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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Part One (Episodes 1-12)


Starring (voice): Asami Imai, Mamoru Miyano and Halko Momoi
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 15 July 2013

While attending Doctor Nakabachi's seminar on the possibility of time travel, Rintarō Okabe runs into Kurisu Makise, a very strange young woman who tells him that she had talked to him just fifteen minutes ago, even though he knows that he has never met her before. After leaving her he returns only to find her apparently murdered, in a pool of her own blood. This chance meeting will set off a string of events which will challenge Okabe’s view of reality and time...

Steins;Gate: Part One (2011) is an anime show, which started as a visual novel before branching out into a console game, a radio show, film and of course the anime. The anime ran for a total of twenty-four episodes and produced an OVA. The show is here presented on a two disc Blu-ray set, the first eight episodes are to be found on the first disc with the remaining four on the second, giving you half of the show's run.

During the course of the show Okabe and his friends invent a microwave which allows them to send text messages into the past, thereby changing history. They also discover that the scientists at SERN have been able to create mini black holes and are using them to create time travel with the aim of taking over the planet, thus setting in progress World War III and the creation of a dystopian society. The plot is as intelligent as it is convoluted and the above can only give you a little flavour of the show. The title of the show is the name of one of the most positive possible futures.

The complexities of the plot give this show a high rating for rewatching. It's part comedy, part science fiction show, but mostly it’s just very well written, that contains little filling and builds to a satisfying conclusion, although you would have to buy part two to see the whole thing. This is not a particular problem as the asking price is not set at a rip-off level.

The discs are pin sharp, as you would expect from a Blu-ray disc, colours are solid and while it is always good to see anime shows being released on Blu-ray, the detail in the art probably doesn’t warrant it. There are better visual shows that could be released. You get audio options for either the English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 or Japanese 2.0, with optional subtitles.

There are extras on the discs. On disc one you get a full length commentary for episode one with the English dub team. Disc two does a little better with a full length commentary for episode twelve as well as a map for Akihabara, the place where all the action happens. It takes you through all the important locations, but it mainly runs like a little animation, you can’t interact with it. The disc finishes with the inevitable textless opening and closing songs.

The lack of detail in the art, especially in the faces, is quickly forgotten as you’re drawn into the rich story. It’s certainly worth picking up.


Charles Packer

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