With the reversal of his personal D-mail in the eighteenth episode of Steins;Gate, we’re back to male Ruka. Although the female Ruka was only around for a short while, we were fortunate to see her be the focus of an entire episode before accepting Okabe’s request and returning to her true form. And now that she’s gone, I began to wonder if people would be for this change or against it. Do people like Ruka better as a man or a woman?
Personally, I like Ruka as a male more than a female. While Ruka’s personality fits being a woman better than a man, it’s a little more fun to have Ruka be a unique male rather than an average female. At least that’s the way I see it. Being a male with an extremely effeminate personality, mannerisms, and dress helps you remember the character better since it is something deviant. Being female, all these aspects begin to seem more normal and commonplace and the distinctiveness of Ruka begins to wane. Sure, there are traps all over anime now and they are increasing in popularity, so male Ruka is nothing groundbreaking but it is something more innovative than having Ruka be a shy and beautiful maiden.
And while the two versions of Ruka are virtually the same, there are real subtle differences between the two characters. The female Ruka seemed to be more open and honest, readily crying when Okabe called her a man (I doubt the male Ruka would cry from something that damaging) and honestly confessing her feelings to Okabe (which the male Ruka seemed to dodge at the end of the episode). It seems the male Ruka has a more reserved personality, wanting to keep things quiet and not express his emotions. The only time he really ever seemed invested in anything, aside from being shy, was when he learned about D-mails changing the past and wanting to use that opportunity to become a woman. Of course, with the limited screentime we’ve had for Ruka, not to mention dividing it up between male and female, these differences are merely generalizations that are hard to prove. Nevertheless, they’re the only differences readily visible at this point in the series, especially since there will be no more female Ruka.
Okabe certainly is a generous and admiring character, allowing Ruka the option to reverse her own personal D-mail or not. Okabe already knew the message that Ruka sent and could have easily tricked her into providing her mother’s pager number to reverse it on his own but he chose not to. He wanted to give Ruka the opportunity to choose what she wanted to do with her timeline. What a standup guy that Okabe is. And not only that but he was able to give both Faris and Ruka the option and was able to go through and convince both that reversing their D-mails was all for the right reason. So not only is he a gallant and praiseworthy character, he’s intelligent and industrious, too. But still, even with all that, he’s a distant second behind Kurisu for being my favorite in Steins;Gate.