Riki is the protagonist of Ginga Densetsu Riki and a main character of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. He also appeares as a minor character in Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin: Shin Gaiden in the story Kai No San Kyōdai.
Riki is a legendary dog who was chosen and trained as a bear hound by the legendary bear hound trainer Gohē Takeda. He is the founder and first supreme commander of the Ōu army, being the strongest of all soldiers.
He is the son of Shiro and Yamabuki, the mate of Fuji, the father of Gin, the grandfather of Joe, Kinumaru, Weed, Yuki and Yukimura and the great-grandfather of Bellatrix, Jirōmaru, Kōshirō, Koyuki, Orion, Rigel, Saburōmaru, Shion, Sirius and Tarōmaru.
Riki is a muscular, red-furred Akita with blue eyes (brown in earlier versions). In the anime, however, his coat colors are darkened to a browner tone and cream-colored underbelly in place of his original red-and-white colors. He sports a brown collar around his neck.
He gets many scars throughout the series: on his muzzle, chest, back, cheeks and side. Riki is known for his charismatic aura. He often has a very serious expression.
Riki is very strong both mentally and physically, hence his name.
He was very brave and intelligent bear hound and extremely loyal to Gohē Takeda. The same way, his soldiers show extreme loyalty to him. He figuratively calls them his children. He is generally seen as a mighty, distant and mysterious figure in the eyes of his soldiers. He tends to be serious and expects everyone to do their work and might get a bit angry if orders are not obeyed.
It's implied that his personality stayed very same despite losing his memory. He seems to remember his immense hate towards Akakabuto, which made him create and collect his pack in order to slay the bear. He didn't remember his son Gin, which left him very confused until he regained his memories.
Riki trusted and cared a lot of Ben and it is unknown why he chose Sniper to be his right hand instead of Ben. He was disappointed and worried as Ben showed up in the battle against Akakabuto despite not allowed to.
Riki has been mentioned to have a uniquely strong sense of justice, as he made Fūga highly impressed and taught him rightfulness. Riki was also good friends with him, while most dogs seemed to be insecure, even racist towards the wolves at first.
As shown in Ginga Densetsu Riki, he was originally mama's boy and was prone to cry and whine. As a puppy, he was very afraid to be separated from his mother, but after he met his father, he wanted to make him proud and started to train himself more physically and mentally strong. He later showed bravery, skill and resilience in battle.
Riki is the son of the legendary bear hound, Shiro.
At first, Riki does not get chosen by Gohē Takeda to be his new hunting dog because he is the runt of the litter of five. Riki stays with his mother until she is moved back to her original owner, which upsets 5-month-old Riki greatly. Riki then decides to visit his mother. On his way to visit his mother, he gets attacked by Heiji and his pack. Riki tries to escape by jumping into the raging river. He is saved by Shiro.
Riki is fascinated by Shiro's strength and speed and takes his advice on eating more, causing him to become stronger. When Daisuke is attacked by Heiji and his pack, Riki bravely does his best to fight them off. Gohē and Shiro hear Riki's cries and growls and come to his rescue, chasing the wild dogs off. Gohē Takeda understands he has chosen the wrong dog, and starts to show greater interest in Riki.
One day, a few years later, Shiro and Gohē drove to the mountains along with other hunters and dogs to kill the bear, Akakabuto who had been attacking humans lately. Riki follows them despite his father Shiro telling him not to. He finds a badly injured Gohē groping around for his rifle, which Riki quickly pulls over to him and then helps his father fighting Akakabuto.
On a hunt searching for traces of Akakabuto, Riki and Gohē get attacked by the bear. They both get badly wounded and cling to life by hiding in a cold crack in a cliff. Gohē tries to make Riki eat by chopping off his own leg and forcing the meat down Riki's throat, but Riki only throws the meat back up again.
As Akakabuto appears, Riki attacks him despite Gohē's orders of leaving him alone. Daisuke appears with Gin on a snowmobile to help out, but only ends up making matters worse. Gohē manages to drag Daisuke into safety in the crack, but the day-old Gin is on his own outside, watching his father fight for his life.
Riki is badly wounded, and uses his last ounce of strength to throw Gin to safety. Riki is too exhausted to drag himself to safety, and Akakabuto throws him into a deep crevasse.
After that, Riki lost his memory, and only recalls the hate for Akakabuto, causing him to start the Ōu army with gathering an army of about 70 dogs, mainly consisting of abandoned hunting dogs. As Gin joins the group, Riki doesn't remember having a son. Gin and the other dog's leave the Ou mountains to gather dogs, while Riki stays in the mountains to fight off Akakabuto's minions
When the final battle gets closer and the dogs return, Riki tries to use an ambush, all by himself on Akakabuto, but it turns out to be Akakabuto's son, Gaki, who is serving as a substitute. Several more bears appear, and they tear down trees and throw them on Riki, burying him alive.
By a miracle, Riki survives, but is late for the final battle. He has regained his memory, and rushes to help his comrades and son. The wounded Smith can't bear to see his friends get killed, and finds Gohē to get him to shoot Akakabuto.
Gohē shoots Akakabuto, and he falls to the ground, seemingly dead. However, much to everyone's surprise, Akakabuto rises again. He gets up and strikes Gohē, breaking his rifle and throwing him back. Riki throws himself at Akakabuto to protect his son and owner, but is caught in the demon bear's claws. He tries again, but Akakabuto is already prepared, and catches him between his paws.
Gin kills Akakabuto with the Zetsu Tenrou Battouga, which Riki has been taught by the wolf, Fūga. Riki prohibits Gin from using the Battouga ever again because if the wolves find out they come looking for him. Badly wounded Riki dies soon after finishing his last words.
His last words are different and he dies when the first rays of morning sun hit him, surrounded by his howling soldiers.
Riki is mentioned a few times and seen in flashbacks as the first supreme commander of Ōu and the father of Gin.
Riki's ghost speaking to Hōgen. Riki explains to Hōgen that a soul of justice will never vanish.
Riki only appears as a spirit in the final battle against Hōgen as well as in the ending credits.
- Riki, due to being a very skillful hunting dog, had many mates in order to have good puppies - Including Fuji.
- Riki's body mummified in Ōu's cold environment and was placed inside Gajō. Sadly, it was destroyed during the explosion in Ginga Densetsu Weed.
- In the GDW Anime, he appears in the credits as a deceased character in the sky.