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Ruiko Saten (佐天 涙子 Saten Ruiko) is one of two tritagonists of the A Certain Scientific Railgun sidestories (alongside Kazari Uiharu) and a major character of the series. She is a Level 0 esper in Academy City and is both the classmate and best friend of Kazari Uiharu.
She is voiced by Kanae Itō in the Japanese Dub and Brina Palencia in the English Dub.
Ruiko Saten is a girl with blue eyes and long black hair with a small, white flower on the left side of her hair. She also prefers wearing medium-sized skirts instead of short ones. Her clothes are known to change multiple times throughout the series with only her school uniform being constant. Her school outfit is a white top with a red ribbon and a blue skirt.
Ruiko Saten can be described as a normal-acting preteen in the series in comparison to her peers, and generally the other characters in the whole Toaru franchise. Not having any extracurricular activities like Judgment or being particularly book smart, Saten tends to act in a far more down to Earth and regular manner to the everyday girl. Saten also seems to have an eye for fashion and in fact tends to change her casual appearance frequently when not mandated to wear her school's uniform.
Affable, cheerful, outgoing and friendly by nature Satan is very social and can make friends and positive impressions on first time acquaintances rather easily. Even those whom otherwise have little regard for human life such as Frenda Seivelun, a member of ITEM, and Xochitl, a Magician sent to kill a traitor found themselves taken back and becoming fond of Saten; the former, herself usually willing to betray others for short term survival and gain, even opted against simply abandoning Saten to a close-range sniper to get away.
Saten's ability to garner and strengthen bonds is shown throughout the series allowing Uiharu and Kuroko make up after an altercation and aid Mikoto Misaka realize that she has friends whom she can rely on. While Mikoto has many friends that she has come to treasure deeply, Saten is perhaps the one that Mikoto is the closest to on a personal level and emotional level, perhaps even deeper than her roommate Kuroko Shirai, and despite not having known Saten the least amount of time compared to her other friends.
It was Saten's coma that motivated Mikoto to personally request the aid of Judgement as opposed to her usual modus operandi of simply sticking her nose into the situation and expecting their cooperation given the circumstance, and when their memories of her were erased by Shokuho Misaki, Saten was the only one to see through this and be able to approach Misaka and see her as a friend despite lacking the memories of their time together. This also extends to Saten's other friends as well, as she was the first within their group to begin to try and strengthen their bond after Uiharu's kidnapping by attempting to call Kuroko Shirai by her first name, something that she usually only reserved to Misaka Mokoto and did not believe she would ever allow to extend to others as well.
Initially Saten displayed apathy at her being a Level 0, subsequent actions could imply that her apathy was a way to cope and hide away her depression and feelings of inadequacy however. Before even meeting Misaka Mikoto her impression on the Level 5 was colored by believing that she would be comparative to the stereotype that higher level espers looked down on those of lower levels and believed themselves to be superior, and the fact that she would be an elite amongst the elite only made Saten more weary of Mikoto and advised Uiharu to curb her expectations of her idol. Upon meeting Mikoto, her opinion became a positive one and the two grew to be close friends.
As time went on, however, the long pent up and buried emotions and insecurities relating to her low level began to manifest as repressed envy at her friends for having powers, while she had none what-so-ever. This finally reached a breaking point when Mikoto insensitively, if innocently, asked what the big deal about having so much power was causing Saten to abandon her doubt and use the Level Upper, ignorant of the eventual side effects.
When she recovered from her Coma Saten was rattled with guilt over causing her friends harm: sharing the level upper with some of her classmates caused them to fall into Comas alongside herself, and her remaining friends to worry over the ordeal. During the Seminar that Academy City held in order to try and help the coma-victims, Saten sat back and took it as a punishment and rationalized the course as a punishment she deserved. However, the positive feedback and atmosphere of her friends and the encouragement from the teachers eventually helped her resolve to re-affirm her dream of being a powerful Esper despite her numbers not improving.
Despite being a resident in the city of science, Saten is avid fan of Urban Legends and internet rumors, and loves to share them with her friends whenever possible, though it seems that this only extends to being a hobby to investigate over genuine belief and passion towards them as fact. This has caused a tendency to be nosy and investigate whatever catches her interest, often leading herself into trouble and needing to be saved when stumbling into unwanted trouble through sheer coincidence. Furthermore she believes hat her nose is sensitive to money, though she backs this up by showing Mikoto four bank cards she already obtained, and though presumes that she doesn't believe that her mother's good luck charm actually works she has come to rely on it over the years, possibly to help her cope but also because she can be quite lucky or unlucky depending on the circumstances, stumbling upon the Level Upper, a lead that led her guess her relationship with Mikoto after her memories were erased and be saved by unlikely means through meeting and bonding with unexpected people.
Strangely, Saten, she has something of an odd fixation with undergarments, specifically panties, especially her long time friend Kazari Uiharu whom is frequent a victim of Saten lifting up her skirt, and for some reason is the only person whom Saten has been shown to do so.
Very rarely is Saten ever seen in combat, due to lacking Esper powers or any sort of training in an alternate method of combat, Saten's abilities in this field are negligible at best, and she more often relies on others to fight while she is tasked with fleeing and finding aid. However this does not mean that Saten is lacking in any field specifically outside of Esper Powers. More recently Saten has obtained numerous skills in miscellaneous fields after rapidly consuming numerous Indian Pokers with a multitude of random skills, including scaling walls.
If not in outright skill, Saten has shown a talent in infiltration, being able to infiltrate the Prison that Uiharu Kazari was being housed in and was convincing enough to pose as a guard without arousing suspicion for the brief time needed to allow Mikoto to enter.
Though she also seemingly lacks training in physical strength Saten is surprisingly athletic, capable of running for a noticeably longer time than most students during her extra classes after the Level Upper incident, and was agile enough to dodge the armed and dangerous Powered Suits attacking her and even land solid strikes on them with a baseball bat. She was also strong enough to use her bat to smash the Capacity Down machine.
Much later on it appears that her physical abilities have increased significantly which was shown during the Jailbreak arc, where Saten was able to catch Oumi Shuri unawares on numerous occasions during the faux jail-break despite the Kunoichi being on guard and ready for an attack, a noteworthy feet as the incredibly dangerous Tsurigane had opted to lower Oumi's guard to get a solid blow against her. Much later on she made an impressive jump across the distance between the Reformatory buildings, and managed to jump far enough to be able to use her scaling cat-paw gloves to scale the building and hang from the ceiling to conceal herself.
She was even fast enough to protect Uiharu from Kimi's Angel Dragon. She also managed to recover enough to regain consciousness and reassure Uiharu, a feat which completely shocked Aohoshi, and given Kimi's description should've been impossible.
She has demonstrated to be unusually perspective and quick witted, picking out odd inconsistencies in her memories and having Misaka phone number already in her phone allowed her to pick up Misaki's memory manipulations on her, something no-one else in the series has demonstrated to date.
Surprisingly, and arguably key to her own survival at times, is her sheer luck. Saten has found herself the unwitting casualty of many of Academy City's dark side secrets, and providing key clues to uncover the secrets, only to seemingly be saved by sheer chance and coincidence.
A true Level 0, Saten's development as an Esper in the Power Development program is minimal; while she produces an AIM Diffusion field and thus is technically an Esper is every sense of the word save for demonstrating supernatural powers proper, Saten is closer to a regular person because of this lacking power, while also being incapable of making up the difference in using magic without sustaining bodily harm. From her comments it could be implied that Saten is a true level 0, and possesses absolutely no abilities what-so-ever, at least none that have manifested. Her lack of growth in this field for a prolonged period of time, even after a seminar that saw minor growth in other attendees could imply that Saten has tragically reached her limit at that her dream is beyond her grasp all together, at least for the time being. However being a Level 0 also makes her resistant to Capacity Down, something which was crucial in stopping Therestina Kihara Lifeline's experiment, sense her immunity allowed her to find and stop it so that Mikoto could use her powers unhindered. When she used the Level Upper, a power finally manifested: Aero Hand (lit. "Air Power User"), which allows her to propel objects using ejection points of air, though even with the Level Upper activated, she was only ever shown to move small leaves in the palm of her hands, implying that Saten's numbers were low enough to only boost her to the point of minor success, or that her power was rare enough that the Level Upper could only increase her power to the extent displayed. Once the Level Upper is reversed, her ability level returns to where it had been before.
- She displays impressive skill in sewing and embroidery. She shares this trait with Mikoto who also has impressive embroidery skills.
- In the Anime Saten meets Mikoto at the same time that she first meets Uiharu, however in the Railgun manga, Mikoto meets Uiharu in the first chapter but doesn't meet Saten until the fourth, with Saten herself not debuting until the third chapter.
- In the anime original arc of Raligun S (Silent Party Arc) she was, along with Kazari, able to memorize an entire manual on how to pilot a giant mecha in a single night and actually be able to apply it in battle, however it should be noted that she has not shown any sign of this sort of intelligence anywhere else in the series. This is seen by fans as a case of Cloverfield, a fan-term relating to the Railgun Anime's director referring to any inconsistencies or contradictions that originate from the Railgun Anime.
- It appears that Saten's friendship with Mikoto is not widely known sense some of Saten's friends only inferred that she would be hanging out with Uiharu solely, when she would've also been hanging out with Kuroko and Mikoto as well.
- She and Kazari Uiharu both have cameos in both openings of the first Toaru Majutsu no Index anime, although with shorter skirts.
- Saten appears in the first A Certain Magical Index anime opening despite not appearing in the actual series.
- Saten makes a cameo in Okami-San and her Seven Companions Episode 8 alongside Uiharu, Mikoto and Kuroko also make cameos in the same episode.
- Saten is the only major character in the series to have met with Kamijou Touma on screen to NOT fall for him or have any sort of alternate romantic interest as of yet. She even seems to support Mikoto's feelings for him and aided in trying to get them to dance together during the Daihaisei Festival.
- Saten is also the only major character who is a Level 0 and uninvolved with the Magic Side or the Dark Side of Academy City, only being acquainted with Xochitl whom she is unaware is a magician. She herself even claims that she doesn't believe in Magic.
- Saten saw one of the SISTERS before Misaka was made aware that they were more than an Urban Legend.
- Saten seems to share Touma's trait of having dubious luck and getting roped into situations greater than she initially imagines, though while Touma is able to escape by using the source of his misfortune (Imagine Breaker) Saten usually need someone else to help her out, though it could be argued that her own luck is responsible for surviving by the skin of her teeth.
- Saten is the only character in the Science-Side to have an object of importance that is related to the Occult, a good-luck charm that, coincidence or not, set into motion Touma finding Mikoto during the attempted Level Six Shift on her.
- When she had Uiharu look up the website that she frequented but now couldn't find because Keitz Nokleben had made a series of dummy-websites to make it difficult to find, inadvertently setting into motion the loss of their memories of Mikoto by Misaki Shokuho's hands, and making it so that Misaka was dragged into the situation in the first place.