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Ryu aided in a organized riot in a shopping mall. He was then in charge of the team whose task is to infiltrate the military hospital, and find any information they can on the new subject, Tetsuo Shima. When he shows up, half-dead, in front of Nezu to inform him of the hospital mission's failure, Nezu shoots him in a panic, killing him in the process.
As the story progresses, Ryu abandons his revolutionary roots and becomes more heroic and independent, working with George Yamada and guiding Shotaro Kaneda to Akira's chamber where Tetsuo Shima is held up, but battles with alcoholism and depression after the loss of his comrades who the most probably died during the Neo-Tokyo explosion caused by Akira when he witnessed the death of his friend Takashi. After Ryu shoots and "kills" Akira, elevator debris lands on him shortly afterwards, killing him.