The hero of Sega's Shenmue, a sort-of game I'm currently obsessed with. It's basically a kung-fu movie with bad acting and excellent graphics, where you play the fashion-challenged, spikey-haired Ryo on a quest for vengeance in the case of his father's murder. Japanese culture condensed to video-game format.

Ryo's a badass. His father (whose murder by a mysterious bad guy provides the game's plot) was the local sensei, so Ryo's got all sorts of slick fighting moves which he can improve on throughout the game.

He has a bandage on his cheek. Permanently, evidently.

Ryo never changes his clothes. Jeans, plain white T-shirt, leather jacket with a dragon design on the back. Nobody else in the game ever changes, either.

He sleeps in his jeans and T-shirt. And his jeans pockets are infinite--he can hold sacred relics, flashlights, and all things to no limit.

His favorite things to say: "I see," and "Really?" He spends a lot of time asking people around the neighborhood for clues in his quest for vengeance. He also spends a lot of time asking for directions to well-known spots in his own town. Typical dialog:

    Ryo: "Excuse me."

    Local dude: "Yes? What is it young man?"

    Ryo: "I'm looking for Aida flower shop. Do you know where it is?"

    Local dude: "I think there's a flower shop in Dobuita. Look there."

    Ryo: "I see."

Nevermind that his would-be girlfriend works at that flower shop...Ryo has no clue. And he speaks his lines with such unrehearsed teleprompter vigor, that you'd swear you were watching a really bad movie. (But it's buckets of fun to play a really bad movie.)

Ryo runs everywhere, never losing his breath.

He spends his daily allowance on sliced fish for an ailing kitten.

Ryo is the most polite young man you'd ever want to meet...unless you're a thug who needs an ass-whoopin'.

He always helps those in need. Hey, need a can of soda or a coffee? Ryo's your man.

He likes to spar with Fuka-san, his plucky and clueless sidekick.

The local cutie, Nozomi, has the hots for him big-time. Whenever he talks to her, she usually only tells him to be careful or wishes he would talk to her more.

Ryo tries, repeatedly, to break into a certain warehouse. For many nights on end, the security guards catch him and throw him out, promising not to be so nice next time.

He doesn't think twice about messing with the yakuza.

Ryo can't read Chinese. He wonders out loud where his father got all this Chinese stuff he kept in the basement. Is there a connection with the Chinese guy that killed pop? Duh.

Perhaps most significant to the philosophy and strange world of Ryo Hazuki: he has an unbreakable 11:30pm curfew. Say he's lining up a pool shot at 11:29...well, he won't even stay to finish the shot. At precisely 11:30, he gets teleported home and has nothing to do but go to bed.

Despite his shortcomings, he's my hero.

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