Kunio-kun (series)

Kunio-kun (series)

general VG character
name = Kunio

caption = Kunio in "Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari EX". In the US version ("River City Ransom EX"), he is known as Alex.
series = "Kunio-kun" series
firstgame = "Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun"
creator = Yoshihisa Kishimoto
japanactor = Ryo Horikawa

nihongo|The "Kunio-kun" series|くにおくんシリーズ| is a video game franchise started by Technos, the company that made the "Double Dragon" franchise. Million Corp. purchased all of Technos' assets (including the "Kunio-kun" game series) several years after Technos went defunct. The first game in the series is fully titled nihongo|"Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun"|熱血硬派くにおくん, which roughly translates to "Hot Blood Tough Guy Kunio", with Nekketsu being the name of Kunio's high school. The kun suffix after his name is an informal Japanese honorific usually applied to young males.

The series originated in the arcades and the Famicom console; its title and its protagonist, Kunio (variously renamed "Alex" and "Crash Cooney" in the United States), were named after Technos Japan's former president, Kunio Taki. Although the original game was created by Yoshihisa Kishimoto — who later designed "Double Dragon" — many of the later games (particularly those under the "Downtown Nekketsu" moniker) were the handiwork of two men: Mitsuhiro "Yoshimitsu" Yoshida, and Hiroyuki "Mokeke" Sekimoto.

A few of the early "Kunio" games for the NES were localized for the North American market. These includes "Renegade", "River City Ransom", "Super Dodge Ball", "" and "Nintendo World Cup", which were heavily "Americanized" versions of the "Kunio-kun" games. Technos Japan has released over twenty "Kunio-kun" titles for the Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom in Japan. In addition, licensed ports of the games were made for other platforms such as the PC-Engine (through Naxat Soft), Sega Mega Drive (through Pal Soft) and the Sharp X68000 (through Sharp). After Technos went out of business, a company called Million purchased the intellectual rights for the games and characters.


Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-Kun (original game)

*The original "Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun" involves Kunio of Nekketsu High School and Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The gang of students from Hanazono High School, led by Samenija Riki, attempted an invasion against Nekketsu High. Kunio fought back, and Riki reconciled. On the next scene come the Bōsōzoku (biker gang), Yokohama Funky, led by Shinji. The third scene is a fight with a gang of female students led by the large schoolgirl Misuzu. The final scene is somewhat a maze leading to the game's antagonist Sabu, who is behind the entire Yakuza gang. "Renegade" is a localized version of "Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun", using American-based settings in place of Japanese settings, and a damsel in distress storyline similar to later beat-em-ups such as "Double Dragon" and "Final Fight". "Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun" is considered to be canonical, "Renegade" not, and they have different sequels; being "Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio Tachi no Banka" and "Target Renegade", respectively.

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari is known in the United States as "River City Ransom" and in Europe as "Street Gangs". The dialogue and the graphics were altered for the U.S. version. Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari was originally developed for the Famicom/NES in 1989 and later ported to the Sharp X68000. The game would be enhanced-remade for the Game Boy Advance as Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari EX, which was released in the United States as "River City Ransom EX" and in Europe as "Street Gangs Advance". In this game, Kunio and Riki join forces for the first time.

hin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio Tachi no Banka

Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio Tachi no Banka, or simply Kunio Tachi no Banka, is the interquel of Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun and Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari. It was released exclusively in Japan, for the Super Famicom in 1994. However, it was unofficially translated into English by an online translation group called [http://agtp.romhack.net/ Aeon Genesis Translation Proclamation] in 2003. At the beginning, Kunio and Riki are framed for a hit-and-run accident and get incarcerated in Cell 218 by Takayama, father of Kunio's classmate Mamoru. Hiroshi visited the jail telling Kunio and Riki about the conflict with the Nekketsu and Hanazono high schools being attacked by Daiki and Ryuuta, Sabu's thugs. Also, other students of Nekketsu and Hanazono were forced to work abroad, such as in the Amusement Park, where Kunio meets Ryuusaku. Kunio and Riki waited until after dark and then broke out of prison. After that, Kunio and Riki, along with their girlfriends (Misako and Kyoko, respectively) investigate about the schools' attacks and find whomever is responsible for framing them up and incarcerating them in the first place. They get acquitted of their charges after a fight with Shinji. In this game, it is possible to continue the game via passwords, and the four characters (when available) can be changed at any time during playing. All other characters from Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun made a reappearance in this game, reprising their old roles.


The following is a list of characters appearing in most of the games, ordered by the games where they first appear.

Main characters

* - The protagonist of the series. Kunio serves as the guardian of Nekketsu High School against rival schools and is the captain of his school's Dodgeball team, although he excels at other sports (such as soccer and hockey). Kunio first appears in the original "Kunio-kun", where he is described as a second year student at Nekketsu High School (in the "Downtown Nekketsu" sub-series, he is described as a third year student, establishing a loose continuity between later games). His birthdate is on November 27 (the same date as Bruce Lee 's birthdate) and has a blood type of AB. His surname is never revealed. In some games (such as "Nekketsu Hockey Bu" and "Baseball Monogatari"), he is the only student at Nekketsu to wear an all-white uniform, while at other games everyone at Nekketsu wears white. In the localized versions, he is known as Mr. K in "Renegade", Sam in "Super Dodge Ball", Alex in "River City Ransom" and Crash Cooney in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge".

* - Often described Kunio's eternal rival, Riki is the guardian of Hanazono High School and the second most recurring character in the series. In the original "Kunio-kun", Riki appears as the first stage boss and serves as captain of the Hanazono dodgeball team. "Nekketsu Monogatari" was the first game where Riki teams-up with Kunio (although chronologically speaking, "Shodai" comes first). Since then, Riki's relationship with Kunio evolved from enmity to close friendship, and appears in the later beat-em-ups as a secondary playable character. Riki's birthdate is on May 5 and is repeating his third year in the "Downtown Nekketsu" sub-series. In the localized versions, he is known as Jack in "Renegade" and "Super Dodge Ball", Ryan in "River City Ransom" and Crusher in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge".

"Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun"

* - Hiroshi is Kunio's best friend in the original "Kunio-kun" game. He enrolls into Nekketsu High School during his second year and gets picked on a lot by bullies. He becomes fast friends with Kunio after Kunio defends him from his tormentors. In the arcade version of "Kunio-kun", he is beaten by a different gang at the beginning of each time, whereas in the Famicom he is kidnapped by Sabu (with no explanation given). In addition to the "Nekketsu Kōha" sub-series, he appears as a member of the Dodgeball Club in "Dodgeball Bu", as well as in "Soccer Hen" and "Hockey Bu", where he shares the same sprite as the Sonokawa character from the "Downtown Nekketsu" sub-series. He is the only character not to appear in the American versions of the "Renegade" games.

* Shinji - The leader of a bōsōzoku gang known as "Yokohama Funky" in "Kunio-kun" (where he is the second stage boss) and the "Blue Emperor" in "Kunio-tachi no Banka" (where he is a recurring boss). He also appears as a playable character in the Neo Geo version of "Super Dodge Ball". His counterpart in "Renegade" is named Joel.

* Misuzu - A giant sukeban from the Taiyō Academy, an all girl school. She first appears as the stage 3 boss in "Kunio-kun". She reappears as Sabu's bodyguard in "Kunio-tachi no Banka" and as a playable character in the Neo Geo version of "Super Dodge Ball". Her counterpart in "Renegade" is named Kim.

* Sabu - The leader of a yakuza gang known as the "Sanwakai". He is the gun-wielding final boss in the original "Kunio-kun". He returns as the main antagonist in "Kunio-tachi no Banka", where he hires a Kunio look-alike named Ken to frame him for a hit and run accident. He is also a playable character in the Neo Geo version of "Super Dodge Ball". Sabu is the only character not to change his name, nor his appearance, in "Renegade".

"Nekketsu Kōkō Dodge Ball Bu"

* Shinichi

* Kōji

* Mitsuhiro

* Heilman

"Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari"

* (Cyndi in "River City Ransom")

* (Roxy in "River City Ransom")

* (Harry in "River City Ransom", Conan in "River City Ransom EX")

* and nihongo|Yamamoto|山本 憲之|Yamamoto Noriyuki (Benny and Clyde in "River City Ransom")

* (Moose in "River City Ransom")

* (Rocko in "River City Ransom", Baldy in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Thor in "River City Ransom", Monty in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Turk in "River City Ransom", Wheels in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Mojo in "River City Ransom")

* (Blade in "River City Ransom")

* (Ivan in "River City Ransom", Sprecks in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Otis in "River City Ransom")

* (Tex in "River City Ransom", Clint in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

* and nihongo|Ryūji|服部 竜二|Hattori Ryūji (Randy and Andy in "River City Ransom")

* (Slick/Simon in "River City Ransom", Skip in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge")

"Nekketsu Kōkō Dodge Ball Bu: Soccer Hen"

* Misako

* Takashi

* Masa

* Gen'ei

"Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku"

* (Todd in "Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge", Tidus in "River City Ransom EX")

* (Cheese in "Crash n' The Boys: Street Challenge", Gary in "River City Ransom EX")



* (Nate in "Crash n' The Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Rick in "River City Ransom EX")

* (Dove in "Crash n' The Boys: Street Challenge")

* (Knors in "Crash n' the Boys: Street Challenge", Jesse in "River City Ransom EX")


* (Barns in "Crash n' The Boys Street Challenge, Ted in "River City Ransom EX")

* (Milo in "Crash n' The Boys: Street Challenge")


"Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey Bu"

* Yōichi

"Bikkuri Nekketsu Shin Kiroku"

* Johnny

* Raphael

* Jimmy

"Nekketsu Kakutō Densetsu"

* Toraichi and Toraji

"Downtown Nekketsu Baseball Monogatari"



* (Shel in "River City Ransom EX")


"Kunio-tachi no Banka"

* Ken

* Kyōko

"Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari EX"

* (Rex in "River City Ransom EX")

* (Abby in "River City Ransom EX")

* Shōko (Jenny in "River City Ransom EX")


In Japan, the games are all part of the Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun series focusing on Nekketsu High School and Hanazono High School, particularly two students; Kunio and Riki. "Nekketsu" is Japanese for "hot-blooded", and "hanazono" is Japanese for "flower garden." Kunio was the guardian of Nekketsu High School. He is often summoned when the students are being threatened or have a sports tournament to win. He's always getting into fights with yakuza, bikers, and street gangs, and rival schools along with his off and on ally/nemesis Riki of Hanazono High School.

On the Japanese Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) there is a Tetris or Puyo Puyo-esque game entitled "Kunio no Oden". It uses food in place of blocks, and you must match them up. The story of the game is Kunio taking part in a food-eating contest. Some of the opponents he faces include Riki, Nishimura, Godai, Hasebe, and Momozono.

Kunio also makes a cameo in another one of Technos' arcade games, "Shadow Force", appearing in the background in one of the game's stages.

A manga by Kōsaku Anakubo based on "Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-kun" called "Ore wa Otoko da! Kunio-kun" was published in "CoroCoro Comic". It won the Shogakukan Manga Award for children in 1995.cite web | url=http://comics.shogakukan.co.jp/mangasho/rist.html | title=小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 | publisher=Shogakukan | language=Japanese | accessdate=2007-08-19]


External links

* [http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/kunio/kunio.htm Hardcore Gaming 101: Kunio Kun / Nekketsu Highschool] Gives a series overview and a description for each game in the series
* [http://www.angelfire.com/games3/johnnyundaunted/ The Nekketsu Typhoon] , a site covering the Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun series
* [http://tsamurai.pyoko.org/ The Technos Samurai] , a site covering the Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun series and various other old games that feature swordsmanship. Author is currently working on a Kunio-kun Kendo game akin to the sports games already in the series
* [http://www.classicgaming.com/kunio/ River City High School Class Reunion] , another site covering the Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Kun series.
* [http://wiki.dontpressstart.com/index.php?title=Nekketsu_series The Nekketsu series entry] on the [http://www.dontpressstart.com/ Don't Press start] website's wiki
*moby game|id=-group/kunionekketsu-high-series|name="Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun" series
* [http://dorando.emuverse.com/html/downtown-special-kunio-kun-no-jidaigeki-dayo-zen-in-shuugou.html Dorango Translation Page] -Translation page on Downtown Special: Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki
* [http://mkidz.jp/ Miracle Kidz] -The original creators of the Famicom version of the Downtown Nekketsu (Kunio-kun) series.

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