Eiji Kisaragi

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Eiji is a ninja from the feared and respected Kisaragi clan. Sworn to be the strongest under the heavens, he made it his goal to defeat the one school his clan had not yet surpassed: Kyokugenryu Karate. Using the Kisaragi style carried down for hundreds of years, his school is a sworn enemy of Ryo's, and with a whole team of Kyokugen fighters entering, he joins the KOF tournament to defeat them in 1995. Eiji was summoned by Billy Kane to enter a team with Iori Yagami and him. Although he seemed surprised to see his teammates for the first time, he agreed since it was a chance to continue his agenda against the Kyokugenryu practitioners. However, his team mate Iori nearly kills him when the team fails to reach the finals. Afterwards, Eiji retired from the KOF tournament for several years.

In The King of Fighters XI, Eiji comes out of retirement as member of the Anti Kyokugenryu team. In their team's backstory, it is explained that he was extensively training in the mountains since his defeat in 1995. Summoned by Malin, he seemed intent on taking his revenge on Takuma and is surprised to hear the master of the style hospitalized. He instead shifts his target to Ryo, who is deemed to be the most proficient practitioner in the tournament by both him and his teammate, Kasumi.

It is said that Zantetsu is Eiji's great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather. As a descendant of Zantetsu, he also wields the Nagare and Kage twin ninja daggers and uses them sparingly.
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Art of Fighting 2

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 The King of Fighters '98, The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, The King of Fighters XI, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash 2, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash DS

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Page Updated:  Sep. 15th, 2023

Ninjas are cool by default, of course... but Eiji is a pretty early and generic fighting game ninja from SNK. He seemed to have been thrown into the Art of Fighting series because the series needed a ninja. Still, it was pretty cool to see him cross over to the KOF series (also a series that needed a ninja, early on). That said, Eiji just seemed a bit "forced" into SNK's rosters... and I've seen cooler and more interesting ninjas in my day (including SNK's own Hattori Hanzo).

Eiji Kisaragi (cool name and all) ended up being a sleeper character and was easily outshined by many in KOF. He made a few cool cameos and surprise appearances (as a ninja should), but I think his somewhat stale fighting style prevented SNK from using him more often (without re-imagining his design). Eiji has a few cool moves, but not much about his style says "original". Also worth mentioning, Eiji's animation in early KOF is also lacking compared to others. Finally, his mullet haircut is questionable. Will we ever see Eiji return? *woosh*

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