Something we haven’t talked about on this blog is the anime’s tendency to have ‘epilogue movies” for series. While it’s something more rare these days, there have been series that have taken the route of having a feature length film to wrap up their respective series. Both Gundam Wing and Gundam 00 had movies for that purpose. Naruto famously had the movie The Last to address the lingering plot point of the Naruto/Hinata romance.
Today we are looking at the epilogue movie to Steins;Gate, a series that I have lauded multiple times on this blog. Does the film hold up and provide a satisfying conclusion to the series? Join me after the cut as I dive into the feature film of the franchise: Steins;Gate: The Movie − Load Region of Déjà Vu
At its heart Déjà Vu is absolutely an epilogue movie, dealing with the fall out of the Steins;Gate anime and most notable, the relationship between series lead Kurisu and Okabe. Thankfully, because these two characters are the absolute heart of the series, with one of the best relationships I’ve personally see in anime, Déjà Vu manages to be an absolute success. This is important, because as I stated above, this movie is 100% focused on dealing with the fallout of the anime. Set one year later with World War Three averted and both Kurisu and Mayuri safe, things seem to finally be looking up for our heroes. However when Okabe’s begins to suffer side effects from his constant leaping back and forth through time, (and credit to this movie for actually addressing the downside of Okabe’s actions). It falls to Kurisu, still struggling to reconcile the events and feelings of the other world-lines, to save the man she loves.
The great thing about this movie, is that it wisely and brilliantly opts to make Okabe a supporting character and bring Kurisu into the spotlight. This is her movie, and she remains the star from start to finish. I love Kurisu as a character, but she very much remained the central secondary figure throughout the Steins;Gate anime. Seeing her step into her own here, and take the place of Rintaro by jumping back and forth through time was an excellent change up to the usual.
Even better was the fact that Kurisu’s experience with time travel is treated differently than Okabe’s own. Instead of retreading the same plot point of trial and error as Kurisu attempts to fix things, we instead see Kurisu give up after her first mistake, riddled with grief and horror at the sheer idea of what she’s trying to accomplish and the reality of what it is. While some might scoff at that fact, I was so glad to see that Okabe’s previous warnings and descriptions of trying to change time, the constant reliving of events over and over again really hit home with Kurisu, and just her first initial failure is enough to put her off the idea almost completely. It’s a great bit of difference in the thought process of the two characters, and prevents Déjà Vu from being a retread of the anime series. If there is one issue with the movie, it is that the rest of the support cast take a noticeable backseat. While Mayuri, Haru and the rest are all present, they aren’t the focus at all, as the story is more concerned with the two main leads.
Steins;Gate: The Movie − Load Region of Déjà Vu is an anime epilogue movie through and through. Your enjoyment of this film will 100% depend on how much you loved the Steins;Gate anime, and even more on how much you enjoyed the banter and relationship between Okabe and Kurisu. If that is your thing, then Déjà Vu is an excellent cap to the series, providing closure to the central characters of the story, but also having a fresh spin with putting Kurisu in the driver’s seat. If you didn’t care for anything I mentioned above, then this movie isn’t really going to change your mind, and frankly I’m surprised you’ve stuck with this movie for so long. Absolutely check this movie out if you are a fan of the series, visual novel, or not, it’s a keeper for sure.