The King of Fighters XI. Illustration by Hiroaki
|Full name||Shingo Yabuki|
|Birthdate||April 8; 17 years old|
|Height||179 cm (5'10½")|
|Weight||71 kg (157 lbs)|
|Likes||Life, student handbook, gloves from Kyo Kusanagi|
|Favorite food||Frozen Japanese wheat flour noodles, sardines, chocolate|
|Forte in sports||Swimming, water polo|
|Fighting style||(Self-styled) Kyo Kusanagi direct-taught style, Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts, Chinese boxing (through Kyo)|
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. 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.
He is voiced by Takehito Koyasu.
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
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. In 2000, he entered alongside Benimaru, Seth and Lin, but wasn't so lucky. 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. In 2002, he spent his time training with Saisyu Kusanagi, Kyo's father. Saisyu was too touched by Shingo's courage to tell him the truth about the flame's origin.
In 2003, Shingo teamed up with Benimaru and Goro Daimon. 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. 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.
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 have 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.
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
- The Song of Fighters II - Shared image song with other King of Fighters characters
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters: Kyo
- The King of Fighters '98 - also a computer challenger
- The King of Fighters R-1
- The King of Fighters R-2
- The King of Fighters '99
- The King of Fighters 2000
- The King of Fighters 2001
- The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood - as a Striker for the Hero Team
- The King of Fighters 2002 - unlockable in console versions only
- The King of Fighters Neowave
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters XI
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
- Days of Memories (second and fourth titles) - unplayable
- SNK Dream Battle
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters XII - talks with Kyo in his sidestory
- The King of Fighters XIII - talks with Benimaru and Chizuru in Ash's backstory; also seen in Japan stage and in Esaka stage
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- The King of Fighters XIV - in the Japan Team story