Yoshikage Kira (吉良 吉影, Kira Yoshikage) is the main antagonist of the fourth part in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Diamond is Unbreakable, as well as the third main antagonist of the series overall. He also appears as the main protagonist of the short story Deadman's Questions.
Unnoticed in Morioh for years and undisturbed all his life, Yoshikage Kira is an abnormal and paraphilic serial killer whose murderous routine is shaken when the ghost of his first victim, Reimi Sugimoto, begs the living to look for him. Upon attracting unwanted attention by killing Shigekiyo Yangu, Josuke and the others sets their sights on Kira in order to put an end to his killing spree.
Yoshikage Kira has light, loosely combed back hair with a few strands out of place. He wears a light Valentino suit and a dark tie patterned by a column of skull emblems with upright, cat-like ears, similar to those on his Stand, Killer Queen. As a salesman by profession, he wears a similar suit throughout the series, though he usually takes off his jacket at home.
Kira adopts one face other than his original one in Part 4, and a ghostly body resembling his original, with a unique outfit, after this. He remains a man of average height and slim to athletic build.
When Kosaku Kawajiri is killed, Kira assumes his facial features, including his spiky black hair, thin, large dark irises, and higher cheekbones. He retains his suit, changing only his tie to his normal Skull tie.
Shortly after he dies, as a ghost, he retains Kosaku's features for a few moments before reverting to his original appearance, which he retains in Deadman's Questions. Henceforth, he adopts an elaborate outfit consisting of a dark bowler hat with an upturned brim and a tie, both patterned by concentric squares, and a shirtless, dark, lapelless suit.
Kira longs for a peaceful and quiet life, safe from any worry, and does not wish for it to be interrupted. Whenever that life seems assured, Kira adopts a jolly and confident demeanor. Although he is highly intelligent and possesses many talents, this yearning shows in his dislike of coming in first, and Jotaro theorizes from his many trophies that he even made it a point to never rank better than 3rd in any competition so as not to stand out. Since his youth, Kira has been avoiding standing out, living a healthy life and following a strict regimen. He becomes bothered when someone disrupts his habits and goes to extreme lengths to get them back. As his father pointed out, this will to stay in the background was so bad that if bullied or denied his favorite toy, Kira would bite his nails until they bled, being the only way he's found to express his frustration.
However, beneath his façade of a simple, humble salaryman, Kira is very abnormal. The most abnormal characteristic of Kira is his frequent and periodic murderous impulses. Kira targets women, or, more specifically, women with beautiful hands. Kira possesses a hand fetish, which he discovered when he found himself aroused by the Mona Lisa's hands. However, his desire has never extended to the rest of the female person and he otherwise shuns their presence. This results in murdering random women, not caring in the least how they look or behave, in order to acquire their (severed) hands as "girlfriends," acting as if the severed hands were actually sentient and conversing with them, even offering them various gifts. When one "girlfriend" begins to decay, he disposes of it and goes off in search of a replacement. Kira is an opportunistic killer, his modus operandi being spotting a potential victim, following her to her house, and murdering her when both are isolated. Due to his Stand leaving absolutely no trace of their victim behind, these murders are actually reported as missing persons. Moreover, Kira has expressed various other similarly violent impulses such as the desire to choke his victims to death and has horribly scarred at least Reimi Sugimoto.
Apart from his murders, Kira is particularly violent when someone threatens his way of life or publicly humiliates him. Since Kira doesn't want to be noticed, he will try everything to solve his problems without facing anyone directly. However, if he doesn't have any other choice, he will instantly try to kill whoever discovers his true nature. Kira is quick to drop his polite demeanor, rudely insulting his foes or violently beating them before killing them. After Koichi's Echoes ACT 3 results in Kira making a fool of himself in public and attracting unwanted attention, Kira went on his way to torture and humiliate Koichi, putting his shoe into his mouth and slamming his face against the ground. Kira has a hard time controlling these violent impulses, as seen when Hayato Kawajiri threatened to blackmail him. Kira lost his calm attitude and murdered Hayato in an enormous lapse in judgement.
Kira is also afflicted with a number of other quirks. Apart from his wish for a monotonous and tranquil life, Kira's OCD also makes him very meticulous and thorough. Kira has sophisticated tastes, notably buying his lunch at the best store in town as well as wearing Valentino suits. He doesn't tolerate any imperfection and is even willing to waste time fixing Koichi's socks instead of fleeing the scene, as he could not stand seeing them being worn inside-out. Furthermore, during his time as Kosaku Kawajiri, Kira made sure to perfectly mimic his new identity in every way, notably Kosaku's hand-writing, which he trained himself to do conscientiously. Kira's solitary nature is partially stemmed from his disgust of people who don't behave as properly as he does. Kira's favorite fashion brand is Gianfranco Ferré.
Kira is also an egocentric and selfish man, akin to a spoiled child. He doesn't care that his crimes involve murder and make his victim's relatives suffer. He only seeks to satisfy his basic instincts. In addition, Kira is determined to preserve his lifestyle, and being set back only increases his determination. Kira is also quick to shift the blame to someone else for his troubles, notably Josuke and his allies, for ruining his life. Kira possesses a twisted pride in having managed to mix his tranquil lifestyle and his serial murders for so long, and categorically refused to flee the town and live in fear, preferring to maintain a shaky façade of normal life with the Kawajiri's.
In addition, while normally a very cautious, meticulous man who ensures he leaves no evidence behind, there are a few occasions where he became overconfident and let his guard down, and each time has led him to a confrontation with Josuke and the others or defeat at their hands. He once put his "girlfriend hand" in a sandwich bag and failed to notice Shigechi's presence as he came to take the sandwich bag, thinking it was his, which eventually lead to him being found out. In addition, he left his jacket to a tailor at Centipede shoes and left his real name, forcing him to confront them. He was overconfident in his Sheer Heart Attack, believing it was invincible and left the scene but was forced to return to the scene of his crime when Koichi managed to subdue Sheer Heart Attack. In addition, he let his guard down near a wounded Jotaro, allowing Jotaro the opportunity to beat him. Finally, when he was overconfident he had beaten Hayato Kawajiri in his attempt to stop him, he blurted out his real name in front of Josuke by mistake, which Hayato had planned.
Kira believes that he has luck and fate on his side, exposing a superstitious façade, claiming that whenever faced with an obstacle he will be able to make it through with a combination of hard work and opportunity. He measures and collects his own fingernail clippings, using them to predict his murdering luck off of their length.
When Kira was pierced with the Arrow, his demeanor became much more relaxed and prone to elation due to his new-found power, which guaranteed that anyone approaching Hayato would be killed. Ecstatic to possess a power which would dispose of anyone who investigated him, Kira allowed himself one loud boast, which caused his downfall as Josuke overheard him claiming to be "Yoshikage Kira".
During his confrontation with the Stand Stray Cat, Kira expressed a desire to protect his "wife," Shinobu Kawajiri, and even showed relief at her safety. A feeling that confused him, Kira rationalized it as merely his not wanting to arouse suspicion. Whether these feelings were genuine or not is left unanswered.
As a ghost, Kira lost all memory of his previous life and has thus lost his temptation to kill. However, his desire for a peaceful existence and his latent brutality remained.
- Main article: Killer Queen
Kira's Stand, Killer Queen, is a humanoid, short-range Stand with the unique ability to cleanly, and completely, wipe out objects and people alike with targeted explosions. This ability manifests itself as three distinct forms, or 'bombs'.
Bomb Transmutation (Primary Bomb): Killer Queen can charge any object into a bomb simply by touching it. The Stand can then manually detonate the charged object, causing powerful explosions.
Sheer Heart Attack
- Main article: Sheer Heart Attack
Sheer Heart Attack (Secondary Bomb): Sheer Heart Attack is an autonomous entity that detaches from Killer Queen's left hand. It is a mobile, heat-seeking bomb that is extremely durable and leaves massive explosions in its wake.
Bites the Dust
- Main article: Bites the Dust
Killer Queen Bites the Dust (Tertiary Bomb): Created by a second pierce of the Arrow, Bites the Dust is an independent bomb that implants Killer Queen into a host body. If the host reveals Kira's true identity in any way, willingly or unwillingly, Bites the Dust will trigger, and any investigators will be blown up before a time loop commences that sends everyone back an hour. Kira is unable to use this ability on himself, however.
Air Bomb Transmutation ("Stray Cat")
- Main article: Stray Cat
After gaining Bites the Dust, Kira keeps Stray Cat in a hollow space within Killer Queen's abdomen. With Killer Queen's Primary Bomb charging Stray Cat's condensed air bubbles, Kira may create invisible, speedy air bombs (空気弾, Kūki-dan) to use as projectiles. Although no one, not even Kira, can see these bombs, the latter is skilled in determining their trajectory using basic mathematical skills.
Despite the power of his Stand, Killer Queen, Kira's passivity led to an over-reliance on its powers to the detriment of actual mastery.
Up until his appearance, Kira has avoided fighting at all, leading to a laissez-faire approach to Stand battles. Although he did personally kill Shigekiyo Yangu and knows a great deal about the subtleties of Killer Queen, he then let Sheer Heart Attack take care of two Stand Users, leading to an unexpected defeat and almost leading to his capture. He then became overconfident in Bites the Dust's invincibility, again leaving ample opportunity for Hayato to seek a loophole. Kira's tendency to hide and avoid instead of confronting his foes has left him no time to show any imagination in using his Stand.
However, thanks to his intellect and "lucky" meeting with Stray Cat, Kira could sublimate Killer Queen's power to create a deadly long-range combination of Stand abilities.
- Yoshihiro Kira: Yoshihiro is protective of his son, enough so that he was willing to support his son's murderous streak without a care as long as it made him happy. However, Yoshikage thinks little of his father, ignoring his advice of leaving Morioh and sparing no thought for him when he died. In the end, Yoshihiro died in the most ironic way possible, being blown up by his son's bomb after he was tricked by Josuke into doing so.
- Mother: While little is known about their relationship and Kira's opinions of her, Araki points out that her overall appearance, as presented in their family portrait, suggests she may have been a bit overprotective of Kira to a point of abusive coddling.
- Shinobu Kawajiri: While Kira impersonated Kosaku, his failed attempts at acting ordinary were mistaken by Shinobu for a change toward a bolder demeanor from her husband. Charmed, Shinobu became attracted to her husband, not knowing that it was Kira. Kira on the other hand first struggled not to act on his murderous impulses on Shinobu and tried his best not to attract attention, thus acting gently with her. As time passed, notably after protecting her from Stray Cat, Kira noted a burgeoning affection for her.
- Hayato Kawajiri: Hayato and Kira lived in mutual suspicion, with Hayato noting everything his "father" did that was out of the ordinary, while Kira disliked the company of such a nosy child. When Hayato hears Kira plotting to kill him and then sees him use Killer Queen to kill a couple, their relationship turns antagonistic, culminating in Kira killing Hayato in a fit of rage. When Hayato becomes the catalyst for Kira gaining the sub-bomb Bites the Dust, Kira underestimates Hayato's resourcefulness, dismissing him as harmless at first, which Hayato exploits to lure Kira into the hands of his enemies. Hayato had come to know Kira well and proved a useful source of information during the climactic fight between Josuke and Kira.
- Tama: Kira and the cat Tama were initially enemies due to Kira's interference in Stray Cat's revenge against Shinobu. Kira wanted to get rid of the conscious plant as it was likely to attract attention, but after distracting it, he decided to keep Stray Cat in the attic, planning to use it later. During his confrontation with Josuke, Kira made the most of Stray Cat's power by combining it with Killer Queen's detonation ability to produce air bombs.
- Josuke Higashikata: After Shigechi had been killed, Josuke developed a grudge against Kira and swore to avenge Shigechi. While Josuke loathed Kira, the latter didn't think much of Josuke and as an enemy, preferred to avoid any confrontation with him. However, Kira noticed that Josuke's healing power and resourcefulness countered his Killer Queen's bomb power and was precautious against him during their fight.
- Rohan Kishibe: Rohan was at first only curious about the local murderer, but after learning that he almost died by his hand and that Reimi protected him, his efforts for finding Kira became more personal. As an enemy, Kira preferred to avoid any confrontation with him. He was also aware of Rohan's status as a famous mangaka. When Rohan fell victim to Bites the Dust, Kira took great joy in his death.
- Koichi Hirose: Koichi, after learning of Kira's crimes, came to deeply loathe him to the point he would attack him on sight. Kira, on the other hand, came to somewhat praise Koichi's ability for being able to track him and then indirectly humiliate him in public, which he made sure to pay back with a beating. When Koichi humiliated Kira a second time, demonstrating how careless the serial killer could be, Kira was enraged and came to detest Koichi, being happy at the prospect of Koichi dying.
- Okuyasu Nijimura: Okuyasu, after learning that Kira killed Shigechi, developed a deep grudge against the murderer. As an enemy, Kira preferred to avoid any confrontation with him. Kira attempted to kill Okuyasu and turned him into a bomb. He was surprised when Okuyasu suddenly came back to life during his fight with Josuke.
- Jotaro Kujo: The first time Jotaro would encounter Kira was near the Centipede shoe shop after Jotaro was heavily wounded by Sheer Heart Attack. Kira underestimated Jotaro due to the poor state he was in, only to get pummeled by Star Platinum for his trouble. Kira noted how dangerous Jotaro was and took care to avoid confronting him again. During the events of Bites the Dust, Kira mentions to Hayato that he would be very happy if Jotaro were to die in particular.
- Reimi Sugimoto: Reimi was the first victim of Yoshikage Kira fifteen years prior to the start of Part 4 along with the rest of her family, including her pet dog Arnold. As a ghost, Reimi remained in Morioh, looking for someone to help her put a stop to Kira's murders in order to restore Morioh's peace and dignity. While Kira managed to remember her name when Shigekiyo mentioned her, he couldn't recognise her at first when they met fifteen years later, which Reimi theorizes as Kira not having the occasion to remember her since he didn't take her hand as a "girlfriend". After her archenemy was dragged away by the ghost hands of the alleys, Reimi was able to peacefully ascend to heaven.
- Arnold: Arnold's throat was slashed by Kira fifteen years prior to the start of Part 4. Kira then hangs the dog's body on a clothes hook in the wall. He remains as a ghost in an alley until his soul ascends to Heaven after Kira is dragged away by the ghost hands.
- Shigekiyo Yangu: When Shigechi unwittingly takes Kira's "girlfriend", Kira saw Shigechi as a potential threat to his peaceful lifestyle. When both confront each other, Shigechi, shocked to learn that he is a serial killer and seriously injured when trying to fight Kira, tries to warn his friend Josuke in order to protect his family. On the other hand, Kira thought little of Shigechi and swiftly disposed of him, wanting to forget about his fight as soon as possible.
- Aya Tsuji: The two had little interaction but Kira was aware of her occupation and abilities, which allowed him to escape the protagonists and change his identity. Before being killed by Kira, Aya describes him as truly terrifying and hated him for using her powers for evil.
- Kosaku Kawajiri: The two had no onscreen interaction and Kira only accosted him because they were of similar height and build. He kidnapped Kosaku, dragged him to Salon Cinderella, killed him, and took his identity including his face, fingerprints, and hair. Kira, however, was annoyed by Kosaku's willingness to have a promotion, forcing Kira to stress himself by bootlicking Kosaku's superior while having to impersonate him in order to maintain his masquerade.
Chapters / Episodes
- “In over 15 years, I, Yoshikage Kira, have never left behind even a single scrap of evidence. And now some kid's mistake is carrying that ring away... Like I'll let him.”
- “I'm always thinking this, but damn, Yoshikage Kira, you're one lucky guy... With your friendly demeanor and bold drive, there's no way you won't be happy in life.”
- “My name is Yoshikage Kira. I am 33 years old. I live in northeast Morioh, where there are many villas... I am not married... I'm an office worker for the Kameyu Department Store. Each evening, I return home no later than 8 PM. I don't smoke. I drink, but only occasionally. I go to bed by 11 PM and always get at least 8 hours of sleep... Before I lie down, I drink a cup of warm milk and do 20 minutes of stretching to relax my body... With that routine, I find that I sleep soundly all the way until morning. Like a baby, I awake with no fatigue or stress. And at my last checkup, I was given a clean bill of health... I'm explaining so that you'll understand that I'm a person who wants to live his live feeling at peace. I refuse to create dilemmas—or enemies—that will disturb my thoughts and keep me up at night worrying if I'll win or lose... And by maintaining that approach toward society, I have found that I can attain happiness. Of course, if I were to fight someone, I would never lose. (私の名は『吉良吉影』 年齢３３歳 自宅は杜王町北東部の別荘地帯にあり… 結婚はしていない… 仕事は『カメユーチェーン店』の会社員で 毎日遅くとも夜８時までには帰宅する タバコは吸わない 酒はたしなむ程度 夜１１時には床につき 必ず８時間は睡眠をとるようにしている… 寝る前にあたたかいミルクを飲み ２０分ほどのストレッチで体をほぐしてから床につくと ほとんど朝まで熟睡さ… 赤ん坊のように疲労やストレスを残さずに 朝 目を覚ませるんだ… 健康診断でも異常なしと言われたよわたしは常に『心の平穏』を願って生きてる人間ということを説明しているのだよ… 『勝ち負け』にこだわったり 頭をかかえるような『トラブル』とか 夜もねむれないといった『敵』をつくらない…というのが わたしの社会に対する姿勢であり それが自分の幸福だということを知っている… もっとも 闘ったとしても わたしは誰にも負けんがね。Watashi no na wa “Kira Yoshikage” nenrei 33-sai jitaku wa moriōchō hokutō-bu no bessō chitai ni ari… kekkon wa shite inai… shigoto wa “Kame Yūchēn-ten” no kaishain de mainichi osokutomo yoru 8-ji made ni wa kitaku suru tabako wa suwanai sake wa tashinamu teido yoru 11 tokiniha yuka ni tsuki kanarazu 8-jikan wa suimin o toru yō ni shite iru… nerumae ni atatakai miruku o nomi 20-bu hodo no sutoretchi de karada o hogushite kara yuka ni tsuku to hotondo asamade jukusui-sa… akanbō no yō ni hirō ya sutoresu o nokosazu ni asa-me o samaseru nda… kenkōshinda demo ijō nashi to iwa reta yo… Watashi wa tsuneni “kokoro no heion” o negatte iki teru ningen to iu koto o setsumei shite iru noda yo… “Kachimake” ni kodawattari atama o kakaeru yōna “toraburu” toka yoru mo nemurenai to itta “teki” o tsukuranai… to iu no ga watashi no shakai ni taisuru shiseideari sore ga jibun no kōfukuda to iu koto o shitte iru… mottomo tatakatta to shite mo watashi wa darenimo makenga ne.)”
- “Before you talk to anyone else, I will erase you.”
- “Killer Queen can erase you at any time. For, you see, Killer Queen's power is to turn anything it touches into a bomb.”
- “Nobody can track me. Nobody knows the truth about Yoshikage Kira. That is, nobody will, after I get rid of you.”
- “Killer Queen has already touched the doorknob. (キラークイーン和すでにドアノブに触っている.Kirā Kuīn wa sudeni doanobu ni sawatte iru.)”
- “You ants really think you can find Yoshikage Kira? I'll destroy you. My Stand Killer Queen's Sheer Heart Attack will kill anything it aims for, guaranteed.”
- “I Yoshikage Kira, just want a quiet life, but these shitheads keep getting in my way.”
- “Damn you! (野郎！Yarō!)”
- “For me, it's not really about winning or losing. I just want to survive. I want a peaceful life. It's just that it's in my nature to kill. I will have my happy life!”
- “I really want to show Yoshikage Kira's true nature to the girl on the right... I want to reveal my deep desires to her... I'm dying to touch her thin neck with my hands... and choke her to death.”
- “You want me to leave Morioh!? To live in fear of pursuers, constantly looking over my back without any tranquility or peace?! You should know better than to suggest that to me! I will never leave this town!”
- “Lately, with everything going on, the waves of my life have grown rough and violent...But from now on, I'll be able to live my life with a peaceful mood. I matured last night, all because you cornered me...rather, I felt a truly powerful will radiating from you last night... You even managed to threaten me, Yoshikage Kira. Hahaha oh dear did I let my name slip...?”
- “Even the fact that Rohan Kishibe met you has been erased! That is Killer Queen Bites the Dust! There's nobody you can talk to! Nobody who can investigate you!”
- “For your information... I turned myself into Kosaku Kawajiri not because I was fleeing from you. If I had wanted to get rid of you all, I could have killed you at any time. I didn't simply because I don't have a taste for battle. I dislike combat because it runs counter to the tranquil life that I desire. Winning a single battle is simple, but stress builds up in anticipation for the following battle... It is a foolish act. [...] That was the only reason I didn't get you out of the picture.... Right now you three are the only ones disturbing my tranquility. Those who know my identity are the only ones I have no choice but to fight!”
- “Phewwww~ Back when I was a kid... you know Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, right? I saw it in an artbook. When I saw Mona Lisa's hands, folded by her knee... How do I say this? It's a bit crude, but... hehe... I got...a BONER. I cut out just the hands... and put them up in my room for a while. I'd like to... cut yours off... too. My name is Yoshikage Kira... I've killed 48 women with pretty hands. You shall be the only one! The only one to know my secret!”
- “Bites the Dust emerged from my single-minded desire not to encounter you... Bring it on! Let's see you stop time! How long can you keep it up?”
- “I-I did it! It activated! (や~ やったぞ! 発動したぞ!Ya~ yatta zo! Hatsudō shita zo!)”
- “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I beat them! Now I can be free!”
- “No... No, No, No! Where- Where are they taking me!? They're dragging me away! Noooo!”
- “My name is Yoshikage Kira... I can't remember the reason why I died... but one thing I can say for certain is that I will not go to Heaven.”
- “What am I supposed to do from here? I don't have the answer for that. But if time continues forever, I may find some sort of happiness by making my 'job' my 'purpose' for living.”
- “I don't carry the tickets with me, but what's important is that I got the seats... And what's most important is to gaze at the brilliant blue sky and enjoy the view. Is there anything more important than that in the world?...”
- “I don't really care... If the 'target' is a good or bad person. But if I happen to kill the wrong target, you're going to feel bad.”
- “My... What a beautiful, blue sky. Where should I rest tonight?”
Creation and Development
Araki thought of a backstory for Kira which would portray Kira's abusive relationship with his mother and neglect from his father. Kira's backstory wasn't included in the manga both because it was serialized in a magazine for a younger audience and Araki felt Kira would end up being a very sad villain so readers wouldn't see him as the enemy.
Araki approached David Production during the start of Part 4's anime, suggesting that they should include Kira in several background foreshadowings early on in the part, mainly because he initially didn't know who would end up being the main villain of the story until later on when Kira was introduced.
- According to a Top 10 List published in JOJO A-GO!GO!, released in 2000, Kira is Araki's favorite antagonist and second favorite character overall.
- The character of Yoshikage Kira was the focus of a collaborative photoshoot with the fashion magazine UOMO featuring Japanese model Dean Fujioka, who made an impression of the character.
- Kira's TV anime voice actor, Toshiyuki Morikawa, also voices Diavolo in the Bandai Namco video games.