Risa Harada (原田梨紗 Harada Risa) is one of the main heroines of DNAngel. She is a student in class 2-B and the first love of Daisuke Niwa.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Risa has long dark brunette hair often tied in the back with a ribbon. Her eyes are dark brown. When she isn't in her school uniform, she usually wears frilly skirts and dresses.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Risa is often seen as the opposite of Riku Harada (her twin sister), though both show the same stubbornness and tenacity, particularly when it comes to people they care about. She displays bravery to reach her goals but also cares about being seen as feminine. Risa is kind and sweet to those she is close to. She is not good at cooking despite trying regularly.

In the anime series, Risa shows an additional childish side, as she is easily scared and relies on friends and family to assist her. However, this behavior progressively tones down. She admires Ayaka Hatori, a graceful student from her school[1]. Her cooking skills are terrible.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In the anime[edit | edit source]

In the anime, Risa comes from a wealthy family: she lives with Riku Harada and their butler in a mansion.

She commutes to school by tram, and rides Riku’s bike to school while the latter runs. In the beginning of the series, she reads in the train and helps a little girl step off.[3]

Blossoming romance[edit | edit source]

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Unlike in the manga, since she tells Daisuke how much of a good friend he is, he doesn’t confess to her, leaving her confused. Alone with her sister on their way to school, she asks Riku what a boy carrying a letter means and, after being explained that it probably was a love letter, expresses her desire to find a tall and handsome boyfriend, after all the efforts she did to be suitable for such a type.

She falls in love at first sight upon seeing Dark on television and pines away on the mansion’s balcony, causing the thief, who was returning to the Niwa home, to transform back into Daisuke.[3]

Later, Risa tells her sister that she’s found the perfect man: Dark. She spends the rest of her evening reading tarot cards, foreseeing a blossoming love story with Dark and guessing Riku got kissed recently. Questioning her sister, who came to her room, brings no result but a short argument, and Risa is left alone. Her daydreams are interrupted by the sight of a golden bird, which she briefly mistakes for Dark.

Infatuated with the phantom thief, she stands up for him when Takeshi Saehara accuses him of causing the various accidents in town the following day, and remembers the mysterious bird she saw before.

When Riku accidentally knocks Daisuke out, Risa stays at his side in the infirmary to tell him she loves Dark and wants Daisuke’s help to see him. Though Daisuke informs her that Dark might not appear if he is there, Risa insists.

Dark asks Risa on a date.

She asks for his help on the phone after Dark announces he’ll steal the Central Church’s bird relief but arrives without him as he joins her much later. However, her patience pays off as Dark appears in front of her to ask her on a date, before the golden bird interrupts them to attack the thief.

The battle leaves Risa in awe and more in love than ever.[4] She spends her evening at home talking about her date plans with Riku.

The following day, Risa enthusiastically thanks Daisuke for leaving her alone, thus allowing Dark to approach. That evening, in their mansion, Risa cheerfully considers clothes for her date while Riku sits on the couch. Her sister’s suspicion toward the thief leads Risa to wonder if she’s jealous, making Riku angrily leave the room.

Later on, Risa finds Riku’s bedroom empty; her twin has also been kidnapped by the mysterious winged unicorn artwork. Misunderstanding that Riku left home because of their discussion, she calls Daisuke in tears, and the boy manages to comfort her.

However, she later gets kidnapped by the unicorn as well and is forcefully brought to the castle where the painting is stored. They both enter it and Risa loses consciousness.

She returns to her senses when she sees Dark, who has entered the painting to rescue the missing girls, being attacked by the unicorn. Risa begs Misaki, a little girl who haunts the painting alongside the unicorn, to stop, insisting the paradise that the unicorn has given her is fake. Misaki refuses; she has waited so long for everyone to join her party that she can no longer count the lonely years that have passed. Risa implores her, crying that the children who have been stolen are lonely too.

After Dark frees all the children from the spell, Risa she hesitates to leave Misaki so Dark grabs her hand and reassures her that the latter girl will no longer be lonely. Misaki waves farewell at the departing pair.

Back in the castle, the old man tends to the saved children while Dark flies away with Risa in his arms bridal style. Above the city, Dark brings her to a cliff of wind turbines and tries to kiss her. However, he stops and mutters at his complaining tamer, confusing her. Dark brings her home instead.

When the unicorn painting is put on display, Risa visits the castle with Daisuke.[5]

One following morning, Risa is still thinking with delight about her evening with Dark and tells Riku about the details of their blossoming romance. Unimpressed and unnerved, Riku leaves the room.

Riku and Risa in front of the cold room.

Determined to please Dark more and become a better cook for his sake, she later asks Daisuke for his help and makes him test her homemade bento. Despite Daisuke’s reassurances, Risa knows her cooking is horrible and asks Daisuke to continue tasting it for her as she practices and improves. When he learns that she actually wants to make delicious food for Dark someday, Daisuke leaves despondently.

After school, Risa searches for Daisuke in their classroom but finds only his bag on his desk. As she’s questioning her sister, they hear an explosion, and Riku remembers that she saw Daisuke carrying trays to the storage room. When they arrive, the door is locked, but they can hear the bangs and Daisuke’s cries from within the freezer. Risa runs to get a teacher, Mr. Kaseda, who opens the door and rescues the two boys.[2]

One day, at the Harada Mansion, Risa laments her upcoming cooking class with the strict home economics teacher, Kaseda; whereas Riku is unexpectedly happy.

The younger sister’s carefully picked apron is not enough to avoid Kaseda’s wrath when she burns that day’s curry. On top of eating the burnt curry with her disappointed classmates, Kaseda announces that she and Daisuke will have to stay after school the next day to chop cabbages.

That evening, Risa pleasantly brings tea to a suspicious Riku and offers to massage her shoulders. Risa does not waver under Riku’s scrutiny but eventually drops her innocent facade to share her true intentions: they will switch placed the following day so that Riku can shred cabbage properly and spare Risa further punishment.

After school the following day, in the girl’s restroom, the twins dress up as the other and train to imitate the other’s voice and mannerism. Risa hadn’t realized she would have to take club activities in Riku’s place and gives up early on the running track. She asks her classmate to hide the truth from their teacher and flees toward home.

Risa thinks the pink dress would suit Riku.

She meets Daisuke at the tram station and happily assumes that Riku was allowed to leave early, but her joy is short-lived when she realizes she forgot Riku’s bicycle at school. As she’s leaving the station, she meets Riku’s friend riding the bike to her. Risa is awed by the devotion of Riku’s friend.

That evening, Risa finds Riku considering a dress in her closet. Riku rejects Risa’s compliments and the discussion brings both twins to a sad conclusion: they are very different but no one noticed they had switched places that day.[6]

Days later, it has been a while without any news of Dark. Risa approaches Takeshi Saehara, who is trying to sell pictures of the thief to girls in exchange of homework, in the hope that the young journalist has information. Despite the boy not knowing anything, she manages to leave the discussion with the precious pictures in hand.

Two days later, Dark announces he’ll steal the heart of the “world's number one lady”. Risa goes back to Saehara to get more information, in vain.[7]

When famous violinist Ehrlich von Vandembagu passes away. Risa, who is a fan, accompanies Daisuke and his grandfather Daiki to the funeral. The girl is delighted to visit the musician’s house afterward and can’t help but blunder in front of the artist’s mourning sister.

Realizing her behaviour was inappropriate, Risa is about to leave the house to pray more, when she notices Vandembagu’s violin is shining. Daisuke closes the case but something has changed in him. Troubled, Risa leaves the room and spends more time praying.[8]

Dating Dark[edit | edit source]

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Risa is now persuaded Dark likes her, and her dream is to marry him.[9]

One evening, Dark is expected after announcing he will steal the Horn of Neptune from an underwater temple. Risa’s tarot cards announce she will be able to see the thief that night so she goes to the coast with an unwilling Riku to search for a way to reach him.

She accidentally discovers a secret entrance to the temple and finds Dark. Persuaded that the thief is happy to see her, she suggests becoming a phantom thief as well and follows him while they sneak deeper in the building.

However, that “date” reaches an abrupt end when Risa falls into one of the police traps and is brought back to the surface where policemen take care of her.[10]

Replicas of the Rutile of Grief become popular in town.

The girl reaffirms her self-proclaimed position as Dark’s girlfriend when the Rutile of Grief artwork is donated to the Granbel Museum and replicas start being popular amongst teenagers; she tells her sister she’ll ask the thief to steal the original for her.[11]

Risa one day learns from her classmate Takeshi Saehara that Dark will commit a heist later. Since the information hasn’t been communicated to the public, she sees it as an opportunity to approach Dark once again and persuades Saehara to come with her to meet the thief.

The two teenagers go to the heist’s location, an abandoned house out of town. After they find the artwork, their classmate Satoshi Hiwatari appears before them and warns them about something. However, he transforms into a mysterious winged man (Krad) who makes Risa and Takeshi pass out with magic. A fight between Dark and Krad accidentally seals their souls in black ore and Daisuke Niwa rescues them, but the thief makes sure Risa and Takeshi have no memory of the event. When the two teenagers wake up again, the abandoned house is empty and they conclude Takeshi’s information was wrong.[9]

Dark and Risa, about to kiss for the first time.

Risa’s wish to spend private time with Dark is granted when the thief appears at school and asks her on a date. They spend part of the evening together and finally kiss.[12]

Summer break starts, and Risa prepares herself to spend her vacations in the family’s summer house training to be a proper bride for Dark. She leaves the address on her bedroom’s window, hoping the thief will visit her while she’s away. These plans are unfortunately postponed when the limousine breaks down in front of the Niwa residence.

Kosuke Niwa invites them over while Tsubouchi fixes the car, and, between her classmate Mio Hio imposing and the numerous traps hidden in the kitchen, the day is full of surprises. In the end, the twins enjoy a merry barbecue with the Niwa family.[13]

Risa doesn’t see Dark for weeks. While she’s choosing her outfit in hope that that evening’s heist will turn into a date, Riku comes to her room with her old teddy bear. Risa reminds her that it’s a present from a woman called Makieda for her entrance into elementary school and that she herself received a rabbit plush.

Unfortunately, despite Dark passing by her house that evening, he doesn’t answer her calls. The following day’s heist will be her chance: this time, she will meet him directly.

Despite the bad weather, Risa climbs on the roof of the Clover Mansion, where Dark is supposed to steal the Radiance of Days Past at 8pm. When the thief finally arrives, police helicopters surround them, and the thief takes Risa with him to escape, knocking her unconscious with a magic feather.

Daisuke comforts a heartbroken Risa.

When Risa wakes up, she is back at her own house, and Dark is staring at a picture of Rika Harada, her grandmother. Dark tells her the truth: he loved only Rika and saw her in Risa. Since the latter is expecting more from him, he won’t see her again. After these words, he leaves.

His farewell breaks Risa’s heart. She runs outside the house and searches for him, refusing to let him and their love go. Unaware of her surroundings, she almost falls from a crumbling bridge. Daisuke rescues her and she cries in his arms.[14]

A Painful Recovery[edit | edit source]

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Risa’s class spends a few studious days on a southern island, and the girl tries to be cheerful as always. She even attracts Kaseda’s wrath when she tries to trespass to the ferry’s bow for a picture.

After spending time with Daisuke Niwa, she realises he is more attractive than she remembered, and seeing him with Riku displeases her. She invites him to build a sandcastle with her when she sees Daisuke and Riku bonding over sea slugs. That evening, she extensively tells her twin sister about the boy’s potential and how he might become like Dark in the future.

The following day’s nature observation class, which requires climbing a mountain, is too much for Risa, who has to take a break while Daisuke and Riku move forward. Despite her sister telling her she’ll be back soon, Risa starts worrying and calls out for them.[15] Hearing no response, the girl searches for them and finds Riku with a twisted ankle. Risa helps her back to the hotel where a nurse takes care of her.

Risa notices her sister’s behaviour towards Daisuke is different, and, once in their bedroom, questions her, in vain.

That evening, Risa ponders her feelings towards the boy. Should she think about him because he resembles Dark? Alone in her room, she daydreams of a prince charming when Daisuke delivers medicine from her friends. Before he can leave, she pulls him inside the room to have a closer look at him… and hides in the closet with him when Riku enters with more medicine. The boy trips as they’re leaving their hiding place, and Riku suddenly finds them in a compromising position on the bed. Despite Risa telling her to not get the wrong idea, the older twin rushes out and Daisuke follows her.

After observing Daisuke and seeing his clumsy behaviour, Risa is now certain he is nothing like Dark.[16]

Back in town, Risa notices Riku has changed and laments that her sister doesn’t confide in her. One evening, as the twins are stagazing together, Riku expresses her happiness, and how that feeling arrived when she least expected it. Understanding she’s talking about Daisuke Niwa, her sister answers that she has given up on Dark - and on trying to find him in Daisuke.

Risa is moved by her grandmother's letter.

In the attic, Risa starts searching for her grandmother’s diary. She finds a key, which opens a secret compartment in the courtyard’s statue and which contains an unsent letter from Rika Harada to Dark. Risa is deeply moved by her grandmother’s last confession to the love of her life. The girl finally realises she can’t compete with her ancestor, nor can she replace her. She puts the letter back in place and completely gives up on Dark.

All the girls in Risa’s class decide to perform the Ice and Snow play for the Fall Cultural Festival. Daisuke is unanimously chosen to play the heroine’s part.[17]

Risa’s thoughts still sadly go to Dark, but she now wants to be a support for him. She tells Riku, who’s moved by her new mindset. As the girls are going back to class to look at the boys’ practice, Risa teases her twin sister about Hiwatari stealing Daisuke from her because of the romantic scenes in the play. They meet said Hiwatari, who’s leaving; Daisuke has a cold and rehearsal is cancelled.

That evening, Risa is alerted by her sister’s cries; she joins her in her room to see her facing Dark, who is trying to steal the snow painting Daisuke lent Riku. Risa goes to her sister’s rescue, and temporarily stops Dark, saying he can understand how refusing to let go of something precious feels. However, the painting magically starts glowing and absorbs the three of them into its world.[18]

Inside, Riku struggles against Dark who holds her, and falls as the thief’s wings suddenly disappear. Risa and Dark protect her. Risa interrupts their argument, wondering where they are. Riku understands they arrived in Daisuke’s painting.

Risa wraps Dark’s injured arm with her ribbon.

Risa suddenly notices Dark hurt his wrist when falling. She uses her pyjama’s neck ribbon to patch his wound, insisting that he shouldn’t misunderstand this simple act of kindness. Turning her back to him, she wipes tears from her face.

Another of Riku and Dark’s heated discussions is interrupted as guards magically appear from the snow. Dark immediately surrenders and the handcuffed group is brought to what seems to be the main castle. In jail, Risa fails to calm Riku, who’s upset by Dark’s weak behaviour, but the thief explains it was the fastest way to arrive, and reveals his freed arms. He tells them he is close to this world’s nature, but still needs to free Daisuke to send them back, and disappears.

Dark holds onto the girls as the carving on the floor glows.

While he is away, Risa reaffirms his trust in him, and confesses that she understood she had been inconsiderate of his feelings before. Riku answers that she would hug her if she could.

Daisuke unlocks the door and frees them, is followed quickly by Dark, and draws an imitation of Riku’s room on the floor to connect this world to theirs. However, the boy decides to stay in this world more.[19]

In the morning, Risa is missing her ribbon, and joins her sister in her bedroom to confirm they both have memories of the previous night’s events. As they are about to leave for school, the younger twin has an idea: they should ask Dark’s help to save Daisuke. She even suspects they are closely linked, but Riku remains hesitant.

After rehearsal, which didn’t progress as the two lead actors were absent, the girls rush to Daisuke’s house. On their way, Risa spots Dark flying above the town, and the twins instead follow him.[20]

Risa is caught by Krad as she tries to rescue Dark.

They reach a tower outside of town where the twins see Dark face Satoshi… who turns into a mysterious man (Krad). The latter attacks the thief back with a sword, and pushes him outside. Seeing Dark in danger, Risa runs in their direction, but is caught in the man’s painful magic until Riku intervenes.

Dark rescues the latter from being hit by the sword, and they disappear together, leaving Risa alone with the man. She begs “Hiwatari” to stop and, as he’s stepping forward, the man seems to suffer from intense pain. He can still magically attack her one last time, making the girl faint. When she wakes up, she is back in town, Satoshi’s torn jacket and a white weather covering her.[21]

During winter break, Christmas is getting closer. Risa suspects Dark and Daisuke might be the same person, but her fortune telling only gives a different answer: something bad will happen soon. She sees phone problems as another bad omen.

Soon, a strong earthquake happens, and the town’s evacuation is ordered. The twins leave with Tsubouchi.[22] However, Riku suddenly rushes out of the car and a worried Risa has to search for her in the deserted town. She finds her at night in Dark’s company, and slaps her, before pulling her into a hug. She then turns to Dark and, with teary eyes, thanks him for loving Rika. The thief compliments her growth and leaves.

Mio fades before the twins.

Later that night, the girls are at school, managing the evacuees with classmates and their teacher, when Riku suddenly runs to the school’s clocktower. Risa follows her, and the older twin’s pendant starts glowing. Mio’s voice echoes, asking for the twins’ assistance to save both Dark and Daisuke.

When the twins return to their senses, Mio thanks them for their help and fades into air. Risa and Riku are moved by her last words, which are thanks and wishes of happiness for Riku and Daisuke.

As dawn is rising, the twins find Daisuke and Satoshi in a destroyed part of town. Risa exchanges playful glances with Hiwatari.[23]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Riku Harada: Riku is Risa's older twin sister. Since childhood, the girls have been sharing a bond so tight that they can feel each other’s pain[24] and intense feelings.[25] They both trust and care about each other; for example, when Risa is upset, she spends more time with her sister and the girls sleep together.[26] However, they have their own distinct tastes, may it about fashion, interests or boys, which can cause arguments. Riku doesn’t understand Risa’s feelings towards Dark, causing her to scold her sibling regularly.

In the anime, Riku is Risa’s guardian, as the latter is depicted as naive and enjoying being spoilt. This order is sometimes switched after Risa's rejection and Riku is sometimes scolded[19]; Risa is even so worried when Riku runs away during the town evacuation to meet with Daisuke that she slaps her when they meet again.[23]

Daisuke Niwa: Risa sees Daisuke as a friend, and rejects his confession as he does not meet her tastes in men.[27] She sometimes seeks his company, even if his kindness is a good opportunity to give him her cleaning duties when needed.

In the anime, Risa doesn't reject Daisuke as he never confesses to her. She often gives her cleaning duties to the boy and sees the possibility of him stopping as a problem for her.[13] She briefly sees him as a potential love interest due to a slight resemblance to Dark.[15] 

Dark Mousy: Risa falls in love with Dark at first sight. Wanting to be with him, she takes great risks to try to see him during his thieving adventures.

Dark initially seem to accepts her affection and asks her on a date to Azumano Joyland... where he clearly rejects her. However, during the date, Risa is kidnapped by Argentine, and Dark rescues her, angry his date was stolen from him. The girl's feelings for the thief stay strong even after the rejection and Dark appears during the school's dance party to dance with her.

In the anime, Dark initially accepts Risa's feelings[5]. He later rejects her[14] and Risa learns that Dark has already fallen in love 40 years ago with the twins' grandmother, Rika Harada and only saw her in Risa. Not wanting to tarnish those feelings, Risa gradually stops pursuing Dark. She nonetheless cries when she sees him and actively tries to assist him until the very end.[19][21][23]

Satoshi Hiwatari: Satoshi shows concern for Risa in the manga, deliberately transforming into Krad — something he normally fights — to try and save her when he sees her falling from a tower during Argentine's attack.

In the anime, after Dark disappears for good, she shares a private glance with him.[23]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • At least I'm the cute one!![reference needed]
  • I can't lose to my older sister! Right now she's beating me with 2 meters in chest size![27]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The name Risa means "pear" (梨) (ri) and "thread, silk" (紗) (sa).
  • Risa's surname Harada means "field, plain" (原) (hara) and "field, rice paddy" (田) (da).
  • Risa placed 7th in the first DNAngel character popularity contest[28].
  • In the anime, Risa wishes she could have a cat, but someone in the family is allergic[29].
  • In the anime, according to Riku Harada, Risa hides her lack of artistic skills by drawing abstract pieces and giving them vague titles for art assignments[17].
  • In the anime, Risa is a regular user of fortune-telling phone services and can spend long times calling until she receives a positive answer[30].

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Anime: Episode 7, Adonis of the Promise Garden
  2. 2.0 2.1 Anime: Episode 4, Between Light and Darkness
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anime: Episode 1, Dark Revived
  4. Anime: Episode 2, Rekindled Feelings
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anime: Episode 3, Whisper of the Unicorn
  6. Anime: Episode 5, Double Cooking
  7. Anime: Episode 6, St. White Memories
  8. Anime: Episode 10, The Portrait of a Certain Musician
  9. 9.0 9.1 Anime: Episode 13, The Eternal Mark
  10. Anime: Episode 11, The Temple of Neptune
  11. Anime: Episode 12, Together With Rutile...
  12. Anime: Episode 14, A New Rival
  13. 13.0 13.1 Anime: Episode 15, Barbecue Panic
  14. 14.0 14.1 Anime: Episode 16, I Found her
  15. 15.0 15.1 Anime: Episode 17, A Summer Without Dark
  16. Anime: Episode 18, The Two Under the Shooting Stars
  17. 17.0 17.1 Anime: Episode 19, Beautiful Heroine
  18. Anime: Episode 21, An Icy Voice Calling
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Anime: Episode 22, Ice and Snow
  20. Anime: Episode 23, The Second Hand of Time
  21. 21.0 21.1 Anime: Episode 24, Snow Falls in The Heart
  22. Anime: Episode 25, The Black Wings
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Anime: Episode 26, Eternal Dark
  24. Manga: Volume 7; The Second Hand of Time, Part 6
  25. Manga: Volume 11; Stage 3, Part 16
  26. Manga: Volume 2, Chapter 6: Warning of a Big Gamble (and a Skyscraper)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Manga: Chapter 1: Warning of Trouble (and Romance), Volume 1
  28. Manga: Volume 3, Character Popularity Contest Results!
  29. Anime: Episode 9, A Little Romance
  30. Anime: Episode 20, Because I Wanted to See You
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