Kanji Tatsumi is known to the town of Inaba as a punk due to his short temper and his fight with a local biker gang, even though he is truly kind-hearted and enjoys sewing as a hobby. In Persona 4: Arena, Kanji crushes opponents with his trusty chair and his Persona.
- High damage combos, high damage throws, high speed punishes, high mobility for a grappler and a strong air backdash usable forward and backwards
- Poor mobility, cannot control space while using fast methods of movement, slow attacks, persona reliant, cannot microdash
- Movement Options
- 1 Double Jump/Airdash, Run-type Dash (with delayed startup)
- Kanji is the grappler in the game. He is able to limit the opponent's movements by hitting the opponent with a long range attack or his Furious Action, both of which causes paralysis, then try to get close to do high damage combos or high damage command throws. He can also throw opponents out of the air with his anti-air throw, and his air-to-ground throw (which can catch air opponents as well).
Several of Kanji's moves can be followed up with an 'Additional Cruel Attack' for more damage/positioning. For the sake of simpler damage values, the damage from the followup is omitted.
- See also: Kanji Full Frame Data
A slow kick that has decent range. SP gain is between 2.5-2.9. Good for catching people jumping away from you. Kanji's fastest non grab punish.
Backwards swing with the chair. Good for juggling opponents, jump canceling, block strings and tick grabs.
Forwards swing with the char. This is the hit where Kanji gains around 1/8th of his burst back and around 10 meter for doing a Dial A autocombo. There is a gap between 5AA and 5AAA on block however, so be careful!
Kanji yells and a text bubble appears around him. Leaves Kanji at -1 on block, so it's useful for tick throw setups. Causes a spin state on Counter Hit that allows Kanji to combo into his command grabs. Can chain from 5B to 2B when the opponent is either juggled, crouching, or on Counter Hit. Can gattling into itself again but the text bubble will not appear, preventing it from hitting the opponent. Can erase certain projectiles, such as Yukiko's fans.
Anti air swing with the chair. On Counter Hit, attack is untechable until the opponent hit the ground. Very slow, much slower than everyone else's 2B but the hitbox catches some dash-overs well due to the swing angle. Very punishable on whiff. On CH, the opponent cannot tech until they hit the ground, allowing for massive damage. Kanji's only move that can gattling into 2D.
Head attribute invul starting from frame 9.
|All Out Attack||300||HA||O||26||3||24||-5||Body||14-26 Guard||Click!|
|All Out Rush||180xN||All||O||-||-||-||-||Body||-||Click!|
|All Out Finish (C)||1800||All||O||-||-||-||-||Body||-||Click!|
|All Out Finish (D)||1000||All||O||-||-||-||-||Body||-||Click!|
Overhead headbutt. Very poor range. 16 Hit no followup deals 1260 damage, 13sp. 16 Hit Fatal Counter C followup deals 1860 damage, 19sp. 16 Hit Fatal Counter D followup deals 1565 damage, 16sp. While the range for Kanji's AoA is lacking, it happens to be the safest AoA in the game at -5 on block, and the armor can be quite useful in his block strings.
Drop kick. Kanji's universal sweep. Hits low, knocks down, and is somewhat difficult to punish at max range. Has airborne property soon after starting up. Allows for cruel followup. Kanji's fastest long range punish.
|1200 (1980)||HLA||SO||25 (64)||3||29||-8||Body||-||Click!|
Long reaching slam with Take-Mikazuchi's lightning bolt. Staggers on ground counter hit. Can be delayed by holding down the button, and becomes a feint if held down long enough. Fatal counters on counter hit. While it looks like a massive poke, the vertical hitbox is lacking. Forces Fatal Counter and max damage if button is released 1 frame before persona disappears (hold for 50 frames - entries in parentheses reflect this version).
If the opponent crosses Kanji up as he presses or holds 5C, Take-Mikazuchi will turn to face the opponent.
|1200 (1980)||HLA||SO||31 (64)||2||11||+6||Foot||-||Click!|
Take-Mikazuchi does a low swipe that pulls the opponent towards Kanji. Can delay the attack by holding down the button and becomes a feint if held down long enough. Fatal counter on counter hit. Recovers quite fast on whiff. Useful for blockstrings, as it pulls the opponent in on hit or block, and catches all back dashes (Barring Aigis' orgia backdash) if canceled into. Forces Fatal Counter and max damage if button is released 1 frame before persona disappears (hold for 54 frames - entries in parentheses reflect this version).
Kanji jumps back slightly as Take-Mikazuchi crushes the opponents between his fists. On ground counter hit, causes Fatal Counter and crumple. j.C is delayable by holding down the button and if you land with the button held, the attack is canceled completely, useful for feinting into a grab. Used as an anti-anti air, as the hop allows Kanji to dodge most anti airs and the move's body type allows it to go through head invincibility moves. However, keep note that there's a high chance that you'll need to sacrifice a Persona card for it to work, depending on the spacing.
|300 per bolt||HLA||-||35 (3)||5||5D: 33
Take-Mikazuchi summons lightning that strikes straight down from across the screen. Can press D up to 3 times to shoot more lightning bolts. Useful for controlling space and making the opponent block when full screen while Kanji runs towards the opponent. Shocks on hit. Take-Mikazuchi has brief projectile invincibility on initial startup and on each lightning bolt. Recovery listed is the total duration of the move for Kanji himself. (ie: 33f after pressing 5D, the move has not hit yet, but Kanji can block/move freely.)
2D places the bolt at about mid-range with a lot of recovery, 5D with little recovery at full screen (when zoomed in), and j.D at nearly full screen when zoomed out.
Kanji cannot use his persona based abilities until Take-Mikazuchi disappears or the fourth lightning bolt has been used. If a move involving Take-Mikazuchi is used after the fourth lightning bolt (Such as 5C), Take-Mikazuchi will perform the move wherever he is standing rather than at Kanji's location.
Kanji slides forward, grabbing the opponent and throwing them behind him. Can followup with Additional Cruel Attack.
Because it inherits Kanji's dash velocity, Kanji can increase the range of the grab by using it while dashing, making him slide significantly further and faster for somewhat of a surprise attack.
Up close, there is little reason to use this over a command grab. Mostly used to switch positions with the opponent to corner them, or because Take-Mikazuchi is on screen, which prevents Kanji from using his command grab. On CH, throws opponent to 5D spacing.
Take-Mikazuchi gives Kanji an electric aura and autoguards any incoming attacks. If the opponent touches or attacks Kanji, then they get hit and become shocked. Can be super canceled on hit/block, particularly useful to combo into 236236A/B for damage and better oki, or to punish the opponent's punish attempt on block with 236236A/B or 214214C/D. If this attack happens to land meaty on an opponent, a 5AA 236C followup is possible.
|A||500, 250||HLA||UO||17||3, 6||37||-3||Body||-||Click!|
|B||1200, 600||HLA||UO||27||6, 6||33||+1||Body||-||Click!|
|SB||1200, 600||HLA||U||26||6, 6||33||+1||Body||-||Click!|
- A Version
Jumps forward and slams the chair in front of him, leaving you next to the opponent, although negative on block. Shortest range. Forces crouch on hit. On CH, allows Kanji to combo into 5AA 2B 236C.
- B Version
Jumps forward and slams the chair in front of him, leaving you near the opponent with an advantage on block, allowing Kanji to do a grab/blockstring mixup. Longer range than A version, but slower and more vertical. Can cancel startup into j.214A/B. Primarily used for extending combos, as it keeps the opponent juggled on air hit. Knocks down if the opponent is grounded.
- SB Version
Has the best of A and B versions, with speed, and range. Forces crouch on hit. Can cancel startup into j.214A/B. Particularly useful for guaranteed combo extensions off of Fatal Counter 5C. Cannot juggle like 236B. Allows for a 5AA 2B 236C followup on CH.
Added Cruel Attack
236A/B after knockdown
|1000 (1500)||HLA||U||27||6||47 (33)||-||Body||-||Click!|
This version of the Cruel Attack has a red shadow, and homes in on the opponent's location to knock them airborne off the ground. Can be delayed on certain moves (J.214x, 236C) in order to land during the opponent's neutral tech, leaving you at the perfect timing for a mix-up. (Entries in parentheses represent SB version.) The normal followup has a minimum scaling of 200, and the SB variation has a minimum of 600.
|C||0, 250, 3500, 100, 50x5 (2424)||Throw||U, Cruel||5||4||31||-||Throw||1-5 Throw, 3-5 Full||Click!|
|D||0, 250, 4000, 100, 50x5 (2734)||Throw||U, Cruel||24||4||31||-||Throw||1-2 Throw, 3-27 All||Click!|
|SB||0, 250, 4500, 100, 50x5 (3034)||Throw||U, Cruel||4||4||31||-||Throw||1-4 Throw||Click!|
- C Version
Command throw. Comes out fast and does good damage. One frame faster than Kanji's 5A, making it a better go-to punish in some situations. Throw invincible on startup. Has some normal invincibility as well. A short tutorial discussing the invincibility and uses of 214C over 214D is available here.
- D Version
Command throw. Has a long startup, but has a long duration of invincibility. Has throw invincibility from the first frame. Does more damage than C version.
- SB Version
Comes out one frame faster than C version and does the most damage. Paralyzes the opponent, though much shorter duration than the paralysis from his DP or D moves. Has the least invincibility of Kanji's command grabs.
|C||0, 360, 180x8 (1800)||Throw||One More Cancel, Cruel||14||11||16||-||Throw||-||Click!|
|D||0, 280, 140x8 (1400)||Throw||One More Cancel||72||18||31||-||Throw||-||Click!|
|SB||0, 280, 140x8 (1400)||Throw||-||117||16||27||-||Throw||-||Click!|
- C Version
Kanji's Persona flies skyward at a 45 degree angle, grabs the opponent, then slams them to the ground. This attack even automatically switches sides! Kanji remains on the ground during this attack, yelling gloriously. C Version comes out immediately. However, due to the P1 of this move, it is a very poor combo starter.
- D Version
This version waits for the opponent to jump - if the opponent is airborne after frame 43 (or if 72 frames pass), Take-Mikazuchi lunges forward at a low angle. This can be used to fool opponents who try to delay their jumps when avoiding the C version of this attack, or as a reset to catch people who air tech poorly. Does less damage, but leaves the opponent vulnerable for a combo. Take-Mikazuchi is invincible until he leaves the ground.
Note: Kanji cannot use any Persona attacks while Take-Mikazuchi is out.
- SB Version
Bet Ya Can't Take This!
|A||0, 400x2, 800||Throw||UO, Cruel||25||until landing||20 after landing||-||Throw, Head||- ?-? Throw||Click!|
|B||0, 250x4, 800 (1800)||Throw||UO, Cruel||25||until landing||20 after landing||-||Throw, Head||- ?-? Throw||Click!|
|SB||0, 100x7, 250x2, 800 (2000)||Throw||UO, Cruel||19||until landing||20 after landing||-||Throw, Head||?-? Throw||Click!|
- A Version
Kanji does a diving tackle, then beats the opponent down before knocking them away. This attack is unblockable but cannot hit crouching opponents. Mainly used to punish poor decisions in neutral and for resets. A version covers the shortest distance. CH places the opponent at 5D range.
- B Version
Like A version, but covers more distance and does slightly more damage. CH places the opponent at 5D range.
- SB Version
Dives at the opponent, homing into their position. Can reach full screen unless done very close to the ground. Starts up faster than A or B versions. Travels faster when farther away. Does the most damage of the variations. CH places the opponent at 5D range.
Ass Whoopin', Tatsumi-Style
|700, 800x2 (2300)||HLA||O||3+8||until it hits||61||-||Projectile||1-13 All||Click!|
Kanji throws his chair straight forward. If the opponent is close enough, Kanji will go into a quick 3 hit combo on hit. On hit, the chair will fall down on the opponent 66-67 frames after the attack ends. First hit staggers, second hit leaves the opponent in a throwable spinning state, and third hit launches. Kanji's fastest high damage punish.
Awakened SP Skill Attacks
|0, 1, 0, 1200, 6000 (4321)||Throw||-||6+0||8||44||-||Throw||1-13 All||Click!|
Kanji grabs the opponent, then his persona slams the opponent into the corner that Kanji is facing. This throw is technically Kanji's second slowest command grab at 6 frame activation, but grabs on the same frame the super flash occurs, and does half life damage on most characters. If Kanji is not close to the corner that his persona slams the opponent into, his recovery will change--If Kanji is offscreen to the corner, he will run onto the screen after most of the animation is over, and if he's already there, he'll pose for most of the super duration before recovering.
It is possible to combo after this move, such as with TK j.214AB, TK j.214B, Sweep, or 2B > 236C, depending on how close Kanji was to the corner at startup.)
Kanji casually walks forwards with his chair slung over his shoulder and grabs the opponent for an instant kill. Kanji is invincible while walking forward. Super flash occurs well before the actual grab happens, making this one of the most telegraphed instant kills. Mostly used for punishing slow startup moves/Supers on reaction, preventing the opponent from canceling them on hit.
Kanji's offensive game is somewhat different than normal grapplers, as he has more anti zoning tools than most, as well as a much stronger reversal than most grapplers. In addition to this, he can also cover a lot of ground quickly with his air turn backdash forward, but he has a hard time controlling space while he does. Unfortunately, his neutral is lacking against the faster rush down characters, making neutral the determining factor in most match ups.
Good tools: 5A/2A OS, Air turn back dash, Sweep, j.B, 2B, D lightning, 236AB, 236C+D, j.C, 5C/2C, j.214A/B/AB.
Like most grapplers, Kanji's neutral game is where the difficulty in playing him comes from, despite his anti-zoning tools and large pokes. Because he lacks speed in almost everything he does, trying to play a strong ground or air-based neutral game is quite difficult thanks to P4A's many fast characters with strong mid-range pokes, and the strength of air unblockable 2Bs. Thanks to the universal system mechanics however, he does have more tools than most grapplers, including a strike invincible roll, airdashes, a slow run type dash, and a double jump. All in all, the neutral game is very winnable with Kanji, but making small mistakes in neutral vs characters like Narukami or Chie can quickly turn into Kanji losing a lot of life.
Long range is actually one of Kanji's strongest spacings, due to his unique anti-zoning tools. Able to set up his lightning projectile at 3 different spacings, Kanji can utilize the four lightning bolts from Take-Mikazuchi to quickly run in on the opponent, even utilizing the last two lightning bolts to potentially mix the opponent up with cross ups and tick grabs. However, the opponent can easily bait this attack as well, as the first bolt has a 35 frame startup, and Kanji does not have access to his grab, DP, 236C/D moves, or his supergrab, making this somewhat risky. Characters with fast run speed can also dart in on reaction to his Persona, easily netting a persona counterhit and knocking Kanji down. Outside of that, Kanji's 5C and 2C are useful spacing tools at long range, as they have a long horizontal hitbox, and can be difficult for people to punish outside of a certain range, especially 2C's short recovery. Lastly, if the opponent relies heavily on dashing forward and quickly Instant Air Dashing at mid~close range to Kanji, which is a strong option due to his 5C's lacking vertical hitbox, j.214B, 236C/CD and 2B are all strong options, as they can catch and deny air movement well, and 2B can potentially lead to massive damage. Outside of that, if one of the fastest characters attemps to run at Kanji full screen, using 5A as a poke can be extremely helpful, as its hitbox can catch sliding normals and combo into 5AA for a safe hit confirm, and 5B's projectile hitbox can be Option Selected into sweep for a quick knockdown versus longer pokes.
Mid range is a very mixed bag for Kanji, playable versus some characters, and extremely high-risk versus others. The usefulness of 5C and 2C starts to plummet at this range, as while they have great horizontal range, the entire cast can quickly air dash both of them for a quick CH on Kanji, taking a valuable persona card as well. As the rest of his pokes are either too slow, lacking in range or very unsafe, Kanji's goal is to either air back dash back into his long range 5D/J.D spacing to surprise the opponent, or to immediately close the gap, which can be very difficult versus some characters. This is where Kanji's awkward air game often comes into play, allowing him to slowly poke at the opponent using his j.B normal, or to air turn and backdash towards the opponent, as Kanji's backdash is much faster than his forward dash, has invincibility, and recovers more quickly as well. In addition to this, once Kanji trains his opponent to anti air his J.B or airdashes with 2B, he can bait the anti air and punish with j.C, leading to massive damage. Outside of that, anti-dashin 5A and 5B become even stronger here with less time to react, especially as blocking a hit at mid range versus some of the cast can spell death for Kanji. Lastly, at the far end of mid range, Kanji's 236AB can be an extremely potent skill, allowing Kanji to leap forward relatively quickly and pressure the opponent, leaving himself at +1 on block and allowing for a combo on CH. This can easily be baited, making it as much of a risk as the rest of his options, especially with the meter requirement.
While close range is where Kanji shines the greatest, similar to all grapplers, the range slightly outside of close range is actually Kanji's weakest spacing, where almost all of his tools become completely shut down. Avoid this spacing at all cost! Outside of that, close range is where Kanji's gameplan devolves into getting a knockdown as fast as possible, allowing him to begin his grappler mix-up game. The best way to accomplish this is carefully baiting out normals for a 5B into sweep or sweep punish, a quick dashing 5A or 214C to knock them down, or poking with 236A.
Good tools: Meaty 5A/2A, 5AA, 5B, 5B > 2B, 5C/2C, 214C, 236b, D lightning
As with most grapplers, Kanji's close range game is extremely potent, especially with Persona 4 Arena's 8 frames of startup before one can block after jumping. This allows Kanji to scare the opponent with staggered blockstrings and spacing resets until he finally goes for a command grab.
As with most grapplers, a lot of Kanji's mixup relies on forcing the opponent to block, setting up tick throws as they recover from the blockstun.
Kanji has a wide array of useful tools for this-His quick 5A can chain into almost all of his other normals, including some that are neutral on block for a good tick grab attempt, and 5A/5AA can both be jump canceled, giving Kanji an opportunity to jump up/back and airdash at the opponent with a j.b, resetting the block string. In general, if you can end a block string in a normal that is neutral or positive on block (the only positive on block setups Kanji has being 236B and 236AB), the opponent has to guess whether to jump, reversal, or block, allowing Kanji to 5A, block, or grab, respectively. One of his most useful and unique tools for this would be his 5B speech bubble, a normal that can be used a multitude of ways to open the opponent up.
Mixup after 5B
- Whether it hits or is blocked, 5B puts you and your opponent back to neutral, opening up a world of options for you on offense. Unfortunately, this also gives your opponent a lot of options, so your mission is to train them to make mistakes and give yourself the upper hand.
- Some things to try after 5B include:
- Just wait and see what your opponent wants to do. You can easily block and punish their reversal attempt, should they try one, and if nothing else you get to stay at neutral.
- Sweep (2AB).
- 5B > Sweep combos even on standing opponents, so if 5B hit you can throw this in for knockdown. If 5B is blocked, Sweep is risky - if they didn't block 5B standing, don't even bother.
- Sweep (2AB).
- This will catch jump/hop attempts, and if they decided to roll, it recovers fast enough to let you grab them as they pass by you. If it's blocked, just start Kanji's block string mix-up again from the beginning
- If this catches a jump, 5AA > air combo or 236C. On grounded hit, cancel into 5B again for a sweep knockdown, or finish your autocombo.
- Frame trap. Canceling during the first possible frame to 2B from 5B has only a 2 frame gap, 4 if they IB (Less if the 5B was meaty). That will nail all non invincible attacks barring Yosuke's 5a in Sukukaja and Kanji's 214CD on Instant Block, as well as catch jumps..
- Loses to everyone's R Action reversal and can be Evasive actioned with reversal timing. Their Evasive action leaves you -3 on normal block 5B and -7 on IB. If the opponent relies on this strategy however, delaying 5B into 2B will result in a meaty CH on their roll, leading into a 4k damage confirm
- On block you have very limited options to cover the recovery, with only cancels into 5C, 2C, or specials available.
- This'll Hurt! (214C/D)
- The C and SP versions of This'll Hurt! work best against opponents that are too scared to do anything, mash jabs on reaction (this can beat 214CD) or attempt a slower move in retaliation.
- The D version works best against some reversal happy opponents, but this leaves you wide open if the opponent rolls or jumps.
- This'll Hurt! (214C/D)
- While the startup of 5C and 2C are massive, canceling 5B into them covers more than half of the startup with blockstun, giving you a chance to use 5C or particularly 2C to extend/reset your block string, punish Counter Furious Actions by delaying the startup of 5C/2C, or punishing the opponent's backdash.
Kanji's D lightning is a relatively unique tool that helps him start pressure from mid to far screen, despite being a close range character. Once the opponent has blocked the first lightning bolt, Kanji has quite a few options available to him, though his persona attacks are disabled for the duration. With staggered bolts, he can use the first few bolts to approach and the remaining ones to pressure, as he can activate the lightning bolts regardless of his current state, he can use them to cover the recovery of his moves, such as his AoA, or j.214 series.
Additionally, if the opponent blocks the lightning in the air, Kanji can create multiple different inescapable situations depending on their height, such as a 2B unblockable, a j.214A/B/AB unblockable, cross under mixup, 236D/CD traps, or just air grabbing them.
Essentially, once the opponent has blocked a lightning bolt, Kanji gets a brief span of time where the opponent is forced to respect him, giving him good options to approach or mix up. Be careful however, as rolls, back dashes, Furious Actions and Counter Assaults are all strong options versus Kanji's lightning, depending on how the bolts are used.
A huge part of Kanji's gameplan is to simply get in, get a knockdown, and run a rock-paper-scissors styled mixup on the opponent while they recover from a knockdown. The most simple, boiled down game plan is either meaty 5A, 214C, or bait their reversal and punish. 5A beats everything but invincibility moves and blocking, 214C beats blocking and some mashing, and Furious Actions generally have to be respected by waiting/blocking, then punishing, depending on the character.
Kanji has two different timings for basic Okizeme off of his 236A/B followup: A 236A/B cruel attack after his 214C/D moves, and a 236A/B after everything else. Due to the fact his 214 series leaves his opponent in the air when the cruel attack hits, it gives Kanji more time to recover than normal.
After an 'anything else' 236A/B, Kanji can do a meaty 5A to beat everyone's jump/roll on wakeup, a 2A to beat everyone's jump and rolls and an immediate 5B will catch everyone's jumps, but will allow the opponent to roll behind Kanji, with a big opportunity to punish on reaction.
After a 214C/D/CD grab into 236A/B, an immediate 5A will whiff on the opponent's wakeup, picking them up off the ground if they did not tech, but most other options will still work similarly.
Also, Kanji can choose not to do a 236A/B followup after a 214C/D, CH A+B, CH C+D, or CH j.214A/B/A+B to set up 5D lightning, allowing him to rely on the lightning for stronger Okizeme.
Lastly, if the opponent is completely refusing to respect your grappler game, bursting, mashing supers, or similar on wakeup, Kanji's Furious Action will punish 80-90% of the cast's wakeup options.
tech their throws so you can hear kanji yell "get bent"
Kanji's defense while being pressured at point blank is extremely lopsided-His Furious Action can shut down a very large majority of the options characters have to continue pressuring him, and his extremely quick 214C and 214CD can punish many things that other characters in the game have a hard time punishing. Once the opponent learns how to properly avoid his grabs and bait Kanji's Furious Action, however, a lot of Kanji's options become huge risks, as whiffing a Furious Action should lead to taking more than 5K damage from the entire cast. Without recklessly mashing on command grabs and his strong reversal, escaping pressure can be very difficult for Kanji, with his options changing greatly depending on who he is fighting. Of particular note, Kanji's options versus the strong Oki characters (Shadow Labrys, Chie, Narukami) are quite lacking, as their tight, persona based mixup removes the threat of of his Furious Action. For more information on escaping various characters' pressure, check the Kanji Matchup forums on Dustloop for specific matchup information.
Important things to note: Kanji's fastest punish point blank is 214CD, followed by 214C, and 5A if the opponent is not able to be grabbed. Sweep is his fastest ranged meterless punish at 13f startup, and his 236236A/B Chair super is his fastest ranged high damage punish, able to confirm into an easy 5K damage on CH with OMC or OMB. Lastly, Kanji's go to punish for overzealous microdash 5A/2A pressure from the cast is his 214C, as the 3 frames of invinc will beat out even Chie's 5A pressure cleanly, though the 30 frame recovery leaves Kanji wide open on whiff.
Meter management is one of the most important aspects of playing Kanji both offensively and defensively, as it can be with many grapplers. His highest damage and best punishes require meter, so conserving and building it is extremely important.
Kanji's strongest option for building meter well is by instant blocking opponent's pressure, giving himself 3 points of meter per hit instant blocked. In addition, Kanji's Fatal Counter combos build around 48 points of meter on average, but landing a Fatal Counter is not guaranteed in any matchup, and is nigh impossible in some.
Below is a list of Kanji's most important meter-based tools. If you aren't using meter for one of the listed moves, or the situations given... you're likely better off saving that meter instead.
The following tools allow Kanji to do something he outright can not do without meter, making them better uses of meter than anything else, based on the situation and matchup.
- For 25 meter, 214CD punishes some moves that otherwise can't be punished, and some moves that can't be punished by anyone else in the cast, especially with instant block. As Kanji is a character with poor defensive options and lives off knockdowns, this move can be his lifeblood in certain matchups. Shocking the opponent is a nice bonus as well.
- At 50 meter, 236236A/B is Kanji's fastest ranged punish, netting him 2400 damage on a close ranged hit, and 2800 on a close ranged counterhit. In addition to this, using another 50 meter to OMC the second hit allows Kanji to combo into his 214214C for massive, burst safe damage, and OMCing the third hit lets Kanji continue the combo for around 5000 damage.
- Guard Cancels
- Doing a slow, zero damage guard cancel for 50 meter sounds like a waste on paper, but against strong Okizeme characters like Chie or Narukami, it can be the only way Kanji can escape pressure safely. This is easily baited and punished however, as some of the matchups where it is most useful (Chie, Narukami), the extra hits from their personas will cause hitstop on the guard frames, giving them extra time to react.
- Guard Cancels
- Instant Kill
- While slow, and only viable to punish certain moves' slow startup with the invincibility... if Kanji is put in an IK viable situation, the match is over. You won, period. If the opportunity arises, there is no more efficient use of meter. Outside of those scenarios, however, it is a worthless use of meter, as nobody will get hit by it 'accidentally'. Can be essential for preventing the opponent from OMCing.
- Instant Kill
- One More Cancels
- Often one of the most potent uses for meter for Kanji. Being able to cancel any air grab, j.214A/B, 236236A/B, etc with meter can allow Kanji to tack on an easy 2-3k damage to any random hit, instantly shifting the flow of the match.
- 236236A/B > second hit OMC > 214214C/D gets a special mention here. While it blows all of Kanji's meter in one short combo, it guarantees at least 5k minimum damage in nearly every scenario, and up to 8k off of a fatal counter. While conserving meter for this can cripple Kanji, in matchups where he's only realistically going to 'get in' once, this can turn that 'once' into a match ender.
- One More Cancels
- Non Cruel Attack 236AB allows Kanji to combo off any 5C Fatal Counter reliably for around 50% life, and can be the only way to extend off of a max range 5C FC at times, making it perfect to guarantee the last combo of a match.
- Followup 236AB can be very important for an extra boost of damage at the end of combos, as it adds an extra 400 unscaled damage onto the combo and recovers much faster than normal 236A/B, allowing Kanji to do stronger Okizeme as a result. Outside of those uses, it is best left unused.
- 236CD allows for Kanji to force the opponent to stay grounded and play a ground game, or catch them if they're trying to bait from the air or jump out of a block string. However, due to the fact it disables most of his move set for the duration and can easily be baited, it can be a risky tool. It can also be used in combos to prevent the opponent from bursting.
- Unlike most grapplers, Kanji's super grab is actually his second slowest grab--214C and CD are much more reliable for punishing. However, the invincibility and high damage still gives it a lot of utility. Best used to go through moves/blockstrings via invincibility and instant blocking, or ending matches through smart punishes/combo finishers.
- Super canceling his Furious Action
- Kanji is able to cancel his Furious Action into super as long as it either hits a player, is blocked, or hits a persona. Spending 50 meter on a 214214C on opponent's block or persona hit can move the match's momentum instantly, and 236236A/B can also punish the opponent's retaliation thanks to 13 frames of invincibility and a good range.
- Super canceling his Furious Action
The main thing to worry about for comboing with Kanji is to be able to convert off of his 2Bs, 5Cs, j.Cs, FC 5Cs, and j.214A/Bs, as they hold the greatest damage potential for him and are his most frequently used starters.
To learn more about Kanji's general combo theory, consult the Kanji Combo theory thread located in the Kanji Dustloop character forum.
Counter Hit j.214X series will send the opponent further from Kanji than non Counter Hit J.214xs, so practice dashing after CH j.214s to stay consistent.
Using 5B in Combos
- Because 5B has minimal hitstop and hitstun, you can only combo off of it with certain moves, or in certain situations. Knowing when and how to use 5B will allow you to add more damage to your combos, or potentially open up other options. In all cases, make sure you perform the next attack immediately after 5B, or you risk dropping the combo.
- Combo into Sweep (2AB):
- Always works.
- Since this is basically your only combo option on standing opponents, you can instead take this opportunity to go into mixup after 5B (see above).
- Combo into 2B (or any A):
- Shortly following a Fatal Counter.
- When 5B itself is a Counter Hit.
- Any time on crouching opponents (including forced crouching states from CH or SP Cruel Attack).
- On slightly airborne opponents. Note than 5B plunges airborne opponents, so they need to be at a pretty specific height range (near the top of the speech bubble) to make this work.
- Combo into Command Grab:
- When 5B itself is a Counter Hit.
Note: The bracketed numbers before the combo (ex:) show the damage done in the combo. All damage values are assuming that 236A/B additional cruel attack is used instead of the SP version (Which, on longer combos, will usually add 400 damage), and all j.214 combos' damage may be a little bit higher/lower based on which version of j.214 used.
The combos listed are optimal or close to optimal damage combos; arranged from most damage meterless for each respective hitconfirm, to highest damage with increasing meter and increasing meter + burst. Small things can be done for some combos, such as adding 5B before 2B in some scenarios, or by using 236AB at the end.
Combos listed in italics are optimal, but are much harder than the majority of Kanji's combos ( due to the 5c > 5B > 2B combo path) and while they are more optimal, the improvement they bring for the difficulty is usually not worth it, and are extremely more difficult to do for the small reward. Stick to the easier combos while starting out or in high stress scenarios, ~300 extra damage isn't worth it.
special note: combo for Kanji's challenge 30:
- Charged FC 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > OMB > 5C > 236B~214B > 236236A/B > OMC (Second hit of super) > 214214B/C [Cost: 150 meter and OMB, Damage: 9136]
- [16xx] 5AA > 2A > 5B > 2A+B > 236A
-  5AA > 2A > 5B > 2A+B > OMC > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  5AA > 2A > 5B > 2A+B > OMC > airdash > j.B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  5AA > 2A > 2AB OMC 2C > 2B > 236C > OMC, dash 2B > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
5A (air hit)
- [2xxx] 5AA > j.A > j.B > j.a > j.b > j.214B > 236A/B
-  2B > 236C > 236A/B
-  2B > 236B~214B OMC, dash 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  2B > 236B~214B > 236236B 2nd hit OMC 214214C/D *150SP*
-  CH 2B > 5C > 236B, 2A > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > 236A/B
-  CH 2B > 5C > 236B, 2A > 5B > 2B > 236CD, dash j.B |> 2B > 236C > 236A/B *25SP*
-  CH 2B > 5C > 236B, 2A > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B OMC, dash 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  j.B > 5AA > 2AB > 236A/B
- [2xxx] CH j.B > 5AA > J.A > J.B > J.A > J.B > J.214B
-  j.B > 2A+B > OMC > 2C > 5AA > j.A > j.B > j.214B > 236A/B *50SP*
- [51xx] FC 5C > 2C > 2B > 236B > 2A > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B (Meterless FC 5C optimal)
-  FC 5C > 236A+B > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B~214B > 236A/B *25SP*
-  FC 5C > 236A+B > 5B > 2B > 5C >236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236C >236A/B *25sp*
-  FC 5C > 2C > Sweep > OMB > 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 236A *OMB*
-  FC 5C > 236AB > OMB > 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 236A/B *25sp+burst*
-  FC 5C > 2C > 2B > 236B > 5A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B ~ j214B > OMB > delayed 2C > 236B ~ j214B > 236236A (2nd hit) OMC > 214214C *burst+150SP*
5C (Air hit)
- [~3.9] 5C air hit close > 236B > 5AA > J.A > J.B > DJ.A > J.B > J.214 > 236A/B
-  5C air hit far > 236CD > airdash J.B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *25sp*
-  FC 5C air hit close > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > 236A/B
-  FC 5C air hit close > Long charge 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 2B > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
-  FC 5C air hit Far > 236CD > IAD J.B > delay 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B
-  FC 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 2B > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *+47SP*
-  FC 2C > 236A+B > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > slight delay 5C > 236B~ slight delay ~j.214B > 236A/B *25sp*
-  FC 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *+54sp*
-  FC 2C > 236A+B > 5B > 2B > 5C >236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236C >236A/B *25sp*
-  FC J.C > 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 236A/B
-  FC j.C > 2C > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C+D > 2B 236C > 236A/B *25sp*
-  FC J.C > 5C > 2C > Sweep > OMB > 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 236A *burst*
-  FC j.C > 5C > 2C > 2B > 236B, 2A > 5AA > j.A > j.B > dj.A > j.B > j.214B > 236236A/B(2) OMC 214214C *150SP*
-  j.214A/B > OMC > dash 2C > delay 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  j.214A/B > OMC > dash 2C > delay 5B > 2B > 236C+D > dash j.B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *75SP*
- [????] j.214A/B > OMC > dash 2C > delay 5B > 2B > 236~j.214B > OMC >2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
-  j.214A/B/AB > OMB > 6 > 5C > 236B > 2A> 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B (OMB meterless optimal)
-  j.214A/B > OMB > walk forward 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C+D > dash j.B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *burst+25SP*
-  236D/C+D > dash J.B > 2B > 236B~j.214B> OMC, 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *75SP if using 236CD*
-  214C/D > OMC > dash j.B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
All out Attack
- [2.2k] A+B > C > j.B > dj.b > j.c
-  A+B > C> j.A > j.B > dj.A > j.B > j.214B > 236A/B
-  A+B > C>j.A > j.B > j.214A > OMC, dash 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  (air hit)A+B > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
-  2A+B > OMC > walk 5AA > j.A > j.B > dj.A > j.B > j.214B > 236A/B *50SP*
-  C+D > OMC > 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  j.C+D > OMC > J.B > 2B > 236B~j.214B > 236A/B *50SP*
-  B+D > 236236A/B *cost 50 SP*
-  B+D > 236236A/B > OMC (3rd hit) > 2C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
-  B+D > 236236A/B > OMC (2nd hit) > 214214C *150SP*
- [4989, 5449 on CH] 236236A/B > 3rd hit OMC > Delay 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A. Chair whiffs. Must delay the OMC or 5C a little bit to make the chair whiff. Chair still hit fat characters (chie, labrys, etc)
-  236236A/B > OMC, (3rd hit) > 2C > 5A > chair hit > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
-  236236A/B > OMB > 2C > 5A > Chair hit > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 236A * OMB*
-  236236A/B > OMB, (3rd hit) > walk forward 236B>5A > chair hit > 5C > 236C+D > dash 2B > 236C > 236A/B *burst+75SP*
-  214214C/D > j.214A+B > 236A/B *75SP*
-  214214C/D > j.214A+B > OMC > 5C > 236C > 236A/B *125SP*
-  214214C/D > j.214A+B > 236236A/B > OMB > j.214A/B > 236A/B *burst+125SP*
-  5AA > 5B > Sweep > OMC IAD j.B > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
-  5aa > OMB > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5A > 5B > sweep > 236A *OMB*
-  FC 5C air hit close > Delay 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
- [~5.5] FC 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A
-  FC 5C > 236A+B > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > 236A/B [Cost: 25 meter, Meter Gain: 11]
-  FC 5C > 2C > Sweep > OMB > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A
-  FC 5C > 2C > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236A (1 hit) > 236236A > OMC > 214214C *150sp* (tk j.214b > 236a is possible but extremely tight at the end. +200 dmg)
- [~7.7] FC 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B ~ j.214B > OMB > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > 236236A > 2nd hit OMC > 214214C
-  FC 5C > 2C > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > OMB > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > 236236A 2nd hit OMC > 214214C *150sp+omb*
5C (air hit)
-  5C air hit close 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B - [DM:4414]
- [4465, shock] FC 5C air hit close corner > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 6 > 5A > 236C > 2A > B+D
- [3354, shock] 5C air hit > 236CD > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 2A > B+D *25SP*
-  FC 2C > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2AB > 2A > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236C > 236A/B
-  FC 2C > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > OMB > 5C > 236B~214B > 236236A/B > OMC (Second hit of super) > 214214B/C *burst+150sp*
-  FC J.C > 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
-  FC J.C > 2C > Sweep > OMB > 2B > 5C > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/b
-  FC J.C > 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > 236236A > 2nd hit OMC > 214214C
-  FC J.C > 5C > 2C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > OMB > 5C > 236B ~ j.214B > 236236A > 2nd hit OMC > 214214C
-  FC j.C > 2C > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > 236A/B [Meter Gain: 57%]
-  FC j.C > 2C > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B > 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 5B > 2B > 236B~214B > OMB > 5C > 236B~214B > 236236A/B > OMC (Second hit of super) > 214214B/C *burst+150sp*
-  CH 236A > OMB, 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *burst*
-  236A+B > OMB, 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *burst+25SP*
-  j.214A/B > OMC > dash 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  j.214A/B/AB > OMB > (pause) > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236 A/B (with j.214a) (OMB Optimal)
-  j.214A/B > OMB > walk forward 5C > 236B > 5AA > 236C > 5A > 236236A/B > OMC (2nd hit) > 214214C *burst+150SP*
-  236C > Sweep > OMB > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A *OMB*
-  214C/D > 2B > 236C > 236A/B
-  214C/D > 2B > OMB > 5C > 2B > 236C > 236A *OMB*
-  214C/D > 2B > OMB 5C > 236B~j.214B > 236236A/B OMC (2nd hit) > 214214C *150SP*
-  C+D > dash 5A > 5B > 2A+B > 236A/B
-  C+D > 2A+B > OMC, 5C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  C+D > Sweep > OMB > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A *OMB*
-  C+D > OMC > J.B > 2B > OMB > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A *OMB*
-  B+D > 236236A/B > OMC (3rd hit) 5C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
All out Attack
-  A+B>D > delay 2A > 5B > 2B > 5C > 236 B > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B
-  A+B>D > delay 2A > 2B > 236B > 5AA > 236C > OMC dash 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  Sweep > OMC > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  Sweep > OMB > 5C > 236B > 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/b *OMB*
-  J.C+D > OMC 5AA > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  236236A/B > OMC (3rd hit) > 5C > 236B > 5A > chair hit > 5C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *100SP*
-  236236A > OMB > 5C > 2B > Chair hit > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A *burst+50sp*
-  236236A > OMB > 236B > 2A > Chair hit > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A *burst+50sp*
-  236236A/B > OMB (3rd hit) > 5A > chair hit > 5C > 2B > 236C > 5AA > 236C > 236A/B *burst+50SP*
-  214214C/D > 236B *50SP*
-  214214C/D > walk 2B > 236C > 236A/B *50SP*
-  214214C/D > dash OMC, 5C > 236C > 236A/B *cost 100 SP*
-  214214C > j.214B > OMB > 5C > 236C > 236A *burst+50sp*
-  214214C/D > dash OMB 5C > 2B > 236C > 236A/B *burst+50SP*