SNK’s Iori Yagami Gets His Own Isekai Novel

SNK’s Iori Yagami Gets His Own Isekai Novel

An Isekai novel featuring KOF's Iori Yagami with illustrations by Ogura is coming this July in Japan.

Out of nowhere, Japanese mastodon publisher Kadokawa announced on May 24 a novel centered on Iori Yagami getting transported to another world.

Just like every Japanese Light Novel nowadays, it has a way too long title. Iori’s Isekai adventure is titled “The King of Fantasy – Yagami Iori no Isekai Musou – Tsuki wo Miru Tabi Omoidase!“. This could be translated to “The King of Fantasy Iori Yagami is unrivaled in another world, remember me when you look at the moon!“. The moon part referencing one of Iori’s most popular win quotes.

Here’s the story pitch:

Playtime is over! Be it monsters, goblins, dragons, or female knights, I will turn you all into ashes!

After a decisive battle with his eternal rival Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami got transported to another world. In these unknown lands, Iori ends up saving a female knight named Altena. Following her recommendation, Iori decides to participate in a martial arts tournement. Little did he know that it was the beginning of his great adventure and fierce battles in the Kingdom of Esaaga…

An unexpected novel! KOF‘s popular character, Iori Yagami, will burn the world of Isekai with his purple flame!

The Kingdom of Esaaga, where the story is set, is a reference to Kyo Kusanagi/Team Japan’s Esaka theme song.

The King of Fantasy is a 324 pages one-shot. It’ll launch in Japan on July 5, 2019. The novel is written by Nobuhiko Tenkawa, an anime scriptwriter who worked on Taisho Baseball Girls and A Certain Scientific Railgun. The illustrations are handled by KOF illustrator Eisuke Ogura. SNK is credited as “Supervision”.

This is far from being the first time The King of Fighters gets an unexpected adaptation like that. I still remember stuff like the King of Fighters Zillion manhua from early 2000.

Stories with people getting thrown into a fantasy or sci-fi world have always existed. The genre is very popular in Japanese media, with works such as Aura Battler Dunbine, Escaflowne, Now and Then, Here and There, or The Twelve Kingdoms.

However, in the 2010s, a boom happened, with tons of another world/isekai stories appearing, mostly in the form of amateur web novels.  “Isekai” now designates all the stories born from this trend, as they always follow the exact same molds and stereotypes. Despite their extremely variable quality, the isekai bubble has yet to burst.

In related news, The King of Fighters XV is supposed to launch in 2020. SNK is also planning to launch a new Neo Geo 2.