vongola 10th generation sun guardianIf you came here expecting me to tell you all the deep, meaningful reasons that you too should adore Ryohei, you visited the wrong site. Ryohei Sasagawa is originally presented to us as a thick headed dumbass who has no further goal in life then to recruit for and be apart of his boxing club. I'm not going to butter it up because this aspect is exactly what brought me to love him so damn much. He attends Namimori Middle as a senior and thus, as a senpai, you would assume him to be much like every generic senpai manga has to offer. Mature, intelligent and always willing to lend a hand. Right. Are we talking about the same Ryohei? Of course not! This man wound up flunking out of his grade and having to repeat it, only ever has training and boxing on the brain and about the only mature thing he has going for him is being a big brother to his little sister Kyoko Sasagawa (whom we will get to later).
By now, you probably are sitting there thinking, "So... she likes this loser?" And the answer is yes. In fact, I adore this loser.
Out of every character Amano Akira has created for this series, I think that Ryohei is probably one of her greatest. The reason I believe this, truly, is the fact that he is insanely simple. She didn't try to give him depth because he didn't need it. She didn't ever try to evolve his character into playing a bigger role or become this glorious anti-hero. He was always and likely will forever be just... Ryohei. That kid at heart who always gave it his all, no matter the situation.
Now whether or not this was her original plan or if she simply neglected him as a character is one of the debates but I like to give Amano the benefit of the doubt because she has shown a striking ability to simplify her other characters, even when they are more popular.
why i love ryoheiWhat first caught my attention about this man was the simple fact that he was freaking hilarious. He wasn't buttered up to play the part of the moody anti-hero, the laid back genius or even the guy who secretly had all the answers. No. He was a dumbass. A straight up, 2D dumbass. And I loved that. Mashed in with a ton of characters with complexities to their personalities, cliches and famous characteristics, Ryohei stood out in the family with the simple fact that he was, well, simple. I have always had an affinity to things of a simple nature as I don't very well see how being complex has any benefits and Ryohei is the first character I have ever encountered who has ever encompassed just that philosophy of life. Without realizing it, no less. He does what he likes because he likes it. He protects what he needs to because he wants to. No buffer zone, no bigger reasons are needed. He's cheerful, dedicated and is so simple that he doesn't seem to even understand the very basic concept of fear. Persistent and stubborn with that special dash of heroism, Ryohei manages to carry all of these amazing (and often faulty) qualities within himself and still manages to come out as that one guy who likes boxing.
I firmly believe that Ryohei doesn't have any secret thoughts under the surface. Anything he thinks or feels, he says. There are no limitations on his words; he doesn't understand the point in them. This blunt honesty of his has been presented to us as more of a tool for comical relief (which I have now found myself pining for when the series gets serious) but I believe that as he grows and develops himself even further and people around him start to finally catch up to the pace of his mannerisms, that it will turn out to be a very important tool in his life. Although he may not have any of the answers, I can see people eventually coming to talk to him. Maybe not for advice but for someone who isn't going to hold back their thoughts for the sake of "a little white lie".
his ten year later selfHe hasn't changed all that much and for me, who fell in love with his character for his childish antic and loud nature, this was a blessing. He got taller, he put on a suit and he cut his hair. He got more muscle, he got a little less ignorant and maybe his shoe size got bigger. Inside? He is still a man of action. He still fights with his fists. He still boxes. When we first get a hard look on the person who he has become, we find out he is still as forgetful as he ever was. But it took him ten years to figure out to write things down if he didn't want to forget them. So overall? Still our loveable, 15 year old dumbass who grew up to be a bit more attractive. And I personally found this refreshing and I was the furthest thing from disappointed. In fact, I was relieved. I had been quite worried that time would have taken away Ryohei's own form of innocence. That all the horror that is involved in the mafia world would force him to be stripped of everything that once made him who he is. The development of human nature.
But he was still as stubborn as he always was, still a boy ready to protect what he needs to and still one of the worst liars I have ever heard of.
He did get stronger though. Oh, did he ever. He got around to adopting other's techniques into his skill and he also got around to developing his own moves. This, to me, is what truly shows Ryohei's development in his older years. Because he is so dedicated to his training and because that is what he puts all of his time and effort into, it is where you would go to truly see into his heart and see his progress... and he progressed nicely. His moves have become more calculated and firm and he seems to think more about strategy then ever before. Finally, an aspect of his being that looks before it leaps. This combined with his raw extremities I think would make for a truly formidable opponent and for this, I applaud his growth.
the big brotherI think that if anyone were to really sit down and think about it... Ryohei plays the role of the big brother rather perfectly. Both with his actual sister and Vongola and his fellow guardians. In the Vongola family, you have Tsuna as the single father, Hibari as the moody older sister who pretends she doesn't have such an embarrassing family, Yamamoto and Gokudera as the middle children still growing up and Lambo as the baby of the family. Then you have Ryohei who through and through carries with him a great deal of responsibility as the big brother of the family. He should, of course; after all, he has had plenty of practice.
Kyoko Sasagawa seems to be Ryohei's only truly weak spot. Past his extreme nature, past his heavy ambitions, the big chunk that makes up his core is his sister. We are never introduced to their parents so by this we can safely assume they're usually not around. Maybe they work, maybe they go out or maybe they're just boring ol' parents that Amano never cared to show. Regardless, you can tell by their relationship that they grew up very close to each other. I personally see Kyoko following Ryohei around when they were little. Having such a vibrant older brother is probably what made Kyoko such a quiet spirit. Anyone would get overpowered having Ryohei in the room all the time. But it's this firm sibling relationship that they have that I truly believe is a massive part of Ryohei. I think he'd be completely lost if something ever happened to Kyoko. All her life, he's protected her from harm and yet let her live out her own life. From what we can see, he never intrudes on her business unless something might be harming her. He lets her fall, scrap her knees a bit and then get back up to try again. Like, in his own way, he's teaching her the same disciplines he teaches himself. Maybe he doesn't even realize he is doing it in the first place. Who can really say?
Either way, in short, it was like Ryohei was born to be a big brother. It's everything that he is at the end of the day.
the ladies manAh! I see you there, eyeing this heading with mockery. Don't try and pretend you haven't noticed it too. The entire series revolves around these boys and occasionally, we get peaks into the female characters and their lives or outlooks on things. Every. single. one. of the Vongola boys are complete and let me repeat that, COMPLETE idiots when it comes to women. They're dumbasses! Tools! It's like they don't know what species they ever are. And here sits Ryohei, in his little corner, totally cool and calm with the females. He's gentle with them. He listens. He is a goofy knight in rusted armor. I contribute this, entirely, to him having grown up with a little sister. He saw her habits, he watched her grow up, he saw how her tastes in everything changed and evolved over time. He understands those little details about what to do when a girl is feeling happy or sad or lonely or whatever. He gets that because he has had plenty of practice tending to his sister. So when he goes out into the world, he is the only one who seems to see the women of the series for what they are: female.
Plus, he seems to be the only one in the future who even has anything romantic going on. Everyone else is too busy being.... manly while the true epitome of manliness is busy potentially hooking up with his sister's best friend. Score one for the underdog? I think so.
Come on, you doubters. You can't tell me you don't find his stupidity charming. And you know you'd want to touch those arms. Admit it to yourself. It's okay.
so in conclusion...Ryohei is a badass. Not in the classic sense you're probably thinking of but in his own extreme way. He's energetic. He's charming. He's a complete idiot. Alas, he is a man of loyalty and family and has a certain, overpowering charisma that the Katekyo Hitman Reborn series would be a very sad place without. I hope this little one page shrine helped you see what makes me love this man so much. If you leave even a little satisfied with how you spent this time, then I have performed my wish perfectly. TO THE LIMIT!!