|“||Oh, someone interesting to challenge and I'm right in the center of the marvel.||„|
— Iori Yagami
|“||Stand in my way and I'll end you. It's the simplest way to understand.||„|
— Iori Yagami
Iori Yagami (八神 庵, Yagami Iori) is a video game character in SNK Playmore's The King of Fighters series, who made his first appearance in The King of Fighters '95.
Iori is largely known for him taken part in the The King of Fighters series, his abilities, and his spaceful personality. People argue he's second behind Kyo when comparing the two in popularity, or the two together are at the same rank.
Iori game-wise is the descendant and part of the Yagami clan, which was previously called the Yasakani clan before a terrible misunderstanding happened with another clan. Said misunderstanding was between the Kusanagi clan, who the Yagami clan, were previously allies with. As the event happened, the leader of the Yagami clan made an agreement with Orochi to have his blood partake in the entire Yagami clan so they could be proved stronger than the Kusanagi clan, however each member would gain an uncontrollable Orochi state within them that was believed to never be tamed from half-blood members, and all mothers of the clan would die in childbirth, and all members would die young. The previous red-orange tint fire like the Kusanagi fire altered to a violet-purple tint due to Orochi's blood partaking in the Yagami members. Iori heavily takes Kyo as an intense rival and even at times an enemy because of this reason, while Kyo prefers to keep quiet about the Yagami clan's event.
Iori is a very serious, rude and direct-to-the-point character. In various drama CDs, Iori is frequently tormented by an Orochi identity that resides within him, which mocks and belittles him as its master. Iori answers it with irritated responses until it angers him, causing him to physically react in a usually violent manner. In his KOF XII profile, he seems to have trouble knowing which identity is actually his and suffers from a slight identity crisis. It is due to this personal trait that he doesn't like to associate with others and he lives a lonely existence. However, he still retains pride for his name and won't let himself die under any circumstances.
He seems to want to kill his rival at every opportunity they meet, but he also can't recall the reasons why he hates Kyo. Like his rival, he doesn't care about the ancient family feud between them and just seems to instinctively hate him. Iori could be judged as a hollow individual - empty inside if not for all the hatred that consumes him. Iori's bitter hatred for Kyo has developped into something of a raison d'etre. In effect, Iori seeks to kill Kyo for reasons unknown even to himself, dedicating his whole life to such an ordeal. It could be theorized that, if Iori were to finally achieve his goal, it would bring him no personal satisfaction and would leave him emptier than before. Killing Kyo has become his reason to live, even though he has withheld that objective more than once in the past in order to team up with his rival.
Iori is also wary of Kyo's father, Saisyu Kusanagi, the man Iori erroneously blames for his own father's death, in spite of his knowledge of his family's curse. Iori is plainly unwilling to accept help from Saisyu despite the latter claims that he wants to save Iori, and not kill him. Unlike Chizuru, the matter of losing his flames has not personally scarred or affected him in any way, as he is still able to carry on and put up a fight nonetheless. Iori also openly despises K', claiming of being disgusted by merely his presence and existence. He does not give much thought on other fighters, and tends to refer to them as "pests".
Ironically, despite having a violent personality, Iori hates violence, though it could be that he sees it as a "necessary evil". As early as SvC Chaos and more recently, KOF XIII, he sternly warns some of his adversaries, whether in intro quotes or win quotes, to run away while able, suggesting a thin veil of morality on his part, unless he is directly provoked, or sees something he despises, especially Kyo.
Even so, when the violent half of Iori takes hold of him, he becomes a sadistic, almost amoral killer. An example of this happens in the The King of Fighters: Another Day anime, when focusing his attention on finding Ash Crimson, he forcefully pushes a little girl aside. Another example is when he mercilessly beats Billy Kane and Eiji Kisaragi with no apparent reason. This conflicting behavior is a lesser image of his personality when in the Riot of the Blood.
Iori has a brooding, conflicted personality that is prone to violent and unpredictable outbursts when incited. Another trait of his personality is reflected in the fact that Iori is a chain smoker. Such a habit, coupled with Iori's sometimes reckless fits of violence, may be considered a case of self-loathing, related to the Orochi persona living in his mind and blood. It could be theorized that Iori takes these acts of self-deprecation - and, ultimately, self-destruction - with the mindset of harming not only himself, but also Orochi - whom he hates, arguably, as much as himself. Notably, this trait has stayed with Iori even during the times he has been completely free of the Yasakani Magatama and its coupled curse.
Relationship with Leona Heidern
While it doesn't seem like it, Leona is very aware of Iori Yagami and his Orochi power, while Iori, is aware of hers, but like Leona, doesn't seem to think much about it. But unlike Leona, when preparing for Orochi or trying to tame his Orochi state, the first thing that comes to his mind is Leona, and ponders if she's also preparing. Leona is unsure whether to meet or personally talk to him about the situation, while Iori may think otherwise, or just prefers to keep quiet about it.
Abilities and forms
Iori is a very powerful warrior who partakes in many abilities. Although he hardly has any abilities from the unaltered-Yasakani clan and specializes only the Yagami arts since he came generations after the Yasakani alteration.
|“||You have been unfortunate to have run into me. I'll slice your entire body into ribbons!||„|
— A fearful Iori Yagami.
- High strength.
- Wild speed.
- Has full control over Yagami-Orochi fire, and can perform multiple arts of it.
- Specializes in the Yagami-Orochi fighting style of arts.
- Slashing hands are apart of said fighting arts.
— Orochi Iori
— Orochi Iori's pleading scream.
— Orochi Iori's chaotic laugh when punishing his opponents.
This form of Iori Yagami is the product of his Orochi blood within him become activated, due to either feeling Orochi's presence on the Earth, Orochi unlocks it in him, or feeling the presence of a figure who has taken part of Orohi's power, like Violent Ken or Omega Rugal. Iori completely loses all of his humanity, possessing an animalistic mentality, and turns into a psychotic, chaotic and uncontrollable being who has no mercy for anyone, and without thinking, immediately attacks them while also pleading for someone to smite this state of him. He has a raging hate for anyone, even innocents or young, and rarely, Orochi Iori will be far enough to maul his opponent alive. His most crazed hate is at Orochi despite using his powers to smite him. This also explains that Iori still has little sanity left, while also having sanity where he pleads for anyone to tame him.
- Incredible amount of strength.
- Insane amounts of speed.
- Limited teleportation.
- Gap manipulation.
- Yagami-Orochi fire alters to complete Orochi/Chris/Hakkesshu fire.
- Has accurate control over Orochi wind, earth, lightning, fire (fire alters to Orochi fire), light, darkness, death, and water.
- Can perform violent attacks with each of his given Orochi abilities, most of them being his slashing attacks.