Kyoya Ootori, a 2nd-year student at Ouran Academy, is the cost-conscious and calculating Vice-President of the Host Club which he co-founds with his best friend, Tamaki Suoh. Despite Tamaki's position as the President, Kyoya is the true director, playing the role of a puppet-master behind the scenes, thus earning him the nickname of "The Shadow King." As the third son of the wealthy and noble Ootori family, he believes he must surpass his two elder brothers if he wishes to please his father. He works extremely hard to meet his strict father's high expectations in order to be considered as the next family patriarch, however unlikely that may be. In the anime, it is seen that under the influence of Tamaki's friendship, his younger demeanor as a superficial cad is transformed and Kyoya grows to be a rational, but humanistic individual. His obsession with the patriarchy is all but gone and this, ironically, pleases his father most of all.
As the vice-president of the Host Club, Kyoya handles all financial and planning aspects, from managing budgets to selling off merchandise in order to keep the club solvent, while still funding Tamaki's extravagant schemes. His manner in dealing with clients is self-assured and charming, and he is said to be the "Cool" type. He uses his wiles as a Host to entertain guests while simultaneously earning the club money through events, online auctions of personal host objects, fanzines and doujinshi. As a complete foil to Tamaki, even in appearance, he often realizes things Tamaki or the others are too naive to understand, keeping the information to himself for his own amusement or to watch things play out in order to determine how best to help the other members. He is the "Mommy" to Tamaki's "Daddy" position in the club, though he eschews the title in relation to Haruhi in the anime; while in the manga, he sometimes uses the title to his advantage.
Kyoya is calm, logical, and has superior intelligence. He also can come across as rather detatched, and sometimes threatening when need be. He is a diligent secretary for the club and tracks continuous data on the club's guests and fortunes through his netbook, tablet or notebook. He is very fond of his best friend, Tamaki Suoh, giving him free rein when it comes to club matters. He gets along with Haruhi and they often chat, both being level-headed people of equivalent intelligence and low emotionality.
He is from the wealthy and influential Ootori family, which manages a health care zaibatsu. His family is extremely well-known in their chosen field and employs a private police force called The Black Onion Squad. Though equally qualified to become patriarch of the Ootori family, he feels overshadowed by his two older brothers, who are far more likely to inherit their family's mantle than he. However, despite the circumstances, he has confidence in his own abilities and finds the situation to be more of an interesting game than a roadblock.
He prefers to sleep late, often due to business and schoolwork keeping him up until the wee hours; and he suffers from hypotension, which makes rising difficult. In Ep 17 - Kyoya's Reluctant Day Out! , he chastises the other Hosts for waking him up because he himself did not fall asleep until 5 a.m. He is called the "Low Blood Pressure Lord" by his friends due to the murderous aura he emits whenever they wake him up loudly or prematurely and because of his generally bad mood in the morning.
He is very polite to people who are in power or related to it, and claims he only helps people who can benefit him somehow. Haruhi finds this to be untrue when they spend time together at a mall. While there, Kyoya prevents a woman from being scammed and tells Haruhi that he did so because he knew she was the wife of a family business client due to a ring she wore. Haruhi disputes his being able to see the ring and chides that Kyoya is a lot like Tamaki - a good person who willingly helps others out of his own free will - but different in that he prefers to maintain an indifferent facade.
Kyoya has short, black hair, styled into a casual look and has brownish-grey eyes. He is tall, thin and wears slim, rimless glasses which flash whenever he is scheming, angry or secretly frightened, though this trait is not limited to these emotions. He also has a habit of pushing his glasses to the bridge of his nose or adjusting them somehow when seeking to clarify an idea. Like the other Hosts, he prefers designer wear with his fashion sense leaning towards a modern classic look interspersed with trendy items of clothing. He is always impeccably groomed, dressed appropriately for any occasion, and is naturally stylish and neat, though he appears rumpled and disheveled upon awakening in Kyoya's Reluctant Day Out! when forced to join the other club members in order to tour a commoner mall.
Kyoya's rose color in the Host Club is lavender. In Japanese culture, this signifies privilege and wealth, which Kyoya possesses. In Western culture, the purple rose is a symbol of enchantment and love at first sight. As the "Cool" type, Kyoya is exceedingly charming and it should be noted that Renge falls in love with his photograph before ever meeting him.
There has long been a controversy on what "star sign" Kyoya was born under. Early in the manga, Bisco Hatori lists Kyoya as a Cancer, but later changes his birthday to November 22nd, thus changing his star sign. Yet, even there, fans debate whether he is a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. From an astrological standpoint, his birthday of November 22nd falls on the cusp of both Scorpio (the Scorpion) and Sagittarius (the Archer), thus giving him a combination of traits from either sign, although the Scorpion traits tend to be emphasized. Nonetheless, the positive traits of Scorpio are determination, fearlessness, poise, loyalty, ambition and intuition; the negative traits being jealousy, secretiveness, resentment and a controlling nature. The positive traits of Sagittarius are intellectual capacity, independence, wit and a healthy sense of competition; the negative traits being a tendency to be brutally honest and easily bored.
Another area of contention regarding the Shadow King is whether or not he smirks. A smirk, by definition, is a type of evoking insolence, scorn, or offensive smugness. It may also be an affected, ingratiating smile to gain favor through a false front. In both definitions, it indicates negative intent. Fanfiction is the usual format where such disagreement arises with some fans insisting that a smirk is merely a playful smile.
The Ootori family
Kyoya is the youngest of the Ootori siblings and is the third son of Yoshio Ootori, the patriarch of the wealthy Ootori family. Although he is neither the heir apparent nor the next-in-line in regards to the family's succession, he has commented that attempting to become the heir apparent is "an exciting game," and that he plans to outshine his brothers when the moment is right. The Ootori family is well-known in the health care business, which follows the zaibatsu management model.
Historical note: This form of corporate management has fallen out of favor in modern-day Japan, replaced by what is known as the keiretsu, or subsidiary management, which unifies related businesses without a single, all-encompassing controlling family or person. An example of a zaibatsu that has since become a keiretsu is the Mitsubishi Group.
The patriarch of the Ootori family and Kyoya's father, Yoshio Ootori, is portrayed as a cold and calculating man. Although his youngest son tries hard to please him, he acts in a callous and uncompromising manner towards him, even going as far as to slap his son in public when he learns of Kyoya's role as Director of the Host Club, which he deems frivolous. His need to control all aspects of his life extends to his four children, whose futures he maps out according to his own whims.
The matter of Kyoya's future as the heir apparent is not established by Bisco Hatori, who felt it was always a future matter; however, it it implied to be a possibility in the manga. In the anime, Yoshio is both shocked and amused when he learns of Kyoya's involvement in preventing the hostile take-over of Ootori Medical by the Tonnerre family, and the subsequent and anonymous return of the company to him by someone with the initials K.O. (both Kyoya's initials and a play on the phrase "Knock-Out"). Yoshio also states, in the anime, that Haruhi would make a good wife for his son and that Tamaki is also a positive influence on Kyoya. It should be noted that he is the business partner of Renge's father.
Mrs. Ootori (The Ootori Matriarch)
Kyoya's mother is only referred to in Chapter 48 of the manga when, during the sports tournament, Kyoya comments that both of his parents are at work and unable to attend. Note: While the anime suggests her presence in Kyoya's Reluctant Day Out!, the subbed version (and more reliable translation) makes it clear that the comments expressed regarding Kyoya are made by a guest.
Yuuichi Ootori is Kyoya's eldest brother and only appears in the family portrait depicted in the anime, and occasionally in the manga. He is a graduate of Medical School and is already working with his father at the same hospital. Although his youngest brother sees him as the next patriarch of the Ootori family because of his first-born status, Kyoya is willing to challenge this assumption through his own efforts.
Akito Ootori is the second son in the Ootori family and, like Yuuichi, only appears in the family portrait depicted in the anime; in the manga, however, he contributes significantly to its storyline. As an undergraduate of Medical School and aiming to achieve a Master's Degree in Business Administration after becoming a doctor to assist Yuuichi, it could be said that he has quite a lot of expertise; however, he lacks the amibition to compete against his elder brother. He also obsessively scrutinizes Kyoya's and his friends' lives whenever they set foot into the Ootori household.
Fuyumi Ootori-Shido is the third (or conjectured fourth) of the four children in the Ootori family, and the only daughter. In the anime, she appears in Ep 24 - And so Kyoya Met Him! during Kyoya's flashbacks regarding his early days with Tamaki and has been shown to genuinely care about her younger brother. Although she appears to be somewhat lacking in housework and organization, she seems to be a kind-hearted person who tries her best. In the manga, it is revealed that she is in an arranged marriage with a man of the surname Shido, though they are happily in love. When she returns home for a short visit, her father scolds her, as if to say that her place is no longer in their house. In the manga, she and Tamaki are pursuing a tour of commoners' food together.
As constant classmates since middle-school, Tamaki is one the few people who has gotten close to Kyoya through sheer determination and sincere interest. Their friendship, while intially forced (perhaps on both sides), becomes a genuinely close bond, to the point that Tamaki calls himself "Daddy" to Kyoya's "Mommy" (based on their respective positions as the President and Vice-President of the Host Club). Although Tamaki sometimes annoys Kyoya, the two accept one another's eccentricities.
Upon their first meeting, Kyoya is shown to be polite and pleasant to Tamaki, though taken aback by the other's behavior. He is also shown to envy Tamaki's position as an only child and heir apparent to the affluent Suoh family business, despite his illegitimacy. His frustration and envy eventually makes itself known when he accuses Tamaki of not trying hard enough, but his emotional accusations are calmly refuted when the other replies that it is Kyoya himself who has given up. When he realizes that Tamaki's words are correct, he discards his father's desires for his own, to the point that he co-founds the Host Club with his best friend on the basis that it is a "crazy idea."
Due to having the school records in his possession, Kyoya is the first of the Host Club members to realize Haruhi's true gender, although he chooses to keep this information to himself in order to view the reactions of the other Hosts. In return, she is one of the few people to realize his true nature beneath his detached facade. The two of them, along with Mori, are level-headed and rational in nature; Kyoya being the most serious, Mori being the most quiet and Haruhi being the most down-to-earth. Haruhi can often be found standing or sitting beside Kyoya during club interactions, quietly observing and, although Kyoya amuses himself by teasing Haruhi about her debt (either by threatening to increase it or offering to cut it back in return for her co-operation in some crazy Host Club scheme), the two share a friendship based on their mutual respect for each other's intelligence and character.
Kyoya's romantic interest in Haruhi is either unacknowledged or suppressed in the anime and manga, respectively, in order to allow his best friend, Tamaki, to find happiness with her. This surprises Honey, as he thought that the Vice-president would be the most affected by the female's presence. Kyoya later explains that while he was interested in her, he did not feel as if pursuing her possessed enough merit for him. Whether this is because of a lack of sentiment or respect for his friendship with Tamaki is never verified.
In the anime, Kaoru and Kyoya have a decent rapport but minimal interaction; however, in the manga, their interactions are more substantial. In the manga, during the sports festival, Kaoru is entrusted with the task of gathering information on the Red Team's members, to assist White Team Captain Kyoya in deciding which candidate to play, an indication of Kyoya's confidence in Kaoru's intelligence and investigative abilities. Then, in Chapter 73 of the manga, Kaoru visits Kyoya's home to discuss problems regarding Haruhi. Having arrived too early, the Vice-President awakens to the twin lying on his bed and reading a book. Kyoya is disturbed by this, but Kaoru explains that he wanted to wait in the living room but was afraid that Kyoya's second oldest brother, Akito, would discover him. Kaoru dislikes both of Kyoya's two elder brothers, but especially Akito because he obsessively checks on Kyoya's life. The youngest Ootori tells the younger Hitachiin twin not to badmouth his brothers because, at present, they exceed his educational level but that one day he will surpass them. And finally, during the chapters when Kyoya is searching for Tamaki's mother, it is Kaoru with whom Kyoya discusses things and shares his usually shuttered feelings, demonstrating the level of trust that has developed between them.
Honey, despite liking cute things and acting like an elementary schoolboy, is actually gifted and has the skill to understand things quite clearly. He is the first one to notice all the male hosts' feelings for Haruhi. In the manga, when Haruhi and Tamaki finally get together, he tells Kyoya that he thought Kyoya was the most oblivious one to his feelings for Haruhi. Kyoya replies that while he acknowledges Haruhi, he could not marry someone who did not bring merit to his family. He then adds that he is happier that Haruhi is together with his best friend, Tamaki. Honey and Kyoya are considered to be the most mature members of the Host Club, being the first and second people to recognize Haruhi as a girl and both understanding things quickly. While they do not seem to interact very much, they have a deep respect for one other.
Renge becomes infatuated with Kyoya when her father shows her a photograph of the Ootori family, who are business associates. Mistaking him for the dating sim character, Miyabi Ichijo of Uki Doki Memorial (a game that she plays non-stop in her Parisian abode), she jumps on a plane straight away and flies off to meet her crush. However, once she enrolls in Ouran Academy as a 1st-year and meets Kyoya, her mistakes are pointed out. Instead of leaving the Host Club for her home, she decides to stay on- as the Host Club's manager. Though Kyoya is often harsh with her, albeit for her own good, they manage a civil relationship with Kyoya even complimenting Renge on occasion.
Haruhi's father and Kyoya maintain a friendly relationship, communicating with some regularity regarding Haruhi's involvement in the Host Club, as well as other matters relating to her school life. However, it is not only Ryoji that gains from this amiable relationship; Kyoya uses Ryoji to gain information about Haruhi, as well as to obtain artifacts that were once hers to sell for profit, thereby adding to the Club's treasury. This is shown when Kyoya offers photographs of Haruhi while she was in middle school as a prize in the contest held in Ep 08 - The Sun, the Sea, and the Host Club!
Kuze is the captain of the American Football Team, who, according to Renge, are the Host Club's direct antagonists. Kuze has a long lasting feud with Kyoya since preschool, when Kyoya impressed all of the girls in class by outdoing Kuze's own knowledge of his family's imported fruits. Since then, Kuze challenges Kyoya every chance he gets in hopes of one day proving his superiority, but Kyoya always wins. Kuze is quick to blame Kyoya for anything, like the prank gift he receives on his 18th birthday.
Kanan is Kuze's girlfriend and fiance. Although Kyoya is a year younger than her, their parents are good friends, thus the two have been friends since childhood despite Kyoya's rivalry with Kuze. They seem to understand each other fairly well, instanced by Kanan's respect for his competence and Kyoya's statement that she is "surprisingly feminine." Kanan tries to dissuade her fiance from challenging Kyoya because she knows Kyoya will always win. Both enjoy getting a rise out of Kuze.
- Kyoya's blood type is AB, which superstitious people believe indicates a split-personality or, at the very least, mood swings.
- His many nicknames include "Demon Lord," "Hypotensive Devil," "Low Blood Pressure Evil Lord," "The Shadow King" and "Mommy."
- Kyoya's nicknames usually result from his habit of being a grouchy rise, puppet master, vice-president of the Host Club and outwardly detached nature.
- Although Kyoya is left-handed, Bisco Hatori did not take much note of this while drawing him and merely added this fact at the end of volume 10.
- Bisco Hatori believes that Kyoya's name was subconsciously derived from the Japanese word "megane," meaning eyeglasses; the Kanji for the "Kyo" syllable of his name is the same in that word.
- Bisco Hatori has stated that if the first chapter had been cut by ten pages, Kyoya would probably not exist.
- Kyoya's laptop, along with all other forms of technology, have a pineapple on them as a parody of Steve Job's Apple-logo products.
- Bisco Hatori claims in the manga that Kyoya is a "pretty pure kid," though she never explains what that means.
- J. Michael Tatum voices the dubbed version of both Kyoya and Sebastian Michaelis in Kuroshitsuji, both characters having the same calm and collected personalities, with a similar build and a famous demon-like glare.
- Kyoya's English voice actor, J. Michael Tatum, is both a scriptwriter and director for the English dubbed anime.
(To Haruhi) You can always pay for the [flowers] with your body.
(To his guests) Beauty is as vain as these cherry blossoms. You will never be able to see the same shape for two days.
(To Tamaki) Talk dream-speak only in your dreams.
(To Tamaki) Sleep first, then dream.
That's a very intriguing notion, in its own way.
I'm okay with anything as long as it doesn't harm me.
(To Haruhi) Our motto is to make use of our characteristics to answer customers' needs.
(To Tamaki) What is it now...Daddy?
Use whatever is at hand, be it friend or foe.
You're a very fascinating woman, Haruhi.
- ↑ Chapter 3
|• Tamaki Suoh • Kyoya Ootori • Hikaru Hitachiin • Kaoru Hitachiin|
|• Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka • Takashi "Mori" Morinozuka • Haruhi Fujioka|
|• Benio Amakusa • Chizuru Maihara • Hinako Tsuwabuki|