- "If I'm alive I'll give you a run for your money, even an assassin like yourself. Better be prepared, because blood must atone for blood. So, which will you choose? Your own country, or watch our retribution? Your fuckin' decision."
- —Kenjiro Matsuoka to Emir Parkreiner
Kenjiro Matsuoka is a character in killer7, the secondary antagonist after his mentor and cosmic and political ally, Kun Lan. He is a politician, and as of shortly into the game, the leader of the imperialist Japanese United Nations Party that is responsible for much of the problems the United States experiences throughout the course of the story.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
As a politician, Matsuoka always dresses appropriately, in a suit and tie. Originally, Matsuoka was nervous, rude and impulsive, as seen when Shinya Akiba and Hiroyasu Kurahashi provoked him into shooting them. After Kun Lan stops him from shooting himself and touches him with his God Hand, his personality changes completely. The new Matsuken is both ruthless and calm, performing divisive actions for the sake of the Party, although he still retains his individuality. After the time skip in Lion, he faces the possibility of imminent death without much thought to the implications; indeed, if the player chooses to spare him, he offers a snort of derisive contempt.
Matsuoka began his career as a young politician in the UN Party, gradually making his way through the ranks and becoming party leader. In this capacity, he formed under-the-table deals with other political entities, including the America-based Union 7 organization and even the opposition Liberal Party. When the UN Party came to power, Matsuoka effectively became the Prime Minister of Japan, although this is never stated in-game. However, as a result of the responsibility this position entails, it should have been his task to convince the United States to deploy its Fireworks missile defence system when a fusillade of nuclear warheads were aimed at Japan. He does send liaisons to convene at the KAKU building, but the talks break down and result in the deaths of all four canvassers, all but dooming the island nation. As a result of his failure to save Japan, party ancients Shinya Akiba and Hiroyasu Kurahashi order him to commit suicide, and mock him for his inability to assert himself or to show initiative by killing his superiors (themselves). Struggling agitatedly, he eventually impulsively shoots both elders and prepares to turn the gun on himself. only to find to his horror that they continue standing and talking in spite of the destruction of most of their brains. Kun Lan appears, and he and the two politicians discuss the inadequacies of today's youth. Lan then imparts some of his power to Matsuoka with his God Hand, and he is changed in character instantly, confidently striding out of the room.
As a result of being touched by the God Hand, something awakens within Matsuoka and he begins to act much more aggressively in regards to the tumultuous diplomatic situation between Japan and the United States, falling just short of outright declaring war.
Much later in the game, Matsuoka is seen killing Hiro Kasai, bound in an S&M costume by pushing him off the roof of a building, apparently for acting against imperialist interests.
When Garcian Smith travels to Coburn Elementary School to learn the truth about his past, Matsuoka appears seemingly out of nowhere to pull a gun on him from behind when he enters the institution's gymnasium, where Greg Nightmare has seemingly been hanged. Matsuoka says that "the United States' cover will be blown," proceeding to reveal that the country is actually run by the Ministry of Education. Garcian, having already begun to uncover the truth about the United States shadow government and its operations, asks Matsuoka philosophically charged questions about the nature of the United States and the role of its President, to which Matsuoka dismissively declares "I'm Japanese, how the hell should I know?" He goes on to allude to Garcian's real identity as Emir Parkreiner, which the man himself learns of in the following chapter. Greg Nightmare then begins to attack Garcian, and Matsuoka disappears as quickly as he had appeared.
In the final chapter, Lion, Matsuoka is found waiting for dominant killer7 personality Emir Parkreiner in front of the door behind which lies the Last Shot Smile, the last Heaven Smile he needs to kill to rid the world of the organization's terrorism forever; seemingly, after Kun Lan's death, Matsuoka has been helping with the effort to exterminate the Smiles. However, Matsuoka warns that this alone will not be enough to keep the world safe, because he will still be there, and thus offers Parkreiner the choice of either killing or sparing him. If the player chooses to kill Matsuoka, the United States reacts against the intended incursion against her power and proceeds to declare war on much of the world. If Matsuoka is spared, he is later seen on the deck of a Japanese battleship, and ultimately attains the UN Party's goal of uniting the entire world under Japanese divine rule.
Matsuoka's nickname, "Matsuken," by which many characters refer to him, is derived from the original Japanese ordering of family name-given name, which is rendered "Matsuoka Kenjirou." The first character of "Matsuoka" (松, matsu) and the first character of "Kenjirou" (健, ken) are put together to form the nickname Matsuken. This kind of nickname creation is a common convention in Japan.
- Kenjiro Matsuoka's character arc has heavy parallels with Emir Parkreiner's. Both of them were saved from shooting themselves in the head by one of the two opposing "gods" of killer7's story, after which they receive a drastic personality change to become a calmer, more focused individual. They act as the second-in-command to their master from then on, until their masters are both killed at the same time. Afterwards, they both work on the eradication of the Heaven Smiles.