"Rui's his only son. And he tried to totally control him, so Rui went kind of autistic. You get glimpses of that in him even now. Whenever we played together, he'd stay in the corner. Wouldn't even smile. It was almost like...his eyes were dead."
In kindergarten, Rui had a teddy bear that he really loved. Tsukasa asked for him to give it to him, but Rui refused. The two fought over it, which led to it being torn apart. The next morning, instead of being mad at Tsukasa, Rui greeted him with a smile.
After graduating from junior high, Rui and his friends moved on to Eitoku's high school. They were well known as the F4 by this time. The group had taken control of the school, using their fathers' influence. They gave out red cards, their "declaration of war," to those who defied them. These students would leave Eitoku soon after receiving a red card, usually from being bullied by their classmates. Rui seemed to have little interest in these games, being more interested in finding a spot to nap.
Rui: "I wouldn't have helped you, if I thought you were going to be a pest. It was just bad form, that's all."
Tsukushi: "But I was really happy. For the first time since I came to this school, I was so happy that I cried. I'll look for you at the emergency exit!"
Rui first encountered Tsukushi Makino, when she yelled out her frustrations at his favorite sleeping spot, the emergency stairwell. She did not notice him at the time. Later, Tsukushi's friend fell down the stairs and landed on Tsukasa. Tsukushi defended her friend which angered Tsukasa. Rui was uninterested in the whole affair. After she received a red card, Tsukushi declared her own war on the F4. The next day, Rui heard Tsukushi yell at the stairwell again and realized she was the same girl as before. When she started talking about her family situation, he said "I'm not interested in other people's problems." Later that afternoon, Rui found a group of boys attempting to assault her, and ordered them to "let her go". He then said "Don't misunderstand. I just don't like this kind of stuff.
The following day, Tsukushi found Rui playing a violin in the music room. He was annoyed by her interruption and quickly made to leave the room. She thanked for saving her earlier and voiced her hope to see him again at the stairwell. Rui replied "Then I won't go there again." Later that day, he was walking home when he happened to meet Tsukushi outside Tsukasa's house. Rui was not interested in why she was there and tried to keep walking. Tsukushi stopped him and asked "Is there anything money can't buy?" Rui answered "air" and actually smiled as he called her a "silly girl." The next day after school, Rui and Sojiro walked into the shop where Tsukushi worked. Rui bought one of the sweets since he thought it was "pretty," even though he was unable to eat it. He and Sojiro then left to go to a party.
The next day, Rui returned to the emergency exit despite him saying that he would not go there again. He told her "I like it here. I can get away from the chaos of the school." Rui felt happy about Shizuka coming home soon, which accounted for him being much nicer to Tsukushi. He asked her "Do you know the time difference between France and Japan?," though he waved it off realizing she did not know. Later the same day, Rui was kissing a poster of Shizuka from one of her modelling gigs when Tsukushi walked by. He told her "Not you again?" She stumbled over her words, eventually saying "You don't have to go stupid on us just because your first love has come back." Rui then asked if she was in love with him, before grabbing her hand and kissing her cheek. He said "Haven't you wished for that?" as he walked off.
"It's ridiculous! You think I don't see through you? You play the sweet, loving little angel, but inside you know exactly what you're doing. And if people get hurt by your games, why do you care? You're not there anymore."
Upon Shizuka's return, Rui lovingly greeted her. He became sullen when the others arrived. Later that night, the F4 took Shizuka to a night club. Sojiro commented on Rui's being "moody," to which Tsukasa said "He always gets into a bad mood when he's happy." Shizuka finally asked him what was wrong and he admitted that her almost "naked" photos had been bothering him. She insisted that it was only for her career, but called him "sweet" for worrying. The next day, the F4 and Shizuka ate lunch at the university's cafeteria. Shizuka started talking about relationships and mentioned wanted to introduced a girl to Rui, which he refused. A few minutes later, Tsukushi and her friend Kazuya Aoike burst in the room, having been chased there by bullies. Rui picked up Tsukushi and declared "It's time to stop."
Tsukasa was incensed when Rui came to Tsukushi's defense. He asked if he liked Tsukushi, which Rui did not answer. Tsukasa then tried to grab Tsukushi out of Rui's arms, threatening him about the "consequences." It turned into a tug of war until she screamed at both of them to let her go. The argument ended with Tsukasa saying "We're through!" Later, Rui met Tsukushi at the emergency exit. She apologized about the fight, though he said "It's been brewing." During summer vacation, Rui went to Atami on Tsukasa's yacht, having been "dragged" along by Shizuka and the others. He was surprised to see Tsukushi at the beach. Shizuka had Rui encourage Tsukushi to come to that night's party, which he did. After Shizuka gave her a makeover, Rui complimented Tsukushi by saying she looked "nice."
The next morning, when Tsukushi was teased about kissing Tsukasa, she told Rui "It was an accident." He chuckled saying "It's none of my business who you kiss." That night, Shizuka told him that he and Tsukushi would "make a nice couple." Rui accused her of "playing with [his] feelings." He then dragged her into a room, saying "There's only one girl I want." The two began kissing but Rui pulled away, feeling conflicted. Shizuka told him "We're a man and a woman. This was meant to be." She leaned in to kiss him again just as Tsukasa burst into the room and invited them on deck. Rui went up alone and shared some fish with Tsukushi, who revealed that she had overheard him and Shizuka. Crying, she said "Please don't hate me." He replied "If I hated you, I wouldn't have gone through the pain of carrying you."
Going to France
"Tsukushi, that's what I like so much about you. You have a strength that I don't. It hit me hard that I didn't want it to end like this. Thanks."
At the start of the new term, Rui and Tsukushi met at the emergency exit. He was considerably nicer to her, even asking her to sit. Tsukushi admitted to being "very happy," having not expected to see him there anymore. Rui told her "Don't exaggerate!" though she insisted she was "serious." While they were talking, Shizuka yelled up to Rui to tell him about her photo shoot. As she walked up the stairs, she asked him to go with her since she was tired of her producer asking her out. He agreed to accompany her. A few days later, Rui attended Shizuka's birthday party with the rest of the F4. There Shizuka announced her intentions to return to France and give up her family name, surprising her family and friends. Rui was left in a state of shock. He then asked Tsukushi to tell his friends that he was going home.
The next day, Tsukushi met him at the emergency exit again. He was feeling irritable, asking her why she was staring. She asked him if he was okay with Shizuka's decision. Rui replied "It's not for me to say." Recalling their childhood, he then said "I think it was just like her to come to a decision like this." Later that afternoon, Rui happened to walk by when Tsukushi was begging Shizuka to stay in Japan "for [his] sake." He waited for Shizuka to leave before confronting Tsukushi. Rui yelled at her for interfering, asking "How could you do such a thing?" She ran away crying. Later, Rui came to a realization "that [he] did [not] want it to end like this." He waited until Shizuka boarded the plane to reveal to his friends that he was going after her. Rui thanked Tsukushi for her strength and kissed her on the forehead.
Return to Japan
"Once I was outside of school, I realized I couldn't do anything. Did you hear that I used to be a severely introverted child? I haven't changed at all. I'm still just a kid who can't do anything for the women he loves."
In France, Rui was "happy every day" spending all his time with Shizuka. However, when she returned to college and began working, Rui was alone most of the time. News of Shizuka's betrothal to a Frenchman broke out, though she assured them that it was untrue. He eventually decided to return to Japan. The day after his arrival, he surprised his friends at school. Tsukasa told Rui that he and Tsukushi were dating. Rui replied "That's too bad." The F4 then skipped the rest of the day to hang out. The next day, they went to a night club where Rui kissed a random girl "just for fun." Tsukushi met Rui at the emergency exit the following day. He asked if she was really dating Tsukasa. When she said no, he suggested that she go out with him. He then laughed and said it was a "joke," though he kept flirting anyway.
Later that day, the F4 left to go on a trip to Tsukasa's private island. Rui went to the beach that night. When Tsukushi stumbled upon him, he asked her to hold him. After a few minutes, Rui told her about his time with Shizuka. Tsukushi returned to the villa after getting a message from Tsukasa. The next morning, Rui gave her pager to Tsukasa to return. Kazuya arrived shortly with news of Shizuka's engagement. When asked, Rui said "It's all over." That night at the beach, he was approached by Tsukushi whom said "I can't get you out of my mind." He then kissed her, wondering "Why didn't I fall for a girl like you?" Tsukasa, having seen them, punched Rui in retaliation. He left the next day, forcing the others to go home on Kazuya's boat. Rui held Tsukushi's hand, telling her "I'm here."
After arriving back, Sojiro and Akira confronted Rui about what happened. He admitted that he felt "bad" about hurting Tsukasa, who then kicked him out of the F4. Later, Rui asked Tsukushi out on a date. He had a hair cut before the date. On the day of, he met Tsukushi and they wandered around until deciding to eat. Rui accidentally walked in on Tsukushi in the bathroom of the restaurant. He teased her about it afterwards. Afterwards, Rui invited her to his house. He showed her a photo album in his bedroom, where he soon fell asleep. The next day, Rui defended Tsukushi to a group of girls who called her "cheap." The girls then turned on him. He told Tsukushi not to "let it bother [her]." A few minutes later, Tsukasa announced that he would have Rui and Tsukushi expelled within two weeks.
Rift in the F4
"Save the awe. Practice. I'll back you up. We're not losing this game. I have something I want to protect, too."
Rui seemed resigned to his and Tsukushi's fate, knowing Tsukasa would likely threaten to pull his parents' money from the school. The next day, Tsukasa's sister Tsubaki came to Eitoku to stop her brother. Amidst the arguing, both Tsukushi and Rui offered to leave to appease Tsukasa. Tsubaki eventually interrupted to suggest settling it with sports. Rui then proposed a three-on-three basketball match. That afternoon, he practiced with Tsukushi and Kazuya. He assured her "We're not losing this game." The match was held the following day at Eitoku. Rui went into it with a calm, confident demeanor. Seven minutes in, Rui was finally able to score their first point. He then formulated a plan to distract Tsukasa by being affectionate towards Tsukushi. Rui's plan was successful, nearly tying the game.
At the last second, Tsukasa declared "I quit," allowing Tsukushi and Rui to go free. He then walked away. Rui told Tsukushi "Wasn't that fun?" afterwards. That night, they went to the Domyojis' to celebrate and wait for Tsukasa to come back. Rui was intoxicated by the time Sojiro asked how far he and Tsukushi had been, referring to sex. Going over his head, Rui answered "Omotesando." They realized that Rui and Tsukushi had not slept together yet. Akira and Sojiro then proceeded to lock the two in a guestroom. Still drunk, Rui bluntly called Tsukushi "ugly." He went on to say "At first, I wondered why Tsukasa was bothering with a girl like you, but I think now I know." Rui then admitted to trying to use Tsukushi to forget Shizuka. He apologized and expressed remorse for "butting in" between her and Tsukasa.
The next day at school, Tsukasa tensed up after seeing Rui and walked away. Sojiro and Akira then asked Rui about the previous night. He told them "Nothing happened," though he admitted that "[he] could get serious about her." Ultimately, he could not "stab Tsukasa in the back." He then told them that he was not going to tell Tsukasa yet, wanting to take a little revenge for his torn teddy bear from when they were kids. The next day, Tsukasa revealed that he was going to New York. He denied that he made the decision because of Rui and Tsukushi. Rui was surprised by Tsukushi's outburst when she was upset about Tsukasa not telling her he was leaving. At the airport, Rui pulled Tsukasa aside and told him "I think [Tsukushi] really loves you." He then revealed that he did not tell him earlier because of the bear.
Teen of Japan
Sojiro: "I never dreamed Tsukushi would come this far."
Akira: "I'll bet none of the 100,000 people in the audience thought so."
Rui: "But there is one in that 100,000 right over there."
When Tsukasa returned in a few days to Japan, Rui was not surprised. Tsukasa pulled Rui aside, telling him "I owe you an apology." Rui then said "Apologize to me now." He laughed since Tsukasa was unable to actually say it. The next day, Tsukushi asked Rui to accompany her to a party for Seinosuke Amakusa. He agreed since she had never asked for something before. At the party, they ran into Tsukasa. After Seinosuke confessed his feelings to Tsukushi, Rui helped her escape the ensuing brawl. A safe distance away, Rui revealed that he gave her up because of Tsukasa and said "Don't hurt him too badly." The next day, Tsukasa told Rui, Akira, and Sojiro that he was planning on entering Tsukushi in the Teen of Japan contest. Rui was against it, not liking the idea of Tsukushi "being paraded around."
On Christmas Eve, Rui accompanied the others to watch Tsukushi compete at Teen of Japan. Unlike his friends, he liked the outfit Tsukushi choose during the first round, saying "I think it looks rather good." Before the second round, the others went to wish Tsukushi good luck backstage, though Rui decided to stay in his seat. Tsubaki made a comment about Ayano Kurimaki reminding her of Shizuka. Rui did not respond, evidently agreeing with her. During the second round, he said "Her accent's pretty bad, but at least she's talking," regarding Tsukushi's English skills. Akira and Sojiro expressed shock about Tsukushi making it to the final round. Rui pointed out to them that Tsukasa had always believed in her. At the end of the contest, Rui congratulated Tsukushi on winning a special prize.
Following Teen of Japan, the F4 took Tsukushi out to celebrate. Rui smiled as Tsukushi made a short speech. Later on, he told Tsukushi that she looked "pale" and asked if she "had too much to drink." After she went to the bathroom, Akira and Sojiro gave Tsukasa dating advice. The following night, Rui went with the two guys to Tsukasa's house. Despite Rui not saying anything, he kicked him out along with Akira and Sojiro. Sojiro later had an idea about how to help Tsukasa make up with Tsukushi. Rui went with the other two to Tsukushi's job. He kept silent while they helped sell out the store. Sojiro then asked Tsukushi to go to Canada with them in exchange. Later, Tsukasa refused to go with them. To goad him, Sojiro told Rui "Why don't you take your chance with Tsukushi?" Rui then said "Then I guess I'll do that."
Yuriko: "I really did think she went back out!"
Rui: "Liar! It's minus fifteen degrees out there! She's been out nearly an hour! This is the only building for miles. If she's lost her way, she'll die!"
— Rui confronts for Yuriko about tricking Tsukushi[src]
From their plane, Akira was able to see Tsukasa on his private plane. Rui commented "There's no way he'd stay in Japan alone." Tsukasa arrived at his family's villa ahead of them. The following night, Tsukushi asked Rui if he had seen her friend Yuki Matsuoka. He had no idea who she was. Yuriko Asai interrupted to say she saw Yuki go outside. Rui offered to get a car, but Tsukushi immediately went outside. A little later, Rui saw a girl and asked if she came with Tsukushi, which she confirmed. Rui then confronted Yuriko by splashing water on her face. He yelled at her "If she's lost her way, she'll die!" After Tsukasa left to find Tsukushi, Yuriko and her friends were crying when Rui called them "murderers." Sojiro then shouted "Don't say that! They're not dead!" Tsukushi and Tsukasa returned the following morning.
The next morning, Rui stayed behind while the others went skiing. Tsukushi thanked him for getting angry at Yuriko and her friends. He told her that it was nothing, adding "You're the one who amazes me." She then asked for his help to get back at them. They involved the rest of the guys. That night, it was going as planned until footsteps approached the house. Tsukasa attacked the intruder. Rui recognized the voice as Shizuka's and told Tsukasa to stop. She remained unconscious until morning. While she and the others caught up, Rui remained mostly silent. Tsukasa asked about her supposed fiancé. Rui then looked surprised when she answered "Oh, I turned him down." Sojiro patted Rui on the back, saying "Isn't that great?" The others slipped away soon after, giving him and Shizuka some space.
After Tsukasa went missing for several days, Rui helped Sojiro and Akira search his house. Sojiro then received a call informing him about Tsukushi receiving a red card. They finally found Tsukasa a few minutes later. He had no idea about the red card, confusing Rui and the others who thought he had sent it. Shortly, a message arrived telling Tsukasa to come alone to the old gym. After Tsukasa left, Akira became anxious but Rui told him that they should continue waiting. At the hospital, Rui helped the others trick Tsukushi into thinking Tsukasa was dead. He was the only one who did not laugh at the joke. Tsukasa then tasked the guys with getting revenge on the people who beat him up. Besides beating all four guys up, they also shaved their heads. They took a photo, which they later showed to Tsukasa.
Tsukushi: "Rui Hanazawa, why don't you tell him?"
Rui: "No way! You think he'll listen? Besides, this isn't something we should get involved in. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. If not, it's not. There are some things you can't do anything about."
Tsukushi returned to school with a new haircut. Rui offered to layer it since her mother had cut it all at one length. Tsukasa happened to see them, which annoyed him though Rui ignored him. He then left right after finishing her hair. At Tsukasa's birthday party, the guys were concerned about what she was wearing. When she asked why, Rui, Sojiro, and Akira all answered "Tsukasa's mother is really scary!" During the party, Tsukasa wanted to introduce Tsukushi to his mother but she held on Rui's sleeve. She ripped the seam by accident, which sent her flying. This commotion alerted Tsukasa's mother. Rui lied by saying Tsukushi was the daughter of a company president. The lie, however, did not work for long. Rui and the others witnessed Tsukasa declare his feelings for Tsukushi before escaping with her.
Afterwards, Rui went to a bar with Sojiro and Akira. He brought up the time they met Tsukasa's mother. They all remembered her saying to Tsukasa "If you continue to play with these boys, your brain will decay." The next morning, Tsukasa woke up Rui early. He showed him some homemade cookies, a birthday present from Tsukushi. Rui took a bite of one, angering Tsukasa. All the guys later met at Sojiro's house. Tsukasa was still happy, which left the others somewhat perplexed. The next day, Rui overslept and arrived late at school. He met Tsukushi, who offered to give him a head massage. Shortly, Rui noticed that her face was red. Tsukushi nearly fell over while trying to stop him coming closer. Rui caught her, but let her go and said "Don't look at me like that" when he saw her face.
That night, Sojiro and Akira had decided to do something about the situation. Rui did not want to get involved, feeling it would "just get more complicated." A few days later, Tsukushi talked to Rui about Shigeru. She asked him to talk to Tsukasa about being nicer to Shigeru. Rui refused, stating "If it's meant to be, it's meant to be." They then happened to overhear an argument between Tsukasa and Shigeru from below. After witnessing them kiss, Rui said to Tsukushi "Shocked?" She pretended to be okay with it, which amused Rui. Later that night, he ran into Tsukushi while going for a walk. They stopped for some tea together. Shigeru and Tsukasa happened to come to the same place and joined them. She invited Tsukushi and Rui to her family's villa. Rui agreed after learning that there was a hot spring there.
"It's no use crying over what you've already said. Why are you being so faint-hearted now? Regardless of how you feel, as long as Tsukasa loves you, this is a problem you'll come up against. Go at her head on. I'll lend you my support."
At Shigeru's villa, Tsukushi asked Rui to "liven up the party." He thought for a second, before saying "Can I go take a bath?" After his bath, Rui heard Shigeru screaming for help. He carried an unconscious Tsukushi to their shared room. Upon waking, she was against sharing a room. Rui, however, warned her not to ask Shigeru saying "They could be doing it now." He and Tsukushi were forced to share the same bedding. Rui comforted her by holding her hand under the covers and making her laugh. They heard loud noises coming from another room. Tsukushi went to check on Shigeru, despite Rui's warnings. She returned to the room flustered. The next morning, Rui left the villa with Tsukushi. She was still upset about what she saw. Rui told her "The fact that it was Tsukasa is what bugs you," though she refused to acknowledge it.
A couple days later, Sojiro and Akira decided to visit Tsukushi and invited Rui to meet them there. He became lost on the way, but ran into Tsukushi. They found Sojiro and Akira waiting outside her place. Shortly, they were met with a surprise guest, Tsukasa's mother. She accused Tsukushi of causing the engagement to be broken. Tsukushi stood up to Kaede, declaring to the guys "I'm going to fight that lady." Rui asked her "How do you intend to fight her?" Her answer was "By making her realize what a fine girl I am." Rui countered "You mean by going out with Tsukasa?" The other guys agreed with idea, even putting out they perhaps she and Tsukasa should have a baby. Tsukushi eventually realized that she said something "outrageous." Rui told her not to be "faint-hearted," promising to support her.
Tsukushi and Tsukasa dating
"This isn't a threat. If you're going to continue your relationship with Tsukasa, you will have to let go of something."
One morning, Rui was walking to school with Sojiro when they came across Tsukushi. He realized she was coming from Tsukasa's house and asked "You were out all night?" Tsukushi admitted to the guys that she was working at Tsukasa's as a live-in maid. That night, Sojiro and Akira came over to Rui's house. They role-played an affectionate conversation between Tsukushi and Tsukasa, to which Rui said "You two give me the creeps." Shortly, Akira decided that they should all go to Tsukasa's. Rui snuck into the house with Sojiro and Akira. They had a hard time searching at first, leading Rui to suggest checking "all the lighted rooms." They eventually found the right room and overheard Tsukasa asking Tsukushi to date on a two month trial. Rui smiled when Tsukushi told them that she was "thinking it over."
Shortly after Tsukushi and Tsukasa began dating, Rui and the other guys were hanging out at his house when they witnessed a huge fight between the couple. It seemingly ended in their breaking up, leading Rui to say "That was short, only four days?" Sojiro and Akira both shouted "It's not over yet!" A few days later, Rui was not directly involved in Sojiro's plan to bring the couple closer. He was likely brought by Akira to surprise them at the hotel. Tsukasa revealed to everyone that they saw his mother in the hallway. Akira and Sojiro, whom were both concerned, discussed it at length before noticing Rui was silent. They yelled at him to "say something." He then asked "Aren't you guys hungry?" The guys' attention was shifted to what to order from room service. Rui and the others did not notice the girls leaving.
The next day, Rui overheard Tsukushi talking to herself. He guessed that she "initiated a kiss" which she denied, calling it a "thank you gift." He teased "Give me one, too" and laughed at her reaction. Rui then asked about Tsukasa's mother. He was suspicious that nothing else had happened and warned her that she may target her friends. Before she left, Rui stated "If you're going to continue your relationship with Tsukasa, you will have to let go of something." The morning after, Rui asked Sojiro and Akira about Tsukasa whom was late. Kazuya then walked up and revealed that Tsukushi had left school and Tsukasa's house. They went to question him. Tsukasa's demeanor and seeming indifference took them aback. On their way out, Sojiro said that he was back to his "old self." Rui stated "It's worse than that."
Tsukasa: "You've been mooning over her ever since you were a kid."
Rui: "Tsukasa, I don't want you talking about that. I think Shizuka's got a full plate now and I don't want to be a bother to her. I don't think that forcing yourself on a person is love."
A few days later, Rui heard about Tsukasa and Sojiro's fight. He laughed and said "I wish I'd seen it." That night, he was watching television when he happened to see Tsukushi on the news. The following morning, he told Tsukasa and tried to convince him to go get her. He refused, so Rui went by himself. Tsukasa showed up a few moments after Rui. Rui also helped pay off the Makinos' debt. That evening, Rui told Tsukushi about how he found her. She thanked him, but he told her to thank Tsukasa instead. After Tsukushi's new friend introduced himself, he declared that they should have a farewell party for Tsukushi. They stayed on the beach until sun-up. Afterwards, Rui helped prepare for the Makinos' return to Tokyo. Rui took Tsukushi's parents in his car, forcing her to go with Tsukasa.
Rui arrived in Tokyo earlier than Tsukushi and Tsukasa. He waited for them with the rest of their friends, whom he had informed the night before. Following their arrival, Rui left presumably to sleep. The next day at school, Tsukushi avoided Tsukasa but dashed into the hallway for her shoe. Rui laughed uncontrollably. When Tsukasa voiced his annoyance, Rui told him to "give up on her and choose someone else." He then revealed that he had tried to give Tsukasa a "proper parting" at the village. A few days later, Rui learned about Tsukasa's imposter cousin. Tsukasa was informing Tsukushi about him, just as the guy walked up. He revealed that he was hired by Kaede, but wanted to cancel the contract now that he liked Tsukushi. Rui remained silent, only saying "She's snapped" when Tsukushi started yelling.
A few days later, Tsukasa came over to Rui's house and annoyed him. Eventually Rui asked "You can't give her up yet?" Tsukasa deflected by mentioning Shizuka. Rui explained that he did not want to bother her, saying "I don't think that forcing yourself on a person is love." Tsukasa disagreed and left after saying "I've made up my mind." Two days later, Tsukasa asked Rui and the others if they had seen Tsukushi. He shocked them by calling the police to aid his search. The next day, the guys asked Tsukasa what happened. Instead of answering, he gave three different facial expressions. Rui met Tsukushi at the stairwell the next day. He invited her to go to Akira's house. There Rui remained in the main house while Akira and Sojiro brought Tsukushi to the summer house, where they had tied up Tsukasa.
Haruto: "I know this is really rude of me to ask, but I'm going through a lot of upheaval right now. It feels like I'm powerless. In this situation, what would Mr. Domyoji do?"
Rui: "Who knows? He's a wild one. When everything's a mess, he only has eyes for what's most important."
One day, Rui was sleeping at his old favorite spot, the emergency exit at the high school. Haruto Kaguragi accidentally woke him up. Irritable, Rui glared at him and said "What?" Haruto was startled, causing him to break his bracelet which then fell all over the floor. Rui picked up one of the stones and asked if he could have it since he thought it was "kinda cute." He then briefly reminisced about the emergency exit being "[his] spot" during high school. As Rui was walking away, Haruto told him he was going through "a lot of upheaval." He then asked "In this situation, what would Mr. Domyoji do?," to which Rui replied "Who knows?" He went on to elaborate "[Tsukasa] only has eyes for what's most important." Haruto gratefully yelled his thanks.
Over a year later, Rui received a message from Tsubaki telling him to expect Tsukushi to come back to Japan. He texted Tsukushi and met her at Oto Edogawa's house, where he met Haruto again though he did not recognize him. Oto's parents arrived shortly. Tsukushi introduced herself and Rui, though he kept saying he wanted to leave. Outside, Tsukushi told him that she was worried about Oto and Haruto. Rui said "Are they making you think of how you and Tsukasa are?," referring to them having to be apart. He reminded her that Tsukasa had asked her to go with him. She responded "I have to live my own life." Tsukushi then turned to Oto and Haruto, advising them not to be apart if they did not want to be. Once they left, Rui told her "You're one to talk." She admitted that she really wanted to see Tsukasa.
Rui later called Tsukasa and asked him to fly to Japan to see Tsukushi. The F4 became stuck in traffic on the way to Tsukasa's house, where Tsukushi was leaving for Los Angeles via the Domyojis' private plane. They attempted to run there, but stopped feeling it was "hopeless." At that moment, they noticed Haruto who called Oto to have her stop the plane. Tsukasa was curious about Haruto, but Rui told everyone to "just run." They fortunately made it in time. Tsukasa and Tsukushi had a brief argument which was quickly settled. Rui encouraged her to call Tsukasa in the future. Tsukushi then introduced Tsukasa to Haruto. Rui finally remembered him, commenting that he had not recognized him since he "changed so much." The F4 and Tsukushi walked off, talking for a second before having to part ways again.
As the name F4 (Flower 4) suggests, Rui was very conventionally good-looking and attracted the attention of most females. He had short, light brown hair which appeared to require little maintenance. Rui grew it out during his time in France, but had it cut short again not long after returning to Japan. Tsukushi described his eyes as "clear, marble-like." In general, Rui wore comfortable, cozy clothing such as sweaters and sweatshirts. He switched to lightweight T-shirts during the summer.
Personality and traits
As a child, Rui was characterized as "severely introverted" due to the pressure put on him by his father. Shizuka helped him by drawing him out of his shell, leading him to smile and be happy more often. At heart, Rui remained an introverted person though not to his own detriment. Additionally, he was generally uninterested in anyone he did not care about. Tsukushi, whom he treated coldly at first, was a rare example of someone he opened up to and became close friends with. For those he cared about, Rui helped in his own way.
Rui spent most of his time sleeping, leading Akira to joke that "he must sleep fifteen hours a day." His favorite spot to nap was the high school's emergency stairwell, which he continued to occasionally visit during university. Rui's next favorite hobby was watching television, leading to the label of "TV addict." On occassion, he was athletic though not as much as his friends. Together they excelled at basketball during middle school.
He is voiced by former SMAP member, Takuya Kimura, in the 1993 audio drama. It was Kimura's first voice role. Due to his popularity, he is considered the lead. Author Yoko Kamio was excited to meet him and interviewed him for Margaret. He also appeared on the magazine's cover.
Naohito Fujiki plays Rui in the 1995 film, Hana Yori Dango. Fujiki also portrays an original character in Hana Yori Dango Final (2008). His portrayal is kept close to the original while leaving out extraneous details. Being in love with Shizuka, Rui is heartbroken when she moves to New York. He staves off the loneliness by dating Tsukushi, thus betraying Tsukasa. She eventually tells him that they are not meant to be. He then decides to go after Shizuka.
Takarazuka Revue actress Asuka Seino plays Rui in the 2019 musical, Hana Yori Dango. Rui plays a major role in the production with his and Shizuka's romance affecting much of the plot. His characterization is kept close to the manga, though he acts nicer and more flirty with Tsukushi early on. He performs many songs, including "Flowers—Love's Flower—" and "Duel."