Shingo Yabuki (矢吹 真吾, Yabuki Shingo) is a reoccurring character from The King of Fighters series. He first appears The King of Fighters '97 as a single entry.

He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu.


The developers at the time wanted a character to add levity to the dark storyline of '97, which lead to Shingo's creation. His design and personality is influenced by common anime tropes such as school rivalries.[4]

The creators of the series explain that Shingo is designed to be the comic foil to KOF main character Kyo. While Kyo was a hero, Shingo is meant to be a "simple and plain, everyday guy". To follow this character persona, he was also meant to be marketed on a lesser scale of importance as part of his introduction to the series. But in spite of their intention to promote him simply and plainly, he was splashed all over the place with his silhouette appearing in pre-promotion campaigns in magazines, which lead to Shingo being a hyped up character.[5]


Orochi Saga

After he watched the televised 1996 tournament, Shingo became a huge fan of Kyo Kusanagi. When he realized that they studied at the same school, Shingo began to pester Kyo to teach him his techniques, as he was fascinated with Kyo's flame. However, Shingo doesn't know that the flame is actually an inherited gift of the Kusanagi bloodline. Kyo, wanting a gofer and taking pity on him, decided to "teach" Shingo in exchange for food. Shingo saw each of Kyo's moves once, wrote down every move, and practiced them everyday. In 1997, he participated in the tournament for the singles entry and passed. Although he excelled in his year of training, he apparently lost somewhere in the King of Fighters tournament. As a reward for his progress, Kyo gives him a pair of his gloves, and Shingo has worn them since then.[6]



Krizalid revealing his plans to the Hero Team.

In 1999, he became one of many people worried about Kyo's disappearance. Benimaru Nikaido asked Shingo to join him, K', and Maxima in that year's KOF. Their goal for this year and the next was to find Kyo's whereabouts.[7] During the tournament finals, he learns about NESTS, a syndicate that is responsible for Kyo's disappearance. Thankfully after NESTS executed their agent Krizalid for his failure, Shingo and his team are instead being found by the real Kyo. Despite a relive to see Kyo alive and well, their reunion is cut short when Krizalid’s base begin to collapse. Shingo and Benimaru splits up from both K' and Maxima, and Kyo and manage to find the exits safely.

In 2000, he entered alongside Benimaru, Seth and Lin, but wasn't so lucky.[8]

In 2001, Team Japan was reunited, but they needed a fourth team member and Shingo was called. He was extremely excited to fight with on the same team as Kyo.[9] After NESTS’ terror is over, Shingo wants to throw a party with his team, but disappointed that the way Team Japan celebrate is instead part away to their normal lives rather than having a party. Saisyu Kusanagi, Kyo's father, who was observing the tournament is touched by Shingo's courage, offering an apprenticeship to Shingo, which the latter accept. During his training with Saisyu, Shingo the truth about the flame's origin.

Ash Saga

In 2003, Shingo teamed up with Benimaru and Goro Daimon.[10] When they were eliminated, Benimaru and Daimon complimented him, but he got cocky and started yelling that he is no longer Kyo's fan, he is his rival. That's when Kyo appeared behind him and started beating him up. After Ash Crimson stole Chizuru Kagura's Yata Mirror, Shingo visits her in the hospital and promises to unite Kyo and Iori Yagami in order to investigate Ash and the weakened Orochi seal.[11] In his team's ending, Iori suddenly enters into the Riot of the Blood. Shingo tries to stop him several times but is beaten back with each attempt. Although saved in a sense by Ash, Shingo's wounds are pretty severe as he is covered in a cast and bandages, making him unable to participate in the next KOF tournament. Even so, he cheerfully greets Benimaru when the latter returns to Japan, who gives him a "get-well-soon" present from Chizuru. While he doesn't remember much about how Ash got there to save him, Benimaru fills him on his side of the story during his visit.[12] Shingo watches the tournament with Chizuru, he wishes the team good luck and is seen cheering happily after they won.


Although he successfully recovered and improved himself with his training, he could not join the Japanese team in the upcoming tournament. However, he still personally visited them as a way to support them.[13]


He is one of the more lighthearted and silly characters in the series, a "goof". He considers every fighter his friend, making them consider him to be a "weird, but good" kid. Shingo admires Kyo like an idol, and often dedicates his victories to him. He dreams of being able to wield flames like Kyo, which is stressed to the point of comic relief throughout the series. For instance, in The King of Fighters 2003, Shingo can randomly produce a small flame spark (he claims that he has a hidden lighter in his glove) when performing his 115 Shiki: Dokugami Mikansei (Unfinished Method 115: Poison Bite) attack. However, it seems that only Shingo can see this "flame", mainly due to Shingo not being a part of the Kusanagi bloodline.


  • Indomitable Spirit - Despite knowing he lacks the ability to create his own flame, Shingo is highly optimistic he will overcome this inadequacy through hard work.
  • Quick Hand - Shingo can quickly jot down notes of any ability he sees.
  • Quick Recall - Shingo is able to quickly re-perform techniques he's seen only once by referring to his notebook.

Fighting Style

He replicates several of Kyo's moves without flames. He isn't perfect though as he always takes out his handbook if he seems to forget a move.

He also "messes up" certain moves — such as the 101 Shiki Mikansei: Oboro Guruma (Incomplete Method 101: Hazy Wheel), Shingo Kinsei Ore Mu Shiki (Shingo's Humbly Own Made No Style) and Shingo Kinsei Oreshiki: Rouka Guruma (Shingo's Humbly Made Own Style: Hazy Fire Wheel) — where he falls or collapses during or after their executions.

Most of Shingo's animations are shared with Saisyu Kusanagi (Kyo's father), as both use the more basic principles of the Kusanagi style. Saisyu even tutors Shingo himself at some point to further hone the style.


  • Still Green - The King of Fighters '97, '98, '98: UM, R-1, R-2, XI (Shingo goes first, console version)
  • KD-0079 - The King of Fighters '99
  • Inner Shade - The King of Fighters 2000
  • The Invincible Flame - The King of Fighters 2001
  • Joyrider - The King of Fighters 2003
  • New Age - The King of Fighters XI
  • Asia Sangokudomei (Triple Alliance of Asia) - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match

Image Song

Game Appearances

Mobile Appearances

Cameo Appearances

See also


  • In Neo-Geo Freak 1998, the characters in KOF '98 have their own interviews. Here are Shingo's response to the questions.[14]
    • What is your aspiration in this competition? - "Ahem! My aspiration is to fight fiercely while assuring myself of the many skills that Kusanagi-san has learned one by one! It may be fast, but it will be satisfying if it's a game without regret so that what I learned so far is not in vain."
    • Who would you like to fight the most? - "Well ~~ Well, maybe Kusanagi-san. It seems you're cheeky, but..."
    • Who would you like to team up with? / Who would you not like to team up with? - "Well, I don't know many fighters, so I don't want to feel bad when teaming up... Kusanagi-san, in the end. I can't fight well, but if I have the opportunity to see his fights up close, I wonder if it's good. And those who I don't want to team with is Iori! The enemy of Kusanagi is my enemy too!"
    • What is "KOF" for you? - "The electricity of life that I found in destiny … Is it too big? Hehehe, but without KOF, I wouldn't be here now … Wouldn't it be good if life changed in good or bad way?"
    • Finally, please give a word to your fans. - "Fan? Is there something …? Well, good. Then Ahem! I Report Yabuki! He is a student of Kusanagi! I took part in KOF to get a step closer to Kusanagi-san one more time! Thank you for your support, I'll be strong!"


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shingo's Profile from The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shingo's Profile from The King of Fighters 2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shingo's Profile from The King of Fighters 2000
  4. The King of Fighters ’97 Global Match Out Tomorrow on PS4, PS Vita Yasuyuki Oda and Hideaki Asanaka interview.
  5. Official character profile from KOF anniversary website.
  6. The King of Fighters '97: Shingo Yabuki Story from KOF anniversary website.
  7. The King of Fighters '99: Hero Team Story from KOF anniversary website.
  8. The King of Fighters 2000: Benimaru Team Story from KOF anniversary website.
  9. The King of Fighters 2001: Japan Team Story from KOF anniversary website.
  10. The King of Fighters 2003: Benimaru Team Story from KOF anniversary website.
  11. The King of Fighters XI: Kyo and Iori Team Story from KOF anniversary website.
  12. The King of Fighters XIII: Ash Archived from
  13. Japan Team Prologue from THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIV website.
  14. Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive The King of Fighters '98 character interviews.
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