Author Topic: Rikiga- what are you doing, man?  (Read 301 times)

Vox

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Re: Rikiga- what are you doing, man?
« on: May 14, 2014, 02:41:17 pm »
Oooh I can tell this is going to be an interesting discussion.

I was just thinking about Rikiga the other day, actually. It's interesting to see how he fits in with the other protagonists in the novel (Nezumi, Shion, Inukashi, Karan, and Safu), or with Nezumi's little troupe of allies (Shion and Inukashi). Rikiga is old and he's not scrounging for money like the rest of them. He's really a bit of an outlier. It's interesting to me that Rikiga is considered their friend instead of just their resource or contact. At least, I think he must be their friend, because if he were just helping Nezumi and Shion for money he wouldn't have stuck around in the Correctional Facility for so long with Inukashi.

Something interesting to me is the way that prostitutes and Rikiga's women are treated in this novel. They're just sort of a fact of life. The only time anyone gets mad about Rikiga's sources of income is when Shion takes offense on Nezumi's behalf when Rikiga invites him to be a prostitute. Everyone pokes fun at Rikiga for his job, but nobody really condemns him for it.

I agree that Rikiga only really likes Shion because he thinks that Shion is a pure angel (a delusion that Nezumi is also under, I might add). I don't know exactly how he feels about Karan, though. I think that because she's a link to his more innocent past, he's able to be less of a greedy old coward around her - kinda like she brings out the best in him, which is what a healthy relationship is supposed to do anyway. I got some quotes from the epilogue, where they actually interact:

Quote
"Shut up!" Rikiga snapped. "Why don't you go off and gnaw on a chicken bone or something? Karan, listen to me," he implored. "I never dared use children or babies. I never used little ones to make my daily bread. That's the truth. Please, believe me."

"Of course I believe you," Karan said. "I can't imagine you looking at the young as a target for profits."

"Karan." Rikiga flushed and stepped closer to Karan. "Thank you. I feel like your trust in me is all the support I'll ever need."

"My, Rikiga." Karan retreated half a step before smiling serenely. "I never remember you as someone who could recite such a theatrical line. You spoke frankly and straightforwardly, and you were careful with your words."

In the distant past, Rikiga was not the same as he is now.
Something else interesting I just remembered is that Karan actually married an alcoholic. Rikiga knows this. I think it must make him hopeful to know that.
I almost wonder if he hasn't started seeing winning her as a game? But that's quite a bit cynical.
It doesn't really matter anyway, because I don't think Karan wants to get married again.

Quote
"Yeah, you're right," Rikiga said angrily. "I am a monkey. Just the sight of a dog maddens me to no end. Every time I see one, I feel like tearing it apart with my teeth. Roar!" Rikiga raised his arms and lunged at Inukashi. Inukashi laughed mockingly while he nimbly danced out of reach.

Look, he's playful. He might be a greedy old man, but he's not totally boring, at least.

Quote
He hoarded artwork and handiwork, electronics, paintings, jewellery, furniture, medical machines, cars, clothes, office supplies, and even toys; when things began to settle, he sold them at high prices and made a handsome profit. Now he directed and managed a publishing company and printing company, issuing a weekly informational magazine and a daily paper.

He's also got a wicked business sense. He's not an idiot.

I don't know, Rikiga is a pretty big puzzle. *shrugs*