Kano lead a faction that split off from the Red Dragon, calling themselves the Black Dragon. Like the Red Dragon, they still performed organized crime but they were more reckless and crude than the secretive and honorable Red Dragon. The Black Dragon were immediately pursued by the Special Forces, he eventually killed Sonya Blade's partner and was mercilessly hunted by her.
Eventually he caught word that Shang Tsung possessed vast treasure on his island, so Kano entered the tournament so the Black Dragon could raid Shang Tsung's fortune. He was of course followed by Sonya Blade, but both he and Sonya would be taken by captive by Shang Tsung and imprisoned by the dark emeror, Shao Kahn. Kano however struck a bargain with Shao Kahn and, betraying his own realm, allied with Shao Kahn and taught his soldiers about Earth's technology.
Kano and Sonya would later fight atop a building where Kano would fall and left broken, but would be mended by Motaro to face punishment by Shao Kahn for his failures. While once again imprisoned, he struck a deal with Sheeva after she slayed Motaro. He would aid her in her assassination plot against Shao Kahn: he'd go in to distract Shao Kahn and signal Sheeva for her to attack when his guard is down. Their plan appeared to go accordingly, but little did she know that Kano actually revealed Sheeva's intention and signaled Sheeva to her demise. For his actions, Shao Kahn made Kano a general in his army.
After Shao Kahn's defeat, he would stumble upon Shang Tsung and Quan Chi trying to kill Shao Kahn. Instead of aiding Shao Kahn, he decided to wait and serve whomever won. Shang Tsung and Quan Chi were enough to overcome the weakened emperor and Kano was quick to pledge allegiance and aided them in resurrecting the Dragon King's armies.
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 200 lbs
- Nationality: Earthrealm
- Martial Art: He is trained in Xing Yi and Aikido.He is also very skilled with Butterfly knives.
- Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat II (cameo)
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
- Mortal Kombat Trilogy
- MK: Special Forces
- MK: Deadly Alliance
- MK: Deception (cameo)
- MK: Shaolin Monks
- MK: Armageddon
- MK vs. DC Universe
- Mortal Kombat (2011)
Powers and abilities
Kano is extremely adept in combat. What differentiates him from other kombatants, however, is his dependence on weapons rather than special powers. He very often uses his Butterfly Knives in combat, whether he throws them at the opponent or uses them in hand-to-hand combat. In addition, his eye laser is used often, mostly as a finisher but sometimes as a special move.
Another of Kano's special moves is his ability to tuck into a cannonball and propel himself at his opponents. This has been a signature move of his since the first game. Also, several of his finishers involve him ripping vital organs (or sometimes entire skeletons) out of the opponent's body. Along with the elder Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality, Kano's Heart Rip helped Mortal Kombat garner significant controversy over its violence factor.
- Kanoball: Kano curls into a ball and flies at his opponent. In MK 2011 this is known simply as Ball. (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK:DA, MK:SM, MK:A, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Kano Ball. Kano will spin in the air momentarily before launching at the opponent, hitting them several times. This can be charged and it's unblockable if held for the full charge.
- Down Ball: Kano performs a Ball from the air to the ground, hitting the opponent if on his way. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is Downward Ball and allows Kano to do an anti air grab before the opponent hits the ground.
- Upwards Kanoball: Kano aims his Kanoball upwards to an aerial opponent. This moves is known simply as Up Ball in MK 2011. (UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Uprise Ball. Kano will do an animation like Up Ball except he will roll downwards after getting to a certain height.
- Psycho Kanoball: This version sees Kano flying all over the screen in random directions. (MKT)
- Knife Throw: Kano throws a pair of knives at his opponent. In MK 2011, he only throws one knife. (MK, MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Knife Toss and Kano throws two knives.
- Blade Swipe: Kano slashes his opponents with his knife in an upward swing. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Blade Spin: Kano spins both of his knives around his body, knocking the opponent up into the air if it connects. Only usable by MK Kano. (MKT)
- Air Throw: While in the air, Kano uses his legs to push the opponent to the ground. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MK 2011)
- Chokehold: Kano would grab his opponent and lift them in the air by the throat and proceed to stab them them in the chest. In MK 2011, this move changes to a ground based choke and is simply called Choke. (MK3, UMK3, MKT, MKvsDCU, MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Kano Choke. Kano grounds the opponent and smashes their head on the ground and then rolls over them to the other side.
- Eye Laser: Kano shoots a laser from his eye at the opponent. (MK:DA, MK:A, MKvsDCU)
- Inner Rage: Kano concentrates for a short amount of time before covering his hands in red energy. Using this move increases the amount of damage dealt. (MK:A)
- Fist of Power: Kano rapidly lunges forward and strikes the opponent with an energy covered fist. (MK:A)
- X-Ray Move - Just the Tip: Kano plunges a knife into his opponent's right thigh, going through and snapping the femur. Before the opponent can react Kano proceeds to stab them in the left thigh, resulting in another broken femur. Then he delivers a devastating kick to the front of the skull, causing heavy fracture damage. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Kano slashes his opponent in the stomach twice with a knife, then either headbutts them to the ground (Forward Throw), or turns around and throws them over his shoulder (Backwards Throw). (MK 2011)
- Heart Rip: Kano's signature fatality has him ripping the heart out of his opponent's chest, then hoisting the still beating organ in the air in triumph. Variations of this fatality have also been used by other members of the Black Dragon: Jarek in MK4 and Kobra in MK:D. (MK, MKT, MK:SM)
- Deadly Roundhouse: In the Game Boy version, Kano slides up on one foot and performs a roundhouse to his opponent, launching them straight up into the air, possibly snapping their neck when they drop to the ground. (MK)
- Eye Laser: Kano fires a concentrated heat beam of energy towards the opponent to boil their body until it tears into pieces. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Skeleton Rip: Kano pulls out the victim's entire skeleton by grabbing the skull from their teeth and jerking it out, leaving the rest of the body to fall flat on the floor in a heap of skin. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Organ Donor: Kano pulls out his opponent's heart, liver and kidneys two at a time and kicks the opponent away. (MK:DA)
- Knife Toss: Before executing this fatality, he slowly walks away from his opponent, as if he were giving up, then he throws both Butterfly Knives into the opponent abruptly. (MKvsDCU)
- Flip Stomp: Kano grabs the opponent, flips backwards with them, then jumps into the air. He comes back down and stomps on them with full force. (MKvsDCU)
- Heartbreak: A variation of his signature fatality, Kano turns the opponent around and punches the heart out through his victim´s back, holding it so they can see it. He then crushes the heart in his hands, pulls it back out and hoists it in the air while blood still pumps out. (MK 2011)
- Eat Your Heart Out: Another variation of his signature fatality, Kano rips the heart out of his opponent's chest, then proceeds to rip off their head. He jams the opponent's head into the hole in their chest and kicks them away. (MK 2011)
- Friendship: Kano blows a bubble from a piece of gum in his mouth and the bubble explodes in his face. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Animality: Kano turns into a tarantula and locks himself onto his opponent, crushing their guts while they spew out of the opponent. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Babality: Kano turns into a baby and gives the camera the sign of death, then falls due to the weight of his metal eye. (MK 2011)
Appearances in other media
Kano appeared in the first Mortal Kombat movie, and was played by the late Trevor Goddard. He seems to have very bad table manners, as shown when Sonya, Liu Kang and Johnny Cage are spying on him, Goro, and Shang Tsung later in the film. In spite of their allegiance, Shang Tsung and Goro have little respect for him. The film expanded upon Kano's rivalry with Sonya from the games; she now had a personal interest in seeking vengeance against Kano for killing her partner. Shang Tsung hires Kano to lure Sonya into the Mortal Kombat tournament and promises to grant Kano the reward he desires for his efforts after he faces off against Sonya in the tournament, demanding that Sonya is not to be killed but merely humiliated, claiming that he has plans for her. During their match, Kano gleefully taunts Sonya about how he murdered her partner. After beating Sonya harshly, Kano is caught off guard by Sonya's Leg Grab, and is soon trapped between her thighs and at her mercy. Shang Tsung betrays Kano and goads Sonya into finishing him off. Despite pleading for his life, Sonya proceeds to break Kano's neck.
Goddard's Australian interpretation of Kano was so well received by fans that Kano was retconned as Australian from his original American-Japanese descent. In Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe and Mortal Kombat (2011), Kano is notably modeled after Goddard's look in the film and speaks with an Australian accent.
British actor and martial artist Darren Shahlavi portrayed Kano in Mortal Kombat: Legacy. In the series, he is the leader of the Black Dragon organization and plans an ambush for the Deacon City Police Department after taking Sonya hostage. A police squad led by Jax breaks into the Black Dragon warehouse and fights through Kano's thugs. Kano attempts to escape, but Jax soon catches up with him. Kano and Jax engage each other in combat, during which Kano describes his torturing of Sonya to taunt Jax. He is subsequently defeated, and an angry Jax punches Kano repeatedly in the face, the final blow dealt with so much force that it caves in his right eye socket. Sometime later, Kano is found by his gang and is given a cybernetic eye as a replacement. He also appears in Episode 9, which chronologically takes place before Episodes 1 and 2. He oversees his cybernetic project in fruitition, alongside with the Lin Kuei Grandmaster.
Kano appears in two episodes of the animated cartoon Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. He is the main antagonist in Episode 6 (Familiar Red) and also reappears in Episode 11 (Amends). The cartoon explains Kano's past rivalry with Sonya, showing him in a flashback scene having killed Sonya's partner in a carefully rigged bomb (which almost killed Sonya as well). The flashback continues with a recreation of a scene in the first movie, where Kano loses to Sonya in the Mortal Kombat tournament. In Amends, they also touched Kano's relationship with Kabal, showing their past history as clan members in the Black Dragon clan.
Kano appears in the Malibu Comics series keeping his personality and history faithful to the early games' portrayal. He also was protagonist of a 3-issues miniseries alongside Raiden entitled Rayden & Kano. During the Blood & Thunder series it is shown the origin of Sonya's vendetta against him, when he kills Sonya's partner (called Lance/Sparky in the comics) during a tournament battle by means of a heart rip. His motivations to loot the island are replaced by his discovery of the Tao Te Zan and the powers it grants. During the series' epilogue in the Tournament Edition issue, he's finally captured by Sonya and Jax and sent into custody.
He would later escape (as shown in the Breakout mini-story that came with the U.S. Special Forces issue 1°) and during the Battlewave series he would be disposed by his superiors in the Black Dragon due to his failure, only to be rescued by Raiden. Raiden would attempt to use Kano to eliminate Shao Kahn by means of a mystical sword that drew power from a bad guy turned to the side of good, but Kano betrays Raiden and joins Shao Kahn, remaining in his forces the following issues.