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Kyo Kusanagi
Background information
Feature films
Television programs The King of Fighters Destiny
The King of Fighters Awaken
Video games The King of Fighters series
Park attractions
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Voice Tomoaki Maeno
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Kyo Kusanagi (草薙 京 Kusanagi Kyo)
Other names The Scion of the Flame
The Cleansing Exorcising Flame
Personality Rebellious, headstrong, justice, playful, cocky
Appearance Depends on the outfit
Occupation Japanese Human, Heir of the Kusanagi Clan, Martial Artist
Affiliations Good
Home Nagoya, Japan (homeworld)
Relatives Saisyu Kusanagi (father)
Shizuka Kusanagi (mother)
Souji Kusanagi (cousin)
Aoi Kusanagi (cousin)
Kyo-1 (clone)
Kyo-2 (clone)
K' (has Kyo's DNA)
Krizalid (has Kyo's DNA)
K9999 (has Kyo's DNA)
Nameless (has Kyo's DNA)
Krohnen McDougall (has Kyo's DNA)
Allies His Pokémon Team His girlfriend Yuki, Pretty Cures, Hippo, Lucia Nanami, Hanon Hosho, Rina Toin, Sebastian, Dory, Melody, Scuttle, Nigel, Nemo, Gill, Flounder, Ariel, Rock Howard, Athena Asamiya, Hinako Shijou, Sie Kensou, Saisyu Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido, Goro Daimon, Chizuru Kagura, Kasumi Todoh, K', Whip, Whip, Kula Diamond, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Kim Kaphwan, Mai Shiranui, Yuri Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Yuri Sakazaki, Shingo Yabuki, Leona Heidern, Ralf Jones, Clark Still, Isla, Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken Masters, Guile, Sakura Kasugano, Cammy White, Madoka Kaname, Homura Akemi, Sayaka Miki, Mami Tomoe, Kyoko Sakura, Nagisa Momoe, Pia Undo, Aki Mabayu, Mermaid Princesses, Aqua Regina, Nikora Nanami, Madame Taki, Carl Johnson, Tommy Vercetti, Claude, Usagi Tsukino, Mamoru Chiba, Ami Mizuno, Rei Hino, Makoto Kino, Minako Aino, Chibiusa Tsukino, Haruka Tenou, Michiru Kaiou, Setsuna Meiou, Hotaru Tomoe
Enemies Ursula / Vanessa, Flotsam and Jetsam, Morgana, Undertow, Sharkgirl, Orochi (arch-nemesis), Rugal Bernstein (arch-nemesis), Choi Bounge, Geese Howard, Mr. Big, Wolfgang Krauser, Goenitz (archenemy), Mature, Vice, Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie, Chris (evil counterpart), Kyo-1, Kyo-2, Krizalid, Clone Zero, Original Zero, K9999, Igniz, Ron, Kusanagi, Ash Crimson (briefly an archenemy), Mukai, Magaki, Saiki, Duke Burkoff, Jivatma, Kyubey, Deep Blue, Dark Lovers, Black Beauty Sisters, Gaito, Michel, Michel's Servants, Pokémon Trainer Tobias (briefly an archenemy), Dark Kingdom, Makai Tree, Black Moon Clan, Xenian Youma Flower, Death Busters, Princess Snow Kaguya, Dead Moon Circus, Queen Badiane, Shadow Galactica, Team Rainbow Rocket, Dakanda Multrisri (arch-nemesis)
Likes His motorcycle, his girlfriend (Yuki)
Dislikes Effort, Losing, Evil, Bad, Hakkeshu, NESTS, Those from the Past, Villains, Hated Characters, Tobias, Dakanda Multrisri
Powers and abilities Kyo Kusanagi is famous for his control over fire, which he can summon and manipulate to devastating effect. His signature move, the "182 Shiki: Oniyaki," unleashes a torrent of flame towards his enemies, incinerating everything in its path. In addition to offensive capabilities, Kyo can also use his fire powers to propel himself through the air, giving him an agile advantage in combat.
Weapons Kusanagi Sword
Quote "I am the champion!"

Kyo Kusanagi is the main protagonist of The King of Fighters and the flim in Disney crossovers: Once Upon a Studio: Multiverse.


Kyo begins as an high-school student who enters the first tournament both to prove his strength to the world (having already won the All-Japan Martial Arts Tournament) and to find his missing father Saisyu. After defeating Rugal for the first time, he encounters Iori Yagami who proclaims himself as Kyo's eternal enemy.

Kyo makes it to the finals again and fights his Brainwashed father, and then Rugal once again. He learns of his destiny to seal away Orochi from Chizuru Kagura, and in '96, defeats Goenitz along with Iori. In '97 he, along with Iori and Chizuru, battle the last remaining forces of Orochi and reseal him, but he disappears afterward, and he is found by NESTS and cloned.

After having been missing for a year, he re-emerges and decides to invesitage NESTS, joining K' in combating the organization.

In the Tales of Ash saga, he joins with Iori and Chizuru once again to stop a group of people trying to resurrect Orochi, but Iori and Chizuru have their powers stolen by Ash Crimson, leaving Kyo as the final target. Due to Ash fully managing to unfurl his plan, however, Kyo never has his powers stolen.

In XIV, Kyo learns that a friend of Saisyu, Tung Fu Rue, is participating in the tournament with some new students. Kyo is asked to participate in order to 'show the ropes' to these newcomers.


Kyo is often depicted as a young adult Japanese male with an athletic physique and a brown curtain haircut. Since in his debut in KOF '94, Kyo sported a modified black gakuran, a Japanese male school uniform, as it appeared with his unbuttoned coat with the sleeves rolled up to his biceps and a vest, each with gold buttons, a tucked-in white shirt, a brown/gold belt and white buckled shoes. He often wears a large white headband to compliment this attire, along with a pair of his uniquely designed black fingerless gloves. Originally in KOF '94, each of his gloves were cut at the length of his wrists, with a single gold stripe marked around the areas of his palms. In KOF '95, while his gloves remain the same of his in-game sprites, his portraits marked a significant update, as the cut extends to midway of his forearms, another gold stripe added near the end of the cut, and an eclipsed sun crest near the area of his wrist. The sun crest is best known to represent the Kusanagi clan, which it also marked on the back of his coat since KOF '94. This outfit is considered Kyo's most recognizable look, often deemed this as his "classic" to the fans that it even makes the most appearances on crossovers featuring him. In-canon, Kyo prominently wears this outfit in the entirety of the Orochi Saga from KOF '94 up to KOF '98. Beyond in the main KOF series after KOF '98, some of Kyo's clones tend to wear this exact outfit in various colors, including Kyo-1 for a navy blue variant and Kyo-2 for a reddish-brown variant. This classic outfit also appears as an alternate costume in most KOF games such as KOF Maximum Impact, KOF XIII, and KOF XIV.

Throughout the main KOF series, Kyo is known to change his outfits, depending on each story arc or on occasional new installments. Starting in KOF '99, Kyo discarded his iconic uniform for a more casual look that some fans refer this outfit as "Shin Kyo." His KOF '99 attire consists of a white jacket with black trimmings, a black shirt with a white hollowed cross, a pair of jeans with the rim of the sleeves slightly torn, a pair of black fingerless biker gloves, a small chain that hangs from the back pocket to the belt area, and black shoes. He also discarded the headband, as his Round 1 intro animation in KOF '99 presents him taking it off of his forehead and burn it from his hands. He prominently worn this outfit throughout the entire NESTS Chronicles, from KOF '99 to KOF 2002. This outfit also appears in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, KOF Sky Stage, Neo Geo Heroes Ultimate Shooting, KOF XI, and KOF XIII, with two of the latter games as his EX form.

In KOF 2003, Kyo has worn a black racer jacket with the Kusanagi crest marked on the back, white shirt, a pair of dark green jeans, brown shoes, and a long brown belt that hangs out from the side of his hip like a tail. He also worn his classic gloves, though only the single stripe at his hand area are visible, while the Kusanagi crests are hidden in his sleeves. Kyo would wear this outfit again in KOF XI. In KOF XII & KOF XIII, Kyo worn a variation of his 2003 attire, as he replaced the racer jacket into an unzipped black motorcycle jacket with silver metal studs, the dark green jeans into blue jeans, brown shoes into black shoes, and the long belt into a regular sized belt with a large silver buckle. He also had the pocket chain hanging at the side of his hip like his NESTS attire had. The Kusanagi crest on the back of his jacket and his gloves remains on this slight change.

In KOF XIV, Kyo sported a half-zipped white leather jacket with four zipper pouches on the front and one on each sleeves, a black v-neck shirt underneath. blue jeans, a pocket chain, brown buckled shoes, a large C-buckled brown belt, and a pair of black fingerless padded gloves. His jacket also has a pinstripe variation of the Kusanagi crest marked on his back, and a on each of his sleeves. The most drastic change on this appearance is Kyo's haircut, which it is known as a commonly popular haircut for the teenage boys in Japan, as most refer to this style as "the J-Pop haircut." This unusual look on Kyo left longtime fans rather divisive, as the staff aimed to appeal to the new fans while making him look less aggressive than his previous appearances. It is noted that in the earlier trailers of KOF XIV and promotional images, Kyo's hair was miscolored in shiny black, which it added more bizarre reactions from fans to even go as far saying he was "nearly unrecognizable."

In KOF XV, Kyo returns to his proper parted haircut. Along with that, his most recent attire is very similar to his appearance in KOF XII & KOF XIII, with the unzipped black motorcycle jacket with the Kusanagi crest marked on his back, white shirt, blue jeans, brown belt, and black shoes. However, this attire has some modifications, as according to the main illustrator of KOFXV, Tomohiro Nakata, he aimed to make Kyo's appearance as an amalgamation of some of his previous outfits. Most notably, he wears the white headband again since his classic school uniform attire, having the Kusanagi crest marked on each of the unzipped part of his jacket sleeves and a gold stripe each on a pair of fingerless biker gloves. This latest appearance of Kyo left many fans with a very positive reaction since in his reveal of the trailers for the franchise's most recent installment. This appearance also closely resembles his Extra Striker form in KOF '99, as he also worn the jacket, jeans and the headband altogether.

In KOF Maximum Impact 2, Kyo sported a very unique look designed by Falcoon as it consist of a black and white leather jacket with red trimmings and a curved pinstripe marked at the back, a black shirt with a white racing stripe, a pair of two-toned leather gloves with a white side on the front of his hand and a black side on the back, black jeans, white belt, white shoes, and a chained small tasseled flag hanging behind with a white Kusanagi crest marked on it.

In the Chinese CG animated web series, The King of Fighters: Destiny, and the mobile game based on the same name, Kyo's attire is very similar to his classic school uniform, but with some significant changes; his coat has silver buttons, quilted padding with brown straps on the shoulders, latch-on straps for the sleeves, and zipper pockets. He also added a pointed circular belt buckle, a pocket chain hanging on the side of his hip. and wears white sneakers instead of the buckled shoes. His iconic gloves were also redesign with the Kusanagi crest now on the area of the back of his hands, and two gold stripes are at the end.

In the mobile dating simulator game, The King of Fighters for Girls, amongst various outfits depending on events, Kyo's main attire seems to taken inspiration of his NESTS saga attire, as of having the white jacket, black shirt, jeans, pocket chain, and black shoes altogether. His jacket includes black wing-like decals on the front, half of the Kusanagi crest marked on each of the sleeves, black straps near the open slits of the sleeves, and two white belts on the collar. He also wears his iconic gloves, but as of only the gold stripes on his hands are visible. It is currently unknown this attire contains the Kusanagi crest marked on the back as no existing artwork of his back turned confirming it.


Kyo is the over-confident but well-meaning protagonist of the series, more interested in enjoying life than having to partake in any particular responsibilities. He is quick to dismiss subjects that don't interest him and will often carry out his actions with a devil-may-care attitude. Despite his seemingly arrogant and rude demeanor, he treasures his friends and family, enjoying their presence and particularly doting on his girlfriend, Yuki, who is a descendant of the Kushinada clan. Because of this, he can be quite protective of her, especially against the Hakkesshus.

His extreme disinterest in studies has led to his chronic inability to graduate from high school (which has become subject to in-jokes). Although he is confident in his poetic talent, most of his poems aren't considered to be good by his listeners.

Kyo takes his clan's responsibilities on a more personal level, disregarding ancient legends and predestined events as any reason for his actions. His strong sense of justice and his zeal to fight stronger opponents are what he believes to drive him to carry out his destiny. His rivalry with Iori Yagami is one of mutual hatred and was hardly spurred by their clans' history, and partly due to Iori's prior aggression. While he will fight Iori, he won't go as far as to kill him, being aware of his role as a part of the Three Sacred Treasures. When Kyo and Iori join forces, it is often begrudgingly and as a last resort solution to the conflict at hand, with seemingly no desire to seek lasting and mutual peace, particularly on Kyo's part. However, he will leave Yagami alone as long as Iori doesn't seek to antagonize him as usual, and will respect his actions, especially if it involves their clan responsibilities. It is for this reason Chizuru watches over both men, to keep both their rivalries in check.

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Pyrokinesis: Due to his Kusanagi heritage, Kyo can control fire. He can create fire from thin air, create fire balls, deliver punches of fire, create pillars of fire and put his own body on fire. However, he is neither immune to other types of fire nor able to control other fires that he didn't create. Also, the flames he wields are nothing more than just ordinary fire: it does not have the mystical 'trapping' ability of Iori's purple holy flames.
  • Motorcycle Driving: Kyo likes to ride his motorcycle around the streets of Japan. Some official pictures depict Kyo driving a scooter.
  • Poetry: Kyo likes to write poetry as a hobby, though his poetry is generally not much liked by his listeners.
  • Ice Hockey: Although representing the element of fire, Kyo likes ice hockey.
  • Musical Instrument: Kyo is also an accomplished guitarist, as seen in The Band of Fighters.
  • Gifted Intelligence: Despite Kyo lacking any higher education, Kyo still possessed a keen eye for strategic planning as well as gained expert knowledge in high profile criminal activities such as pulling off extremely dangerous heists or engaging in other criminal activities. Kyo also developed knowledge on the use of vehicles and even took up flight school in order to properly prepare for the Puellaverse Heist.
  • Expert Marksmanship: Kyo is an expert in the usage of weapons, especially firearms. He is the most capable marksman.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: Kyo's special ability is the power to focus his impressive marksmanship skills in order to achieve a bullet time like effect for a short period of time. In this state, he can rapidly kill multiple armed assailants before they can even properly react to his attacks.
  • Physical Conditioning: During his youth as a full time bank robber, Kyo possessed incredible strength, mobility, and endurance due to his hardened career as a criminal. Despite his retirement and weight gain, when Kyo returned to a life of crime, he eventually managed to recover a lion's share of his former physical vigor. Kyo also recovered his former expertise in hand to hand combat as well as feats of athleticism such as running, parkour, cycling swimming.
  • Piloting skills: Although Iori usually acts as the crew main pilot, there have also been numerous instances in which Kyo acts as the pilot, mainly shown in the Puellaverse heist. He is good enough a pilot that even Iori praises his piloting skills.
  • Enhanced Stamina: Kyo possesses a level of stamina that is unmatched by many of his opponents. This stamina allows him to endure long and grueling battles without tiring as quickly as others. Whether facing off against powerful foes or going head-to-head in intense tournaments, Kyo's stamina gives him the endurance needed to come out on top.

See Also![]

  • Iori Yagami