Akari Unryu (雲竜 あかり Unryū Akari?) is a manga-only character who soon becomes Ryoga Hibiki's main love interest after he decides that he will no longer be able to get Akane Tendo to love him instead of Ranma Saotome. Akari breeds Sumo wrestling pigs, her favorite being the 14th Yokozuna champion, Katsunishiki.
Akari Unryu comes from a family that raises giant sumo wrestling pigs. Akari loves pigs and their strength as warriors, her favourite being Katsunishiki, the 14th Yokozuna champion, and she frequently uses it for transportation. After her grandfather decreed that only a man who could defeat Katsunishiki in battle was worthy of becoming Akari's husband, she let it attack any available fighters to find someone suitable.
Akari is hiding behind a Lamppost and watching Ryoga fighting with Ranma, when she pats Katsunishiki and tells him to attack. Akari watches as Ryoga easily defeats Katsunishiki and (by using a Banana peel) makes Ranma slip, causing Katsunishiki to land on him. Akari then rather shyly walks up to Ryoga and tells him he's won, while Ryoga wonders what Akari is talking about she passes him an envelop and tells him to read it. She then quickly runs to Katsunishiki, jumps on his back and the two run away.
Later on while Ryoga is unsure about what to make about the Love Letter that was in the envelop, since he's set his mind on Akane, Akari returns with Katsunishiki and she formally introduces herself to Ryoga, who does the same to her. When Ryoga asks Akari why she picked him, she explains that her family has bread Sumo wrestling Pigs for generations and that her grandfather said that before he died that he won't allow her to marry anyone who isn't strong enough to defeat Katsunishiki. Akari then shows Ranma and Ryoga that this is her her grandfather, who is still very much alive.
Akari then continues to explain that there was not one person who could defeat Katsunishiki, but after years of searching she's finally found someone. This causes Ranma to question Akari that she just ended up deciding that anyone who could defeat Katsunishiki would be a suitable husband, this causes Akari to give Ranma her diary which she says she loved Ryoga long before he dueled Katsunishiki. However when Ranma reads the diary which is full of "Ryoga" written with a heart next to it multiple times along with a drawing of their names beneath an umbrella, he notes that the entries are all from that day.
Ryoga ignores Ranma and asks Akari directly if he's the one for her. Akari tells Ryoga that she knew it had to be him and only him. However, Akari then begins comparing Ryoga's traits to all those of a pig (strength, robustness, gentleness, intelligence, handsomeness, refreshing and cool) and says that it was her dream to meet such a pig-like man. This disappoints Ryoga who walks away, telling Akari he has to go on a long journey. Akari begs Ryoga to at least tell her why, she then turns to Ranma and asks if her compliments offended Ryoga, to which Ranma retorts by being surprised that those were compliments.
Akari begins to tell Ranma that Ryoga was her first love and he was more perfect than any pig she'd ever seen. She continues saying that Ryoga excelled at everything (being strong, cool and passionate yet tender) though he was just a human being. Ranma then asks Akari if she's a diehard pig fan, to which Akari says that she loves pigs so much she can't stand it. She continues to say that now she's devoted her life to Ryoga, but she just can't understand why he hates her so enough that he went and ran away. Ranma decides himself that since there's no way Akari could know about Ryoga's curse so he'll help get Ryoga back for Akari. Ranma then tells Akari he'll get Ryoga back, much to her delight.
Ranma then returns to the Tendo Dojo with Akari, where Akane tells Ranma that P-chan's come home. Akari tells Akane that P-chan is very cute, but P-chan jumps out of Akane's hands and runs away. This causes Akari to say that's the first pig that ever hated her. Akari then introduces herself to Akane, Kasumi, Nabiki, Soun and Genma. After Ranma turns P-chan back into Ryoga and the two come downstairs they meet up with Akari and Akane.
While Akane tells Ryoga that he should've told her about having a girlfriend sooner, Akari slightly nervously welcomes Ryoga back from his journey. Akane's comments cause Ryoga to shout at her that she's got the wrong idea and he has no girlfriends at the moment. After Ryoga and Akane have finished having their conversation, Akari gives Ryoga some homemade cookies and a sweater she made for him. However, the cookies are pig-shaped and the sweater has a pig on it. Ryoga takes this as Akari teasing him and runs away, breaking a wall in the process.
This sight causes Akari to believe that Ryoga hates pigs. She asks Akane and Ranma if this is true, Akane replies that if he is then this is the first she's heard Ryoga say anything about it. After Ranma gets the Embrace of Passionate Love Incense from Cologne, he uses it on Ryoga and gets him to agree to go on a date with Akari one week from then, and tells Akari, much to her delight. Akari then tells Katsunishiki to come to her and move into forward attack posture. She then has Katsunishiki attack her (to the surprise of Ranma and Akane). Akari explains that now she knows Ryoga's a pig-hater she too will learn to hate them with an equal passion, so much so she can't even stand the "P" in pig.
The day of Akari and Ryoga's date arrives and Akari has managed to become a pig-hater thanks to her special training. Akari eventually notices that Ryoga has arrived and Ryoga then gives Akari a large amount of souvenirs from his travels. This delights Akari, seeing this Ryoga begins to think to himself that if Akari can forgive his pig form then maybe they'll be able to be a couple. Unfortunately, a group of people walk into the restaurant where Akari, Ryoga, Ranma and Akane are and begin to talk about ordering pig. The effect of the Embrace of Passionate Love Incense to kick in and Ryoga begins to tell the group he loves them. This causes Akari to believe that Ryoga is a pervert.
However, Akari tells Ryoga that she loves him the way he his and moves in to kiss him. After some hesitation, Ryoga is about to move in only to get angry at Ranma who wanted a close up view of the kiss, so Ryoga kicks him and sends him flying. Ryoga returns to going in to kiss Akari, but just before he does it rains, turning him into his P-chan form. Akari then opens her eyes and sees P-chan who jumps up to hug Akari. This causes Akari to begin to hit P-chan saying that she hates pigs, but she soon changes her mind saying that she can't help herself and that she loves pigs too much.
Seeing that Ryoga's left again, Akari begins to think that Ryoga hates her. Ranma has had enough by now, so takes P-chan and Akari on the back of Katsunishiki to the Tendo Dojo's washroom. Ranma then plunges Ryoga into the hot bath, revealing Ryoga's curse to Akari. At first Akari seems distraught by this, but just as Ryoga is about to leave Akari begins to dance for joy and tells Ryoga that there's no one else but him now. Unfortunately, Ranma says the word "pig" causing the Embrace of Passionate Love Incense to kick in and Ryoga hugs Ranma and declares he loves her (Ranma turned into her female form at the same time Ryoga turned into P-chan).
Akari leaves a letter for Ryoga, telling him she ran away when she thought he might have another loved one. But she's getting her courage back up and has sent him a Pig Sumo ticket and that she'll wait for him forever as there is no-one else but him.
Akari sends Ryoga another letter. When Ryoga receives it he's initially reluctant to read it, since he feels like he's two-timing Akane. However, when Ryoga does read the letter he blushes at what Akari has written. The letter is ultimately destroyed by the The Cursed Spatula, angering Ryoga greatly.
Since meeting Ryoga, Akari has become Penpals with him. Due to her not seeing Ryoga in such a long time, Akari decides to go meet Ryoga at his house. However, when she arrives she first thinks that Ryoga isn't at home, although it turns out he'd underneath Katsunishiki (who Akari used to enter the house, by breaking through one of the walls). After Akari explains to Ryoga she's come to see him she tells Ryoga that if she's bothering him she'll leave, but Ryoga tells her that it's fine and she can stay.
While Ryoga decides that this must be his Lucky Day, Ranma arrives (to Ryoga's annoyance) and apologises to Akari if he's interrupting anything since Ryoga's girlfriend's present (this causes Akari to blush with embarrassment). Ryoga sends Ranma flying out of the window and returns to Akari, only for Ranma to return making Ryoga send him flying again. While Ryoga deals with Ranma and Akane who arrived due to receiving a letter from Ryoga, Akari decides that she'd better make some tea for all the guests. However, while Akari looks for the kettle she sets off a trap left by Ryoga's Mother, knocking her out.
To try and stop Akane from seeing Akari, Ryoga puts the unconscious Akari in a cupboard. When Akari comes to she asks Ryoga if there's something wrong, to which Ryoga asks Akari whatever gave her that idea. Some time later, Ryoga puts Akari and Katsunishiki in a storage room (which Akari thinks is absolutely wonderful). Ryoga then leaves the pair to get them some tea.
By the time Ryoga returns (thanks to Ranma, disguised as the house maid, telling him to), Akari has changed into a Kimono. When Ryoga asks what the meaning of this is, Akari explains that his maid said she should stay the night, she continues by telling Ryoga she knows she's troubling him but is grateful for him allowing her to stay. This situation causes Ryoga to ask Akari if they are going a bit fast, but Akari tells Ryoga that she didn't want to go to sleep just yet and that she wants to talk some more (to Ryoga's annoyance), she then backs the Futon away.
Just before Ryoga explains what he actually meant, the large circle which Ranma had cut into the adjoining wall between the storage room and Ryoga's room falls on top of Ryoga, making him collapse on Akari. Akari is delighted by this and while she has her eyes closed, Ranma tells Ryoga he has to return to Akane. Ryoga substitutes Shirokuro for himself to keep Akari thinking she's still being hugged, while runs off to wash Akane's back which the maid says she's agreed to allow Ryoga to do.
After a mishap with Akane (Ryoga turned into P-chan and nearly revealed his curse to Akane), Ryoga returns to Akari and tells her they should continue where they left off. However, when Ryoga enters Akari has made some food with Shirokuro watching. Akari offers Ryoga something to eat at first Ryoga seems uninterested but at the second time of asking Ryoga gladly accepts.
While Ryoga enjoys the food, Ranma returns and tells Ryoga that Akane wants to kiss him, so he leaves Akari. After it turns out that "Akane" was Katsunishiki in the Furinkan High School uniform, this ultimately to Ryoga discovering that the maid was Ranma is disguise, Ryoga returns to the storage room yet again, however, Akari isn't in there anymore causing Ryoga to become distraught since he didn't get to "do" anything with Akari. However, it turns out that Akari is downstairs enjoying herself with Akane, Ranma, Shirokuro and Katsunishiki. Ryoga unhappily joins them.
Akari had planned to meet up with Ryoga (who in turn had planned to get his first kiss from Akari), however, by the time she arrives Ryoga refuses to let her near him since he's "disgraced himself" by allowing another girl (Mirror Ranma, although Ryoga mistakes her for the real Ranma in his female form) to kiss him. When Ryoga runs away crying, Akari follows on the back of Katsunishiki telling him to wait.
Akari has again arranged to meet up with Ryoga. This time it's in front of a statue surrounded by a pond, with one land bridge to the statue at the center. In order to help Ryoga find her, Akari has given Ryoga a map that even he can understand. However, Ryoga has mixed the maps up with one Ranma was using. With some help Ryoga finds the pond, but quickly gets lost again by mishearing Ranma and following a stream that leads to the pond.
Eventually Ranma has had enough of Ryoga getting lost so he knocks him out and drags Ryoga to where he's meant to meet Akari. However, when Ranma arrives Akari isn't there, but she did leave a note telling Ryoga to wait at this spot. Meanwhile, Akari meets up with Akane who asks her where Ryoga is, this delights Akari who believes that Ryoga must've made it to the statue.
Unfortunately, by the time Akari, Akane and Ranma arrive, Ryoga has come to and broken the statue from its stand and has begun to run around asking for Akari. The group of three chase after the fairly easy to spot Ryoga, but he won't stop until he sees the statue (even though it's on his back), so Akane and Ranma continue to chase Ryoga while they decide that Akari should wait by the statue stand.
Luckily Ryoga finds the pond again, but can't see the statue so thinks he's still lost. In a stitch of desperation Ryoga uses his Bakusai Tenketsu and emerges in front of Akari but she is on the back of the statue so when Ryoga asks where she is and she replies, he turns around but can't see her. Eventually, Ryoga sees Akari's reflection and mistakes that for the real Akari so jumps into the pond. With Ryoga now in his P-chan form Akari has finally met up with him. That night Ryoga apologises to Akari, to which she tells Ryoga that it's alright.
Ryoga is shown to carry a wallet sized photo of Akari in a double billfold. Nonetheless he jumps at the chance to buy a photo of Akane that Nabiki Tendo tries to sell to Ranma. When Ranma fires the Kinjakan's blade in the labyrinth of Jusendo, it slices the billfold in half, causing Ryoga to run after it and fall down a chasm. Ranma grabs the billfold to try and pull him up, but it tears, leaving him with the Akane half. Ryoga later thinks of Akari when he apologises to her indirectly about the gift he bought her going out-of-date and promising her that he'll buy her a new one when he finds her again.
To be added
Akari has spent so much time around pigs that she incorporates references to them into her speech-patterns. Calling people she likes "strong as a pig", "kind as a pig", and similar as a way of complimenting them.
She was very determined in her pursuit of Ryoga, so after she noticed that Ryoga took offense at consistently being compared to pigs, she tried to give up her obsession to show the depth of her love.
However, she is unsuccessful, as she loves pigs too much, and feels unworthy of Ryoga, but once she discovers that he turns into a piglet, she dances with joy that she has found the perfect man.
Beyond for the goofy pig quirk, Akari is at heart a very sweet, and comparatively "normal" girl. Patient and kind, she loves Ryoga despite his curse, and is very understanding of his stumbling in the ways of the heart. She also understands his poor sense of direction and provides him with a map to his destination before their dates (though they usually don't help him much).
Ryoga is likely at least as fiercely loyal and protective of Akari as he was for Akane, given that the latter never truly even returned his feelings.
Akari has an obvious romantic relationship with Ryoga as she considers him to be the perfect man due to his pig-like traits (which Akari finds attractive as she absolutely loves pigs) and his Heitowennīchuan curse from Jusenkyo makes Akari declare to Ryoga that is definitely the only man for her.
Although Akari isn't shown to have any romantic feelings for Ranma, She does get along well with him and has paired up to try and either find Ryoga, or get him to admit his love for her (Akari). She call him "as friendly as a pig" went he offer to help her to get together with Ryoga.
She does get along well with Akane as they always talk to each other went they meet.
Not much is known about how Akari feels about her Grandfather. However, given that she is willing to comply with his request that to only consider someone who can defeat Katsunishiki, she is most likely very obedient to him.
To be added
- The name Akari means "light" (あかり), which may be referring to her having a glimmer of hope for Ryoga Hibiki.
- Akari's surname Unryu means "cloud" (雲) (un) and "dragon" (竜) (ryu), which is more specifically is a sumo wrestling style involving both offense and defense.
- While Akari does not appear in the anime, a very similar character called Anna appeared in the episode Ryoga, Run Into the Sunset. In addition to having a similar relationship with Ryoga Hibiki, Anna lives on a farm and is followed by a bipedal bull who is similar to Katsunishiki. As Anna appeared a while before Akari, she may very well be the inspiration for her.
- Like Rupa from Urusei Yatsura (Rumiko Takahashi's first major manga series): on top of being associated with pigs, she rides on a big pig.
- In the Ranma ½ Memorial Book, Akari and Ryoga are described as having strong romantic feelings for each other, however Ryoga still has a lingering affection for Akane.
- Akari is considered by some fans to be the character who marked the "Beginning of the End" for the manga as her character began the tying up of the "loose ends" in terms of relationships which were present in the manga prior to her introduction.
- Out of the the love interests for rivals and suitors introduced near the end, Akari was the only one to earn the affections of her beloved. By comparison, Mariko Konjo tired of Kuno, Kinnosuke Kashao was actually dueling Nabiki, and Konatsu was never shown to win Ukyo's love.
- Akari's physical appearance is also similar to Kagome Higurashi from one of Takahashi's major manga series, Inuyasha.