Hyo Imawano (忌野 雹 Imawano Hyō) is a fighting game character from the Rival Schools series of 3D fighting games.
Hyo has long silver hair tied in a high ponytail and black eyes. He wears a long red traditional military uniform with black outlines, a matching folded sleeves, a white armband on his left arm, golden straps at the center of the uniform, red military pants with a black belt to his waist and black boots. He also wears white gloves and his katana.
As Demon Hyo in Project Justice, Hyo is shirtless, his skin is pale, his hair is loose and his eyes are glowing red. He wields two katanas, one of which has a broken blade with spiritual abilities.
Although still a high school student, Hyo already had deadly proficiency in wielding a katana, and the family that raised him was also part of the "Reverse Society". This organization, in which Kurow Kirishima was also a member of, would eventually aim for the eradication of all Imawano clan members after Hyo himself had failed in his mission.
Prior to his debut in United by Fate, his father, Mugen, was already dead for reasons undisclosed up to this day. It was only in Project Justice that Mugen had unexpectedly made a manifestation of his evil spirit by forcibly possessing his own son in order to fulfill his personal ambition of ruling Japan and the rest of the world. This meant that Hyo had actually inherited his past ambition from his father. How Hyo was possessed by his own father was because the sword he was wielding had contained his father's own evil spirit.
What many people do not know about Hyo is this dark secret: the reason of how he was able to brainwash other people was that he himself was brainwashed by his own father since he was a young child; in other words, he has a "father complex".
Hyo first appears in Rival Schools: United by Fate as both the true final boss and main antagonist of the game. Revealed through the player meeting certain requirements during the penultimate fight against Raizo Imawano, Hyo is shown to be the true mastermind behind the events of the game's story and that Hyo himself is quite very resolved and determined to achieve and attain his personal ambition in having to reform and take over Japan and the rest of the world by force. It is eventually revealed that he had also brainwashed Raizo, who had just returned from another school the latter had intended to make and have a joint venture with. Hyo is ultimately defeated by students from Taiyo High School, which had included his redeemed twin brother Kyosuke and that Kyosuke himself convinces Hyo that there are better ways to change the world rather than use force, with Hyo personally accepting this belief and that he eventually apologizes and reconciles with Kyosuke and the rest of the cast.
In Project Justice, Hyo appears as the final boss of the game, but he is not the main antagonist this time around. In most of the game's Story Mode, he initially appears to defeat Kurow, who had been shown brainwashing Hyo earlier on from within the storyline itself. Before he defeated Kurow, he had told the latter that he wasn't affected at all by Kurow's brainwashing, pretending to be just so he could secretly learn about Kurow's evil plan while also effectively insulting Kurow as well, leading to the impromptu fight that results in Kurow's own bloody defeat. Afterwards, he is shown being taken over by his late father's evil spirit, where he becomes Demon Hyo, the final boss of the game.
Before fighting both Kyosuke and Batsu, Hyo briefly regains control of his body temporarily and he tells them to kill him right now in honor of the Imawano family at his final request before his evil father's spirit controls him again. Hyo is eventually freed and defeated by Kyosuke, but dies from the fight via his own injuries, much to his twin brother's personal sorrow and emotional agony.
Arsenal, combat style, and fighting strategyEdit
Hyo is one of the few characters to wield a weapon. Because of this, he is able to deflect simple projectile attacks back to his opponents.
His Demon form, although fast and powerful (he wields two swords instead of one), has many weaknesses regarding recovery time from delivering an attack. If blocked, Demon Hyo will be completely vulnerable, giving the opponent ample time for a Tardy Counter.
As Normal HyoEdit
- Horizontal Slice (Japanese: 一文字斬り Ichimonji Kiri) - Hyo does a horizontal slash that knocks opponents off their feet. Pressing the punch button a second time makes Hyo finish the attack as a Cross Slice.
- Cross Slice (Japanese: 十文字斬り Juumonji Kiri) - Connected from the Horizontal Slice, Hyo follows with a vertical slash that knocks the opponent into a random obstacle in the field, scoring a bonus hit. Good for ending combos.
- Cherry Blossom Dragon Slash (Japanese: 桜竜斬 Ouryuuzan) - Hyo does a rising spin-slash in a Shouryuuken-like manner; thus, it has the same drawback as Hideo's Jicchoken. It is very much similiar to Zero's rising slash techniques in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero games, also produced by Capcom.
- Heavenly Thunder Slash (Japanese: 天雷斬 Tenraizan) - An air-only attack. Hyo performs a descending slash that goes perpendicular to the ground. Best used as an Air Combo Finisher. It can also deflect simple projectile attacks back to his opponents. Its Hard Punch version hits twice. It is based on the downward-thrust Z-Saber techniques done by Zero in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero games.
- Iai Giri (居合斬り) - Hyo sidesteps and delivers a horizontal slash to the opponent. Pressing the punch button again for this attack's button combination will complete the sequence with Iai Giri Kai, as described below:
- Iai Giri Kai (居合斬り・改) - Done as an immediate follow-up to the Iai Giri. Depending on the punch button pressed for this attack, the second slash may be an upward slash, or a reverse slash that knocks the opponent off-balance. Any other special move or the Pitch-black Hurricane Slash can be followed after the former version, since the upward slash does not knock the opponent away from him.
As Demon HyoEdit
- Killer Blade (Japanese: 殺刃 Satsujin) - Hyo does a simultaneous cross-slash with both swords. It is also usable in the air. The ground version knocks the opponent into a random obstacle in the field, scoring a bonus hit. Much like the Genmurei techniques by Awakening Zero in Mega Man X5 and Zero Nightmare in Mega Man X6 (as Genmurei Kai), only weaker, and with limited range, compared to the aforementioned two.
- Rising Slash (Japanese: 昇斬 Shouzan) - The two-sword version of the Cherry Blossom Dragon Slash. A good anti-air attack.
- Fast Ride (Japanese: 疾駆 Shikku) - Hyo does a fast dashing slash. If it connects, it can be chained for up to three hits. It is of note, however, that if this move is blocked, he is completely vulnerable to Tardy Counters from the opponent.
In Both Versions of HyoEdit
- Phantasm Kick (Japanese: 幻影蹴 Gen'ei Shuu) - Although it looks like a backflip kick as his twin brother's, Hyo actually does a jumping backflip slash that has him landing a step ahead of his starting position. It is also usable in the air.
Burning Vigor AttacksEdit
As Normal HyoEdit
- Pitch-Black Hurricane Slash (Japanese: 暗黒疾風斬 Ankoku Shippuuzan) - Hyo does a fast dashing slash, setting the opponent on fire. Even if blocked, Hyo will end up a good distance away from the opponent, making the latter's attempts of counterattacking difficult.
- Pitch-Black Phantasm Kick (Japanese: 暗黒幻影蹴 Ankoku Gen'ei Shuu) - This is also usable in the air. Hyo does two Phantasm Kicks, then ends with a four-hit downward slash. The latter part usually catches novice opponents unaware, especially when their character is approaching from the ground.
- Pitch-Black Mirage Formation (Japanese: 暗黒幻影陣 Ankoku Gen'eijin) - Hyo starts with a waist-level spin-kick. If it connects, a mirror-image of himself will appear behind the opponent. Hyo and his mirror-image then execute a fast barrage of kicks to the opponent and finish the attack with a multiple-hitting ascending slash.
As of Project Justice, this move has dealt the most number of hits among all the other Burning Vigor Attacks--both his own other attacks and all the other characters' Burning Vigor Attacks. This is because this attack deals 25 hits of damage to the opponent.
As Demon HyoEdit
- Mugen-Style Silent Killer (Japanese: 霧幻流 瞬殺無音 Mugen-ryuu Shunsatsu Muon) - Hyo charges forward and does a spinning slash. With proper timing, this attack can become unblockable. Damage is massive, but it has horrible startup and recovery delay.
- Mugen-Style Pitch-Black Impact Slash (Japanese: 霧幻流 暗黒衝撃斬 Mugen-ryuu Ankoku Shougekizan) - Hyo does a fast, low slash that sends a fiery wave across the field. It deals only one hit, but the damage is decent, and does not have that much recovery delay. Furthermore, it has infinite range.
- Mugen-Style Dark Blizzard (Japanese: 霧幻流 闇吹雪 Mugen-ryuu Anfubuki) - Hyo is protected by a protective sphere of energy that draws the opponent closer to him, then knocks the latter away from him after the last hit. By repeatedly tapping the kick button for this move's button combination, this attack can score more hits. It is also usable in the air.
- Brutal Slashing (Japanese: 残酷斬 Zankokuzan) - The active character grabs the opponent from behind, leaving the latter vulnerable to an approaching Hyo. Hyo then slashes the opponent a few times, but the last slash also injures the active character. Demon Hyo's version is exactly the same as this, but is known as Mugen-Style Brutal Slashing (Japanese: 霧幻流 残酷斬 Mugen-ryuu Zankokuzan).
- Both versions of Hyo do the Purging Tempest.
Hyo appeared as a card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash.
- Given the fact that Kyosuke is his twin brother and that Batsu's father, Raizo, is their uncle, then, the twins are actually cousins of Batsu.
- Hyo's home life remained a mystery to this day and little was known about his academic life, other than the fact that Hyo performed well in almost any subject in school, and that he was the head of the Justice High student council. His special talent was brainwashing other people.
- In the Japanese version of Rival Schools, Hyo's white armband is written with the title "Seitou Kaichou" (生徒会長), meaning Student Council President. In the English version however, it's blank with no title. In both versions of Project Justice, his armband has the title.
- His official epithet is "Detestable Madness".
- It is also to note that both Project Justice and Mega Man X5 were released in Japan the same year, which may explain why some of Hyo's moves resemble some of Zero's skills, or vice-versa.
- Hyo's voice actor, Kaneto Shiozawa had passed away during the production of Project Justice, coinciding with the story of the game itself, wherein Hyo dies at the end. Another fighting game character that Shiozawa voiced and had died as well was Zato-1 (from the Guilty Gear series), whose soul was overcome by Eddie. Shiozawa was also the voice actor of both Vega and Kairi in the Street Fighter EX series.
- Hyo has a similar design to Sephiroth, the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VII. Both men have long silver hair, wield katanas as their main weapon, and their attack damage is quite powerful enough to defeat their opponents in a single blow. One of Hyo's alternate color palettes (black) makes the resemblance to Sephiroth a little more apparent.
- In the School Life Mode of Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, during Christmas Eve, Hyo is able to drink wine apparently.
For more of this character, see their gallery.