Kuma (in Japanese: クマ, literally "Bear") is the name of two bears within the Tekken series, both of which were bodyguards to Heihachi Mishima.
Kuma I, also known as Rage Bear, is Heihachi Mishima's enforcer, as well as his beloved pet and bodyguard, who was trained to fight without mercy against those who opposed his corrupted master. He is considered the most cruel and lethal of bears. He loves eating people after defeating them.
He is a playable character in Tekken and Tekken 2. During the eighteen years between the second game and Tekken 3, Kuma presumably died of old age, but not until eight years before the third game, as his son, Kuma II, is eight years when he first appears. Despite everything, Kuma I went missing shortly after the King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 according to the trivia.
Kuma does not appear as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament, nor does return in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Kuma's bear age was unknown, but he was around twenty-two or twenty-six in terms of the human age.
Kuma was once an abandoned bear cub in the forests surrounding the mountains of the Mishima Estate. He was found by Heihachi Mishima, who took him as his own pet. Heihachi taught the bear simple commands and hand signals, which Kuma picked up at an alarming speed. Kuma would grew into a huge bear and Heihachi built him an outhouse to cater for his impressively large frame. Incredibly enough, Kuma developd human intelligence and was also thought Japanese, making able to communicate with people.
Two years later, Heihachi realized that Kuma was no ordinary bear and possessed a great power, so he trained Kuma in the arts of Kuma Shinken. Heihachi's associates of the Mishima Zaibatsu were unable to understand how could a bear such as Kuma be so intelligent. This was further reinforced by Kuma's penchant for the taste of human flesh.
Kuma became known as the worst of bears, the cruelest of them. Having human intelligence, Kuma was still unable to control his feral instincts and would take pleasure in destroying his enemies. What made Kuma even more terrible was his love for human flesh, his favorite food. His temper and cruelty led to a lot of Heihachi's henchmen fleeing the estate in fear of the bear's intellect. Despite Kuma's unflinching loyalty to his master, Kuma liked to leave the side of Heihachi to sleep, even during the summer. This lazy approach meant that Kuma's fighting style had never really matured and was very disjointed.
Kuma worked as Heihachi Mishima's main bodyguard, along with his other goons. Heihachi was known as a corrupted business man, responsible of many crimes, such as thievery, drug and weapons traffic, and murders. Along with Kuma, Lee Chaolan was another prominent member of the Zaibatsu, as well as Heihachi's adoptive son and heir.
When the Mishima Zaibatsu announced the King of Iron Fist Tournament, Kuma took part in it for Heihachi and to show his strength. He remained undefeated until he faced Paul Phoenix, a strong fighter with an unnatural brute strength, so brutal that he was a strong as a Mishima. Instead of eating Paul, Kuma was easily defeated. Kuma was very impressed with Paul's fighting prowess, as he thought that the only strong human in the world was Heihachi. Kuma disappointed both himself and Heihachi. But Kuma was not the only one who neglected his practice; Heihachi had slacked his own training too and was defeated by Kazuya Mishima. Heihachi went missing after the fight against his son.
Heihachi survived his fall from a cliff at the hands of his son. Kuma reunited with his master but they couldn't return at the Mishima Zaibatsu, as Kazuya took it as his own. Kuma and Heihachi retreated into the mountain dojo of Mishima Estate to retrain.
Two years later, the Zaibatsu had become even more corrupted and evil than it ever been before. Kuma and Heihachi were determined to save it from Kazuya, who was rumored to have gone mad. The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2 was announced by the Zaibatsu, and Kuma and Heihachi returned in public after 2 years of hard training. The two travelled together in the tournament and Kuma protected him from his enemies. Kuma became stronger than before, yet he was not able to renounce his own vices. If anyone got in his way, he would eat them.
Kuma faced the hated Paul a second time, and despite his overwhelming power he was defeated again by the American fighter. Despite this, Paul would remember fighting bears as a nightmare and exhausting experience. Paul would also be able to defeat all his opponents and gain the right to face Kazuya in the final fight, yet he had a car accident that forced him to abandon the tournament.
Kuma's master was able to defeat and kill his son Kazuya. Kuma and Heihachi returned to the Mishima Zaibatsu and Lee was expelled.
Even if his master got what he wanted and things were going his way, Kuma was reported missing shortly after the second tournament. Perhaps Kuma, being a bear, thought it was important for him to emprove his wildness as a real animal predator and went rogue.
However, it is still apparent that Kuma remained an ally to Heihachi and let him know his location, because eight years before Tekken 3 Kuma had a son with the same name and trained him how to fight to defeat Paul one day, so that his son could succeed where he failed. It is unknown if Kuma I died of old age, as Harada simply reported him as "missing". Kuma II became Heihachi's pet and bodyguard like his father, yet he developed a less serious personality and is generally a comedic character, unlike the fearsome father.
- In the first Tekken game Kuma appears to be an Asian Black Bear, bearing the same distinctive chest markings. In the other games him and his son are always portrayed as a Japanese Brown Bear (or Polar Bear as an alternative look). Due to the poor graphics of the older 90's games, Kuma looks weird, but he actually looked the same as his son, according to Lee Chaolan.
- Lee Chaolan thinks that Kuma II is actually this Kuma. In Tekken 6's Scenario Campaign Lee can meet Kuma II in the Hokkaido stage, where he mistakes him for his father, and greets him only to see a confused and indifferent reaction from the bear.