Characters: The Four Kings
Before he met Ban, Ginji was known as The Lightning Emperor, the leader of the VOLTS street gang inside the Limitless Fortress. The Four Kings were his lieutenants and close friends. In their own ways, they were all devastated when he left to form the Get Backers alongside Ban, and Shido, Kazuki, and MakubeX all resent Ban to various degrees because of it, even once they realize Ginji is happier and healthier with Ban to lean on. After Ginji left, Kazuki, Shido, and Kurusu followed suit, leaving MakubeX to take over as the leader of VOLTS himself.
Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (Japanese), Matt Hislope (English)Well-read, formerly one of the Four Kings of the VOLTS and really, really girly-looking—qualifies for She's a Man in Japan, Viewer Gender Confusion, Dude Looks Like a Lady, and Unsettling Gender Reveal. Oddly charismatic and naïve when it comes to his personal relationships. Fights with koto strings. Nicknamed "Kazuki of the Strings" and "The Terrifying Prince". Has a tragic past, even when compared to his teammates.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Unsurprising.
- Bare Your Midriff: During the Divine Design Arc
- Brainwashed and Crazy: During the Divine Design Arc
- Light Is Not Good: Controls an angel called Orpheus with the power of strings.
- Berserk Button: Making fun of his femininity. He's almost killed someone at least twice because of this.
- He also has a very low tolerance for men who abuse women.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Bishōnen: So much that he's mistaken for a girl.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: The reason why.
- He's one of the primary poster boys for this trope, and this little fact is touched on several times in the series.
- Exotic Eye Designs: The same as Der Kaiser, Teshimine, Yohan and Paul
- Fanservice: Kazuki is weird in that Ayamine uses him to titillate both male and female readers. Don't think about that too hard.
- Four Is Death
- Even the Guys Want Him: Fanon mostly. But let's be honest, we REALLY can't fully blame fangirls for seeing it that way.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His friends kind of want to kill him.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Manga only
- Evil Costume Switch, Mind-Control Eyes, Slasher Smile: While in his Orpheus persona.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In order to defeat Yohan
- Good Is Not Soft
- I Have the High Ground: Kazuki likes this trope. He pulls it on Ban and Shido while they're on a rooftop.
- Important Haircut: Manga only.
- Eye Scream: Manga-only, and he's the one making it happen for somebody else.
- Gender-Blender Name: Manga-only, brain-breaking spoiler: The Kazuki Fuuchouin from "normal" Shinjuku is very much a girl.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Kazuki of the String and Prince of Terror
- Nice Guy
- The Phoenix: Kazuki creates one to defeat Yohan
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Razor Floss
- Rapunzel Hair
- She's a Man in Japan: Tokyopop's translation screwed up his very first appearance, having characters referring to him as female (not that Shido calling him a bitch wasn't funny, of course). Quickly corrected for later volumes. Lucky thing too, since there's a scene later on where Kazuki is both naked and explaining the reasoning behind his femininity.
- He's Got Legs: Emphasis is usually placed on his long, graceful legs.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Ginji and Ban believe they see a lady bathing in a hot spring in the distance. Ban, being the pervert that he is, gets down, and coerces Ginji to lurk alongside him to spy on the "woman". Ban manages to drag Ginji along until they're swimming right up against Kazuki's ass, and then they're attacked by a sequence of strings and needles. Immediately enough, they realize that they've just been trying to spy on Kazuki.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: He's very sweet, kind, and charismatic to his teammates, but he is a deadly opponent in battle.
- The Artifact: Yup, him too. Again, the one chance the anime was given to go into Kazuki's past and motivations, much of the actual story was omitted. For him at least, an effort was made to pluck an aspect of his past from the manga (Toshiki) and transplant it into the anime's final arc, but it was mostly a distraction to the actual story going on, and Kazuki's actual participation was minimal at best.
- Team Mom
- Tranquil Fury: When serious, his calm, icy demeanor is downright terrifying. There is a reason he managed to pry his way to the top of the game, making even the strongest and most valiant warriors bow down at his feet.
- Viewer Gender Confusion
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Happens all the freaking time.
Ren: (enters room, sees Kazuki's bandaged, flat chest) What?! Y-y-you're a boy???Kazuki: And I see you're a girl.Ren: (throws his clothes at him) SHUT UP!
- Played with in the canon, since his childhood friend Juubei thought he was a girl when they first met.
- Ren performs a Kiss of Life on him, assuming him to be another girl. Horror ensues when she realizes that this isn't the case.
Voiced by: Takanori Hoshino (Japanese), Omar Gallaga (English)Another of the VOLTS' Four Kings, Shido hates Ban and loves Madoka. Used to be a bloodthirsty loner, but love and Ginji made him change, so now he works as a retriever. Being from an (fictional) aboriginal tribe, Shido gets to use all their cool abilities, such as talking to animals. Nicknamed "Beastmaster".There is a ancient feud between his animal-whisperer tribe and the insect-controlling Kiryuudo—they managed to kill off a vast majority of Shido's tribe. After the slaughter, he goes to the Limitless Fortress and eventually meets up with Ginji.
- The Artifact: He becomes this in the anime's final arc, as there really isn't anything for him to do, especially since he was probably the character most often used in filler episodes. Unlike Himiko, though, he was at least associated with the characters driving the arc.
- The Big Guy
- Speaks Fluent Animal, The Beastmaster, and Friend to All Living Things: Animals love this guy. Notably, insects do NOT (this becomes a major plot point later in the manga).
- Facial Markings: When activating his Super-Powered Evil Side
- Four Is Death: Twice. Not only is he a member of the Four Kings, but a member of the Shiki clans—when he and the other three get together, it literally does mean death for the Kiryuudo.
- Gag Penis: Implied, particularly by Ban.
- In the manga, it's practically a running joke by Ban that Shido uses his 'Horse Form' to convince Hevn to give him jobs (it's not true, of course), and that said 'Horse Form' is the only reason Madoka keeps him around (truth is debatable).
- Healing Factor: Due to his Super-Powered Evil Side
- Heel-Face Turn/Face-Heel Turn: Introduced as Akutsu's bodyguard who was formerly Ginji's friend.
- Fakes one to get foil Kabuto's plan
- Heroic Sacrifice: Manga-only, fortunately, he got better.
- Ineffectual Loner: His back story is basically this, with Amon, Emishi and Ginji all making breakthroughs to him, but Madoka really sealed the deal. It's weird, as he averts it at the same time—with his animals, he's never literally alone.
- Not Good with People
- Official Couple: With Madoka.
- Pose of Supplication: When Madoka is kidnapped and he needs Ban's help to get her back.
- Relationship Upgrade: The very beginning of the Eternal Bond arc. Madoka finally says "I love you," and Shido reciprocates. Not that we didn't see it coming a mile off, of course.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: The Chimera
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Pretty much any scene with Ban...
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: A promise he made to Madoka.
Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese), John Minnich (English)The third and youngest of the Four Kings. Another incredibly intelligent and well-read character, MakubeX ends up as the de facto ruler of the Limitless Fortress, and spends his free time trying to figure out what the hell is going on there. MakubeX may or may not actually exist, and that kinda drives him insane early on.
- The Chessmaster
- The Combat Pragmatist
- The Cracker
- Crossdressing Voice: In Japanese, but oddly not in English (save for in one flashback).
- Four Is Death
- Go Mad from the Revelation: His hacking of the Brain Trust set off the events of the IL arc. See Below.
- Knight of Cerebus: The story gets much more serious with his appearance
- Let X Be the Unknown: Makubex was abandoned as a baby and found in a bag that had "Makube" written on it. Assuming "Makube" was his surname, the X represents his given name (if he ever had one in the first place).
- Likes Older Women: Strong undertones of this between him and his lovely supporter Sakura. He's 14, she's 23.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Master of Illusion: through virtual reality.
- Non-Action Guy: Double Subverted, he seemed to fight Ginji in the final battle of the IL arc but he turned out to be a VR.
- Rapid-Fire Typing
- Tagalong Kid: Inverted. He's got three (later four) sidekicks, all in their 20's, who would follow him to the depths of hell and back again.
- Teen Genius
- Tomato in the Mirror: A major point of the IL arc is him coming to terms with the fact that he's essentially a hologram who can never leave the Infinite Fortress.
- Trying To Catch My Minions Fighting Dirty: The fights he sets up involve a lot of this, including Juubei attempting to get Kazuki In the Back and mind controlling a bunch of kids to fight the heroes.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Voiced by: Hideyuki Hori (Japanese), Robert Kraft (English)The last of the Four Kings, and by far the most mysterious, who spends most of his time sitting around and making cryptic remarks as he spies on people. Also knows things. He's the only member of the Four Kings to have come from Babylon City. Fights with light. Prior to his introduction, the other three Kings would only refer to him as "him" or "that guy" or "the other one".
- Anti-Villain: Anime only, where he was actually forced to serve Brain Trust out of fear for the lower level inhabitants.
- In the manga, it's more complicated
- Bad Ass
- Bad Ass Long Coat
- Because Destiny Says So: He turned sides to the Voodoo King in the manga
- Cool Old Guy
- Evil All Along
- Exotic Eye Designs: He has the same cross design in his left eye as Der Kaiser, Paul and Kazuki
- Four Is Death
- Hidden Agenda Villain: For a long time, we didn't know what his goal was, until he reveals that he's an agent of Brain Trust and the Voodoo King
- Heel Face Mole: more sympathetic in the anime, in the manga he's a straight out spy for the Voodoo King
- Heel-Face Turn
- Light Is Good
- Light Is Not Good
- Like a Son to Me: Views Ginji like this
- Mysterious Watcher: Mercilessly parodied by Rando Ayamine himself in one of the first page character sketches. Masaki is shown Super-Deformed, hugging his knees with tears streaming down his face while he talks about all the cool stuff he did in the anime even though he hasn't done anything but spy on people in the manga. And he wants Kagami to go drinking with him.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Flash Master
- The Mole: For Brain Trust, as well as the Voodoo King in the manga.
- Perma Stubble