"You are in the stand so the story will end, if I break everyone in here, their bones"
|Age|| 15-16 (series run)|
18 (final chapter)
|Bench press||200 kg|
Rikiya Gaō (峨王 力哉, Gaō Rikiya) is a freshman (just like Sena and Monta), and is the Center Line of the Hakushū Dinosaurs. Although a rookie to American football, Gaō is one of the two most powerful linemen in Japanese high school, purely because of his tremendous strength that even Shin fears.
AppearanceHe is two meters tall (about 6"7 or so) and has a monstrous caveman-like appearance with long wild black hair, red marks on his cheeks, and a large scar on his forehead. He holds the Japanese bench press record with over two hundred and ten kilograms and is capable of destroying furniture, tearing metal guardrails, stopping still-in-motion trucks, and breaking normal people's bones with his bare hands. He wears a titanium alloy mouthpiece because his powerful jaw tears apart ordinary ones. He is shown to be able to roar like a real dinosaur.
Gaō claims to have searched for someone who can match his power for his entire life, and joined the football team because Marco promised him that the most powerful teams in the country possess such individuals. He has little respect for those not willing to face him directly and tremendous respect for those who do even if they are crushed, including Banba, Kid, and Hiruma. Gaō even goes so far as to maim his own teammate, Hanataka Tengu, when he insults Banba right before their decisive finals match with the Deimon Devil Bats in the Autumn Tokyo Tournament. He also honors the rules of American football and will not tackle a player who does not have the ball. He is described to be a calm and intelligent monster by the manager of the Hakushū Dinosaurs, another quality that makes him a formidable and intimidating linesman.
Kanto Tournament Arc
Gaō becomes interested in Kurita just prior to the Kanto Tournament finals, believing like many that Kurita is capable of matching or even surpassing his strength. However, once the match begins, even though the latter succeeds in holding back Gaō temporarily, the former states that Kurita lacks "killing intent," and is thus unable to match his strength. Gaō crushes Hiruma, breaking Hiruma's right throwing arm and temporarily knocking him out of the game. Although Gaō first believes this will unleash Kurita's inner strength, it instead traumatizes him and severely weakens his capacity to play. Kurita eventually unleashes his inner stren gth, not out of anger as Gaō predicts but for the sake of protecting his friends. For the remainder of the game the two compete fiercely. On the final play of the game, Kurita is able to defeats Gaō and knocks him onto his back. Kurita credits his victory to the five years of experience and ambition that allowed him to unleash every of ounce of power he had to defeat Gaō, allowing the Devil Bats to score the winning two-point conversion.
Christmas Bowl Arc
Gaō later coaches Kurita in preparation for the match between the Deimon Devil Bats and the Teikoku Alexanders at the Christmas Bowl.
Gaō is one of the first players to be recruited into Team Japan to play in the Youth World Cup. After he is scouted by Sena and Monta, he immediately advises the recruitment of Kurita as well (to the displeasure of another member of Team Japan, Agon). When the fully assembled team arrives in New York, countries begin to draw lots to decide initial match-ups via a giant Bingo wire cage. During the lottery, Team Japan spots the Russian Olympic gold-medalist for weightlifting, Rodchenko. Excited to face off against him, Gaō proceeds to destroy the wire cage and draw a lot that would allow Japan to face off Russia in the first match.
However, due to Agon's scheming, the legitimate roster of Team Japan do not play against Russia and instead, a substitute team composed of players who were unable to make it through trials plays instead. Rodchenko faces against the middle-schooler linesman, Akira Nakabo, and is defeated by his 'Delta Dynamite' technique. Despite the match being played by weaker players, Team Japan still manages to beat Team Russia and advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, the full team roster plays and decidedly trounces Team Militaria, proceeding to the finals face-off against Team USA. Before the finals, the team is given the opportunity to encounter the US' star players. Gaō attempts to challenge the best linesman, Donald Oberman, and destroys his limousine to provoke him into fighting him. Agon manages to interrupt the fight before it escalates, fearing that the illegal confrontation would lead to Team Japan's disqualification from the tournament. He manages to deflect one of Don's punches, a punch that Agon states would have incapacitated Gaō before the finals and which still manages to leave Gaō with a swollen cheek on the floor. Understanding that he would be unable to defeat in his current state, Gaō seeks Nakabo the night before the finals and tells him to teach the 'Delta Dynamite' to him.
During the final match of the World Cup, Gaō is continuously defeated by Don but perseveres under sheer determination and drive to be the best. After numerous failed attempts, he finally manages to use the 'Delta Dynamite' against Don, winning their contest of strength and buying valuable seconds for Yamato to push Don to the ground.
Despite him being significantly physically weaker than Gaō, Marco is a man that Gaō deeply admires. In the Kanto Tournament arc, Marco is shown to perceive Gaō has a formidable and unstoppable force, preferring to stay out of his teammates way when he goes on a rampage. This suggests a relationship of convenience where Marco promises the opportunity to meet equally strong opponents and Gaō vows to aid Marco in his dream of playing in the Christmas Bowl. However, in the Youth World Cup arc, their friendship is shown to be much more developed. When he is continuously defeated by Donald Oberman in Team Japan's match against Team USA, Gaō finds strength in his memories with Marco stating that his friend taught him to climb to the top even if it meant "asking for the help of others without shame, getting your hands dirty, and bearing the contempt of those you love". So far, Gaō is the only character who admires Marco in this way, a fact that even surprises the man himself.
Gaō was initially interested in Kurita purely because he believed him to be the only person able to match his strength. In the match between the Hakushū Dinosaurs and the Deimon Devil Bats, Gaō is able to easily overpower Kurita due to Kurita's lack of killing intent. However, Kurita is able to defeat Gaō later in the match when he discovers a resolve to protect his teammates from harm, pushing Gaō onto his back in the game's final play. Afterwards, Gaō holds Kurita in high esteem and both form a relationship of mutual respect and admiration. Gaō cheers for the Deimon Devil Bats in the Christmas Bowl and coaches Kurita.
When the two play together in the Youth World Cup, Gao is determined to keep his promise to protect Himura and Agon on behalf of Kurita who is knocked out by the opposing team's star linesman, Donald Oberman. It is here that Gao sees Kurita as his strongest rival and friend.
Gaō applauds Banba's bravery to protect his Kiminari Harao, the quarterback and captain of the Taiyō Sphinxes, despite the fact that Harao lacked the same resolve in himself and his team. As Banba is taken out of the match on a stretcher and the Hakushū Dinosaurs win the match by forfeit, an audience member distastefully heckles and insults the unconscious Banba. Enraged, Gaō claws through the barricades into the stands to find the offender. It is a testament to Gaō's admiration of Banba and others who face him with courage and honor.
Gaō initially believes Kid to be a spineless coward who has no personal desire for victory. However, his opinion soon changes in the match against the Seibu Wild Gunmans. Kid uses his quick-draw passes to gain yards towards their goal before Gaō has the time to cripple him. His skills and courage under pressure command Gaō's admiration even though he eventually is able to break Kid's arm. Gaō is shown to have similar respect for other players in the Seibu Wild Gunmans such as Jo Tetsuma and especially Riku Kaitani, who sustained heavy injuries throughout the match and continued to play despite being the only competent player left on the field.
- In Chapter 31, Puff Party, when describing how it is shown how you are chosen to be in Offence or Defence, a picture of someone similar to Gaō is shown for defence.
- Gaō can understand power talk.
- Gaō has one younger sister and one younger brother. His brother looks very much like him.
|Hakushū Dinosaurs Team|
|Manager||Maruko "Maria" Himuro|
|Member||Reiji "Marco" Maruko • Rikiya Gao • Hiromi Kisaragi • Saburo Mitsui • Hanataka Tengu|