Jin Kazama as he appears in Tekken 7
|First game||Tekken 3 (1997)|
|Designed by||Aya Takemura (Tekken 3 and 4, TTT, and Namco × Capcom)|
Jin Kazama (Japanese: 風間 仁 Hepburn: Kazama Jin) is a fictional character and main protagonist of the Tekken fighting game series released by Namco Bandai Games. He was introduced in the 1997 game Tekken 3. Jin has been consistently voiced by Isshin Chiba since he debuted in Tekken 3 and has had multiple English actors across other appearances. Jin was created to be the new protagonist of the series whose constant fights with his family members would eventually lead him to become an antihero, as crafted by Bandai Namco director Katsuhiro Harada.
Trained by his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima, in order to enter the King of Iron Fist Tournament, Jin wishes to avenge the apparent death of his mother Jun Kazama. However, during the tournament it is revealed that Jin possesses the Devil Gene (Japanese: デビルの血 Hepburn: Debiru no Chi (Lit. 'Devil's blood')), a genetic abnormality within his body, which causes the betrayal of Heihachi who wants to take it. He is also antagonized by his father, Kazuya Mishima, from whom he inherited the gene. While dealing with them, Jin loses control of the Devil Gene, which causes his transformation into an alter ego named Devil Jin (Japanese: デビル仁 Hepburn: Debiru Jin), first introduced as a non-playable character in Tekken 3 and playable ever since Tekken 5. Across the series, Jin develops hatred for both Heihachi and his father, Kazuya, in particular. Jin's hatred of the Devil Gene results in his becoming the main antagonist of Tekken 6, creating global chaos for the sake of ending it.
Outside of the video games, Jin has also appeared in the animated and live-action films adapted from the games. Critical reception to the character has been positive, with comments focused on his moves in gameplay and role within the story. Since Tekken 3 Jin has proven to be quite popular, often considered one of the best Tekken characters, and a particularly memorable character for the fighting game genre.
Creation and design
Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada has stated that Jin is his favorite character in the overall series alongside Heihachi Mishima as he states that the story from Tekken is written from Jin's perspective because of being the main character. Jin's concept was that of an innocent young kid corrupted by the evils of society that would become one of the series' greatest villains as crafted by Harada for approximately ten years. He was introduced using the concept of "misfortunate character" following his dark character arc across the series. Nevertheless, the staff also wanted to make him into a determined character. By transforming into a villain in Tekken 6, Harada motivated players to use the Scenario Campaign to explore Jin's darker character arc as well as his possible with newcomer Lars Alexandersson. In response to claims that the story of Tekken was complicated, Harada denied as he saw it as a "simple" struggle between members from the Mishima family. While by 2017, fans still saw Jin as a hero, Harada replied that the character is still responsible for creating wars and thus, there was black and white morality.
For Tekken 7, Jin was made into a hidden sub-boss in the game's arcade mode with requirements being to unlock being too difficult as explained by Harada. Tekken 5 also features a special costume designed by guest artist Mutsumi Inomata for Jin: it is a panda-themed costume with an unzipped jacket that only reaches just above his midriff with a blue flame motif and a matching white pants. In Tekken 6, replacing the jumpsuit, Jin instead wears a long black coat similar to the one that he wore in his ending in Tekken 5. Jin's alternative outfit in Tekken 6 was designed by Clamp, a group of four Japanese manga artists. Before the revelation of Jin's inclusion in Tekken 7, there were many gamers who asked Harada if Jin survived to his battle against Azazel in Tekken 6. Harada refrained from answering Jin's status but stated Tekken 7 will be a proper sequel to the series with or without Jin. In 2016, Harada commented he had his own family. As a result he compared it with the violent characters from Tekken who are contanstly fighting each other: Heihachi, Jin and Kazuya. He viewed this type of family too hard in comparison. In regards to ending the rivalry between Jin and Kazuya, Harada stated Jun Kazama would be present in the story.
For the film Tekken: Blood Vengeance, writer Dai Satō added both Jin and Kazuya to be a pair of men to provide "visual eye-candy" in the same way with the William sisters. While Jin and Xiaoyu appeared to have developed a close relationship, Satō did not want to explore a romantical one in the movie. Instead, the writer wanted to use these pairs to be played together in the spin-off game Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which relies on the use of teams composed of two fighters.
Jon Foo felt honored to play Jin's character in the live-action film based on the series. He remarks being a fan of the Tekken games. Still, he found difficulties in playing Jin as he spent three months with a diet to do fighting moves for the live-action movie. In the making of the film, Foo accidentally wounded Cung Le during the filming of the movie. The film's director, Dwight Little, found this accident common in fighting movies.
As a result of being introduced as the protagonist in Tekken 3, Jin's movements were made to be balanced so that he would not have neither strong or weak movesets, which caused difficulties in the design of the character. As Jin has no model for his fighting style, several of his karate moves were created by the Tekken staff. Ryu Narushima was Jin's montion actor as Narushima also possessed regular karate in his fighting style.
In his early appearances, Jin's moves were a blend between both of his parents, Jun Kazama and Kazuya Mishima—a combination of "Kazama-Style Self Defense" and "Mishima Fighting Karate". He fights in this style in both Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament. In Tekken 4, however, this style was discarded in favor of "traditional" Karate. Jin Kazama is often regarded as the best character choice in Tekken 4. As Jin's power was therefore reduced, in following games he would go through minor changes. Devil Jin incorporates moves from Jin's previous incarnations, which makes him a stronger fighter than Jin. In preparations for Tekken 7, Harada comments he would often try Devil Jin if he was an "intermediate player" comparing his skills with Heihachi's. For Capcom's crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken, the official guide noted how Jin could easily counterattack enemy's moves.
Main Tekken series
Jin's first appearance was within Tekken 3, where he is introduced as a boy "claiming to be Heihachi's grandson" as a result of being the child of Jun Kazama and Kazuya Mishima. Jin was raised by his mother until a few days after his 15th birthday, when Jun was attacked by Ogre and disappeared. Swearing revenge, Jin goes to train with his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima. During Tekken 3, Jin defeats the Ogre in the third King of Iron Fist tournament, but is betrayed by Heihachi. Jin's Devil Gene then awakes, allowing him to survive Heihachi's attack and escape.
By Tekken 4, Jin fell into a pit of self-hatred, despising everything related to the Mishimas. Learning a new karate style for two years, Jin enters into a new tournament where he is about to confront his father until the Tekken Force captures him. The Tekken Forces he take him to Honmaru. As he is about to face his father, Kazuya Mishima, Jin's Devil Gene starts causing him to mutate. after his Devil form awakens, Jin tries to kill Heihachi, but spares him after remembering his mother. Immediately after leaving Heihachi, Jin's Devil form goes berserk and leaves the area.
Seeking to control the Devil Gene, Jin enters Tekken 5's fighting tournament. The tournament's host, his great-grandfather Jinpachi Mishima, is responsible for Jin's change. During the tournament, Jin is confronted by his friendly rival, Hwoarang, but is unable to settle their score as a result of Jin's agenda. In the aftermath of the fifth Tournament as well as his ending, Jin has been revealed as the winner as he defeated Jinpachi Mishima and also as the new head of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Tekken 5 also marks the debut of Devil Jin as a playable character as well as sub-boss. If Devil Jin defeats Jinpachi rather than the regular Jin, an alternative ending is featured showing Devil Jin absorbing Jinpachi's powers. In the same game, a mini-game focusing on Jin's prologue is featured called Devil Within. It features Jin's journey to G Corporation's laboratory where he faces multiple enemies after hearing Jun's voice.
During Tekken 6 Jin begins using the company for world conquest, having started a war against all the nations. Jin hosts the sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament in order to rid himself of Kazuya and his enemies. In gameplay, just as his devil form served as the Stage 8 sub-boss in Tekken 5, Jin serves as the Stage 8 sub-boss in Tekken 6 with a gimmick which activates his rage mode permanently,. Similarly, he plays as the primary antagonist in Tekken 6's "Scenario Campaign" mode and is the last story-related enemy that the player has to fight. Near the end of the Scenario Campaign, he is confronted by his half-uncle Lars Alexandersson who is rallying a faction within the Zaibatsu's Tekken Force military to take down their former leader. However, Lars fails to defeat Jin when the former reveals he has been using Lars' partner, Alisa, to keep follow him and Lars is unable to fight Alisa. Jin once again serves as the scenario's final boss against Lars and Raven. Upon his defeat, Jin explains he has been throwing the world into disarray in an effort to awaken the beast known as Azazel. Jin's ultimate goal in awakening such a monster is to fight it in a suicidal battle and both save the world from Azazel and free himself of the Devil Gene. In the end, the Devil Gene still remains inside his body, while being found by a man named Raven and his men for Jin's recovery. Alternatively, Devil Jin also appears as a hidden boss in the scenario.
Jin appears in Tekken 7 as a sub-boss after the game's official launch, replacing Heihachi Mishima if the right conditions are met. However, in updated arcade version and the console ports, he is a no longer a sub-boss. In Story Mode, Jin's comatose body was found by UN and being transported safely, until the Devil Gene inside him goes awry again and destroys the UN's helicopter. While awakened in his weakened state, Jin wanders around a desert in the Middle East. Due to his weakened state while being cornered by the soldiers who pursued him, Jin's devil power is stronger than ever. He then arrives at a marketplace and is about to be captured by the soldiers when he is saved by his half-uncle Lars and transported to another branch building of Violet System, owned by his adoptive uncle Lee Chaolan, for him to rest and regain his strength. Recovering from his coma after Heihachi's death, Jin is sent out by Lars to find and kill Kazuya as he is now the only one who can defeat his father. Playing as Devil Jin results in an encounter with Hwoarang but the battle is interrupted by multiple enemies.
Outside of his canonical appearances, Jin also appears in Tekken Card Challenge and Tekken Tag Tournament. Beating Tag Tournament as Jin results in a sequence where he tries to kill Kazuya but his body then starts shaking. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Jin can defeat an enemy identical to his mother, Jun Kazama, but mutates when Jun disappears. In Devil Jin's ending, the berserker demon tries to leave the planet but is stopped by Jun's spirit. He then appears in a beach where soldiers rescue him. Other appearances of him include Tekken Advance, Tekken R, Tekken Resolute, Tekken Bowl, Tekken Pachinko Slot 2nd, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Card Tournament, Tekken Revolution, Tekken Arena, CR Tekken and Tekken Pachinko Slot 3rd. Devil Jin's form from Blood Vengeance also appears in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Jin is also featured in Namco × Capcom, where he joins forces with Ryu and Ken Masters from Street Fighter and seeks to defeat Devil Kazuya who was his father through the Devil Gene. Street Fighter X Tekken features Jin as a playable character, with Ling Xiaoyu as his official tag partner. They are also together in Project X Zone where he and Ryu were targeted by Seth of SIN, and they along with Virtua Fighter hero, Akira Yuki, worked together to stop him. He returned in the sequel Project X Zone 2 with Kazuya as his partner.
He also appears on a promotional poster for the Namco-produced crossover fighting game Tekken X Street Fighter, along with Street Fighter's Ryu (as well as their alter egos "Devil Jin" and "Evil Ryu", respectively). Devil Jin's style of fighting and costume parts, along with his human form's Tekken 6 karate costume are available for use with custom characters in Soulcalibur V. Although he does not appear, Jin is mentioned in the crossover fighting game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Additionally, Jin's image appears as downloadble content in Namco's game Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
In other media and merchandise
Jin makes a brief appearance in the epilogue of the anime film Tekken: The Motion Picture as a child. His role in the series is also briefly shown in the manga Tekken Comic, and the novel Tekken: The Dark History of Mishima. He is also the protagonist of the manga Tekken: The Other Side of Battle, as well as the Western comics Tekken Forever and The Tekken Saga. Titan's Tekken comics focuses on Jin's battles against Heihachi as well as his inner demon.
He also appears in the CGI-animated film Tekken: Blood Vengeance, an alternate retelling of events between Tekken 5 and Tekken 6. In the film, Jin once again seeks to defeat Heihachi and Kazuya fighting both of them in the climax. With help from Alisa Bosconovitch, Jin emerges as the winner and leaves hoping his high school friend Ling Xiaoyu defeats him in the next tournament.
In the 2009 live-action film Tekken, Jin is portrayed by Jon Foo. This version of Jin differs significantly, wherein he was never raised by Heihachi and his mother was killed during a crackdown on insurgents by the Tekken Corporation. In addition, though he is still the illegitimate son of Kazuya, and he speaks with an English accent (given that Foo is English). He enters the Iron Fist tournament to take revenge on Heihachi for his mother's death, but during the tournament, he learns that it was Kazuya who was responsible for the crackdown. He progresses through the tournament, falling in love with Christie Monteiro and forming alliances with Steve Fox, Raven and even Heihachi himself when Kazuya overthrows him. Eventually, Jin makes it to the final, beating Yoshimitsu and even Bryan Fury, and defeats his father in battle, yet refuses to kill him for the sake of their blood relation.
Brendon Huor played Jin in the short film Street Fighter x Tekken: The Devil Within. Jin also appears in the short film Tekken X Street Fighter: Challenger, portrayed by Ken Leung. Jin has been featured in action figures from both his Tekken 3 and Tekken 4 appearances.
Video game publications have praised Jin's character, topping various lists. In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Jin was voted as the staff's 31st favorite character (sharing the spot with three Street Fighter characters, Charlie, and Yang). In Game Informer's "Top Ten Best Fighting Game Characters" Jin was fourth with comments comparing him to Star Wars character Luke Skywalker. In IGN's "Franchise Players 2: Reader's Choice", Jin was one of the video game characters voted to be featured in a live-action movie with the site commenting his role in the Tekken series noting that it could be the "focal point" of any film. The staff from site did not choose as a result of the poor quality from films based on fighting games. In the book Trigger Happy, writer Steven Poole labelled Jin as an amalgam of "body-building action grunts" including popular martial arts film protagonists. Since Tekken has had a long history of being exclusive to the PlayStation series of consoles, Jin Kazama as the protagonist is often recognized as a PlayStation mascot.
Multiple reactions were made in response to Jin's special moves and their changes across the series, mostly in Tekken 4. His initial moveset was noted to be based on his relatives' techniques, with the change shown in Tekken 4 labelled as a "nice touch" by Leon Hunt in the book Kung Fu Cult Masters as it demonstrates the character's feeling towards Kazuya and Heihachi. GameSpot shared similar comments, stating that Jin was one of the most notable changed characters from Tekken 4. Other publishers such as IGN and Computer and Video Games came to regard Jin's incarnation from Tekken 4 as a character almost completely different from his original form although both shared different opinions regarding the result. While the former site found such modifications entertaining as it meant learning new moves, the latter criticized the change as it made the practice from veteran players pointless. Nevertheless, Computer and Video Games still called Jin the "top-ranked character" from Tekken 4 because of his balanced movesets. Capcom senior community manager Seth Killian has found the character too powerful to the point that his constant defeats with him led him to quit the Tekken series. In regards to Jin's Tekken 5 fighting style, GameSpy stated that now players would need to be patient playing as him, as he lost his overpowered moves. Because of such change in Tekken 5 regarding Jin's moves, the same site recommended players to use Devil Jin's incarnation in such game if they missed his original techniques. Devil Jin was once used on the cover of a Stephen King novel much to the surprise of Katsuhiro Harada. Across the series, Jin holds a close relationship with Ling Xiaoyu. This resulted in fans asking Harada if they will be in a romantical one. However, Harada refrained from confirming or denying it.
According to GamesRadar, a fight between Devil Jin and Evil Ryu was written as one of the ones players wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken as the two are evil alter egos of the two main characters and poster boys of their respective series, also sharing similar designs and movesets to their original forms. In GamesRadar article for Street Fighter X Tekken, they stated "Following Kazuya’s fall from grace, his son Jin had to take over for him as the lead of the Tekken series in Tekken 3." Den of Geek ranked Jin as the 9th sexiest computer game character, adding "You can't argue with that hair, really." MenxXP namedd Jin as one of the "most stylish video game characters", adding "Known for his high kicks and acrobatic flips, Jin favors loose-fitting patterned track pants and a generous dose of hair product." Complex ranked Jin as the 28th "most dominant" fighting game character. In the official poll by Namco Bandai Games, Jin is currently the fifth most requested Tekken character to be added to the roster of Tekken X Street Fighter, racking up 13.02% of votes; additional 5.54% votes were also cast for Devil Jin, counted separately. GamesRadar ranked Devil Jin as the 15th "best unlockable character", commenting "Devil Jin pounds foes with the high-level Mishima fighting style, full of dragon punches, tsunami kicks, and 10-hit combos. Bad to the bone." In 2014, WhatCulture ranked him as the 11th greatest character in fighting games, calling him "the poster-boy of the Tekken franchise". In 2015, WhatCulture ranked Jin's devil tattoo as the "3rd famous video game tattoo", adding "It may look a bit ’90s’ by today’s tattoo standards, but Jin’s tribal tat on his left bicep is not just there to draw attention to his bulging guns." Prima Games ranked Jin's "Laser Scraper" as the "30th greatest fighting move in video game history". Chris Hoadley from VentureBeat named Jin as one of the "Best (and worst) fighting game clones". In 2013, 4thletter placed Jin's Tekken 3 ending at 73rd place in their list "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings", commenting "After spiking Heihachi into the ground, Devil Jin flies off into the night. Heihachi just sits up and looks off, knowing that this is bad news". PlayStation Universe included Hwoarang and Jin Kazama among the top 5 rival pairs in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, commenting "Jin’s traditional karate style marries well with Hwoarang’s fancy footwork, and the disparity between each style – Jin’s a bit of a bruiser while Hwoarang’s style is more intricate – makes for a devastating combination of tactics when used correctly." WatchMojo ranked Jin (alongside Heihachi) as the "5th best fighting game character" and as the "top Tekken character", adding "This character got nerfed quite a bit as the series progressed, but that still wasn’t enough to keep him from topping our list. With moves inspired by his father, Kazuya, and his mother, Jun, he becomes a nearly unstoppable force." Arcade Sushi ranked Jin as the "3rd best fighting game good guy". adding "Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima just keep killing each other, so Kazuya’s son, Jin, may be the only bit of moral fortitude this family has left".
While promoting Tekken 6 Namco Bandai featured various trailers with Jin as the focus. Jin's design in the trailers has received positive response by GameSpot as the character "has never looked better." However, Den of Geek's Jasper Gavin did not find Jin's role as the main antagonist in Tekken 6 appealing as he negatively compared him with both Kazuya and Heihachi whom he felt were more menacing villains. Nevertheless, upon his introduction, Gavin felt Jin was one of the best fighting games characters comparing him with iconic heroes like SNK's Terry Bogard and Kyo Kusanagi as well as Capcom's Ryu and Midway's Liu Kang. His relationship with other characters in Tekken as well as his inner conflict with the Devil Gene were felt appealing by Gavin but in the end due to how Jin decayed across the story led the writer to list him as 22nd best character in the series. On the other hand, Complex also ranked Jin as the fifth best Tekken character, commenting "A mama's boy with an axe to grind, Jin has slowly transformed from hero to anti-hero over the years."
For the first Tekken live-action film, BeyondHollywood thought Jon Foo's appearance might appeal to upcoming viewers based on his similarities with Jin. DVD Verdict criticized how Jin was lacking most of his important traits, most notably his Devil Gene and commented his quest for revenge was not appealing due to his interactions with other supporting characters. DVDTalk agreed stating "struggling to create a fulfilling hero's journey for Jin as he greets a dead end on his path to revenge". Although Martial Arts and Action movies criticized Foo's acting to the point of making Jin's emotionless, his fight sequences were met with praise. Roobla also praised the fight sequences, most notably Jin's against Eddie Gordo. For the CGI film, MTV commented that the initial "games" between Jin and Kazuya based on their experimentations with other people.
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One day, Heihachi was visited by a 15-year-old boy named Jin Kazama. Being informed that Jin was his grandson and hearing what had happened to his mother, Jun, Heihachi reasoned that Ogre thrives on the "strong souls" of others. Heihachi trained Jin to use him as a decoy to lure Ogre.
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"anger, hate, curse" Kazuya:' --Wake up Jin Kazama. / Jin: If you... If your here, I can defeat you and end everything
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Jin--Be thankful to moth...Jun Kazama.
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Returning to Yakushima, Jin was plagued by nightmares triggering the devil gene. "If this keeps eating away at me, I don't know how long I can hold on," says Jin.
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Jin: I'm sorry, I can't keep our promise. Things are a bit different now. / Hwoarang: What?! Are you saying there's somebody out there stronger than me?
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Lars: So you started a freaking war! Just to make it so you could fight him? / Jin: Yes. I had no choice. I have the Devil Gene. / .../ Jin: "Towards Azazel" Let's put an end to this!
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After he defeated Azazel, Jin Kazama was apprehended by UN troops. As his unconscious body was being transported by helicopter, he became possessed by his devil form,
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Lars: Sorry, but this one is coming with me. / Jin: Lars...
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Lars: Jin... You're the one who sent this world to hell, so it's up to you to bring it back. There's no one else. / Jin: Yeah, it's all on me. The devil's blood runs through my veins, so it's up to me to kill Kazuya.
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Who is Jin Kazama's father? Answer: Kazuya
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