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Being a fan of the original Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate series, I was waiting a long time for this OVA to be released. The original, though originally just a silly anime, got serious and made me cry tears. And, the OVA did as well, for while there were stronger episodes in the series than the OVA is as a whole, it reminds you why you loved the series.
Characters & Story
The two main leads of the OVA are Okabe, the mad scientist, and Kurisu, his love interest and assistant. Together, they venture through time in order to try to discover why Okabe is disappearing. You see, the Reading Steiner seems to be overloaded, and Okabe seems more damned by his memories with each passing minute. Flashbacks of all the violence he saw throughout the series pop up, and eventually it becomes so bad he disappears, willingly.
This leads Kurisu to try to navigate through the different time lines to try to understand why he is disappearing and how to save him. Such though isn’t an easy tasks when the person who you are trying to save is alright with disappearing, thus leading to the question if Kurisu may end up the sole person to remember Okabe, or will her plan succeed?
When it comes to this OVA, truly you have to praise the fact it really does feel made to play with fan’s emotions. The idea of the lead character possibly sacrificing everything so all his friends can be happy is truly touching. At the same time, it is a good reminder of why you fell in love with the series. Be it Okabe’s mad scientist performance, his relationship with Mayuri, or just the zany bunch of characters in the show, it brings on a nice sense of nostalgia which makes the stakes of the film even more high for the idea of everything being erased is presented, and it seems like hope is feign.
Perhaps the main criticism is that this isn’t the type of OVA where if you haven’t seen the series, or haven’t seen it in a while, things automatically click. There was a bit of a curve for me to remember what SERN was, be it enemy or foe; what the Reading Steiner was; and various other things which were very series specific. Also, I have to say, sometimes it was easy to get lost in the dialog. Be it because I’m reading subtitles and they were talking tech, or simply because I just forgot a lot of what happened in the series, it isn’t too hard to get lost and confused, even when they are explaining what you are getting confused about.
I would recommend watching the series first before watching the OVA. Even if you saw the series, I would recommend at least skimming the series to remind you of everything that went on. Otherwise, this OVA you will understand to a point, but not fully get. Outside of the slight complications with the story and dialog though, I must say I quite enjoyed watching this. The friendships were nice to see, the awkward romance was kawaii, and it reminded me why I love anime so much. Despite the characters being fictional and animated, they seem so real. Like those rare type of people, only some get the pleasure to meet, all placed in one show. Okabe being the weird best friend who would do anything for you; Mayuri being the kindest person you ever met; and I could go on and on. Hence why I say it is a must see. Though it has some issues, most come from the time difference between the series and this OVA. Outside of that, I don’t think there are any serious issues.