Steins;Gate The Movie: Load Region of Déjà Vu is a 2013 follow-up to the anime series Steins;Gate, which itself is based on a video game. The movie is directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, Takuya Satō, and Kanji Wakabayashi and written by Jukki Hanada. This review is based on the English dub released via Funimation in 2017.
Taking place in August 2011, one year after the series’ finale, Rintaro Okabe (J. Michael Tatum), is a self-proclaimed mad scientist who uses the pseudonym Kyouma Hououin or the nickname Okarin. As seen in the show, Okabe had traveled through time trying to prevent the deaths of his “hostage” childhood friend Mayuri Shiina (Jackie Ross) and his dear friend Kurisu “Christina” Makise (Trina Nishimura) whom he is in love with. Though he succeeded, his unique ability to “read Steiner” or remember the pasts that have been altered are weighing on his psyche, threatening a mental breakdown.
Kurisu arrives to visit the Future Gadget Laboratory, where Okabe works with Itaru “Daru” Hashida (Tyson Rinehart). Okabe throws a party for her arrival where everyone notices that something is off with the mad scientist. The next day, Kurisu arrives at the laboratory with no memory of Okabe, though his presence is obviously missing. Mayuri, Daru, as well as friends Ruka (Lindsay Seidel) and Faris (Jād Saxton) all seem to vaguely remember bits and pieces of Okabe, but they cannot quite place him. However, Suzuha Amane (Cherami Leigh), a time-traveler from the future, to tell Kurisu that they have to bring Okabe back, even if he does not want to leave “Steins Gate,” the term used by Okabe for the time continuum.
The movie relies heavily on the series, so forgive me if it is confusing when I use terms that were made popular by the anime. That is the movie’s one weakness, it serves as a sort of “epilogue” for the show, which would make it difficult to follow for any anime fans who were just searching for a film to view. Other film spin-offs such as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, does its best to stand on its own while paying homage to the series, making it at least enjoyable for a casual viewer.
That being said, as a fan of the show and its cast of eclectic characters, I enjoyed it very much. Granted, Steins;Gate is not my favorite anime, but I found the series very enjoyable and the film definitely picks right up, thrusting you into the zany events that happen in the lab. However, its message about tampering with the past to benefit yourself is interesting.
I also liked the shift of the protagonist from Okabe to Kurisu, who both are in love, though Kurisu does not remember their relationship since it had to be erased to set time right in the series. She is a strong lead for the film and English voice actress Trina Nishimura does an incredible job of portraying Kurisu and showing the weight of the task she was trying to accomplish.
In fact, all of the voice actors do an incredible job. Funimation did a good job of casting it and the Japanese studio White Fox did an excellent job animating it, bring the story to life in a unique way.
Bottom line, while you have to have watched the anime to understand the plot, the movie is enjoyable and has a deep message about time and love, not to mention a dynamite cast.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Lewd comments, Minor violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: A change in the past will always affect something else. It will never change in a way that’s convenient for you. If you save someone, you will lose someone… Dreams you finally fulfilled won’t exist anymore. Your long-held desires will be snatched away, eradicated… and when the change you hoped for doesn’t happen, you will have to keep facing that inescapable reality again and again, again and again!
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of the hit anime films Kite and Spirited Away. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.