once again, these shorts are not directly connected to the huge and complex plot of Steins;Gate, so don’t worry if you think it will ruin your prospect towards the future adventure of Stein;Gate, or you afraid this will ruin the pace of you watching Steins;Gate 0 currently. With the animation quality that is decent enough to see, with all the original voice actors who were coming back to voiced the characters; these shorts were great! Maybe this won’t be as good as its parent series for some people, but I believe this won’t bother them as well —I believe that a few adds of comedy to the franchise will never hurt all the seriousness of Steins;Gate. So yeah, this is totally worth to watch, even a must to watch if you consider yourself as a fan of Steins;Gate … this is a really fun 15 minutes addition.

additional pieces of information.

material resources: http://www.mugendai-web.jp/steinsgate/Wiki (en), and MAL

*this image is available to be downloaded!

So that was my review towards this shorts episodes, and I really hope you can spare your weekend time — it only takes you 15 minutes to see these four episodes anyway. I really wanted to persuade you to feel the same excitement, to laugh at their funny interactions as I did laugh when I watched this … but then I thought, it’s weekend already and I’m not sure I can get them to watch it, but whatever; it’s only fricking 15 minutes and I already dropped my positive points about it. So yeah, watch this!

El … psy … ‘congreat’ ..!!!

— Rintarou Okabe

Lastly, I want to tell you that I’m doing a limited time poll on Twitter (click here to visit) to find out the characteristic of my readers. We’re considering to do a pretty substantial change/adjustment to the blog, and I really want to know first about what do you think about it before we really doing it. It may will happen, but it may not too if the feedback I will receive are mostly not good. So before the time end, which probably only a few hours left when this review is up, I want you to visit the poll and give me your honest answer towards it. Thank you!

As usual before I’m signing out, I want you to keep watching anime, and I’ll see you again next week! Bai-bai now~

© credit written by nesha5971
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