Chizuru Kagura (神楽 ちづる, Kagura Chidzuru), whose real name is Chizuru Yata (八咫 ちづる, Yata Chidzuru), debuted in The King of Fighters '96 as a mid-boss and the sponsor of the KoF tournament that year. Her subsequent appearances in other tournaments tend to be as a normal participant.
Like Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami, she is a member of the clan that holds one of the three sacred artifacts that originally sealed the serpent monster Orochi 1,800 years ago: the Yata Mirror (八汰鏡, Yata no Kagami). Due to the rivals' aggression towards one another, Chizuru is usually the one who has to keep the trio together. They form the Three Sacred Treasures Team, whose endings often entail the canon events of any parties involved.
At the initial stages of development, she was referred to as the "Bell Girl," but before long she received the nickname of "Yuna" then finally receive the more appropriate name that she has now. She was created in the image of anime and manga character, Yohko Shiraki, from the Tomorrow's Joe manga series.
In the Neo Geo Freak's 1997 Volume 8 character poll, she was voted as the twenty-first favourite character with a total of 476 votes.
Chizuru is the younger of the two heiresses of the Yata clan, the other being her older twin sister, Maki Kagura. As the heiress of the Yata, she was raised as a priestess and was given the duty of keeping the diligent seal on Orochi intact. One night, Goenitz visited their home with intentions to destroy the seal. Maki confronts him, but since the power of their clan can not fight the Orochi without the help of the other two clans and Goenitz's strength as one of the Heavenly Kings was too great, she loses and is mortally wounded. Goenitz destroys the seal and leaves with the satisfaction of a weak but released Orochi. Before her death, Maki passes on the responsibilities of the seal to Chizuru, begging her to join the three clans together once again to defeat Orochi.
Ten years afterwards, Chizuru has become a very successful and prestigious business woman under the family name Kagura. She secretly kept track with the King of Fighters tournaments since it began with Geese Howard, and hosts the tournament in 1996 in hopes of entreating the two other heirs, Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami, to help her replace the broken seal. Though both Kyo and Iori protest, the three of them succeed in their task at the climax of The King of Fighters '97.
Tales of Ash
She hosts another King of Fighters tournament in 2003 with intentions similar to her previous attempt. During the tournament, however, it is revealed that Chizuru was under mind-control by a mysterious puppeteer, Botan, a member from Those From the Past.
Ironically, she ends up using the power of the Yata Mirror for the benefit of the very force she was trying to combat, and fights alongside an illusion of her sister Maki as one of the game's sub-bosses. Eventually, she breaks free from Botan's control and tries to restore the seal of Orochi, but Ash Crimson steals her powers before she can. She survives the attack, but can no longer participate in fights, asking Kyo's self-proclaimed disciple, Shingo Yabuki, to fill her spot in The King of Fighters XI. She keeps in touch with current events and Ash's movements by talking with Benimaru Nikaido. Her powers return when Ash disappears in The King of Fighters XIII.
At the end of The King of Fighters XIV tournament, sensing the presence of Orochi after Verse's defeat, Chizuru contacts Kyo to head west to Hungary and there, together with Iori, the trio deal with what believed to be a weakened Orochi.
Unlike the other members of the Sacred Treasures, Chizuru is well-mannered individual who speaks in a calm and collected tone. Having to watch her own sister murdered in front of her, Chizuru took that trauma and focused on sealing Orochi. She'll do whatever she can to keep Orochi sealed, even going as far as using The King of Fighters tournaments to bring the other two Sacred Treasures together, even without their consent. She becomes the voice of reason to the otherwise tumultuous Kusanagi and Yagami, having stopped their petty and mutually murderous vendetta on several occassions.
However, when her powers were taken, her will to fight was taken along with it. So far, the matter of losing her powers has not personally scarred or affected her in any way, and has even advised Iori on what to do and the implications when he lost his own powers to Ash Crimson that time.
- Divination - As a priestess, she can foretell some future events. She can also learn a person's history with said power.
- Mirror Image - Chizuru can create copies of herself. The copies, when created, may only move, attack and disappear. With little effort, Chizuru can make the copies attack more than once or create more than one copy. She can also switch places with one of her copies, an ability usually used to follow up on an attack from her copies with another attack of her own. It is implied that she doesn't master this ability, yet. If any of her mirror images get hit, Chizuru will receive the damage and her copy will disappear. Her sister, Maki, for comparison, is not limited in this way. Her copies act more like projectiles, if they are hit by one they will negate each other, and they are impossible to be stricken physically.
- Reflector - By the power of the mirror, Chizuru can reflect projectiles.
- Energy Manipulation - Chizuru can use energy to send enemies away.
- Seal Powers - With the Yata Mirror, Chizuru can seal her enemy's special powers and abilities for a few moments.
- Create Shadow - Chizuru can use the power of the Yata Mirror to create shadows of living or dead beings. She used this power in KoF 2003 to create Kusanagi, a shadow of Kyo, and also to create a shadow of her own sister, Maki.
- Seal - Being of Yata heritage, Chizuru can use her powers to seal Orochi in another dimension.
- Telepathy - Using the Yata Mirror, Chizuru can speak into other people's minds. She can also temporarily possess people for similar purposes.
- Teleport - While Chizuru's ability to disappear and reappear in a different location isn't mentioned, Ash gains this ability after stealing her Yata Mirror, as shown in the endings of KoF 2003 and KoF XI. The distance the user can cover is very far, as shown in KoF XIII where Ash was able to teleport onto Sky Noah.
- Motorcycle Driving - Chizuru is an avid motorcycle racer, and drives motorcycles as a hobby.
- Management - Chizuru is a business owner and has management skills that comes along with it. This ability also allowed her to organize a tournament such as KoF.
Her fighting style is very soft, with moves that resemble traditional Japanese dancing. She employs her mirror images to perfection, using them to surprise and confuse her opponents. She does not use punches, instead choosing to use wide open-handed strikes. She can trap her opponent with one of her mirror images and strike him the way she sees fit, having both her image and herself causing damage to her opponent at the same time.
Like both of the other two clans, the Yata clan's techniques are written in a numbered "style/method" fashion, along with the kanji for the said numbers used being alternate versions. In 2003, Chizuru's San Shingi no San (Three Divine Arts No. 3) is simply a combination of her two signature DM attacks, compared to Kyo reusing one of his other (S)DM's and Iori's being a completely original move.
An oddity with her attacks is the fact that whenever Chizuru uses any of her afterimages, there is a chance the screen will be locked into place and will not move all the way to either corner; the way to undo this is to simply have Chizuru take damage/a hit.
- Fairy - The King of Fighters '96, '98, R-1
- Sacredness ~ Fairy - The King of Fighters 2003
- Afro Culture (Spiritual Tribal Groove Mix) - K.O.F. Dance Trax
- Who is Queen? - KOF All Star character trailer
- Akiko Saito - The King of Fighters '96 ~ 2000
- Yukiko Sugawa - The King of Fighters 2003
- Sayaka Oohara - The King of Fighters: World~present
- Maki Terakado - The King of Fighters movie (Japanese voice)
Live Action Actors
- The King of Fighters '96 - Sub Boss
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters '98
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match
- The King of Fighters R-1
- The King of Fighters: Kyo
- The King of Fighters '99: Evolution - as a Striker
- The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise - as a Striker
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a Striker for Mai
- The King of Fighters 2003
- CR The King of Fighters
- Days of Memories (second title) - unplayable
- Crusaders Quest
- Tower of Saviors
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online
- Crash Fever
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters Destiny (Game)
- The King of Fighters: World
- The King of Fighters All Star
- The King of Fighters: Orochi Go
- SNK All Star
- Brave Frontier
- The King of Fighters XI - Talks with Shingo in his team's backstory
- The King of Fighters XII - Talks with Benimaru during his profile story; in-text cameo in win quotes
- The King of Fighters XIII - Talks with Benimaru during Ash's story, talks with Iori in his team's story, also in cinematics
- The King of Fighters XIV - In the Japan and Yagami Team endings
- KOF Sky Stage - in-text cameo; mentioned repeatedly
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo in the Psycho Soldier Team stage
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - in Japan High School stage
- SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos - Cameo in Goenitz's ending.
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- In Neo-Geo Freak 1998, the characters in KOF '98 have their own interviews. Here are Chizuru's response to the questions.
- What is your aspiration in this competition? - "I'm also a fighter. I can't help but be conscious of the championship because I've participated in the tournament. However, if you get too caught up in the championship, it'll create a hole in your mind. I think I'll work hard to improve my mindset for the contest."
- Who would you like to fight the most? - "Who would you like to fight? No one in particular, especially no one with a family."
- Who would you like to team up with? / Who would you not like to team up with? - "Who would I team up with? Who wouldn't I team up with? Well, I don't want to join with an unreasonable person."
- What is "KOF" for you? - "To be able to participate in the KOF tournament is "pride" to me."
- Finally, please give a word to your fans. - "Fans, I will fight my best. Thank you for your support."
- For years, fans have asked developers on Chizuru's absence. In an interview it's stated that Chizuru was pivotal in the story when Orochi was the main antagonist, however since Orochi isn't in this role anymore she is not as important for the story.
- ↑ Official character profile from KOF anniversary website.
- ↑ Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.
- ↑ The King of Fighters 2003 Sacred Treasures team Story.
- ↑ The King of Fighters '97 Iori Yagami's team Story.
- ↑ The King of Fighters XI Kyo and Iori team story.
- ↑ The King of Fighters XIII website archived Yagami Team story.
- ↑ Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive The King of Fighters '98 character interviews.
- ↑ Gamescom exclusive KOF XIV QA wih SNK Interview published on 23/8/2016