2011’s anime adaptation of the visual novel Steins;Gate is considered by many to be one of the best anime of all time. In 2018, it receives a sequel of sorts in the form of Steins;Gate 0. While called a sequel, Steins; Gate 0 follows the non-golden ending of the original visual novel. While the sequel was warmly received, the series did not receive the same level of acclaim as the original.
Despite this, Steins;Gate 0 does some things better than the original. This article will examine 5 reasons that the original anime was better than its sequel and 5 ways that sequel improved upon elements of the original.
10 The Original Is Better: Based On A More Linear Source Material
One way that the original Steins;Gate is considered better than its sequel is the fact that series, despite its time travel plot, is rather easy to follow. In comparison, Steins;Gate 0 features many different plotlines occurring at the same time making it hard for a casual viewer to follow.
This issue with Steins;Gate 0’s many plotlines resulted due to its source material having multiple story branches compared to the original’s single linear story. This leads to Steins;Gate 0’s adaption having the problem of trying to juggle a bunch of plotlines that were not originally supposed to occur together leading to a bunch weird moments and drop plotlines.
9 The Sequel Did It Better: Fleshes Out Its Timeline’s Future
Both Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 features the character of Suzuha, who is a time traveler from a dark future that results from the events occurring in the series. While the future that Suzuha travels from differs in the two different installments, one gets more fleshed out than the other.
Suzuha’s future in Steins;Gate 0 received more focus than its predecessor. This focus goes from the series’ event directly leading up to this dismal future devasted by World War III to even a whole episode taking place in this future. Overall Steins;Gate 0 does a better job in linking its dark future to the events of the show.
8 The Original Is Better: More Self Contained
A thing that the original Steins;Gate anime did better than its sequel was that it did not require a viewer to go back to its source material to figure out its plot point. Compared to Steins;Gate 0, where one needs to go back to the original to even know if Suzuha’s plan to save the future succeeded or not.
While it is excepted for a sequel to be less self-contained than the original, Steins;Gates 0 is a lot harder to enjoy by itself than the original. This issue is not helped by the fact that original Stein;Gates was able to wrap itself pretty well by itself.
7 The Sequel Did It Better: Clean Up Plot Points From The Original
While Steins;Gate 0 suffers a bit due to reliance on the original, it does clean up some plot threads from the original Steins; Gate. As discussed earlier Steins;Gate 0 fleshes out the dark future of the Beta Timeline introduce in the original series’ penultimate episode.
Steins;Gate 0 also spend some time explaining a lot of minor plot elements from the original that were left unexplained, including. Who is Suzuha’s mother and what type of work that Kurisu did at University back in the U.S. While these plot elements are not key to the original’s story, it is nice for the sequel to provide some answers.
6 The Original Is Better: Its Dark Future Is More Unique
As described previously, both works in the Steins;Gate deals with a dark future that will occur as a result of the villains utilizing time travel technology for their means. While the Beta Timeline’s future is given more focused than the Alpha Timeline was in the original series, the Alpha timeline’s future is the more interesting of the two.
This comes from the fact that Beta Timeline’s future is a bit more cliché being a future devastated by a nuclear World War Three. The Alpha Timeline in comparison is more unique with its being a dystopia ruled by SERN who have altered history so that they rule the world with an iron fist.
5 The Sequel Did It Better: Embrace Its Conspiracy Based Plotlines
While both series deal with our heroes encountering a conspiracy seeking their research on time travel technology, they are used differently. In the original series, SERN served primarily a plot device to force Rintaro to realize the problems with his casual use of time travel. SERN is not fleshed out with not much provided for why a European research institution is plotting world domination.
Comparably in Steins;Gate 0, the antagonistic conspiracy makes more sense in being defense contractors seeking time travel technology as a result of a growing arms race for the technology among various countries. The conspiracy also more central to the plot in that the leadership of both organizations is fleshed out character with clear goals and motives.
4 The Original Is Better: The Plot Is Better Structured
One way that the original Steins;Gate is better than its sequel is that its overall plot has a better structure to it. The reason for the original’s structural strength comes from how well the series sets its two halves apart. While the first part of the series has a more light-heart feel focused on the Future Gadget Lab’s efforts to figure out time travel, the second half focused on Rintaro’s effort to prevent a dark future caused by the lab’s actions.
Comparably Steins;Gate 0 two halves are less clear in structure beyond one being set-up and the other being the series’ climax and resolution. While many series do this, its pales in comparison to Steins;Gate’s that used a mid-series cliffhanger to perfectly translate the change in tone compared to its sequel’s simple time skip.
3 The Sequel Did It Better: The Plot Has Better Sense Of Tension
Steins;Gate 0 does a great job at keeping a stronger sense of tension in the series. This better sense of tension is a result of the ability to change the past thanks to D-Mail being harder to use in Steins;Gate 0 than the original series.
The reason why the lack of D-Mail access helps the sequel to create a better sense of tension than the original is that when something happens in the original series, there is less tension knowing our character could easily attempt to change the past to prevent it. This ability is something that cannot be easily done in Steins; Gate 0 giving every dangerous situation a little more tension.
2 The Original Is Better: Better Tonal Consistency
A definite thing that the original Steins;Gates did better than its sequel it that was better in making events more tonally consistent with each other. This can be seen by the fact the series tends to keep its more humorous scenes in the series more light-hearted first half with humor only being used to give the viewer some breathing room in the dark second half.
This tonal consistency is something that is seen not as often in Steins;Gate 0, which can suddenly jump from being a dark sci-fi thriller to a more light heart comedic scenes. While comedy can work after something dark, it does work not with Steins;Gate 0 causing tonal whiplash than anything else
1 The Sequel Did It Better: Give Mayuri Some Agency
Something that Steins;Gate 0 improves upon from the original would be in that it gives Mayuri some much need agency. While the second half of Steins;Gate is good in many ways, one problem is that it reduced the character to Mayuri as a plot device for Rintaro to save. This occurs primarily in that she is left unaware that her death is an unchangeable event in the Alpha timeline.
Steins;Gate 0 fixes that by allowing her to be in know and allow her to get directly involved. This agency was memorably seen by her decision to aid Suzuha by going back in time with her to save the future.
Steins;Gate was one of the best anime of its time. But its sequel did a lot to improve upon it.