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)
- AtlusUSA. (2011, August 15). The King of Fighters XII: Benimaru Nikaido. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUsbgCrs-RM
- Benimaru Nikaido. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters/benimaru.html
- Benimaru Nikaido. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://benikof.tripod.com/beni-bio.html
- Benimaru Nikaido. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://snk.wikia.com/wiki/Benimaru_Nikaido
- Benimaru Nikaido. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=benimaru
- Fruit Brute. (2006, August 2). The 20 gayest video game characters- honorable mentions and ones we missed #5. Gay Gamer. http://gaygamer.net/2006/08/top_20_gayest_video_game_chara_25.html
- Kalata, K., Sotenga, & Rasa, C. (2013). The King of Fighters. Hardcore Gaming 101. http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/kof/kof.htm
- The King of Fighters Official Website. Benimaru. http://kofaniv.snk-corp.co.jp/character/index.php?num=benimaru