Imai Cosmo (今井 コスモ, Imai Kosumo; "Cosmo Imai"), also known as "The King of Stranglers" (絞殺王, Kōsatsu-ō), is one of the affiliated fighters employed for Nishihonji Security Services and also one of "Nishihonji's Seven Fists" (西品治七拳, Nishihonji Shichiken). He represented Nishihonji Security Services during the Kengan Annihilation Tournament.
He is one of the smallest fighters in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament but is still quite defined muscularly with a lean build. Cosmo has a youthful hairless face, befitting his age, a bob of blonde hair and bright eyes. Around his neck, he wears a necklace with a ring on it.
Two years later, Cosmo has a more matured appearance and has grown out his blonde hair, setting it into a ponytail in the back with three thick bangs framing his face (a style very reminiscent of his master's hairstyle).
Imai Cosmo has a very happy-go-lucky personality, and is almost always cheerful and smiling. He was called a social butterfly while in school for having friends across different cliques. He is easy to get along with and makes friends with several of the other fighters, even ones he has just fought. He is a quick learner, being flexible and adaptable.
Cosmo tends to take risks during the fighting, and combined with the fact that his fighting style revolves around submission holds rather than blows, he often ends up coming out of his fights more badly injured than his opponent, even when he wins. While he claims to enjoy fighting for fighting's own sake and does seem to enjoy the thrill of the fight; it is not until he is nearly killed by Akoya Seishu that he realizes that this is not a love of fighting, but a strong desire to win.
He has a close-knit relationship with his employer, Nishihonji Akira, whom he calls his "bro".
As a child, Cosmo was getting into fights on the streets day in and day out, until he met Kureishi Mitsuyo, a mixed martial artist who offered to teach him martial arts. Cosmo proved to be a natural at it, so much so that when one of Kureishi's other students, a young businessman named Nishihonji Akira, came to recruit Kureishi to fight for his business, Kureishi instead referred him to Cosmo.
At the tender age of 14, Cosmo became the youngest person to ever debut in the Kengan matches, taking down a giant man 20cm taller and 30kg heavier into submission. He attended high school during most of his tenure as a fighter, and struggled to keep his brother and school friends from knowing about his rather unusual part-time job. At the age of 17, Nishihonji brought him to fight Anderson Arona, a public MMA fighter. Despite Arona's impressive win streak in Cage Fight, Cosmo ended up easily defeating him and causing Arona to retire from fighting altogether.
He represented Nishihonji Security Services in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. As the first fight of the tournament, Cosmo fought against Adam Dudley in the first round, achieving victory but taking heavy damage in return.
In the second round, Cosmo fought against Akoya Seishu. Despite an extremely brutal fight that nearly caused Cosmo to lose his life, he attained victory and passage to the quarter-finals. After the fight, in a terrible condition and needing to be carried, Cosmo tried to shake hands with Akoya but the latter merely walked off in a huff.
The first two rounds had left him with significant injuries, forcing Cosmo into a wheelchair for a day. During this time, Hayami Katsumasa enacted his coup d'état with his Guardians swarming the Kengan Dome. Cosmo, Adam, Kaneda and Gaolang encountered Long Min's group and the four began fighting him. With Long's impressive skills with his dao keeping them on the defensive, Cosmo got out of his wheelchair and began fighting Long using his newfound Foresight ability. However, just as he was getting somewhere with it, Long suddenly left.
With the coup suppressed, Nishihonji informed Cosmo of his decision to hire Okubo Naoya as his substitute to fight Tokita Ohma in the quarter-finals. Unable to accept this, Cosmo challenged Okubo to defend his position, then placed Okubo in a hold almost immediately with his newfound Foresight ability. Having successfully defended his position as Nishihonji Security Services' fighter, and betraying the expectations of all those in attendance, Cosmo entered the arena to face Ohma.
Initially, thanks to his new-found Foresight ability, Cosmo completely dominated Ohma and drained most of his stamina. With Ohma somehow finding a second wind, he continued using the Niko Style but Cosmo continued to counter the techniques he'd seen before until Ohma used new techniques to turn the tables of the fight. While Cosmo was almost knocked out by Ohma's Water Dragon's Vein technique, Cosmo temporarily nullified Ohma's advantage breaking Ohma's little finger to escape the hold. However, Cosmo was defeated after Ohma used Water Mirror on him, strangling Cosmo with his own arm. Having won the match, Ohma thanked Cosmo for the good fight and told him that he would get stronger in the future.
He was later seen watching the final matches of the tournament along with the fighters who had lost.
Fighting for Nishihonji Security Services in a Kengan match against Johnny Waters, a matured Cosmo ended up defeating his opponent in two strikes. Musing that he couldn't end it in a single blow, after all, Cosmo then happily greeted Kazuo afterward.
At Kureishi's Dojo, Cosmo explained to a surprised Koga about Adam's unique physical abilities. After Adam had finished sparring with Kureishi, Cosmo watched as Koga showcased his new-found looseness by shadow-boxing.
After Koga's first day of training with Kureishi, the three fighters went to watch Gaoh Ryuki's Kengan match. There, Cosmo and Adam were left overwhelmed by how easily Ryuki seemed to take down Yurikawa Taiju, a New Generation fighter. Next, they were alerted to the horrifying presence of new fighter Yuzaki Mumon who was taking on Nitoku in the second Kengan match of the night. He then watched Nitoku storm to victory before witnessing Toyoda Idemitsu make an overt entrance.
Over the next few weeks, Cosmo was seen training alongside Adam (and Koga) at Kureishi's gym.
On the day of Koga's fighter elimination exam, Cosmo watched with everyone else as Koga took on Murasame Shuya and eventually attained victory. With Koga's win, he, Adam and Koga went to watch Ryuki's match against Akoya Seishu after mentioning that Akoya was bad news. Arriving just in time, they watched in horror as Akoya brutally battered Ryuki before the fight was forcibly stopped by the intervention of Katahara Metsudo's Bodyguards.
He helped Koga's training for a three month period, with there only being a month until the inevitable tournament.
Days after, he received a phone call informing him that Tokita Ohma was alive. He went ahead and celebrated with other fighters who also got the news.
Power & Abilities
Considered a fighting prodigy, Cosmo is a jiu-jitsu fighter with high level of agility due to his rather small and lightweight build. Despite his small size he is shown to hit rather hard, as Adam Dudley noted while fighting him. Cosmo's physical and mental endurance is demonstrated when he tanked multiple punches from Adam, who is capable of knocking people out cold with little motion, and continue fighting efficiently. In the battle with Akoya Seishu, despite being bitten and tortured by Akoya, which broke his ribs and nearly his will to fight, Cosmo continued to fight and he defeated Akoya after an adrenaline rush boosted his strength and speed. Furthermore, after the battles with Adam and Akoya, which left Cosmo heavily injured, Cosmo could still move fast enough that Tokita Ohma could not hit him (more so due to the fact that Cosmo was predicting his movements via the use of his new-found Foresight ability).
During the two months between the announcement of the Kengan Annihilation Tournament and the tournament's start, Cosmo sparred against heavyweight martial artists three times daily; as a result, he is well-versed when fighting larger opponents. True to his status as a fighting prodigy, Cosmo is able to learn and implement new fighting techniques and applications quickly: after learning how to utilize his quick reflexes more efficiently after defeating Akoya and then awakening the ability of Foresight during the battle against Hayami's Guardians, Cosmo was able to combine and implement these newly learned abilities in his fight with Ohma, enabling him to dominate Ohma in the early stages of their match.
Foresight: After his match against Akoya Seishu, Cosmo began to develop the ability to predict his opponents' moves in a way similar to Kaneda Suekichi. However, Cosmo can only predict 1-2 moves ahead (in comparison to Kaneda being able to predict up to 7 moves ahead). By combining this move prediction with his incredible reflexes and Zone, Cosmo is able to counter any moves that he has already seen before. However his Foresight is not an ability that can be used in any situation: when predicting a new move or combination, Cosmo's reflexes are drastically slowed. It has been predicted that if he combines his Foresight with his Zone, he would become a nearly-unbeatable fighter in time, though at present his ability is far too underdeveloped.
Zone (ゾーン, Zōn): A technique that is said to be only unique to Cosmo. This technique involves discerning the 0.1 second interval when the opponent is completely focused on their attack. Once the timing is discerned, Cosmo then proceeds to move into the opponent's blind spot and put them into a hold. This technique makes the opponent think that Cosmo has disappeared into thin air until he puts them into a hold.
- D'Arce Choke
- Leg Scissors
- Python Hold, Rear Naked Choke: Cosmo wraps his legs around his opponent's arms in such a way that they are pinned tightly to their torso, completely immobilising his opponent, while also putting them in a rear naked choke hold. In this position, Cosmo strangles their neck with extreme force, putting pressure on their carotid artery and forcibly shutting down blood flow to the brain. As a result, it causes unconsciousness in around 7 seconds.
- Triangle Choke: Cosmo is able to perform the triangle choke with enough constrictive power to knock out even sturdy opponents like Adam Dudley.
Notes & Trivia
- Cosmo went to Kirakira Public High School and was in the same class with Motoyama Hotaru.
- He has been noted to always be eating when and where possible.
- At 19, Imai Cosmo was the youngest fighter in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament, and quite possibly one of the youngest of all registered Kengan fighters at the time.
- He has a preferential taste for older, more mature women. The reason for this is Nishihonji taking him to bars to "learn about society".
- Cosmo is the 2nd most popular character in the series, getting 33,115 votes in the official popularity poll.