Member Favorites: 504
Ryouga stands out in the crowd due to his regularly rough appearance. He spends much of his time wandering, often depressed over having to spend so much of his time alone in the wilderness, with the slightest rain turning him into a defenceless pig at the mercy of hungry humans or animals. His most notable characteristic is that, like his parents, and even his entire family, he has no sense of direction whatsoever. He is unable to go the right way, often sticking to the letter of any directions given to him, regardless of whether the path eventually turns. He has an inability to understand even the simplest of directions or draw any legible maps, once running the wrong way at the start of a three-legged race.
This is not due to lack of motivation, however. For instance, on the way to a date, he was supposed to follow the edge of a lake, to reach a statue in plain sight directly in front of him. Instead, Ryouga follows a brook and gets lost again. In the anime, Maomolin the bakeneko possesses Ryouga and tries to lead him towards the girl he loves. However, Maomolin had as much trouble navigating as Ryouga himself even though the former was doing the thinking. In real world terms, he would be classified as suffering from autistic limitation or brain damage in this area. It is also possible that his lack of direction might be some form of family curse.
In the anime this condition is worsened by Ryouga's ability to traverse obscene distances in surprisingly little time on foot, although how he does this is unknown. When the two problems are combined, it results in Ryouga having essentially no idea where he is at any given time, which allows him to miss his destinations by insane margins. In one case, he attempted to reach Hokkaido and instead ended up in Hong Kong. Luckily, he carries a backpack, which evidently contains essentials for survival in the wild.
In the manga this is not as heavily implied to be a supernatural talent, at least not beyond his comical tendency to pop up at odd moments. He seems to need much longer travel times, and has not explicitly been seen to swiftly and randomly traverse continents under his own power. However, in his first appearance he quickly overshot Tokyo by 500 miles twice in a row, apparently within the span of one or two days, though no explicit reference was given. Through the aid of the Kinjakan, he also quickly made it all the way from Jusenkyo to Moscow and back while out to get some dumplings in Peking. His map was also once shown to contain a forest, a café, a road with a red car, the Tendo dojo, some African tribesmen, China, and France.
Ryouga's family house is within sight of Mount Fuji, where his dog Shirokuro (Checkers in the English translation) and her puppies live. However, given the Hibiki family's condition, it is usually empty. Ryouga generally leads a nomadic lifestyle, and only occasionally manages to find it. His dog, however, has no such trouble finding her way and recognises him in both human and pig forms. It has been mentioned that Ranma helped to lead Ryouga home when they went to high school together.
The combination of his poor sense of direction and his curse have regularly subjected Ryouga to imminent misery, constantly placing him lonely and lost in the wilderness, with tight food rations, or at the mercy of hungry predators. When first introduced, he is a very angry and seemingly unapproachable individual. Ryouga is emotional, more often than not following his heart rather than his head, though he has shown capability of using strategy when he is focused or lacking distractions. He is emotionally fragile, straightforward and naive. He regularly feels depressed, which thus far has served as the source for his chi projection. He is generally shy, humble and polite, especially around women. He is often easily tricked and used by some of the more manipulative characters and turns extremely grateful, loyal and self-sacrificing for any kindness offered to him.
A running joke is that whenever female Ranma dons a disguise, no matter how transparent, Ryouga will nonetheless be fooled. Ranma has used this to his advantage to find out about any training Ryouga has been doing, to tease him, or to torment Ryouga during any dates with Akane to destroy the latter's prospects.