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Hyo Imawano (忌野 雹 Imawano Hyō) is a fighting game character and a villain-turned anti-hero in the 3D fighting game series Rival Schools.

Biography Edit


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 was also a member of, would eventually aim for the eradication of all Imawano clan members that were part of this organization when he failed in his mission.

Rival Schools: United By FateEdit

Hyo first appears in Rival Schools: United by Fate as the final boss of the game. Revealed through the player meeting certain requirements during a fight with Raizo, Hyo is shown as the mastermind behind the events of the game's story, with his goal to take over Japan. It is eventually revealed that he had also brainwashed Raizo, who had just returned from another school the latter intended to have a joint venture with. Hyo is ultimately defeated by students from Taiyo High School, which include his redeemed twin brother Kyosuke Kagami. Hyo is also playable in the game, with his ending showing him successful in his plans but regretting having to defeat Kyosuke in doing so, this ending is however non-canonical. Hyo is also the one who inflicted the scar over Daigo's right eye.

The full story about Hyo in United by Fate can be read in one of the references below.

Project JusticeEdit

In Project Justice, Hyo appears as the final boss of the game, but is not the main antagonist. In most of the game's Story Mode, he initially appears to defeat Kurow, who had been shown brainwashing Hyo earlier in the storyline. Before he defeated Kurow, he told the latter that he wasn't affected at all by Kurow's brainwashing, effectively insulting Kurow, and leading to the fight that results in Kurow's bloody defeat. Afterwards, he is shown being taken over by his father's 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 in honor of the Imawano family at his request before his evil father's spirit controls him again. Hyo is eventually freed and defeated by Kyosuke, but dies from the fight, much to his twin brother's sorrow.


Hyo is one of the few characters in the Rival Schools series 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.

Special MovesEdit

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.

Team-Up TechniqueEdit

  • 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).

Party-Up TechniqueEdit

  • Both versions of Hyo do the Purging Tempest.

Other Appearance Edit

Hyo appeared as a card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash.

Trivia Edit

  • 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.
  • Prior to his début at United by Fate, Hyo's father, Mugen, was already dead for reasons undisclosed up to this day. It was only in Project Justice that Mugen made a manifestation by possessing his own son in order to fulfill his ambition of ruling Japan. This meant that Hyo actually inherited the ambition from his father. How Hyo was possessed by his own father was because the sword he was wielding contained his father's spirit. The reason why Hyo was able to brainwash other people was that he himself was brainwashed by his own father since he was a child; he has a "father complex".[citation needed]
  • 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 Japanese version of Rival School, Hyo's white armband is written "Seitou Kaichou" (生徒会長), meaning Student Council President. In English version, however, it's blank and it didn't label anything. In both versions of Project Justice, his armband was written.
  • It is also of note that 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, passed away during the production of Project Justice, coinciding with the story of the game itself, wherein Hyo dies in the end. Another fighting game character Shiozawa voiced who died was Zato-1 (from the Guilty Gear series), whose soul was overcome by Eddie. He was also the voice actor of both Vega and Kairi in the Street Fighter EX series.
  • Hyo shares a little similar design to Sephiroth, the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VII, both men has long silver hair, wields katanas as their main weapon and their damage are powerful enough to beat their opponents in a single blow. One of Hyo's alternate color palletes (black) makes the resemblance to Sephiroth a little more apparent.

Gallery Edit

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References Edit

Rival Schools Characters
Rival Schools: United by Fate Akira · Batsu · Boman · Daigo · Edge · Gan · Hayato
Hideo · Hinata · Hyo · Kyoko · Kyosuke · Natsu
Raizo · Roberto · Roy · Sakura · Shoma · Tiffany
Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2 Nagare · Ran
Project Justice Chairperson · Kurow · Momo · Yurika · Zaki