Ken Ichijouji (一乗寺 賢 Ichijōji Ken?) is a fictional character in the Digimon Adventure 02 anime series. Ken is the final member of the 02 DigiDestined, partnered with Wormmon and holder of the Crest of Kindness. Unlike the other 02 DigiDestined, he lives in Tamachi.
Formerly introduced as the devious Digimon Emperor (デジモンカイザー Dejimon Kaizā?, lit. "Digimon Kaiser"), Ken works hard to try and atone for his wicked acts and eventually is helped along the way by Davis Motomiya as well as the others.
Before 2000, Ken is a very small boy with pale skin, messy dark blue hair and blue eyes. He wears a pink short-sleeved button-up shirt, grey shorts and white socks.
In 2000, Ken is slightly taller, and his hair is less messy. He wears a pink T-shirt with a blue collar and sleeve ends, brown shorts, white socks, and turquoise shoes with white soles.
In 2001, Ken's hair is tidier and combed to the right. He is shown wearing the summer version of the Tamachi Elementary School uniform: a white short-sleeved button-up shirt with the school symbol on the left breast tucked into grey pants, with black shoes.
In 2002, Ken's hair is straight and rather long, reaching his chin in the front and slightly shorter in the back. He is usually seen wearing Tamachi Elementary School's unform: a grey gakuran-style jacket with the school symbol on the collar, grey pants and black shoes.He is sometimes seen without the jacket, wearing a white button-up shirt with long sleeves and the Tamachi Elementary School symbol on the left breast.
As the Digimon Emperor, Ken sports spiky hair in varying shades of blue and light blue, which looks very similar to Sam's. He wears yellow sunglasses with purple lenses, a blue, gray and white jumpsuit, black shoes, cuffs on his wrists and ankles, a dark gray belt with a yellow buckle on it, and also a blue cape with a yellow lining that looks very much like insect wings, with golden-yellow shoulder pads.
During winter, he wears a warm sweater with a dark blue top, and a light blue bottom, and a purple lozenges pattern in the middle. He also wears a light green button-up shirt, white pants, black socks, and red shoes with black laces and grey soles.Outside, he wears a white scarf. While in Mexico, he doesn't wear his sweater and his shirt sleeves are rolled back.
In 2027, Ken is an adult, and his hair is longer and parted in the middle. He wears a grey shirt with a high collar over a black turtleneck sweater and grey pants. While working, he wears an open grey suit jacket over a light purple, grey pants with a black belt, a brown gun holster, and a light grey trenchcoat.
Ken, in his core, is a sweet and kind person. He is polite and courteous towards others, and has a gentle spirit. However, he is haunted by the death of his older brother, Sam, and later by his actions as the Digimon Emperor. His guilt and his desire to make sure no one else suffers because of him causes him to be self-sacrificing and believe he doesn't deserve happiness. As the DigiDestined, primarily Davis Motomiya, welcome him into their group, he opens up and begins to smile more. Ken has a blunt and sassy side to him, which he only shows with people he is comfortable with like his mother and Davis.
As the Digimon Emperor, Ken is cold, cruel and sadistic, enjoying nothing more than causing pain to Digimon and making him suffer for his amusement. This persona was fueled by the Dark Spore embedded in his neck, which corrupted him when it was activated in the World of Darkness.
Ken is very intelligent and athletic. Under the Dark Spore's influence, he became a top-level computer programmer and soccer player, and also excelled in activities like chess and judo. Even without said influence, Ken has good grades and is better at soccer than a talented player like Davis. Ken knows how to speak some Spanish, allowing him to communicate easily with Rosa in Mexico.
Ken is notable among the main 02 DigiDestined for being the only "new" member in that generation to own an original Digivice that later turned into a D-3, as well as the only one to have a crest of his own. Because of this, it is somewhat implied Ken was intended to be a DigiDestined more similar to the original eight.
Ken Ichijouji (一乗寺 賢) Name used in the Japanese version of Digimon Adventure 02 and related materials. Also used in multiple dubs, including the American English.
- Ichijouji (一乗寺?). Japanese surname that means "first temple".
- Ken (賢?). Masculine Japanese name that means "intelligent".
Digimon Adventure 02
As a young boy, Ken felt ignored by his parents in favor of his older brother Sam Ichijouji, who was a child prodigy. At times, Ken got along very well his brother and even showed admiration for him, especially when they went out to the balcony to blow bubbles together. However, because of everyone's attention being focused on Sam, he also finds himself jealous of his older brother, sometimes wishing that he was an only child.
One day while with Sam in his room, a Digivice came out of Sam's computer. It was meant for Ken, but neither of them knew this, so Sam picked it up and put it in his drawer, telling Ken not to touch the drawer until he could figure out what it is. When Sam left the room, Ken, in childish curiosity, touched the Digivice and was pulled through Sam's computer into the Digital World. There, he met his Digimon partner, Wormmon, and helped Ryo Akiyama in fighting Millenniummon. However, when Millenniummon was defeated, he forced out pieces of his data in the form of Dark Spores. Ken pushed Ryo out of the way of the incoming Spores, and one of them embedded itself in the back of his neck. Wormmon and Ryo tended to Ken for three weeks until he was well enough to return to the Real World, where he found that it's the same day as he had left; this is likely due to Millenniummon's ability to warp time and space. When Sam came back into his room and found Ken holding the Digivice, he scathingly berated Ken for breaking his trust and proceeded to kick Ken out of the room. As a result, Ken again found himself wishing that Sam "would just disappear".
Tragically, Sam died after being hit by a car shortly after that day. Ken was devastated following the accident, suffering from strong feelings of guilt because he felt that he'd somehow caused Sam's death by his "wish".
Some time later, an e-mail from a mysterious figure (revealed later to be Yukio Oikawa) told him to use the Digivice to escape the guilt and sadness over Sam's death. Ken did this and was transported to the Dark Ocean. There, Ken dipped his Digivice in the ocean, turning it into a dark D-3. Doing so caused the Dark Spore to activate, and Ken began believing that the Digital World is a place for him to shape and command as his own. From there, Ken adopted several aspects of Sam and very rapidly developed into a child prodigy, excelling perfectly at virtually everything that he chooses to pursue, whether it's an intellectual activity or an athletic one, such as chess or judo. He even became the star player of the Tamachi Soccer team, where he broke the record for scoring most goals in a league season with 45. However, as the Dark Spore developed and continued to influence him, Ken became heartless towards society, viewing everyone around him as pathetic insects beneath his notice. It's then that he set his sights on the world which could challenge him, a world that he felt it's his destiny to control: the Digital World.
Ken returns to the Digital World and, through the subtle, unseen manipulations of Arukenimon, assumes the guise of the Digimon Emperor and begins to take over using Dark Rings to enslave Digimon, similar to the Black Gears that Devimon used on the Digimon in File Island. The Dark Rings gives each Digimon glowing red eyes and make those up to and including a certain level completely obedient. Ken often uses these as sport, such as having two of them fight in a Colosseum-style arena, and keeps them locked in a sophisticated system of cages.
As the Digimon Emperor, Ken has many conflicts with the new DigiDestined as he plans to bring a new order to the Digital World. Ken's dark Digivice prevents the Digimon from being able to naturally digivolve, but Davis Motomiya's, Cody Hida's, and Yolei Inoue's Digimon are able to use Armor Digivolution to free his Dark Ring-enslaved Digimon. During one battle, they discover that the Control Spires allow the Dark Rings to work and also begin destroying them as well.
The new DigiDestined become aware of Ken Ichijouji as they watch a newscast about how he wins a National Computer Programming Contest (the dub states he wins by making a machine that can brush people's teeth for them). The news also mentions many of Ken's previous accomplishments, as well as shows an interview with his proud parents. Sometime later, Tamachi Elementary School's soccer team, Tamachi FC plays a match against Odaiba Elementary School's team. Though Ken only arrived for the second half, he recognizes the DigiDestined in the bleachers, and Davis on the team. Though he is annoyed by their presence, he keeps up the appearance of a well-mannered genius, even when Davis injures Ken's ankle in an attempt to block him from scoring a goal. While he continues to put on a polite facade and compliments Davis on his power, he retaliates as the Digimon Emperor by threatening to feed the other DigiDestined to Deltamon unless Davis degrades himself. However, the real DigiDestined soon appear, revealing that the Emperor deceived Davis. Ken vows to take over the world, but Davis tackles him in a scuffle. During the fight, Davis recognizes a familiar injury on the Emperor's leg. Defeated, Ken reveals that he is the Digimon Emperor and flies off.
With his identity revealed and his patience for humanity at an end, Ken abandons the Real World to live in the Digital World and assumes the Emperor identity permanently. During that time, he creates Dark Spirals to control Ultimate Level Digimon as well as some Champion Level Digimon like Tai's Greymon, who Ken digivolves into first a berserk SkullGreymon and then into a controllable MetalGreymon (Virus) through the Dark Spiral. His parents, with no knowledge of where he has gone, panic and make various televised pleas to try and search for Ken, but with no success. He also works on a special project, using data he collected from various Digimon to make his ultimate creation: Kimeramon.
However, Kimeramon proves to be uncontrollable, though Ken denies this is the case. Eventually, the DigiDestined manage to down Ken's flying base, and Kimeramon is destroyed by Magnamon with the aid of Ken's own partner, Wormmon. Ken refuses to believe that he lost and proclaims he would "reset" the Digital World, thinking it's just a computer program or a video game that could be rewritten. When the DigiDestined explain to him that it's a real place and that Digimon are living creatures, Ken, realizing the merciless cruelty he inflicted upon innocent lives, sheds the Digimon Emperor persona and collapses to his knees from the horror. He gets a chance to hold Wormmon in his arms before the Digimon dies from expanding his power, causing Ken to remember and relive the grief he experienced after his brother's death. Guilt ridden, Ken tearfully staggers off back to the Real World. By the time he returns home, he had been missing for several months.
Ken sleeps for days, in a type of coma, where memories of his brother, the Digivice and his first trip to the Digital World randomly surface in his mind. When he wakes, he develops amnesia and cannot recognize his parents. In a dazed state, he later travels to the Digital World and wanders aimlessly before finding himself in Primary Village. There, he is forced to remember his malicious actions by the baby Digimon, who angrily recall the abuse he'd inflicted. After crying out apologies in hysterics, realizing how truly sorry he is, Ken is reunited with Leafmon, the baby form of Wormmon reborn. He returns home, finally realizing he has those who love him and that he has a chance to set things right.
After that, Ken vows to atone for the horrible deeds he committed as the Emperor. As he does, he learns that he was used by Arukenimon when she takes all data relating to the Control Spires from the boy's computer. With Stingmon, Wormmon's Champion form, he begins the daunting task of destroying the Control Spires that he erected. At first, upon learning that Ken is back and doing good, Davis wants to ask Ken to join the team, but none of the other DigiDestined approve the idea, particularly Cody. They are convinced that he is still evil when Ken saves Cody's life by ordering Stingmon to destroy Thundermon in Primary Village. The DigiDestined believe that Thundermon is a real Digimon, but he is actually created from a Control Spire. Once the DigiDestined learn that in the next battle, they become more understanding.
When Ken finds out his fallen base is in danger of exploding, he and Stingmon arrive and try to stop it alone. However, Davis and ExVeemon refuse to let them sacrifice themselves, and their words of friendship resonate with Ken and Stingmon's hearts. Through this understanding, ExVeemon and Stingmon DNA Digivolve to form Paildramon.
After this, Ken becomes a member of the team, but despite joining them, he feels uncomfortable around the others. He is particularly uncomfortable around Cody, who still strongly dislikes him for what he did in the past. Mummymon and BlackWarGreymon. Slowly over time, he begins to integrate with the group and everyone, even Cody, becomes increasingly more accepting of his presence.However, he still takes part in clean up jobs and other tasks with the other DigiDestined, as well as helps out in all the battles against Arukenimon,
Ken's place on the team is unconditionally cemented when he holds a Christmas party and invites everyone over to his home. There, he is able to truly smile and laugh for the first time in a long while. Triceramon attacks, but Davis and Veemon arrive to help. During the fight, Paildramon receives the power to evolve to Imperialdramon. Davis and Ken ride on Imperialdramon to destroy Control Spires across Japan, before returning to Odaiba to pick up the other DigiDestined. Afterwards, Ken and Wormmon go to Mexico City with Matt and Gabumon to help a Mexican DigiDestined, Rosa and her partner, Gotsumon transport some loose Digimon back to the Digital World.On Christmas Day, as Control Spires and wild Digimon appear in the Real World, Ken is stuck in Tamachi when a
That night, when Ken gets home, he has a dream of his first time in the Digital World and the Dark Spore. The next day, Daemon and his Daemon Corps begin to appeared in Tokyo, and wreaks havoc while seeking Ken and the Dark Spore. But Arukenimon manages to convince Ken to come with her, using the children she "kidnapped" to motivate him. Once inside the truck, Ken is confronted by Yukio Oikawa, whom he had met at his brother's funeral a few years back. Oikawa reveals the nature of Dark Spore and copies its data into the other children, who had all been taken willingly. Oikawa attempts to hand Ken over to Daemon at Highton View Terrace, but the DigiDestined intervene. When they realize Daemon is too powerful an opponent, Ken uses his dark D-3 to open a gate to the Dark Ocean with the help of the other DigiDestined. After this, Ken finally introduces his stunned parents to Wormmon. The following day, now aware of what was going on, Ken’s father is happy to help the children look for Oikawa.
During the battle against MaloMyotismon, Ken is paralyzed with fear after witnessing MaloMyotismon's cruelty. While he is subjected to MaloMyotismon's illusion, he witnesses his desire is to see himself punished by every Digimon he enslaved for what he did as the Digimon Emperor. When the illusory version of him is deleted, he witnesses an illusionary version of his brother, alive and well. Ken's final epiphany occurs when the illusory "Sam" tells Ken that he can't change the past but can ensure a bright future for himself. Following his "brother's" final words and angry at having been manipulated yet again, Ken releases his guilt, crying out that he isn't the Emperor any more, that he is through with punishing himself and that he paid enough for his crimes. With that, his friends break through to him, encouraging him to break through the illusion and rejoin the final battle against MaloMyotismon. He then helps defeat MaloMyotismon once and for all with the light of his Digivice.
On Valentine's Day 2003, When Davis tries to assume the "Emperor" look, Ken tries to talk him out of it in vain. Ken manages to obtain the Digi-Egg of Kindness and armor digivolves Wormmon to Bucchiemon to stop Davis from reluctantly beating Veemon to get into character.
On Spring 2003, Ken reminisces about his brother, the mistakes of his past, and how happy and thankful he is now.
Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon
In March 25, it is discovered that Diaboromon survived his battle with Omnimon and used the time in between to reproduce as millions of Kuramon. While Taichi "Tai" Kamiya, Yamato "Matt" Ishida, Takeru "T.K." Takaishi and Kari Kamiya go with Omnimon, Angemon and Angewomon to battle Diaboromon online, the others track down the Kuramon who appear in the Real World. Omnimon manages to defeat Diaboromon. However, Diaboromon survives through his numerous Kuramon, which proceed to flood into the Real World. They reconfigure into Armageddemon and easily defeat Omnimon. ExVeemon and Stingmon manage to DNA digivolve into Imperialdramon Fighter Mode but are still defeated. Omnimon then lends them his power, and they are able to change into Imperialdramon Paladin Mode and defeat Armageddemon.
Digimon Adventure tri.
In 2005, Davis, Yolei, Cody, and Ken are defeated by Alphamon, and go missing. Despite this, Ken appeared to have survived and was later believed to have returned to his Digimon Emperor persona. 'Ken' observes an attack by the infected Ogremon on Primary Village and is spotted in the Real World by Maki Himekawa. He later appears again in the Real World to abduct Meicoomon, where the other DigiDestined identify him as Ken, then retreats back into the Digital World. When followed by Leomon, Gomamon, and Palmon, he infects Leomon and sends Imperialdramon to attack the two Rookies. After Imperialdramon Fighter Mode's defeat by Rosemon and Vikemon, he releases Meicoomon and vanishes. After the appearance of the Digimon Emperor, TK and Kari attempt to check up on Ken at his home but receive no answer. Later, Himekawa reveals that she is in possession of Ken's D3 Digivice and D-Terminal, which are used by the Digidestined to enter the Digital World after it is rebooted. It is later revealed that the Digimon Emperor was not Ken, but Gennai using Ken's old Digimon Emperor persona as an avatar.
At some point before the events of Digimon Adventure Tri, the Old Clock Shop Man summoned the heroes of the past to the Fusion universe to help take down Quartzmon. Ken shows up with Stingmon, Matt, and MetalGarurumon, and warp DNA digivolves Stingmon with Veemon to form Imperialdramon Dragon Mode.
After Digimon Fusion
As of the year 2027, Ken is a private investigator, or a police officer in the original version. He marries Yolei and has three children: a girl with a Poromon, a boy with a Minomon and a baby boy who has a Leafmon.
Digimon Adventure 02: Tag Tamers
Ken is a playable character in Tag Tamers, alongside Ryo Akiyama.
Ken and Ryo watch the battle against Diaboromon on Ken's computer, and send a mail of support to help Omnimon win. The next day, Veemon contacts Ryo through Ken's computer and asks him for help. After Millenniumon causes an explosion that splits the world in two, Ken is sucked into the Digital World as well. There, he meets Wormmon for the first time. When he finds out that Ryo is stuck in the other half of the Digital World, Ken is discouraged at first, but Gennai encourages him and inspires him to do the best he can to help Ryo. Ken and Wormmon work together to collect Digi-Egg fragments and items, and use Gennai's Reload Machine to momentarily sync the worlds and transfer them to Ryo and Veemon, and vice-versa.
After many battles, Ken and Ryo open the same door in their separate worlds, and face Moon=Millenniumon in his mind world. Once Moon=Millenniumon is defeated, the Digital World becomes one again. However, in a final move, Moon=Millenniumon shoots forth a Dark Spore. Ken puts himself in the way of the Dark Spores and gets hit, causing him to collapse. He wakes up later, and stays in the Digital World a bit longer to heal from his wounds. Wormmon notes that Ken has become a bit colder since being hit by the Dark Spore, and vows to protect him.
In the epilogue of the game, Ken is shown as the Digimon Emperor, declaring he is different from Millenniumon. A post-game dungeon set in Odaiba is presented as the Digimon Emperor's challenge for Ryo, though it is not considered part of the story.
Digimon Adventure 02: D-1 Tamers
Ken is back home, still recovering from his ordeal in the previous game, while Ryo tends to his injuries. Ryo soon gets sucked into the Digital World as he is called back to fight in the D-1 Tournament. Gennai sets up a connection from Ken's computer to Ryo, so the two can communicate, and Ken supports Ryo throughout his battles from afar. When Ryo disappears following his battle with Moon=Millenniumon, Ken expresses his belief that Ryo will return and they will meet again, even after a week of no one hearing from him.
Digimon Tamers: Brave Tamer
Ken is one of the DigiDestined Ryo has the option of rescuing. If chosen, Ryo will defeat Kimeramon to save Ken and Wormmon. Ken instantly recognizes Ryo from their previous adventures, though Ryo doesn't recognize him due to suffering from amnesia. He sends Wormmon along with Ryo in hopes that it will help his memory recover, as well as defeat Millenniumon once and for all.
Later, Ryo comes face to face with the Digimon Emperor. However, after defeating him, the Digimon Emperor reveals he is but a tool to Millenniumon and is destroyed, being revealed as an artificial construct created by Millenniumon.
Digimon Tamers: Digimon Medley
Ken has one Japanese image song, "ONLY ONE", sung by Romi Park. He has an additional image song, a duet sung by Park with Naozumi Takahashi as Wormmon, called "Hontou no Tsuyosa" ("True Strength"). Park also sings "Daisuke to Ken no Kaimono Carol" ("Daisuke and Ken's Shopping Carol") as a duet with Reiko Kiuchi as Davis Motomiya, and participates in "Bokura no Digital World" and in the male Digimon Adventure 02 characters' rendition of "Target~Akai Shougeki~" in the Digimon Music 100 Title Memorial Box.
Notes and references
|Digimon Adventure tri.|
|Main characters:||Taichi "Tai" Kamiya | Yamato "Matt" Ishida | Sora Takenouchi | Koushiro "Izzy" Izumi | Mimi Tachikawa | Joe Kido | Takeru "T.K." Takaishi | Kari Kamiya | Meiko Mochizuki|
|Digimon:||Agumon | Gabumon | Biyomon | Tentomon | Palmon | Gomamon | Patamon | Gatomon | Meicoomon|
|Antagonists:||Alphamon | Mysterious Man and Imperialdramon | King Drasil | Dark Masters|
|Other characters:||Daigo Nishijima and LoaderLiomon | Maki Himekawa and Tapirmon | Hackmon | Leomon | Ogremon | Homeostasis | Original DigiDestined and Harmonious Ones | Other characters|
|See also:||Digimon | Digital World | Digital Dimension | Quantum sea | Digivice | D-3 | D-Terminal | Backup field | Infected Digimon | Incorporated Administrative Agency | List of episodes|
|Fusion Fighters:||Mikey Kudo | Angie Hinomoto | Jeremy Tsurgi | Nene Amano | Shoutmon | Ballistamon | Dorulumon | Starmons | Cutemon | Beelzemon | Sparrowmon | Other members|
|Blue Flare:||Christopher Aonuma | Greymon | MailBirdramon | Other members|
|Midnight:||Nene Amano | AxeKnightmon | Sparrowmon | Tuwarmon | Tyutyumon | Other members|
|Bagra Army:||Bagramon | Tactimon | Laylamon | Blastmon | Other members|
|Other characters:||Ewan Amano | DigiCards | Other characters|
|Other media:||Super Digica Taisen | Super Xros Wars Red and Blue | Digimon Xros Archive | Digimon Fusion Fighters|
|See also:||Digimon | Digital World | DigiMelody | Fusion Loader | Darkness Loader | Code Crown | Xros Wars | DigiBytes | List of episodes|
|Digimon Fusion Season 2 (The Evil Death Generals and the Seven Kingdoms)|
|Fusion Fighters United Army:||Fusion Fighters | Blue Flare | Ewan Amano | Mervamon | Other members|
|Midnight:||Ewan Amano | AxeKnightmon | Tuwarmon | Tyutyumon | Other members|
|Bagra Army:||Bagramon | Laylamon | Blastmon | Midnight | Dark Generals | Other members|
|Other characters:||DigiCards | Other characters|
|Other media:||Super Digica Taisen | Super Xros Wars Red and Blue | Digimon Xros Archive|
|See also:||Digimon | Digital World | DigiMelody | Fusion Loader | Darkness Loader | Code Crown | Xros Wars | Generals | Dark Stone | List of episodes|
|Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time|
|Xros Heart:||Tagiru Akashi and Gumdramon | Mikey Kudo and Shoutmon | Ewan Amano and Damemon|
|Xros Heart's allies:||Hideaki Mashimo and Dobermon | Kiichi Funabashi and Locomon | Christopher Aonuma, Greymon, and MailBirdramon | Mizuki and Submarimon|
|Ryouma's team:||Ryouma Mogami and Psychemon | Ren Tobari and Dracmon | Airu Suzaki and Opossummon|
|Ken's team:||Ken and ShimaUnimon | Haruki and Witchmon | Noboru and Allomon|
|Crossovers:||Adventure/02 | Tamers | Frontier | Data Squad|
|Other characters:||Old Clock Shop Man and Clockmon | Angie Hinomoto, Cutemon, and Dorulumon | Jeremy Tsurgi and Ballistamon | Nene Amano, Sparrowmon, and Mervamon | Quartzmon | Other characters|
|See also:||Digimon | DigiQuartz | Digital World | Fusion Loader | Digimon Hunt | Hunters | Collections | Digi-Egg | List of episodes|
|Digimon Xros Wars (manga)|
|Fusion Fighters:||Mikey Kudo | Angie Hinomoto | Jeremy Tsurgi | Kotone Amano | Shoutmon | Ballistamon | Dorulumon | Starmons | Cutemon | Sparrowmon | Wizardmon | Gatomon | Other members|
|Blue Flare:||Christopher Aonuma | Greymon | MailBirdramon | Other members|
|Midnight:||Nene Amano | AxeKnightmon | Sparrowmon | Shademon | Other members|
|Fusion Fighters United Army:||Fusion Fighters | Blue Flare | Royal Knights | Nene Amano | Luminamon | Other members|
|Bagra Army:||Bagramon | Tactimon | Laylamon | Blastmon | Other members|
|Other characters:||ZeedMillenniummon | Tatsuya Sano | Other characters|
|See also:||Digimon | Digital World | DigiMelody | Fusion Loader | Darkness Loader | Code Crown | Xros Wars | Generals | Xros Code | Abyss Truffle | DigiBytes | Digi-Egg | List of chapters|