Hidden Paths (kakuremichi) : the first RyRy Shrine
Hidden Paths : kakuremichi : Fiction :: Art :: "Evidence" :: Analysis :: Support


A note on the word "evidence". This is not evidence admissible in a legal court, per se. This is stuff you can use to build fics from, no matter how sparse. Generally "evidence" will take the form of looks, touches, proximity, and all kinds of otherwise innocent behavior.

Yes! :: No?
Term : On Screen : History

Why RyRy?

The Term. Following the Japanese standard for naming couples, the proper term is actually Ryorya or Jenryo. However, because Lee has so many names, "RyRy" proved to be more convenient and easier to say for me. It covers Henry and Jenrya. Also the Japanese language does not have an L sound, so Lee is pronounced "Ree". On Ryo's side, it follows the American pronunciation; I believe "Ryo" is actually said as one syllable. Feel free to disagree. I don't have a monopoly on it, and Ryojen/Jenryo and Ryolee/Leeryo doesn't sound too bad. ^_^

Term : On Screen : History

The Couple: On Screen. Besides the obvious reason -- they are the two hottest guys in Tamers under age sixteen -- there is actually a great deal of evidence linking them. The key is watching Henry. Really watching him. Obsessively. He's a fairly reserved character, though he's not afraid to step up and speak up when he's needed. But he has a wide comfort zone. He doesn't get close to people easily. Watch who he stands next to, how far away he is from them, observe his body language with his family, his friends, strangers, children, and adults. There's generally a wide margin there for everyone but Terriermon and Suzie. You can see him close the gap with the other Tamers, especially Takato, in the first dozen episodes. So, getting close = gaining trust.

Now that you've noticed that, remember that Henry doesn't have a problem speaking up. He makes eye contact with strangers, both children and adults. Now go watch "Goliath" [29]. This is the first time Henry meets Ryo. He knows who Ryo is, but fame's never stopped him from talking to someone. See who does the talking. See what Henry's doing. He was probably drawn like that to save the in-betweeners work, but it's right there. Now the kids go to the crooked mansion. Henry starts out next to Takato, but there's a whole scene where suddenly his usual comfort zone goes down to nil. And guess which bed he chooses, hm?

Of course, that's just the first impression. There are some great quotes and other shots of him and Ryo standing together. Besides "Goliath," there's "Homeward Bound" [41] when the Tamers board the Ark; that speaks (or yells) for itself. Now, a lot of people might say that it's all nitpicking, and during the same span of time Ryo is flirting madly with Rika. However, Ryo has a huge protective streak as evidenced by his brief (Japanese) 02 appearance. He has no siblings, probably lost his memory of his parents, and Rika is just blithely going off into danger, in a world he knows very well to be potentially lethal. It's most likely that he does have feelings for Rika; but they can just as easily be feelings of an older brother protecting an upstart younger sister.

And does he treat Henry the same way? Not really. As Justimon he does swoop in ahead of Sakuyamon to beat up the ADR which floored Gargomon. You can read that as one-upping Rika... or getting in the first hit to avenge the boy he likes. Does he treat Henry as an equal? Maybe. Doing so doesn't mean much, of course, since Henry's naturally cautious and doesn't need much rescuing. And maybe Ryo just doesn't share Henry's feelings. Hey, that makes a good fic too. In "When is a Mon Justimon?" [46], between battles, Ryo does give Suzie her first modify card (seemingly with Henry's blessing.) Even if Ryo is just protecting the group and doing what's best, nothing personal, that does mean Henry trusts him enough to do that. Henry doesn't even want Suzie to be a Tamer! So that might have been an interesting conversation between Ryo and Henry. (Not to mention all the staring Henry is doing, but I digress.)

There's a good number of scenes where you can imply something from what's not said. Admittedly this is a reach. Let me explain. Nearly all the couples share the problem of the time crunch, in that there's little time to develop anything between battles. That still leaves enough downtime to fill in behind-the-scenes conversations. Now, Henry by his nature is easily surprised, in true "Obvious Brothers" fashion. Yet in Ryo's presence he remains calm and downright silent during the Real World battles. That leaves some room for a typical "We're involved but we can't let our emotions get the better of us in battle" talk. My favorite example is from the aforementioned episode 46. Rika and 'Kazu are terribly surprised when Justimon shows up. Yet Terriermon and Henry are silent. Extra surprising when you take into account the fact that Gargomon's face is not shown... and the episode's writer is Dave Wittenberg, Henry's voice actor. He could have easily inserted more lines for himself. (As a long time dub watcher, that's a cue that lines didn't exist in Japanese and the writer kept to a more literal translation. Either that or Mr. Wittenberg wanted fewer lines.) Of course, since the time was filled with Rika's reaction shots, the very same scene is used as Ryoki evidence.

The list of visual evidence goes on, up to the very last minutes of the series. (There's some nice ones in episodes 39 and 40 which I haven't reviewed yet.) At the very least, Henry is interested in Ryo as a person. It's less likely that Ryo returns the sentiment, alas. The real point is that if you want to make something of it, RyRy is not completely out of the blue.

(Yamato becoming an astronaut... that was out of the blue.)

Term : On Screen : History

The Couple: History. RyRy is a tricky opposites attract couple. Henry is a firm believer in pacifism, while Ryo and his digimon are forever fighting. Or is it really that simple?

By the time all three Tamers biomerge at the same time, Henry decides that this is a battle worth fighting, and he'll give it his all. With the largest Mega level digimon, Henry's well equipped to do just that. Ryo is actually much the same way. He's constantly fighting because he has no choice, not necessarily because he enjoys fighting. The reason has a lot to do with his digimon partner, Cyberdramon. Who is most likely a Jogress (DNA Digivolve in the U.S.) of Monodramon... and Millenniumon, one of the biggest, strongest evil digimon within the current Digimon multiverse. Ryo's nemesis.

One of the skullsatamon panics and says that [Millenniumon] should start being more serious about things and that the enemy is coming. At last he comes, says Mille, he came... my beloved. (The exact line, for those who like to do their own translating, is "Yatsu ga kita no da... ware no koibito ga na"). Before Ryo arrives at the final dungeon, Mille says that he knew Ryo would arrive and that it's because of their bond that Ryo could never be defeated and that the only one with the power to do so is him. Like in D-1 Tamers he brings up the fact that he and Ryo are shadow and light and that one cannot exist without the other. Thus they are doomed to fight for an eternity.
Brave Tamers storyline by Ajora, at "To Bring Back Yesterday"

How much are they two sides of the same coin? You decide. Either way, whether or not he has memories of all his journeys, Ryo has been pushed into his destiny in more ways than one.

In terms of personality, Ryo and Henry are almost scarily compatible. Before Ryo was sucked into the digital world and began his adventures... he was an avid gamer with well-to-do parents. Besides the video games' run-ins with the other 01, 02, and yes, Tamers characters, Ryo formed only a couple of long term friendships. Just two genius brothers going by the names Osamu and Ken Ichijouji. (That's Sam in the English dub.) And Henry? Our spiky blue-haired, intelligent, passionate-when-angry, kind and thoughtful fighter with a head for strategy and a love of video games? Do you even need to ask?

The age difference is a sticking point whomever you're pairing Ryo with. Henry is the most mature of all the younger Tamers, physically and mentally. Of all of them, Henry may be the best for Ryo to talk to about his inter-dimensional adventures, and what it means. (Rika's the other person who's good, but we knew that.) And since Henry can obviously take care of himself, Ryo's more likely to have an equal relationship with him.

Another sticking point that a lot of people ignore is how far away Ryo lives. Ryo and his father live in Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyuushu. Henry lives in Shinjuku in Tokyo, which is in the central part of Japan. That's a two hour plane ride. There's always the Internet, of course! Henry's room is a den of computers, and I can't see Ryo being too far away from an Internet connection. (It's worth noting that Rika does not like using computers, at least during the series run.)

How would their personalities mesh? Ryo is more experienced and gung-ho; he makes fast decisions and pushes them through to the end. Henry is more open to the bigger picture; he thinks out his decisions and often hesitates too much. The combination can either be a strength or a weakness, depending on how well they compliment each other. Fortunately, they're both fairly easy-going with others, keep their heads under pressure, and neither seems to have a problem kicking back and relaxing when the coast's clear. That's just what's on the surface, though. If you really get into the canon, you'll find an interesting parallel. Henry is by nature aggressive but he has taught himself to be more introverted. In his younger years Ryo shows a more angsty, fragile persona, which was hardened after several campaigns to protect the Digital World(s).

Yes! :: No?

Why Not RyRy?

In the interest of fairness, I'd like to note all the reasons why RyRy has never come up in Tamers fandom before. This is a real curiousity! One normally has no trouble finding stories and art about every concievable couple (and more) in Digimon. Crossing gender, genre, species, you name it, Digimon fandom has done it. Yet no one seems to have touched this one. Even cruising through Japanese sites yields nothing. So what happened?

Less yaoi. Since Ryo didn't appear till halfway through the series, Henry remained the lone bishounen (pretty boy) in the cast for a long time. Fewer pretty boys = less yaoi. Contrast that with 01 and 02, when you couldn't digiport without tripping over them. The creators also placed less emphasis on the shonen-ai hints, possibly for the same reasons as their sudden Taito/Taiora reversal. Also, as discussed, any RyRy hints are extremely hard to catch, and difficult to explain unless you're a Henry fanatic.

Ryo/Rika. Yes, RyRy operates under the shadow of the all-but-proven relationship between Rika and Ryo. If you want to talk airtime, chemistry, and great verbal sparks, that's where it is. It's a really interesting, dynamic couple, and maybe one of these days I'll write a fic about them. However, since we were saved from 02's "twenty-five years later" travesty, the future (as the song goes) is wide open. Just like RyRy, they have to overcome the long distance and the age difference and personality clashes. Rika certainly deserves a guy who gives as good as he gets; but then, so does Henry ^^. (Nothing wrong with an unrequited love story, hm?)

Lee/Takato. Extremely popular on both sides of the Pacific. They really are a cute couple, and certainly very close friends. I was rooting for them for a while. Henry's fairly touchy-feely with him, for Henry anyway. Of course, there's one teensy problem with it: her name's Juri. Or Jeri. An even cuter couple, Takato and Jeri. (But since I'm twisted, I have no problem seeing all three of them... *cough*. Moving on.)

Henry should be single! Now this I buy into. Henry's too mature for anyone his age to really appreciate. And he may not be emotionally ready for a close relationship (though Terriermon helped him along.) There's two problems with that-- without at least a close friendship, he'll be left to deal with the potboiling angst of the Lee household. (Go watch the last episode if you have no clue why.) Poor boy needs a hug, doncha think?
The other problem is that I'm a yaoi fanfic writer. And if Henry's single, my options are suddenly very very limited. ^_^

Ryo doesn't need anyone. Well, he is pretty self-sufficient. Besides the Tamers storyline, where he wanders around the digital world for months, and his dad hates digimon and endures his fame... the video games are one long survivor series. Knocked around space-time, losing his memory, being separated from or losing his friends, forced to fight the *same* ugly 'mon, not having a real digimon partner for a while... sheesh. Ryo needs a hug more than Henry!

Henry's straight! Well... okay. I can buy that. There's no evidence, and my gaydar goes off like nothing else, but hey. You see what you want to see.

Ryo's straight! A firmer proposition. It's quite possible that Ryo doesn't swing that way. Of course, there are tons of Osamu/Ryo and Ryo/Ken fans who would argue that with you, so again, you see what you want to see.

They didn't interact very much. That is true. For one, they never had a moment alone with each other. These are the time windows: at the crooked mansion [Goliath, 29]; during the first post-biomerge break at Rika's house [When is a Mon Justimon?, 46]; hanging out at the Hypnos temporary HQ (with lots of family underfoot) [His Kingdom for a Horse, 47], and during that week when everyone went home [D-Reaper's Feast, 49]. Throughout, Ryo keeps disappearing (presumably going all the way back to Fukuoka during the D-Reaper saga) and then appearing suddenly for battle.
In battle, it's hard for SaintGalgomon to fight with anyone else because of his huge size. It makes much more sense for Sakuyamon and Justimon to fight together because they're the same size and have similar tactics. Henry does tend to stay out of Ryo's way. He's not visibly scared about Ryo's stunts, but he does worry aloud about him as he does with everyone else. It's pretty nerve-wracking to fight beside someone you love; some detachment's needed there. (See the above section about
what's not said.) Ryo can also take care of himself. Justimon did hurry to save SaintGalgomon from one of the ADRs, so it's not like they don't watch each other's backs.
Other things might have gotten in the way. For instance, during the risky power transfer between Sakuyamon and Justimon, SaintGalgomon was out of power and probably regrouping. However, I think the quotes speak for themselves.

That means nothing happens between them! Not during the series, no. It's highly unlikely given the time crunches. But not impossible. It's more likely that things start after the end of the series, so it makes no sense to use what didn't happen as a blind spot.

Various and sundry pairings. Henrika's a big one. There's actually a bit of circumstantial evidence for it; in my opinion there's little basis between the characters. In Japan, Yamaki/Lee ("Yamari") is another one (*sweatdrop*). There's Henry or Ryo with Alice, Kenta, Hirokazu, etc. Ryo could still be pining for Osamu, or Ken, or both. Since Ryo's interacted with nearly the entire 01 and 02 cast in the video games, he could have been interested in any one of them. Heck, there are hints that Millenniumon was in love with Ryo... now that's weird. I won't go into all the possible crossbreedings.
The thing is even if one of these less popular pairings were in action, that doesn't stop anyone from adding an auxilliary pairing either as a foil or a supplement. In other words, threesomes could work.

Yes! :: No?
Term : On Screen : History

Home :: Henry Shrine

Red for Pleasure stamp "Red for Pleasure", "ai zai", and "Hidden Paths" copyright 2002 Sameshima Shuzumi. HTML and layout are produced by me. Content belongs to me and respective owners.
"Digimon" is a registered trademark of Bandai, copyright Akiyoshi Hongo and Toei Animation, and produced and distributed by Fox Kids, Disney / ABC, and Saban Entertainment. This site is for entertainment purposes only.