|Also Known As||Rita (Cardcaptors)|
14~15 (Clear Card Arc/by Summer)
|Relations||Sakura Kinomoto (friend)|
|Hair||Dark Red-Brown (90s Anime)|
Brown (Clear Card Anime)
|Eyes||Dark Red-Brown (90s Anime)|
Brown (Clear Card Anime)
|Episode 2: "Sakura's Wonderful Friend"|
|Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card|
Saki Fujita (Clear Card)
|English||Stevie Bloch (2nd movie)|
Alex Moore (Clear Card)
Rika Sasaki (佐々木 利佳, Sasaki Rika) is a fictional character in CLAMP's anime and manga series Cardcaptor Sakura. Rika is one of Sakura Kinomoto's classmates in school. She, along with Chiharu Mihara and Naoko Yanagisawa, often appear alongside Sakura at school and during school events.
Rika is very elegant and mature for her age, although she can be very shy, especially when it comes to speaking to her teacher, Yoshiyuki Terada. Rika is also a skilled cook, able to bake cakes and cookies with ease. She cannot swim very well at all, as evidenced in the Episode of 63 when she almost drowned, one of the throughout one of Eriol Hiiragizawa's magical trials.
Rika is involved in the main plot in Episode 9 when she buys a brooch that is actually a Clow Card in hiding. The Card is revealed to be The Sword, as it materializes in Rika's hands when she puts on the broach and becomes possessed. The possessed Rika attacks Sakura, but Sakura soon distracts Rika using The Illusion and captures The Sword, returning Rika to normal.
Near the end of the manga, Rika gives Sakura important advice about love, comparing her situation with Terada to how Sakura feels about Syaoran (though names are never stated).
Rika is most known for her relationship with teacher Yoshiyuki Terada. The student-teacher relationship is not uncommon in Japanese fiction, as it can be interpreted as very romantic for a young girl to follow an older man as a student and mentee, only to fall in love with him in the end. Rika and Terada's relationship reflects this innocence and happiness, untainted by criticism and controversy despite their age difference.
Their relationship is established early in the manga when Rika and Terada exchange blushing looks (whose true meaning is oblivious to Sakura). At the end of one chapter, Terada presents Rika with a ring, explaining that he hopes one day it will become a wedding ring. Since then, they have continued to exchange moments whenever possible. Their relationship remains unannounced in the series' canon, though Tomoyo Daidouji is able to observe the secret bond they share.
In the anime, their relationship appears more onesided. Rika still has a crush on him, enjoys his presence, and always shares with him the cakes that she bakes. Terada, however, is shown to be oblivious to her feelings: the only moment where he may notice it is when he accepts Rika's teddy bear and decides to name it after her, but this seems to be simply because he considers her his hardest working student and wants to honor her.
In Episode 9 when Sakura uses The Illusion to distract a possessed Rika, Sakura commands Illusion to show Rika the person for whom she has the most feelings. The Card shows a colorful silhouette in front of Rika in the shape of Terada. Rika whispers, "Sensei…" ("teacher" in Japanese) before Sakura seals The Sword and releases Rika from her spell. In the manga, the Card in the silhouette of Terada instead appears to lean over Rika from high above, as she looks up at it, whispering the same.
In Episode 46, "Sakura and the Last Judgement", Sakura is transported into a world where everyone forgets their feelings towards the person he or she loves most. Sakura sees Terada giving a paper to Rika, but she, instead of responding with a usual blush or knowing glance, takes the paper and simply walks away. Whether Sakura fully realizes this change in Rika's feelings is questionable, but it is evident to the viewer that Rika holds affection for Terada.
Rika's name is changed to the similar-sounding Rita in Cardcaptors. Her mannerisms are mostly the same. However, her shyness and reactions toward Mr. Terada are presented in a way that would imply that she was afraid of him in a more academic sense, instead of Rika being attracted to him: in Rita's case, she has particular problems with spelling and perhaps schoolwork in general, so it may be more about embarrassment about frequently having to stay with the teacher. In Episode 9, instead of Sakura using the Illusion card to show Rika "the one she has the most feelings for," it is changed to "the one she fears the most", in which case would imply that she somewhat dislikes Mr. Terada and is intimidated by him.
- Rika makes a cameo appearance near the end in the third OVA of Magic Knight Rayearth.
- In Clear Card Arc, Rika goes to a different school. Her school uniform is similar to Fuu Hououji's. Because Rika is no longer in primary (elementary) school, Terada would no longer be teaching her.
- Because Sakura's age was confirmed to be 13 (going-on-14) in Clear Card arc (despite conflicting with a real-world Japanese school system ), Rika's age would be 1 year older early on as well, due to her birthday being in June and Sakura's being April 1st. (In Japan, the Japanese school year begins in April and ends in March. Rika's birthday of June 24 occurs not long after the school year, and series, begins, aging her a year older very early on. In comparison, Sakura would be the youngest of her class despite her age of 13 in Clear Card Arc.)
- Her birthday is also stated (by herself) as passing in between the start of the school year and as early as of Chapters 8-9 of the manga (the chapters about the Sword), where it is stated to be winter already, and implied close to Yukito Tsukishiro's birthday (December 25th).
- It would pass again as more years passed in the manga or anime, and during any time early summer (June 24) passed. This would likely include Clear Card Arc, during the summer timeframe.
- Her profile in Chapter 14 states her wishlist is "some American style clothes", possibly hinting at her wanting to break away from her traditional Japanese upbringing.
- It also states she was in no clubs at school, despite her being skilled at various things.