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.