Side Kicks! サイドキックス – Rico

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Rico (CV: Aoi Shouta) has a ‘camera eye’ ability or–a photographic memory.  He’s like any typical cheerful shota ((albeit 20 years old)) who lightens the mood.

Inori visits the hospital with Rico. Apparently his brother, Ritsu’s, condition hasn’t changed much but the nurse lets Rico know that he did move which means he may be recovering. Rico then brings up his past and tells Inori his parents were killed right in front of him and Ritsu when a thief trespassed into his house. That’s why he’s always been with his twin brother. He didn’t remember his parents very well though which is why he’s able to move on. Inori starts crying thinking about it and Rico tells her not to cry while wiping her tears. He says he likes her smiling better but is happy she cried for their sakes. He then mentions its his and Ritsu’s birthday and asks Inori on a date as a present lol.

In the office, Shishiba asks Inori various questions about her visions. Rico starts sulking saying that he thinks Inori is overworking herself and doesn’t like having to go through these visions of hers. Everyone agrees he has a point but nevertheless Rico decides to grab Inori’s phone and erase the memos. Shishiba says he’s being childish and can recover the deleted memo files anyway. Rico gets annoyed and says he hates everyone lol. Tatewaki then appears and invites everyone to go get something to eat. Rico says he’s not going though and runs out the door saying no one is thinking of Iori’s well being. So, Inori chases after him and finally manages to catch up with him.

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Rico says he won’t apologize, but Inori tells him she’s not mad. In fact, she’s happy he’s worried about her but she believes seeing these visions is a good thing. He apologizes for meddling into her affairs when she’s trying so hard and returns her phone. He mentions how he saw his parents die and says he can remember all of it because of his photographic memory. Unfortunately for him, even if he wanted to forget it, he can’t. In that sense, he hates his power, unlike his brother. His brother wanted to become a police officer for the sake of not forgetting and not allowing the same thing to happen to others. Thats why Rico felt the situation was similar with Inori, that her power made her see things she didn’t want to see. So Rico wants to be able to support Inori if she’s feeling down about it. Inori starts crying and feels like Rico has supported her a lot but she hasn’t done much for him. But that alone makes him happy and he hugs her to comfort her. After that, they go to the diner to meet everyone else there.

A few days later, Tsubaki reports about a case similar to the rain killer. Apparently a police officer was killed the same way, a slit throat from a knife, but the knife used and the way they cut them was different. There was also another case where a father was killed inside his home and found by his son. The rain killer has only murdered outside, meaning its an imitation rain killer. So both Inori and Rico investigate the crime scene being the victim’s house. They investigate the house for clues and certain things remind Rico of his parents when they were alive. Unconsciously, Rico starts tearing up when remembering and Inori hugs him to comfort him. The house they were investigating reminded him of his old home, so he suddenly started to feel sad and unconsciously started crying. Inori tells him its okay to cry and that they should leave. He hugs her for a little while longer though before leaving.

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After that, Inori keeps asking Rico if he’s okay and he continuously says he is. He doesn’t want Inori to be mad at him or hate him so he asks if Inori likes him. She says she does and he asks how much so she doesn’t really know how to answer lol. Inori then gets a text to check on the victim in the hospital and so they head there. They find out he’s still in pretty critical condition so there’s no telling when or if he’ll wake up. Hibari then introduces the victim’s son, Tsukasa. Although he’s incredibly worried about his father, Hibari tells him he should rest. He starts blaming himself for not calling an ambulance sooner or coming back earlier. Rico tells him its not his fault but the culprit’s. He mentions he experienced something similar and that they’ll definitely catch who attacked his father. Tsukasa thanks him before leaving with Chika to go home.

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After that, Inori heads home to make omurice since Rico requested it after asking if he can eat something with her. When he arrives, he brings some non-alcoholic champagne since they both can’t drink yet lol. Inori was already making the omurice so Rico offers to help out. After she makes it, she draws a picture of a dog’s face on it with ketchup ((you also have the option of drawing Rico’s face but it ends up looking like shit lmao)). So they eat the omurice together and Rico praises Inori for it being really delicious. He asks her to make it again when his brother wakes up too.

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Afterwords, Inori finds Rico asleep on the couch. Just as she’s about to put a blanket on him though, he pulls her on it and they reverse positions with him on top. At first she thinks he’s half asleep but he assures her he’s awake and asks why she invited him to her house. She says its because he seemed down lately and also because he requested to stay with her longer. He reminds her he’s a guy and she tells him she hasn’t forgotten. He asks again why she invited him knowing this, but she didn’t think he’d do anything unpleasant to her. He asks if “this” is unpleasant and licks her lips and kisses her ((frisky boy huh)). She says it isn’t though. He tells her he loves her and everyone else in SideKicks. But the love he feels for her is different. He loves her a lot but can’t convey it well but tells her not to forget the meaning of it. He whispers that in her ear then falls asleep on her lap.

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The next morning, Inori wakes up with Rico sleeping on her lap. She suddenly has a vision of a man at bar and when she comes back to her senses, Rico is awake. He tells her he’s sorry for how he acted last night and hopes he didn’t make her mad. He asks her not to leave him alone and she says she won’t. Suddenly her phone rings and its Chika on the other line. Everyone is at the hospital waiting for Rico and Inori and when Rico says he spent the night at Inori’s place, he flips the fuck out lmao. Afterwords, they leave to visit everyone at the hospital. Apparently the victim’s condition is still critical and there’s no signs of him waking up nor do they know if he’ll just stay in that state since his life is basically dependent on machines. They visit the hospital room where the victim’s son, Tsukasa, is sleeping by his bedside. They think its best they ask him questions about the incident, as sad as it may be for him.

Inori then remembers in her dream, she saw a man in a raincoat under a neon sign where the numbers 1094 could be seen. Shishiba manages to figure out its a bar on a certain street. And with no other clues, they decide to bet on Inori’s vision and visit the place that night. When they do, they don’t anyone suspicious but it had been raining. Just as they’re about to leave, Tsukasa appears with a gun in hand. He aims it at a man’s head who he believes to be a culprit because he’s wearing a raincoat. He heard about Inori’s predictive dream when they were talking about it at the hospital and so he came to that place. Chika tries to calm him down but he refuses to listen saying the man killed his father. Finally, Rico intervenes and tells him not to shoot him. His father was a policeman and would have to catch Tsukasa if he did that.

Finally, Tsukasa drops the gun. He starts crying saying he knows his dad isn’t waiting for him and he’ll probably never wake up. Meanwhile, Nora had appeared and was taking a video. Rico begs him not to release it to Shisui and he says he won’t, but does want to expose the truth. After that, they return to the office with no clues. Tsukasa apologized to the man involved and he didn’t press charges after hearing the situation. Unfortunately, his dad’s condition hasn’t improved, so the family will have to decide whether to keep him alive on machines or not. As Rico leaves with Inori, he feels anxious about the situation. He starts thinking about how his brother is in the same situation and even though he believes he’ll wake up, he can’t say the same for Tsukasa’s father. Inori tells him the situationsa re different but one thing for sure is that they need to catch the culprit. He thanks her for cheering him up and says they need to do their best.

Inori decides she wants to head back to the same bar as before to make sure she didn’t miss anything. So she heads there with Rico but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary, even though she’s sure its the place she saw in her vision. Nevertheless, Rico walks Inori home. He asks if he can stay over again and make hamburgers next time too lol. He also mentions continuing where they left off too and not to forget what he told her before 👀. And so she goes back home and thinks about what he said. Suddenly she gets a knock at the door and heard a voice talk about being an acquaintance of Tsukasa… hm. When she opens it though a man whacks her and demands to know how she knew to come to the bar. He says she’s a nuisance and needs to get rid of her so he demands for her to stand up. She tries to call Rico with the phone and hand and is forcefully pulled by the criminal.

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Inori is taken to a marine boat house where she’s tied to a pillar. He says she’s a nuisance to his work but he won’t kill her yet, not until it rains since he’s a so-called rain killer. Apparently he kills cops for money as a hitman since there’s a lot of people who have it out for them. She tells him he’ll definitely get caught if she kills her but he don’t care and covers her mouth, saying he’ll come back in the morning when it rains. Afterwords, Inori hears Chika’s and Rico’s voice. The criminal asks if she sent them and after she kicks a bucket, they find where Iori is hidden. Rico lunges at the man and Chika manages to disarm him. Rico unties Inori and helps her but just when he does, the criminal provokes Rico and he charges at him again. The man knocks Rico down and pulls out a hidden gun from his ankle and shoots at Chika who tries to shoot at him first. He then turns to Rico and just as he shoots, Inori takes the hit instead. Inori remembered Chika mentioning to Rico at one point that he never remembers to wear a bullet proof vest. Hence why she immediately jumped to take the hit. Rico starts crying and holds Inori in his arms. Chika manages to get up and beat the shit out of the criminal.

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The next moment, Inori wakes up in the hospital with Rico holding her hand and crying. He tells everyone she’s awake and they all come into the hospital to see her. They tell her the culprit was arrested. Inori starts crying and tells Rico he’s an idiot. She remembered he never wears a bulletproof vest, so she was really worried and took the shot for him. She says she’s angry and he apologizes while hugging her closely, saying he won’t make the same mistake again. Chiko then mentions he was shot too lmao but Shishiba says he’s sturdy so he should be fine ((lol poor Chika)). The nurse, Yanagi, tells them Inori should be fine so she can leave the hospital in the morning. Unfortunately, Tsukasa’s father’s condition is unchanged.

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The next morning, everyone meets Inori at the hospital after she was discharged. Lawyers had talked to the family and they decided to take Tsukasa’s dad off the life support since his condition will no longer progress in his state. When they go in the hospital room, Tsukasa is already ready to sign the paperwork to cease life support of his father. Rico asks if he’s really okay with it, but Tsukasa has already decided. He thanks them for catching the criminal but he knows his father can’t live this way and the criminal will only get a lighter sentence if he’s kept alive. And so, she finally turns off each device as Rico watches hopelessly. He says he could never say goodbye to his brother like that.

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After that, Rico is consciously worrying about Inori ever since her injury. Back at her place, she assures him she’s fine and sits down on a chair. Rico says if she’s fine, then he should be able to continue from last time and straddles himself in her from the chair ((im dead lmao)). Inori finally tells Rico her feelings about him and that she loves him the same way he does. Rico kisses her and says he loves her too and promises to continue to make her happy. Rico’s phone then rings and Yanagi leaves a message saying Rico’s brother’s condition has improved.

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In the epilogue, Rico and Inori go on a date and Rico forces Inori to give him a kiss. 👀

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Thoughts: I’m really not into shotas all that much but Rico is a trap shota cause he’s like 19/20 years old. Personally, I would’ve prefered Aoi Shouta voice him in a different way cause… it was just too high pitched and annoying at times. Aoi Shouta already has a naturally high voice so when he uses a high pitched voice (similar to Yuuki Kaji as Wataru) its just too much for me. I personally like it when he acts more frisky though cause that child ego isn’t for me tbh. Plot wise, his route wasn’t bad. I think I found myself more interested in it than Shishiba’s route, personally. Definitely recommend his route to be last before Nico’s route unlocks. My favorite scene would probably be when they made omurice though because you have the option of drawing Rico’s face and making it look like shit lmao.

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