Our Beautiful, Irregular World

As he walks around Akihabara, showing an eerily human-like AI version of his deceased lover Tokyo’s tech district through his phone, mad scientist Okabe Rintaro finds it hard to believe. No, not his situation. In his search for Steins;Gate, he’s found himself in far stranger places still. It’s Makise Kurisu’s never having seen the Akiba evening lights that strikes him.

“Have you never been here at night?” he asks her. “Do you even have to ask? Maybe you’ve forgotten, but I don’t have legs! Otherwise, I’d be strolling around here all the time. But I’m only a program.”

Rintaro gasps. Once again, he had indeed forgotten. So many time jumps. So many different world lines. After a while, it all starts blending together. Which version of Kurisu was he talking to now? Ah, what would it matter. It was yet another version of her he would have to leave behind — this time, it was deleting the AI that was the necessary next step. But none of their countless encounters across time and space ever ended without a lesson, and this one was no exception.

“Are all districts like this at night?” Kurisu asks. “No, not all of them,” Rintaro answers. “Shinjuku and Shibuya are pretty lively, even at night. In Ginza, on the other hand, it is much quieter than here.” “Huh. Fascinating!” “Do you like Akiba?” Rintaro asks the shimmering lady on the screen. “Yes, very much! I like the wild and colorful flurry of activity. It’s as if there were no rules here.” And then, the AI imbued with brilliant young scientist Makise Kurisu’s memories explains what no AI will ever be able to understand:

“Here, where I exist, everything has its reason, a purpose, and a function. What’s not necessary will simply be deleted. Ballast will be shed without hesitation. Everything is organized efficiently. Your world, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It almost looks like pure chaos. Much here is unnecessary, and seemingly pointless activities are on the agenda every day. Decisions are made that are obviously wrong — but that’s also how coincidences happen, and the meaningless suddenly attains meaning. This complex interplay gives birth to the most wonderful events, and all kinds of encounters. A program like me could never recreate such a complex world.”

“Show me the sky!” Kurisu makes her last demand. “What a majestic view! Believe me, this world in which you live is much more magnificent than you even realize. Time passes. Chaos and coincidence create miracles — and those give everything meaning. Unbelievable, isn’t it?”

Just like the fact that this observation did not come from a human being, it kind of is, Rintaro concedes without words. And yet, a few hours later, he must hit the Delete-button and be on his way. Another world line with another Kurisu awaits. Maybe this time, if one of the infinite, chaos-born miracles permits, she will be the real deal, and the meaningless will suddenly attain meaning — just like in our beautiful, irregular world.