Kyoko Kirisaki is an immature high-school student who serves as an anti-villain in the manga Black Cat, and its anime adaptation. She is one of the first members of the Apostles of the Star to be introduced in the series, until she defects along with her partner Charden Flamberg, and meets the primary protagonist Train Heartnet, with whom she falls in love. She ultimately reforms and returns to a normal life.
Kyoko might be funny, cheerful, outgoing, and likable (albeit sorely lacking common sense), but one must not get fooled. She is a remorseless and unsympathetic murderer who loves to fight and enjoys killing people, usually in gruesome ways. Moreover, she regards her missions as a game and the Apostles' revolution as a big festival.
Kyoko has a somewhat limited view of the world, which she divides between what she likes and what she dislikes. She is also prone to anger and prone to forget what does not immediately perks her interest, reducing it to ashes if she feels like it.
She loves playing video games, shopping, cute things, giving nicknames, and eating sweets, being somewhat of a stereotypical teenage Japanese girl. Something amplified by the fact she lives in Jipang: the Japan counterpart in the Black Cat world.
Despite this, she is far from stupid and she clearly understands situations, it is just that being serious bores her to no end. She also has a strong sense of duty but wrong priorities, given that she regularly misses high school for long periods of time to take part in the Apostles of the Star's terrorist actions.
The truth is that she is extremely immature, blunt, easy-going, and misguided. She does everything for the sake of fun or whatever fun she may get later, and absolutely fails to realize the moral extent of her crimes.
After recruiting her, Creed Diskenth taught her to use her power without bothering to control her temper, stating that destroying every annoyance that comes across is just human nature. She herself thinks as if she was in a game without real consequences. Kyoko states that her parents are rarely home, hinting that the lack of authority figure in her life left her without real moral standard, and as such very receptive to such assertions.
Kyoko matures considerably after befriending the heroes. She starts grasping the consequences of her actions, and learns to handle situations responsibly. This shows when she manages to refrain her killing impulses, when she realizes that she cannot let Train endanger himself for her sake, and most importantly when she refuses to betray her promise, even faced with the prospect of certain death.
Powers and Abilities
Considering Kyoko's personality, one would tend to underestimate her but that would be a dangerous mistake, as she is a perfectly trained Tao-wielder and a highly powerful fighter. She is very fast, agile and nimble, being able to strike many times in quick succession, to dash faster than the eye can see, or to jump on a driving car.
She can sense people's ki to locate them around her, and sense whenever a power of Tao is activated. Moreover, she can use her ki to increase her physical prowess and reach extreme speeds, making her close range attacks even harder to dodge.
Kyoko's power of Tao is called Heat. It enables her to raise her body temperature up to 1000 degree Celsius, creating a searing aura, and to burn everything she touches to the highest degree.
Though she likes to kiss her victims on the mouth to burn them from inside, her mere touch is enough to melt stone or steel. When Kyoko uses minimal power, she "just" burns or inflames what she touches, without endangering her victim's life. Kyoko can also wreathe her hand in flames and breathe fire.
Her signature move spits a huge and destructive fireball, and her most powerful attack is a devastating, dragon-like breath of fire, which she can spit continuously to track down her target.
Kyoko can also use her extreme heat as a defence, protecting herself from explosions and fire-based attacks. Also, this might very well burn or even vaporize projectiles and weapons before they can hit her.
Role in the Manga
Kyoko first appears with Charden and Maro, guarding the Lunafort Tower during the reunion between Creed and his former partner, the hero Train Heartnet. As Maro wonders whether Train would join them, she simply states that if he is not an ally he is an enemy for them to kill. (While melting a game boy advance on which she lost.) Later they kill policemen who came to investigate, with Maro berating her for her nasty way of killing.
Later in the story, Charden and Kyoko are sent to Rubeck City, where Ganzer Lejick is commiting a killing spree. Kyoko finds the town "boring like hell", given that the stores are closed and all the population is hiding. They finally meet Ganzer, who attacks them immediately without even making them flinch. When the deranged murderer recognizes them, he accepts to talk but refuses to join the Apostles, as he is having too much fun by now.
Ganzer then orders them to leave. He grabs Kyoko's face, musing that her voice must be pretty when she cries, triggering the teenage girl's wrath. Had Charden not stepped in, she would have reduced Ganzer to ashes, being much mightier and better trained than he is. Kyoko is livid but Charden merely states that someone like Ganzer would only hinder them.
Shortly after, Charden senses Ganzer's ki increase, as he is fighting Train Heartnet and his partners, Sven Vollfield and Eve. (Kyoko senses it as well, though she does not pay attention at first.) Upon witnessing Ganzer's defeat, Kyoko congratulates Train for defeating a Tao-wielder with a gun and attempts to reward him with a kiss, only to get whacked on the head. Charden then arrives and introduces the Apostles of the Star to Train's gang.
The following night, as Kyoko and Charden are waiting for the Apostles' airplane in a graveyard, (which Kyoko finds gloomy) they are accosted by Belze Rochefort, the Chrono Number II (the second-in-command of Chronos' elite military brigade), who was tracking them down to dispose of them.
Kyoko engages a one-on-one battle against Belze and manages to drive him into a pinch, but he is too strong for her alone and she requires Charden's help. As they are about to fight two-on-one, Belze is in a dire situation but fortunately for him, Shiki interrupts the battle and takes them away.
Kyoko then returns to her country of Jipang, where her head teacher berates her for her repeated absences, but she dismisses his rants and departs to answer Creed's call. She takes part in the terrorist attack on the World Conference, where among other murders she jumps on a car and detonates it by overheating the motor.
Few weeks later, she goes in a market in order to buy some toys, dragging Leon along as he seemed bored. After Creed kills Durham, causing Charden to doubt his motives. Charden talks to Kyoko who shares his unease, and understands that she might get killed as well if she were to disobey. Unfortunately for Charden, Kyoko is more interested in seeing his face without glasses.
While the Apostles of the Star are based in their castle in the mountains near Stoke Town, Kyoko takes part in what she calls the "sweeper's hunt game". She mistakes the thief-for-hire Rinslet Walker for a bounty-hunter (since Rinslet was investigating on Creed on Chronos' behalf) and tries to kill her with a fireball, but Doctor steps in, taking Rinslet into the castle. Later, when Charden defects from the Apostles of the Star, Kyoko goes with him so that he would not be lonely.
They go back to Stoke Town and the following day, they run into Train, Eve and Rinslet; (whom Kyoko already forgot about). Charden greets them politely and Kyoko proudly announces that they left the Apostles of the Star.
Kyoko is then taken hostage by a thug, whom Train knocks out before Kyoko can reduce him to ashes. Train merely caught a criminal as a bounty hunter, but Kyoko persuades herself that he risked his life to rescue her and falls in love with him, much to Train's annoyance. She begins calling him "Mr. Black" ("Kuro Sama") and manages to get his phone number and e-mail address from Eve.
Return to a Normal Life
Later, Train is accidently turned into a child by Creed's nanomachines. As he is walking in the streets, he discovers that Kyoko sent him 30 text messages. Horrified, he considers getting back to his hotel before running into her, but she appears right next to him, fleeing from assassins from Chronos. Without listening to Train's protests, she grabs him along to "protect" him.
When she prepares to kill the assassins, Train tells her that murder is not something to be taken lightly, before scaring the assassins away. Strongly impressed by “Mr. Black's policy”, Kyoko resolves not to kill anyone anymore, no matter how annoying they are. She then calls Charden, who asks Train to ensure that Chronos would cease to target Kyoko, as she has no reason to fight the secret organization anymore.
Unfortunately, Kyoko is targeted by Baldorias Fanghini and Kranz Maduke, the Chrono Numbers VIII and IV: two merciless killers blindly devoted to Chronos. Upon learning that Kyoko is no longer an Apostle of the Star, they not only still seek to destroy her, as she is remains an international criminal, but also to kill Train, who has betrayed Chronos when he left the Chrono Numbers.
Train reminds irked Kyoko of her promise not to kill anymore, and promises in turn to protect her, but only if she stays true to her word. Aggravated by the Numbers' attempts on Train's life, Kyoko nearly breaks her promise and attacks Kranz, only to stop in her tracks at the very last second. The battle is ultimately interrupted by the Chrono Number VII Jenos Hazard. Jenos then reports the whole story to the Chrono Number I Sephiria Arks, who asks to meet Kyoko before making a decision.
Kyoko is disappointed to learn that Train will not come with her to see Sephiria, but she displays newfound maturity when she refuses his offer of going to her rescue whenever she calls him, stating that she does not want him to get involved in her problems anymore. Train and Kyoko then leave Stoke Town as good friends.
Kyoko later finds and befriends a black kitten in the streets, whom she adopts and calls Blacky, before Jenos and Rinslet take her to see Sephiria.
Having been told of Kyoko's promise, Sephiria decides to test her resolve and carves a stony grave with her sword, telling her that if she does not become one of Chronos' assassins, she will be killed outright. When Kyoko refuses, no matter the risks, Sephiria calls off her bluff and allows Kyoko to go back freely to Jipang.
Later in the story, the mangaka Kentaro Yabuki states that she returned to her normal teenager's life, and that she is still in love with Train. He even drawn her in a classroom, wondering where "Mr Black is having fun right know", while Train is fighting Creed to the death. In end of the final chapter, she is seen waving her friends goodbye as she is walking back home, with Blacky on her shoulder.
The Fake Kyoko
During the final battle on Clarken Island, Train is sent to Doctor's Warp World (the alternate universe which he creates and controls with his power of Tao), to an empty wagon in some underground tube, where he is greeted by none other than Kyoko Kirisaki.
As Train is wondering whether he has been sent to Jipang, Kyoko suddenly takes offense of his refusal to kiss her and attacks him with the intent to kill. Train and Kyoko are then transported to a deserted, misty town.
When "Kyoko" attacks him without being bothered the slightest by the change of place, Train's doubts about his foe not being the real Kyoko are confirmed.
The giggling Kyoko-Doppelganger then tells him that Doctor trapped him into this place and sent her to deal with him, while he is busy dissecting Eve. She then adds that Doctor wants Train to be killed by people whom he cares about and a doppelganger of his late best friend Saya Minatsuki suddenly steps out of the mist.
Train finds himself trapped in this misty town of which he cannot escape, having to fight two doppelgangers as powerful as the original ones and impervious to any attack, who appears wherever he is, no matter how far he runs from them. Fortunately, the spirit of the real Saya is able to manifest herself and takes Train out of Doctor's trap, destroying the two fake girls.
Role in the Anime
In the anime, Kyoko is portrayed as even more immature and clueless than her manga counterpart. The accent is made on her lonely life at home and the negative influence of some delinquent schoolmates. She is also depicted as enjoying her status as a Tao-wielder very much. Despite being part of the Apostles of the Star, she apparently always avoids to kill.
Kyoko serves as field agent who assists Charden in breaking many criminals out of jail and providing Shinkito to the most promising of them, under the promise to recruit them in the Apostles of the Star should they awake a power of Tao. They come in contact with Igor Planter and Ganzer Lejick.
Kyoko is still "saved" by Train from some thugs whom she would have effortlessly defeated and falls in love with him, but this happens in Rubeck City, when she is still part of the Apostles of the Star. She often attempts to kiss him, only for him to use the white stray cat (the series' mascot) as a shield.
Kyoko is seen instead of Charden alongside Maro and Leon when the Chrono Numbers V, VII and XI storm into the ancient castle, but they cannot prevent them from destroying the ceiling and fleeing. She later defects from the Apostles alongside Charden and stays with Train and his partners, while Charden departs to fight against Chronos. Doctor then tries to punish her desertion by shooting her with a nanomachines-infused bullet, in order to transform her into a monster, but Train takes the hit in her place and is turned into a child.
Kyoko eventually returns to Jipang and goes back to her high school, but she sees Eden attacking a town in the TV news and manages to catch up with the heroes, the sweepers' league and the remaining Chrono Numbers, reuniting with Charden along the way.
Kyoko uses her fire breath to launch the fireworks needed to distract Eden, so that the protagonist can invade the sentient aircraft. When the protagonists confront Doctor and the rest of the Zero Numbers, enabling Train and Sven to go further, she offers to go with them but Charden prevents her from following "Mr. Black", stating that her presence is needed here.
When the Zero Numbers are defeated, Kyoko returns to Jipang one last time and is seen walking along the street, with Train walking in the same street but in the opposed direction so that they do not notice each other.
Apostles of the Star