role

Okay, here is another peculiar aspect of this character that I find very interesting (and, of course, that I like) – that is, Kai's role in the series. Is he a main character or an antagonist? Well, my answer is: both. Yes, in my opinion Kai is a main character, as well as an antagonist in Beyblade (though for a short time, mind you). So, let's start analyzing why Kai is like this in the series.

First, let me start by saying this: I consider everyone on the Bladebreakers team to be a main character. Takao, Kai, Rei, Max and even Daichi – they are all main characters in my head (and I'm pretty sure they are by canon). However, I think all these characters are on different 'levels', if we can call it that. Sure, Rei, Max, and even Daichi, Kyouji and Hiromi are main characters and they appear in the majority of the episodes (if not all) – however, I think they are on a 'lower' level, if we were to put them on a scale. Whereas I think that Takao and Kai are on the same level. Takao is obviously the protagonist of the series (and 'hero' if we want to call him that) and I think he's followed closely by Kai. Even though Kai is not THE protagonist of the series, we can all see that he definitely has a major role in it, whereas Rei and Max (and all the others) do have important roles, since they're on the team as well, but not as major as Kai's. That's how I always felt, anyway.

The point is – he is definitely a major character in Beyblade. Everyone on the show has their moment, it's true, but I think Kai has most of them (except for Takao, obviously). Think about it. He was introduced as a powerful blader. He is a powerful blader, only second to Takao. (Yes, he beat both Rei and Max and I think he can safely be considered #2 on the team – that's what I always considered him.) He had a mysterious and difficult past. He fought some of the most important and difficult battles, both for himself and the team. He battled against some of the most powerful bladers in the series (Takao did, too, being the main character of the series) and, in my opinion, his battles were some of the most epic in the entire series (i.e. his battles against Brooklyn, Takao and even the other Bladebreakers). For all these reasons, I consider Kai to be definitely an important, as well as a main character.

But what about his antagonist side? Yes, Kai does have his 'antagonist' moments – and we can all see them. In fact, Kai was actually introduced as a villain. He was leader of a group of bladers with a bad reputation, called the "Shellkillers", who stole other kids' beyblades just to find one that had a Bit Beast within it – and let's not forget the way he crushes Iruta's, Takao's and later also Kyouji's beyblades without even as much as a thought. Yes, he was pretty much the bad guy. Takao was also mildly obsessed in battling against him and defeating him – he considered Kai his rival. (I think it's sort of funny how first it was Takao that wanted to defeat Kai at all costs, and then for the rest of the seasons it's pretty much the other way around.) However, his 'bad guy' status quickly changed when the Bladebreakers were formed and Kai was officially part of the team.

Kai would turn to the dark side once again later in the first season, when the Bladebreakers come to Russia. In fact, he abandons his team in order to join the Blizkrieg (or Demolition) Boys and obtain Black Dranzer. Yes, he even gets rid of his own beyblade, good old Dranzer. Not to mention the fact that he practically steals the All Stars' and Baihuzu's (or White Tigers) Bit Beasts. Again, even though he's not the main villain (because we all know the true villain here is Vorkof, along with Hito), he's certainly become the bad guy again. He even goes as far as challenging his former teammates on a frozen lake just to beat them and show that he's the strongest. He actually manages to defeat Kyouji, Rei and Takao's Dragoon, though the latter still tries to win using Kai's Dranzer. In the end, thanks to Max and his new Draciel, and the power of all the Bladebreakers' Bit Beasts combined, they manage to defeat Kai and save him before he drowns in the lake, thus making Kai realize just what being a team means. After that, he goes back to the Bladebreakers, finally opening up to them and not wanting to have anything to do with Vorkof or his grandfather again (though his grandfather tries to convince to join him once more, but with no success).

Kai has no more major 'antagonist' roles in the later seasons of Beyblade – though I think it must be mentioned that he is Takao's rival. In the first half of the third season especially, Kai wants nothing more than to defeat Takao, whom he considers his worthy rival. So again, because he's obviously battling against the protagonist of this series, I think he can be considered some sort of antagonist.

As you can see, Kai is clearly both a main character and an antagonist, switching between roles a few times during the whole series. Personally, I think it's a good thing – both roles show a side of Kai's character that we wouldn't know otherwise. That also makes him more complex and fun to analyze. He's not your typical hero, nor your typical villain – and that's part of the charm of this character.

Flames of Ice © Chibi. Part of Reflection & The Endless Sky Network.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade & all its characters © Takao Aoki.
No copyright infringement intended.
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