Category Archives: Steins; Gate

Steins; Gate 20 — Brawny Mr. Braun

I’d always assumed his first name was Wernher. Major spoilers ahead.

So FB is revealed, and it’s none other than Okabe’s landlord. I can’t say I expected it, but I can’t say I’m all that surprised either. There weren’t all that many choices among the characters we’ve met so far who aren’t in Okabe’s harem. Mr. Braun, Feyris’ dad, Mr. Braun’s daughter, the guy who sold Daru the charm… so yeah. Pickings are slim.

So Mr. Braun was poor, lived in the sewers, CERN helped him get out but he became a puppet, yada yada. Not a terribly interesting backstory. I think the creators of the anime realized this as well and skimmed over it. But two things do make him interesting: first, his daughter, and second, his relationship with Suzu. His relationship with his daughter drives him to commit suicide in a manner that was unexpected. I did not see this one coming. He also gets angry when Okabe mentions Suzu. I have to wonder what her role in all this is.

CERN has a pretty impressive organization, for a system composed of social rejects such as Moeka. I kind of assumed they were just a bunch of European megalomaniacs with a small leadership and a hit squad or two, but they seem to actually have a vast network of associates even in the present day. Their organization would be the envy of spy and terrorist cells the world over- everyone only seems to know a couple of people. The handing off of the IBN5100 was quite impressive (but not too effective against someone who can send messages to his past self). And their members are completely dedicated to the cause to the point of death, even if only out of fear.

We learned one thing from Mr. Braun which none of the characters seemed to think much of, but that seems critically important to me: that Okabe will be killed as well once he has finished his task. This seems to go together with another suspicious circumstance: the fact that CERN always allows Okabe to travel back in time with the time machine, even when they are shooting at him or invading his house.

So why is Okabe useful to CERN? It could be because he’s the one they’re relying on to build the time machine, but I doubt it. It was mostly luck. Or was it? Mr. Braun’s television serves as a critical component of the time machine. I’m going to hypothesize that CERN has been five steps of Okabe the entire time: that in fact, CERN wants Okabe to “oppose” them and prevent Mayushii’s death. Why? I’m not entirely sure, but perhaps their true goal is something more ambitious than ruling the world. Okabe’s ability would be useful to an organization such as theirs.

Lastly, Okabe finally realizes that Christina dies in the timeline he’s planning to return to. Took him a while to realize that. I wonder if he’ll choose to go back there or try something different. Christina has been guiding him in his return to the original timeline, and without her he’s going to be even more lost than he is without Mayuri.

Steins; Gate 19 — Domestic Violence

ArcRewrite doesn't sound suspicious at all... What could they possibly do?

Now this is more like it! I was a bit worried with Steins; Gate’s recent string of episodes focusing on the addition of new haremettes, but Moeka’s case is fortunately not so simple.

Probably the most frightening part of this episode for Okabe- to come back from a time leap and discover he's been caught eating Christina's pudding.

In the initial episodes, Moeka was one of the characters I liked the least, mainly because she never talked. She came across as unemotional and level-headed. This episode disabused me of that notion. She broke her silence, but didn’t speak so much as scream and wail. She is a broken character, with an overriding dependence on FB. The whole scene with Okabe and Moeka in her apartment was downright intense. I wouldn’t say I *like* Moeka now by any stretch of the imagination, but I can say that she’s managed to capture my attention and a bit of sympathy.

Okabe has changed a lot. He went from a boastful yet timid mad scientist into someone willing to physically assault a woman in her home. His character has taken on a darker tone: how much of his beatdown was to save Mayushii, and how much was for revenge? His recovery when that woman walked in was… creative. Transforming a scene of domestic abuse into a rape scene. Of course that is completely socially acceptable, so the woman lets out a giggle about “lovers these days” and walks away. Anime… *sigh*. Yet it disturbingly mimics reality. Okabe shows a hint of sympathy for Moeka towards the end, but then leaves her crying on the floor.

As for speculation, I’ll be honest: I have no idea who FB is, except it’s probably someone we already met. Maybe Daru is a double agent… I kid, I kid. But perhaps if Okabe can recover the IBN5100, knowing FB’s identity won’t be necessary. This seems like a logical first step, at least.

And I have to wonder: how did Mayushii die at the comics festival? I’ll be interested to hear that one. Okabe has really come to trust and rely on Christina- I’m guessing he’ll need to eventually trust the rest of his harem (and Moeka) with the truth to free everyone from their fate.

Seeing (Rudolf) Steiner

In Steins; Gate, the title of the show and Okabe’s ability “Seeing Steiner” both borrow their name from Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher of the early twentieth century. With Okabe’s penchant for choosing names from Norse mythology, the use of Steiner’s name appears to take a special significance.

Steiner developed a system of philosophy called Anthrosophy, a new artistic movement form called eurythmy, and an entire system of education— and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. See the Wikipedia article for the full details.

But Steiner’s biggest contribution to Stein’s; Gate is his philosophy, so I’m going to focus on that here. The main idea of Anthrosophy is that there is a spiritual world, which can be intellectually understood, and can be experience directly by developing the inner senses. I read through Steiner’s essay Mysticism at the Dawn of a Modern Age to get some idea of his thoughts and how they fit into Stein’s; Gate. You can read the entirety of the essay here, but be warned, it’s extremely dense and Steiner doesn’t appear to believe in paragraphs. All of the quotations I’ve taken are from this essay. (I glanced at a few of his other works as well, and some are more out there than others. Although that particular essay may help to explain that odd scene with Mayushii from millions of years ago.)


Steiner places a heavy emphasis on the idea of “seeing”. This passage provided the clearest explanation of his views for me:

Now Weigel says to himself, If the perception flowed from the counterpart (thing) into the eye, then, of one and the same thing, the same complete perception would of necessity have to arise in all eyes. But this is not the case; rather, everyone sees according to his eyes. Only the eyes, not the counterpart, can be responsible for the fact that many different conceptions of one and the same thing are possible. In order to make the matter clear, Weigel compares seeing with reading. If the book did not exist of course I could not read it; but it could be there, and I would still not be able to read anything in it if I did not know the art of reading. Thus the book must be there, but of itself it cannot give me anything at all; everything that I read I must bring forth out of myself. That is also the nature of natural (sensory) perception. Color exists as a “counterpart;” but out of itself it cannot give the eye anything. On its own, the eye must perceive what color is. The color is no more in the eye than the content of the book is in the reader. If the content of the book were in the reader, he would not have to read it. Nevertheless, in reading, this content does not flow out of the book, but out of the reader. It is the same with the sensory object. What this sensory object is outside, does not flow into man from the outside, but rather from the inside. — On the basis of these ideas one could say, If all perception flows from man into the object, then one does not perceive what is in the object, but only what is in man himself… Weigel says to himself, Although perception flows from man yet it is only the nature of the counterpart which emerges from the latter by way of man. As it is the content of the book which I discover by reading and not my own, so it is the color of the counterpart which I discover through the eye, not the color which is in the eye, or in me. On his own path Weigel thus comes to a conclusion which we have already encountered in the thinking of Nicolas of Cusa. In his way Weigel has elucidated the nature of sensory perception for himself. He has attained the conviction that everything external things have to tell us can only flow out from within ourselves. Man cannot remain passive if he wants to perceive the things of the senses, and be content with letting them act upon him; he must be active, and bring this perception out of himself. The counterpart alone awakens the perception in the spirit. Man ascends to higher cognition when the spirit becomes its own object. In considering sensory perception, one can see that no cognition can flow into man from the outside. Therefore the higher cognition cannot come from the outside, but can only be awakened within man. Hence there can be no external revelation, but only an inner awakening. And as the external counterpart waits until man confronts it, in whom it can express its nature, so must man wait, when he wants to be his own counterpart, until the cognition of his nature is awakened in him. While in the sensory perception man must be active in order to present the counterpart with its nature, in the higher cognition he must remain passive, because now he is the counterpart. He must receive his nature within himself. Because of this the cognition of the spirit appears to him as an illumination from on high. In contrast with the sensory perception, Weigel therefore calls the higher cognition the “light of grace.” This “light of grace” is in reality nothing but the self-cognition of the spirit in man, or the rebirth of knowledge on the higher level of seeing.

One of the central ideas here is that “everything external things have to tell us can only flow out from within ourselves.” This sounds confusing, but actually makes a lot of sense from the reading example. It is our brain’s interpretation which internally allows us to “see” and to read books. Okabe’s Seeing Steiner is likewise an internal sense which allows him to experience other timelines. It is simply another thing he perceives, a sense that comes from within himself.

Another central idea is that man, through these internal acts of seeing, rises above the natural world, and that the “universal soul… tears down the barrier between the outer world and the inner world… and embraces both.” Could this barrier be what the title of Steins; Gate refers to?

Man is entangled in the world of the senses and in the laws of nature, by which the world of the senses is dominated. He himself is a result of this world. He lives because its forces and substances are active in him, and he perceives and judges this world of the senses in accordance with the laws by which it. and he are constructed. When he directs his eye upon an object, not only does the object appear to him as a sum of interacting forces dominated by the laws of nature, but the eye itself is already constructed according to such laws and forces, and the act of seeing takes place in harmony with these laws and forces. If we had attained the utmost limits of natural science, in all likelihood we could pursue this play of natural forces in accordance with natural laws into the highest regions of the formation of thought. — But in doing this we already rise above this play. Do we not stand above all mere conformity to natural laws when we survey how we ourselves are integrated into nature? We see with our eye in accordance with the laws of nature. But we also understand the laws in accordance with which we see. We can stand on a higher elevation and survey simultaneously the external world and ourselves in interplay. Is not then a nature active within us which is higher than the sensory-organic personality which acts according to natural laws and with natural laws? In such activity is there still a partition between our inner world and the external world? That which judges here, which gathers insights, is no longer our individual personality; rather it is the universal essence of the world, which has torn down the barrier between inner world and outer world, and which now embraces both. As it is true that I still remain the same individual in external appearance when I have thus torn down the barrier, so it is true that in essence I am no longer this individual. In me now lives the feeling that the universal nature speaks in my soul, the nature which embraces me and the whole world.

Okabe certainly stands on a higher plane, observing the external world and himself from afar, in perhaps a more literal sense than Steiner intended. With his ability to experience multiple universes, he has become an outside observer of the external world, observing the external world and himself in interplay across the vast expanse of the multiverse. In essence, Okabe is no longer the same individual he once was, as now the universal nature (his multiple selves) speaks in his soul.

Another thing we may be able to glean from Steiner’s ideas here is why Ruka and Feyris are able to remember their lives in the other universes. We can surmise that Ruka and Feyris have managed to tear down the barriers between themselves, Okabe and the different timelines in order to unite with the universal soul and connect with their experiences in parallel universes.

Here are a few more excerpts related to “seeing” that I enjoyed, you can decide for yourself how (or if) they relate to Steins; Gate.

Man finds himself to be an individual being, a creature of nature. And no science can reveal anything more to him about this life than that he is such a creature of nature. As a creature of nature he cannot go beyond the state appropriate to a creature of nature. He must remain within it. And yet his inner life leads him beyond it. He must have confidence in something no science of external nature can give and show him. If he calls this nature the existing, he must be able to advance to the view which acknowledges the non-existing as the higher. Tauler does not seek a God who exists in the sense of a natural force; he does not seek a God who has created the world in the sense of human creations. In him lives the recognition that even the concept of creation of the teachers of the Church is only an idealized human creating. It is clear to him that God is not found in the same manner as science finds natural processes and natural laws. Tauler is conscious that we cannot simply add God to nature in our thoughts. He knows that one who thinks God in his sense, does not have any other content in his thoughts than one who has grasped nature in thought. Therefore Tauler does not want to think God; he wants to think divinely. The knowledge of nature is not enriched by knowing God; it is transformed. The knower of God does not know something different from the knower of nature: he knows differently. The knower of God cannot add a single letter to the knowledge of nature, but through his whole knowledge of nature a new light shines.


“We are to be united with God essentially; we are to be united with God as one; we are to be united with God altogether. How are we to be united with God essentially? This is to be accomplished by a seeing and not by a being. His being cannot be our being, but is to be our life.” Not an already existing life — a being (Wesung) — is to be understood in the logical sense; but the higher understanding — the seeing — is itself to become life; the spiritual, that which belongs to the idea, is to be experienced by the seeing man in the same way as the individual human nature experiences ordinary, everyday life.

Steins; Gate 18 — Gender Restoration

I did find this episode funny, especially the early parts. Christina’s discussions with Okarin are always amusing. As were Kyouma’s requests that Ruka undergo a sex change.

But overall, I felt this was one of the most disappointing episodes of Steins; Gate yet. Ok, Kyouma and Ruka go on a date, and Kyouma expands his harem by one. Who now happens to be a male. What’s the point? We already knew Ruka liked Kyouma, and was sexually ambiguous. We learned that Ruka liked Kyouma because he defended her for being male. Which is not all that surprising, and adds very little to anyone’s character that we weren’t already aware of, unlike Feyris’ episode. Are we going to have to go through this capture sequence with Moeka next week, and then Christina and Mayushii?

As far as I can tell, there were really only two directions in which the plot progressed in this episode. First, the only reason Okabe doesn’t have the IBN5100 is that Ruka accidentally broke it a year ago. Which raises the question: instead of changing Ruka’s gender, why don’t they just send her a message not to break the computer? There’s no guarantee that Mayuri doesn’t die in the original timeline anyway, so I’m not sure why Okabe is so fixated on returning there, particularly since Christina dies in a nearby timeline.

The other point of interest is that Ruka remembers what happened in the previous timeline. This makes two people, so my theory from last week that Feyris had some kind of special power like seeing Steiner now seems unlikely. Perhaps Okabe’s repeated time travel is breaking down the barriers of space-time and merging the timelines together… or his seeing Steiner is rubbing off on his friends… or something. Maybe Kyouma will need to be the hero who saves the multiverse from the destruction he himself has caused.

Next episode Kyouma is planning to undo Moeka’s message and infiltrate the enemy ranks, so we should get out of this harem building rut. I have difficulty imagining that Kyouma will be able to add Mayushii’s killer to his harem without a bit more difficulty.

Steins; Gate 17 — Feyris-nyan

On one hand, Feyris has finally become a character who is something more than a nyan-nyan nekomimi girl. But overall I was disappointed by this episode.

They’ve introduced inconsistencies into the plot which I doubt will ever be addressed. Why is Feyris able to remember what happened in both timelines? I thought Okarin was the only one with the reading Steiner ability. Feyris’ ability is even better, actually: Feyris is able to remember both timelines, but Okarin can’t remember his past in the timelines he transfers to. This seems like a huge plot hole, if they don’t come up with some explanation, especially for a series which has been putting a significant amount of thought into its time travel.

Additionally, I didn’t really understand the story about the D-mail Feyris sent (perhaps this is just me, and someone can correct me?). What I got out of it was that Feyris’ father died in an accident. To prevent him from going to the place where he would die in the accident, Feyris sent a D-mail faking her kidnapping, told him to gather $1 million to pay her ransom and head away from the accident scene on the train. He didn’t have enough money, so he sold the IBN 5100 to a suspiciously willing buyer (CERN?). But wouldn’t the father have found out that her kidnapping was fake after he prepared the money? Or was she actually kidnapped, and she just told him to take the train instead of driving?

But regardless of what actually happened here, I’m surprised Okabe didn’t try for a less drastic change in the timeline that would allow both Mayushii and Feyris’ father to live. And it seems to me that Feyris’ D-mail could be a red herring anyway: that buyer knew about the IBN 5100 at such an opportune time. It seems reasonable to believe that this buyer and kidnapper are the same person, and that they may be affiliated with CERN. Which leads us to my speculation regarding the heart of Okabe’s problems: Moeka’s D-mail. I think that after it was after this message that we never saw the IBN 5100 again. And considering that no one except her even knew what the message was, she could have sent anything. My guess is that she told herself where the machine was in the past.

The last thing that bothered me about this episode was how Okabe suddenly became Feyris’ prince. Where did this come from? I thought she just liked to bully him. I hope we don’t have every female character fall in love with Okabe. Next week seems set to be Ruka’s turn, since her D-mail is next in line… I hope she doesn’t become a trap again…