Kakyoin is a Japanese student who was brainwashed by DIO during an earlier trip to Egypt and is sent to kill Jotaro Kujo. After being freed from DIO's influence, he decides to join Jotaro on his quest to Egypt to save Jotaro's mother and find redemption. Kakyoin is a Stand User and wields the long-ranged Hierophant Green.
Kakyoin is a young man of average to above-average height and fit to slender build. He is typically seen wearing a slim-fitting long gakuran/tsume-eri, but was also shown wearing striped pajamas during his initial encounter with Death Thirteen. In the anime, he wears the pajamas when admitted to the hospital.
Kakyoin keeps medium-length hair, characterized by a large, twisting bang hanging before his face. He wears cherry-shaped earrings: each is a long, fine arch, tipped by small spheres.
He is considered handsome and has captured the attention of a few women. One of Jotaro's own admirers commented on his looks and during the Tower of Gray encounter, he swooned two female stewardesses. He is also referred to as beautiful upon arriving in India by a man trying to sell him a tattoo.
Later, Kakyoin acquires two thin scars vertically crossing both eyes from Geb, which he often hides with a pair of dark sunglasses.
Noriaki Kakyoin is first introduced as an evil and cruel teenager because of DIO's brainwashing. Thus he remorselessly attacks unrelated civilians and adopts a might makes right mindset. However, he reveals himself as a righteous, though blunt individual. Kakyoin is ruthless with his enemies but loyal to his companions.
His reason for joining the Joestar Group is for both fighting evil, as he mirrors Jotaro's own explanations for saving his life, and of course a sense of debt toward Jotaro for saving his life. Thus Kakyoin is also a brave individual, willingly participating in the dangerous journey to Egypt, and is also able to keep his nerves even in the direst situations such as having been punched through by The World.
Kakyoin is noted by Araki to be "the honor student type", and thus can be described as haughty and somewhat introverted. Though he normally keeps a polite and somewhat formal behavior, Kakyoin is a rather cold and prideful man. He hates bowing down or brown-nosing. The humiliation of having been weak enough to bow to DIO was a part of his motivation for seeking redemption and revenge during Stardust Crusaders.
Kakyoin mentions he could never relate to people because of his ability, and thus never desired to make friends for most of his life. He thinks only respectable individuals are able to be friends of his. The Joestar Group is the only group with whom he has attached himself, but he cares very strongly for them. Araki himself mentions that if it weren't for their Stands, Kakyoin and Jotaro wouldn't have been friends. Kakyoin has shown to lighten up with Polnareff, although he can also be very brutal and vindictive, having elbowed Polnareff too as a "reconciliation". His attitude is notably worse with his enemies, whom he frequently threatens and belittles, and during his fights, he is very ruthless against them. Both as a hero and an antagonist, Kakyoin is particularly violent as he remorselessly kills all of his opponents (ripping Tower of Gray without qualm), arguing that they were evil beyond redemption; moreover he viciously takes revenge on Mannish Boy by forcing him to eat his own excrement, the first and only time he took exception.
Kakyoin has stated that if he were to fall in love, he would fall in love with someone like Holy, who gives off the feeling that anything will be alright and can calm anyone's hearts, making them feel at ease.
- Main article: Hierophant Green
Kakyoin's long-range humanoid Stand is Hierophant Green; able to extend tentacle-like limbs or unravel to a modest extent; as well as fire a barrage of hard projectiles (an "Emerald Splash"). He is often seen shouting his signature attack (like the Emerald Splash) in fights.
Kakyoin is, due to a lifetime of possessing Hierophant Green, quite proficient at using it. Although it is mostly seen as a humanoid, Kakyoin states that its true form is that of a bunch of strings; as such one of his key tactics is to secretly unravel Hierophant Green's tentacles while keeping the main body as a distraction. Thanks to that, Kakyoin can infiltrate bodies, suddenly avoid attacks by unraveling his Stand, use the strings as ropes, and even perform piercing attacks. However, Hierophant Green's otherwise straightforward Emerald Splash does not lend itself to imaginative use of it.
Kakyoin happens to be skilled at playing video games and expresses confidence that he can challenge Telence T. D'Arby despite D'Arby making it clear he was good enough to amass a collection of souls by beating others at video games, especially the video game F-Mega. Despite having made the rookie mistake of forgetting to mash the acceleration button at the start of the race to gain a speed boost, Kakyoin shows great skill and comprehension of the game. He knows how to prevent a car from staying ahead, knows how to manage the energy bar of the cars, has extensive knowledge of the race track he plays on (to the point he knew the features of a complicated shortcut by rote), was skilled enough to ride on the wall of a tunnel, and could come up with advanced strategies to try to win.
- Jotaro Kujo: Like with Avdol, Jotaro's relationship with Kakyoin begins with a fight. After defeating him, Jotaro takes Kakyoin to his house to remove DIO's flesh bud and release him from DIO's control. Jotaro and Kakyoin later develop a strong friendship, discovering a mutual interest in sumo, and Kakyoin being one of the few people Jotaro smiles at. Kakyoin sacrificed his life to give Jotaro an advantage against Dio and Jotaro mourns his death along with Joseph and Polnareff. In the JOJONIUM special interviews, Araki comments that without their power, Jotaro and Kakyoin probably wouldn't have become friends.
- Joseph Joestar: Having joined them on their journey to Egypt, Kakyoin got along well with the rest of the group. While his interactions with Joseph specifically were minor, Joseph usually went to him to crack jokes and express his comedic nature (due to Kakyoin being able to tolerate it the most). Towards the end of the series, Kakyoin's last act before dying was shooting the clock tower with his Emerald Splash, in order to help Joseph discover the secret behind The World's ability to stop time. Joseph, whilst hiding his grief, responds by treating the message with utmost importance and swearing that Kakyoin's death would not be in vain.
- Jean Pierre Polnareff: The two worked well together in battles such as Hanged Man and The Lovers. The two did have a brief falling out when Mannish Boy attacked the gang with Death Thirteen and Polnareff didn't believe Kakyoin when he said the baby was the stand user, believing the journey had taken its toll on Kakyoin and made him crazy. However, upon learning that Kakyoin was right, he genuinely apologized and the two have gotten along since. Kakyoin notes that it is thanks to Polnareff knocking him out while he had his Stand out is what let him save the day. While in a sinking submarine, the two were still able to joke around with each other and do a manly handshake. At the end of their journey, Polnareff mourned his comrades, including Kakyoin.
- Muhammad Avdol: Kakyoin first interacted with him during his recovery after DIO's flesh bud had been removed. With both of them having adequate knowledge on Stands, the two proved useful to the Joestar group in every battle. Like Polnareff, Avdol's alleged "death" impacted Kakyoin and he swore to avenge him. While this would turn out to be a front by the rest of the group to fool Polnareff, Avdol, likewise, considered Kakyoin as a valuable comrade and even discouraged Jotaro from gambling his soul in Daniel J. D'Arby's game of poker.
- DIO: Having met DIO on a holiday in Egypt with his family and then put under his control with a Flesh Bud, Kakyoin was loyal to him and would do anything he wanted. However, upon having the bud removed by Jotaro and seeing the harm DIO was causing towards the innocent Holy Kujo, who had shown him kindness as he was recovering at the Kujo residence, Kakyoin decided to go with Joseph, Jotaro, and Avdol to Egypt to defeat DIO.
Chapters / Episodes
- “The side which survives is good and how they do it is beside the point. The loser is the evil one.”
- “What?! He deflected my Emerald Splash?! But that's impossible!”
- “Yes, you may drive my Hierophant Green mad... mad from joy, that is. For you see my Stand loves nothing more... than to rip things to shreds!”
- “JoJo... are you going to eat those cherries? They don't seem like much but they're my favorite fruits. Could I have them? Thanks... rerorerorerorerorerorerorerorerorerorerorero...”
- “Take this instead of a handshake for making up with me, Polnareff.”
- “My name is Noriaki Kakyoin! To avenge my friend Avdol and so that the sister of my friend Polnareff may be at peace... you will pay with your life!”
- “"To truly understand yourself," huh? That's a good tip. But you clearly don't understand your enemies that well, you lack preparation!”
- “It's time for payback, "baby." (さお仕置きの時間だよ、ベイビー。Oshioki no jikan da yo, beibī.)”
- “Although you are still a baby, I will still break your neck if I have to.”
- “I curse myself for kneeling to DIO! Because of Jotaro, I decided to join this jorney to seek change and redemption. I won't be the same Kakyoin again, D'Arby! That's why I will wager my soul here! That is why I, Noriaki Kakyoin will not lose this game! All because of my current mental state!”
- “No regrets. About anything that has happened on this journey or will happen from this point on. I will regret nothing. (後悔はない…今までの旅に…これから起こる事柄に…僕は後悔はない…Kōkai wanai… ima made no tabi ni… korekara okoru kotogara ni… boku wa kōkai wanai…)”
- “I'll make Hierophant Green the way it used to be! Invisible to everyone! I'll make Hierophant Green invisible again to find out his Stand's secret and finish him off!”
- “The web attacks you when you touch it! It surrounds you for 20 meters in every direction! It can sense you and your Stand's every move!”
- “Take this, DIO! 20-Meter Radius Emerald Splash!”
- “It's... a message... That's... all I can do... (メ…ッセージ……で…す…これが…せい…いっぱい…ですMe... ssēji... de... su... kore ga... sei... ippai... desu)”
- “Mr. Joestar... Please... figure... it... out...”
Creation and Development
Kakyoin's first name was originally intended to be "Tenmei" and is still used by Araki himself, despite it officially being "Noriaki". The change was the result of a miscommunication between Araki and his editor as the kanji can be read both ways. This can also be seen in Enya's hotel register, where Kakyoin wrote "Tenmei Kakyoin".
According to anime producer Nobutaka Kasama in the 2020 Anime Expo interview about the anime series, the "rero rero" of Kakyoin was particularly difficult for Daisuke Hirakawa (the voice actor for Kakyoin) to pull off since it was to be repeated 17 times and so he had to train himself out of work (for instance rehearsing repeatedly during bathing).
Kakyoin's voice actor in Heritage for the Future (along with several other characters in the revisions of the game), Mitsuaki Madono, would later go on to voice Part 8 Josuke Higashikata in All Star Battle and Eyes of Heaven.