The King of Fighters 15 tagline, Shatter All Expectations, is one that SNK has lived by from the very first announcement. As character reveals continue to surface for SNK’s upcoming fighter, several announcements are meant to catch fans off guard, keeping King of Fighters fans from expecting too much of the status quo.
The first example of this was the Hero team, initially consisting of two of its former members, Shun’ei and Meitenkun, rounding out with Benimaru. Benimaru, in the past, teamed with Kyo as part of the “Hero” team historically, yet with this roster mix-up, it led to the inevitable Three Sacred Treasures team. With King of Fighters’ latest character announcement, the reveal not only shook fan expectations, but was an inclusion that most fans wanted for a long time.
The night before the announcement, the official SNK Global Twitter posted a teaser image asking its fans to guess the next character announced for King of Fighters 15. Some fans had guessed Ryo Sakazaki, the older brother of Yuri Sakazaki who was recently announced. Other fans would correctly guess Yashiro, a fan-favorite among a fan-favorite team whose last playable appearance was King of Fighters ’02 UM.
The announcement of Yashiro Nanakase marks the first time in 24 years, since King of Fighters ’97, that he has made a canon appearance in a King of Fighters game. This will also be the first time Yashiro transitioned from 2D to 3D, alongside several of his signature attacks like his Capoeira-esque sweep and his one-handed pushup taunt.
A remix of his team’s theme from KOF ’97 also makes a return, complete with a new voice, as he fights against Iori, his rival from ’97. With Yuri and Yashiro both without a full team, it is assumed that Yashiro’s teammates from ’97, Shermie and Chris, will also make a return in some capacity, joining Yashiro.
The King of Fighters 15 will release sometime in 2021.