Kiyotaka Ishimaru is a character from the Danganronpa anime and video game.
Kiyotaka prizes one thing above all else: order. He's constantly preaching the virtues of exercising, respecting your elders, etc. He takes a role of leadership amongst the students, encouraging them to stick together, but not everybody listens or takes him seriously. He initially has a fierce rivalry with Mondo, but the two end up becoming blood brothers over their mutual passion. He is the first victim of chapter 3, bludgeoned to death with a hammer by Hifumi, who was acting under the instructions of Celeste.
In the XP4 fics, Kiyotaka debuted in the XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries.
At the beginning of the Killing School Life in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Kiyotaka appears to be young high school-aged teenager, but due to the memory loss he is two years older than he believed. He has short, spiky black hair, large matching eyebrows, and intense red eyes.
He wears a military-style white Japanese school male uniform with five golden buttons on each sleeve and six on his chest, a red and bronze medal above his right breast pocket featuring his Former High Schoolsymbol, yellow epaulettes, a red, black, and white armband with the kanji fūki (meaning "Public Morals"), and knee-high black lace-up boots.
The kanji character adorning the collar of his uniform actually represents a verb read as mairu which means either "to be defeated", "to be annoyed", "to be madly in love" or "to visit a shrine/grave".
As Kiyondo, his appearance is mostly the same but his hair is pure white and his eyes have a red glowing aura to them.
Befitting of the Ultimate Moral Compass, Kiyotaka is righteous and values order and rules above all else. He takes his role as a student very seriously, shown when he gets upset that there are currently no classes going on during the Killing School Life. He also states he has 10 sets of his uniform so he never runs out and so he is able to wear one every day of the year, even on holidays or days off from school. He is shown to be very polite and respectful, as in original Japanese release, he addresses people, even girls with "-kun" honorifics.
Because of his grandfather's tragedy, he considers effort most important and he is a hard worker, believing that one can achieve anything through it. He also considers genius' fate a tragedy and he considers geniuses his enemies, because they don't understand the true value of effort. He also believes that people who are easily provoked to violence are cowards. Described as "enthusiastic to the point of being mad", Kiyotaka believes that your every action must have a purpose and he absolutely hates wasting time.
Fitting his talent, Kiyotaka often takes up and views himself as a leader, as seen when he organizes the morning meeting for the other students. However, he often isn't taken very seriously—due to his extreme dedication to studying and proper conduct, he could not even hold a "normal" conversation with another person, which becomes clear very soon if someone spends free time with him. Furthermore, he is very expressive and intense in his manner of speech, and is almost constantly shouting. Due to his lack of social skills, he often bursts out the first thing that comes to his mind and forces his values and beliefs on others, which he's aware of and feels guilty about. Possibly because of the lack of social interaction in his life, he can also be insensitive toward another at times, as evidenced in the beginning of Chapter 2, when he said that Makoto would not feel too comfortable sleeping in the same room with Sayaka Maizono's corpse.
Nevertheless, Kiyotaka truly cares about his classmates. He is willing to take pragmatic approaches to avoid murder, such as offering to have everyone, starting with himself, reveal their secrets to avoid Monokuma's second incentive and naively thinking during the first trial the killer would raise their hand and reveal themself to avoid said trial.
Though he acts confidently and is quick to take the role of leadership, he suffers from low-self esteem at times and he is quite sensitive, sometimes crying very easily if he is shocked or touched by something. Inside, he wishes he could make friends and have someone to talk to, but he feels that he might be a nuisance to others, as he is stated to overreact to everything. Some of his other weaknesses appear to be his slight naivety and slow-wittedness, as he sometimes figures things out slower than the most other students and tricking him seems to be rather easy.
One of his unique traits is also his belief that "when the body is naked, so is the soul", meaning that showing each other their naked bodies helps two men form a mutual trust. Overall, Kiyotaka values bonds between men, and during his Free Time Event he asks Makoto to bathe with him in an attempt to become closer friends with him.
In the end, the death of his first and best friend, Mondo, renders him in a state of shock and he becomes almost completely speechless and unresponsive. After adopting the personality of Kiyondo, he becomes more aggressive and very protective of Alter Ego, whom he sees as his Bro. He uses more aggressive language, though refuses to use vulgar language (though he does so in the Japanese version). However, he still sees himself as the Ultimate Moral Compass, mentioning himself that he wouldn't perform criminal activities.
Kiyotaka is a member of the Heroes Coalitions as a staff member. He also attends at Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries
In Chapter 11, Kiyotaka is seen walking in the empty halls of the Vanguard Academy when he found a tied-up & gagged Alden Cole inside a locker. Kiyotaka immediately understood what happened to Alden, so he decided to leave him inside the locker as punishment.
In Chapter 23, Kiyotaka is seen walking in the empty halls of the Vanguard Academy when Ichigo Kurosaki, Duncan Nelson and Taro Yamada got down from the top of a row of lockers when he made his presence.
As the Ultimate Moral Compass, Kiyotaka has a strong sense of morality and duty. Even during the Killing School Life he doesn't forget his rigorous beliefs about right and wrong. Kiyotaka often takes up the role of a leader, and tries his best to lead his fellow students on the right path, much to their annoyance.
- Kiyotaka is interested in kendoka. He has a practice sword in his room and he is seen using one in an official art piece.
- Kiyotaka's former high school, Kaiseidan High School, is a reference to two real-world schools that are two of Japan's top academic schools: (Kaisei Koukou) and (Nada Koukou). The Kanji (Kaisei) and (Nada) are combined to make (Kaiseidan).
- Kiyotaka's English voice actor Sean Chiplock is also the voice of Monotaro in the English version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
- Kiyotaka was voted the third most popular character in the Japanese fandom.