Name: Naoko Raidon (surname given first)
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Good Grades, Intelligence, Debate, Chess, Battered Women's Shelter, SotF (psychological), Christianity (spiritual)
Appearance: Naoko Raidon stands at a small-ish five feet, seven inches and weighs in at only 130 lbs. He is slender and weak, his muscles undeveloped. He is extremely good-looking: his features are perfectly proportioned to his face and his default expression is a gentle smile, though admittedly one which doesn't quite reach his eyes. His eyes are dark and smoky and their shape (along with his skin color) is typically Japanese. His nose, ears, eyes, and facial structure all lend themselves to the handsome, even if he leans a bit to the weak side. His flowing black hair only emphasizes his features.
He favors khaki pants, nice shirts with the top button undone, and often wears his favorite jacket--a long blue school uniform affair with a seven-pointed star sewn into the back. The jacket is the only memento of his dead brother, Naoko Ichiro. Beneath his clothing, Raidon has a half-complete tattoo of incredible intricacy: his father began to do this to him between the ages of 12 and 14, as a part of his Yakuza heritage
Biography: Naoko Raidon is a troubled individual.
Which isn't too say he's a murderous psychopath--not by any means. While certainly troubled, Raidon is actually fairly balanced: he is well in control of himself, he suppresses no great hatred of anyone at his school. His ambition can be a bit overbearing, true--he has made himself few friends in his drive to be valedictorian of his high school--but other than this quirk he offers no outward sign of his internal turbulence.
Of which there is quite a bit.
Naoko Raidon was born to parents Naoko Hayashida and Naoko Noriko. He had one older sibling, Naoko Ichiro, his senior by six years. Noriko would die when Raidon was four. She had stomach cancer which metastasized to almost all parts of her body with incredible speed: her immune system had basically shut down at some point, and the cancer spread along her body rapidly. Hayashida would later say that Noriko had simply 'lost her will to live' and so her body had responded to her wish.
This is because Naoko Hayashida was a twisted, abusive man.
Before her death Noriko's gynecologist found damage of the kind usually associated with rape. An earlier medical examination found her body pockmarked with burns and bruises, including a poorly healed break in her fingers and two bruised ribs. The signals of frequent abuse make the ensuing breakdown of her immune system a tragic, but hardly surprising, event.
The Naoko family was once important within the Yakuza--the Japanese mafia--and Hayashida had set it on the path to recovering itself. Hayashida, who was the youngest of his family, should not have become head of the family at all; his two older brothers, however, both died accidental deaths, one falling from the seventh floor of a hotel and the other becoming entangled in weeds at the bottom of a lake during a family trip and drowning. As a prominent member of the Yakuza, Hayashida was able to subdue both public and private interest in his activities, allowing him to perpetuate a reign of terror within his household.
Hayashida was found to have been embezzling money, at the same time as a visting teacher found Ichiro and Raidon, who had been locked in a room of their house for three days without food. Hayashida, who had made significant investments in American business, was able to escape, along with his sons. He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, because it was one of the places in the U.S. in which the yakuza had no influence.
When Raidon was ten years old, his brother locked the both of them in the garage and then slit his wrists, taking his own life. Raidon has never talked about this with anyone, though the psychological ramifications are potentially devastating. Worse still was Hayashida's reaction to the event: he would not pay for the boy's grave or funeral, claiming him to be too 'weak-willed' to be worthy of any expense. Because of his politically and monetarily secure situation, and the fact he severely reduced his physical abuse upon coming to North America, Hayashida was never expatriated to the eager elements back in Japan. He refused, too, to submit Raidon for psychological treatment, perhaps afraid the magnitude of his abuses would be discovered and certainly disdainful of psychology as a 'refuge for the weak'.
When Raidon was twelve and had begun his 4.0 streak, his father began work on his tattoo. The intricacy and number of a yakuza member's tattoos are supposed to indicate their success, so whatever else his father did to Raidon he did think highly of him. The tattoo is a source of confusion for Raidon; in spite of the hatred he nurses for his father, he is still proud in having met his father's severe demands of personal excellence.
When Raidon was fourteen years old, his father was killed. Having embezzled well over a million dollars, Hayashida was in serious danger, and one of their hitman finally tracked him down and ended his life. Naoko Raidon was home at the time: when police were called in response to gunshots heard from the Naoko house, Raidon was found unconscious. He claims to remember nothing of the incident, and his psychologist was unable to retrieve the memory by putting Raidon under hypnosis.
Raidon, not wishing to be moved to any sort of foster home, sued Minnesota for emancipation. The state had few laws governing the process of emancipation, and anyways the case was unusual: Raidon had no family outside of Japan, and given the brutal death and gang-related murder of his father there was an actual reason not to send him off. Moreover, his grades were superb and he had literally no disciplinary infractions, either at school or on his public record. The court granted him a probationary period, seeing as his inheritance left him with more than enough money to live off: he had to maintain a 3.0 g.p.a. and be approved following six months of work with a pyschologist. Raidon continued to have perfect g.p.a. and the psychologist, after a few month's of investigation, pronounced him in good health, informing the court that while he obviously suffered from some issues (mainly, the psychologist noted, related to his brother's death), they did not pose a danger either to himself or to others.
Raidon is a perfectionist, a habit drilled into him by his father's harsh demands for excellence at all times. He obtains the best grades he can: he spends hours studying, pushing himself to his limits. Being a witness to his brother's suicide and a victim of physical abuse, Raidon abhors violence in any form, going so far as to forgo sports. He values logic and intellect above all else: hence he strives always to keep his mind flexible through war games, logic games, riddles, anything that makes his mind work in an unusual way. He is good at face-to-face chess (though terrible at computer chess), and is one of the best Lincoln-Douglass debater competing for Bayview Secondary School. In his time there he has been to NFL Nationals twice, and during his senior year made it to quarter-finals.
More recent is his conversion to the Episcopal faith. After attending, on a whim, the 9 a.m. service of his local Episcopal church, Raidon stayed in the chapel through both the 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. services, being finally invited by the priest, Father Cassidy, to talk with him. Their discussion covered a great number of topics, mainly focusing on the essential goodness of God--an idea which Raidon, due to his background, had trouble taking seriously. Ultimately Raidon was converted, however, and as a result of this conversion he has begun doing volunteer work around the community. It was while working at the battered women's shelter--a bitter place, due to memories of his mother--that he he met Simon Grey.
Classmates are aware of the fact that Raidon lives alone, and many know that it is because his father was murdered. Only those relatively close to Raidon, Simon among them, know that it was gang-related, and he only learned that after taking him to see Saw II.
Death--at least, the violent kind--haunts Raidon. He cannot see a scary movie without being troubled by the various murders. When Simon Grey took him to see Saw II, Raidon did not sleep for two days--not because the idea frightened him too much, but because it entrances him. His close proximity to violence has left him with an uncomfortable fascination. This may also explain his closeted addiction to SotF; he has watched every season, and believes fully that it is real footage. The fact that he continues to watch these episodes troubles him, as it is radically at odds with his faith.
Advantages: Raidon possesses a flexible and strategic intellect, honed by his years of study and brain-games. Because of his father's abuse Raidon is uncannily tough: he will not easily be fazed by pain or by adverse circumstances. Moreover, his logic and cool reason will enable him to keep his wits about him, giving him a potentially devastating intellect. His long familiarity with SotF may also, when combined with his natural talents, prevent him from making many thoughtless mistakes.
Disadvantages: While his mind is a powerful weapon, Raidon possesses one of the weaker bodies entering this year's game--including many of the girls. He is not well-liked or well-trusted by almost any of the students, as he is usually perceived a polite but aloof. Moreover, his psychological issues are likely to be of any use to him in the game: he abhors violence in most forms and is haunted by images of violent death, however tame they may be. His psychological disturbance at death, as well as the conflicts playing may create with his strong faith, will make it difficult for him to play effectively.
Designated Number: Male Student no. 054
Designated Weapon: Type 77 (7.65) [21x rounds]
Conclusion: Yet another person who abhors violence! I think we need to find better schools next time! Oh well, B054 has a good weapon and while he may have a problem with violence, most students who aren't well-liked tend to change their tune as time goes on.
The above biography is as written by Grim Wolf. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Grim Wolf
Killed By: Ema Ryan
Collected Weapons: Type 77 (7.65) [21x rounds] (Assigned Weapon)
Allies: Mizore Soryu
Naoko Raidon awoke in the darkness of the Tunnels in a complete panic. His thoughts during those few hours are somewhat of a mystery, even to himself; they only began to assume cohesive form after he inadvertantly discovered his best friend, Simon Grey , by kicking him in the side. It was then that Raidon grasped how desperate he was to stay alive--then that he understood that he might well use his gun. After a long, tense conversation with Simon, the two reaffirmed their friendship--Simon by first offering his gun to Raidon and then, later, returning his Type 77 to him after accidentally knocking it from his hands; and Raidon by refusing any urge to do violence to his friend. Raidon further made Simon promise to kill him if they both made it to the end. Raidon sent Simon to the nearby exit from the caves; Raidon himself, wanting to put as much distance between himself and Simon as possible, went deeper into the Tunnels.
On his way, he encountered a number of individuals. The first of these was Charles Dawson, who immediately impressed Raidon first of all with his apparent
- "If we're not doing what we feel right about, what the hell are we doing?"
- "We lost. I mean, I lost, obviously. But you lost, too. You lost because we got them out. You lost because they refused to take the fools like me. You lost because from now on, in the back of their heads, your next crop of players will know it can be done. They can refuse to play and get out of here alive. You've lost the power to tempt people to be their worst."
Below is a list of threads that contain Raidon, in chronological order.
- Two Roads Diverged In A Dark Hellhole
- Bats & Rats & Blind Cave Salamanders
- The Quiet Lives of Baron Saturday
- No Turning Back
- Fight or Flight
- Civilisation at Any Price
- The Lord's Mercy
- Facile Princeps
- Surely God Is In This Place
- All's Fair
- Broken Like the Sun
- -.-- -.-- --..
- The Dead Flag Blues
- Riddles of Monsters
- The Cavalry Arrives
- Radio Nowhere
- Into the Jaws of Hell
- Failing to Reappear
- Dead-End Scenario
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Naoko Raidon. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- Raidon is a really cool character. That I'm even saying that says a lot, because his profile was pretty out there and I handled the very first draft. At the time, I was worried that he'd end up some sort of V3 throwback. In the end, though, Raidon ended up one of V4's most interesting players, a sort of tragic, deeply flawed antihero.
Raidon reacted largely out of fear. This is one of the most relatable motivations for a player, I think, because it's something everybody can relate to. Being in SOTF would be a terrifying experience, and even someone with fairly strong beliefs, like Raidon had, could easily find themselves questioning their views in light of such an event. It's important that Raidon is, prior to the game, a pacifist and a Christian. Unlike so many, God doesn't tell him to kill. He asks God what to do and he doesn't get any answers. Raidon is not ethically challenged. He is very aware from the start what he is doing, and he accepts that in killing he is abandoning parts of who he is, that he is giving in to the game to some degree and changing.
This awareness, rather than making Raidon unsympathetic, allows him to keep what's important about him. He makes constant compromises to his ethics so as to stay alive and justify his actions, which sometimes stem more from emotions than any real logical way to play. Still, Raidon remains able to make friends and form bonds, becoming close to Mizore Soryu and Julian Avery. It is very interesting that, in a group comprised of a player, a pacifist, and someone trying to protect innocents, it is Raidon with his many kills who is most willing to really consider others' points of view and try new things. He gives the most, which again helps him come across as more than just some other killer.
Raidon also isn't opposed to taking out dangerous people, and is responsible for the downfall of Maxwell Lombardi. This is a good scene for Raidon, because it shows that he can do decent things but that his methods are often constrained by what he's become used to. He's unable to deal with Maxwell except through violence. Raidon often finds himself sucked into fights and confrontations, and really grows to understand that he can't leave the path without risking all he's already done. He falls back on brute force again and again, even as he becomes more and ore aware that other people have chosen other paths.
The confrontation that ends with Raidon fatally wounded is, I may have mentioned a few times already, one of my least favorite sequences in late V4. Raidon at least gets to walk away from it and have another thread's worth of closure. I just feel that, with so many great characters in one spot, something a lot cooler could've happened, especially with all the potential for misunderstandings flying around. Still, Raidon makes the best of a bad situation, and in the end is one of V4's strongest big killers, with a perspective pretty different from anyone else in the version. - MurderWeasel