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Ririka Kato (加藤 梨理香, Katō Ririka) is the mother of Marika Kato and the supposed widow of Gonzaemon Kato. She's a former pirate who was known as "Blaster Ririka".

AppearanceEdit

Light NovelEdit

AnimeEdit

Ririka has blue eyes and long purple hair (slightly parted at the front-left) that extends down just past her shoulders.

During her pirating days, she wore an outfit similar to the one her daughter now wears: a black coat with gold highlights (open at the lower front) and red frills at the ends of the sleeves.

Under her coat, she wore a slightly longer brown/blue waistcoat with red lining lower down. Below, she wore black leggings and brown boots with gold lining. A black cape with a maroon inside was attached to the back of the coat via shoulder guards. Her sword was attached to her coat at waist level on the left. She wore a bicorne with the same colour scheme as the coat, the secondary Bentenmaru emblem on the front-left and a white tuft in the middle section on the right.

Ririka - ATC

Ririka while working as an air traffic controller.

At her job as an air traffic controller, she wears a grey suit and trousers with a white shirt and red tie. Outside of work, when going out, she usually wears a loose, pale green, buttoned up shirt, a small white belt, black or dark grey trousers, black shoes and an open orange-red fleece.

At home, she often wears a pale yellow shirt, black trousers, salmon coloured slippers and when cooking, a blue apron with yellow lining and a blue teddy bear face on the front. While aiding Ironbeard during the Pirate Hunter arc, she wore a red catsuit.

MangaEdit

Personality & CharacterEdit

Ririka is intensely strong-willed and generally exuberant. She is very supportive of her daughter and has the capacity to be tender towards her.

Moreover, Ririka tends to drink wine and sake using glass tankards.

BackgroundEdit

Ririka ~ Pirate

Blaster Ririka during her pirating days.

Ririka was born in space and served as a pirate aboard the Bentenmaru, eventually earning the epithet "Blaster Ririka".  In the novel, it is hinted that she was a captain of another ship before boarding Bentenmaru, which earned her fame as Captain Ririka.

At some point, she married [1] Gonzaemon and some time later, left him and the Bentenmaru to raise their daughter Marika. She became an air traffic controller on the Sea of the Morning Star at New Okuhama Airport. Little did she know, that Gonzaemon spreaded the words about her being the devil traffic controller and warned all privateers not to cause any trouble within Tau Ceti.

Ririka didn't tell Marika about her father or her inheritance prior to Misa's and Kane's visit, with the explanation that she was planning to wait until Marika had graduated from high school.[2]

In the novels, she maintained a good relationship with the military, including Joshua Quadron, a Brigadier General of the Tau Ceti military, and can personally call him for the permission of using military training ground.[3]

PlotEdit

Recruitment ArcEdit

Ririka was cooking pot-au-feu when Marika came back from her part-time job at Lamp House, having met Kane and Misa. Marika told her that she had met someone who knew her and that they had asked whether she wished to see the planet from outer space, causing Ririka to drop a plate in surprise. After she swept it up, she said that they had arrived sooner than she had expected but it would be OK. At that moment, Kane and Misa arrived at the door in black mourning attire. After a password exchange and greeting each other, Misa informed Ririka that Captain Gonzaemon had passed away.

Later, with the four assembled at the dinner table, Ririka and Misa raised their glasses of wine to their deceased captain, quickly finishing them and laughing before switching to larger glasses. Ririka asked Misa what finally did Gonzaemon in, as she hadn't heard of any battles important enough to make the news. She was surprised to find out that it was food poisoning, remarking that she told him to stop eating stuff he picked up off the ground. She also expressed mild surprise that they were able to find her house, to which Misa remarked that her optimism hadn't changed.

When Marika asked who the Gonzaemon they were talking about was, Misa asked Ririka in surprise whether she hadn't told her, to which Ririka replied that she had forgotten it until now. She then told Marika that Gonzaemon was her husband and Marika's father.

After Misa and Kane had left and Marika was in bed thinking about what she had been told, Ririka, downstairs washing up, said she should take her time and think it over [1].

The next day, while she was at her job, she was informed about the attempted kidnapping and gunfight at Lamp House, and left early to pick Marika up. While they were driving home, Ririka asked Marika if she was mad about not being told about her father and the pirates, having intended to tell her after graduation. Marika replied she was more surprised, about the pirates and also that her dad was alive and only died recently. It didn't feel real and she was surprised at herself for not feeling anything. Marika then asked Ririka about her being a pirate on the Bentenmaru and why. Ririka told her she was born in space, the first thing she knew was being on a spaceship and that was why. She then hugged her daughter and said it was probably impossible for her to imagine but people like that existed, people who had found their place in space, sailors.

Ririka - Weapons Training

Ririka gives Marika a demonstration.

Ririka then decided to take Marika on a little trip. After dropping off Marika's bike and picking a container up, she drove Marika to a deserted area with many wrecked ship hulls sticking out of the ground. Once they got there, she opened the container to reveal a load of guns, surprising Marika who asked why she had them as she could get arrested. Ririka told her they were for self-defence and the police and military let it slide. Ririka then took a large gun out and gave Marika protective glasses, before firing it through several of the hulls. In the novels, Ririka is good friends with Brigadier General Joshua Quadron and gave a call to him for the permission to use the military training grounds, while the guns were supplied by Misa and Kane, with a wide range including a handgun of class 0.5 to large calibre beamgun of class 4.

She then jokingly asked if Marika wanted a try, but said she wouldn't start her off with something that large. She gave Marika an ArmaLite armour-penetrating beam gun, remarking that it was something she used to be given for work.

After adjusting Marika's posture so she wouldn't be blown back by the recoil, Ririka asked her why she thought pirates carried guns when boarding ships. Marika asked whether it was to fight, but Rirka told her it was to impress. Ririka told her that 90% of the time, a fight is decided before the first trigger is pulled, but if you set the gun to full power and pulled the trigger, someone else may die or it might be her who dies. She said that if someone is in the police or military so long as they followed orders, they needn't consider such things, but pirates must decide for themselves - that being the power of a pirate. She watched as Marika took aim at a tank and fired, burning a hole straight through it. While Marika stood back in shock, Ririka told her that what she held in her hands was power and if she became captain, she would hold the trigger of an even greater power. Marika protested that she hadn't decided what to do about that yet. Ririka told her she didn't have to decide right now, but she already had the heart and resolve to decide. She said that Marika's power is hers alone [4].

One night, sometime after the yacht club's visit to the relay station, Ririka was eating dinner at home with Marika. She asked when Marika's exams were and when told they were starting the next day, commented they were in a bit of a hurry. After Marika said about how she can mess around for the rest of the summer as she'd saved up plenty of cash, Ririka said her job was fine but inquired about 'that other thing'. Marika then started to ask Ririka about the non-aggression pact, but didn't continue as Ririka didn't appear to know about it. Ririka appeared puzzled but smiled [5].

After the yacht club's eventful practice cruise, Ririka was waiting for Marika at the airport. Marika greeted her as 'mother', which surprised her, and informed her of her decision to become captain of the Bentenmaru. Ririka smiled and told Marika to live long and prosper [6].

Ririka - Godspeed

Ririka gives Marika her blessing.

After Marika acquired her Letter of Marque, Ririka asked her how it felt to finally be a pirate. When Misa mentioned the time limit for Marika to perform an act of piracy, Ririka surmised that it would roughly seven weeks. After she asked Marika if she could handle it, Kane and Misa provided their own follow throughs which essentially forced Marika into her position as captain.

Ririka then patted Marika on the shoulder and told her to have fun. As Marika was taken to the Bentenmaru to begin training, Ririka wished her luck.[7]

Golden Ghost Ship ArcEdit

One evening, shortly after Marika had met Gruier Serenity, Ririka asked her about how things were with the pirates. She also asked Marika what her impressions were of the princess and asked if she wanted to invite her round [8].

Another night, Ririka was finishing and posting a message when Marika came in. Observing the kitchen, Marika asked her about dinner and was told they were eating out. Ririka took her to the underground district of New Okuhama Airport. She commented on how it had been a long time since Marika had been under the airport. She greeted Oyaji-san as they arrived at his place and asked if he remembered Marika. When Marika asked, she told him who he was. She sat together with the Bentenmaru crew as they discussed the data on the Golden Ghost Ship. When the food was being served, she welcomed the sake before mentioning that the job, helping a princess to find a ghost ship, was more romantic than the ones she used to get [9].

After the events concerning the Golden Ghost Ship, Ririka was watching a news report about Marika receiving an award from Gruier for her efforts, commenting on how romantic it was. Later when Marika was home and asked her how she'd been home more often recently, she mentioned how she was thinking about changing jobs.

After Marika brought the ID ring she got from Gruier home, Ririka remarked how it brought back memories. She told Marika that it was the sort of thing normally kept in a safe and could be used to control the whole ship if necessary. After they thought and talked about the change occuring in Serenity, Marika asked her if she could bring Gruier round for dinner. Ririka later helped Marika prepare the dinner.

After the dinner, Ririka and Gruier washed up while Marika took Grunhilde outside for some fireworks. Ririka apologised for making her help, but Gruier replied it was OK as she'd helped out on the Bentenmaru as well. They talked about the rose spring as well as the changes occuring in Serenity, and Ririka asked Gruier what she planned to do next, as Gruier rather than as a princess.

Later, Ririka sent off a form for her Class-II Large Interstellar Ship Licensing Exam, saying that she couldn't wait [10].

Hakuoh Pirates ArcEdit

Ririka - Unwelcome Memories

Ririka remembers Harold.

Ririka was at home with Marika some time after she had returned to the Sea of the Morning Star from the Bentenmaru and still hadn't had any word from them. After remarking how it was strange that they'd forget to check up on her, Ririka received a call from Misa in the hospital and passed it to Marika. When Marika said that Misa had told her to call the insurance company regarding the quarantine problem, Ririka got mad remembering about Harold Lloyd and accidentally burned her tongue on her hot drink. After mentioning why they didn't get along, Ririka told Marika not to let her guard down with him.

The night after Marika's discussion with Show, Ririka brought Marika a cup of coffee as she was thinking about the options open to her. When Marika asked her where would be best to look for good sailors, Ririka suggested checking at the relay station [11].

Ririka visited Lamp House while filling in paperwork for changing jobs and Mami served her the house blend. Talking about how she wanted to do what she could seeing as Marika was doing so much, which Mami understood, she mentioned that she taught Marika many things to make her a good captain and being able to say that made her happy as a mother [12].

Ririka was watching television when Marika and the yacht club hijacked the broadcast, and saw the events that unfolded on the Glorious Coolph. After Marika returned home, Ririka made pot-au-feu for dinner [13].

Nebula Cup Arc (Anime-Only)Edit

This story arc is only present in the anime.

While Marika was having dinner with her after a hard day's work cleaning, Ririka said to Marika that maybe it was time she started making the pot-au-feu. When Marika asked if she'd teach her, Ririka replied that if she is the Bentenmaru's captain then she has inherited the Kato family secrets, meaning she should be able to do it already. After Marika found the hidden file containing the recipe, Ririka watched eagerly as Marika made pot-au-feu herself [14].

Kane brought Ririka along to a meeting of various representatives from the parties involved with Marika's non-aggression pact. When she asked why he was showing her this now, Kane gestured towards a hooded man at the bar. On seeing him, Ririka realised why the shady people had agreed to leave Marika alone. Kane said they were worried over what would happen once Marika graduated and the protection expires, but Ririka told him that was for Marika to decide and she could do as she wanted [15].

Pirate Hunter Arc (Anime-Only)Edit

This story arc is only present in the anime.


Ririka saves Luca

Ririka saves Luca.

After obtaining a license for piloting large ships, Ririka started a new job, though she didn't tell Marika what it was, leading to her being away from home more often. Around the time that Marika learned about the pirate hunter, Ririka was already far away from the Sea of the Morning Star [16]. While away, she saved Luca (who was on holiday) from some armed attackers [17]. When Marika sought out Oyaji-san's help, Ririka was relaxing on a deck chair, waking around the time when Marika was mentioned how she was number one in space [18].

On the phone to Marika later, Ririka said how she had boarded a liner after leaving a sea resort planet, not mentioning about the events involving Luca or that she was onboard the Parabellum. She also told Marika that she'd informed her school that she'd be away for two weeks. After finishing her call and putting down her drink, Ririka looked at Ironbeard, wondering if it was fate [19].

Sailing 25 - Ririka, Ironbeard and Quartz

Ririka thwarts the assassins.

When Koja attempted to assassinate Quartz Christie while Ironbeard was escorting her away, breaking the laws of the Pirate's Nest, Ririka swiftly disarmed him and his crew. After Shane knocked out Koja, Ririka held the rest of his men at gunpoint. Ironbeard thanked her and offered her a proper position in his crew, to which she replied that today was a special service. When Misa and Kane turned up, Ririka casually greeted Misa, who asked what she was doing there and whether she'd told Marika about this new job of hers.

Ririka laughed slightly as Ironbeard mentioned how he liked what he saw in Marika's eyes at their meeting. When Misa mentioned how it must be tough for her daughter having her parent put so much on her, Ririka replied that Marika chose this path but she didn't expect this much of her  [20].

After the battle between the frontier pirates and the Grand Cross, Ririka was present on the Parabellum and contacted the yacht club aboard the Odette II as they came to pick them up. As Gruier spoke with Ironbeard (or rather, Gonzaemon), Ririka thought about his previous actions, reckoning it was probably his way of showing his love. She then asked Shane what he thought of her daughter [21].

Abyss of HyperspaceEdit

One morning during Marika's spring break, Ririka was up when Marika came down for breakfast and commented on how she was up early despite it being her spring break. When Marika mentioned how she had a lot to do, with a yacht club meeting and pirating work in the evening, as well as a need to keep things steady due to a possible recession coming up, Ririka told her to do her best before she headed out [22][23].

Abyss of Hyperspace - Wrecked House

The aftermath of the attack

After Marika rescued Kanata from agents working for the Yggdrasil Group, an attack was launched on the Kato House, involving armed helicraft. Ririka dealt with the attackers, though the house was heavily damaged, shocking Chiaki Kurihara who had come to see Marika to deliver information about their enemy [24][23].

Abyss of Hyperspace - Blaster Ririka

Help has arrived.

She later arrived on Professor Mugen's ship via Silent Whisper, having being hired by the Harold Lloyd Insurance Union to provide extra reinforcements for the Bentenmaru crew. She took down several enemies with multiple beam weapons before having a brief unarmed fight with Scarlett Cypher [25][23].

Three Ships Arc (Novel-Only)Edit

This story arc is currently only present in the light novels. Potential spoilers ahead.

During the Bentenmaru and Barbaroosa's investigation of Garnet A, Ririka was in command of the Odette II, after an attempt by an unknown party to seize the vessel [26].

At the end of the arc, she received a red sealed tube bearing an application form for the pirate guild, which she referred to as another career path choice and saved it as a memorial.

Skills & AbilitiesEdit

Ririka is very skilled at handling guns, which gave rise to her epithet "Blaster Ririka" [27].  In the novels, her weapon of choice is an Armlite anti-armour beam gun, a lighter custom model of what Marika tested out after learning about shooting with Misa's class 0.5 handgun.[28]

When she first came aboard the Bentenmaru, she nearly killed the previous crew several times with her cooking [10], however she has improved considerably since then. Nowadays her cooking is delicious.

In the anime, shortly after Marika's search for the Golden Ghost Ship, Ririka applies for [10] and later earns a Class-II Large Interstellar Ship License.

In the novels, during the Three Ships Arc as captain of Odette II, she showed her skills as a devil traffic controller for real time planning a very intensive tactical flight plan for the 7 ships to fight against the 28 ships from the pirate guild which utilized full spec of the 7 ships and make them fight like fighter planes in unison.

Misa commented about Ririka having a special skill that borderlines ESP that she always has what she needs prepared at arms reach when she needs them.[29]

RelationshipsEdit

Marika KatoEdit

Ririka, Marika - Bonds

Ririka and Marika talk about their current situation.

Marika and Ririka have a fairly relaxed mother-daughter relationship. Marika rarely calls Ririka 'mother', and instead refers to her as 'Ririka-san'. Marika greatly admires Ririka and looks up to her, going as far as to describe her as "a mountain [she] wishes to stand tall beside".

Ririka has great confidence in Marika's abilities and is proud of how far she has managed to accomplish. The two trust each other, though Ririka keeps one or two things (mostly related to pirating) secret from Marika.

Gonzaemon KatoEdit

The exact nature of Ririka's relationship with her husband Gonzaemon is not fully known, though it can be assumed they were very close. Ririka has referred to Gonzaemon as 'that good-for-nothing', though not in an unfriendly manner.

As of the Pirate Hunter Arc, Ririka is working with Gonzaemon aboard the Parabellum.

Misa GrandwoodEdit

Ririka is good friends with Misa, having been with her on the Bentenmaru while she was still a pirate. Misa is sometimes slightly exasperated by Ririka's carefree nature, yet is still able to deal with her unlike other members of the crew.

Harold LloydEdit

Ririka and Harold didn't get along well, and Ririka still gets mad just thinking about him.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sailing 01
  2. Sailing 02
  3. Miniskirt Pirates Volume 1
  4. Sailing 02
  5. Sailing 03
  6. Sailing 05
  7. Sailing 06
  8. Sailing 08
  9. Sailing 09
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sailing 13
  11. Sailing 14
  12. Sailing 15
  13. Sailing 18
  14. Sailing 19
  15. Sailing 20
  16. Sailing 22
  17. Sailing 25
  18. Sailing 23
  19. Sailing 24
  20. Sailing 25
  21. Sailing 26
  22. Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace Manga Chapter 01
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace
  24. Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace Manga Chapter 05
  25. Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace Manga Chapter 08
  26. Miniskirt Pirates Volume 5
  27. Sailing 07
  28. Miniskirt Pirates Volume 1
  29. Miniskirt Pirates Volume 6

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