|“|| I might not look it...But I'm still a member of the Future Foundation, y'know.
He is a member of the Future Foundation and leader of the 3rd Division. He is also a recruiter, who seeks out survivors to help grow Future Foundation.
Koichi died saving Kyoko Kirigiri by disobeying his NG Code and opening his left hand to catch her when she fell into a hole set by Ruruka Ando. He is the seventh victim of the Final Killing Game overall.
Koichi appears as a cameo in the OVA titled Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of the World as a part of Nagito Komaeda's imagination world.
Koichi is a relaxed-looking man with blue eyes and ragged blond hair. He has a pencil-thin mustache and goatee. He wears a worn down, white fedora, a faded dark blue tie and a black suit with the Future Foundation ID pinned to the jacket's lapel. He also wears light brown slip-ons.
During his time as Hope's Peak scout, he wore a white tuxedo, with a green undershirt and black vest top, with a blue, almost gray tie. He also wore a white hat with a black decoration going around the circumference, near the flappy bit.
Koichi is a relaxed, passive and whimsical man who chooses not to get involved in arguments. He is sometimes carefree to a fault; before the events of the Tragedy, he was shown to be somewhat irresponsible and would rather get drunk than teach a class. Despite his attitude, he has been shown to be extremely loyal to the school's headmaster, Jin Kirigiri.
However, Koichi is also a reliable and quick-witted person with a sharp intuition, which allows him to assess people's talents, as well as their true character. He is also very observant and intelligent, although he does not usually show it.
Koichi has the ability to sense a person's potential and recruit them. He recruited a lot of the students who participated at Hope's Peak Academy. He is also trusted by the Future Foundation to recruit new members and expand their forces.
Despite his relaxed appearance, Koichi is shown to be very intelligent and observant. He chooses to flat-out avoid confrontation with the other members and observes events from afar. When trying to find Kyoko, he stays with the bodies, knowing that she, as the former Ultimate Detective, would come investigate them. He also managed to take off all of Sonosuke Izayoi's traps and was able to set a successful trap for Juzo Sakakura even before he entered the lounge room. He also easily discovered Juzo's forbidden action because he didn't throw a punch.
Along with his intellect, Koichi has a keen intuition similar to Akane Owari, as he can often guess things accurately based on a hunch. Such hunches include Miaya Gekkogahara's status as a suspicious person immediately at the start of the Final Killing Game and Nagito's situation while he was suspended.
Prior to the Tragedy
Koichi worked as one of the many talent scouts for Hope's Peak Academy, identifying high schoolers with Super High School Level students who were worthy of attendance at the school. In addition, he was the official homeroom teacher for Class 1-B, part of Class 77th, but due to being drunk most of the time, the duty was pushed to the assistant homeroom teacher, Chisa Yukizome.
Koichi is shown sitting in a chair in Jin Kirigiri's office as Chisa came in to formally accept her position as Class 77-B's homeroom teacher. He was hungover and attempting to hold back from vomiting, but cheerfully told Chisa to make the best of the situation and encouraged her. After she left, Koichi commented that Chisa was just as he remembered her, and asked if it was true that Kyosuke Munakata had recommended that she be a teacher.
When Jin confirmed this, he cautious told him to be careful, saying that Kyosuke's influence was growing very quickly, despite being so young, and Jin wouldn't want Kyosuke to undermine his position as headmaster. Throughout the rest of the school day, Koichi stayed in Jin's office and watched the events unfold from the window.
Koichi appeared at the beginning of the episode, wondering why Chisa circling her calendar with red marks. Chisa cheerfully replied that the circle was a mark showing her students full attendance, make Koichi reminded his position as the homeroom teacher. He supported Chisa, telling her to work hard so they didn't end up as Reserve Course teachers. Koichi left the room to scout Celestia Ludenberg shortly after.
Koichi gathered in the Principal Office along with Jin and Kazuo. After learned that Hajime Hinata agreed to participate in Izuru Kamukura Project, he stated his dislike toward artificial talent and hope.
After the bombing at Hope's Peak, Koichi and Chisa are summoned to the Principal's Office. Koichi mentions that Ruruka, Seiko Kimura, and Sonosuke are expelled. After deliberating upon the state of Nagito Komaeda, who indirectly executed the bombing plot beyond his control, Jin calls for Nagito to be indefinitely suspended. Koichi is placed on probation as Nagito's homeroom teacher, and Chisa is transferred to the Reserve Course as a compromise for Nagito to remain at Hope's Peak. Koichi peers into Nagito's student profile and comments, "Luck is scary."
Koichi appeared in the Principal Office with Jin, congratulated Chisa after her transfer to the Reserve Course ended and finally became the official homeroom teacher of Class 77-B. As for him, Jin reassigned him to focus on scouting new students. When Chisa asked about Nagito, Koichi answered that he still unable to contact him and speculating that he already won a raffle for a free around-the-world tour. Later, it was revealed that his speculation became true in Despair Arc #07.
Koichi called Chisa on the phone and informed her about The Tragedy of Hope's Peak Academy after he learned about the events. Hearing an angry Jin shouting in his office, Koichi enters the room and calms Jin down by offering him a drink. Jin worriedly asks Koichi to protect his daughter if something were to happen to him, and Koichi playfully agrees and states that he'd marry Kyoko for him. Jin smiles and answers that he'd never give Kyoko to him.
Koichi and Kazuo lay seated in the waiting room of the hallway, Koichi took a drink from his bottle before expressing how fast everyone's deaths had occurred, excluding that of the Class 78th. Before explaining to Kazuo that the situation outside the school is in turmoil, he watched a live news feed on his mobile phone of the actions taking place outside, being the beginning of The Tragedy.
Jin began to fall into anguish over not calling on his daughter's talent sooner, given the situation, an investigation would have uncovered the mastermind very quickly. Koichi puts a hand on Jin's shoulder, supporting his decision for protecting Kyoko rather than putting her in harm's way.
Jin suggested Koichi and Kazuo should make an exit, while he stays behind and turns the old school building into a shelter for the Class 78th. Kazuo agreed, Koichi promptly agreeing to the proposal also, teasingly telling Jin that he wouldn't want to ruin the family fun. Jin looked at him coldly, before expressing that the worst may occur, although Koichi convinces him not to think the worst, handing him a drink, he explains that he will protect Kyoko with his life no matter what happens. Jin smiles, accepting Koichi's offer, he began to drink.
Koichi and Kazuo exit the building, pausing at the entrance, they watch on in horror as the Reserve Course students land dead on the ground beneath, having jumped from the building above. Koichi shields his face with his arm and stated that the despair is too crazy to comprehend.
During the Tragedy
Koichi, alongside Kazuo Tengan, began building Future Foundation as a way to combat Ultimate Despair. He recruited several talented Hope's Peak alumni to work for the organization, with Koichi himself being put in charge of the 3rd Division. His responsibility as 3rd Division leader is to help scout and distribute personnel for Future Foundation.
Koichi was one of the few people who led the frontal assault on the Hope's Peak Old School Building to rescue the Class 78th from the School Life of Mutual Killing, his personal goal being to rescue Kyoko. After they escaped, he recruited them for Future Foundation.
Koichi was present inside the boardroom along with the other ten Future Foundation Division's leaders to discuss Makoto Naegi's fate. When their discussion was out of the topic, Kyosuke entered the room and lead them to discuss Makoto's betrayal. Later, the trial was postponed until Makoto's wound, received after he got assaulted by Juzo Sakakura, was healed and Koichi was waiting inside the boardroom.
Later, the facility began to shake as an unknown attacker shot their missiles and cut off every exit to the building. Koichi was rendered to sleep after a sleeping gas was thrown into the room. He and the others found a Monokuma bracelet had been set up on their wrists.
Koichi was overwhelmed after Monokuma announced the Final Killing Game rules. He chose to point Miaya merely based on his hunch.
The girl that Koichi wanted to meet revealed as none other than the former Ultimate Detective, Kyoko Kirigiri. Knowing that she will investigate Chisa and Daisaku Bandai's corpse, Koichi decided to return to the boardroom and greet both Kyoko and Ryota Mitarai when they arrived. He said that he felt safe when he stood next to a detective.
Koichi asked Kyoko if she already finished her job to inspect Chisa's body. She said that she almost finished, revealing the attacker's method after she checked Great Gozu's body, making Koichi impressed by her seriousness.
Koichi woke up inside the room where Great Gozu's body was located, alongside Kyoko and Ryota. After that, the three decided to search for the third victim. On the way, Koichi keeps rambling about his hatred toward detectives, which annoyed Kyoko. He told her that he was only joking and advised her to express her feelings more. Bothered, Kyoko openly asked how long he intended to follow her, prompting Koichi to tell that he wanted to pick another direction.
Shortly after, Ryota and Kyoko discovered Sonosuke's body, while Koichi discovered Seiko's body pressed into the wall. Before they could inspect the bodies, Ruruka asked for their help from the lounge room.
Koichi appeared in a flashback with the former PE teacher at Hope's Peak when they attempted to break the students out of the building. He was impressed by her ability to fight, despite being a teacher. She said she preferred being a teacher, and Koichi admitted he kind of liked teaching as well. The two headed out to confront the members of Ultimate Despair attacking them, but Koichi was too late to warn his ally and she was killed by an explosion that left only her helmet behind. Frustrated, Koichi whispered Kyoko's name.
Back to the present, Koichi gathered traps that Sonosuke had set in the room as Kyoko investigated the latter's death. Koichi explained to Ryota what pressure activated traps were, causing Kyoko impressed by Koichi's explanation. Koichi later accused Ruruka of attempting to interfere with Kyoko's investigation when she intentionally fell down into Sonosuke's traps as Kyoko was about to discover a big clue. He called to Juzo, who was hiding behind the other side of the door.
When Juzo attempted to assault Kyoko, Koichi interfered while mocked the former Ultimate Boxer for holding a knife. Furthermore, he guessed that, since Juzo hasn't used his fists at all in fights since the game had started, his NG code was that he couldn't fight barehanded. In return, he revealed that he couldn't open his left hand. Koichi lured Juzo towards him and triggered a trap that sent a spear into Juzo's shoulder, pinning him to the wall.
As Kyoko was about to continue her investigation, Ruruka triggered another trap that opened the floor beneath Kyoko into a seemingly bottomless pit. Koichi caught her, pulling her back up to safety, but in doing so broke his NG code by using his left hand, and was poisoned. Before falling into the pit himself, he has a flashback to a memory of himself taking a picture of Jin and Kyoko. Koichi happily died as he sacrificed himself in order to protect Kyoko, telling Jin that he kept his promise.
Koichi appeared as a cameo in the OVA, and was shown greeting the Main Course students in front of the academy's gate.
- Main Article: NG Code Poisoning
- Kirigiri Family:
Koichi was close friends with the deceased headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, Jin Kirigiri. Koichi had known Jin for a long time, even before Jin had left his family. Although Koichi constantly annoyed Jin, he usually confided in Koichi about school and emotional problems, which Koichi would sometimes try to help with. Koichi was very loyal to Jin, respected him, and always trusted his judgment. He was also one of few people who could keep Jin calm.
Later, seeing that things were taking a turn for the worse, Jin put his faith in Koichi, making him promise to protect his daughter if something befell him. Koichi was determined to keep this promise, especially after Jin's death, and ended up sacrificing himself for Kyoko. In his final moments, Koichi remembers taking a picture of Jin and Kyoko and tells Jin that he was able to keep his promise.
In the Danganronpa 3 relationship chart, Jin tells Koichi to work properly, Koichi telling Jin he understands.
Koichi is quick to latch on to Kyoko during the Final Killing Game and claims it's because he believes he will be safer with a detective around. Kyoko, however, is extremely annoyed with Koichi tagging along with her, and even expresses anger towards him despite the fact that she prefers to hide her emotions from people.
Later, it is revealed that Koichi prefers to stick with Kyoko because she is Jin's daughter. Before the Tragedy, Jin made Koichi promise to protect Kyoko should something befall him, and since then Koichi has made it his duty to protect his friend's daughter, even saying he would protect Kyoko with his life.
True to his word, Koichi fulfilled his promise to Jin by saving Kyoko when Ruruka attempted to kill her. This action resulted in him violating his NG code because he opened his left hand to catch her when she fell, which resulted in him being poisoned. He died with a smile on his face, successfully keeping Kyoko safe in his final moments.
Chisa was Koichi's assistant homeroom teacher. Because Koichi was drunk almost all the time, Chisa took over his class at his request. The two seem to be on good terms, and in fact, it was Koichi who invited Chisa to join the Future Foundation. Koichi frequently offers Chisa encouragement, as shown when she first arrives and Chisa, in return, tells Koichi to do his best.
In Danganronpa 3 manga, it was shown that when Koichi tried to help or save Kyoko from danger, Ryota acted or reacted nervously when she tried to rescue Kyoko from danger, pushing him and telling him "That's Sexual Harassment", because Ryota thought he was doing things to just touch her while he could. Koichi tried to make Ryota feel worried saying that he may be the traitor. Ryota feels uncomfortable with what he said and starts to question him in why is he so attached to Kyoko.
- “Feel free to treat the class like it's your own!” (to Chisa Yukizome as encouragement)
- “Luck is scary.” (talking about Nagito Komaeda)
- “I guess...I managed to keep...my promise...Jin...” (Koichi's last thoughts before he falls to his death)
- Koichi's last name "Kizakura" (黄桜) means "yellow cherry blossom", a possible reference to his blond hair color, as well as to a brand of sake - fitting his liking for alcohol. His first name (公一) can mean "first official" or "first prince", referring to his role in building Future Foundation with Kazuo.
- According to a Weekly Famitsu Interview with Kazutaka Kodaka, he likes Koichi's character and he enjoyed Keiji Fujiwara's voice work.
- Koichi's English voice actor, Kaiji Tang, also voices Yasuhiro Hagakure in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Gonta Gokuhara from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.