Saisyu in The King of Fighters '98. Illustration by Shinkiro
Full nameSaisyu Kusanagi
BirthdateNovember 27; 50 years old
BirthplaceFlag of Japan.svg Japan
Height177 cm (5'9½")
Weight69 kg (152 lbs)
Family/RelativesShizuka Kusanagi (wife), Kyo Kusanagi (son), Souji Kusanagi (nephew), Aoi Kusanagi (niece)
Job/OccupationLeader of the Kusanagi clan
LikesPride of the Kusanagi family, his wife
DislikesAfraid of heights (Acrophobia)
HobbiesFishing, oyaji-gari-gari (beating up people who beat up their elders)
Favorite foodCurry udon (Noodles with curry sauce), strawberry charlotte
Forte in sportsGolf
Fighting styleKusanagi style of ancient martial arts

Saisyu Kusanagi (草薙 柴舟, Kusanagi Saishū) is a character who debuted in The King of Fighters '94 as a victim in Rugal's gallery of defeated fighters. He appears as a mid-boss in The King of Fighters '95 and becomes a regular character for the first time in The King of Fighters '98. He was originally meant to have died in KOF '94, but was added in at the last minute of developing stages for KOF '95.


Introduced in The King of Fighters '94, Saisyu Kusanagi (Kyo Kusanagi's father) is the current patriarch of the Kusanagi bloodline and master of the sacred flame. Unlike his son, he dons an old fashioned style Kusanagi clan outfit and utilizes more basic traditional martial arts techniques. In 1994, Saisyu embarked on a quest to challenge fighters from around the world. Kyo and his teammates (Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon) learn of his demise just before the final match in KOF '94. Saisyu apparently challenged Rugal Bernstein and is beaten badly, it is implied that he allegedly later succumbed to the injuries he sustained before the finals.

However in The King of Fighters '95 it is eventually revealed that Kusanagi survived, was then brainwashed by Rugal's secretary Vice in order to compete as a mid-boss in the semi-final round. He is supposedly defeated by his son Kyo and his teammates. Upon his second defeat, Saisyu goes in to self-exile, only to resurface again in (a non-canon event) The King of Fighters '98. In The King of Fighters 2001, he appears before a distraught Shingo Yabuki (Kyo's student) and tutors him in the traditional methods of the Kusanagi Martial-Arts style, as seen in the Japan Team's ending.


Saisyu Kusanagi is simply an older, more mellow version of his son Kyo. Regardless, he is just as arrogant and cocky as Kyo; like father, like son. This is quite evident based upon his attitude and body language during several win-poses; where he either laughs abrputly after winning a match (i.e. not taking the bout seriously), nonchalantly scratches his beard or generally seems uninvolved... or bored by rubbing his abdominal muscles in a laxidasical show of bravado.

The only characters that seem to make him even remotely contrary are Rugal (who defeated him back in KOF '94) and seemingly to a lesser extent Kyo (his savior, who subsquently also defeated him a year later in KOF '95). Ironically enough he seems to harbor no indication of resentment or ill-will in the slightest towards Vice (one of Rugal's secretaries; a dominatrix who indulges in sadism), she brainwashed him in KOF '95. Vice visibly holds Saisyu with contempt during their pre-fight scene, by pointing at him and spitting. However he assumes his fighting stance and never acknowledges her insulting behavior.


  • Pyrokinesis: Due to his Kusanagi heritage, Saisyu can control fire. He can create fire from thin air, create fire balls, deliver punches of fire, create pillars of fire and put his own body on fire. He is not immune to other types of fire. He cannot control other fires that he didn't create.

Fighting StyleEdit

Saisyu is a master of the Kusanagi martial arts, an ancient empty handed system that incorporates fire based attacks and kenpō. He uses the basic form of the Kusanagi style, his arsenal is simple yet effective, akin to Kyo's original take on the style prior to '96 (as Saisyu still uses the Yami Barai); oddly enough, Saisyu's original technique, Tsumugari (Metro-Pupil Reaping), makes use of Kyo's Aragami technique as its initial blow.

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

In Neowave, his HSDM/MAX2DM, Nagikama (Mowing Sickle) is one of his least effective techniques and overall one of the least effective HSDM's of its kind via its rather buggy nature.

Interestingly, despite the fact that his Kamukakari (God Consult) is a special move, it can be reversed/countered by Blue Mary's Head Buster (despite it countering only normals and command normals).


  • Hall, Bass and Melody - The King of Fighters '95
  • In Spite of One's Age - The King of Fighters '98, R-2

Voice ActorsEdit

Live Action ActorsEdit

Game AppearancesEdit

Mobile AppearancesEdit

Cameo AppearancesEdit

Anime AppearancesEdit

See AlsoEdit


Saisyucfc1 Saisyucfc2 Saisyukusanagi


Saisyungpcr2 Saisyu95 Saisyu98 Saisyu 98 1 Saisyu 98 2