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|“||The power of the words you believed became everyone's hope, right? It became my hope. Have confidence in yourself. Isn't that little bit of optimism what's great about you? Hope is infectious. If your power isn't enough, we're here for you. Everyone is behind you.||„|
|~ Makoto Naegi|
Kyoko Kirigiri is one of the six main characters from the DanganRonpa series. She is the Ultimate Detective and the daughter of Jin Kirigiri.
In the game, she is voiced by Yōko Hikasa in the Japanese version of the game, and by Erika Harlacher in the English version of the game.
In the anime, she is voiced by Yōko Hikasa in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Caitlin Glass in the English version of the anime.
She also has an Instagram account, @kiriiqirii.
Kyouko is a relatively tall, pretty young woman who is 19 years old, though she believed herself to be 17 due to the memory loss. She has purple eyes and a pale complexion. She wears her light purple hair down and with a braid on the side, tied with a black ribbon. Her outfit consists of a dark-purple collared jacket over a white blouse and tie, along with a short skirt and knee-high boots. She also always wears her custom-made black gloves to conceal scars on her hands that she received back when she was an amateur.
In Danganronpa 3, she becomes much older. She becomes 21 years old. She wears her hair back in a pony-tail with two strands of hair lose that go down the front of her body. She wears a greenish jacket, and wears her gloves still. Her shirt is a white blouse. She has a brown belt, holding up a dull purple short skirt. Around her left leg she wears a brown satchel. Her shoes are boots that are only a bit above her ankle, but they are also heeled, like her old ones.
Kirigiri is a stoic and mysterious girl with amnesia. She has a calm demeanor and tends to be completely unfazed by most of the events that occur, even when a body is found. Kirigiri is also one of very few students that sees things objectively and doesn’t jump to conclusions in the trial, making her a valuable ally to Naegi. Kirigiri is very sensitive regarding the subject about the Hope Peak’s Academy Headmaster (who later is revealed to be her own father), going so far as to even lose her cool when Alter Ego mentioned the possibility of him being the mastermind. She also doesn't like it when people keep secrets from her, as Naegi finds out.
Ever since the first murder, she becomes close with Naegi, evident from her later interactions with him hinting some sort of mutual attraction. When Naegi allows himself to be found guilty in Chapter 5 (though he's saved at the last minute by Alter Ego), Kirigiri realizes that she's been putting her own desires ahead of his safety. When they discover that Naegi ended up at the garbage disposal room, she risks her life to save him.
She can also be seen as being able to find the good in people's motives, for example, after the first trial (Sayaka Maizono's death), she goes to Naegi and tells him that she thinks that in the end, Sayaka actually wanted to make sure he didn't get the blame for her death, which is why she wrote LEON on the wall. Another example is in episode 5, where she points out the broken ID card is actually Chihiro Fujisaki's; Kirigiri says that Mondo Owada broke it to protect Chihiro's secret.
Behind her stone cold personality, Kirigiri seems to easily get emotionally upset, which is masked by her strong will. Even under calm situations, she sometimes lets her emotions get the best of her as shown when Alter Ego mentions her father, the former headmaster, as the person who might be the real culprit (mastermind) behind the sadistic game and when Naegi refuses to tell her about Sakura Ogami's odd rivalry with Monokuma (assumed that Makoto suspected Sakura's betrayal).
Little is known about their relationship, she only stated that they were just family and nothing more. Jin left her when she was a little girl and Kyoko stated that he only used her mother's death as an excuse so that he could leave the house and that she didn't really know him as a father because they never really spoke to each other much during their days together. However, it was Kyoko's grandfather who encouraged her to hate her father and in reality Jin left the family because Fuhito showed no care when Jin's wife died.
When Kyoko found out that her father died in the school and found his skeleton, she didn't show any feelings towards his death. But Makoto, who was looking at the remains of her father instead, noticed that she didn't even look in the box. Makoto thought that somewhere in her heart she must have thought she was wrong and guilty about her father's death.
Kyoko is very close to her grandfather, who taught her all she knows about being a detective, and protected her from anything he deemed a threat. However, he was also very strict about raising Kyoko as his heir and told her she is a detective before anything else, causing some of Kyoko's emotional issues. He also didn't allow Kyoko to see her dying mother and encouraged her to hate her father.
Nevertheless, Kyoko loves her grandfather dearly, which is confirmed by the fact that he became a Captive.
At first, when they meet, Yui was very surprised that someone that young was a detective. During chapter 1 before starting the case, Kyoko tried to warn Yui that something was wrong and suggested to leave, but, seeing the three men walking ahead in front of them, she whispered that she couldn't "leave them to die" and decided to stay on board. Later when staring the case, Yui was very suspicious of Kyoko due to her being the only one alive after all the detectives have died. However, after discovering the true culprit, Yui apologized to Kyoko for being suspicious of her.
After resolving Sirius Astronomical Observatory Murder Case, Yui and Kyoko got to know each other even more and became close friends even getting to know her grandfather. Yui also invites Kyoko for a Christmas party held in her school. Yui gives Kyoko a present, Rose In Vitro, which Kyoko is very pleased with. Kyoko asks Yui if she sees Kyoko as a replacement to her sister, which Yui denies. Kyoko is Kyoko, and no one can replace her dead sister, Yui says. While Yui is grateful to Kyoko, Kyoko also says that she is grateful to Yui for believing in her during that murder.
During the events of Danganronpa Kirigiri, Yui is seen as Kyoko's accomplice. Yui thinks that Kyoko is cute and admirable. She insists that Kyoko call her oneechan (お姉ちゃん; "older sister" in a familiar, affectionate tone), but Kyoko calls her Yui-oneesama (お姉様; "older sister" in the most honorable yet emotionally distant tone).
As said previously by Yui, Yui doesn't see Kyoko as a replacement for her younger sister, still, she cares deeply for her and seems to be very protective of Kyoko. Yui's love for Kyoko is most notably seen in the third volume. During those events, Kyoko disappeared along with her grandfather. Yui was very worried about her disappearance and never gave up trying to search for clues related to her disappearance.
While their relationship during their school years is a bit unclear, in Danganronpa IF it's stated that Makoto had a crush on Kyoko, and Junko described her as Mukuro's "rival in love" due to Mukuro's secret crush on him. However, it was not mentioned how she felt about him. Since Makoto was originally shown interested in Sayaka, this seems to imply that at some point his affections turned towards Kyoko (regardless, he and Sayaka were shown to be close friends in Danganronpa 3). In a high school picture, Makoto seemed to be looking at Kyoko and Sayaka while their class was out swimming.
During the Killing Game, ever since the first murder, Kyoko became closer to Makoto, evident from her later interactions with him, hinting at some sort of mutual attraction. Kyoko also helped Makoto solve each Class Trial whenever he was out of clues. Both were on good terms with each other; Kyoko trusted Makoto (although just for her plans against Monokuma) but Makoto put his trust in her completely as he hoped that she would trust him as much as he trusted her. Regardless, Kyoko seemed to care more for Makoto as time went on. Evidence was shown when she entered his room and told Makoto to beware of Mukuro. She also saved him from Junko (thought to be Mukuro), who was about to kill him when he was asleep. When Makoto allowed himself to be found guilty in Chapter 5 (though he was saved at the last minute by Alter Ego), Kyoko realized that she had been putting her own desires ahead of his safety. When she discovered that Makoto ended up at the garbage disposal room, she risked her life to save him. Kyoko then showed her scarred hands to Makoto, which was a great sign of trust from her, as she stated that she showed her hands only to people she considered as close as family.
During the last Class Trial, Makoto was the one who told the remaining students (including her) to not give in to despair, helping her overcome her state of shock over the intense pressure of the situation they were in. Kyoko told Makoto that even though she didn't know her dad, he would never tell her to stay in the school if it meant betraying and getting him murdered by Junko, thus showing their bonds and trust to each other. At their "Graduation," Kyoko told Makoto she was actually kind of looking forward to facing whatever was out there if it was with someone like him, hinting that she possibly has romantic feelings for him. After joining the Future Foundation, she became Makoto's leader. Kyoko continued to admire his optimism, and Makoto, in turn, admired her 'cool' personality and considered her the person who had kept him alive.
In Danganronpa 3, it became much more evident that the two had feelings for each other, especially notable in Makoto's shyer behavior and tendency to blush more often. During the collaboration game of Danganronpa 3 and Guns Girl Z, when Kyoko was accused of being so stoic that even Makoto couldn't find her cute, he then a bit shyly but firmly pointed out that he does, in fact, find her quite cute, which surprised her and made her blush. During the killing game, when Makoto overheard Kyoko talking about him with Ryota Mitarai, Makoto blushed, embarrassed by Kyoko's small speech while Kyoko coughed awkwardly after realizing he heard her. At one point, Kyoko took off her gloves and held his hand to comfort him, and Makoto was also seen mimicking Kyoko's thinking posture at one point. In the Otomedia magazine, Makoto stated that Kyoko reminded him of autumn due to being cool as well as possessing a really warm and gentle side. He then got very nervous and defensive about the subject and tried to change it by stating that coincidentally her birthday was in October. This only made it even more suspicious, and he claimed he remembered her birthday because they were friends, yet he failed to remember his other friends' birthdays. Aoi also appears to be very much aware that the two like each other, grinning widely after Kyoko's speech and later looking at the two while smiling knowingly, seemingly supportive of them.
After he tried to protect the Remnants of Despair, Kyoko had to escort Makoto to his trial, and she promised to use her powers as his leader to protect him. At one point during the Final Killing Game, Makoto caught Kyoko talking about him with Ryota, which seemed to embarrass her a bit and made Makoto blush. Later, Kyoko ended up triggering her NG code of passing the fourth time limit with Makoto alive. It is possible Kyoko did not tell him because she believed he might sacrifice himself for her, and it's also possible she didn't know with full confidence that Seiko's Antagonist drug would be able to save her life completely. Instead, Kyoko gave Makoto words of encouragement before they fell asleep, telling him to never give up on hope and that she would always be by his side.
After he was brainwashed, Makoto hallucinated the "ghosts" of Kyoko and Sayaka, as he believed that she was dead at the moment. Sayaka's ghost has been confirmed to represent his first love, implying that Kyoko was his current love.
The two reunited after the Killing Game, and it was implied she helped Makoto run the rebuilt Hope's Peak Academy after the events of Side: Hope.
Kyoko becomes close friends with Aoi after joining the Future Foundation with her and the other survivors. When Aoi decides to help Kyoko defend Makoto, she shows concern for her, knowing that she'll be blamed as well if she continues to do so. Aoi is one of the few people Kyoko has complete faith in, smiling when Aoi states her willingness to protect Makoto.
During the events of the Final Killing Game, Aoi and Kyoko reunite for a short spell to which Aoi hugs Kyoko open seeing her, showing how their bond has grown (especially considering Kyoko's usual dislike for physical contact). Aoi also calls Kyoko Kyoko-chan, which she seems to like. Some of Aoi's expressions indicate that she knows Kyoko and Makoto like each other, and she appears silently very happy for them.
Kyoko does not have a good relationship with Byakuya. During their killing school life, Byakuya had always been suspicious of Kyoko and even went as far as to taking her room key because she couldn't tell him what her reason for selection at Hope's Peak Academy was in Chapter 5. Kyoko stated that he is obnoxious and disliked him because of his lack of respect for human emotions, which she said would come back to bite him, with Byakuya shaking the remark off. Seemingly Kyoko acknowledges Byakuya's intelligence, as in the 4th investigation she wants Hina to allow Byakuya in the crime scene, saying that they need to find out the truth.
Eventually, it seems they learned to work with each other during their time at the Future Foundation, possibly because they both had their memories returned.
Junko saw Kyoko as a threat from the very beginning, due to her status as a detective. Because of this, she took care in erasing her classmate's memories, however, this later proved to be ineffective. Junko later went against her own rules and attempted to have Kyoko killed, but Kyoko easily saw through Junko's plans, using her abilities to keep herself alive. Kyoko later took part in defeating Junko.
In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony bonus mode Ultimate Talent Development Plan, she and Mukuro are partners in the track race. Mukuro stated while Kyoko isn't very athletic, she wasn't bad either. Kyoko notes of Mukuro's athletic physique and Mukuro stated that her good eye was befitting the Ultimate Detective.
As one of Monokuma's captives, Kyoko is, at first, very cautious around him, suggesting to her fellow students that they obey his orders. Later, when Kyoko breaks the school rules and steals one of Monokuma's possessions, she angers Monokuma. Monokuma tried to manipulate the students to suspect Kyoko as the culprit who supposedly killed Mukuro Ikusaba and votes for her as the guilty murderer. If followed the bad ending, Monokuma executes her leaving the other students inside the academy. If following the good ending, Kyoko challenges him in Chapter 6 to find the mastermind behind the killing game and the murder of Mukuro.
Koichi was a close friend of Kyoko's father, Jin, and liked to stick around with Kyoko because of this. However, his attitude irritated Kyoko, who found him to be a nuisance. Kyoko even expresses anger towards him, despite her usually preferring to keep her emotions hidden. However, when Ruruka Ando attempts to kill Kyoko by destroying the floor beneath her, Koichi catches Kyoko with his left hand, although his NG code was not to open it. This resulted in Koichi being injected with the poison and dying. Kyoko was shocked when Koichi saves her and is visibly saddened by his death. Whether Kyoko knew of Koichi's relationship with her father or not is still unknown, but she did say she had her theories when Ryota asked her why Koichi saved her at the cost of his own life.
The two become friends during the Final Killing Game although it is unknown at this point whether they share a true connection with each other. At the request of Kazuo, Ryota escorts Kyoko wherever she goes during this time, and Ryota seems quite interested in Kyoko's detective abilities. Kyoko sees Ryota as a friend, and he seems to be one of the few people in the Final Killing Game that she trusts. He's willing to protect her and she appreciates this, supporting Ryota when he gets depressed for thinking he is not as strong as Makoto.
- "No matter what happens, don't give up on hope. I shall always be by your side." (To Makoto)
- "At first glance, he probably looks that way. But when he needs to, he can be stronger than anyone. He's always optimistic. He always thinks of his friends and never gives up. Even if it means ignoring his own needs. That's what makes me worry about him, but... ...that's why I believe in him. Yes... Back then, it was only because he was there that I could..." (To Ryota)
- "Once, humanity was destroyed. By the Biggest, Most Atrocious, Despair-Inducing Incident in Human History. They were called the "Super High School-Level Despairs," and they initiated multiple, simultaneous terrorist attacks around the globe. They made no declarations and issued no demands. Just as the name implies, they did nothing but bring despair. Humanity's last hope rose to fight the Super High School-Level Despairs. They called it the Future Foundation. The Future Foundation recruited talented people worldwide, but it was composed primarily of Hope's Peak High School graduates. It fought a desperate battle against the Super High School-Level Despairs. The battle raged on. But with the death of Junko Enoshima, the one who began it all, the battle reached a turning point. However, the Remnants of Despair continued their activities. And the flame of war kept burning, as many people lost their lives."
- Her Japanese Voice Actress, Yōko Hikasa, who also voiced Mio in K-On, Rias Gremory in High School DXD, Hibiki Tenshō in Aikatsu Friends!, Elza Forte in Aikatsu Stars!, Weiss Schnee in RWBY, Maria Cadenzavna Eve in Senki Zesshou Symphogear G, Houki Shinonono in Infinite Stratos, Tio Klarus in Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, Diana Cavendish in Little Witch Academia, Emi Yusa in Hataraku Maou-sama!, Yoh Asakura in Shaman King, Farnese De Vandimion in Berserk, Nobara Yukinokōji in Inu x Boku SS, Alicetaria February in Re:Creators, Seraphim in Is this a Zombie?, Shutaura Sequenzia in A Certain Magical Index: Miracle of Endymion, Lafter Frankland in Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS, Artemis in Maria the Virgin Witch, Sakie Sato in Interviews with Monster Girls Petelgeuse's fingers in Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, Eleanor Chalet in Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records, Seiten in Queen's Blade: Grimoire OVA, So Dakki in Houshin Engi, SZZU in Black★Rock Shooter, Dora in Queen's Blade: Spiral Chaos, Refia in Final Fantasy III, Junko Hattori in Demon King Daimao, Alicetaria February in Re:Creators, Freya in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and U-1196 in Cells at Work! Code Black.
- Her First English Voice Actress, Erika Harlacher, who also voiced Kaede Akamatsu in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Shinobu Kochou in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Ann Takamaki in Persona 5, Crusch Karsten and Meili Portroute in Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Kurapika in Hunter x Hunter, Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden, Jeanne d'Arc in Fate/Apocrypha, Elizabeth Liones in The Seven Deadly Sins, and Asseylum Vers Allusia in Aldnoah.Zero, Sukuyo Mankanshoku in Kill la Kill, Videl in Dragon Ball Z, Jeanne Alter in Fate/Grand Order, Monoa Bellucci in Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna and Dunya Musta'sim in Magi.
- Her Second English Voice Actress, Caitlin Glass, who also voiced Vados in Dragon Ball Super, Nefertari Vivi in One Piece, Mina Ashido in My Hero Academia, Kim Diehl in Soul Eater, Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club, Machi Kuragi in Fruits Basket (2019), Cammy White in Street Fighter IV, Miria Harvent in Baccano!, Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal Alchemist, Maki Nishikino in Love Live! School Idol Project, Ryouko Kusakabe in Date A Live, Elma in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Evergreen in Fairy Tail, Deneve in Claymore, Retoree in Show By Rock!!, Sarasvati in Is This A Zombie?, Hannah Anafeloz in Black Butler, Decapre in Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ameisha Kichougasaki in Love Tyrant, Bel Peol in Shakugan no Shana, Misaki Senomiya in Robotic;Notes, Haumea in Fire Force, Saki Nikaido in Zombie Land Saga, Pipimi in Pop Team Epic, Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen in Strike Witches, Rose in Tales of Zestiria, Ragna the Bloodedge (young) in BlazBlue: Alter Memory, 5pb in Hyperdimension Neptunia, Diancie in Pokémon, Seychelles in Hetalia, Yoshie Kurahashi in Shiki, Sumomo in Sgt. Frog, Triela in Gunslinger, Erica Fontaine in Sakura Wars, Takane Katsu in Burst Angel, Souka in That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime, Willow Schnee in RWBY and Hitomi Kanzaki in The Vision of Escaflowne.
- Kirigiri in kanji (霧切) means "fog cutter", referencing her detective background.