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I'm your worse nightmare.
Kyoshiro Kokujo

Kyoshiro Kokujo
黒城こくじょう 凶死郎こくじょう きょうしろう
Civilization(s) Darkness Darkness
Family Kimera (Mother)
Chimera Clan
Voice Actors Micha Liberman (Season 1)
Daisuke Kishio
Signature Card(s) Deathliger, Lion of Chaos, Ballom, Gigargon, Trox, General of Destruction, XENOM, the Reaper King, Ganveet

Kyoshiro Kokujo, also known as the "Black Reaper" (黒い死神, Kuroi Shinigami) in the original Japanese version, is a self-proclaimed "evil genius".


Kokujo was a tall, young teen with villainous-shaped red eyes, sharp teeth, toned muscles and abs, feet-length midnight blue hair that is pointed at the ends and long, sharp pointed bangs.

His initial outfit in Season 1 consists of an all-black long-sleeved leather feet-length coat with pointed edges at its hem, over a bear chest held on with black suspenders, black pants and black boots. Later in the Sacred Lands and Duel Masters Charge, his bare chest is covered in a sleeveless, tight red undershirt and his coat has larger collars and a smooth hem. He wears a grey circular neck collar band, grey wrist collar band on his right hand and a black wristband on his left hand.

When he returned in Duel Masters Zero, Duel Masters Cross and Duel Masters Cross Shock following his defeat in the hands of White, Kokujo's wardrobe changed majorly. His hair colour changed to black, and his outfit consists of a white and red, sharp collared, jagged sleeveless feet-length leather coat with sharp, jagged edges at its hem. He removes his coat during duels, which reveals the same sleeveless red undershirt from previous seasons, blue pants tightened by black belts around his calves and black and white shoes. His neck and wrist grey collar bands has black patterns, and he keeps his deck in his left wrist collar band.

In Duel Masters (2017), in Joe Kirifuda's dream, Kokujo's red eyes is changed to brown, similar to his manga counterpart. His hair reverts to its original midnight blue color and his outfit is a long white and red coat similar to his appearance in Zero, Cross and Cross Shock, over a bear chest, long black pants, grey neck and wrist collar bands and grey shoes. Later when he appeared for real with Shobu's group in Duel Masters King!, set in the time around Star Cross during Joe's time travelling adventures, his outfit is similar to his appearance in Sacred Lands and Charge. His eyes remain brown while his midnight blue hair has been shortened till just below his waist. His black feet-length coat has red sleeve linings and he sports a black sleeveless netted undershirt over his bare chest.

In Duel Masters Versus Revolution Final when Shobu is an adult, Kokujo's shadowy appearance in Lucifer's imagination depicts him to have become much taller, with black hair and red eyes. His outfit consists of a feet-length, sleeveless, jagged-hemmed white and red leather coat, grey neck and wrist collar bands, black pants and black shoes similar to his previous outfits in his youth.


Kokujo laugh

Kokujo frequently launches into his signature evil maniacal laughter.

Kokujo is perceived as a powerful but antagonistic duelist gaining negative attention throughout the duel world. This is also displayed by his outlandishly styled long hair, all-black leather outfit and frequently roaring into his signature maniacal laughter. His masterful use of the Darkness civilization ranges from allowing his opponent to think that they have the upper hand against him and then defeating them, to relentless tactics and giving them no mercy right from the get go.

Young kokujo

Kokujo when he was younger living with the Chimeras.

When Kokujo was younger, he lived happily with the Chimeras and was their clan's pride. But his happiness changed once the clan was destroyed by Zakira, thus being born as the 'Black Reaper'. Despite his antagonistic personality, he never joined any of the main villains due to his personal grudge against Zakira, shown when continuously trying to snap Hakuoh to his senses during his time as 'White', and generally against people and the world being destroyed.

Kokujo is someone not to be taken lightly, as he is focused in duels, does not tolerate rookie errors or silly antics from his opponents and insults others whom he thinks are weak duelists or villainous in general. This is seen when he walked away in disgust after Shobu made a rookie error in their first duel, scolding Mimi in an angel costume a second rate duelist and giving other duelists who make fun or look down on him a serious beating.

DMKing Kokujo Shobu

Kokujo and Shobu by the time of Duel Masters King!

He respects Shobu over time however as the latter improved on his dueling skills, as well as his positive attitude, shown when Kokujo smiled during Shobu's speech to Hakuoh during their duel in the Temple finals. He usually stands apart from Shobu and his friends but acts as an ally to them when dealing with the main villains or if expertise in the Darkness civilization was needed, such as defeating many Fua Duelists and supporting Shobu whenever the latter is dueling for the fate of the world.


Kokujo and Southern Cross.

His hostility towards others is reduced as the series progresses. This is shown during his time with McKee and Southern Cross after the latter protected and showed him kindness, as well as being old friends with its master, Sky. Although Kokujo gets annoyed with Southern Cross' constant affectionate actions towards him, they both shared a deep friendship and relate to each other in getting revenge for their loved ones.

Dm king Shobu gang

Kokujo with Shobu's group in Duel Masters King!

He is known as a legendary duelist by the time of Versus Revolution Final when Shobu is an adult. In Duel Masters King! set during the time around Star Cross, despite not communicating much, Kokujo gets along well with Shobu and his friends and usually appears whenever they are around. He also developed a friendly rivalry with the 'Black Duelist', Zero Jr. Kokujo followed Shobu’s group in their time travelling adventures and supported Joe Kirifuda in building his 'Kirifuda All Star' deck by dueling him. He emotes similar reactions with Shobu's friends during Joe's quest and is genuinely delighted when things went in their favour and eventually a victory. He smiled watching Joe and his friends returning to their time, the Kirifuda brothers bidding their final farewells and finally happily returning to their original time period with Shobu and friends.


Season 1[]

In Season 1 of the anime, he is one of the main antagonists towards Shobu, along with Hakuoh later in the season. Kokujo first appears to Toru while the latter is waiting for Shobu, and suggests that they duel, promising that it will be a short match. He beats Toru with ease, and poses as him to wait for Shobu. Shobu arrives, and duels him none the wiser, gaining an early advantage. The group soon realize that Kokujo isn't Toru when they notice that his deck is different from the description of Toru's, and when Knight finds Toru in the bushes. Knight explains to the group that Kokujo's dueling style has him play helpless and then turn the game around and beat his opponents effortlessly, and sure enough, Kokujo begins to do so to Shobu. Shobu attempts to summon his "Gatling Skyterror", but hadn't realised that he'd had to send a mana card to the graveyard with his "Onslaughter Triceps" earlier, and Kokujo was disgusted that the son of Shori Kirifuda could make such a basic error. He ended the match furiously, claiming that it never happened.

Shobu challenged him again, and he accepted after being taunted. Shobu played far better against Kokujo the second time, destroying Kokujo's "Deathliger, Lion of Chaos" with a combination of "Gatling Skyterror" and Magma Gazer", but Kokujo still claimed victory and departed with respect for Shobu, thinking that he'd never know how close he'd become to beating Kokujo.

In order to be able to duel Hakuoh, he later defeated the Temple guardian Makoto Aizen. The Master changes his mind about allowing him to duel Hakuoh, instead forcing him to duel Shobu. The duo were fiercely matched, destroying each other's cards and finally breaking all of each other's shields. Shobu was able to use "Mana Nexus" to set up a shield trigger for his final shield, but Kokujo evolved his "Trox, General of Destruction" into "Ballom, Master of Death", bringing the creature to the human world and turning the match into a kaijudo duel. Despite the creature's power, which severely damaged the Temple, Shobu was able to defeat it with "Natural Snare", and the two continued to clash. He finally drew "Deathliger, Lion of Chaos," summoning it to the room as he had "Ballom". However, Shobu was able to summon "Armored Blaster Valdios", and defeat him, but Kokujo wasn't severely injured, as he managed to go and watch Shobu's duel with Hakuoh, albeit with his torso heavily bandaged. At the end of the match, Shobu asks him to join them, but he angrily refuses.

Sacred Lands[]

Kokujo's first appearance in the Sacred Lands season was when Jamira accidentally hit him and stole his deck. However, he couldn't master it and lost to Shobu, Kokujo taking it back.

Later, he followed Shobu and Rekuta in the Darkness Civilization lands and defeated Maurice the Merciless at a hotspring spa. Afterwards he appeared to challenge Jack and Jake, but a possessed Giriel, Ghastly Warrior appeared out of nowhere and caused him to escape into the darkness civilization land along with Shobu and Rekuta. There they were about to get attacked by a Deathliger, Lion of Chaos , but Kokujo managed to tame it. Guided by Deathliger, the trio headed to an exit from the darkness civilization lands, but Jack and Jake were waiting for them there along with their gang of duelists. After defeating them, Kokujo and Shobu faced off the twins and managed to defeat them, despite them both using Super Necrodragon Abzo Dolba.

Near the final battle at the fire civilization lands, Shobu and Rekuta had to go find Kokujo, for they needed someone to use Schuka, Duke of Amnesia in order to stop the P.L.O.O.P.s.

Duel Masters Charge[]

In Duel Masters Charge, Kokujo returns to participate in the tournament. He defeated Mimi, but lost to Yu Fua before the semifinals started due to her luring him into a secret duel on the beach and then using her magic powers to knock him off when he was about to win.

However, Kokujo returned at the tournament and faced Bura in a duel. Later, he faced off with El Rio and acquired Dorballom, Lord of Demons from him.

He then showed up at Zakira's castle and faced off with Love and found out that he was one of those who led an attack upon the "Shinigami" group, resulting in their deaths. The only woman of the group, Kimera, was Kokujo's 'mother' as the group had found him as an orphan and she took care of him and loved him as her son. While remembering his past, Kokujo summons Dorballom, Lord of Demons and finishes off Love, thus avenging his family, but he still desires to kill Zakira as well.

When he reached Zakira, he was forced to duel against White in a kaijudo duel. At the end of the epic battle, White summoned Alphadios, Lord of Spirits and cross-evolved it with Grand Cross Catastrophe while Kokujo brought out Ballom, Master of Death, but could not further evolve it into Dorballom, Lord of Demons, and White used his Alphadios to blast both him and his Ballom, making them disappear. However, Kokujo's final words announced his return: "Death Can't Die".

Duel Masters Zero[]

Kokujo appeared in Duel Masters Zero wishing to have a rematch against Hakuoh. After he watched how his Mongrel Man evolved into Super Trash Train, Fuuma Devil, he dueled Shobu whom he defeated with his new mono-darkness deck by evolving Ballom, Master of Death into Dorballom, Lord of Demons and completely wiping out Shobu's creatures and mana.

Later he returned on Professor March's island challenging Hakuoh yet again, but Hakuoh told him to duel Shobu and then he would be allowed to duel him. Kokujo accepted and used his newly acquired Castle of Demon deck. Even though Shobu managed to get rid of Ballom, Master of Death with Soulswap, Kokujo had enough mana and the aid of Maxval, Electro-Fuuma to summon Vashuna, Sword Dancer and evolve it into Ballom Emperor, Lord of Demons which destroyed Shobu's creatures and once again brought Kokujo a victory. However, Hakuoh still insisted to duel Shobu.

The next time Kokujo appeared he rescued Hakuoh from drowning in the ocean and faced off with Octo to which he lost and flung into the ocean.

Duel Masters Cross[]

Kokujo returned yet again in Duel Masters Cross, this time his goal being once again to try and defeat Zakira. He infiltrated the pyramid of Thoth and defeated him in a duel using his now trademark creatures Ballom Emperor, Lord of Demons and Ballom, Master of Death. Even though he didn't receive any information from Thoth about Zakira's whereabouts, he still stuck around hoping that his nemesis would appear. 

After the battle in the canyon in which Hakuoh, now turned into Zakira's minion White yet again, defeated Shobu, Zakira finally showed up and Kokujo sought the opportunity to face him. Even though he managed to bring out Ballom Emperor, it had no effect on Zakira's darkness creatures and thus Zero Phoenix, Phoenix of Darkness, Romanov the 1st, Lord of the Demonic Eye and Necrodragon Guljeneraid managed to help Zakira win the duel. 

However Kokujo's determination did not let him stop his quest of vengeance. Even though he was fully bandaged, he left the hospital and pursued Zakira yet again finally managing to find the island in which he was hiding. He appeared between White and Shobu who were about to duel and challenged White instead in order to enter the Fua castle. During this duel, White tested his new Arcadias Knights deck against Kokujo, and while Kokujo was lucky enough to manage to destroy King Alcadeias, Holy Gaia with Grudge Gathering and also bring out Ballom Emperor, Lord of Demons to wipe out White's field, White summoned Alphadios, Lord of Spirits who once again locked down Kokujo's deck and signaled his defeat. 

In the aftermath of the duel, Kokujo left Shobu's group and searched for a way to enter into Zakira's castle all while remembering his past with the Shinigami who were his family. He remembered how he was an orphan on the streets but the leader of the Shinigami, an old man, brought him to their castle and their only woman, Kimera, adopted him and taught him how to duel using the Darkness civilization. His happy days ended  when he was invited to a tournament and was accompanied by the old Shinigami leader. There he discovered a pile of dead duelists and Zakira sitting atop it. Scared, Kokujo ran back to the Shinigami castle only to find everyone slaughtered. The old man appeared to him and told him that he betrayed the Shinigami group because Zakira paid him well and because he was fed up with living in the shadows. Zakira was searching for Dorballom, Lord of Demons which was an Awakening Card. Kokujo dueled the old man and, ironically, defeated the traitor with the exact card that he was supposed to capture - Dorballom. After the duel, Kokujo swore that he would avenge his family.

When White reverted into Hakuoh and betrayed his master, Kokujo interrupted him and challenged Zakira instead. This time Zakira was using his own version of Arcadias Knights and his Light creatures were destroyed by the effect of Ballom Emperor. But even though the shield-less Kokujo managed to break all of his shields, Zakira summoned his new trump card, Supernova DEATH Dragerion and used its Meteorburn ability to destroy all of Kokujo's creatures and defeat him yet again.

After the defeat and apparent death of Zakira, Kokujo journeyed to a polar island where he met a bear that went by the name Southern Cross, a reference to the creature Darkness Southern. There he discovered that the bear had the card Bell Hell De Gaul, Footprint of the Reaper that belonged to its master who had fallen under the hands of Zakira's minions. Xanadu returns to the island seeking the card but Kokujo faces her in a duel. He asks her about the whereabouts of Zakira but she tells him that she does not know if he even lives. While Xanadu managed to send Bell Hell De Gaul to the bottom of Kokujo's deck with the effect of Cyber X Xanadu, Kokujo destroyed her creature with the effect of Dark Zekia, Reaper of Death by revealing four evolution creatures. Afterwards he abused the effect of Bell Hell De Gaul to spam Demon Commands and in the end he finished the duel with Ballom, Master of Death.

He later appeared in the tournament defeating contestants with his new trump card XENOM, the Reaper King.

Duel Masters Cross Shock[]

Kokujo continued defeating tournament contestants making his way to the finals by using his brand new Eternal Death deck and two new trump cards - Dark Strike, Reaper Beast and Ballom Monarch, Lord of Dark Reapers. In the end he was defeated by one of Zakira's minions and was once again put in bandages. However he was there to cheer Shobu on as he defeated Zakira in the finals.

Later Kokujo reappeared in the creature world siding with Black Ganveet, Wicked Soldier of Demise. Dark Strike had summoned him to help them in their conquest of defeating Diabolos Zeta, Annihilation Awakened. Kokujo tested his new cards on Shobu whom he defeated but he lost in his duel against Diabolos Zeta who had awakened into Devil Diabolos Zeta, Evil Awakened and began its rampage over the creature world.

Kokujo participated in the final battle against Devil Diabolos Zeta where he helped Darkness Ganveet, the Assassin Awakened to cast Ganveet Blaster.  

Duel Masters Versus Revolution Final[]

Kokujo VSRF

Kokujo in Lucifer's imagination

In Versus Revolution Final Episode 14 when Kojiro used Dorballom, Lord of Demons against Katta Kirifuda, Lucifer recognized that card, remembering that this card was once used by the legendary duelist Kokujo Kyoshiro.

Duel Masters (2017)[]

When Shobu's future nephew, Joe Kirifuda, attempted to create dragons by stuffing some of the Kirifuda Family archive photos into Deckie, it resulted in Joe falling asleep and entering a dream based on the memories and archives of the Kirifuda Family. Shobu was summoned in his elementary school self along with Rekuta and Hakuoh in the middle of their duel and encounters Katta and Joe, much to his shock. Kokujo, on the other hand, was also summoned, albeit alone. He walked through the forest, monologued to himself before roaring into a huge maniacal laughter and finally heaving a sigh.

Kokujo later appeared in a fantasy alongside Shobu's friends and rivals from numerous Duel Masters Tournaments that Rekuta was explaining to Joe. Following the duel between Katta and Joe, Deckie had reached its time limit during the end party, resulting in the created memories to disappear. Kokujo briefly appeared and smirked a farewell to Joe, along with the others bidding their respective farewells, with Shobu and Katta briefly appearing as their adult selves. After which, Joe wakes up surrounded by towering piles of files.

Duel Masters King![]

Joe Kirifuda landed more than 20 years in the past by chasing Zero Jr. through a time slip portal where they encountered and aided Hakuoh. Following Jendle's defeat in a duel with Joe, Alcadeias and Ballom returned to their original state. While Mimi intercepts Joe's request to duel Hakuoh, Kokujo appears to Zero Jr. after spotting Ballom in the latter's hands and they both engage in a duel.

When Zero Jr. met up with Joe to return back to their time, Joe asked where the former went to which he did not respond. Hakuoh bode farewell to Joe, telling the latter to say his regards to future Shobu, much to both his and Deckie's surprise. Mimi too was surprised that Hakuoh deduced Joe as Shobu's future relative.

Kokujo reappeared alongside Shobu, Rekuta, Boy George, Mimi and Hakuoh when Joe and his friends traveled into the past again. Hakuoh, Mimi and Rekuta recognised Joe from their previous encounter but Shobu was shocked when Joe addressed him as 'Uncle', the former three explaining that Joe is from the future. The two generational groups engaged in a series of 'duels' comprising of various challenges. Kokujo made his appearance when a purple lightning thundered onto the ground and called out to Zero Jr., shocking Joe and his friends that the latter followed them into the past. They both reintroduced themselves, as the 'Black Reaper' and the 'Black Duelist' respectively, and their duel was to break into the correct wall which comprised of the ice cream that the Statue of Liberty was holding on her right hand. Zero Jr. ended up winning whilst Kokujo ended up falling face flat into a mud bath. After Joe defeated Shobu and obtained Bolmeteus Steel Dragon from him, all of them engaged in a mini Duel Masters tournament where Kokujo dueled Zero Jr.

Kokujo zero jr

Kokujo and Zero Jr.

In the next episode, Kokujo followed Shobu and the others into Joe's time period where they visited the Kirifuda family land's cave holding all the key members' deck boxes, statues, photos and other significant items. He then followed the others into Katta Kirifuda's time period, shocking Katta and his friends when Joe addressed him as 'Father'. Shobu's younger appeareance shocked Katta as well where the former explained that Joe is from the future. Katta then stuffed all their faces with curry buns and they all watched the duel between Katta and Joe, with Joe obtaining Katsuking, Kung Fu Shogun from defeating the former.

The following episode, Kokujo followed Shobu, his friends as well as Joe and his friends forward in time when Katta was older, confusing Lulu Takigawa when hearing Joe being Katta's son and addressing Lucifer as 'Uncle'. The three generational group of friends aided Joe in building his deck, the 'Kirifuda All Star Deck', where Kokujo dueled Joe during the process. All of them then witnessed as Joe engaged Hyde in the ultimate duel, with Joe thanking all of them for their help as they gathered to celebrate his victory, additionally making Lulu happy realising that she is Joe's mother. All of them posed for a group photograph before returning to their respective time periods where Joe is later seen admiring all the photos captured during his adventures with everyone.


Kokujo dueling against Joe building his 'Kirifuda All Star' deck.

In the special bonus episode, Kokujo, along with the others, watched as Shobu and Katta bode farewell to Joe and his friends as they return to their time. He too panicked when Shobu realised their group is stranded in Katta’s time period. Fortunately, Pyonchiki returned but needed to recharge however, much to their dismay. Following Pyonchiki’s recharge, Kokujo and the group watched as Shobu and Katta bode their final farewells and traveled back to their time period happily.


Kokujo and the group happily traveling back to their time period.

Kokujo reappeared alongside the three generational group of friends in Joe's flashback during the season's finale episode.


Duel Masters: Star Cross[]

In the manga, he did not participate in the battle against Adam, though he did observe the battle with Southern Cross. After the Antarctica Incident which results in Shobu to be assumed to have died in the final battle, he went to the memorial in black funeral clothes. He was also upset that his greatest rival was gone, along with Hakuoh, though he made the latter face the reality of Shobu's demise.

In the bonus chapter of Star Cross Volume 9, he duels against Hakuoh. In the duel, he reverts to his original merciless self to push Hakuoh to the limit before being defeated. Observing Hakuoh's personality change and tears of loss, he reflected on how's Shobu's arrival impacted their lives.


On Kokujo's first appearance he used a Darkness Civilization deck, but later started using the Water Civilization as well.

Due to his relentless tactics, he has earned the nicknames of "Black Death" and "Shinigami".

Season 1[]

In season one, he mainly used cards from the Kokujo's Darkness Deck and some of the following cards:

Sacred Lands[]

In Sacred Lands, Kokujo's deck was mostly focused on Darkness rush, his main card being Daidalos, General of Fury.

Duel Masters Charge[]

In Duel Masters Charge, Kokujo changed his deck constantly throughout the season.

His tournament deck was mostly based on summoning Kejila, the Hidden Horror as fast as possible and then taking down the opponent's shields with its silent skill and the aid of Gajirabute, Vile Centurion.

After losing in the tournament, he came back to face Zakira's minions, his deck now based on Auzesu, Demonic Elemental, but having a similar structure to his deck in season 2.

When he acquired Dorballom, Lord of Demons, he began to add nature cards to his deck in order to summon it faster.

However, he changed his deck to a Water and Darkness deck featuring Cross Gear when he faced off against White in the episode, Death Can't Die.

Duel Masters Zero[]

During this season, Kokujo used cards from the DMC-38 Castle of Demon deck and some of the following cards:

Duel Masters Cross[]

In Duel Masters Cross, Kokujo's deck was more of an extension of his Duel Masters Zero deck, with him adding some of the new Demon Commands such as Bell Hell De Dios, Death Castle Beast Lord and Gal Volf, Dark Wolfblade.

Later in the season, he replaced the water cards from his deck with new Reaper cards such as:

Duel Masters Cross Shock[]

In Duel Masters Cross and Cross Shock, Kokujo added Reaper cards from the DMC-60 Eternal Death deck, as well as adding the Black Ganveet family of Psychic Creatures and the Ballom name category.

Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code[]

Duel Masters Manga: 9[]

Duel Masters: Fighting Edge manga[]

Duel Masters manga (special edition)[]

Duel Masters manga (special edition 2)[]

Duel Masters Star Cross manga[]

Duel Masters: New Frontier manga[]


Video Game Appearances[]


  • His surname's kanji of 黒城 (Kokujō) literally means "Black Castle", which is the title used for his own spinoff manga. It's also likely a reference to his backstory.
  • His first name's kanji of 凶死郎 (Kyōshirō) uses the combination 凶 (Kyō), meaning "bad luck" or "misfortune"; 死 (Shi) which means "death" and 郎 (Rō), a common suffix for male names in Japanese; usually literally translated as "son".
    • When combined, his first name could literally translate to "Son of Misfortune and Death".
  • His backstory in Duel Masters: Fighting Edge shows that he apparently lived and grew up in Spain.
  • His birthday is on April 13[1], specifically on a Friday the 13th.
    • 13 and 4 are known to be very unlucky numbers in various countries and cultures.
  • His eye colors were often inconsistent. In the original manga, he had brown eyes and occasionally yellow eyes; but it was later changed to light blue in Duel Masters: Star Cross and Duel Masters: Black Castle. Throughout the anime series, his eyes color were red.
  • In the Korean version of Duel Masters, his name is changed to "Crow" (크로우).


  1. From "DUEL MASTERS: Omnidirectional Card File MAX" book