Created by Masahiko Takajo and Saruwatari Tetsuya, Riki-Oh was serialized in the magazine Business Jump from 1988 to 1990 and later published in 12 volumes. The manga starts off very much like a weak Fist of the North Star rip-off
however it eventually takes its own pace and voice
after the first story arc.
It is in the near future - sometime in the 1990s most likely - the world sucks, to say the least. Saiga Riki-Oh is in a privatized prison where Might Makes Right
. He soon becomes an enemy of the Four Emperors, four powerful prisoners made head guards, and then the mysterious warden. The first storyline ends much the same way as the infamous "The Story Of Ricky
-BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
Riki-Oh begins an adventure where he tries to find his brother, and find clues towards his past for it seems as though somebody is pulling the strings. Thus Riki-Oh's journal is full of combat where the action never ends. Bodies pile up as the super power martial artist punches and kicks through armies of freaks, robots, androids, monsters, martial artists, ferocious animals, and more!
Riki-Oh contains examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: Despite its horrendously low budget, The Story Of Ricky remains surprisingly faithful to its source material. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable.
- Adolf Hitler: He's possibly Riki-Oh's grandfather.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The ultimate Big Bad, Ricky's father, and his high-ranking henchmen, are essentially just Nazis who use martial arts. And Riki's own brother, "Nachi" is a deliberate pun n the word "Nazi". He even has a swastika tattoo on his hand.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: There are roughly five story arcs in the manga: the Tokyo State Prison arc (chapters 1-13), the Cape arc (14-30), the Return to Tokyo arc (31-41), the Palace of Eternal Youth arc (42-62) and the Antarctica arc (63-75). The Prison Arc has some weird stuff but it's mostly weird martial artists. Then the Cape has some of the weirdest stuff, from elephants to "power readings", to android workers, to cyborgs, to an underground fighting arena, with the big bad being a super psychic. The third arc tones it down and has a more noir feeling with villains more like super-powered freaks than martial artists. The final two arcs are when things truly get insane. Each arc different? Yes. Each Arc awesome? Yes.
- Arc Words: Christos.
- Awesome McCoolname: In Japanese, Riki-Oh means "Strength King". Doubles as a Meaningful Name.
- Bad Ass: Riki-Oh. He's basically an even more invincible and righteous version of Kenshiro.
- Big Bad: Each arc has one. Prison - The Warden; The Cape - Nachi, and so on.
- But Not Too Foreign: Riki-Oh is part Jewish, which is a key point in the story.
- Cannibal Clan: The Disciples of the Wolf Commandments. Granted, they see themselves as wolves, but are basically completely human.
- Catch Phrase: "I'll send your karma to hell!"
- And for the villains: "DIIIIEEE, RIKI-OHHHHH!"
- Charles Atlas Super Power and Made of Iron: Oh so many. Buried alive for a week at one point; when he was unearthed, he effortlessly shattered his chains and somersaulted to his feet. He also had his arm sliced, and stitched it mid-fight without being hampered by the injury at all. Overcame an instant-death technique through sheer willpower. After defeating the big bad, he single-handedly put a massive hole through the prison wall and walked to freedom.
- There's more. The arm slice cut his tendons, which he tied back together. He's stitched his own wounds with a length of a chain link fence.
- Crapsack World: In a world where Tokyo cannot be repaired from earthquakes, heavy depressions all over the place, wild gangs, drugs are everywhere, chemical and nuclear waste is unchecked, and worse - there's a powerful hidden group of upper class that is TRYING to destroy the world. Believe it or not, there is still hope.
- Cursed with Awesome: Sure Riki-Oh may hurt his family but he gets to punch people's brains out!
- Deceptive Disciple: The warden.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Eisaku may look like a gorilla, but he's a real mama's boy. Although relatively speaking, he's not "bad".
- Expy: Saiga Riki-Oh is basically Kenshiro by a different name.
- M. Bison/Vega from Street Fighter is an expy of the villain Washizaki, who himself is an expy of the Big Bad Yasunori Kato from Doomed Megalopolis/Teito Monogatari
- Umibozu, a fat Giant Mook who appears at the of Vol. 3, is the manga's version of Mr. Heart from Fist of the North Star (only taller), right down to his ability to absorb Riki's punches with his fatness. Riki-oh is even forced to defeat Umibozu the same way Kenshiro defeated Mr. Heart; by using a technique which slices through flesh.
- The Disciples of the Wolf Commandment are a gang that patterned themselves after a pack of wolves, just like the Fang Clan also from North Star.
- there is a Giant Mook that is Conan the Barbarian, the mech from RoboCop with Deadlock from the ABC Warriors rideing it
- Full-Frontal Assault: Mukai in his first confrontation with Riki. This would be the "unconcerned with human expectations" variety, not the "raging primordial beast" variety.
- Gorn: Not as bad as most cases since the extreme gar makes it over-the-top (the characters barely show pain), but it is still one of the most graphic manga out there.
- The Great Politics Mess-Up: The 1988 manga, set in the 1990s at least, has Washizaki speculate that the theist liberals of America and atheist communists are going to destroy each other.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Mizuguchi has a killer/chef mook dedicated only to this, and some of his comments suggest that he's quite the gourmet, raising his own food to pick the right moment to eat it.
- The warden tried to feed some of the prisoners to other prisoners as mincemeat, much to their horror. He's heavily implied to have done it regularly without them being aware of it.
- Improbable Weapon User: Several instances, but Barakido's remote-controlled pitchfork kite takes the cake.
- Invincible Hero: Combining this with an extreme case of Good Is Not Soft is basically Riki-Oh's shtick in the first OVA. And after the first prison in the manga, he's also this, too. Oh-so-invincible.
- Ki Attacks: Riki-Oh's Naike Kenpou specializes in this.
- Made of Plasticine: Pretty much every death in the series involves someone being ripped/sliced/exploded into at least four distinct pieces.
- Mind over Matter: Nachi.
- My Own Grandpa: It turns out that Mukai, Riki-oh and Nachi's father, is an artificially bred man-god from the year 2500 who was created by one of Riki-oh's descendants.
- Monster Clown: One of the elite mooks at the Palace of Gold seems to be based on The Joker personality-wise and gets a pretty brutal death because of it.
- Omnicidal Maniac: As it turns out, Mukai was inciting just about everything—even some of the historical atrocities throughout the earlier part of the twentieth century—in an attempt to obliterate humanity. As to why he's doing this...because of the religious fanatics who bred him to begin with, he believes that God erred badly in creating a physical, independent humanity in the first place. He believes the only way for paradise to be restored is to reduce humanity back to a strictly spiritual form so they can merge back with God. Long story short, Mukai believes God should never have created anything in the first place, because anything other than eternal stasis was doomed to compromise perfection.
- Person of Mass Destruction: When Riki-Oh and Nachi touch their marked hands together, it creates a natural disaster, i.e. tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.ù
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I'LL SEND YOUR EVIL KARMA TO HELL!PASS ON TO THE NEXT LIFE!"
- Red Right Hand: Nachi's swastika birthmark. Also Riki-Oh's Star of David birthmark, though to a lesser degree.
- Say My Name: Riki-Oh does this to his brother throughout the second story arc. Villains do it to Riki-Oh constantly.
- Super Strength: Riki-Oh grows exponentially stronger when he's angry. Since he can already punch holes in people without trying, this is saying something...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Two of the four head prison guards were still alive at the end of the Prison Arc. One of them with a pitchfork stuck to the back of his head and mouth.
- Wife Husbandry: Mizuguchi tries this with Iwato's daughter, more for rape and other reasons than for marriage. Thankfully, Riki-Oh saves the day.
- Artistic License - Biology: Many, many examples. Notable ones are a mook still talking, and trying to kill Riki-Oh after having his brain punched away, and another one being completely operative after his heart was torn from his chest, with seemingly no ill effect, only to die immediately when Riki-Oh finally crushes the heart, still in his hand. It should be noted that this is not even handwaved as magic or superpower. It just... kinda happens.
- You Fail Religious Studies Forever: Apparently the swastika is a symbol for atheism and the six-pointed star is a symbol of theism. Oh, and they also represent the universe collapsing and exploding into existence respectfully (destruction and creation). Oh, and God gave the world 6000 the years, and if the Earth isn't destroyed year 2000, it means "his plan" didn't succeed according to the Holy Bible. There are just so many egregious examples of the manga not doing the research on Christianity that it's almost hilarious. It doesn't even get the message of the "sacrificing of Isaac" story right.