Rika is a young girl with black eyes, and dark hair done in pigtails. When she first met the Straw Hat Pirates, she wore a striped one-piece dress with what appeared to be a drawstring hood.
After two years, she has become taller and grown her hair out (though she continues to wear pigtails). Her Marine waitress uniform consists of an apron embroidered with a Marine emblem, a cook's bandana, and simple black shoes.
Rika is remarkably compassionate and brave for her age, enough to risk her life for people who have helped her (e.g. Zoro), and even extend friendship to former enemies (e.g. Helmeppo). At the same time, she can easily fall into tears or tantrums when frustrated.
Abilities and Powers
Rika and her mother lived in Shells Town under Captain Morgan's reign, constantly at the mercy of him and his son Helmeppo. One day, Helmeppo let his pet wolf roam the town and attack Rika, only for the traveling bounty hunter Roronoa Zoro to cut the animal down. Though Rika's life was saved, Helmeppo retaliated by ordering Zoro arrested and incarcerated—without food—at the 153rd Branch.
East Blue Saga
Romance Dawn Arc
Nine days into Zoro's incarceration, Rika tried to smuggle him homemade onigiri, despite Morgan's heavy penalties on anyone caught helping prisoners. To her dismay, he rebuffed her; shortly after, Helmeppo spotted her and took the onigiri for himself, only to find them ill-cooked (as the unpracticed Rika had made them with sugar instead of salt). In a rage, Helmeppo spat out and stomped on the onigiri, then ordered a subordinate Marine to physically throw Rika off the grounds.
Fortunately, Monkey D. Luffy and Koby witnessed these events, and caught Rika before she could be injured. The pair quickly befriended her—even feeding her half-ruined onigiri to Zoro—and from her learned of the Morgan family's tyranny. Subsequently, when Helmeppo began announcing Zoro's impending execution, Luffy punched him; though Rika cheered the young pirate on, she was soon found and hurried away by her horrified mother.
Later, Rika's trespass was reported to Morgan, who (to even Helmeppo's horror) ordered her execution. This, however, was prevented by the combined efforts of Luffy, Koby, and a just-freed Zoro, who defeated and overthrew the tyrannical captain. Afterward, Rika and her mother—and the rest of Shells Town—hailed the trio as heroes, and prepared a feast for them.
The newly-formed Straw Hat Pirates would soon leave Shells Town at the request of Morgan's more-reasonable successor; however, Koby stayed behind to pursue his dream of Marinehood, remaining close to Rika.
Diary of Koby-Meppo
Rika did not appear bothered when Helmeppo joined Koby in his cadet training at the 153rd, even making lunches for them both. When the cadets became personal trainees to Vice Admiral Garp and left for Marineford, she became severely upset, even (ineffectually) hitting the Marine who brought the news.
Fish-Man Island Saga
From the Decks of the World
After the timeskip, she appears to be more mature, and is training at the Marine base in Shells Town to become a waitress. She seems to be much better at cooking, and is popular among the Marines. She also has a bounty poster of Monkey D. Luffy hanging on her workplace.
Anime and Manga Differences
While the manga gives Rika and her mother little elaboration, the anime establishes them as the keepers of a tavern. Relatedly, her first encounter with Zoro is expanded into a full flashback explaining that Helmeppo and his wolf were deliberately harassing the tavern's customers, and the wolf had attacked her for trying (ineffectually) to drive it out with a broom.
Translation and Dub Issues
The 4kids anime, in one of its earliest (and most infamous) edits, digitally changed the riceballs Rika made for Zoro into Western-style cookies. This edit was very inconsistently applied, even in how many "cookies" were left after Helmeppo took one.
- One Piece: Become the Pirate King!
- Birth of Luffy's Dream Pirate Crew!
- Aim! The King of Belly
- One Piece
- One Piece: Gigant Battle! 2 New World
- She later appeared in a filler episode as well as TV Special 4 where she is friends with Ninjin, Piiman, and Tamanegi.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 3 and Episode 2.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 63 Chapter 616, cover story: From the Decks of the World Vol. 4.
- SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 78 (p. 182), Oda reveals that Rika's curry is well-liked.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 4 (p. 3) and Episode 2.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 7 and Episode 3.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 10 Chapter 85, cover story: Diary of Koby-Meppo Vol. 3 and Episode 68, Rika eats lunch with Helmeppo and Koby.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 14 Chapter 118, cover story: Diary of Koby-Meppo Vol. 29 and Episode 69, Rika throws a tantrum over Koby and Helmeppo leaving Shells Town, her mother trying to calm her by assuring that they will someday return as distinguished Marines.