Hm. Oh dear is the first phrase that comes to mind where Raya is concerned.
In my opinion she is the most wasted of all of the characters in the Jem
series, and considering that she's a Hologram, this is slightly bizarre.
Because she plays very little part in any episode outside The Talent Search
parts 1 and 2, she doesn't always come across as a character with a whole
lot of substance.
However, I have done some careful studying of her in the episodes she is
in, and I've managed to find some nice things to say about her :)
One thing that can be said for her, is that she is a sweet natured character
with too much modesty for her own ability and perhaps too much in the way
of sensitivity. She's not very flirtatious like some of the others - in her
'She Makes An Impression' music video in Scandal, when all
the other Holograms skate off with guys, she picks the puppy, and in the
Aztec Enchantment video, when she's being pursued by their guide she
runs away from him. She is vastly insecure about what she can do - she almost
gives up on being a hologram several times throughout the Talent Search
and when Shana returns to the band assumes she is not needed without waiting
around to find out that she is. She's also very loyal in her approach - she
develops a clear adoration for Jem and will do anything for her wherever she
can. It is Raya's good heart that is touched by Clash's facade in Video
Wars, and Raya who stops the train to let the Misfits back on in 'Rock
and Roll Express', asking them in concern 'what happened to you?'.
Her animal loving side comes out more than once through the shows she is
in. Aside from the puppy, she is extremely concerned and interested in the
seals in 'Middle of Nowhere', so much so that a rare Raya snide remark
is uttered. However, she is quick to forgive and forget.
Another, slightly odd talent that Raya seems to possess is the ability to
shoot arrows. I don't think I dare ask where this ability came from, but
in the introductory scenes to Renaissance Woman, she shoots a perfect
bullseye, much to the chagrin of her companions. Odd hobbies the girl has!
Additional to this, Raya has the definite makings of an actress. In both
Trick or Techrat and Beauty and the Rock Promoter, there is
a taste of Raya's acting skill, and I think this is decidedly underplayed,
because it would have given her a great character edge.
The trouble with Raya is that all of the other Holograms have grown up together,
and though Raya knows about Synergy and everything she never seems to gel
with the band enough. This is especially clear in 'Out Of The Past'
where she sticks out like a sore thumb, to put it bluntly :P.
Raya is probably the character from the show with the most normal family
setup - she has three brothers, a mother who fusses over what she should
be doing as a 'young lady' and a father who is incredibly proud of her and
supports her all the way. Most of the Jem characters don't have family, so
in this she is unusual. Raya's family are seen mostly through the Talent
Search, though they also appear in Aztec Enchantment and it's
clear that they're a closeknit bunch. The only thing that will induce Raya
to consider betraying Jem's secret to Eric Raymond is when she wants to get
money to help her father rebuild his ransacked nursery. I think of all of
her family it is him she is closest to.
Although she clearly worships Jem :P I don't think she has a Hologram that
she is closest to, although she does appear to bond fairly well with both
Shana and Kimber. In Scandal, it's Raya who is concerned about Kimber
and wants to go home straight away to check she's okay...it's Raya who goes
to find her in Synergy's room and Raya whom Kimber is gossiping with about
Shawn, whilst in the first All's Right With The World video, it's Shana that
pulls her aboard the train. Equally, Kimber is excited at Raya's joining
the group and can't wait for her to meet Synergy, whilst Shana is giving
her a pep talk in the start of Scandal about her interview. She seems fairly
friendly also with Video in the start of 'Father's Day' (It is Raya's
bright idea to do the video for Video's father) but I'm not sure she has
a special bond with anyone outside her own family. She certainly doesn't
seem to have much of a bond with Aja, though I wouldn't say either that the
two girls are anything like at loggerheads...they just have less in common
than some of the others. Jem also often seems to forget she's there - though
they team up in the Jazz Singer to rescue Tabs Tucker's horn, in Britrock,
when giving out orders (:P) Jem totally ignores the fact Raya is there. Of
the Holograms she probably ranks number 5 out of 5, but it hardly seems to
matter, since the hierarchy is not so important within this group as it is
within the Misfits.
Regarding the Misfits, Raya tends to follow on where she's led, but she
does appear to have a dislike for Jetta after it is Jetta who orders the
destruction of her father's nursery in Talent Search. This is another
indication of Raya's love for her father, too, since it's one of the few
times she actually gets sparky with the opposition, pulling Jetta's hair
in the company of the other Misfits and Eric, with no Hologram nearby should
she get into trouble and need bailing out. There is a tiny hint here that
perhaps Raya is suppressing a hot temper in order to better fit in with her
new group and be accepted as quick as possible...at least, this is my hope