- "Isn't it just so cool when you can chase your dreams?!"
- —Leon Kuwata, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
|Title||Ultimate Baseball Star|
|Birth date||January 3rd (Capricorn)|
|Height||175 cm (5' 9")|
|Weight||67 kg (148 lbs)|
|Chest Size||80 cm|
|Voice Actor||Takahiro Sakurai (JP)|
|Family||Kanon Nakajima (Cousin)|
|Anime||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - The Animation - Episode 01|
|Game||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc|
|Manga||Danganronpa: The Manga|
|Novel||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF|
Leon has the title Ultimate Baseball Star (超高校級の「野球選手」chō kōkō kyū no "yakyū senshu.") He was an ace in his position as the fourth batter at his school. Despite having a talent as a baseball player, Leon often slacked off from the training and had wanted to change his title to “Ultimate Musician”.
Leon has a punkish appearance with dyed spiked hair, a lot of piercings (six on his right ear, one on his chin, and one on his tongue.) and a goatee. He has pale blue eyes and wears heavy accessories such as a chain necklace and belts. Leon wears a white shirt with a red grunge skull design. On top of that, he wears a white jacket with a popped collar. He wears black pants and white shoes with platform soles.
Leon is a passionate, hot-blooded young teenager. He often slacks off from studying and baseball practice; however, his baseball skills were never diminished due to his status as Ultimate Baseball Star. Leon is also very determined to change his current title to Ultimate Musician.
In Leon's Free Time sequence, the reason for that determination is revealed: to win a heart of a girl that he happened to meet at the hair salon. Later, Leon himself states that he somewhat missed playing baseball; something that he used to do every day since he was young. He even invited Makoto to play baseball with him once they get out of their current situation.
In the official artbook, Leon is described as an optimist who wants to get better at everything he does. He is also mentioned to be a player, and he had a new girl with him every few days. He is always flirting with girls and he's single-mindedly focused on studying "the secret of success with the ladies". He's also mentioned to be into pure-hearted girls.
In School Mode, Leon is portrayed as easily offended; for example, when asked how he managed to style his hair, he immediately becomes annoyed, automatically accusing Makoto of making fun of it and saying he should shave his hair like his baseball team made him do. He also can come off as impatient and agitated at times, like instantly becoming angry and snapping at Makoto for not knowing what to talk about. School Mode also shows that whenever he's upset or depressed, Leon likes to take naps.
During the main story, Leon is shown to be easily intimidated sometimes, like when Makoto spends time with him for the first time and he thinks it's a trap to kill him, or during the first class trial when he asks and finds out who Sakura Ogami is. When he becomes nervous or intimidated, Leon tends to smile awkwardly, often the right corner of his mouth stretching farther.
He is surprisingly kind and patient with his cousin Kanon, who is obsessively in love with him and stalks him.
Prior to the Tragedy
Leon has been very close to his two years younger cousin, Kanon, ever since they were very young.
Kanon's father was the younger brother of Leon's father. She has been in love with Leon ever since their childhood and she affectionately refers to him as her "big brother". She has tried forever to get Leon to notice her and love her even though he only saw her as his little sister and nothing more.
One time in Summer, when Leon was in 9th grade, he and his father came to visit Kanon's family. He saw a picture of a gyaru girl in a magazine and thought she was really cute, which made Kanon feel bad, especially since she saw herself as a "fashion disaster". Kanon decided to emulate the style and at night she used her allowance to buy a trendy outfit and make-up online. 2 days later she tried a new style, thought she looked "super hot" and went to see Leon. Leon, however, was shocked by the change and told her it isn't gyaru he likes, but just cute girls in general as they can pull off any look. Ever since Kanon has tried to wear makeup and make herself more pretty in hopes he will like her.
Kanon ended up confessing to Leon a total of 3909 times between the ages of 6 and 15 and each time went unrequited. She attended the same schools as him in order to stay close to him.
In middle school, Leon became a very skilled baseball player and Kanon became the manager of his baseball team so she could watch him play. He became popular with girls and he usually had a new girl with him every few days. Kanon was jealous and she always followed them, but she freaked out every time because she thought Leon saw her, and they got too much distance on her. She trained physically half a year in order to be able to follow them. While following the couple, her heart hurt when she saw them laughing with each other, eating together, holding hands, and doing other things that couples do. She wanted to punish them, but she understood that none of it was really Leon's fault.
Leon later attended a high school called LL Academy, During the summer of Kanon's freshman year of high school, he stayed over at her house and asked "You've been tailing me, haven't you?". Kanon tried to deny it, but Leon told her he only had a problem with it because he suspected that she was hurting. Kanon assumes that Leon finally returns her feelings, but instead he makes a bet with her: If she could throw a baseball 160 meters per hour, he would think of her as a romantic prospect, but as long as she couldn't, he would forbid her to talk to him. She agrees quickly, seeing this as a bright hope. However, she later learns that the Japanese record for female pitchers is 140 meters per hour, which makes her think that Leon had given her an impossible task to get her away.
During the same year, Leon enrolled in Hope's Peak Academy with the title of Ultimate Baseball Star. To win a heart of a girl that he happened to meet at the hair salon, he became determined to change his title to Ultimate Musician. His hair and clothing style changed completely. In photos, Leon is shown being in a sort of rough-housing-group-hug with Chihiro Fujisaki and Mondo Owada. In other pictures, he has his arm on Sayaka's chair, he splashes water in Junko Enoshima's face, he appears to be in third place in a race, he leans over and smiles widely, and he photobombs a group picture.
The next time Kanon and Leon meet, it is during the first New Year's day since Leon went off to Hope's Peak Academy. She notices that his hair has gotten long, and she panics at how amazing he looks in her eyes. To her surprise, he talks to her, and asks why she hasn't been able to throw the 160. She tells him about the 140 record, to which he replies that he honestly didn't know. When she tells him that no one else has done it, he smiles and says that it would be extra cool then, since she would be the first. Through further conversation, she realizes that Leon did not trick her: He simply believed that she could do it and believed in her potential. When he sees her hands covered in callouses from practicing every day, he goes into silence from awe.
Before returning to Hope's Peak Academy, Leon gives Kanon a baseball lesson in the snow, trying to show how he does the 160 meters per hour. However, his lesson was no help, as Leon was terrible at teaching. All the same, when Kanon sees Leon throw a pitch, she remembers the beauty and coolness of her cousin when he is playing baseball. She begins to cry out of happiness, which makes Leon panic, not knowing what he had done to make her unhappy. He patted her on the head to try to make her feel better, but in Kanon's mind, she wanted to actually thank him for showing her something so beautiful. The day was the last time Kanon ever saw Leon.
During the Tragedy, Leon and the other 78th class students agreed to be locked inside the Hope's Peak Academy building, not knowing that the Ultimate Despair has already sneaked into their numbers.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Prologue - Welcome to Despair
When introduced in the Prologue, Leon almost immediately exposed his dissatisfaction for baseball and got upset when the latter spoke about seeing a picture of him with shaved hair online. Leon then went on to tell Makoto about his dream of becoming a vocalist in a band and changing his title to Ultimate Musician.
Chapter 1 - To Survive
In Daily Life of Chapter 1, Leon also uttered this in front of Sayaka. After watching Monokuma's motivational DVDs, he became agitated and was quick to respond in abrasive manner toward Makoto.
On the same day, Leon received a letter from Sayaka that instructed him to meet her in her room at night. Unbeknownst to Leon, Sayaka switched room with another student and also secretly swapped the door plate in order to commence the plan to murder him. When he finally entered the room, Sayaka immediately attacked him with a kitchen knife. However, Leon managed to counter her assault with the imitation katana that happened to be inside the room, hitting Sayaka's wrist, breaking it and effectively disarming her in the process.
With no place left to escape to, Sayaka went to the shower room and closed the door, knowing full well that the door was misaligned. Since Leon did not know about this, he thought that the door was locked and immediately used his toolset to destroy the handle, killing Sayaka inside.
Afterwards, Leon cleaned the floor in the room with the lint roller in an attempt to clean the room of his hair (possibly due to him being the only one with red hair). Leon also tried to dispose his bloodied shirt by making use of the incinerator in the trash room.
Despite the iron grates preventing him from approaching it, Leon managed to do the deed by throwing his shirt into the incinerator before using Yasuhiro Hagakure's glass ball to hit the incinerator's activation button. Unfortunately, One of the sleeves on his shirt did not burn and instead fell off to the floor of the trash room.
In the classroom trial, Makoto was able to point Leon as the culprit based on the dying message Sayaka left behind. And the method of disposing the evidence clearly suggested that he could be the only possible suspect, since throwing an object from a distance would require a skill that only Ultimate Baseball Star had. Makoto also forced Leon to show his boy's special tool, but he couldn't show it because he was already used it to break Makoto's bathroom door.
As Leon was unable to accept that he was being accused, he went rampant, until Makoto asked him to show his toolset in order to indicate whether it was already used or not. This immediately stopped his deranged behavior and left him completely speechless.
After the trial, Leon was sentenced for execution by Monokuma. Unable to accept the truth, he attempted to stop Monokuma from executing him by justifying his action of murdering Sayaka as an act of self-defense. However, Celestia Ludenberg pointed out that Leon could return to his room instead of breaking the shower room's lock after Sayaka locked herself in. In the end, his plea was ignored by Monokuma and he was executed.
- Main Article: The 1,000 Blows
Leon is Kanon's older cousin by two years. He viewed Kanon as his little sister and the two had a very close relationship since childhood. She constantly confessed her feelings to him, to which he always responded that it was impossible, and he just didn't like her that way. It did not seem her never-ending confessions affect his view of her, but he cared for her and comforted her whenever he rejected her. He also has a lot of belief in her, believing that she could throw a 160 meters per hour ball, despite the fact that the Japanese record for women was 140. By the time of the School Life of Mutual Killing, Kanon was chosen as his Captive, being his most important person.
In the manga version of the game, it is shown that Leon was quite close with Sayaka, due to their similarities with music, as Sayaka was an idol, and Leon wanted to change his title to Ultimate Musician. It is also implied that during the first murder, Leon just wanted to calm Sayaka down when she locked herself in the shower. Leon had never thought of murdering someone else, so he tried to reason with her. When he broke into the shower, however, he accidentally stabbed Sayaka in the stomach, which resulted in her death.
During his free-time events, he shared a lot of things with Makoto and even invited him for a baseball match after they escaped the academy. However, it never came true as Leon was executed at the end of the first trial. Makoto himself didn't hold a grudge against Leon for killing Sayaka, because he felt that the one at fault was Monokuma.
Although the two had only a few interactions, Leon had no hesitation showing his distaste for Hifumi and would be rather harsh to him. From the start, he would treat his classmate poorly, often calling him insulting names like "fatty" and being disgusted or creeped out whenever he made an innuendo or showed his perverted nature. One example is during the investigation of the first murder; when hearing that Hifumi offered to take the first turn of trash duty, Leon immediately was critical of him, accusing him of really wanting the job so he could look through any trash the girls had.
Even though Leon almost never showed close interaction in the Killing School Life, Leon may have been good friends with Mondo and Chihiro during their school time in Class 78th, as a picture of the three laughing was found shortly after their deaths.
Obtained from the MonoMono Machine.
- Eternal Friendship Bracelet
- Blueberry Perfume
- Yasu Shishido T-Shirt
- Project Zombie
During free time conversations, the player will occasionally be given a choice on how to respond to something that is said. These are the 'right' choices.
- Punk Rock
These will aid you, usually during Class Trials.
- Robot Jock - Increases your Truth Bullet rate of fire. Effective during the Nonstop Debate and the Bullet Time Final Strike. Costs 3 SP.
- Kinetic Depth Perception - During concentration, automatically targets the weak spot. Effective during the Nonstop Debate. Costs 2 SP.
- “Yo! My name is Leon Kuwata! What's up?”
- “That's the worst, man. Totally the worst. And it was supposed to be such an awesome picture, you know! But it turned out so lame. Everyone on the team took a vote so I had no choice but to shave my head.”
- “By the way, can I confess something to you!? See, I don't like baseball at all. I've never went to practice even once. So, I decided to make joining this school an excuse to quit baseball!! I have my own dreams, y'know!”
- “I'm going to be a musician! You can tell I have that rockstar quality, right?”
- “Y-you're not trying to get me alone so you can kill me, are you...? My fans will go all psycho on you if you do! I'm as popular as any international superstar! But if you're NOT gonna murder me, then let's hang out. I don't really wanna be alone, anyway...”
- “Damn straight I do! Who has fun running around a dusty field for three hours!?”
- “Well, I hate studying, right? But I still got into this super fancy school on a sports scholarship. As long as I kept playing, I never had to study! And besides that... It made me super popular with the ladies! Booya! Ya jealous? I got to third base in more ways than one, if ya know what I'm sayin'! ...Just kidding!”
- “Absolutely! And I don't wanna be a George, ya know? Gotta get that Paul action!”
- “Damn straight! My plan is to conquer the world with punk! Cuz I mean... when it comes to punk, it doesn't really matter if you can actually play or not.”
- “Dammit! It's like mind control! Baseball brainwashed me! But fine, whatever! I just wanna throw the ball around a little! But I can't play baseball by myself!”
- “I mean, it's me, right!? I'm the up-and-coming Koshien Stadium Superstar!”
- “Y-Y-Y-You can't be serious! I...! I...! I'm not the killer! These goddamn shit-for-brains have got it all wrong, I'm telling you!”
- “Do I object...? Hell yes I object! Of course I do! I object, I object, I object! I mean, all of this is just a bunch of stupid theories! You need evidence! Where's the evidence!? Without evidence, it's all bullshit! It's bullshit and I refuse to acknowledge it!"
- “I refuse to acknowledge you! You're stupid! Stupid Stupid Stupid! StupidStupidStupidStupidStupidStupidStupid!!”
- “None of you are any different! One wrong step, and you'd be the one standing here! It was complete chance I wound up like this! I was just... unlucky! That's all...”
- “H-Hey, come on...! You expect me just to accept my death!?”
- “Don't you understand? That's exactly WHY I have to do both! An athlete can only play for so long, ya know? Even as the Ultimate Baseball Star... ...I know I won't be able to play for the rest of my life. But when you're a star player, you have the chance to go on talk shows and stuff, right? Pitch for a while, then go on to become "the ex-baseball star who's totally a famous singer now"! It's a totally new approach, right!?”
- “Right? Not just a baseball player, and not just a singer. It's an all-new approach, just for me!”
Machine Talk Battle/Bullet Talk Battle Statements
- “Where's your proof!?”
- “You kiddin' me!?”
- “Not a chance!”
- “It wasn't me!”
- “You lie!”
- “Stop talking!”
- “Shut up!”
- “Without evidence, it's all bullshit! It's bullshit and I refuse to acknowledge it!” (Final Argument)
Creation and development
Leon's beta name is Kazuo Matsuzaki.
He was the very first character designed and served as the basic model for the game's male characters. That's why he features a more standard body type, and a height of 175cm (rubber-soled shoes included).
The character designer, Rui Komatsuzaki, is a fan of the punk genre, so Leon's outfit was designed with details he personally likes.
Since the game's creators turned back to Sayaka (the base female character) and Leon's designs consistently from the very early design stages, they grew tired of them and the two ended up being the first characters to die in the actual game.
- Leon is spelt as 怜恩 in Japanese, which can mean "Cunning Kindness", while Kuwata (桑田) simply means "Mulberry Field".
- In Ultra Despair Hagakure, it's confirmed that Leon was 17 when he enrolled in Hope's Peak Academy, putting him closer to 19 during the first game.
- According to his in-game introduction, his current hair color is not natural. He is actually red-haired.
- Leon's chest size is 31 in.
- Due to the brutality of Leon's execution, it was censored in the anime adaptation when it first aired on television. However, on the anime DVD, the execution can be seen uncensored.
- In the manga version, instead of consciously murdering Sayaka, Leon attempted to calm her down until he accidentally stabbed her with her knife.
- The anime slightly changed Leon's reaction to being sentenced. Once the decision was announced, Leon broke down in tears and desperately tried to get out of the trial room, screaming that he didn't want to die. This did not change the outcome of the trial.
- He strongly dislikes studying.
- He initially states that he dislikes baseball, but continues to play for the attention it gets him from women. After not playing baseball for a while, Leon states that he misses it and wants to continue it in the future.
- His dream is to use his renown as a baseball player to begin a career as a musician.
- In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, it is strongly suggested that Nekomaru Nidai used to train Leon.
- The design on Leon's shirt foreshadows his fate, as it depicts a skull being shattered from a heavy blow.
- In the demo of the game, unlike the actual Bullet Time Battle with Leon that happens in the end of the first class trial in the game when he refuses to accept accusations without evidence, the player will engage in a Bullet Time Battle at the beginning of the trial when Leon accuses Makoto of being the killer because he stutters multiple times.
- In the Danganronpa 1.2 Reload Ultra High School Class Official Settings Guide Book, in the section where it shows execution artwork, there are two pictures of Leon being the one in Jin Kirigiri's execution. This can either lead to believe that Leon was used as a "guinea pig" to try out execution ideas, or that originally this was supposed to be his before changing it.
- Leon's english voice actor, Grant George is actually married in real life to Sakura's english voice actress, Jessica-Gee George.
- Leon's execution is the same execution he undergoes in DISTRUST, the darker beta version of the first Danganronpa game. This explains why his execution is more brutal and gruesome compared to the other executions.
- Leon's last name could be a reference to Japanese pitcher Masumi Kuwata.
- Leon's former high school, LL Academy, might be a reference to Little League.