Template:OkamiCharacter Rao (ツヅラオ, Tsudzurao) is a character that appears in Okami. She was a priestess who was possessed by the Oni island demon Ninetails. Rao used prayer slips to purify cursed doors to help Amaterasu pass through.
Not much of the real Rao's personality is revealed due to her death before Amaterasu gets a chance to meet her, but Evil Rao's impersonation appears to be so similar to no-one can tell the difference. Rao appears to be a kind-hearted and generous person who honors Queen Himiko and is very loyal in her position as Regent of Sei'an City. Most of the residents of the city have come to see her as a figure of hope and trust. However, she acts oddly in some instances, which later causes Amaterasu to discover her true identity (for example, she abandons Amaterasu and Issun when they are attacked by the Water Dragon).
Oddly, Rao does not seem to notice Issun's attraction to her. This may be because she is not used to the ways of humans.
Rao is very beautiful, and as a result a large number of characters seem to be attracted to her. She has a large chest that is the focus of Issun's attention. She wears a nun's hood as well as a necklace of beads and a purple dress with a yellow sash. When she changes to her 'Evil Rao' form, her outfit changes as well. She gains a fox mask and arm guards and moves her hood further back to allow space for her ears. She wields a smaller version of Ninetails's sword. The sword has a brush on the end of it, but she never uses it.
There some obvious differences between the 'Real Rao' and 'Evil Rao' in terms of clothing: Although their outfit is mostly the same, Real Rao wears blue beads and shows both of her eyes, but Evil Rao wears red beads and covers one eye with her hair to conceal the fact that she is missing an eye.
The real Rao was killed by Ninetails. Ninetails then takes her human form to get close to Queen Himiko.
Her true identity is revealed when Amaterasu and Otohime see something attacking 'Rao' in the crystal ball. They rush to Ankoku Temple, only to be led by real Rao's ghost to a hidden passageway that leads to Himiko's Palace. After finding Himiko's attendant knocked out, they head to Himiko's room, only to find her dead with the crystal ball nearby. Rao is nearby, trembling in fear. She tells Amaterasu that "a great beast ten times (her) height attacked Himiko and killed her." However, Amaterasu wasn't fooled, and attacked Rao. This causes Rao to show her true form, which is actually Ninetails.
- "I will honor my duty with my life!"
- Rao is based on the Japanese legend of "Happyaku Bikuni" or "The Eight-Hundred-Year-Old Priestess" in English. This story is about a young girl who accidentally eats the meat of a mermaid. When the girl reaches adulthood she suddenly stops ageing and becomes near immortal. However after marrying many times and out living all of her families she finally has enough. She then becomes and nun and retreats to a cave to die.
- When Amaterasu and Issun are watching Rao in Otohime's crystal ball, it is a message from the past showing Ninetails chasing down Real Rao, and Evil Rao taking her place.
- It is Ghost of Real Rao who guides Amaterasu and Issun to Ankoku Temple and back through the secret passage to Himiko's castle, where Evil Rao has killed Himiko.
- In the Okami Official Artbook it is revealed that the Real Rao would be reborn as a flower in front of the secret passage, near a grave which has been built for her remains.
- As stated in the art book, the real Rao showed both her eyes and wore a blue-beaded necklace, opposed to the Rao seen in the the present day, who sports a red-beaded necklace and covering her right eye with her hair. It is also stated in the art book that the imposter was missing the said eye. This can be seen when Ninetails' true form is revealed in the final battle: one of its eyes is visibly blinded.
- Even though Rao is actually the Demon Lord Ninetails in disguise Amaterasu can still use the bloom techique to make "Rao" pet her. She also reacts to Power Slash and Cherry Bomb, like ordinary NPCs. It is likely that this was all part of her elaborate act.
- When traveling through the secret passage Amaterasu finds a skeleton and Issun mentions that the clothes the skeleton is wearing look familiar not knowing that that was the real Rao.