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Unwilling to listen or see anything else, you lost yourself in your own world and became incapable of seeing the things around you.

Raikou, episode 10

Raikou Shimizu (清水 雷光, Shimizu Raikou) is a 20-year-old samurai from the Shimizu Clan. His sword is the white gamon or Shirogamon (白我聞), the partner to his sister Raimei's sword, Kurogamon. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English. He is the eldest son of Kourin Shimizu and the elder brother of Raimei Shimizu.

Appearances Edit

Design Edit

Raikou previously had naturally dark blonde hair (like his mother and sister), but dyed it his current salmon pink color sometime after meeting Gau. Raikou usually wears a light green/blue shirt with a high collar as well as dark blue hakama and kimono, with the top part tied around his waist. The shirt is sleeveless, exposing refined arms and a tattoo of a lightning bolt on his left shoulder and another tattoo on his right forearm, as well as arm braces, and sometimes he can be seen wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath.

While working as a Wakachi, he can be seen wearing a ying yang bracelet on his right hand, a symbol of his division in the Grey Wolves.

His casual clothes, when in a good mood, tend to comprise of jeans and cardigans, while when depressed, his fashion choices tend to become more outlandish, such as star patterned pants and a brightly coloured cardigan with roses and a peacock on the back. His work clothes for his surface job are samue and light-coloured jeans.

He can be seen wearing a number of different hairstyles throughout the series, such as high ponytails, low ponytails, hair down, half-up ponytails, and on one occasion, even three pigtails at once. He has a habit of tying his hair up with protective charms.

Like his sister, he can be seen wearing an excessive amount of different bracelets and accessories.

In the latter volumes, he can be seen wearing matching outfits with Gau: when Raimei finds the pair after they had defected from the Grey Wolves, Raikou wears a butterfly pin over his heart, which Gau can also be seen wearing in the same spot. In the epilogue, he and Gau are wearing matching cardigans, Gau's in black and Raikou's in white.

Personality Edit

Raikou is an easygoing, well-mannered person with strong beliefs who takes his responsibilities very seriously. It is stated and shown that he is a sadist (S-type)1, often picking on Gau and Yukimi. He cares very deeply for the people important to him, especially his sister and Gau, willing to risk his life and reputation doing what he thinks will keep them safest and happiest, though he has a habit of acting first without asking what they think first, until he realizes the importance of communication and the strength of bonds. He is shown to be extremely protective of Gau, especially after he wakes from his coma.

Despite his easy and outgoing personality, he is also quite secretive and dismissive, and attempts to shoulder his burdens and guilt all on his own, not wanting to worry or burden anyone else with his problems, and before talking with Gau and making up with his sister, actively chases his own death.

He is quite kind, taking a genuine interest in Miharu's life and giving him advice, and chooses actions that protect and help the people he is close with but is forced to oppose due to his position as a wakachi. He is also opportunistic and somewhat selfish, his sole motivation in participating in the Alya arc the hope of being able to use Daya to wake and save Gau, completely losing interest when he comes to the conclusion that the forbidden art could not be used to save him. This, however, is also a sign of his compassion, as he is not so selfish and cruel to knowingly use a medicine that requires human sacrifices to save someone he cares for, despite how badly he wanted Gau to wake up.

After finding new resolve, Raikou is far more determined, confident, compassionate, optimistic, and idealistic, holding firm to his new old beliefs, and desires to make amends now through the revival of his clan and what it stands for.

History Edit

Anime Edit

Ask

Raikou asking for his mother's assistance.

When Raikou was fifteen, mutany within his family broke out against his mother, the leader of the Shimizu clan. His uncle Iroku disagreed with her ways, and wanted to take an active role in both worlds, the world of normal people and the hidden one of ninja's that existed within it. He wanted to use their ninja abilities to actively help people; while Raikou's mother thought that they should stay in the middle, and only intervene to help keep a natural balance. Iroku confronted Raikou's mother telling her to step down as the head of the family, but killed her and Raikou's father in a rage when she declined. Raikou had originally agreed with his uncle because of an incident when a friend of his was in trouble and died because his mother forbade him from helping her, but upon the murder of his parents, he took up his sword and used it in punishment; murdering Iroku for his crimes. This lead Raikou's killing of the majority of the Shimizu family as well; anyone who was not already dead from another family member's hands. The only other surviving member of the Shimizu family after this incident is Raikou's sister, Raimei , who was only ten at the time. Awoken from sleep, Raimei stumbled upon a burning and bloody building, a room full of her dead family members, and only Raikou standing alive with his sword. He took full responsibility for the deaths of everyone so Raimei would not have to bear the burden and could remember her family as good people; especially their uncle. Raikou then tells Raimei that he is going to go join the Grey Wolves. Believing that he killed their entire family in cold blood, a hatred for Raikou quickly grows in Raimei, making it easier for him to leave.

SypnosisEdit

Anime Edit

Saved

Raikou saving Gau.

Raikou works as a punisher, cutting down those who betray the Kairōshū in the Wakachi with his partner, Gau, a boy whom he rescued from death three years ago. Upon his victims, Raikou places spider lilies with the intent of luring Raimei to a field of spider lilies so that he could confront his younger sister later on.

He chooses not to tell Raimei his motives behind the massacre to protect her innocence. This leads to a battle between the two, as Raimei finds it her job, as part of the Shimizu clan, to deliver judgement. In her eyes Raikou has soiled the Shimizu family name. She finds Raikou near where the Shimizu house once stood, the place where the red Spider Lillies grow. During this battle, Raikou cuts deep into Raimei and leaves her bleeding, and incapacitated in the rain, where he then leaves with her sword, Kurogamon. Later, he confides in his partner, and only real friend, Gau, after he is asked about his past. He tells Gau the whole truth, but makes him swear to secrecy, and makes it clear that there will have to be punishment if he doesn't keep his promise. However, Gau is deeply moved by the story and believes that Raikou and Raimei should be brother and sister, not enemies. Tracking Raimei down, Gau tells her what happened 5 years before, holding a kunai to his throat and betting his life that it's true. Later, after she gets out of the hospital, Raimei goes forward to meet Raikou for a rematch. In the field of Spider Lillies, Raikou gives Kurogamon back, but quickly disarms Raimei anyway. Upset, Raimei lands a punch on Raikou, yelling at him for thinking her to be so weak and taking on the burden alone. Crying, she asks him to come home. But Raikou tells her that it is too late, and makes her take up her sword once more.

Confrontation

Raikou and Raimei confrontation.

Seeing characteristics of their mother in her, he cuts down with his sword, only to find Gau, who in an attempt to intervene, takes Raikou's blow, the one meant for Raimei, saying "I came to accept my punishment." Gau then falls over bleeding, and instead of being angry, he begs for the two to stop fighting, and apologizes for breaking his promise not to tell Raimei as he slips under into comatose. This deeply distresses Raikou, his concern for Gau's condition runs so deep that he contemplates whether Gau will awaken or not, believing that he will not, due to thinking that Gau no longer wanted to see him again. Although Kōga Village's kinjutsushō could have waken Gau up, Raikōu refuses to sacrifice the humans needed to use the kinjutsushō. Later on, Yoite finally wakes Gau up with his own kira. Because of this, Raikou feels indebted to Yoite and even disobeys the leader of the Kairōshū, Hattori from killing Yoite. Eventually, Raikou forfeits his loyalty to the Kairōshū, particularly Hattori, and is denounced as an expendable pawn whom easily replaced. He helps rescue Miharu from the Grey Wolves. Hattori kills Raiko before the activation of the Shinra Banshou. However Raikou manage to survive after the destruction of the Kairoshu.

Notes Edit

  1. "Sadism" and "S-type" do not generally have the same violent and sexual connotations for Japan's younger generations as they do in Western countries, but rather imply that someone likes to be mean, bossy, and/or pick on/tease other people[1][2], which appears to be the context for its use (as well as M-type for Gau (ie. a yes-man who likes being told what to do/bossed around) in this series, though the violent side does shine through a bit for Raikou in certain extreme situations. However, for these he does not appear to enjoy having to do so.

TriviaEdit

  • Raikou admitted to not driving ever since he had acquired his driver's license.
  • He keeps his Shirogamon on his right hip, making him having to draw it with his left hand, this may imply that he's left handed.
  • Raikou's hair was once known to be green and then dyed to pink, mentioned in Gau's records.
  • Raikou was fully prepared to die along with the rest of his family until he realized Raimei had come home early and had seen him killing their uncle, at which point he decided to live on and take all the blame on himself so she could have someone to blame and stay ignorant of the dark secrets of their family she loved so dearly.
  • Raikou is Miharu's second cousin.
  • Raikou's birthday in on the Fall Equinox, because of the red spider lilies that bloom around that time.[3]
  • Raikou is gay, and it is suggested that he is in a relationship with Gau by the end of the series, though Kamatani says that the exact characteristics of this relationship are left open to the reader.[4]
  • A reader once sent Kamatani a homemade Raikou plush as a gift for Gau[5]. Kamatani tweeted with a response from Gau: "I am happy! ...Thank you very much!"[6]
  • In response to fans likening Raikou to Howl from Howl's Moving Castle, Kamatani tweeted that they believe the resemblance lies only in the hair, and revealed that they are not fond of Howl.[7]
  • Raikou's favourite fashion brand is USA-chan.[8]
  • Kamatani tweeted that Raikou's hair will be "eternally pink."[9]
  • While Raikou is 20-year-old (or eternally 20 years old as Kamatani puts it), Kamatani states that he would not participate in the general Coming of Age Day ceremony, but would instead participate in traditional rituals wearing a white shozoku and jumping into a waterfall.[10]
  • Raikou has a cat keychain for his keys.[11]

References Edit

  1. https://forum.koohii.com/thread-6184.html
  2. https://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+70244
  3. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/25109959236
  4. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/236294047747170304
  5. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/416895511732289536
  6. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/176250427006910464
  7. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/18682666211
  8. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/373802470540972032
  9. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/248725234302201856
  10. https://twitter.com/yuhkikamatani/status/24244663036678145
  11. Liricamente