This is the article on the member of the Sakyo Clan. For the clan, head to Sakyo Clan.

For other versions of this character, see Ryu Sakyo

"From time to time I think about the ones I've hurt...and time to blade needs more."
— Ryu Sakyo

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Human | Hōgyoku
Ryu Sakyo profile
Ryu Sakyo



Sakyō Ryū


41,000 Hōgyoku Keeper
Saviour of this World
Chosen One
The Shadow Swordsman
Storm Yeller
The Hunter of Souls
Lonely and Brave
Ryoga Sakyo
Rio Sakyo




Male Male


Approximately 143 (New Order arc)
Approximately 181 (Shadow Rebellion arc/Dark Moon arc)
Approximately 213 (Shadow Hunters arc)
Approximately 261 (Fifth Holy Blood War arc)
Approximately 304 (Endgame arc)


186 cm (6'1")


74 kg (163 lbs)

Hair Color


Eye Color


Professional Status

Hōgyoku1 Hōgyoku Keeper

Previous Affiliation

Sakyo Clan
The Four Soul Eaters
ShadowHunters1Logo Shadow Hunters
Imperial HuntersLogo Imperial Hunters
Fairy Tail symbol Fairy Tail
Crime Sorcière Symbol Crime Sorcière


1st Leader of the Shadow Hunters
Clansmen of the Sakyo Clan
Hōgyoku Keeper
Storm Yeller
Soul Eater


Hōgyoku Ryu

Previous Partner(s)

Yoruichi Hinata
Zane Sakyo
Julie Sakyo
Shiro Sakyo
Bu Sakyo

Personal Status



Fuma Sakyo (Father)
Aaliyah Sakyo (Mother)
Zane Sakyo (Brother)
Julie Sakyo (Sister)
Shiro Sakyo (Cousin)
Bu Sakyo (Cousin)


Hōgyoku Ryu


Storm Yeller Magic
Soul Eater Magic
Shadow Magic
Duplication Magic
Dark Écriture
Teleportation Magic
Electric Ice Magic
Bind Snake


The Sword of 1000 Shadows

Manga Debut

The Shadow Swordsman

Anime Debut

The Man from the Unknown Lands

Game Debut

Fairy Tail Dark Fate

Image Gallery

Ryu Sakyo (リュウ左京 Sakyō Ryū) also known as The Shadow Swordsman (シャドウソードマ Shadousōdoman) or upon his death Saviour of this World (この世の救い主 Kono yonosukuinushi) was a Independent Mage, Hōgyoku Keeper, Storm Yeller, Soul Eater and a former leader of the Shadow Hunters who started the Shadow Rebellion against the Magic Council. He was forbid from ever rejoining any guild and returning to the Kingdom of Fiore by the Magic Council for all eternity. He was the husband of Yoruichi Hinata.

Ryu became a legendary mercenary, a highly skilled swordsman but chosen the path of a wanderer because of his cruel past due to the Sakyo Clan's unwise choices. Ryu was the 41,000 Hōgyoku Keeper and die in the Year Z1052 as he submitted sacrifice after killing the last remaining Hōgyoku Keeper.


  • Ryu's season 1 appearance.
  • Ryu reimagined in Sakyo Clan outfit.
  • Ryu's season 3-4 appearance.
  • Ryu Sakyo Season 5 appearance.
  • Ryu's season 6 Endgame Arc appearance.
Ryu goes through many outfits throughout the series. In Season 5, he wears a tattered light brown poncho over it. He wraps bandages around his ankles and a blue sash around his head during this appearance.

Ryu's young age appearance is a skinny pale boy who has black eyes and black spiky length hair. Ryu is quite handsome looking to girls near his age. Ryu's clothing is a navy blue, short-sleeved shirt with a high collar and a Fenjeo (Night) crest on the back and white arm warmers, white shorts and blue shoes. He wore a short blue-clothed band, has a blue knife carrer on his left thigh. He carrys six Kunai, a black dagger designed for thrusting and a Vexsou, four-bladed sword for combat.

Fuma Sakyo Family

Ryu (bottom right), Zane (bottom left), Fuma (top left) and Aaliyah (top right).

Ryu's appearance changes alot when coming back to Fiore as he has grown taller, aged the four years, his hair is longer, darker color and lot more muscular. He wears a white long-sleeved shirt, which is opened at the chest, dark blue pants with a blue cloth hanging from halfway up his stomach to his knees and a pair of brown shoes. He also wore black arm guards with the Shadow Hunters logo on them, that covered his forearms and stretched up to reach his upper biceps. He also wore a purple rope belt around his waist, tied in a bow, in which he carries his sword. He keeps his five Kunai but gets ride of his Vexsou adding one dragon looking knife and a sword with a silver handle.

Later on, Ryu changes clothes again but not much different. He changes his shirt to a dark grey sleeveless shirt, wears the same shoes but different color to grey and his arm guards were also removed, and he started wearing bandages on his wrists.

When part of the Shadow Hunters, Ryu wears a standard Shadow Robe, a dark cloak with red clouds, a red interior, and a chin-high collar. When dropping down from the Leader of the Shadow Hunters, Ryu stops wearing the Shadow Robe but wears it on special occasions.


As a little kid, Ryu was a shy and kind boy who loved his family very much. Ryu truly respected the laws and codes of the Sakyo Clan and all that resided in La Der Fa. Never once thought to go against or question the society he lived in. He never got along with others, being kids or adults but was popular among the other families and clans. Ryu enjoyed every second and his own time with Yoruichi Hinata, as she made him feel clam and safe. However his personality quickly changed in a very dark way do to his parents lives being taken making him to become evil, angry unbalanced, corrupted and obtaining a power-hungry personality throughout his childhood to his entire life. He never thought of anyone as a friend nor ally or an enemy, as he lost trust and faith in any being besides himself. When growing up during battles, he is shown to have no mercy to his allies or enemies, keeps attacking his enemies until they are crushed to the ground. He has been shown countless times to enjoy terrorizing other mages and his enemies. His lust for power was what motivated him during his teen years. He was seen to be arrogant, quiet, by himself most of the time and not caring about the ones around him that he hurt.

When the event that occurred in La Der Fa his life went even darker. The site of him seeing all of his family members death he became more aggressive, distorted and unable to trust a single being. Mentally he became unstable, lonely and angry at the world, blaming it for the outcome of his life. For him it became harder to get rest and sleep with nightmares of the massacre of his clan and other clans that also resided in La Der Fa. Because of this event, he spent a massive about of his childhood preparing in the arts of swordsmanship and close-combat which he seems to have enjoy alot. Ryu never did care how far he pushed his body physically and mentally.

It became his only ultimate goal in life to find out the ones responsible for his clan/family's deaths and eliminate them. Ryu stated clearly that he dislikes the word 'revenge'. For what he was doing he dint believe it was revenge but truly thought is was the right thing to do and determined that it was his full purpose in life. He was always serious and never showed to smile or laugh at all. Yoruichi clams that Ryu has never been seen with a smile by anyone besides herself as seems to be completely true for Ryu in the anime and manga.

When coming back to Fiore for the first in years, Ryu's personality changes drastically do to being banned from Fiore, gaining new beliefs about the world around him. Ryu becomes even more serious and still never loses sight of his main mission. Unlike his childhood his lust for power changed making him more clam, soft-spoken and not showing any lashing out. He rarely shows any sign of distress, and often has entire situations planned out well in advance. He still has the pursuit of gaining more power still but is not as power hungry as his early ages. Though at times when confronted, Ryu is casual and uncaring, attempting to draw out a conversation and make small talk, if the subject is about "power" he usually try's to make the person feel less then him having a chance to attack if needed.

When he was the leader of the Shadow Hunters, Ryu controlled his assassins through respect or fear. He never seemed to enjoy any of the other member of the organization. Ryu only thought of the Shadow Hunters as a tool to help him on his one mission. He cared less for anyone's death or there purpose in life. Never thought the other leader where better then he was. Once he found out that there where more Hōgyoku Keepers outside of La Der Fa he quickly left the organization knowing that they where weak for him and doomed on the path they where on and knew that all the leaders had there own plans in place and where going to drive them to extinction again.

Ryu hated Hōgyoku Keepers as much as he hated to admit he was one. His ultimate goal was the one thing in life that motivated him the most, killing all Hōgyoku Keepers. His strong sense of pride takes his work of killing all Hōgyoku Keepers very seriously, works with all his intelligence to get the job done.

Ryu never seemed interested in Magic User. Did however really shown a huge amount of hatred towards them. But he did admit to his older brother, Zane that he displeased them but it was never explained why though the anime or manga. Ryu explained to Yoruichi that his path to hatred towards Magic User began when Fuma massacre there clans.

Yoruichi Hinata

Ryu Sakyo and Yoruichi Hinata love

Yoruichi Hinata known after the The Massacre of La Der Fa as The Shadow Swordsman's Blade, was Ryu's love interest and known to be Ryu's only companion and true friend. Ever since they where young children, Ryu and Yoruichi have been a unstoppable duo/force. Since both where not from the same blood-line, being from other family's, they where not allowed to illegally marry each other. However they where allowed to be in the presence of one another due to the Sakyo and Hinata Clan's code. For this, both always where together, practicing fighting techniques and even practicing some form of magic. Yoruichi loved to always one-up Ryu in anything they did together. In the Year Z310, it was not till the Shadow Hunters Arc where Yoruichi and Ryu reunited since the massacre at La Der Fa. Nearly 28 years passed and Yoruichi joined the Shadow Hunter to attempt to relinquish her past memories. There romance had grown stronger thought-out time making it hard for both of them to be apart. Both never talked about marrying one other but both got married some point in time.

Ryu Sakyo's Vision

Ryu's Future Vision.

Ryu and Yoruichi never had kids but fans can speculate. During the battle against Gujneil, Ryu had a Future Vision which he saw himself, Yoruichi and a young girl child. Though this vision never came true. Because both were so focused on the Shadow Hunters and the Fifth Holy Blood War they never had the opportunity to be with each other compared when they were kids. After Yoruichi's death, Ryu stated to Yusuke that he never was able or could have given her everything during the circumstances they were in. He dint think that the world they lived in was at all peaceful unless he killed all the Hōgyoku Keepers.


Kaga and Ryu

Kaga is someone that Ryu always looked down to. He never thought of her as a strong person, saw no potential in her fighting techniques and absolutely a waste of his time. However he begins to become more empathic, allowing Kaga to follow him on his travels to complete his mission. Time to time he allowed her to challenge him in a hand-to-hand combat for her to prove to him. As Ryu became more caring and closer with Kaga, he finally finds a traveling companion in who would become Ryu's closest and only friend. This bond would ultimately extended beyond as Ryu became her mentor, helping her learn more about the world they lived in. Kage cared a lot for him and was shocked on Ryu's stores of his past. Though Ryu never admits Kaga as anything then a traveling companion, it's obvious that he sees her more then meets the eye.

Magic and Abilities

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Ryu is a highly skilled, mastery in swordsmanship swordsman, with his skill supplemented by his immense strength. He can perform tremendously powerful and precise strikes and cut through very sturdy targets. With having so much time on his hands, Ryu was able to train on his own to get to master his primary weapon The Sword of 1000 Shadows. He's just as skillfully in either hand and is able to cut down multiple opponents in a short period of time performing lethal attacks with little effort. Ryu has also been able to master it defensively as well, blocking incoming attacks. As such it is a blade that can regenerate if broken or lost from Ryu's hand.

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Ryu has proven to be a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Hes able to hand-to-hand combat against multiple opponents at once. Opponents have found it very difficult to find enough time to perform even a single touch on him.

Blossom World (ブロッサムワールド Burossamuwārudoor): Ryu manifestation of his soul, in which he, mind and soul finds residency within. It is a world composed of endless water and in the center is a small island with a big blossom tree.

Hōgyoku (崩玉, God Itself): is a unforgivable cruse that Ryu obtain when he was in a very young age. The Hōgyoku is more like a virus, spreading all around the hosts body throughout time, damaging Ryu physically and mentally. Obtaining the Hōgyoku is nearly impossible. Because of having a mind of it's own, the Hōgyoku chooses it's host then tests them to see if they are deemed worthy for it's power. If so, they are able to be granted god-like abilities. If they're not, their souls are taken by the Hōgyoku. The darker the owner's heart, the more power he can access. Ryu is the only one known to have almost overcome the Hōgyoku.

  • Hōgyoku Eyes (崩玉アイズ Hōgyoku Aizu): allows Ryu to use god-like abilities: see far distances, opponent’s body in extreme detail helping to magnify weak points, rhythm, muscle movements, and possible more. Hōgyoku Eyes also grants the ability to predict the movements of his opponents, thus allowing him to easily avoid their attacks. However it can cause considerable amount of damage to his being, leaving his body in physical and mental pain. It can even get to the point of causing him to bleed out of the eye, eventually leaving him blind. The Hōgyoku Eyes are only active when Ryu uses the Hōgyoku.
  • Decelerated Aging: just like all other Hōgyoku Keepers, Ryu's prime ability that is known is to age extremely slower than normal humans or of a species that has extended life-span. Though he does not have immortality, Ryu is known to have lived for a couple of millenniums.
  • Advanced Condition: Ryu's physical and mental abilities are above the peak of a human level or other beings in their universe. This entails that he is faster, stronger, more intelligent and overall superior to beings at peak human level (in that verse), but not to supernatural levels.
  • Healing Factor or known as Rapid Cellular Regeneration: is a ability that Ryu has not seem to fully cared for or mastered. It allows him to recreate lost or damaged tissues but is seen to have a difficult time recreating organs, limbs or major parts of his body. He can't slow or even stop aging. The rate and amount of healing vary wider.
Hōgyoku Ryu (崩玉リュウ Hōgyoku Ryū): Ryu is able to change forms which allows him to take over the appearance, abilities and powers of a blend gigantic, demonic samurai being. It has two sets of arms one of which can form wings and six fingers on each of its hands. If chooses to, It may wield various weapons. This form allows him to triple all of his abilities even further physically, mentally compare to Ryu's normal level. Hōgyoku Ryu can take over Ryu's body and powers when Ryu falls unconscious in a fight, when he or It comes to an agreement or deems the time for assistance. In the beginning, for Ryu to use the Hōgyoku Ryu or perform any action, including simple movement and transforming back, both must agree to do so or upon something which became extremely difficult at times for Ryu, do to the fact that It would at times purposely disagree to Ryu. This has proven to be a major weakness for Ryu and sought to change that. However later, Hōgyoku Ryu addressed to Ryu that he himself needed to change his ways to allow him to use his powers.
Ryu Sakyo and Hōgyoku Ryu power

Shadow Magic (陰魔法 Kage Mahō): Ryu uses Magic to bend his shadow to any form to suit his needs, and can also merge with his/her shadow and the shadow of others, which provides a stealthy method of transportation.

  • Shadow Form: Ryu is able to transform his body into a shadow and move around surfaces.
  • Knuckle Shadow: Ryu shapes his shadow into fists that punch the opponent.
  • Guard Shadow: Ryu uses his shadow to create a dome to use as defense from attacks.
  • Shadow Orochi ( Orochi Shadō): Ryu shapes his shadow into multiple snakes to attack and bite his opponent. Ryu stated that the snakes he creates will chase his opponent to the ends of the world.
  • Shadow Pull: Ryu creates a shadow in the shape of a giant hand that reaches for the target and pulls the opponent into the ground.

Storm Yeller Magic (ストームイェラーマジック Sutōmui~erāmajikku): also referred to as Huu'aum, are an ancient form of magic prominently used in the Great Desert of Earth Land during the late and early First Era, but has gradually become obscured. Storm Yeller uses the vocalization of specific "words of power" to create powerful offensive purposes magic effects. Fuma has proven to have master 86 out of 99 Storm Yeller Magic.

Soul Eater Magic (ソウルイーターマジック Souruītāmajikku) is an ancient form of magic that become obscured that allows Ryu to eat any Souls in order to gain more power, boost his life force and provide intel, getting well guarded secrets. To use the technique, Ryu inevitably must kill the target and by placing his hand on the target's head or chest yanking the soul out of the body and devouring the soul into his mouth.

Dark Écriture (闇の Yami no Ekurityūru): which allows Ryu to write runes in the air, either with his sword or his own fingers. Such runes, depending on what is written, will have different effects. Dark Écriture, a form of Letter Magic, comes in as an extremely useful form of Magic, with the runes being used ranging from offensive ones, which can inflict excruciating pain unto a person, making it impossible for them to fight back, or even infuse them with specific feelings, to those capable of changing Ryu's own appearance, to make him more formidable in combat or grant him added advantages and capabilities. Dark Écriture seems to be related to Ryu's right eye, which was shown taking on a dark color during some instances in which he made use of this Magic. "Écriture" is French for "Writing", in reference to the Magic's nature and, perhaps, to Ryu's own appearance.

  • Teleportation: Ry is able to teleport by turning his body into runes; such runes float in the air and travel to the desired location, where they unite to form Ryu's body once more.
  • Dark Écriture: Pain (闇の・痛み Yami no Ekurityūru: Itami): By inscribing runes onto his opponents, Ryu can inflict immense pain upon them. This spell can be used repeatedly to maximize the inflicted pain, with him slashing the enemy many times in rapid succession, and can also be employed as a long-range attack, with the written runes being sent flying at the opponent in small groups.
  • Dark Écriture: Fear (闇の・恐怖 Yami no Ekurityūru: Kyōfu): By inscribing runes onto his target, Ryu instills the emotion of fear into his target, causing them to lose their courage.
  • Dark Écriture: Suffering (闇の・苦しみ Yami no Ekurityūru: Kurushimi): By inscribing runes onto his target, Ryu causes the affected person to undergo severe pain. This spell has similar effects to Dark Écriture: Pain.
  • Dark Écriture: Death (闇の・死滅 Yami no Ekurityūru: Shimetsu): Though never seen, this spell, based on its name, likely causes death.
  • Dark Écriture: Wings (闇の・翼 Yami no Ekurityūru: Tsubasa): By inscribing runes onto himself, Ryu attains a pair of rune-composed wings. Ryu's wings allow him to move around in the air at high speed. While capable of flying, he gains great agility and maneuverability.

Bind Snake ( Kōsoku no Hebi): This spell appears in the form of a snake tattoo. The snake winds its way around the target's body, tightening and restricting movement.


The Sword of 1000 Shadows: Ryu's primary weapon that was created and forged upon the dead. It's known as one of the most powerful weapon in all realms and worlds as many come to fear it's corrupt power. As such it is a blade that can regenerate if broken or lost from Ryu's hand.

  • Enhanced Durability: The Sword of 1000 Shadows is an extremely durable individual, able to survive massive amounts of attacks. It seems to be able to withstand many attacks of magic and other forms of abilities.
  • Uncanny Cut or Ultimate Cut: The weapon seems to be able to cut or slash through anything and any form of material. It however was not able to cut through Kai-Sukialee or Fuma's Dahakas.


Ryu SakyoDeath

Ryu's death after completing his goal on killing all of the Hōgyoku Keepers.

Ryu's death occurred in the Year Z1052, couple months after the events of the Endgame arc. He submitted sacrifice/suicide after he killed the last remaining 40,000 Hōgyoku Keepers which lead to be 41,000 do to the fact of him truly being the last one. Ryu's funeral was held in La Der Fa. Many Guilds in Earth Land attend.

Upon death, Ryu promised Yoruichi that he finally found peace.


Ryu had a massive impact on many that looked up to him and even the ones that standed in front, beside, against, admired, feared and hated him. Although Ryu was cold hearted individual, had crazy lust for power and merciless all the time he was unable to think of anyone as a friend and cared for nobody. Everyone saw Ryu as a man who saw evil, corrupted beings that he himself was chosen to eliminate in the world and knew the sacrifices he made in his life. Everyone knew as well that Ryu and his past was shrouded in mystery as well as the Sakyo Clan. Many saw him as the true "Saviour of this World" and that he deserved that title unlike his father, Fuma. Natsu gave Ryu's name as someone who supported him. Though not an easy thing to accept, no one challenged Natsu's word on the matter. His influence also extended beyond. Ryu's name would be honored and feared by millions from all around.

Ryu and Kaga

Ryu tells Kaga it's never goodbye.

During the end, Ryu told Kaga that there was a time when he had to face his challenges seriously. Ryu then tells her that it's never goodbye and he's stepping down from life "itself" while giving his sword to her and disintegrates. After the gathering of Ryu's funeral Kaga thanks Ryu for all of his help and pays him respects while Ryu watches over her from above.

In the ending at the last moment, a cloud can be seen, which takes the shape of Ryu, possibly hinting he may return in any sequel to the series.


  • Ryu is a Japanese origin name meaning dragon and can also refer to: Ryū, the word for a Japanese dragon.
  • Ryu is the only one known to have almost overcome the Hōgyoku.
  • Ryu is the only clansmen that left the Sakyo Clan.
  • Nearly 28 years passed since Ryu and Yoruichi reunited since the massacre at La Der Fa. Though it was never confirmed, both got married some point in time.
  • Upon death, Ryu stands to be the oldest Sakyo Clan member.
  • Ryu knew for over 300 years what he had to do after he would kill the last remaining Hōgyoku Keeper.
  • The number "1000" of The Sword of 1000 Shadows is a reference to the 1000 Sakyo Clan souls that he killed.
  • It's unknown how long Ryu really live for.


  • "Never knew my father. Never loved my father. Could never love him. It was never on what he was going to become but what I was going to become."
  • "A wanderer isn't always lost."

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