Kenshiro (ケンイチロウ), spelled Ken'ichirō in the original Japanese, is a character mentioned in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
Kenshiro is Sakura Ogami's first love and lifelong rival, the only person Sakura couldn't beat. He was terminally ill and was given six months to live. When he was in the hospital, he passed onto Sakura the title of the "strongest person in the world", which she planned to hold on to until he got well again.
Kenshiro has a muscular body and tanned skin, similar to Sakura. He has short, black hair and wears a white gi, a red bandana on his left arm and a black belt, indicating that Kenshiro is a martial arts master.
In the Hit list's picture of Danganronpa Another Episode, Kenshiro's look has changed due to his illness. His skin is much paler and his hair also changed to long and white. It's hard to tell due to his body structure and clothes, but he has also lost a huge amount of weight due to his illness and he is currently skin and bones. However, he still has a peaceful smile. He also wears a bandage around his neck.
Kenshiro appears to be a kind and responsible man. Along with his physical strength, he is said to possess a "strong core". He supported Sakura's dream of becoming the strongest person in the world.
He takes training rather seriously and appears to have an immense will, as he has survived his illness for far longer than expected. According to Sakura, he rejected the "scientific" approach to fighting developed with the rise of modern "combat sports", preferring to sharpen his skills through experience and intuition.
While he was healthy, Kenshiro was a very strong martial artist. Sakura described him as an absolute fighting genius, to the point where the element of luck normally inherent in combat was completely nonexistent. He is currently the only person Sakura has been unable to defeat. Even in his weakened state, the Warriors of Hope were advised to hunt him in groups and tire him out before trying to kill him, implying that he still has at least some of his strength.
Prior to The Tragedy
Kenshiro was an exceptional martial artist who only fought in underground tournaments, which is why he wasn't widely known. Regardless, he was known as the strongest person in the world. He never used the modern scientific approach to fighting nor developed new techniques to outmatch his opponents, his only teacher being real combat. He simply never lost a fight, despite his many opponents' efforts, and no amount of strategy or luck could beat him.
He became lifelong rivals with Sakura, though Sakura could never defeat him despite her multiple attempts. The two became closer, with Kenshiro revealing to her that he had inherited an ancient assassination art. Sakura fell in love with Kenshiro, with him being her first love, though she felt very embarrassed about it because she felt it was inappropriate for a fighter like her. However, Kenshiro assured her that it's okay for her to have a feminine side and that a woman can become the strongest person in the world.
However, Kenshiro was then diagnosed with a terminal illness that gave him six months to live. Sakura eventually visited him, only once, and found out that the illness had drastically weakened him and changed his appearance. He gave Sakura the title of the strongest person in the world, and told her to keep his seat at the top warm for him until he returns for it. Sakura vowed to hold onto the title until Kenshiro got better and not let anyone defeat her. The two planned to have a rematch after he recovered, with Sakura planning to defeat him and finally truly earn the title of the strongest person in the world. It is stated that Kenshiro promised her something more as well, hinting at a romantic relationship between the two, and he also gave her the red scarf she always wears as a proof of their vows.
During The Tragedy
Kenshiro was captured by the Ultimate Despair and was apparently enclosed in an apartment.
He was later freed, only to become one of the people targeted by the Warriors of Hope.
Kenshiro is apparently still alive and is a Target to the Warriors of Hope. He apparently still suffers from a heart condition and is easily exhausted. His current location is around Towa Department Store’s Basement Parking Lot.
Kenshiro is Sakura's lifelong rival who she could never defeat. She fell in love with him, though considered it very embarrassing, and wished to defeat him to earn his title of the strongest person in the world. At some point, Kenshiro fell terribly ill and he gave his title for Sakura to keep until he recovered. They promised to have a rematch in the future after he got better and he gave her a red scarf as a proof of their vows.
Being the closest person to Sakura, Kenshiro was captured by the Ultimate Despair as a Captive. It is unknown however, if he is aware of Sakura's death.
The two haven't been explicitly stated to be lovers, with him only described as Sakura's "first love", but it is heavily implied that he returned her feelings. In Danganronpa IF, it is stated that along with the rematch he had promised Sakura "something more" as well, indicating that the two planned to begin a romantic relationship after he recovered and if Sakura defeated him.
- It is unclear why his name, despite seeming Japanese, is written using the katakana script, which is usually reserved for foreign names and loanwords.
- In the English version of Danganronpa IF, and the Danganronpa Decade Artbook, Kenshiro is referred to by his original Japanese name of "Kenichiro."
- His name and character seem to be based on Kenshiro, the main protagonist of the 1980's manga series Fist of the North Star.
- Considering how the Fist of the North Star series is very well known in Japan yet is quite obscure in the West, it is very possible that the original Japanese version chose "Kenichirō", a name slightly different than that of the aforementioned series' protagonist, in order to make the reference more subtle. Conversely, the English localization chose to turn the name into "Kenshiro" for the reference to stand out more.
- The official art shown above, where Kenshiro is surrounded by many phantom hands, is a direct reference to the other Kenshiro's signature ability - a form of supernatural martial art (called 北斗神拳 Hokuto Shinken or "Divine Fist of the Big Dipper") which upon being activated creates phantom copies of the user's palms tracing their movements. This is further referenced in Absolute Despair Girls, where Kenshiro's Hit List card mentions rumors that he knows a secret "assassin's art" - in Fist of the North Star, Hokuto Shinken was developed as an ultimate style for performing assassinations.
- Kenshiro's reputation as the strongest person in the world is also a likely reference to his Fist of the North Star namesake, who has defeated everyone who has ever challenged him at least once (albeit only after being defeated in a few cases).
- Kenshiro's illness may also be inspired by Toki, another Fist of the North Star character. The change in his hairstyle (long and white) in Danganronpa Another Episode strengthens his resemblance to Toki, whose long brown hair turned white after he was afflicted with radiation sickness. Much like Toki, Kenshiro is implied to remain a formidable opponent despite his illness, mainly hampered by his greatly reduced stamina.
- Kenshiro is the only Captive in Danganronpa Another Episode who cannot have been used as Monokuma's first motive during the Mutual Killing incident of Class 78, as when asked what was on her video, Sakura states that it was her family being defeated.