The Boys elevated Kimiko’s character in a way that wasn’t the case for her comics counterpart and we break down what worked better in the TV show.

The Boys fixes Kimiko from the comics. The Amazon series follows the titular characters in their mission to defeat The Seven, an elite team of corporate-backed superheroes who are anything but the good guys. In season 1, the Boys find Kimiko, who was imprisoned and experimented on. However, Kimiko has a much more developed storyline in The Boys series, making her a much better version than her comic book counterpart. 

In the comics, Kimiko doesn’t have a name at all and is used primarily to kill others with no developed story of her own. She is known only as The Female, someone who accidentally ingested Compound V as a baby, turning her into a feral killing machine who works with the Boys and the mafia as an adult. Kimiko was never captured by the Shining Light Liberation Army, who killed her parents and forced her to serve in their military alongside her brother, who also doesn’t exist in the comics. In the case of Kimiko, The Boys added a lot more nuance and depth to her character that the comics left by the wayside, which was a problem since she never felt like a full-fledged person on the page.

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In the show, Kimiko has more than revenge on her mind. She wanted to find her brother after successfully escaping the Shining Light Liberation Army. Because Kimiko felt guilty for leaving him behind, she wanted to ensure that they would be able to be together as a family once they reunited. This aspect of her storyline gave her mission a lot more emotional resonance. She wasn’t just killing for the sake of it nor was she angry for no reason. Kimiko had a goal — to find her brother — and that drove much of her narrative and that opened her up. The series’ version of Kimiko actually had a full range of emotion and personality, with her journey filled with pathos, purpose, and heart. Kimiko became a character worth rooting for and one who had agency, who formed connections with The Boys, and felt more independent than she was in the comics. 

Karen Fukuhara as Kimiko in The Boys

What’s more, Kimiko became mute after her mother was killed, but that didn’t stop her from trying to communicate her wants and needs in The Boys, which is something the comics leave out due to its more one-dimensional depiction of the character. In The Boys season 2, Kimiko developed even further, with the early episodes showcasing her use of the sign language she and her brother developed to communicate. It gave Kimiko more of a voice that she didn’t have in the comics beyond being a killing machine. In the show, she kills for a reason, which gives her a better background and story.

All told, The Boys imbues Kimiko with more depth, expanding the limitations of the character from the comics, giving her a bigger purpose and further exploration. In the Amazon series, Kimiko feels more like a fully formed person, one with a lot of heart beneath her killer exterior. The same can’t be said for her comics counterpart, which makes her more of a soulless machine than anything else. There is even more room for growth and development for Kimiko in The Boys season 3, especially now that she’s more fully established within The Boys.  

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