|Ryoko Asakura (朝倉涼子)|
|Name||Ryoko Asakura (朝倉涼子)|
|Age||3-4, 16-17 physically|
|Height||160 cm (5' 4")|
|Occupation||Student (grade 11), Data Overmind humanoid interface|
|Introduced In||The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya|
|Last Appearance||The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya|
|Voiced by||Natsuko Kuwatani (JP), Bridget Hoffman (EN), Eva Padoan (IT) Yang Jeong Hwa (KR)|
Ryoko Asakura (朝倉涼子 Asakura Ryōko) is, at first, a highly social high-school student, and the class president for Kyon's homeroom class. She later reveals herself as a Data Humanoid Interface, much like Yuki Nagato.
Ryoko first appears as a compassionate and hard-working high school girl. One of Kyon's friends, Taniguchi, places her in the top three first-year girls in the school with a grade of AA+: indicative of her pleasant personality, beauty, and athleticism. Her enormous popularity made her the unanimous choice for class president of Kyon's homeroom class. She also showed particular concern about how Haruhi Suzumiya had distanced herself from the rest of the class.
However, it turns out that she is Yuki's backup, and as such, is also another Data Overmind humanoid interface. Much like Yuki, she finds it difficult to empathize with humans, but unlike Yuki, possesses exceptional social skills. Initially she cheerfully supports Kyon's reaching out to Haruhi, often encouraging him to "open her up to the class," making Haruhi easier to observe. However, she later decides to try and kill Kyon with a combat knife in the hopes of catalyzing an observable reaction from Haruhi. Her efforts are stopped, after Yuki defeated and removed her from the physical world. It's interesting to note that her cheerful personality doesn't falter, even at the moment of her own demise. Afterward, Yuki fabricated a cover story that she moved to Canada. Ironically, the death/disappearance that provoked Haruhi's reaction in the end was Ryoko's own.
Ryoko does not appear again until The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, in the alternate reality, in which she appears as a normal human. She sits behind Kyon, where Haruhi once sat, and cares for Yuki as "a friendship fostered by living in the same apartment block". Because Yuki somehow has a difficulty to keep herself active, Ryoko is forced to give her food every day and help her with minor things. However, Ryoko is still homicidal; when she seemingly sees Kyon trying to shoot Yuki with a gun (he is actually trying to revert her to her normal Data Humanoid Interface self), she comes after him with a knife the same way she tried to kill Kyon in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, believing that this is what Yuki wanted. After a Yuki from the near future comes and saves Kyon, she reverts the world back to normal, making Ryoko disappear.
Ryoko makes a new appearance in The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya in which she is summoned by Emiri Kimidori; her purpose is not to kill Kyon but Kuyou Suou. (Kimidori could not directly control her, having to warn her that she would be dissolved if she did anything unexpected. Kimidori said she was summoned because her presence would marginally improve the likelihood of Kyon's survival.) Ryoko thanked Kyon, as he was responsible for her being returned to the real world, but she insisted on holding a knife against his throat for most of the battle. Asakura and Kuyou fought to a standstill, then Asakura captured Kuyou with a "data attack", transforming her knife into a set of hexagons which began to cover Kuyou. However, Kuyou manages to escape from the attack and from closed space.
Ryoko can only appear when certain conditions are met, and now that conditions have improved, Ryoko vanishes. She does, however, reveal some intention of killing Kyon (she wonders how Kuyou would react if Kyon died), and while she expresses a desire to go beyond the Data Overmind's orders and instigate something, she does listen to her orders from Emiri (if only because Emiri threatened to revoke her existence). She also informs Kyon that she can be summoned during an emergency.
Asakura appears briefly with the other two interfaces in closed space shortly after the timelines merge.
"Expanding data control range. Deploying offensive data. Shifting to Termination Mode. Requesting authorisation for localised combat simulation within limited space for the purpose of analysing specified target."—Asakura's requests for combat power.
She has demonstrated a number of powers and abilities:
- Superhuman strength and reflexes: Asakura could throw a knife with considerable force, then use her quick reflexes to catch one flying at her. Asakura could leap incredible distances (once leaping 5 meters when surprised).
- Data jurisdiction, her specialty: Enables Asakura to "cut off" a portion of reality into a "bubble dimension", enabling her to engage in combat without revealing her presence to anyone outside the field. Asakura could request permission from the Data Overmind to expand the field. Yuki Nagato was able to force her way into Asakura's space, explaining that her individual programs were weak. Kuyou Suou was able to escape from the zone, forcing Kimidori to repair the damaged space.
- Property manipulation: In a data jurisdiction space, Asakura was able to create "icicles" from the surrounding structure and use them to attack an enemy. Yuki Nagato could use this ability in "reverse" to counter Ryoko Asakura's attacks. However, Nagato didn't display the ability to counter her more impressive attacks which involved generating metal rods from desks in front of her, then "hurling" them at Nagato. This ability required vocalization, although it appeared that Asakura only needed to vocalize to change their properties, rather than continuously doing so.
- Asakura could also telekinetically hurl objects such as desks, stop a desk being thrown at her (a visible field appeared to protect her when she did so), shatter walls (revealing the oddity of the space) and hurl the rubble, and even freeze a human in place. This ability did not require vocalization.
- Knife mastery: Asakura could throw a knife with such force that it would continue to vibrate and attempt to stab its target after being thrown. She could also redirect its path in flight without vocalization, even if the knife was thrown by someone else. The knife dissolved when Asakura used some powers, and could also be dissolved by another humanoid interface.
- Asakura appeared to value her knife, asking for it back when Emiri Kimidori caught it. (When Emiri threw it back, Asakura used her property manipulation ability to redirect the knife at an opponent, then caught it when the opponent dodged.)
- Physical transformation: Asakura can transform her arms into large blades. She used these to skewer Nagato during their confrontation. In the manga adaption, Asakura instead turned her fingernails into long metal claws that later extend into razor-sharp whips. These were strong enough to cut apart Nagato in one swipe.
- Data containment field: By holding onto another being, Asakura could generate a field of geometric shapes which would attempt to capture them. However, Kuyou Suou was able to break the field.
- To use this ability, Asakura chanted "Initiating offensive data assault." The ground was affected, and her knife dissolved as she did so.
Ryoko Asakura also appeared as a chibi in The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya and Nyoron Churuya-san named Ryoko Achakura, who is usually stuck at Yuki's apartment doing chores. Whenever she gets uppity and is about to rebel, Yuki uses various non-violent methods to keep her in line. In Nyoron Churuya-san she appears to have a crush on Kyon and gets jealous when he pays attention to Churuya.
In a human form, she is a major character in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan manga and series. She is Yuki's best friend and willing to help her when necessary, but also hopes Yuki will become more assertive. She supports Yuki and Kyon's developing relationship despite her fear that both of them will become more distant from her in the process.
- Ryoko had a ponytail in her initial character design, but was later removed due to Kyon's fetish.
- She is a member of the Radical faction of the Data Overmind.
- The name Asakura could be a reference to the Asakura clan, a relatively famous clan from Japanese history
Alternate Time Characters