Art by Rumiko Takahashi
- For other uses of Ryoga, see Ryoga
He has no sense of direction and is always lost on long strenuous journeys. After spending months looking for male Ranma for leaving before their planned duel, Ryoga finally ends up at Jusenkyo in China, but is pushed into a cursed spring by female Ranma (while chasing Genma and not looking where she was going). Ever since then Ryoga turns into a black piglet when doused with cold water, which makes his constant wanderings much more dangerous from hungry hunters and predators, and he initially carries a large grudge. (For perpective, the traumatizing Nekoken training that Ranma went through, never forgave and took plenty of revenge for after learning that he was stronger than his father, is a commonplace occurrence by Ryoga's standards.)
Ryoga is the first major challenge to Ranma in Nerima. Their first fight showcases their strengths, and it is a close match. Akane accidentally discovers Ryoga in cursed form, and not knowing the pig's true identity, adopts him as her pet and names him P-chan. She is the first person to show him real kindness, and Ryoga falls head-over-heels in love with her, and consistently acts as a fierce protector from both real and imagined threats, whether in normal or cursed form. She even takes him to bed with her, and generally beats him severely with her sleep-movements.
Ryoga accepts training from Cologne because he feels that he can use it to best Ranma, and win Akane's interest. Cologne is equally using Ryoga, hoping to remove Akane from the picture, which would in turn free Ranma to wed Shampoo. His training under Cologne makes Ryoga's body very durable. He toughens to the point that great impacts, such as being buried in a rockslide, or being struck with large boulders, cause no damage. Engaging Ranma for a second time, he forces Ranma to also rely on training from Cologne, used in an inventive manner, to counter his newly toughened constitution.
When not upset Ryoga is usually shy, humble, helpful, and polite, especially around women. He also has strong chivalrous streaks, and consistently protects any maidens in distress, or victims of bullies, monsters, or bandits that he comes across. He tends to stock up on an assortments of gifts and local food specialties from the highly diverse locations where he ends up during his travels.
Ryoga's grudge towards Ranma for causing his second curse eventually disappears, and is replaced with a mixture of romantic, as well as professional, rivalry. This morphs into something of a mutual respect in the later story arcs, and Ryoga comes to save Ranma's and/or Akane's lives on multiple occasions. However, he remains annoyed with Ranma for recurrently making fun of or manipulating him, and their mutual battle prowess competition will likely persist forever. In the late part of the series Ryoga's affection for Akane starts to shift towards the sumo-pig breeder Akari, who becomes his girlfriend.
Ryoga is one of the first characters to learn to manipulate his Ki and use it to combat Ranma. His ki attack is named the Shi Shi Hokodan (Lion's Roar Shot). He taps into his reservoirs through the weight of feelings of rage, frustration, pain, sadness, and despair, to blasts an opponent with a vertical ray of pent up personal energy. Although Ranma does learn the same technique, his personality is much more suited to using emotions of confidence and arrogance. Ryoga further refines the technique, the Shi Shi Hokodan Final Form fires Ki in a towering pillar, which then crashes down, pulverizing his opponent. Ryoga uses this technique while being strangled by Lime. His sorrow at the prospect of dying without being loved by Akane causes him to produce a powerful chi-attack that defeats Lime in a single strike and causes the Musk dragon-prince Herb to feel awe from the display.
In terms of raw power, Ryoga seems to be a few times stronger than Ranma, as he has performed such feats as throwing a 400-tonne ice boulder 30-40 meters with a single arm, unconsciously destroyed a 7m-diameter rock without trying (compared to female Ranma needing time to focus to split a 3m version with a full force strike), was paired against Lime, the strongest of the Musk Dynasty, effortlessly threw male Ranma to the ground when the latter attempted to grapple (in the "new dojo student" anime episode), and on one occasion literally repeatedly handled female Ranma like a small baby, including toppling her to the ground and almost knocking her unconscious with a playful single finger tap (traditionally used to admonish small children). He has also demonstrated vastly greater chi-generation, considerably higher durability, and nearly comparable speed and skill. However, he has a clear disadvantage in term of self-control, underhanded strategy, and likely acrobatics. Beyond exceptional self-trained skill, physical abilities, and chi-blasts, Ryoga is able to cause inert matter to explode with the touch of a finger, and, similarly to Kodachi, can cause textiles to easily cut through steel, and manifest a much larger amount of throwing-bandanas than he is able to carry through natural means. He also possesses a strong version of the "warning sense" that allows the martial artists to sense presence/auras, and incoming danger (or in Akane's case occasional premonitions). Regardless, Ryoga has triumphed roughly twice as many times as the reverse if smaller and off-screen battles are included, but usually loses the final round of "event"-themed confrontations through superior strategy or distractions. The two rivals remain a roughly even match throughout most of the series with greatest strengths in different areas. Near the end, the author spoofs their relationship by turning them into two constantly feuding and evenly matched children.
By the end of the series Ryoga spends his time wandering through the wilderness, attempting to find, and go on innocent dates with, his pig-breeding girlfriend, while striving to get over his old crush on Akane, and as usual, likely training and amassing new techniques to exceed Ranma — if he can ever find his friend and nemesis.
Notable Fan Fiction Stories Featuring RyogaEdit
- The Dark Lords of Nerima
- Dark Titans
- Heart of Glass
- Magical Girl Ranko vs. Z Fighter Ryouga
- Paradise Lost
- The Pursuit of Happiness
- Shattered Hearts on the Road
- Vengeance and a Half
- Blames Ranma for every single solitary thing that goes wrong in his life. In the manga canon this is very much not the case. As of the Shishi Hokodan arc he is annoyed with Ranma for continuously making fun of him, and having his wanted girlfriend, usually winning the final round of their "event" confrontations, and formerly due to directly causing his curse. But that is also it.
- Often paired with Ukyo Kuonji in fanfics, although this fanon trope was only in evidence till writers became aware that he was paired with Akari Unryuu in the later stages of the manga after which point stories featuring such a pairing overtake Ryoga/Ukyo stories.
- If Akane finds out about his curse, she is prone to beat him violenty and declare her hatred of him. Views are split regarding if this is a realistic response, considering that she tends to be very forgiving towards anybody other than Ranma, and didn't even care after finding out that the youthened Ryoga she had set in her knee and offered to bath with was the real deal.