Ryūji Takayama (高山 竜司 Takayama Ryūji) was a major character in the Ring film series, first appearing in Ring. In Ring, Ryūji Takayama is a strange man who claims to be an occasional rapist (only in the novel), and seems to fear nothing. As soon as Asakawa explains the story Ryūji believes him, and wants nothing other than to see the cursed videotape . Asakawa shows it to him, and although Ryūji remains nonchalant he agrees there is a powerful aura around the tape. He asks Asakawa to make him a copy to study at home, which Asakawa does. By the end, he and Asakawa believe they have solved the mystery surrounding the series' central character, Sadako Yamamura; the following day, however, Sadako's malignant spirit emerges from the tape and kills him.
In the first novel Ring , Ryūji and Kazuyuki investigate the origins of the tape, Ryūji becoming very fascinated about the tape and gets a copy of it. Eventually, he and Kazuyuki solve the tape's mysteries and finds Sadako's body at the bottom of a well. However, because Ryūji did not make a copy of the tape himself and show it to someone else, he dies from Sadako's virus.
In the second novel Spiral , Kazuyuki and his family have died in a car crash. Mitsuo Ando , Ryuji's old friend from medical school, performs an autopsy on Ryuji and finds a bit of newspaper in his stomach, marked with the codes "178" and "136", which are actually the combined code for Ryuji's DNA. It is later revealed that Mai Takano , Ryuji's student/girlfriend has become impregnated with Sadako's spirit and dies upon giving birth. Sadako convinces Ando to help use Ryuji's DNA to resurrect him through advanced cloning. Ryūji and Sadako then proceed to spread Sadako's curse and virus using the diary of Kazuyuki which carries traces of the virus.
In the third novel, Loop, protagonist Kaoru Futami seeks a cure for the Metastatic Human Cancer which is killing his father and all those involved in the Loop supercomputer project introduced in the book. When his girlfriend contracts the disease, Kaoru manages to virtually enter Loop's systems and discovers the MHC is connected to Sadako's virus. He learns he is a clone of Ryuji and is immune to MHC, his death would enable his girlfriend to be cured. Kaoru agrees to die, but is saved by Sadako and his girlfriend is cured, but he remains trapped in Loop now under the alias of Ryuji Takayama.
In the fifth novel S , a man named Seiji Kashiwada, the man who resurrect Sadako Yamamura and her curse is Ryūji's second resurrect form. However, in the film adaption of S, Kashiwada is not connected to Ryūji but instead a person whom Sadako uses in aid of her revival.
Ring (1998 film)
Ryūji appears in the film after being summoned to Reiko's house after she watches the cursed videotape, running into Yōichi on the way but the two do not say a word to each other. Upon arriving at Reiko's house, Ryūji shows concern for his son before being shown the tape by Reiko. The two examine the tape, Ryūji identifying the word "Eruption" and the sentence "frolic in brine, goblins be thine". Reiko and Yōichi spend some time at Kōichi Asakawa's house, but Reiko catches her son watching the tape and informs Ryuji.
After learning of the existence of Shizuko Yamamura, the two head to Ōshima Island. Ryūji speaks with Takashi Yamamura, Shizuko's cousin and he and Reiko share a vision of Shizuko's public demonstration of her powers and learn of Sadako's existence. Reiko realises Sadako is in Izu, but the two are unable to leave the island due to a storm, that is until Takashi offers to take them to the mainland as a way of helping end the curse. Ryūji and Reiko arrive in Izu and successfully find Sadako's body at the bottom of a well.
The next day, Ryūji is at home when he hears strange noises and spots Sadako emerging from his television set. He receives a call from Reiko, but is unable to answer it as Sadako attacks and kills him. Reiko arrives too late to find his body has been removed, but takes his copy of the tape home with her. Ryūji appears in an image of the Towel Man who hints that she must copy the tape to save Yōichi, Ryūji having figured this out before he died.
Ring 2 is set a week after Ryūji's death, and Reiko and Yoichi have disappeared. Detective Keiji Ōmuta investigates his death, which further extends to the death of Reiko's father Kōichi Asakawa. Ryuji's student Mai Takano investigates his death with help from journalist Okazaki, learning of the tape's and the events of the first film. Mai and Okazaki meet Doctor Ishi Kawajiri, whom Ryuji knew when he studied medicine. Dr. Kawajiri becomes a supporting character in the film, trying to understand Sadako's powers.
After Reiko dies, Mai takes Yōichi to Ōshima Island where Dr. Kawajiri attempts an experiment to exorcise Sadako's powers from Yōichi, the boy seeing images of his deceased parents. The experiment goes awry, killing everyone present except Mai and Yōichi who fall into a swimming pool and wake up inside the well. Ryuji's ghost appears, removing the well's lid and creating a rope for them to use to escape, but first makes Yōichi allow him to absorb his anger and Sadako's powers as well. Mai and Yōichi escape but not before a brief encounter with Sadako. Their reunion with Ryūji allows Mai and Yōichi to remove their fears of dying.
- In Ring, Mai comes to Ryūji's apartment and saw him dead with a deformed face but in Rasen, Mai comes to Ryūji's apartment and saw how Ryūji died and he died normally without his face deformed. There are even photos of his death.
- In Ring: The Final Chapter, Ryūji was claimed to be Sadako's baby which her grandmother was referring to.
- Ryūji was claimed to be a rapist but in the film, the rapist issue about him wasn't mentioned.