Electric Boogaloo is a phrase that when added to the end of a long-established series is meant to establish that it will be poor quality. Sequels more than another form of media are often afflicted by a phenomenon I like to call unmemorable mediocrity, where the piece of media lacks the technical or narrative flaws to render it mockable as an abject failure yet still fails to entertain or leave a lasting impression. The sequel is condemned to receive high 70/low 80’s reviews before being quickly forgotten and lost in the shadow of the far more popular and influential original piece.

The Matrix is perhaps the most obvious example of the phenomena as we can look at its gradual decline from an original which is seen as an aged but still well-regarded classic creating many iconic tropes and scenes to a largely forgotten third movie more known more for its inappropriate use of academic vocabulary than any artistic achievement. Science–fiction as a genre often seems to suffer worst from this phenomena but it is by no means exclusive to it with action and adventure movies often suffering similar fates

I find that the fundamental reason this happens is that all art is primarily an attempt at communication. A sequel produced solely for monetary profit lacks any cohesive message, to begin with, and therefore has messaged created after the fact. This limits the ability of these sequels to leave any lasting impression or ideas in its audience creating a hollow ugly facade which no coat of glossy effects can hide.

Steins;Gate may at first seem to be a series that could suffer from something similar, the original novel’s exploration of the effects and consequences of time travel seems to have been completed with a happy ending granted by a Deus x Machina from the future. The emotional rollercoaster that was the series was over and the characters that we had come to know and love were safe, happy and together. A sequel could very easily suffer from the “Electric Boogaloo” effect and be nothing more than a shallow attempt to cash in on a desperate audience.

After all, the series has already suffered something similar as a spin-off movie translated into English named “Steins; Gate: The Movie − Load Region of Déjà Vu” had a decidedly mixed reception many viewing it as inconsistent with the closed ending of the original and viewing it as a nothing more than a pointless exploration of an already finished story. Having seen the movie, I can say it exists in the weird middle ground between the two, as the mechanics and ending were clearly nonsense made up at the last minute to satisfy the run-time. No new information about time travel can be gleaned from the movie which was the biggest draw of the original yet its exploration of the relationship between Okabe and Kurisu was first class. I especialy liked the drunk Kurisu scene despite its set-up being contrived for anybody unfamiliar with the original visual novel.

Steins; Gate 0 the visual novel from my limited knowledge seems to have been well received, with many critics praising the shift from a setting based plot-line of the original to a character based plot-line as a major success. This is my biggest concern about the anime adaptation as Stein;Gate(Original) remains one of it’s few critically acclaimed success. Will Stein;Gate 0 be able to countinue the legacy of the original anime is still an open question I can’t wait to know the answer too.

 

 

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