R in Episode 13.
|Affiliations||Koko's Squad |
Bersaglieri intelligence officer (former)
|Manga debut||Chapter 1|
|Anime debut||Episode 1|
|Japanese voice||Katsuyuki Konishi (anime) |
Tomoyuki Higuchi (drama CD)
|English voice||Ian Sinclair|
Renato Socci (レナート・ソッチ Renāto Sotchi?), more commonly known as R (アール Āru?), was a former Bersaglieri intelligence officer and a member of Koko's Squad. He was also a CIA mole recruited by George Black to infiltrate the squad and played a key role in Operation Undershaft. Recruited following the death of Echo, R became the second member of the squad to be killed in action, also in combat with Hex.
R was a fair man with short, medium coloured hair and light coloured eyes. In the anime his hair is a medium brown and his eyes are light green. R wore various standard equipment and uniforms when Koko's Squad was been outfitted with them in addition to various civilian attire. While in the Bersaglieri he wore the unit's camouflage uniform and combat helmet with black Capercaillie feathers and his hair was cut shorter.
When around Koko and the other members of her squad, R was typically shown to be relaxed and easygoing, even acting as a voice of reason in several situations. In his dealings with George Black, it was shown that while R has a resolute respect for Koko, he was actually fearful of what she may be capable of. Nonetheless, he cared about Koko to the point where he blew his cover as an undercover CIA operative to save her from Hex. He also worried for Jonah's well being, picking up on the fact that he has a calming effect on Koko and prevents her from doing something drastic. He was also a self-described ladies' man, once stating that he has a different girl waiting for him at every major port in the world.
R and George Black developed a close relationship and mutual trust in each other from working together in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This allowed George to infiltrate R into Koko's Squad and the true nature of R's relationship with the CIA remained a secret until shortly before R's death.
He got along well with Koko Hekmatyar, who gave him his nickname and in turn was the who suggested to her that the boss should always wear a smile. Like Lutz and Tojo, R was attracted to Valmet and was once able to convince her to receive a massage during which his hand slipped and he touched one of her breasts, earning him a beatdown. He tried to brush this off by claiming to have women in every port but this may have been an exaggeration.
Like all the members of the squad, R was proficient with a variety of firearms. During the Bosnian War he had become good at working with the local civilians and obtaining intelligence that was used by George to take out suspected Bosnian war criminals. While this background helped in his acceptance as a replacement for Echo, Tojo, who also came from an intelligence background, fulfilled this as a primary role in the squad. R was also able to mask his true role as a CIA mole for years.
Renato Socchi served in the Bosnian War as a UN peacekeeper in Bersaglieri intelligence, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant. While still a sergeant he met and began working with George Black. When a family that Renato had been using as a source was in danger of being killed by the local militia, he attempted to save them but it ended up being George who had them taken to safety. He subsequently invited Renato to work for the CIA full time. After Operation Undershaft was put in motion, Renato became the sixth member of Koko's Squad, succeeding Echo. After Lehm welcomed him, Koko told him that she needed him to be better than his predecessor and gave him the nickname of R.
Fire Hare Arc
Like the other members of the squad he was surprised to see that Koko's newest recruit was a former child soldier.
Gunmetal, Calico Road Arc
A few nights later R went to get Jonah for his shift on watch, calmly reacting when the latter quickly drew his pistol in a reflexive action. He advised him to put something warm on due to the cold before going to sleep. The following morning Koko assigned R and Wiley to remain at the hotel to act as a relay between her and HQ when she left to confront C. K. Kloshkin.
When Koko vowed to Jonah that the next time he would have plenty of opportunity to fire his weapon, the rest of the squad had a collective laugh and R pointed out to him that he had to watch what he said around Koko as she was an arms dealer.
Musica Ex Machina Arc
After the squad received word from Lehm that Koko, Valmet, and Jonah were under attack by Orchestra, R accompanied Mao, Tojo, and Ugo in their Honda CR-V. After picking up Valmet, who traded places with Tojo, they headed for the waterfront, where Koko was fleeing with Jonah. After finding them, they drove alongside to act as a shield. When Orchestra arrived in their GMC Sierra, R was surprised to see that Shisho was armed with an IMI Negev. He, Mao, and Valmet shot it out with Shisho. After Mao had noticed that Orchestra was carrying an M2 Browning in the back seat, he and R were able to damage the Sierra's engine when Chinatsu brought it around for a second pass. Following the incident the squad was confined to their hotel by the Dubai Police Force. R was having a drink and snacking when Chinatsu made a second attempt to assassinate Koko three days later.
While at sea on board the Atlas, Lutz and [R test fired an XM8 by shooting at a towed target. When Kasper Hekmatyar's bodyguards tried their hand at it, neither of them was happy at their cockiness and were both pleased when Ugo grabbed the XM8 and fired it one-handed while eating.
Sea Route Arc
As punishment for leaving the XM8 out on deck, Koko had Lutz and R scrub the pilothouse. Lutz tried to get Jonah to help them out but R stopped him. When Koko checked up on them she asked their opinions on the XM8, with R thinking that police forces could be equipped with it as it would appear less intimidating. Koko then declared the cleaning done and the two quickly left, leaving their mops and buckets behind to Koko's annoyance. R relocated to a lounge where he was relaxing along with Lutz, Valmet and Tojo when Jonah found them after descending from the crow's nest. When Koko discovered Jonah she suggested that they take a bath together, which which she claimed would be fun due to the ship's movement. The offer instantly piqued the interests of R, Valmet and Lutz, and they considered Jonah's refusal on the grounds that Koko was not a child anymore and to bathe by herself a waste.
African Golden Butterflies Arc
When Somali pirates attacked the Atlas, R helped finish off one of the speedboats, Contact 1, after Wiley crippled it with C4. He later drove the Touareg when most of the squad went to look for Minami in the mountains. R was impressed by Valmet's fight with Karen Low and reprimanded Lutz for getting hit. After they located Minami the following day, Lehm had him spread out and watch for a possible ambush.
Air Route Arc
When it was revealed that a bullet that Jonah was carrying around in his butt had set off a metal detector at London Heathrow Airport, R asked why he did not have it extracted as it was an outpatient procedure. He face faulted along with everyone else when Jonah replied that he feared the injection more than the surgery.
Mondo Grosso Arc
After Lutz was ambushed by Jonah and hit with several paintballs while training in East Sussex, R and most of the squad laughed at him after he returned to the shooting range. Koko later half the squad including R accompany Tojo to Country B.
Dragon Shooter Arc
Hill of Doom Arc
Dance With Undershaft Arc
R and George returned to Paris where they had a late dinner. R started by informing George that Koko had been targeted by assassins who she had diccovered were sent by the CIA. George clarified that Operation Undershaft was not focused on eliminating her and thus he would not have sent them. R replied that he suspected it was another CIA insider and that if he himself were behind it the risk of his discovery would be too great. He then revealed what he had learned from two years inside the squad about Koko, namely nothing because she was extremely good at concealing her true nature. Concluding that she always operated in a grey area, he observed that her armour had begun to crack after Marguerite Mesner had suggested that she was turning into a dragon herself. George replied that Koko and Minami had to be watched and could both turn into monsters. The meeting lasted all night and both men parted ways at dawn, with George wondering how many rockets Koko had launched. R later rejoined the squad for a delivery to Bosnia Herzegovina. Here their convoy had to stop as they had gotten lost and R talked to Jonah when the latter commented on the beauty of the countryside. When they continued on R thought to himself that he could not betray George.
When the squad was later at a shooting range, Koko announced that they would be standardising their weapons, going with the Magpul Masada and SIG Sauer SP 2022. After R asked her to test fire the latter Koko fied three quick shots, putting two in a bullseye with the third just missing. She then declared that whoever scored worse than her would earn a punishment. The squad then went through some drills under Lehm's supervision involving exiting from a moving Touareg. When R came back for some water, Koko asked him about George, who she was investigating. R he revealed that he had met George while stationed in Bosnia and informed her that George likes to eat, surmising that he thought that the "Bookman" nickname referred not so much to George's actual background, but to his tenacity when pursuing an investigation. When R probed as to whether he was involved with hiring Dominique's crew, Koko did not think so, as a section chief would not employ such methods. She then asked if he knew about Hex, who R mistok for being male. He then told her that she did not need to reveal more about her past than she wanted to as he noticed that Hex was a sore subject for her. When he was called back to participate with the rest of the squad in shooting at moving targets, R vowed to protect Koko. He wondered who Hex was while firing his SP 2022 and later sent George an email asking about Hex.
After arriving in Prague, R called George the next day to follow up as he had not heard back. George replied that he did not answer because she was as highly confidential as he is, but R refused to take this as an answer, countering that he had suspected her behind the recent series of incidents and that she could jeopardise Operation Undershaft. After being reminded that he would find the source, George told R that he will call him back. He later told R that if he was his right arm, Hex was his left as she had been critical to many of his operations and effective against terrorists. When R learned that Jonah is Hex's target, he called Koko on a second phone and learned that she and Jonah are near the hotel. He then yelled at George and shot down the idea of targeting Jonah, arguing bringing him into the squad defied all logic. He claimed that Jonah served as Koko's shackle to her sanity and was tied to her sense of self, providing an escape route that she could use if necessary and that she was still a girl despite her tough exterior. Although George dismissed his analysis, R concluded that despite what he had said, George really wanted to see what Koko would come up with, surprising the latter who laughed at this flash of insight. R then returned to the hotel while begging to be informed of where Hex was. George decided to help him and revealed that Hex was running an independent operation which involved an arranged meeting between Koko and Simunek, having positioned Cutthroat at a market a few kilometers southeast of the hotel. He offers to stop her by calling the Czech Police.
R ran into Lutz but did not let him in on what was going on, going to his room and retrieves his Masada along with a second one, concealing both in a backpack. As R ran to the market he decided not to reveal his true identity to Koko until he took out Hex, arriving on the scene and taking out one of the operatives who was confronting Jonah. Jonah, Koko and R were able to get behind a car as a firefight with Hex and Cutthroat broke out. After giving Jonah the extra Masada, he told Koko that he was George's mole and vowed to leave the squad after taking out Hex. Koko was shocked at the news and yelled for Hex. R then gave her his CIA phone as Jonah's legs went numb from the sedative that he had been injected with. R begged George to help them and he ordered Hex to cease her operation immediately. R then asked that the smart key of nearby Mercedes-Benz S600 be hacked and that Lehm be notified of the situation, both of which George complied with.
Koko then told R that she did not care if he was a spy but he told her to keep it together. R was shot by Iko while going back for Jonah but managed to take him out. As soon as the S600 began moving, R put Jonah into it and said goodbye to Koko. As she driove away, Hex yells for him and they confronted each other, firing at the same time. Although Hex was hit in the right eye, R was killed, with his final thought being of the squad. The rest of the squad then appeared on the scene and took out the rest of Cutthroat thanks to intelligence provided by George, forcing Hex and her remaining two men to withdraw. Lehm, Tojo, Ugo, and Mao then gathered around the fallen R as Lehm confirmed that Koko and Jonah had escaped before saying goodbye to R.
R's death devastated Koko and after tracking Hex to Iraq, she had a B-52 bomb Hex's hideout, killing her and the last surviving members of Cutthroat. This was timed to occur during her visit to R's grave on the west coast of Italy to pay her last respects along with Jonah. George visited the grave at the same time and met Koko. After he left, Koko said her last goodbyes to R and left a bottle of Auchentoshan Scotch whisky on his grave. On his way back, George received the news that Hex and her surviving men had been killed by Koko, observing that he had now figuratively lost both of his arms. He then thought of what both R and Hex would have said.
Kasper in Asia Arc
The anime adds a scene of Koko having a drink while still mourning R as she thought about his confession and death.
Serpent Looking Up to the Heavens Arc
In the anime the events of this arc were moved to occur prior to the Dance with Undershaft Arc. R is thus alive and present at the launch of the final naval rocket.
Anime and manga differences
- Koko and her squad were shown with Minami Amada watching a Hek-GG rocket launch from a naval launch platform prior to Jonah's addition. The scene with Jonah cooking a meal was changed to dinner and sickened the entire squad.
- R placed 10th in a character in a poll conducted by Sunday GX which ran from June through September 2012.
- R and Echo share several similarities:
- Both were members of elite military units of their respective nations.
- Both were involved in wars during the early 1990s in which the United States was involved in a coalition role.
- Both their nicknames were letter based. Echo's was derived from the NATO phonetic alphabet code word for his first initial, E, while R's also came from his first initial.
- They were the only members of Koko's Squad to die in combat and both were killed in a similar manner by Hex.