Not all symbols perfectly encompass their specified character. The White Swan was a nice choice for the previous character be it out of luck or on purpose, The Yellow Owl however doesn’t exactly strike me as the proper fit for the character I’m discussing today. No, while there are a lot of things that could be said about Ooishi Raita, wise and fearsome are not among them. I’m starting to feel as if the perfect symbolism of White Swan last week was nothing but a stroke of luck.
Now I want to preface this article by stating that Raita is for the most part a side character. While he is within the main cast and is part of the team he doesn’t get overly focused on and tends to fall to the sidelines more often than not. This isn’t necessarily a detriment to the character himself but it is so to this article as the lack of focus on his character made gathering information on him slightly harder than the previous two members. Still I feel there’s some rather “interesting” qualities that you’ll see within Raita that may very well make up for his lack of major presence.
-Warning: There are things past this point that are spoilers. You’ve been warned, so don’t come complaining if something gets spoiled for you.-
Among those of the Jetman team Raita is one whose capabilities as a member tend to vary the most. On one hand we have traits of cowardice, stubbornness and slow wit, a lack of composure and a tendency to get too far ahead of himself within certain situations. On the other hand, though, we see unwavering loyalty and dedication, a kind heart and an upstanding sense of morality. When taking Raita at face value it’s certainly hard to decide whether or not he’s meant to even be a part of the team, but as you dive deeper into the character his underlying qualities eventually begin to make up for it.
I suppose if we started from the beginning the first quality of Raita’s that was visible was his stubbornness. Being one of two members that were strictly opposed to joining the team, the other being Gai, Raita initially came off as being a person who was simply trying to live a safe life. So, his main point of refusal towards joining the team was really just that he didn’t want to get hurt and while this is understandable it regardless still came across as being rather cowardly. This stance on joining the fight combined with his already bumbling nature only helped to exemplify the more fear ridden side to him. Still, at his core Raita is a good natured person and he eventually decided that helping the team would undoubtedly be the best thing for the world.
When he joined the team he, like the others, was subjected to routine training a feat that he faced with an unwavering focus. Being a farmer in his personal life Raita is accustomed to manual labor and not really one to complain about a little hard work and is even shown to somewhat enjoy it. Raita’s focus on his farming or training is one that surpasses most members of the team and is an attribute that clearly shines within him. His love for farming and hard work is only exceeded by his love for food. Ratia is the kind of person that very much values the need for food as well as the pleasure of its taste and essence and because of this he can sometimes appear to be rather gluttonous. While it’s true that he certainly eats a lot and at an alarming pace it is shown at times that this is due to more of an appreciation for food as opposed to simply eating for the sake of it.
Though he is a rather determined worker his social skills are still very lacking. While he is certainly a friendly person he is still a somewhat awkward man that isn’t always careful with what he says. Raita’s strong sense of morality causes a great deal of honesty within him which in turn causes him to say things from the heart at times when they are not necessarily appropriate. While he never means to offend or make people uncomfortable he is still rather socially awkward. This is especially the case in the presence of women, of who can usually cause him to exert himself to extremes for them. Case in point, at one time he vows that even though Kaori would never love him he would still never leave her side so as to protect her. He certainly seems loyal in these cases though in truth Raita is simply a sucker for a pretty face and can often be very gullible. Still despite all of his awkward honesty and gullibility he is still someone that can stick up for himself and is more than willing to tell someone off if he finds them acting immorally or even just acting out of character. Raita’s overall social presence is a very bumbling one and not at all what you would deem as being charismatic.
It’s around this point that we start to recognize Raita’s strong morality. While it’s not always evident Raita’s sense of right and wrong is rather deadest with his morals revolving mostly around his simple lifestyle and honesty. Despite his lack of social ability he isn’t the kind of person to pretend to be someone he’s not and he’s not favorable of those who try to do just that. While his morality covers predominately the things you would think of, respect, honesty, and so on, it’s his fervent reactions to people who show a lack of morals that cause him to seem to be more of a just man than that of his teammates. It’s not necessarily the he is an overly righteous man but that his actions cause him to seem to be an extreme case of such.
In addition to being rather antisocial Raita is a bit self-deprecating as well. He doesn’t usually reflect upon himself in a positive light and will often allow himself to become out shadowed by another person due to his lack of confidence. For example he doesn’t often take any sort of lead in a situation and is more than happy to hang back and follow the others. This self-deprecating nature causes him to not take as many chances as he could and at times keeps him from being happy. For instance he actually admitted to a few of his teammate that he had feelings for Kaori but he felt that someone like her would never feel the same about a person like him. In this case his lack of confidence held him back from pursuing a romantic relationship and as a result he forced himself to remain as only a supporting friend.
Either due to his simple origins or his honest nature Raita isn’t often displayed as being a very intelligent character. While I wouldn’t say he’s of below average intelligence he nevertheless shows a bit of a duller understanding of the logistics of certain things. Though he is naturally talented and knowledgeable of manual labor and farming he is still a bit lacking in the understanding of the technical side of the team’s duties, such as computer work and maintenance. Still despite this he showed to be a quick learner when it came to piloting his jet and eventually grew accustomed to his suit’s abilities and weaponry, though he still takes a more simpler or physical approach to things whenever possible.
A decently sized portion of Raita’s character is his more cowardly side. Like Kaori, Raita is usually one to panic in the face of danger and can at times seem unreliable because of it. It’s not often that he will face an enemy head on, though unlike Kaori he has certainly been known to have his moments of bravery. Often times this brief position of bravery comes from the endangerment of someone close to him, driving him to dive head first into any situation to save them. This combined with his natural stubbornness actually causes him to become quite formidable on the right occasions. Still most of the time he isn’t one to exactly tackle a situation if he doesn’t need to and is very happy to let anyone else take lead. An interesting little fact revealed about Raita is that he had at one point in time developed of phobia of tomatoes. No, I didn’t make a typo and I am completely serious, Raita had developed a hatred for tomatoes that was so strong it developed into a fear and then into an outright phobia. This was so bad that the mere site of a tomato would throw Raita into a panic and cause him to go fetal. Apparently this was caused by him coming under the assumption that a tomato headed monster would eat him. Now, eventually he got over this fear and while it did arise once more when he was older he was still capable of overcoming the fear by remembering the passion he put into growing his crops. I’m telling you this for two reasons, the first being that it’s a legitimate character trait and the second being that I can’t explain this. At all. I’ve been trying to keep all of the crazy out of these Jetman articles but I cannot keep the crazy out of a fear of tomatoes nor can I explain how any of that comes to be or is even treated for that matter. I fear that I have failed you as a psychologist and as a columnist, who knew that this would be my undoing. For the record, the only name for the fear of tomatoes that I could come up with in my search was Tomataphobia, though, if you want a broader term then the fear of vegetables is Lachanophobia.
Raita’s relations with the other members of the Jetman team are rather minimal. He’s on relatively good terms with all of his teammates but does not have much frequent deeper interactions with them. That being said he does have a decent relationship with Kaori given his underlying feelings for her over the course of the series. While he never acts on these feelings or even tells her about them he does become increasingly protective of her and is usually the one to stick up for her during her brief spats with Ryu or Gai. Still neither one of them have too major of an influence on each other as Raita is usually overlooked compared to the others. Still, while he doesn’t have very deep relationships with the others he is nevertheless a very good friend to them.
Outside of the team we do see one major relationship with his childhood friend Satsuki. During their youth the two were very close friends and as they met years later they managed to keep hold of their friendship which eventually sprouted into a romantic relationship. While they were not without their rocky moments, as Satsuki attempted to impress Raita by lying about herself, they still managed to inspire each other enough to be honest and grow as a couple. Their relationship isn’t gone too far into detail over the course of the series though it is shown that after three years they established a farm together and it was mentioned that by 2011 they had turned their farm into an online business and are living happily in peace.
As a supporting side character Raita manages to stand out in a quirky kind of way. He’s not the perfect semblance of a heroic character but he has his moments to shine and is still a very kind hearted man. To be honest with all of his flaws Raita feels like more of a realistic character than that of most of the Jetman members. He shows fear in most dangerous scenarios and shows troubles in his day to day social life. In all Raita is not a perfect character or even just a perfect person and he makes no efforts to seem as such. Raita is simply the way he is, just a normal guy roped into defending the world. While he may not receive as much attention as the others he still stands as a vital member of the team.