Cover of the first volume
|Written by||Masahiko Takajo|
|Illustrated by||Tetsuya Saruwatari|
|Original run||1988 – 1990|
|Volumes||12 (Japanese edition)|
9 (International edition)
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Satoshi Dezaki|
|Released||June 25, 1989 - August 24, 1990|
Riki-Oh (Japanese: 力王, Hepburn: Riki-Ō) is a Japanese manga created by Masahiko Takajo and Tetsuya Saruwatari and later adapted to two OVAs and a live-action film named Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky.
The story is about a young man who has learned the art of Qigong from one of Chiang Kai-shek's bodyguards and has become so strong that he can literally punch holes through people and solid objects. It was serialized in Business Jump from 1987 to 1990 and later published in 12 volumes.
Outside Japan, it was translated and published only in Hong Kong by Comicsworld in nine volumes. The only difference between the two editions, besides the different number of pages in each volume, is the absence of the short stories "Kirinji" and "N.Y. Dust", which are unrelated to Riki-Oh, in the Hong Kong edition.
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic future where global warming and warfare has left the world struggling, while Japan descended into an economic depression in the 1990s which led to increased crime.
The story centers around Saiga Riki-Oh, blessed with inhuman strength, who, after taking revenge against a yakuza who was responsible for the death of a child who befriended him (in the movie, it was his girlfriend who died), ends up in a maximum security prison owned by a private organization. The story follows Riki and his search for his little brother Saiga Nachi, who bears a Manji symbol on his right hand and also possesses superhuman strength.
Riki-Oh encounters and battles many deadly opponents with either superhuman strength or martial arts during his travel for avenging his mother and finding his brother.
- Saiga Riki-Oh (雑賀力王, Saiga Riki-ō, meaning "Mighty King", "Power King", or "Strength King")
The main character of the story, he was separated from his younger brother Nachi since childhood and was adopted by the affluent Saiga family. He has a scar in the shape of the Star of David on his right hand which is the source of his great strength and skill. This scar is also a sign that he's destined to overthrow his real father.
- Nachi (那智, meaning "What wisdom?" or "What reason?")
Gifted with strong telekinetic powers, he's the younger brother of Riki-Oh from whom he was separated when he was still a child, for which he holds a great deal of resentment for. He has a scar in the shape of a Swastika on his right hand since birth. While Nachi primarily uses his powers for destruction, he is also shown to be able to use them to heal others; he is said to have healed fighters at the Pankration before, and restores a young child's ability to walk during the Cape Arc.
- Mizuguchi (水口, meaning "Water spout")
- Aku-Oh (悪王, Aku-ō, meaning "Evil King" or "Vice King")
An android that resembles Riki-Oh in appearance constructed by Obinata. It was sent on a mission to kill Riki-Oh but, after a long fight in a wood, it was accidentally sucked into quicksand with Riki-Oh with the latter surviving after having carved a shelter in the abdomen of the android.
Aneyama (姉山, meaning "Older sister mountain")
- Washizaki (鷲崎, meaning Eagle Cape)
A general armed with an ancient blade infused with qi, Washizaki is an extremely capable fighter. Easily dodged Riki-Oh's punch once, and knocked him out with the weapon. Washizaki came to manipulate him later (thanks to his comrade Otto), but soon found himself at Riki-Oh's mercy and is killed by Nachi.
- Robotomi 560SEL-Mark. II (ロボトミＳＥＬ-マークⅡ, Robotomi ＳＥＬ-MākuⅡ)
A cyborg weighing 300 kg (661.4 lbs) who wasn't viewed by anyone other than Riki-oh as a real person. Originally he was a slave robot constructed from a human body. Becoming this way allowed him to work in a power plant in the Cape, an environment too intense for non-cybernetic humans. After realising that he was only being used by humans for his strength, he led a revolt against The Cape's government, only for his rebellion to be put down. After this, he volunteered as fighter in the Pankration, a death match show, in the hopes that it would give him the strength to get revenge on humanity for what they did to him. Quickly befriending Riki-Oh, he is forced to fight him a short while afterwards, and is saved by the latter after Nachi tries to kill him by dropping the ring on top of his body. Realising his real enemy is Washizaki, he declares his humanity as he charges the general, only to be bisected vertically by his sword. Robotomi is known as Atomic Robo (アトミック・ロボ, Atomikku Robo) in the OVA.
- Obinata (小日向, meaning "Facing the Little Sun" or "Toward the Little Day")
A scientist at the dependence of Aneyama.
- The Baron (男爵, Danshaku) meaning literally "Baron"
He's the chief charged with the accomplishment of a plan whose goal is to accelerate the coming of Judgement Day. In order to achieve this goal, he needs to give birth to the so-called "child of destruction", a being created from the union of Nachi's head with the body of Riki-Oh.
- Zhāng Shàn-Guǐ (張 善鬼, Chou Zenki, meaning "Good Stretching Ghost")
- Wáng Měi-Lì (王 美麗, Ō Birei, meaning "Beauty Queen")
Also known as Hisano Akiyama (秋山久乃, Akiyama Hisano). Riki-Oh and Nachi's biological mother, she was executed by hanging for allegedly poisoning thirteen infants twenty-five years ago. Before her death sentence, with help from a friend, Riki and Nachi managed to escape from prison. She foretold that one day her death will be avenged by her son and that evil will never conquer the good. Although Jewish and Japanese, she uses a Chinese name. Her birth name was Hanna, and was raised in Shanghai with her foster family.
Riki-oh was released as two OVAs. The first anime was called Riki-oh: The Wall of Hell (1989). The second one was titled Riki-oh: Child of Destruction (1990). The first OVA is a softened retelling of the Prison Arc, and the second, an adaptation of the Cape Arc, focuses on Riki's adventure to find his brother, Nachi, and stop his devilish cult following. Media Blasters acquired the rights to rerelease the two OVAs in the United States on DVD on April 11, 2006, but has since let go of the licenses.
In 1991, a Hong Kong live-action adaptation titled Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky was released. The film was directed by Lam Nai-choi and stars Fan Siu-Wong as Ricky Ho. Ricky-Oh: The Story of Ricky was first released in the U.S. on DVD in 2000 by Media Blasters under their Tokyo Shock label. Media Blasters released the film on Blu-ray in 2011.