Template:CharacterInfobox Benimaru Nikaido (Template:Furigana Template:Furigana, Nikaidō Benimaru) is a The King of Fighters character and one of Kyo Kusanagi's friends. His straight hair stays up during fights due to a rather exaggerated case of electrostatics. His official nickname is The Shooting Star.<ref name=KOFXII>Official character profile from KOF XII</ref>
Benimaru's appearance was loosely based on Jean Pierre Polnareff from the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, right down to his outfit in The King of Fighters '94 and The King of Fighters '95. Even after Benimaru's name was decided, the game developers continued to refer to him as Polnareff.<ref name="KOF94">- "The King of Fighters ’94 – Developer Interview" Archived from The original'</ref><ref name=kofaniv>Official character profile from KOF anniversary website.</ref> Additionally, his taunt in The King of Fighters XI mirrors Polnareff's stature from the manga. His vocal performance was initially deemed by his original designer to have nothing to do with the character's original image.
The idea for his electric powers -as well as the other elemental powers for the rest of the Japan team- was derived from the anime Getter Robo. In the show, there were three featured heroes who served as the inspiration for the KOF trio: the protagonist had a "fiery" persona, his friend was "edgy and daring", and the third hero was the "down-to-earth giant". It is also a homage to a Japanese phrase of giving birth to fire (roughly translated: lightning strikes the earth which sparks the flame).<ref>Akihiko Ureshino, ed. (2005). The King of Fighters Perfect Reader (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. pp. 136~139.</ref>
Due to the particular pitch in his voice, some fans have voiced question to Benimaru's sexuality to developers, to which they respond, "It's not what you think. (Not that there's anything wrong with that)." <ref name=kofaniv/> A developer also responds that he’s a man’s man who loves women.<ref name=KOF94/>
Benimaru, while sometimes outspoken and flamboyant, means business in battle as he's very proud of his skills and doesn't want anyone to look down on him for his good looks. He also respects ladies though he tends to be more than a flighty flirt. Although he seems to have an indecisive mind, Benimaru has a heart of gold. His loyalty and respect can go a long way.
Despite his American heritage, he carries many Japanese mannerisms. Though he would never openly admit it aloud, his pride as a professional fighter was shaken when Kyo beat him before 1994 and he secretly trains for a rematch.
- Electrokinesis - Benimaru can control electricity.
- Static - Benimaru can create static around his body. This is what makes his hair upwards.
- Electric Fist - Benimaru can create an electric ball around his fist.
- Thunder - Benimaru can summon lightning from the sky. Benimaru can also form sparks on the ground and move them upwards.
- Discharge - Benimaru can release an electric discharge by touching his enemy.
- Electric Attacks - Benimaru can fuel his attacks with electric energy, especially from lightning he summons.
- Super-Speed - Benimaru can move himself so quickly that he leaves several images of himself when he moves.
- Cooking - Benimaru is an accomplished cook.
- Modeling - Benimaru is a professional model by occupation.
- Shooting - Benimaru has interests and has practiced shooting with rifles.
|-|Fighting Style= Benimaru specializes in shooting techniques and electricity, though his fighting style is more focused on agility and less on actual submission and raw power, focusing on agile kicks and decent range.
His character also pays homage to the Tatsunoko character, Hurricane Polymar. The attacks Shinkuu Katategoma (Vacuum One-Handed Top), Handou Sandan Geri (Recoiling Three-Stage Kick) and Gen'ei Hurricane (Phantom Hurricane) take their names and functions directly from the aforementioned character.
Several other of his moves also take their namesakes from various anime and manga, including:
- Benimaru Coleda/Benimaru Collider; from Gunbuster
- Elec-Trigger; from Super Robot Red Baron
- Flying Drill, Raijiken (Thunder Quiver Fist) and Raikouken (Lightning Fist); from Casshern, original move name is Denkou Punch (Voltaic Punch).
- Iai Geri (Re-sheath Kick); from Kako Teito: Ore wa Shubei!.
Despite all of these anime-based references, Benimaru ironically dislikes otaku. </tabber>
- Atsushi Maezuka - since his debut
- Genki Okawa - The King of Fighters for Girls
- Hikaru Midorikawa - The King of Fighters '94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD
- Esaka - The King of Fighters '94
- Funky Esaka - The King of Fighters '95, '98: UM (with Daimon and EX Kyo)
- Esaka? - The King of Fighters '96, '98
- KD-0079 - The King of Fighters '99
- Inner Shade - The King of Fighters 2000, EX
- Flame of Invincibility - The King of Fighters 2001
- J - The King of Fighters 2002
- Joyrider - The King of Fighters 2003
- Queen - The King of Fighters XI
- Esaka Continues... - The King of Fighters XIII
- Esaka ~Acid Remix~ - The King of Fighters XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only, shared with Kyo Kusanagi and Goro Daimon)
- Yappari ESAKA - The King of Fighters XIV
- Under the Control of... - The King of Fighters XV
- ESAKA!! - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Show Time! - 1999 image song
- The Song of Fighters II - Shared image song with other King of Fighters characters
- The King of Fighters '94
- The King of Fighters '95
- The King of Fighters '96
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters '98
- The King of Fighters '99
- Capcom vs SNK
- The King of Fighters 2000
- The King of Fighters EX
- Capcom vs SNK 2
- The King of Fighters 2001
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters Neowave
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters XI
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match
- The King of Fighters XII
- The King of Fighters XIII
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
- Xuan Dou Zhi Wang
- CR The King of Fighters
- The King of Fighters XIV
- The King of Fighters XV
- The King of Fighters Mobile
- SNK Dream Battle
- Metal Slug Defense (unlockable)
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online
- Brave Frontier
- Crash Fever
- Puzzle & Dragons
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters Destiny (Game)
- The King of Fighters: World
- The King of Fighters All Star
- The King of Fighters: Orochi Go
- The King of Fighters M: Fighting Stars Assembly
- The King of Fighters for Girls
- SNK Fighting Age
- Days of Memories (second and fourth titles) - in-text cameos
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves - background cameo in Hokutomaru's stage
- SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy - in Miss X's ending
- The name Benimaru means "crimson, deep red" (紅) (beni) and "circle, pills, purity, suffix for ship names, complete" (丸) (maru).
- Benimaru's surname Nikaido means "two-storied, upstairs" (二階) (nikai) and "hall" (堂) (do).
- When Daimon uses Jirai Shin in KOF '95-'98, Benimaru and Kyo Kusanagi are the only background characters who'll jump.
- Benimaru has canonically won the most KOF tournaments. Kyo, Benimaru and Goro Daimon are the winners of all The King of Fighters tournaments hosted in the Orochi Saga. He also won The King of Fighters '99 alongside K', Maxima and Shingo Yabuki, and wins The King of Fighters XI alongside Elisabeth and Duo Lon. And the most recent ones in XIII and XIV. These victories are confirmed in Team Stories, Light Novels, and cutscenes.
- In his interview for KOF '98, he responded that he would like to fight Kyo Kusanagi as they only fought once and it was his loss. Here are the rest of his answers in the interview<ref>https://archive.org/details/Neo-Geo_Freak_1998-08_Geibunsha_JP/page/n15</ref>
- What is your aspiration in this competition? - "To stand out more than anyone. That is all."
- Who would you like to fight the most? - "Kyo Kusanagi. I've only had one fight with him. Although it was my loss."
- Who would you like to team up with? / Who would you not like to team up with? - "I want to fight alone if I can. The rest of the guys don't feel comfortable with just being companions?"
- What is "KOF" for you? - "Something like a stage for actors...Huh?"
- Finally, please give a word to your fans. - "I LOVE YOU!"
- It's been mentioned in an interview that Benimaru has many girlfriends.<ref>The King of Fighters XII for novices from Kotaku.</ref>
- It can be noted Benimaru and Jean Pierre Polnareff, his character inspiration, does share more elements than just the hairstyle: Being a gentleman, and their sense of justice.<ref>http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=benimaru</ref> Polnareff also inspired the creation of Capcom's Guile from Street Fighter series (to a degree) and Tekken's Paul Phoenix.
- One of Benimaru's many quotes is "Yare, Yare." This is possibly another reference to Capcom's Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure series.
- In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Benimaru was voted as the staff's thirteenth favorite character. He tied the spot with Samurai Shodown character, Shizumaru Hisame. In the character popularity poll on Neo Geo Freak's website, he was voted as the sixth favorite character with a total of 1,269 votes.
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash 2 Expand Edition SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS File:SVC Card Benimaru DuoLon.png Weiss Schwarz Weiss Schwarz SNK Dream Battle KOF98UM OL KOF98UM OL Kimi Wa Hero KOF All Star KOF All Star KOF All Star KOF All Star KOF All Star KOF All Star KOF All Star
Metal Slug Defense The King of Fighters '94 The King of Fighters '95 The King of Fighters '96 The King of Fighters '97 The King of Fighters 98 The King of Fighters 2000 The King of Fighters 2003 Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 The King of Fighters XII
- Benimaru Nikaido 95.jpg
KOF 95 artwork
- Benimaru Nikaido 96.jpg
KOF 96 artwork
- Benimaru Nikaido 99.jpg
KOF 99 artwork
KOF 2003 artwork
KOF XI artwork
KOF XII artwork
KOF XIII artwork
KOF XIV render