Benimaru Nikaido in King of Fighters


Benimaru has been in The King of Fighters series since the beginning. He is a model and fighter who can use electricity in his attacks. His sexuality is much debated, with some people calling him “more than likely gay, if not metrosexual” (Kalata, Sotenga, & Rasa, 2013) and others asserting “He loves women!” Developers have not openly defined his sexuality, though it is stated on the official King of Fighters site: “His speech patterns have led some to question Benimaru’s preferences as far as certain lifestyles are concerned. All we have to say is: It’s not what you think. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)”.

The Japanese version of The King of Fighters Official Website is much more explicit about Benimaru’s (hetero)sexuality, however: The character’s description ends with “口調からか「紅丸はオカマキャラクターなのか?」という質問を受けることがありますが、彼はオカマではありません(笑)”, which translates directly as “From the character’s tone, we have been asked often “Is Benimaru an okama character?”, but he is not an okama (laugh). [“Okama” is a perjorative Japanese conflation, used for a gay man, trans woman, or male crossdresser.]

A video of Benimaru in action appears below.

LGBTQ references in this series:

Benimaru Nikaido (first appearance 1994)

Transphobia/Homophobia in The King of Fighters XIII (2010)


  1. AtlusUSA. (2011, August 15). The King of Fighters XII: Benimaru Nikaido. YouTube.
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  6. Fruit Brute. (2006, August 2). The 20 gayest video game characters- honorable mentions and ones we missed #5. Gay Gamer.
  7. Kalata, K., Sotenga, & Rasa, C. (2013). The King of Fighters. Hardcore Gaming 101.
  8. The King of Fighters Official Website. Benimaru.