In Stein’s;Gate, Okabe Rintarou, a young adult aspiring to be a scientist, acts like a Chuunibyou that believes to be a mad scientist named Hououin Kyouma. But it is obvious that he isn’t in fact a chuunibyou, and it is just a facade created for the reason of neglecting the sad truth that is that Okabe actually never does anything as interesting as he would want to, and maybe is depressed by that. But isn’t it the contrary?
Okabe is really smart. He is a person of many layers. The Okabe that pretends to be Hououin Kyouma is not in fact the ”real” Okabe. That Okabe is just another facade, the facade of the silly ”pretending to be chuunibyou but actually is sad” is just as fake as Hououin Kyouma. Maybe Hououin Kyouma is even closer to the real Okabe than than Okabe. He is indeed depressed, but he’s more self-aware than that.
Okabe really only acts like that because he doesn’t want to worry Mayuri, who is the only one who actually understands him, even without him noticing it.
But we start getting to see the true Okabe Rintarou when his life starts getting in danger. Okabe is totally aware of the consequences of everything he does, and that’s why he acts silly near his friends. He doesn’t want anyone to worry. But the moment his life is in danger, he starts showing his true self. The paranoid self-aware Okabe, that acts totally strange and goes in panic trying to save everyone.
And then when he fails. Silence.
When Mayuri dies the first time, all that Okabe feels is guilt. He knew the consequences, yet, he kept going, and let his friend die. From this moment on, Okabe never does the ”Hououin Kyoma” thing. That’s because he doesn’t need it anymore. There is no hiding that he is in fact a little bit crazy. Okabe has always been crazy in the inside. The Hououin Kyoma facade didn’t just work as a way of neglecting the depressive truth, but also stress relief, a way to get his weirdness out without seeming weird. A way of escaping the facade that is the Okabe Rintarou that everybody knows.
When the real Okabe fails, he shuts in and keeps everything to him self, like he always did. When his friend dies, he tries to save her by himself because he doesn’t think anyone will understand. He acts the way he always acted towards serious situations: By himself.
He only learns to trust people more when Makise Kurisu tells him that no matter what worldline he is in, she will always believe and be there for him. She gives him a ”password” and from that moment on, he starts to rely on his friends more and only then making it possible to save them.
Stein’s;Gate is a story about many things, one of them being about a selfless crazy guy that keeps his thoughts to himself becoming someone better through trusting more the very same people he cares about and wants to save.