wa ONNA da!!!"
Ryuunosuke looks like an ideal young man. Athletic, honourable, attractive, confident, manly. A perfect specimen of masculinity if in fact Ryuunosuke was a man. The strange truth of the matter is that Ryuunosuke is not a man, man...She's a woman.
From her typical male behavior, her boyish clothes, her sloppy language, her tendency to get into fights, her brutish temper and even her masculine name, you would think that this must be a mistake. Practically everything Ryuunosuke does is intrinsically male. But Ryuunosuke is woman and what's more she isn't happy at all about how she has turned out. Right from birth she's been conditioned to be like a man and now she can't help it, no matter how much she wants to be a girl.
Ryuunosuke was born into a poor family that lived by the beach. There her father ran the family teashop, Hamachaya. It never made much money, but was his pride and joy. His intention was to have a worthy son who could inherit Hamachaya and one day take over for him. But his wife never gave birth to any sons, only a little girl. Wanting a boy for so long he wasn't about to let the fact that she was female get in the way of his plans. And so when his wife died he promised himself to raise Ryuunosuke to become a man among men. A real Hemmingway ideal of true grit. So for most of Ryuunosuke's childhood, her father made her dress and act like a guy and would beat her up if she ever behaved like a girl.
But Ryuunosuke is fully capable of fighting back and now that she's old enough, beats him in into the ground just as much. Her greatest desire is to be more like a woman. Her father's greatest desire is for her to be more like a man. With these directly conflicting agendas, you can bet it leads to a lot of fights. They break into fights almost every few minutes. They never cease their knock-down, drag-out brawling. These fights are often a showcase for many humorous martial arts parodies. Often the fights end with her father telling Ryuunosuke to act like a man or something sexist and it ends with Ryuu sending a flying punch to the face yelling "Ore wa onna da!" (Translation: "I'm a woman!" in a very mannish manner of speaking). She's been constantly fighting her whole life. Living in such an environment has made her into an exceptionally skilled martial artist. She can easily wipe the floor with just about any man or woman. Although she reveres girls so much that she'd never hit a girl.
Ryuunosuke makes such a handsome man that all of the girls she meets want to date her. She attracts more girls than even Mendo could hope to, and she's not even trying either. She has a hard time convincing them that she's actually female. Strangely enough, even after she convinces them, they still swoon over her. That lecher Ataru who has perfectly honed babe-radar, knows full well of her true gender. He harasses her just as he would any other girl. But few girls can deliver a powerful right uppercut to the jaw the way Ryuunosuke can.
Fully clothed she has that barrel-chested look that re-inforces the notion that she would have to be a man. But that's not really the case. Underneath her clothes Ryuunosuke is forced to conceal her bust under a tight chest-wrapping bandage just because her father won't let her get a bra. Once she had misplaced her wrap and was forced to go without it. The barrage of guys trying to feel her up was relentless so she still forces herself to wear it.
Ryuunosuke just wants to be feminine. She wants to wear dresses, put on makeup and date just like normal girls do. It's difficult since her overbearing father keeps foiling her every effort to be like a woman. It so happens that on the rare occasions where she is able to look female, she's actually a very attractive girl. It's hopeless though, her overpowering male tendencies always bring it to a screeching halt.
Notes about the name
Ryuunosuke is strictly a name given to boys. A girl would never have such a name.
Voice: Mayumi Tanaka
Ryuu-chan's voice is the very wild and funny Mayumi Tanaka. She does great boy's roles. Apart from Ryuunosuke she has also done the voice of Krillin from Dragonball, Koenma from Yuu Yuu Hakusho, Pazu from Laputa and Papuwa from Papuwa-kun.
* Check out my tribute to Ryuunosuke to learn even more about my favorite UY character.