Tuesday, 23 May 2017

MT Series Scan: Steins;Gate 4

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, to see if they’re similar to my own. So, why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

We've reached Steins;Gate (Disc 4), having previously looked at Disc 1, Disc 2, and Disc 3. Honestly, if you've seen and liked the series, I think you might like my serial (Time & Tied) as well. Note that all be referencing characters with whatever name stuck, given some use more than one. Here's a recap of my theories to date: Completely true theories, #2, #5, #7. Partly true theories, #1, #3, #4. Totally wrong theories, #6, #8, #10. (That said, most of those were wrong because I went too specific. If I’d said “A lab member is a spy”, I’d have been right, but I said “Daru is a spy”.) Still out there:
Theory 9: All the Gadgets will factor in at the end, somehow a set up.
Theory 11: Okarin will find the 1975 (or 2000) time machine to go back (leading to talking to Makise in Ep 1 before we see her).
Theory 12: We reach 1% Divergence (no dystopia) when all lab members work together/initials get on the badge.

20 Finalize Apoptosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-Recap, still Aug 11th, SF & Mayuri die Aug 15th. OP. Okarin grabs crowbar, Makise says to calm down, remember everything. (She agrees with me that the Dmail needs to be undone, not a matter of grabbing IBN.) Spy on coin locker to find FB, aha! (We got it at the same time.) SF/Kiryu joins him, to know the truth. Okarin allows since “no talking sense into you”. Makise and Mayuri scene, also Mr. Braun’s kid (Nae). Braun sees Okabe as happy-go-lucky.
-SF/Kiryu is called M4 as codename by FB. We’re at Aug 13th, a guy takes it. They tail him since “FB is a woman”. (Not convinced.) Recognizable tattoo. He left the IBN on the train! (Mind leap, hahaha, nice.) Stream of photos. Mr. Braun’s truck! (Damn, I thought FB = Braun. Okarin should explain to him about Suzu and her "pay it back" philosophy.) Mind leap to be in a car. SF/Kiryu doesn’t know Braun. Someone picks it up from Braun, to airport, plane to France (where SERN is). They saw no women.
-Confront Mr. Braun! “Why so formal?” They want to meet FB. (It’s him, right?) He calls her M4. (*ZING*). Heard of Ferdinand Braun? Nobel Prize physicist who invented CRT. Same guy. Wrote like a woman to fool people. (What's that even mean.) Pretends to be whoever they most need. (It’s WEIRD for Braun to be speaking so casually about this. Someone playing him?) Suzu name dropped. “Nothing to do with her.” (As I thought, hits a nerve.) SERN offered a thread to get out of the gutter. Became a puppet. Draws a GUN? Bang?! (Unexpected.)
-Alarms. Nae’s alarm. He thought about escaping, but now can’t with a kid. (SERN burnt his house down??) “Failure isn’t allowed.” Kills himself?! (WELL. Let’s undo THAT, good grief.) SF/Kiryu gets last words. Use Braun’s phone to undo Dmail with “IBN Search off. Stand by.” World line 0.571 flashes? Translocates again. He’s at SF/Kiryu’s place. She says don’t need IBN 5100 yet.
-Retrieved from Shrine! Daru’s gone to Comima. Back in time to Aug 13th! Daru’s coding. Makise talks about world line before first Dmail, the beta world line. (Someone make the connection to her death. Also, I doubt that’s the beta world line.) Daru was filled in about Suzu, says Okabe could be a “light novel author” (Hahahahaha!). Tells Makise about her time leap machine too. “Mayuri lives and Makise dies.” CONNECTION MADE, THANK YOU. (Yeah, that’s gotta be Makise in the hourglass credits.) NEXT: Okarin and Makise on roof. Flowers? Uhoh.

Thoughts and Theories:
-I was starting to think that Okarin would end up with either Mayuri or Makise, likely the former. But he’ll save Makise’s life - right? I am curious, did anyone not see this problem coming from the start of when he was undoing things?? Like, it’s not merely me with an affinity for time travel stories, is it?
-Where are we going? Perhaps Makise dies, he thinks they’re in the beta line, but then the Loto 6 reveals that he CAN still make an impact and not be caught by SERN. (Or not Loto 6, he receives a DMail from a more future self?) That leads to rounding up everyone else and tracking down Titor’s time machine from 2000.

21 Paradox Meltdown

Stream of Consciousness:
-“The hacking is cancelled.” OP. (It’s going to stay a dilemma all episode, isn’t it.) Last day of Comima. More cosplay talk. Mayuri brings Okarin water. And her hat. Aug 17th, goes with her. Today, just before 8pm. (Maybe not? She buy Oopas?) Asks Makise for something, wants to come up with a way to save Mayuri without hacking, “can’t explain”. (So he can’t tell Red/Makise either? Or will she simply say 'I can die'.) Hangs up.
-Okarin rejects running plan. Mayuri wonders why he came, but thanks him. Talk of Rukako cosplay. (They’re wringing out the pathos.) Suggests he cosplay; he will if she will, with the others. (Maybe they’ll loop back to this Comima.) Watch stopped, car, run. If he commits suicide, something has to change. (WHOA. Drastic. Believable. ... She just saved him, didn’t she.) “Finally helpful.” (Aww, you made it more sad.) Makise left him note, need to talk. Instead, to Aug 13th, for (not) running the hack.
-Waits until the 15th again. Makise comes up. Why call off? Mad scientist talk. And time leap comes up. (So they developed it even with only the Loto test? Well, duh, he just used it, but didn’t he go back a bit more than 48 hours so is it better now??) Sacrificed all the hopes and dreams of the others. (Good point. Sucks. Though to be fair, real life has no “undo”.) Will throw phone. She wants to help. (She’s gonna offer to die...) On July 28th, when you were stabbed, moved us from beta line to this alpha line. Tells her she’ll die. (I still don’t think that was beta.)
-His phone rings. (Of course it’s Mayuri.) Apologizes for being caught up in Comima. Organization has four leaders, Geppu, Sudachi, Seiyuu and Jakko? (I need to check my Fushigi Yuugi. Oh, he corrects her right away.) Makise can guess conversation, says go to her. Grandma’s grave, been having scary dreams. (She KNOWS? Oh WTF, way to make it worse.) Except Okarin always saves her. She tries to thank, he can’t hear.
-Thinks of her first lab visit; snowing in spring, Organization talk. Can’t tell what he’s thinking like back then. (They need to analyze WHY Makise died. I mean, this pathos is well done, but...) He always knows where his hostage is. Final shot is Makise and red lights. NEXT: Roof talk, rain (well rain is new) and Dk Pepper.

Thoughts and Theories:
-Presumably in the original game, this is where a choice needs to be made - but is it REALLY a choice when a dystopia is on the line too? That’s the other problem they’re not addressing here: SERN, and Okabe’s promise to Suzu. There's more pros and cons than the individual human ones.
-I mean, it’s nice that they’re putting such moral responsibility on the time traveller... Time travel is a problem, and it’s being dealt with well... but this is becoming a bit romance centric. Which again isn’t BAD, because we’re learning some new character things, and yay for emotional investment... but still. Maybe people who didn’t see the Makise thing coming a mile away needed this episode for processing time? Oh well. Next episode is more of Makise’s history, I suppose. I figure something new will happen in the last three minutes of Ep 22.

22 Being Meltdown

Stream of Consciousness:
-His confession to Makise. OP. (Yes, yes.) Now Okarin’s talking to Makise about heat stroke, on broken roof. (Mayuri link there from last ep.) This is after the cemetery. It’s raining. Wet shirt. (Sigh. Really?) Torn lab coat, she can sew. Can’t see the thread. He went to her hotel, when she wouldn’t answer his calls. Now HE’S the one who worries. (Nice little parallel. And cute laugh.) She sensed pain and desperation in this spot. (Ok, nice parallel to Mayuri’s feelings.) Illusion memories. (This is also a bit like Faris and the rest, I guess that’s good foreshadowing in retrospect. In the dark, her hair looks purple, nice catch on the closing sequence.)
-“You HAVE to save her.” (Called that attitude. Still don’t think it’s to the beta world line.) He doesn’t want to abandon her. She tried to find a way around it, found nothing. He refuses to give up. She runs after him, prevents him from mind leaping. “Running will only make it worse.” Time leaping won’t cross the 1%. Okarin’s seen Mayuri die so much, it won’t break him. She smacks him. (I’m so invested in these two.) His heart HAS grown numb. She says he’ll still regret it. “The wish to save her is what brought us together.” (Ooh, THAT'S a good point.) He says been twenty days. Mesmerized by theories, more than a lab member, but admits he can’t save her.
-Why her? What does it mean to change world lines? (THANK YOU, YES, THAT QUESTION. She says all the right things.) Maybe he switches places with a different Okabe. Doesn’t matter? Not true, she’ll still be alive here. Maybe there are doubles in countless lines, forming a single person. Being in all times and all places. (This is why I’m so much more invested in Makise, she speaks time travel language. Fascinating theories.)
-She’ll always be there, he’ll never forget her. Love confession, oh my. He wants to know back (this is so Okarin). Close your eyes. (Gonna kiss? Gyah, when the music cut out I thought it would be interrupted. Yay, it wasn’t.) First kiss? Stored in the hippocampus. Not his first, heh, oh my. Let’s do it over, to be extra sure. (Dawww.) Time speeds up or slows down depending on perception. Relativity is romantic. And sad. (Bittersweet, at least.)
-She’s leaving now. Gift for her, Gadget #2, upgraded. A gift in return, throws Dk. Pepper. Aim remarks, heh! He turns, she loves him. Remember her one time out of a hundred, when she’s beyond the 1% barrier. Final phase of Operation Verdandi, Battle of Ragnarok. World chosen by Steins Gate. HITS ENTER. Makise comes back?? (She feels the same love aaand, there we go. Ripping my heart out. 1.130205 flashes, so I was also wrong about the beta.)
-Message about Dr. Nakabachi’s Successful Time Machine Press Conference. No Lab Member 004. Okabe announces victory. Mayuri says he can cry. (DAWWW!) They don’t need the Phone Microwave now. (Wait, no whammy? Different closing music? What? Nooo, you can’t stop the ep THERE. Where’s the twist? ... And the hourglass is reversing, and typing, and aren’t you crafty devils.) Daru phone: Who is this? Some mystery girl. It’s Suzu, on the roof of the Radio Building. “You have to stop World War III”. WELL NOW.

Thoughts and Theories:
-They actually faked me out there, well played. (I knew there were other episodes to come, but figured they might flash forwards a year or something.) Also, this IS the beta line. I didn’t think they’d get that far. I'll get into some serious speculation now. (I wonder if this was in the original game; I’ll look that up later.)
-What’s worse than a dystopia? Apparently World War III. Do I think we’re going back to the alpha line? No, probably some attempt to find a gamma. The key is what got Makise to work for SERN in the alpha, they need to undo that (along with her death). Obviously Okarin will travel back to talk to her before the conference, likely in the time machine that Suzu has now managed to land properly (OH, OH, OH, Okarin saw it on that roof back in Ep 1, will he remember that??). Also, Suzu probably has a divergence meter, but what does it say? If it’s divergence from this BETA line, is it back under 1%? Or do they have some new threshold to reach, to get them out of this vicinity of “bad future” ropes entirely? (Bet she came back because “Dad” explained they had a device similar to a time machine back in 2010.)
-I still feel like gathering lab members is needed for a proper climax, but I’m not quite sure how that can happen since Okarin’s headed to the past. As to saving Makise but preserving the timeline, all I can think is they fake her death. But then what of the pain she sensed this past ep? More of an emotional pain? Who even would have tried to kill her? (That Dr Nakabachi guy?)
-I also feel like this needs to link back to Okarin being sick during the Y2K. And Titor should be back there in this timeline, but Titor is Suzu, so why does she need to go back? (Presumably after Okarin takes his trip, um, with her?) Questions, questions. I think all my unconfirmed theories at the top are wrong. (In my defence, Suzu’s return in this way was kind of impossible to predict - wasn’t it?)

23 Open the Steins Gate

Stream of Consciousness:
-I feel like there’s a Gatekeepers pun in the title. And the characters go to Comima, so why not?
-Aug 21st. (Oh, so if Makise is brought back to life, she’ll be in America?) The War causes 5.7 billion deaths by 2036. This time machine starts it. Suzu (nice new look) calls Okarin Uncle, says come with her. (Back in time to Makise’s death?) He refuses, having come from the alpha line, can’t let it go to waste. Yet to prevent the war, they must save Makise. (Kinda figured. They need a 3rd plan.) Need the only world line free of “attractor field interference” - codenamed Steins Gate?! (OH MY GOD, what if all the Organization talk was stuff happening in another world line? If so, that’s INSANELY AMAZING. It would explain Y2K sickness as well, maybe?)
-Okarin's future self came up with the plan, along with Daru. Betting on a chance. Okarin doesn’t care about 5.7 billion people. (But does for Makise, of course. I suppose that’s why the focus has been more on relationships.) Machine can carry two. Leave your phone, so as to not interfere with past phone. (I’m not the only one to think of this stuff! Hm, we know Suzuha used to hate Makise, this isn’t a setup to have Okarin arrested, is it?) Suzu already stopped by 1975 and 2000?? (So it can go forwards then. Interesting.) Requires fuel. They can’t change position geographically. (Is that another change?) G-forces. Sparkles, fragments of time appear.
-“Try not to run into your other self.” (Thank you, Doc Brown.) Twenty minutes. She’ll deal with the time machine. Yup, there’s the roof thing. Then to the Oopas, so he needs to take the far stairs. “How do you know my name.” (Yeah, this is awkward.) He runs off. (I can’t even imagine being in that position.) He was warned that taking her outside won’t help, “inevitable” death (like Mayuri, right). She’s reading on time machines. Wants someone to read. (It’s her dad, I bet. So, accidental death? Or SERN plot?) Dad *is* Nakabachi guy. (Clever.)
-He invited her here, so she was brainstorming on time machines. Oh no. She thinks time travel is possible. (Definitely not the same world line. Yeah, he must work for SERN, that’s why when they got the Dmail message notice, he didn’t invite her. Interesting though, does Makise always take up a contrary position?) He wasn’t kicked out, he cut off ties. She wants them both to publish, this is going BAD PLACES. Stealing, yeah (saw that coming). Okarin tackles the guy. He’s “that kid”. Dad thinks it’s a conspiracy. (I suppose that’s a fair assumption. Makise is going to be stabbed saving Okarin, huh?) Dad gets a screwdriver, goes after her. (All of this already happened, this WILL NOT END WELL.) Okarin goes after the Dad ... ... ... ... F*CK.

-Back to the present? WHY? This is *INSANE*. Okarin’s gotta be broken. (I did NOT see that coming.)
-They can do one more trip? There’s an email. (Dmail?) Turn on the news. Nakabachi defected to Russia. Caught because of Mayuri’s metal oopa?! Superpowers in intense race to control time. (Like the moon race.) Okarin has his experience of trying to save Mayuri to know saving Makise at that time won’t work. “I knew this would happen.” (So why did his future self DO that?) Mayuri smacks him, don’t give up halfway through. “You never give up.”
-Got a video file on July 28th? At least one fail to save Makise unlocks it. “Failing once was part of the plan.” (OH MY GOD.) 15 years in future. That pain gave me determination, so I couldn’t afford to undo it. Now the rest of the plan. (I can’t even.) Destroy the paper that gets to Russia and save Makise. It IS possible, but you’re doing it wrong. Don’t undo. Trick yourself. Save her, without changing the fact that she died. (OH MY GOD YES) Time machine is Type C204? “Christina”. Steins Gate doesn’t really mean anything. Operation Skuld. (What, no Belldandy?) Deceive yourself. Deceive the world. "El Psy Congroo." (THAT again? What?) Closing song is new. (0 is the past, 1 is the future, and now is nowhere, I like that.) Hououin Kyouma, hand stretch. (WELL PLAYED ANIME, DAMN that’s so what I would do here if I wrote this, hahaha.) NEXT: Talking and flourishing, way to not give anything away.

Thoughts and Theories:
-Oy, give me a few hours to process that. [Over 6 hrs pass] Back. See, that’s why I can’t binge. Okay.
-So Okarin will go back to try again, but he can’t mind leap because they don’t have Makise to create the tech. Does a second trip in the time machine overwrite the first somehow? (Hence the fragments in the trip?) If not, they’re in trouble. I also don’t see a clever way to fake himself out (lacking holograms, some sort of video screen?), so I think I’ll just enjoy the revelation.
-Okarin does have one BIG advantage - he doesn’t know how the last 3 weeks played out. Was Makise’s body ever found? (Could they time travel her back to present, wounded? Except the machine only takes two.) Where did her father go before Russia? What of other lab members?
-Okarin also has one BIG disadvantage - Makise doesn’t know him, so why would she play along with anything? (I’m guessing there will be a scene where he tells her things he’s learned about her personality.) And how does that metal oopa fit in, does Okarin swap lab coats?
-Incidentally, I think I also twig into the “alpha line” being so different now, even at the start. (Makise now thinking time travel IS possible and all.) It wasn’t that Makise’s father necessarily worked for SERN, it was that they were everywhere, because the company went back in a “paradox” way to be everywhere. In this new beta line, Mr. Braun is presumably not at their behest and his house didn’t burn down (though one wonders how he got out of the gutters). Makise may need to “stay dead” then? To preserve this? She can take on the name Christina.

24 Achievement Point

Stream of Consciousness:
-Recap. Why keep calling Daru "Dad"? (Heh. Interesting that she knows this time.) No fuel for Suzu to return; she knew that. The future will change anyway. (She wouldn't know the new future, so why return. Though why is this fuel not existing in the present?) Unless no change, regrets. He flashes back, assures “failure is out of the question”. OP, which is increasingly fitting for lyrics.
-Looking around lab. Glow stick sabre has fake blood. (Funny remarks.) Mayuri seems to remember Makise? Suzu wonders if Mayuri has a Reading Steiner ability. Okarin says it doesn’t exist, but some part inside remembers, deep down. Talk of feelings. Skeptical Daru, but asks about his wife. (Again, yes. Clever.) They go back. Brought to exact same time. (So they must have overlapped.)
-He goes to get the Metal Oopa now? (But it had Mayuri’s name on it!) He gets out as they come. Now it’s not rare, but cute. (So already new world line, won’t have her name in the news?) Very similar conversation? No, says he’s here to save you. Runs. (Has to pretend to be himself?) Kurisu finds cute oopa? (OH. I’d forgotten that Mayuri lost it. That’s how it’s in envelope?) The envelope should now burn up in airplane accident. (Instead of prof getting hit at security, okay. Missed the accident reference.)
-Now needs to knock Kurisu out. (This is where it will go badly.) The fake blood dried up! (Yup. Use dye? You got me.) Think. What looks like blood. Got it? (This is a nice introduction.) Knife out. She says to run. Okarin mocks? “Could never kill me.” GYAH! (Looks like Okabe hit, but surely it’s the Prof?? No?) He needs a bit more blood, oh MY. Now he has the knife. Dad runs, Makise will call ambulance. She’s on phone. Knocks her out. (I didn’t call all that.) Bleeds badly. (That’s a hell of a sacrifice.) Suzuha helps him away. Wait. He needs to see himself. Wishes himself good luck on the longest, most important three weeks of his life. (Oh my.)
-Suzu superficially stopped the bleeding. “Stay strong.” (Will the time displacement nearly do him in?) She “can’t stay with him”. Oho, she’s not of this world line. See him in seven years?? (When she’s born??) Machine gone. (I didn’t call that one either, but it makes sense.) Closing sequence. Okarin flowers from Mayuri. In hospital. Russian government will deny defection. Out of hospital? Gave Ruka lab pin, member memories “in previous life”. The pin now has OSHMKUFA. (So I sort of called that but not really. And just noticing time’s arrow on it with the screen paused.) Faris next. Then Mr. Braun with new part timer, SF/Kiryu, who helped Nae once. (Well, that’s clever. I see why Suzu needed to be member 008, she’s not born yet.)
-Okarin not at lab, went to buy things. They have badges too. Closing over by now. Suzuha’s pin in a box. Can’t even think 7 years ahead. (HAHAHAHA, it’s literally 7 years in the future now, 2017.) Okarin wonders where Makise is. She has no memory, but what matters is she’s out there, “in this world with an unknown future”. They cross! “I finally found you.” Wants to thank him. “El Psy Congroo”? (Seriously, what?) She retorts with Assistant as if she knows! Aw, wow. “The possibilities are infinite. This is the choice of Steins Gate.” Nice. NEXT: ?? A car, an airplane, and diet Dk Pepper. (Okay??)

Thoughts and Theories:
-Episode ran a little long there. Definitely didn’t call a lot of things, but it all fits together in a tidy package. (So why another ep?) The blood “not being his” the first time he exited the time machine has new significance too. I think every gadget was used twice? So that’s neat. I wonder, when did Okarin have time to make the pins? It would take a week. I guess he was in hospital for a bit, and put out an order - but then, was that broadcast of Makise’s father with Russia a rerun? Oh well.
-Actually, here’s a question. Why did Suzuha previously go back to 1975 in this timeline? (We know she had to be in 2000 for Titor - who probably doesn’t exist now, come to think. Weird how changing the future alters the past like that.) There’s also the fact that Previous-Okarin wouldn’t remember the metal oopa, since it never happened for him - so how would he know to get it? Well, it’s fortunate he’s a Reading Steiner, or that could be a problem. Again, it all fits.
Wallpaper from this site.

25 Egoistic Poriomania

Stream of Consciousness:
-“Poriomania: A passion for journeying away from home”. This series teaches you stuff.
-Can’t believe the future? Organization sabotage? Desert? (Dream?) “It all began two weeks ago.” (Again El Psy. I’m so looking up this El Psy thing.) Now we flashback?? Faris in a Rai-Net American tournament? (This is like a whole extra thing. I figured it was an Epilogue.) Kurisu Makise is also going. Tsundere talk. It's Oct 14th? Okay then. (Braun saying never come back, he’s still funny. Ha, I <3 CRT aprons too, heh.)
-Airport. (Ruka there too? Why her and not Kiryu?) Mad scientist to the passport guys, oh my. (Yup, arrested. Conspiring with “Federation” government, I guess that’s like “Federal”?) Kurisu also talking to herself, heh. She drives off. (I guess that explains the opening? Oh, nope.) Asks for taxi fare? (Sheesh, pushing it much.) Faris, they cancelled hotel. Okarin/Faris playing off each other now. (That’s actually not bad.) Arrested again? (Okay, this is getting a bit too weird.) They’re at Kurisu’s? Mentions how others recall things. All she remembers is him saving and saying thanks. Blushing denial (so no?).
-Motel. Living in mixture of fiction and reality (it's Daru’s 'NOW you ask' which totally makes that work). Mayuri talking about sleeping with him. Yes, we know Ruka’s a guy. Makise will stay too? Now Ruka and Okarin together. Except not. (This episode is way too goofy.) Heh, from yuri to yaoi. Okarin’s out with Makise now. She wants to ask things. She DOES dream about things that she hasn’t experienced. “Whether they should be called real or not is a difficult question, indeed.” (Good point. They're really at their best for scenes like this.) Another dream where they’re -- (well, of course it’s that). Goofy Mayuri moment?
-Oct 15th. (“STAPLES Centre” heh.) Makise is a cat waitress?? (Why??) Ah, they have to help out. Still. “No good comes from chasing alternate world lines.” Someone who looks like Suzuha. (Okay, so we have Daru’s future wife. Why?) He’s following her. (You just said no good comes from this.) Thinks time machines exist in this timeline now. (Oh come on, figure it out.) Others are now worried, except Daru.
-He catches her, she was in tournament, going to Vegas. (The shorter hair, not something I’m fond of.) Daru sneezes. (Yes, we get it. So now it's the opening, Okarin’s stuck, with no taxi? And Makise saves him?) Dead phone battery. Yup. “Mirage. Now she has no gas. (Haha, okay, they ARE so alike. Well played.) This back and forth is nice. He admits love first. “Not fair” that he knows her. Notes longer than even the three weeks (true enough). Her answer? (They roll credits? No, “Close your eyes”, aw, that’s even better!) Now the OP as the Close, Extended.

Thoughts and Theories:
-I only *just* got Kurisu as Christina. I am not a names person. I liked that Okarin and Makise got another moment together, owing to both of them being so similar in personality and getting stuck, and there were some nice callbacks. This felt like a "filler" episode though, which is weird for the END of a series. Also, in the broader context, Faris and Ruka could really have been rolled into being a single character. Could just be that the shrine mister did nothing for me emotionally, or even comically, really... and he was just kind of "there" this whole episode. (Okay, "El Psy Congroo" is apparently a reference to some @channel meme. And it should have been spelled with a K. Related, "Ruka" is apparently "Luka".)

And that's it. Definitely glad I watched it, and as I said at the start of this post, I think people who like this anime would like my story. (Slow build-up, eventual dystopian future with temporal hijinks.) Noteworthy, while I feel like I called almost EVERY plot point problem early, I consistently DIDN'T call how those problems would be resolved. Kudos. Even some of my incorrect theories were strung along for a few episodes. I don't think I'd give a perfect score (it got tedious at times), but I'd only knock off half a star.

*I was curious about the visual novel. http://steins-gate.wikia.com/wiki/Steins;Gate_(visual_novel) It's a sequel to Chaos;Head (about delusions), and had two novels after. Of note, the Faris ending there seems not only interesting but Dmail different.
*There’s a movie. Of course there is. http://funi.to/2m5fHF5 has a recap and info.
*I previously saw "Recognizing a good anime" by DigiBro, which looked at Steins;Gate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kQrT8S2Mrw
*7 Things you don’t know about Steins;Gate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6qcVVrnmXQ (Includes how manga has spinoffs with other characters, the fact that John Titor is based on a REAL LIFE STORY including the IBM 5100, and there's a sequel Steins;Gate Zero ... anime teaser “Episode 23B” will lead into that new anime adaptation?)

Thanks for reading! Assuming anyone did! Feel free to comment with how great or terrible of an idea this was. I have "A Certain Magical Index" and "RWBY" which I may do in some similar manner.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Not Teaching: Week 46

I didn’t mention last week, but I got a rejection for a short story submission I’d tidied up and submitted earlier this year. Not really a surprise, I need more rejections before getting anywhere. Meanwhile, the high serial stat was unsustainable, though I hope the one person from Hungary sticks around for the end. Since Tartra’s review I’ve had it in my head to re-edit all of T&T, but have only made it through Book 1. The primary distraction being retyping old mathNEWS from before 2000, so at least that was productive (it’s something on my offline list).
Previous INDEX Next

In my spare time, I decided to collect all the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Doritos bags, since I already had a couple and noticed the contest expired this weekend. Gamora (Zesty) and Drax (BBQ) I had, Starlord (regular) was easy. So I tried Rocket (Sweet Chili Heat, nope, not again), Groot (JalapeƱo, surprisingly less hot) and then Yondu (Spicy, in a bearable way). The Spicy didn’t seem to come in small bags, of course. (The Groot small bags, also not available at Shoppers.) Then saw the movie, so nice bookending.

Item counts run Sunday (May 14) to Saturday (May 20).

Step Count: About 57,550. 18 stars.
Variable! A couple days over 10k. Friday under 5k. Other days crept up to the 7.5k.

School Email Count: 70 New (1 sent)
Grad breakfast seems early this year. So is the Cappies Gala.

Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Watched 9 “Steins;Gate” eps and blogged
 -Re-edited T&T Book 1 (mostly for dialogue) and reposted
 -Wrote recap for AFEMO and posted
 -Retyped all old mathNEWS serial articles

Non-Writing Items:
 -Dinner with friends Monday
 -Read another chapter in Gleick’s “Time Travel”
 -Thurs met with Grocer supply, also got COMO boxes
 -More weeding of dandelions and mowed lawn
 -Saw “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” movie

 -Heading to Anime North
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Tumblr’s dropped off the map. It doesn’t seem possible to keep up with everything.
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Friday, 19 May 2017

AFEMO 2016

No OAME for me this year. Follow these links for the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education Conference: from 2016, from 2015, from 2014, and from 2013. Why no 2017? By the time I realized registration was open, it was closed - there was a cap this year.

To fill the void, I'm going to provide a recap for part of the AFEMO conference - the Association Francophone pour l'Enseignement des Mathematiques en Ontario. In some sense, the French equivalent. Their conference was held back in October 2016. I was able to attend because it was locally here in Ottawa, because there was an OAME invitation extended and I'm the COMA Chapter Secretary, and (being on self-funded leave) I didn't need release time. Related, I couldn't leave town that Thursday before the Thanksgiving weekend because my car had broken down on Monday. Tensioner bolts are problematic.

The AFEMO, founded in 1991, was in fact celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2016. The conference (their 12th) took place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, and had 600+ attendees over three days, starting on the evening of Wednesday October 5th and running through to Friday October 7th. Theme? "Penser mathematiques, c'est critique!"


Registration opened at 5pm. I arrived a bit before 6:30pm, and was directed where to park (underground) by someone in an orange vest flagging down cars outside. Got my badge at the reg. table, spoke with a person at the computer who said that there would be a handout tomorrow of room numbers and I could pick sessions as needed. Others received a printout of their preselected sessions and rooms at the time. It seemed like shoelace strings were used to self-tie the badges in place, that seemed kind of ingenious.

Photo actually taken Thurs morn
The main ballroom had a quartet of local high school musicians playing, about 45 tables seating 8 each, and a smaller side room had plates with sandwiches. Wait staff also circulated with hot foods. I had a drink ticket for alcohol from registration. Not knowing anyone (and with my French feeling a bit rusty), I wandered down among the publishers; not all were there but some were. Spoke with the UW person for a bit. Went back to grab some sandwiches and into the main room for 7pm, when things were due to begin. Sat at a random table.

About 7:15pm the speaking started. Words of introduction, Mme. Jeannine Griffore spoke (a director of Education), and there was a video of the original AFEMO founders talking -- who were also in attendance and acknowledged (given the 25th year anniversary). Pins were handed out to every table featuring a new logo.

Then the guest speaker (Mme Kim Thuy) spoke from about 7:45 until 9pm, on "Le succes de mes echecs". She's a Vietnamese-born Canadian writer, who had a number of anecdotes to share, which I mostly followed... again, my French comprehension's pretty good, but I couldn't take lots of detailed notes at the same time. There was mention of cultural comparisons, including Vietnamese teachers being the most important, versus lawyers, etc. And how "math is an exact science" even as vocabulary is new for everybody. And in my notes I've scribbled "If we take the easy road, we can die without becoming human".

Following that there were a couple notes about the next day (e.g. breakfast on your own) and the day was done. So in essence their "evening banquet" was a "buffet of sandwiches and foods", which I actually thought was fine and nice way to open things. I say this since Thursday/Friday would finish by 5pm, no evening meal.

I was only there for the Thursday, so I'll simply go through that and contrast it to Friday's schedule. Of note, a number of sessions on the schedule were tagged "MiniConference". There was one in each time slot, each time slot being for various grade levels. (The first was 11/12, second had a 9/10, then 7/8, K-3, etc.) 


Thursday (and Friday) morning started with a keynote at 8:30am. Well, prior to the keynote speech, J. Griffore said words again (learn to dream, we cannot dream what we do not understand), they gave preregistered attendance as 616, etc. Then keynote speaker (Dr Thierry Karsenti) spoke from about 9am to 10:15. Topic, "Les technologies et les mathematiques: un lien critique!"

There are technophobes, and those unable to access tech. There are techno-enthusiasts who can do anything. And there are "techno-reflechis". Find a balance. (TBI means Tableau Blanc Interactif.) What are the advantages? Students like tech, we can link with Ontario curriculum documents, a key competency in society to solve problems, more motivation/engagement, the coding revolution (Minecraft learning), it's an irreversible trend, and many more reasons. What are the disadvantages? It's a distraction (he had us do an online vote, which "created noise"), it takes time, there are harmful myths like students are the experts, the internet can go down. More advantages though!

How? Start simple, don't jump into GeoGebra. SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation/Integration, Modification, Redefinition). Let students visualize. There were 23 recommendations, I didn't write them all down. (UtahState apparently has a virtual library.) It's all about the usage. After Dr. Karsenti came a half hour break to visit publishers. At this point, there were plates of muffins, fruit, croissant and danish out in the main hallway with them.

Taylor Series!
The first session I went to was the “MiniConference 11/12”, given as “Les mathematiques par l’entremise de la science” (Pierre Sarazin et Caroline Joly). There were maybe 20-25 people (typical for all my sessions). An early point was how "Apprentissage par enquete" (Inquiry Learning) follows the scientific method - the answer is unknown. Maths seeks context when contexts should be seeking maths. A Veritasium video was shown about two balls, and the presenters had visuals on hand.

We should be ADDING steps to the scientific method, retrying our hypotheses. (Dan Meyer's basketball shoot was mentioned and shown in Desmos.) What info is missing? (Air resistance, parallax) "Video Physics" (iOS) can track objects in class (for Android, VidAnalysis). Consider "no right answer" (car gas app, if you go further away for cheaper gas, when was it updated, etc). Consider "What If" (XKCD radioactive water).

There was also a demonstration of Taylor Series in Desmos, and mention of how Active Noise Cancellation works. Audacity can be used to record. Some activities related to various functions were mentioned. Encourage discussion and hypothesizing, even the "ridiculous" - that's what's remembered. (Mr. Vaudrey "mullet ratio".)

From noon to 1pm was lunch. There were simply boxed lunches out on the tables by the exhibitors, either smoked meat or chicken. (Dietary restrictions had been asked when I arrived, I assume those were given out somewhere else.) I grabbed a box, pop was separate (thank goodness; I had water), and while I sat with some others at a table I didn't really talk much.


At 1pm I went to "L’apprentissage par enquete: est-ce possible en 12e, precollegial?" (M. St-Georges et N. Perreault-Primeau), again 20-25 people there. (Precollegial refers to the MAP4C course.) Got a coloured popsicle stick upon entry which was used to put us into groups. The session ended up largely related to Randomized Grouping and Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces, with reference to work by Peter Liljedahl and Al Overwijk. (Including 'flow' between boredom and anxiety.)

Traditional teaching versus Inquiry teaching was illustrated through "Le Gros 5 Cents" (the Sudbury nickel). We were given some information, and asked to come up with questions. We were guided to the idea of how much it would cost to make it out of actual 5 cent pieces, then split into our groups to tackle the problem on chart paper around the room. (Putting us "in their shoes".)

Our group started with the idea of "cost of a 5 cent coin" times "number necessary" with overhead costs for a prototype, making a mold, and salaries for the people working on it. Also, 5 cents today are circular, whereas the Sudbury nickel was a 12-sided shape. We were then invited to look around at what others were working on - all other groups were using formulas for volumes and such. Eh heh.

Every group gave a quick presentation in the end, then we also looked at the "Hattie Ranking of Effect Sizes", and a summary of findings by Peter Liljedahl's research (random groups takes 2-3 weeks, time to task with surfaces...). Some websites of interest were given at the end, and I saw Jon Orr, Kyle Pearce and Estimation180 up there. When that wrapped up at 2:15pm, I had to go retrieve my car; I noticed that on the tables in the hall they now had cookies and fruit bars.

I made it back for about 3pm (so only 15 min late given the snack break) for one of three bilingual sessions in that time slot (at least, the programme listed both titles), given by Dr. Christine Suurtamm. "Developper la pensee mathematique au cycle superieur/Developing Mathematical Thinking in Senior Mathematics".  She had English slides, but her handouts were French, and curriculum expectations on the slides were also French. There were 24 people (6 groups of 4, more group work). Of note, this time slot was only for Thursday, Friday was arranged a bit differently, having only one session on either side of lunch.

She had started with a look at Canada's location internationally (Dr Suurtamm spoke more about this at the 2016 COMA Social), and went on to how the verbs/actions for students in our documents are key, more than the topic. Who is doing the math in a 70 minute lesson? We did 3 activity stations, including Graphs to Prove Identities (idea of solving versus proving), Painted Cube Problem (I've used it in 3M) and Circle Walk. We're not covering the material, "we're uncovering it". The best way to prepare students for university is to deepen their understanding of maths.

That ended at 4pm, at which point everyone returned to the main room by 4:15pm for "IGNITE" sessions (Ca m'allume), presented to everybody. (On Friday, these occurred at 2:15pm.) There were three presenters. Christian Goulet, a senior student from Sarnia and CCME member led off. He spoke of the "Cafe du Monde" and posing questions. Marian Small spoke next, in English (and I recognized a variation on her Ignite talk from OAME 2016, it's #5 at this post). It included expectations for teachers, the system, and curriculum.

Dr. Serge Demers spoke last, he had an aviation metaphor for teaching maths. "Comment fAIRe en mathematiques." Planes will vary, some go father than others, some need help (the space shuttle). A professional is needed to understand the instrumentation. Takeoff is the most critical, you may have turbulence on the trip, read the safety card to help. The control tower is the schools. The path isn't straight, planes curve over the earth. Some students have more baggage than others. He finished with <"Avion"-nous tous compris?> (which I thought was damn clever).

Standing ovations were given for each (not the entire room but many). At the end, there was a reminder of a poll from the morning (list three words, results tomorrow, I don't have those), the twitter hashtag (I'd need to check my archive), and also another link was given to a google doc for anyone playing “PokemonGo” (this was near the height of it's popularity I think; I don't play). Everything wrapped up before 5pm.


The conference was definitely a different experience, in terms of the format, and I felt my thinking wasn't always so quick in French. Perhaps that put me on a more level playing field with a struggling student? Yet being there was also familiar too, with many of the same topics that might have been covered at an OAME. I'm glad I got to experience it. For reference, the AFEMO publication is "L'InforMATHeur", and conference registration confers a 24 month membership (as I believe the conference is every two years).

Any questions about the sessions, or in general? Comments? Feel free to drop me a note below. Thanks for reading, and bonne journee!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

MT Series Scan: Steins;Gate 3

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, to see if they’re similar to my own. So, why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

We're now looking at Steins;Gate (Disc 3), having previously looked at Disc 1 and Disc 2. For reference, I know a LOT about the time travel genre, including writing my own serial (Time & Tied). I'll present a quick recap of theories I have from the first twelve episodes first. I've also taken to referencing characters with whatever name stuck for me, since they use more than one. (Let me know if that's confusing, edits are possible.) Looks like this disc is where the extra episode is. (25 doesn’t divide equally by 4.)

Theory 1: One of the characters is John Titor. Maybe Okarin himself.
Theory 2: Microwave timer functionality. Confirmed.
Theory 3: Suzu/PT came back in time to save someone’s life.
Theory 4: Makise/Red’s father was involved with SERN. Nearly confirmed?
Theory 5: The satellite crashing connects to John Titor’s arrival.
Theory 6: Daru is a spy with SERN. (Which may connect to Faris.)
Theory 7: Faris’ mystery message was about saving her dad’s life.
Theory 8: SF/Kiryu is another Reading Steiner.

13 Metaphysics Necrosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-Recapping the shooting. Nice imagery of the watch, incidentally. Suzu returns, knocks people out. Badass. The 42 inch CRT is on, gadget fog, LEAP! That was kickass, didn’t expect it to happen in that way.
-Mayuri's grandmother grave, her pocket watch. “Angel’s Ladder” sunbeams, “you’re my hostage” origin. 2010 time rewind. He cancels the conference, go home. Makise gets it off the phone ring (smart). Kid talks of trains, hmm. Okarin has 3 hours. Mayuri already left. Tries Faris, voicemail. Tells Red/Makise "Run. Tell Daru too.” Runs into Suzu, who just saw her. “Don’t go back to lab.” Catches up with her, party cancelled, she doesn’t get it. (Their exchange works here at least, nice atmosphere to this point.)
-Now he remembers the bomb threat. She runs as ordered, hit by car. Oh, hell. It’s SF/Kiryu again, driving. He runs to the lab to try again. Goes back. “I have intel that Mr. Braun will be storming the place.” (Heh.) Doesn’t care if he sounds suspicious. Calls Ruka this time, stop her. Was going to fix Fukubi’s costume. Says party postponed, not cancelled. Shades guy in car?
-Mayuri’s watch stopped again. “Sorry I’m not very useful.” (Aw, well, she is useful in her own way.) Braun’s kid trips and knocks Mayuri into the path of train?! WTF? (Apparently they need more than 3 hours to shift this world line.) NEXT: Talking to SF/Kiryu and Ruka and others.

Thoughts and Theories:
We’ve entered a bit of a self imposed time loop. (I suppose the intro does mention one.) Definitely NOT where I saw this going. Seems a D-mail is needed, if Okarin can deal with Mayuri being dead for a little while while he sets it up? (Actually, huh, lots of “Necrosis” in the upcoming titles.) In retrospect, Makise/Red’s death was very clever, implying that Mayuri’s death isn’t a necessity of fate, despite appearances. Also, more support for my Daru Theory 6, he knew they wouldn’t be at the lab the second time, diverting SF/Kiryu.

14 Physically Necrosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-He did the leap over and over and she kept dying? Daaaamn. Pause on death visuals for a live death in a taxi. Dark. Refuses to believe it’s fate. Shoos them out, sits in lab. It’s 2:33pm, knows she already left shrine. (So he needs to recruit help?) Sends to SF/Kiryu. Gadget gun; she works Part Time at Arc Rewrite. With “Rounders”, mission to retrieve IBN.
-Gives reasons. SERN knows that much? Her orders are from FB. Are you John Titor? Okarin says no! (Unless not yet?) Says he’ll hand over everything to save Mayuri. (Except they’re not the only ones killing her?) He escapes, back again. He can’t take it. (Wait, why not time leap back from NOW? To have more hours?)
-He spills to Ruka, he’s unhinged. Red/Makise finds, regrets, including making SF/Kiryu member 005. Makise says the time leap machine isn’t safe, could make him not exist. (I suppose that’s a reason not to leap back from now.) Heidegger, humans are “temporal beings”. Makise has theories, but no time to discuss. Wants to help, mimics him. (I like these two.)
-Resets machine for 5 hours back, when it was completed. “If you tell me you’re from the future, I’ll probably believe you ... I know myself.” Heh. Back to 2pm, Mayuri’s there, cosplay talk. “We won’t do it.” Worries too sudden (nice that he’s thinking). Dismissed. She DOESN’T believe. Fork then. (Curse you five hours from now me, hahahaha!) HEY, who was outside??? (Rewound DVD. It’s Suzu. Also, on the board it’s events they have timed.) Okarin notes stopping “Rounders” didn’t help. There’s an underlying CAUSE, why she dies without their involvement. (The watch?!) Could be her lifespan, but Makise doesn’t buy that.

-The cause is something that triggered these events. The machine itself? Dangerous to jump to conclusions. (Yeah, because that’s their only out.) Suzu says Makise is right, tough to solve without machine. They need to overcome the 1% divergence barrier, to reach the “beta world line”. She has a DIVERGENCE METER? (SERIOUSLY?) It’s 0.337187. Okarin is the one who built it!* (Will build...)
-Numerically shows how different current world line is from previous. World lines look like yarn or rope: Seems to be a single piece, but has smaller threads. All independent of each other, but lead to the same end. Need to switch from alpha rope to beta. (This is a seriously cool metaphor, I like this.) “She’s definitely a pro. Of some sort.” (Heh.) Access to a building?
-Normally impossible to move between ropes, not even with D-mails and time leaps. But there are a number of points in time when major events occur, with branching world lines to separate futures. (Offers “1991 Gulf War”, “Year 2000 Y2K” - and 2010 time machine invention.) Only at such branches is it possible to move between lines. How? Makise: Wait, who are you? She shows her time machine, she’s from 2036. SHE’S John Titor. *BOOM*
-NEXT: Mayuri’s not dead yet, and Okarin tells Suzu presumably that she’s told him all this.

Thoughts and Theories:
*Wait, is my Theory 3 correct, but Suzu came back to save Mayuri, requested by Okarin? But then why nearly leave town? A test? (Maybe saving’s a fringe benefit, except Okarin exists in her future to invent the meter. Actually, it makes sense that Mayuri has to die in all these world lines, so that it can lead to Okarin inventing the Meter. To save her. Because time travel.)
So much happened here. Theory 1 now confirmed, essentially. Y2K mention can’t be coincidence, it links to Titor in the other world line (before Makise’s death) and to Okarin being sick in this world line. (Oh, maybe he wasn’t sick in the timeline when Titor was there?) This is good, I was worried we were getting caught in a time loop rut. I’m increasingly invested in this. (Also, the theory is not too dissimilar from lynchpin points in my story.) That said, I’m guessing they don’t know how to answer the question of moving between world lines (hence evasion). I also suspect the “Rounders” try to prevent such movement. New mystery is who is FB. (Daru?)

15 Missing Link Necrosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-Immediately into OP from recap. Alarm sounds. SERN rules in 2036, anyone in opposition killed, Suzuha a member of the resistance. Boarded a time machine left by dad. (Butterfly imagery.) Here to alter the future. Red/Makise has messaged Titor, saying SERN is into research, not governing. (She was ‘Chestnut Rice and Kamehame-ha’?)
-SERN could reshape things, being the only ones with access to 4th dimension. Makise [will have] contributed the most to the development of the machine, seen as “mother of time machines”. (Wait, how? She DIED in Ep 1, have they already jumped world ropes?) Why would I help creeps? (Maybe coerced. Dad?) Okabe is a famous terrorist? Both dead by 2036. She’s now going back to 1975. (That’s random.)
-SERN global monitoring system, first Dmail triggered. (So not Daru?) They need to delete that email from the database. (But I hope not prevent it being sent??) To hack that database requires an IBN 5100. (Connects to SF/Kiryu!) Suzu wasted too much time here looking for Dad, now the machine is broken. Security guard. Okarin says “Level 17” mission to foil Organization. Runs.
-Machine materialized there due to coordinate miscalculation; why broken? The thunderstorm. (Lightning or rain. When Okarin stopped her from leaving.) That’s now more than 48 hours in the past. Mayuri shopping with Daru. Suzu says they need to repair her time machine. So, they’ll leap him back 5 hours again (to 2pm), then from there, back to the 11th. (I *said* they should.) Try to fix Suzu’s machine; if fails, redo two days again. “Not about saving the world, but saving Mayuri.”

-Aug 11th. Suzuha doesn’t know how machine works, they ask Daru (ohh, I’m worried). Two days deadline, promises date with Faris. (Except if he’s working on THIS, he can’t help with the time leap! Gaah.) 1975 is for the IBN, Daru also wants an animation cel from ‘Radical Girl Omit-chan’. Makise will do the time leap device. Mayuri suggests Suzuha’s dad: Barrel Titor was code name. Clue is a badge. (Code name?? It’s Okarin, isn’t it.)
-“I wonder if your dad’s someone close to us.” She never met him, info was in will. Did separate research. (So did Suzu ever meet Okarin?) Daru thinks he can fix machine. Gadget #2, ver 2.67. Copter camera. Red/Makise likes for surveillance, problem is camera footage spins. (Write a program to unspin?) The version number was made up. Gadgets important?
-Daru looks suspicious. Divergence meter: Interesting that it hasn’t changed. She gives it to him. Oh, it needs to reach 1.0000%. Did he give it to her? She’s never met his future self either. (WHELP. She’s his daughter.)
-He founded the resistance group. “That’s pathetic.” It’s not, it’s admirable. Next day: No luck with pin. (OSHM***A) Okabe tries English on dreadlocks guys, hahahaha. Mayuri’s his focus, but he wants to help friends. “Kidnapper was wearing this badge.” (Clever notion, flyer is too cutesy.) Plan “Mayushii Pamphlets”. Run from police. ^_^ (“Run all plans by me first.” Haha.)
-Daru’s got skills. “Don’t judge a book by his cover.” (I’m still suspicious Daru.) Mayuri thinks Daru and Suzu are a good match?? (She is being weird. Wait, crud, is Daru the father? No, the pervert thing is terrible that way.) Suzu says she’s grateful. Era’s more peaceful, but she found it frightening. Now she has friends. “So cool” vendor calls back. (This feels like a setup.)
-NEXT: Okarin does meet the vendor. And Braun. And bad things happen to Suzu (given we see bike).

Thoughts and Theories:
Theory 9: All the gadgets are going to factor into the finale, I think. They set themselves up with the items somehow. Heck, the first one is a TV remote (adapt to “Lifter”?).
Theory 10: Okabe is Suzu’s father. Mentioning she’d never met him OR her father in the same ep might have been a setup, but I think it was hinting.
-I have a bad feeling that when they jump world lines BACK, we’ll be in the situation we were in for Ep 1. With Makise dead. So that she can’t help SERN. Which doesn’t quite explain why she said he’d talked to her way back at the start, in that beta ropeline, though it means he must time travel himself, in Suzu’s machine.
-So not having the IBN must mean they interrupted Suzu going back and leaving it at the Shrine? I’m going to try and untangle some threads here:

Untangling Threads:
-They got the IBN because Suzu knew to get Faris’ father to leave it at the shrine. When they altered via the Faris timeline, Suzu no longer knew to go back and do that (yet). Seems plausible. Now she has to go back to 1975, to bring it directly.
-Once we fix Mayuri’s death, by removing the original Dmail and jumping to the beta ropeline, we’ll be in a future where Makise is dead (and unable to help SERN). Also, Titor will be back in the year 2000, still trying to prevent the dystopia.** Will Okarin find Suzu’s time machine device ten years later in 2010, and travel back to try and save Makise? Does talking to her somehow help them jump the 1% divergence again? (Worse, is the future screwed as long as Makise is alive? Except it was screwed anyway, Titor went back when she was dead.) **Or MAYBE the Makise is dead thread isn’t the beta rope line, it’s merely closer to the 1% divergence, like 0.88?
-There was also the time “FB” told SF/Kiryu that the IBN would be in some alleyway, but it wasn’t there. Is there an Okarin behind the scenes, running interference? (Okarin being FB is a bit far fetched. Is Daru FB, working with the “Rounders”, rather than with SERN?) Guh, my thoughts are starting to spiral uselessly. Onwards.

16 Sacrificial Necrosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-Guest said “make me please a badge”. (Okarin is a double in this timeline too, that’s gotta be it.) Looked like - a barrel? Barrel Titor? No, didn’t look like Titor (heh). Mayuri’s seen Rai-Net anime, Barrel Monster => Taru. Or balloon? (It’s gotta be Daru then. Okay, weird. Why would he?) Private info contact, and left without an order when told it takes a week. He just needs to go back in time. (Well, that’s complicated. >.< ) OP.
-Okarin went back. Never asked what time guy showed. (Oop.) Yup, it’s Daru, wanted a fake copy. Would feel bad if they never found her father. (It’s Okarin, right? Stop playing these games, anime.) New info about time machine! It only goes BACK in time, not forwards. (Oooooh! Nice.) Haha, Okabe got the cola right this time. Replay. He promises this time, without the phone call, make the world free. (Wait, I’m just now connecting the satellite to the time machine. So yeah, Theory 5 confirmed?)
-Suzu, should I go to Capricorn or Aquarius. Mayuri sees FG204 on machine - the name her dad gave to it. Fond of bicycle, might make it fit. Okay, Mayuri says Daru is her dad. “That’s not a funny joke.” Word play (Barrel Titor) and FG is Future Gadget #204, 2nd ed, v 2.31. (Okay, I’ll give that one to them, well done. It also explains how she thought her dad would be at that SF gathering, then wasn’t because of the Faris-tan convincing. Clever. Touching even, though “was mom cute” kind of messes it up for me.) “See you in 35 years.”
-Our initials on badge? (OSHM***A, that makes sense. I’d never have figured it out.) Divergence meter hasn’t changed. Daru could see his own great grandkids, haha. Knock, “It’s her.” (It’s not her.) It’s Mr. Braun with a letter. Asked to deliver on this day. Died ten years ago, June 13, 2000, keeps repeating “I failed.” Amnesia for 24 years, incomplete repairs. (I still feel like Daru’s implicated.) Wants forgiveness for living a carefree life. Suggestion: Send Dmail to NOT stop Suzuha. (Daamn, that’s a problem, they’ll lose memories.)
-Needs to know how she died. To etch it into his mind. Since “I remember the time we shared together like it was yesterday.” (Clever.) Suicide, hanged herself, mental instability. Mayuri’s upset, it’ll all change, lost memories. (Suzu won’t feel like part of the lab! That’s sad.) NOW where is Hashida Suzu? A disease did her in 10 years ago. Braun lives in her old house, bike’s still there. She was all alone in this timeline. “People’s lives are a cycle of helping and being helped. So some day you’ll need to help someone else yourself.” (Aw, I like her.) Wondered if she changed the number. It’s 0.409431. The trains are running in this divergence. What about Mayuri?? She’s asleep. Has she been saved??? NEXT: Faris. And her father. My Theory 7 confirmed?

Thoughts and Theories:
Once it gets going, the show sure doesn’t get stuck in a rut. I think we’ve got to tackle this in a Timeline One/Two/Three sort of deal below. First a question: What message did Okarin send? Must have been something like ’To save Mayuri, leave Suzu’? Except no, how would he remember about the trains with only that? And why would Suzu bring the bike? Something about talking to Suzu then? But she wouldn’t remember Mayuri. I feel like there’s a plot hole here. Second: Quick pat on my own back for getting bad Suzu vibes last time, even as I wonder if I’m wrong about Daru in Theory 6. What with him being the dad. Final aside: “Necrosis” is no longer in the title, so yeah, Mayuri will be fine. As to Faris - how can we undo what she did? She doesn’t know what she sent. Heck, she didn’t send anything in this world line. (Send a message for her to be more assertive about moe? At least Okarin doesn’t need to set up the all day date in this world line - Daru never worked on the time machine.)

Untangling Threads:
-So, Divergence 0.337187 is terrible. Mayuri dies, Makise ends up working for SERN as Okarin tries to mount resistance, etc.
-Divergence 0.409431 is relatively better. Suzu dies in the past, alone (but presumably gets them an IBN?). Yet they can still potentially influence Suzu, since her past is their future. In this, the “mind leap” isn’t created, no talk of going public, so Mayuri lives (for now).
-Divergence 0.2 (as I make up numbers) is probably where we were when the whole series started. Makise dies, Titor goes back to 2000 (instead of 1975) and it’s presumably a flop there, SERN has all time travel. I assume the Dmail time machine does make things gradually better. UNLESS Ep 1 was Divergence 0.8, and we’re headed there next as that first Dmail is wiped out using the IBN. (Do we get that from Suzu? From Faris?)
-As to next, well, Okarin is likely to find the 1975 time machine and use it at some point. I’m also guessing the 1% will happen if they can get all the initials onto the badge. (Theory 11 & 12)

17 Made in Complex

Stream of Consciousness:
-Aug 14th. (It was a Friday the 13th, that’s cute.) Her watch stops NOW? Thugs? Wait, what? WHAT? Gyyaaaaaahhhhh! *faceplant* (Should I stop trying to predict this thing?)
-Back to the 13th, 5pm. She dies in 2 hours now? Makise, “Must have been hard.” (Wait, how does SHE remember Suzu’s talk of the alpha attractor field??) Undoing the Dmail about Suzu delayed things a day. Maybe undo the Dmails in reverse order? To get the IBN5100 back? Well, it’s a hypothesis, yeah. (Wait, they have the time leap device? But not the IBN?) Says his mind is valuable. He called her Kurisu again.
-UPX Conference building. Rai-Net ABGC matches, Faris won. “The cat’s with a guy in a lab coat.” (Uhhhh.) Guessing this “dark force” is like a cosplay thing, not SERN. (I suppose it’s funny, at least.) Playing “what if”. Once talked to Dad about opening a maid cafe, but he said no. Okarin knows about “May Queen”. At the site — she seems to remember? (Whaaat?) “What happens if you don’t undo it.” Mayuri. Confirmation of Theory 7! (I win.) Okabe is now beaten up by the gamers, car saves them - it’s her dad. Police arrest ringleader.
-Dad thinks he should have been at the tournament, not at work. IBN 5100, broke promise with Suzu, Rumiho/Faris was kidnapped, the IBN was bought for ransom money. (Didn’t see that coming.) Rule ever since to keep promises with his daughter. (OH! We see what Okarin sent: ‘Don’t Follow. Last message a SERN trap.’ That’s not really erasing it then? The message still existed, just has no origin.) Faris is glad Okarin saved her, as a Prince. Worried about Mayuri. Admits ten years ago, on 8th birthday, dad promised to have fun with her, but he had work. Last thing she said to him was hoping he died (oh YIKES). So she sent Dmail message - THE RANSOM MESSAGE (oh my). These ten years have been a dream, but Mayuri’s my friend. Not okay with it, but remembers what happened before and after the change now. All mixed up.
-He’ll consult with Makise again. No, don’t want to burden you, my Prince. Time to wake from the dream. Can I cry for a little bit first. (Sweet.) Will I lose my memories when the world goes back? He thinks she’ll remember, since she remembers now. Faris sends new Dmail message including “See you soon”. (Better last words.) Okarin TRANSLOCATES this time. Back to lab. Faris has lost her cell phone, because Okarin has it. She teases him. “Loved each other in a previous life.” (Heh.)
-So we’re back to when it was stored at Shrine 10 years ago, but after Ruka became a girl, it wasn’t. Gone last year. Building still has satellite damage. NEXT: Talking to Ruka, and possibly her mother.

Thoughts and Theories:
So, we’re in a backtracking set now. Honestly, the Faris stuff feels superfluous. (Presumably it’s here because there was that character in the game.) Maybe it’s simply that I called it so easily, and she’s only been around in the anime for these changing scenes. But it feels like a cheat for her to suddenly “remember” as well.
Also, her sending the ransom demand bears scrutiny. While I can believe it would divert Dad from the path that killed him, past Faris wouldn’t know. I don’t think there was any indication that she’d run away. Was SERN monitoring to the extent that they really DID kidnap her, after seeing the fake message? (That’s creepy.) A related plot issue is Okarin knowing about what the Divergence meter does. We see his Dmail message was ‘Prior message a SERN trap’, which wipes out him bringing back Suzu for the party... but also her entire set of revelations about the time machine. I mean, I can buy Okarin still knowing about Mayuri’s death (seems to be a thing), and maybe SF/Kiryu’s involvement (may still have played out with time leaps). But not the trains running, the bike, the time machine, or the divergence meter (those never happened in the line that stretches to Aug 14th). That bugs me. Anyway, moving on.

18 Fractal Androgynous

Stream of Consciousness:
-I suppose the title makes sense, if this is Ruka’s bit. “You really used to be a guy.” For Mayuri’s sake, go back to being a guy... well, that’s a unique pitch. OP Mayuri found out, because Ruka cried. (Red/Makise seems a bit fast to believe Okarin here, given how she acted when he first brought it up.) "Can’t you just quietly undo it?" Doesn’t have pager number. Also, responsibility. Ruka asks him to the shrine. He apologizes. Favour: As an exchange for turning back, be my boyfriend tomorrow. (UHHHHhhhh.)
-Asks Makise for dating advice. Faris, at May Queen, “you chase way too many girls”. (Heh.) What’s this “Special Technique” thing? Daru is listening, offers advice based on 2D characters. Okarin says IQ of 170, same as Newton! Retorts clearly a virgin. So what about you? Makise/Red blurts it out. (This is a ridiculous episode.) No one wears lab coats on dates. (Annoyed beef bowl woman, heh.) Hentai game strategy guide?! Handkerchief colours mean things? (Which they both know, heh.) She’ll covertly follow and text advice. She names it Operation Valkyrie, he asks about Norse this time. (Heh.) Makise is on edge now. (Their interactions are making this bearable.)
-He can’t converse properly. Anniversary of the very first Japanese patent? Mayuri sees them. Flashback, when they first met, he says “makes no difference if you’re a boy or girl”. But now she’s confused. It’s like with Faris and the world lines. (Ugh.) Gives him mom’s pager number, they’ll send “meat meat veggies veggies meat” etc, simulate prank. Mayuri in. “Ruka didn’t have a date with the real me.” He wants to fix that, runs back, they do supernatural sword stuff. (That was a nice twist at least.) Makise decides they’re not needed.
-Revelation that Ruka broke the IBN when cleaning the storehouse at New Years. (It seems silly that it's tied to the gender thing. Just send a Dmail saying don't clean the storehouse.) “El Psy Congroo”? (I still don't get it.) As a boy, I won’t be allowed to like you. Reiterating “none of that matters”. She wants him to remember her as a girl. Divergence implication of 0.52 during the Change? “Do you like me?” “I respect you.” (He’s a dude, yup, okay.) That leaves one more Dmail, SF/Kiryu and the new phone. (But didn’t they have the IBN even after she sent that? Maybe not? Hmm.) NEXT: Police, and maybe the identity of “FB”.

Thoughts and Theories:
-I went back to check my notes, and it’s possible the IBN vanished after SF sent her message, the characters never checked. Clever writers. I think I know what happened now. SF/Kiryu never sent a message about “not buying a phone” it was about the IBN being at the Shrine. We’re now in a world line where the IBN was stolen very recently, not broken, as in Ruka’s world line. (Also in my notes, I’d forgotten about the Loto 6 message. That didn’t change the IBN, but will they need to erase it too? Once they get the IBN?) Anyway, this last ep felt like the weakest one so far, to me. At least Faris had some mystery on her side, with her plot. I'm not invested in Ruka, except maybe a bit of the gender significance stuff, which was treated more as a sidebar.

19 Endless Apoptosis

Stream of Consciousness:
-SF/Kiryu, roof, stormy. OP. Okay. Apr 15th. Doesn’t he need to go back? Mayuri’s going to a crowded convention, Comima. “It happens tomorrow.” (She still dies?) “How many times have I explained this to you.” (Yeah, that’s gotta suck.) He’s going to watch her die to determine the precise time. (Oh, Okarin.) He says he knows the message Kiryu sent. (I’m suspicious.) Makise will go, and contact him. “Whatever world line you’re on, you’re not alone. I’m there.” (Well, THAT'S horribly foreboding.)
-Okarin found where Kiryu works, ArcRewrite. She worked a couple days, then quit? He has her address, “Heights White 202”. She committed suicide in this timeline, last night. Body to the hospital, can’t find any relatives. (Was it really suicide? Aha, he’s immediately thinking like me.) Will time leap to before SF dies. Makise phones. Mayuri dies at 7:52pm. Leap!
-Back to Aug 11th. The pudding eating time. (Damn, that's early. Gives them almost a week.) “You’re right, Kurisu.” gets them into just did time leap. Goes to SF/Kiryu’s address. She’s on about “FB” not answering. (Probably now that he has the IBN, he doesn’t care about her?) “Did what you asked” and no new orders.
-Okarin pulls away her phone. (Ooooh, she be crazy.) “Never forgive her”, punches her out, stole the phone. Set to go? (Send: ‘Get new phone before they sell out.’) It didn’t work. No world line change. (So yeah, stole the IBN.) The effects greatly depend on who is receiving it. (Say the message came from FB?) NOW he realizes she didn’t change her phone. Sent different message at last second. Checks for it.
-She’s FRANTIC. Opens door, slams her down. “What’s going on in there?” Makes like they’re kissing. (Oh brother. Did we need this?) She bites him. “What can I do to make you give it back?” Got strange message? Tell me what it said. IBN and Rounders? “I can’t betray.” Orders come from FB. “How nice and loyal of you.” Betrayal, she explains “FB saved me”. FB is like a mother. “Work I can do?” (Maybe she’s not a Reading Steiner, just got this texting handicap.) No job, no skills. He pushes her, with the suicide and silence. (Come on, break through.)
-Tries to check her phone, apologizing. “Is FB a woman?” Thinks so, but never met. Thinks FB would hate her if they met, wanted to belong. Found Message: “The retro PC is stored...” Makise was worried, aw. (Undo: Shrine is a trap, don’t go, not there.) NOPE. Kiryu of past didn’t believe? “There’s only one person she’ll listen to.” Okarin will go to look for FB; she admits she’d kill if FB told her to. Even if she knew she was being used? “The world has set your death in stone ... I’m going to fight the world.” (Good lines, glad something got through at the end.) Coin locker in front of the Dai building. NEXT: Phone handover, still motion shots. Can’t be good.

Thoughts and Theories:
Getting the IBN isn’t going to be enough, they need to erase the Dmail. Not so much for SERN but because SF/Kiryu is seriously CRAY-CRAY unless they befriend her in the lab. Also, she’s obviously not a Reading Steiner, she’s just text obsessed (a bit of a shut in?). And Daru isn’t working for SERN, his plot thread was limited to the Suzuha thing and we now have other Dmails which didn’t work, so this is all Kiryu. Meaning Theories 1-8 (and 10) are all dealt with now (I’ll summarize next post). There is a bit of a wrinkle though: When they erase the Dmail, SF/Kiryu will know they have the IBN a week previous to where we are in the narrative. Why not tell? What went on during that week that Okarin will now have to figure out?? (Maybe the Dmail will tell her the IBN is in that alleyway, sent ‘from FB’? And they hide the real one from her?)
The real trouble is going to come when they erase the Dmail, and it improves the Divergence Meter but doesn’t jump the World Lines to 1%, only kills off Makise. Meaning Okarin will have to somehow prevent that. (Time machine from 1975? It makes sense that all this had to happen, even though to everyone else Makise died two weeks ago, so that he can literally go back and change it.) He’s going to find it rough without her support though, particularly if Mayuri still dies too. Who is FB, THAT’S the biggest mystery that I can’t even theorize on at this point. It HAS to be someone we’ve seen or heard about. (Makise’s father? Or could B stand for ‘Braun’? I don’t even know, but I like that last one. In particular now that they’ve implied FB is a woman.)

That ends Disc 3. I can see why they added the extra episode here, it makes sense to include it in the "Undo" arc (maybe they could have put Ep 13 on Disc 2 instead, but the titles synch up here). A bit of this felt like filler, a bit of this blew me away. I love the Divergence idea, and the analogies. Suzuha is my second favourite female character now, after Makise. And while some of this feels very telegraphed to me (like Faris' father), they strung me out quite well in other places, like with my false Daru theories (even after I fingered him as the Barrel). I'm looking forward to seeing how it all dovetails together. I even had a time travel dream last night.

Do you have any thoughts, from when you watched this series? Or if you haven't, is this style of recap of any interest? Feel free to clue me in with a comment. Thanks for reading this far down!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Not Teaching: Week 45

My serial shattered its page view ceiling last Sunday, hitting 143. It’s former top count was 113, from June 28, 2016. (So, yeah, basically 45 weeks.) That’s due to Tartra writing me a review last Saturday. Which made me aware that I really don’t think about word choice. One person would say “circumvent” while another would say “work around”. That ranks up there with ‘exclamation marks’ as something to fix. So I feel I need to go back to the beginning, even as T&T is wrapping up. Always something.
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Meanwhile, the flooding meant Anne-Lise was home a couple days this week. The low capacity for OAME this week meant I was here too. I sent a Mother’s Day card. Also, I looked into whether I’m paying too much for benefits after hearing about problems (I’m not, the LTD deduction is different, sigh), and another medical appointment is now booked for end of month. Should I mention Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and John Barrowman are in town? Probably not, since I’m not seeing them.

Item counts run Sunday (May 7) to Saturday (May 13).

Step Count: About 54,200. 22 stars.
One low day with a couple slightly above average.

School Email Count: 60 New (5 sent)
Went to Teacher AGM. This may have been a good year to take off.

Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Inked and coloured strip for Monday
 -Watched 8 “Steins;Gate” eps and blogged
 -All T&T separated into half eps for RRL (to #60)
 -T&Ts cued back up, edits on guest post + restart
 -Drew, inked and coloured strip for this Monday

Non-Writing Items:
 -Teacher AGM on Wednesday
 -Much weeding of dandelions and some lawn care
 -Met with friend for tea/scone

 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Post recap about AFEMO Conference (from Oct)
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (Steins Gate)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Yoga continues on Mondays. I stopped mentioning it, probably during a holiday Monday. But it’s a thing, if that matters.
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