Kazuya Mishima

Kazuya Mishima
Tekken character
Kazuya Mishima (T7).png
Kazuya Mishima in Tekken 7
First gameTekken (1994)
Created bySeiichi Ishii
Voiced by
Motion captureRyu Narushima
Noriyuki Osada (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
Masaki Onishi (Tekken: Blood Vengeance) (stunts)
Portrayed byIan 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)
Fictional profile
Fighting styleMishima-ryu Karate (based on Kyokushin and Shotokan karate)
OccupationHead of Mishima Financial Empire (Tekken 2)
Head of G Corporation (Tekken 6)

Kazuya Mishima (Japanese: 三島 一八, Hepburn: Mishima Kazuya) is a fictional character on Bandai Namco's Tekken fighting game series, first appearing as the main protagonist in the original game from 1994. He has appeared in most of the games in the series so far, with the notable exception of Tekken 3 and its derivative games. He has also appeared in the printed adaptations of the series as well anime and CGI films. He is also the antagonist of the first Tekken live-action film as well as the protagonist of its prequel, Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge.

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 in the first installment of the series reveals he is engaged in multiple corrupt practices that established him as one of the series' antagonists. In particular, Kazuya's relationship with a woman named Jun Kazama conceived their son, Jin Kazama, who opposes his father and for the most part became the series' 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, prior to Devil Jin's playable appearance). Kazuya's main objective is to possess the power of the Devil Gene and to rule the world. However, he is stopped many times by members of his own family, most notably his son Jin Kazama as Jin hopes to eliminate the Devil Gene and save the world.

Ever since his introduction, the character of Kazuya has received positive reception. Many websites have listed him as one of the best Tekken characters due to his role in the series as well as one of the best characters in fighting games. Many journalists have praised his moves as well as dark characterization.

Character design

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 incident. 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, a blue-grey business suit with sunglasses in Tekken 4, and a black and blue business suit in Tekken 7. Additionally, when asked by a fan if a Yakuza video game character could appear in Tekken, Harada stated that Kazuya was already almost a yakuza.[1]

His Devil self was created as Namco wanted to introduce more unrealistic characters in Tekken 2 alongside Kuma in contrast to another fighting series known as Virtua Fighter. The staff added the character a project laser beam move as well as a pair of wings later in production of the game. He was also made largely overpowered to the point ten-hit combo would easily take down enemies without difficulties. However, realizing how powerful the character became, the Namco's members decided to balance his moves before the game was released.[2] While the Devil self first appeared as a single character, for Tekken 4 onwards he was removed from the cast with Harada stating it was because Kazuya embraced the powers of the devil unlike Jin.[3] For Tekken 6, Takayuki Yamaguchi designed a new outfit for Kazuya that makes him look like a robot.[4]

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.[5] 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 and how multiple characters are dragged into this.[6]

Tekken 7's story mode was supposed to conclude the long struggle between Kazuya and Heihachi. However, Namco made the story so that newcomers to the franchise would understand it.[7] In further tease of the game, Harada stated that in Tekken 7 Kazuya or Heihachi would die in their final fight.[8] Additionally, this game features a young Kazuya during an early stage of the story mode. When asked if this version of the character would be playable, Harada said it would depend on fan demand.[9] When asked about the final fight between both Kazuya and Heihachi, Harada called it "a major milestone in the storyline" as he was surprised by how extended the rivalry between these two characters due to the franchise's popularity have been and thus felt it was necessary to end this in a mortal fight.[10]

Harada stated Kazuya's claim about power when it comes to conquer the world. He added "There's different types of power" and That's kind of the story of Tekken and it's shown as the certain reality of people themselves rather than the idea law and order." The end of Kazuya's last fight with Akuma was left ambiguous on purpose as Harada comically stated would negatively affect Namco's relationship with Capcom.[11] In regards to ending the rivalry between Jin and Kazuya, Harada stated Jun Kazama would be present in the story.[12]

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. 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.[13]


Ryu Narushima performed many of Kazuya's techniques at the same time on working on Jin.[14] According to Harada himself, Kazuya is one of the hardest characters to control citing how players could have troubles while playing as him. Nevertheless he found Kazuya as a fun character to play us, still citing how gamers losing as him feel ashamed.[15] 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.[16] Harada said he thought Lars remained the strongest character to use in fighting tournaments, though others claim Steve Fox and the Mishimas – Jin, Kazuya and Heihachi – were stronger.[17] GameSpy noted that while Tekken 5 Kazuya retained his previous moves, new additions made the character more overpowered to the point of being disliked by other players who do not like using him.[18] For the next game, GameSpy noted he was given more launcher moves that while made him stronger, trying to use them could leave the player vulnerable in the process.[19] Capcom recommended players to master Kazuya's Rising Uppercut combo which might make the character into one of the most powerful ones from Street Fighter X Tekken.[20] In designing Kazuya's moves for this game, Capcom member Yoshinori Ono sent an email to Harada requesting him what moves could the character have.[21] Shortly afterwards, Capcom received a Tekken guide as well as email from Harada regarding what moves should Kazuya use. In this game, Kazuya's combo has a glitch which Capcom later patched.[22] Similarly for the arcade Tekken 7 Fated Retribution, three of Kazuya's techniques were patched to increase the damage they cause.[23][24] When making Tekken's transition to the Unreal Engine, the staff was concerned about leaving Kazuya's Electric Wind Godfist which was felt overpowered in previous games.[25]

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