Kazuya Mishima in Tekken Tag Tournament 2
|First game||Tekken (1994)|
|Voiced by (English)||Adam Dudley (Tekken: The Motion Picture)
Jacob Franchek (Tekken: The Motion Picture) (young)
Kyle Hebert (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
Jordan Byrne (Street Fighter X Tekken)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Jōji Nakata (Tekken - Tekken Tag Tournament)
Kazuhiro Yamaji (Tekken: The Motion Picture)
Minami Takayama (Tekken: The Motion Picture) (young)
Masanori Shinohara (since Tekken 4)
|Motion capture||Ryu Narushima
Noriyuki Osada (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
Masaki Onishi (Tekken: Blood Vengeance) (stunts)
|Portrayed by||Ian Anthony Dale (Tekken film)
Mark Musashi (Street Fighter x Tekken: The Devil Within)
Kefi Abrikh (Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Live-Action Short Film)
James Adam Lim (Tekken Reload)
Kane Kosugi (Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge)
|Fighting style||Mishima-ryu Karate (based on Shotokan karate)|
|Occupation||Head of Mishima Financial Empire (Tekken 2)
Head of G Corporation (Tekken 6)
Kazuya Mishima (Japanese: 三島 一八 Hepburn: Mishima Kazuya?) is a video game character in Namco Bandai's Tekken series. First appearing in the first game as the protagonist, he has appeared in most of the games in the series so far, with the notable exception of Tekken 3 and its derivative games.
The son of the CEO of worldwide conglomerate Mishima Zaibatsu, Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya sought to take revenge against his father for having thrown him down a cliff years prior. However, his victory over Heihachi quickly revealed him to be no different than his father, as he engaged in multiple corrupt practices that established him as one of the series' antagonists. In particular, Kazuya's relationship with Jun Kazama conceived their son, Jin Kazama, who opposed his father and for the most part became the series' main protagonist. Kazuya possesses the Devil Gene, a strange mutation that could transform him into a demonic form known as Devil Kazuya (Japanese: デビル一八 Hepburn: Debiru Kazuya?) (or simply Devil). The character has received positive reception.
In video games
According to Namco's official backstory, Kazuya is the son of Kazumi and Heihachi Mishima, the long-time CEO of a powerful worldwide conglomerate called the Mishima Zaibatsu, and grandson of Jinpachi Mishima. He has a foster brother, Lee Chaolan, who was adopted by Heihachi, and also a half-brother, Lars Alexandersson, Heihachi's illegitimate son. Most importantly, Kazuya is the father of Jin Kazama, through a relationship with Jun Kazama.
When Kazuya was five years old, he was thrown off a cliff by his father, who claimed that his son was weak. If Kazuya was to be his father's successor to the Mishima Zaibatsu throne, he was to not only survive the fall, but climb back up the rocky cliff as well. Kazuya nearly died from the ordeal, but his survival was assured through a raising of a malevolent energy called the "Devil Gene", this malevolent energy gave him enough power to take his revenge on his father.
In the years prior to the events of the original Tekken, Kazuya entered martial arts tournaments all over the world, becoming an undefeated champion (only Paul Phoenix ever managed a draw with him). Twenty one years since Kazuya was thrown off the cliff, he entered The King of Iron Fist Tournament to take the opportunity for vengeance. It is during the tournament that the original game takes place. He is able to overcome all opponents and eventually manages to get to the final round, where he battles Heihachi. Apathetic towards the tournament's proposed one billion dollar prize and fueled by his hatred for his father, Kazuya wins and drops Heihachi's unconscious body from the same cliff he had been thrown from as a child.
Tekken 2 then picks up two years afterward. In this story, Kazuya has usurped the Mishima Zaibatsu and under his leadership, engaged in many illegal activities such as assassination, extortion, arms dealing and the smuggling of endangered species. Kazuya then decided to announce a second King of Iron Fist Tournament. However, he was shocked when he saw Heihachi, having survived both his battle with Kazuya and the subsequent fall, entering the tournament. This time, Heihachi manages to reclaim the Mishima Zaibatsu by defeating his son. Afterwards, Heihachi throws Kazuya into the mouth of an erupting volcano, killing him supposedly.
The story for Tekken 3 begins by stating that, before his defeat at the hands of Heihachi, Kazuya became intimate with Jun Kazama, who then became pregnant. When Kazuya was thrown into the volcano, parts of Devil left him and attempt to possess Jun's unborn child. Though she defeated him, he was eventually able to possess the child, now fifteen year old Jin Kazama after Jun had gone missing. Kazuya does not appear as a playable character in Tekken 3, but he appears in Eddy Gordo's ending in a photo, and Eddy realizes that he is the man behind the murder of his father.
Kazuya returns as a main character in Tekken 4, which is set twenty one years after Tekken 2. His prologue in the game states that he was revived by G Corporation, a rival genetics company of the Mishima Zaibatsu, a few days after his supposed death. Kazuya allows the company to perform various experiments on him in order to learn the true nature of the Devil Gene within his body, but an attack on the research facility by the Tekken Force (sent by Heihachi to retrieve Kazuya's remains for the Devil Gene) impedes further success. Kazuya fights the Tekken Forces off, and vows to get his revenge on Heihachi in the recently announced King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, and at the same time, extract the half of his Devil Gene stored in the body of his son, Jin Kazama. Kazuya makes it to the finals and battles Heihachi, defeating his father. Heihachi led Kazuya to Hon-Maru, a Mishima compound where Jin is being held captive (he was captured by the Tekken Forces on his way to fight Kazuya in the seventh stage). Kazuya, influenced by Devil, knocks Heihachi out of the room with his psychic powers and subconsciously taunts Jin in order to wake him up. However, the plan backfires, and an enraged Jin defeats both Kazuya and Heihachi in battle, but spares their lives after seeing a vision of his mother, after which he takes flight.
Moments after Jin's departure from Hon-Maru, Kazuya and Heihachi are assaulted by a squadron of Jack-4s sent to assassinate them by G Corporation (no longer needing him, they betrayed Kazuya). For a while Kazuya and Heihachi fought off the Jacks together, as father and son. However, he knew that they will eventually got overpowered, so he throws Heihachi in the direction of the Jacks to as a lure. He jumps out of Hon-Maru, turns into Devil and leaves, letting Heihachi die (although Heihachi survives). Vowing to get revenge on G Corporation for their treachery, Kazuya enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5.
Despite not winning the fifth tournament, Kazuya discovers the division of G Corporation that tried to kill him, and kills them all in revenge, becoming the head of the company and using it as the only powerful opposition to the Mishima Zaibatsu, led by Jin, who has begun world conquest and declared war on several nations. By this time, the world's population sees G Corporation as its only saviour though Kazuya's real purpose is to kill Jin and take over the world himself, and Kazuya uses the company's influence to his advantage: to stop Jin from taking over his plans for world domination, Kazuya places a bounty on Jin's head for whomever could manage to capture him alive and decides to enter the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 (announced by Jin) to settle the score once and for all with his son.
Kazuya appears as his devil form in the crossover strategy RPG Namco × Capcom along with several other Namco and Capcom personalities. He also appears in the non-canonical Tekken Tag Tournament, where he was advertised heavily (even though he did not appear in Tekken 3) as well as its sequel, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as one of the initial four fighters shown in the debut gameplay trailer. In that game, he is able to morph into Devil during gameplay and gain several new moves (instead of becoming a separate character). He is finally made a playable debut in human form while also obtaining his transformation into his devil form in sequel of Namco X Capcom's successor, which is also crossed-over with Sega as well in Project X Zone 2 where he and Capcom's Vergil of Devil May Cry series are an anti-heroes, and also team up with his son, Jin for some reasons.
Kazuya was one of the first characters showcased for the crossover fighting game, Street Fighter X Tekken, produced by Capcom. In the debut trailer, he defeats Dan Hibiki in order to confront Street Fighter mascot Ryu. During the gameplay unveiling at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, they are shown in its gameplay. According to the game's story, he seeks to take control of Pandora's Box in the hopes of using it to control the Devil Gene, hiring Nina Williams to assist him.
Kazuya is a muscular Japanese man with black hair that formed a spike behind his head; his son, Jin, notably inherited his hairstyle. He has brown eyes, although as of Tekken 4, his left iris becomes red-colored to symbolize that the Devil Gene had manifested further after his volcano singe. Kazuya debuted in the series at the age of 26; as of Tekken 6, he is around 50 years old. He is commonly seen wearing white karate pants with flame motif, red studded gloves and footpads, and no shirt. His most common secondary outfit is a dark purple and red business suit that originally appeared in Tekken 2 as a bonus costume. Kazuya's other secondary outfits include a white tank top with casual jeans in Tekken, a blue tank top underneath an unbuttoned white shirt and jeans in Tekken 2, and a blue-grey business suit with sunglasses in Tekken 4.
It is often believed by fans that Kazuya is a homage to Vegeta from the Dragon Ball franchise, since the two characters have many distinguishing similarities, in concern of their character traits, their attitudes, and their personalities. Also, their physical appearance, most noticeably their hair styles, are similar also. Namco has however neither confirmed nor denied that this was a homage or even intentional.
Kazuya has been deemed one of the most technical characters in Tekken by the fighting game community, if not the most. Requiring highly precise command inputs and a good knowledge of the game system. For example, he has the fastest standing juggle combo starter in the game (Electric Wind God Fist), allowing him to net aerial combos worth 50-60% damage when he capitalizes on the opponent's mistakes; however this is limited by the difficulty of executing the move as fast as possible. Similar scenarios can be encountered in other aspects as well (a tougher combo usually does more damage, the better set-ups and techniques are difficult to execute etc.), so Kazuya is usually only played by players with a high execution prowess.
It has been noted in VideoGamingFederation's Tekken Strat Corner podcast for Kazuya Mishima that theoretically, with a brick-wall defense and perfect execution, he could possibly be the best character in the game.
In other media
In the OVA Tekken: The Motion Picture, which is loosely based on the first and second games in the franchise, Kazuya is the main protagonist. As in the game's story, he is thrown off a cliff at a young age by Heihachi and saved by a deal with the Devil. Following this, he becomes bent on revenge against Heihachi, and enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament in order to confront him. Differentiating the OVA from the game is that Kazuya crosses paths several times with Jun Kazama, who repeatedly tries to implore him not to kill his father, and in the end, after Kazuya defeats Heihachi, some emotional words from Jun finally reach his heart and he manages to expel Devil's influence from within him, reverting him to his kind, compassionate self once again. He thus spares Heihachi's life and fathers Jin with Jun, but he is not seen again after the tournament's conclusion. He is voiced by Kazuhiro Yamaji in the original Japanese version and by Adam Dudley in the English dub.
In the 2010 live-action film Tekken, Kazuya is the main antagonist and is portrayed by American actor Ian Anthony Dale. In this version he has facial hair and bears none of the video game character's bodily scars, possibly due to the fact that the story calls for Kazuya and Jin to meet early in the film without discovering their blood relation. Kazuya is Heihachi's right-hand man in Tekken Corporation, wishing to take over his father's company. Also, rather than being a hand-to-hand combatant, Kazuya relies on melee weapons such as axes and Eskrima sticks. Furthermore, the Devil Gene subplot is not used in the film. In the middle of the film he grows impatient with Heihachi's compassion for Jin and eventually overthrows and orders him executed (although Heihachi goads the soldier into sparing him) After Jin wins the tournament, Kazuya challenges Jin to a one-on-one duel. Although he initially beats Jin, Jin gets the upper hand and wounds Kazuya critically, but refuses to kill him for the sake of their blood relation, instead letting him live in eternal shame. Japanese American martial artist-actor Kane Kosugi portrayed Kazuya in the prequel Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge. Kazuya appears in the short film Street Fighter x Tekken: The Devil Within portrayed by Mark Musashi. Kazuya appears in the CGI-animated movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance, which is an alternate retelling of the events between Tekken 5 and Tekken 6. Kazuya appears in the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 live-action short film portrayed by Kefi Abrikh. Kazuya also appears in the short film Tekken Reload portrayed by James Adam Lim and Devil Kazuya voiced by Tony Yeatropoulos. 
Gaming Target listed Kazuya as the third best Tekken character, citing his history within the game as how he keeps reappearing despite his situations close to death. Alongside his father Heihachi, Kazuya was labelled as one of the most influential characters from the Tekken series by GameAxis Unwired. Both of them were also listed as one of the worst parents in gaming by Kotaku with Kazuya put for his antagonism with his son Jin while also being compared with Heihachi. By the time of Tekken 4, IGN called Kazuya "the closest thing we may have to a protagonist" in the series, citing his evil traits and his purposes to participate in the series' tournaments. G4TV stated that his history with Heihachi in the series was a reason to avoid writing storylines in fighting games due to how ridiculous it is. His Lightning Screw Uppercut special move was listed by GamesRadar as one of the most satisfying uppercuts in gaming's history. GamesRadar named Kazuya as one of the "characters we wish we knew LESS about", adding "Tekken’s Kazuya couldn’t remain the mysterious hero of the first game… no, he had to be exposed as a greedy and corrupt overlord who sold his soul to demons long ago." The same site also ranked him as the "top 6th... fallen hero that became awesome villain", commenting "By Tekken 2, Kazuya is consumed by the Devil Gene, and turns into an evil-doing, power-hungry hybrid demon. Not only does he look way cooler, he's also significantly stronger, making him one of the most formidable villains in Tekken lore." Prima Games ranked Kazuya's Electric "Wind" God Fist as the "47th greatest fighting move in video game history". ArcadeSushi ranked the same move as the "6th most iconic fighting game move", while Thunderbolt Games listed it as one of "Fighting Games' Most Infamous Combos", stating "If you plan to compete in any of the current Tekken games, and looking to play as a Mishima, it is not only imperative that you learn this move but be able to execute it consistently." Arcade Sushi also ranked Kazuya as the "5th best fighting game bad guy", commenting "It was around this time we realized that Kazuya isn’t really a good guy, just the lesser of two evils, which is really saying something." Thunderbolt Games ranked Kazuya as the "8th best videogame anti-hero", adding "His subsequent attempts to kill his father and later his son repeatedly fail (as do theirs on him), but that doesn’t stop him being a half-demon kung fu fighting badass, despite his obvious psychological issues."
Devil Kazuya was ranked by UGO.com as 15th "awesomest hidden character", citing the difficult requirements needed to unlock him in the first game from the series. On the other hand, Devil Kazuya was noted to be a stereotype of protagonists gaming characters who reveal an evil alter-ego which ruins the character's appealing traits. Wired Control placed Devil Kazuya(alongside Angel) at 3rd place in their rankings of the Tekken bosses, with comments focused on their moveset and difficulty. In an article featuring Tekken's final bosses, Sean Akizuki from Fantasy Critic called Devil Kazuya "one awful bastard" and added "The Devil storyline is one of the best things that keeps Tekken high in the popularity chart." According to GamesRadar, a fight between Devil Kazuya and Akuma is one of the ones players want to see in Street Fighter X Tekken because of the two similarities between the two villains as well as the similarities in the development of their designs. Complex listed Devil Kazuya from Tekken 2 as the 9th coolest boss battle in video games. Complex named Kazuya as one of the 25 characters they wanted to see in "Super Smash Bros. Brawl 4". Complex also ranked Kazuya as "The 6th Most Dominant Fighting Game Character", commenting "This tortured soul has gotten more badass as time wore on" and as the number 1 best Tekken character, commenting "For his charismatic, anti-hero persona, his varied gameplay, and his difficult-to-master, yet effective command list, Kazuya Mishima is the greatest Tekken character of all time." FHM listed Kazuya and Ryu as one of the "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken", adding "They’re the most recognizable (and most popular) faces of their respective franchises, so this is sure to be a battle of pride". In GamesRadar article for Street Fighter X Tekken, they stated "This anti-hero turned out to be much more complex than most fighting game leads, just don’t get on his bad side." PlayStation Universe included Kazuya and Heihachi among the top 5 rival pairs in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, commenting "Kazuya and Heihachi are powerhouses and, as practitioners of Mishima-style Karate, make for a near-unstoppable Tag Team in the right hands." Shinkan Crossing ranked Kazuya as the "4th toughest Tekken character" where they commented on his feats and concluded "If anyone has the greatest strength of will, its Kazuya Mishima." In 2015, WatchMojo ranked Kazuya as the "2nd top Tekken character", adding "This character was the series’ first protagonist, and he made for a perfect early icon." In the official poll by Namco, Kazuya is currently ranked as the 18th most requested Tekken character to be playable in Tekken X Street Fighter, at 6.51% of votes; additional 5.05% votes were also cast for Devil, counted separately.
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