|一乗寺 賢 Ichijouji Ken|
"I won't let people suffer anymore because of what I did… no more!"
The youngest child of the Ichijouji family, Ken spent most of his childhood living in his late brother's shadow. After all, Osamu was the family genius, always getting on the news, always bringing greatness to the Ichijouji family name, while Ken, well, he was just plain Ken.
The little brother; the tag-along, the one that his parents seemed to forget about as soon as Osamu walked through the door.
Not that Osamu minded spending time with his younger brother. It was Osamu, after all, who taught him to blow bubbles and comment that because Ken was kind, his bubbles always came out perfect. Of course, Ken didn't believe him, for perfection was something Osamu achieved, not him.
Then, one day, things changed. A digi-vice came though Osamu's computer and Osamu snatched it up and threw it into his desk drawer, telling Ken that it was his and not to touch it. Ken, of course, was a curious child, and had to see; to he waited till his brother was gone before picking it up. And was subsequently sucked into his brother's computer and into the Digital World, where he met his partner for the first time, Wormmon.
It is believed that during this time, Ken and Wormmon met up with another child named Ryo and his V-mon (believed to later be Daisuke's V-mon), and battle against an evil Digimon named Millenniummon. Following Millenniummon's defeat, he released dark seeds. Ken, being the kind of person he is, pushed Ryo out of their way, only to be struck by one himself. Ken is nursed back to health over the course of several weeks, and when he returns home, discovers that it was it was the same day he had left.
He is met by his angry brother, who informed him that, by going into the drawer and taking the device, he had broken his trust. In anger, he found himself wishing that Osamu would just go away.
A wish made in childish anger that he would soon regret, as he stood by helplessly as his brother was struck by a car and killed. Shortly after his brother's funeral, he received a mysterious e-mail on his brother's computer, telling him to take the Digi-vice from the desk drawer and return the Digital World and escape the guilt he felt for the death of his brother. Ken did so, and ended up in a part of the Digital World called the Dark Ocean. Placing the Digi-vice into the water there, it shifts and turns into a Black D-3. And the Dark Seed that had been planted in him during his first adventure finally beings to grow.
Of course, with this, comes changes. Ken begins to develop traits once held by his brother, such as his genius. He begins to excel at everything he does, and becomes the best soccer player Tamachi Elementary has ever had. He wins various academic contests and sets many a school record. His parents are ecstatic, for it seems as if Osamu has come back to them.
However, thanks to the dark seed, Ken also begins to develop apathy towards everything.
He sees others, including his own parents, beneath his notice. Nothing stands in his way in the real world, so he turns his attention towards another, the Digital World.
Adapting the guise of the Digimon Kaiser, Ken returns there for a challenge and sets out to conquer it, one Digimon at a time. Ruthless, he builds dark towers as a sign as of his power and invents dark rings, that, when placed around a Digimon, allow the Kaiser to control them. The towers also dampen the effect of the digital evolution, and no longer allowed the Digimon to evolve into their higher forms.
Of course, the Digital World did not take this sitting down, and called upon a new team of Chosen Children to come to its aid: Yagami Hikari and Takahashi Takeru from the original group three years ago and newcomers Motomiya Daisuke, Inoue Miyako and Hida Iori. Along with their Digimon, they discover Armor evolution through the use of Digimentals. Armor evolution is not affected by the dark towers, and such, the Kaiser has found himself some opponents in his quest, as the Chosen set out to destroy the dark towers and put an end to the Kaiser's reign of terror.
Their battle starts to spill over into the real world when Daisuke and Ken's soccer teams have a match. Although Tamachi still wins, Daisuke is the only one that's even come close to stopping Ken "The Rocket" Ichijouji, when Daisuke side slides into him, accidentally cutting his ankle. Later on, in the Digital World, Daisuke discovers Ken and the Kaiser are one in the same when he noticed that the Kaiser has the same cut that he gave Ken.
Ken decides at that point to leave the real world entirely and begins his full time stay in the Digital World. He begins work on the Dark Spiral, a device that does the same thing as the Rings, but allows him to control higher level Digimon, using it to force one of the original Chosen's, Taichi, partner, Agumon, to evolve against his will. Agumon is freed, but it becomes quite obvious to the children that the Kaiser needs to be stopped.
Deciding to use one of the Kaiser's advantages against him (being that he's in the Digital World 24/7 and the good guys have school and stuff), they decide to stay in the Digital World until they defeat him, using the idea of going on a camping trip with friends to hide their absences.
By this time, the Kaiser has come up with the great idea of creating his own Digimon using parts of others. Wormmon, fearing for his partner, helps the Chosen when they invade the base, and leads Daisuke and V-mon to the power core of the base, which turns in a Golden Digimental and allowes V-mon to evolve into Magnamon. Magnamon attempts to defeat Chimeramon (the Kaiser's freaky ass Frankenstein Digimon), but instead, Wormmon turns against him and sends his power to Magnamon, which in turn, allows the Golden Armor Digimon to defeat Kimeramon.
The Kaiser, upset that he lost, proclaimed that he'd just reset the game and start over. The other Chosen told him that what he had been doing wasn’t a game, in fact, he had been terrorizing living, breathing creatures. Ken collapses, unbelieving, and the Golden Digimental turns into a Crest (an object that all the original Chosen had had, but were destroyed by the end of the first series) and floats to him. Wormmon, using his last breath, explains that the Crest of Kindness was always Ken's and it was returning to its rightful place. Wormmon dies in Ken's arms, shattering any semblance of rational left in the boy, and he staggers off into the Digital desert alone, the other Chosen watching behind him.
Ken returns home, much to the relief of his parents who had been holding regular news conferences begging for their son to return home, but not everything is alright in the Ichijouji household. Ken spends the first couple days of his return in a type of coma, and upon awakening, it seems as he has some type of amnesia. While trying to figure out just want went on, Ken discovers two objects on his desk, his crest and D-3, and ends up in the Digital World once again, this time in Primary Village, where Digimon who are killed end up going to be reborn. Confronted by various baby Digimon and fueled by his desire and admission that he can't change what he's done, but he can try to make up for it, the crest leads him to Wormmon's egg. Upon reaching it, it hatches and Ken is reunited with the baby form of Wormmon, Leafmon.
Reunited as Chosen Child and Digimon, Ken and Wormmon being the task of cleaning up the Kaiser's mess by trying to destroy the Dark Towers. However, their steps are dogged by a mysterious woman in a long red dress with white hair as she teases and taunts Ken at every turn. She beings trying the leftover towers into fake Digimon and sending them out to do damage, with leads Ken to crossing paths with the other Chosen. When Stingmon (Wormmon's evolved form) saves Iori from a Thundermon by destroying it, the Chosen are convinced that Ken is still up to his old tricks. All except Daisuke, who continuously tries to seek out Ken and convince him to join the team.
During one of the attacks by the fake Digimon, the other Chosen discover that Ken and Stingmon hadn't, in fact, been killing real Digimon, but they were dark towers turned Digimon when the fake skin was ripped in a place that allowed them to see the truth underneath. Following that battle, the Chosen, except for Iori, became more accepting of Ken. And when XV-Mon (V-mon's evolved form) and Stingmon jogress evolved into Paildramon, it became apparent that Ken was a member of the team, even if it some of the relationships were strained. And while Ken still uneasy around them, he found himself teaming up with them in the various battles with Archnemon (the above mysterious lady in red), Mummymon and later Black WarGreymon, a Digimon created by Archnemon using 100 dark towers. Black WarGreymon begins searching for the Holy Stones, which, when destroyed, allow for the weakening barrier between the real world and the Digital World and place the harmony of the Digital World in disorder.
One by one, Black WarGreymon manages to destroy the Holy Stones, despite the Chosen's best efforts, until there is only one left. While their Digimon keep Black WarGreymon distracted, they decide to try moving it, by aiming their D3s at it. Instead of allowing them to move it, however, it releases Qinglongmon, wherein the Chosen discover that the Dark Towers sealed his power, wherein Ken discovers one of the reasons that he was being used as the Digimon Kaiser: to build as many Dark Towers as possible and destroying the balance of the Digital World.
Not long after, Ken decides to hold a Christmas party for his new friends. To his surprise, they all accept, even Iori, who he was pretty sure still hated him because of the Kaiser incident. The party had been fun, of course, until it had gotten interrupted by a horde of Digimon appearing in the Real World. After returning the Digimon to where they were supposed to be, the children parted for the night, returning home, only to discover the next morning on the news that Dark Towers had started appearing all over the world, along with lost Digimon as well.
While the rest of the Chosen agree to meet at another one of the original Chosen's house, Koushiro, Daisuke goes to Tamachi instead, to help out Ken. Which is probably a good thing, because unlike the rest of the second gen of Chosen, Ken doesn't have a Digimetal of Kindness and thus, Wormmon can't evolve any further than his chid level. Daisuke and Lighdramon appear, allowing for Lighdramon to destroy the tower and for V-Mon and Wormmon to evolve into Paildramon.
While Paildramon is getting his butt kicked, Gennai (the kids' mentor from the first season) shows up with one of Qinglongmon's Digicore, which will, in turn, give the Digimon more power and allow them to evolve further than they have been. Then the light engulfs Paildramon, he evolves to his ultimate form, Impiraldramon, who them quickly dispatches both the Digimon lose and the Dark Towers all over Japan.
Soon after, the children travel around the world to join up with other the international Chosen Children and send the lost Digimon back to the Digital World, with Ken traveling to Mexico with Ishida Yamato to get rid of the ones there.
After they return home, Ken starts having weird dreams about his first time in the Digital World - a time he really doesn't remember. When he questions Wormmon about it, his partner admits that they had been together in the Digital World two years ago and that Ken had hurt his neck and then got real sick afterwards. The next morning, it's discovered that several children had gone missing during the time the chosen had gone away, which gives Ken a bad feeling. Later that afternoon, they are attacked by the Demon Corps, led by a Digimon called Demon, who is looking for Ken, who reveals that Ken has something that he needs.
At the same time, Archnemon appears, asking that Ken go with them instead, as she has a truck full of kidnapped children that she would like to introduce him to. Seeing no other choice and wanting to save those children, Ken goes with Archnemon.
It is here that a man named Yukio Oikawa reveals himself as the one behind Archnemon and Mummymon. Not only that, but that the children came with him willingly, once he revealed to them that he had the power to make them just like their idol, Ken Ichijouji.
And how does he plan on doing that, pray tell? Well, it turns out that Ken has something called a dark seed inside of him, planted there during his original journey into the Digital World with Wormmon two years ago. Said seed makes one smart, good at sports…. all things that Ken had been and that the children wanted to be.
Oikawa now plans on copying that seed from Ken and implanting it into those children. Ken balks, but he doesn't get much of a choice as Oikawa forcefully grabs him and copies the seed, the pain causing Ken to pass out. When he awakens, Oikawa is already planting the copied seeds and Ken can do nothing but watch in horror, because he doesn't want anyone else to have to go through the things he did.
Meanwhile, as this is going on, Daisuke is riding to the rescue on Lighdramon, with Wormmon on his side. They jump onto the truck and end up holding on for dear life as Mummymon tries to shake them off, only to have everything shot to hell with the arrival of Demon, who's still looking for Ken.
Oikawa is more than happy to hand Ken over, now that he has gotten what he needed, when V-mon interrupts them. Daisuke and Wormmon get Ken out of the line of danger and Ken refuses to leave until the other children are rescued. This clues Demon into the fact that the children also had dark seeds as well and he plans to take them all, but V-mon and Wormmon jogress evolve to stop him. Even as the others arrive, the combined efforts of the three jogressed Digimon are not enough to defeat Demon and instead, only hold him at bay. While the Chosen try to figure out what they can do to stop him, it's suggested that perhaps they ought to send him back to the Digital World. Demon taunt them, however, stating that he can open a gate back anytime he wishes, when Hikari hits upon the idea of sending him back to the Dark Ocean.
Of course, they start to realize that they lack the ability to open a gate to that dark dimension when Ken speaks up, having used his digivice to open a gate there before. It isn't easy, as Ken has to come to grips with his fear of the darkness and the pain it caused him to open it fully. While the others stand with him and encourage him, it's Daisuke's words that allow him to finally let go, as Daisuke tells him that he's no longer the person he once was, that he's no longer the Digimon Kaiser. He's suffered but he finally managed to break free of the darkness and that's he's been atoning for everything he's done.
Knowing that the other's are with him, Ken finally let's go, allowing the Gate to open fully and for the Digimon to send Demon to the Dark Ocean. After celebrating, they realize that Oikawa has escaped and that the children are in the hands of the police, there's nothing further that they can do at the moment.
Returning home, Ken's parents react to his appearance with tears and worry and his father asks him what he's involved with. It's then that he decides to bring his parents to his room, where he introduces them to Wormmon and explains everything to them, including the Digital World and the Kaiser.
As the Kaiser, Ken was, to put it simply, a bastard. He kicked puppies, ringed Digimon to control them, and even abused his own partner. Even in his dealings with people, he treated them as scum and no one was the wiser, simply dismissing it as a quirk of his genius.
He was better than everyone, included those blasted Chosen Children, and no one was going to take that away from him. This was simply a game to win. He was the best and he was going to prove it.
Following the defeat of the Kaiser, however, Ichijouji Ken was a boy plagued by guilt and so far removed from the boy he had once been, that he wasn't even sure if he could be that person ever again. No longer the super genius he once was, he became the shy boy he had once been, while trying to rebuild his relationship with his parents and trying to figure out who Ichijouji Ken really was.
He believed that he deserved everything he got and then some for what he had done as the Kaiser, allowing both the Digimon and the Chosen Children to think what they would of him, not even bothering to correct their assumptions about Stingmon's supposed killing of Thundermon. He even told Daisuke that he was willing to die if that's what it took for him to make amends. Needless to say, he got slapped for that one. Plus,he was willing to give himself up to Oikawa in exchange for the children that they had kidnapped, not realizing it was a plot to copy the Dark Seed that was implanted in the back of his neck.
However, things begun to change for him, as he found himself more and more in the presence of the other Chosen as they began to warm up to him, realizing he had truly changed; Daisuke's endless offers of friendship, and Wormmon's endless encouragement helped him to start to realize that he had changed, himself.
He's also easy to anger when it comes to someone bringing up the Kaiser as a way to bait him, as Archnemon did when she had tried to distract him from going to the Digital World to help the rest of the Chosen.
Ken tends to be quiet and withdrawn until he warms up to someone and is comfortable in their presence, even if he still doesn't talk much. For instance, when he called his mother to ask permission to stay over a friend's house for the night, his mother was so happy, she cried. He was so closed off from other children, the simple fact he had a friend he wished to stay the night with moved her to tears. Then, when he had thrown a Christmas party for his current generation of Chosen, his mother commented to herself that it was a wonderful thing to have laughing children in the house again - implying that the house was bereft of such a thing after Osamu had died.
Also, in order to defeat Demon, Ken was forced to confront the darkness inside of himself in order to force the Digital Gate the Digimon had opened into a gate to the Dark Ocean instead. He still fears giving in to the darkness that he believes is inside of him, but that fear has abated slightly from the crushing presence it once had been.
Ken's biggest power is that he's a chosen child - one chosen by the Digital World to receive a Digital partner and to help protect the Digital World and by extension, the real world as well. Seeing as how Wormmon won't be with him, however, it seems a rather moot point, since he won't have a partner to help evolve.
Ken does have some natural abilities, however. Even without the Dark Seed's influence, he does have higher than average intelligence and he is an athlete, being the best soccer player Tamachi Elementary has. He can also defend himself - he knows judo, after all. And while it's attributed to the Dark Seed that he's has these abilities, he's never actually shown playing soccer again after the defeat of the Kaiser. But he still has enough speed that he can keep up with Daisuke in a race to stop an explosion from happening.
He's also apparently fluent in Spanish, as Yamato, Gabumon and Wormmon leave all the translating duties to him when they're in Mexico.
Takato Matsuda - One of Ken's closest friends in Nautilus, he became close to the other as a result of their shared knowledge of Digimon. Of course, Ken has discovered that Takato's Digital World is different then his own, but that doesn't stop them from getting into discussions about their experiences and their partners.
Lelouch vi Britannia - the only person Ken has told the whole truth to regarding his status as the Digimon Kaiser and the hell he had unleashed upon the Digital World before he saw the error of his ways. Lelouch has become something of an older brother/guardian for Ken, to the point where Ken is now living in the other's mansion with Lelouch; his sister, Nunnally; their friend, Suzaku and another friend, Alma.
Alma Karma - Alma has become something of a little brother to Ken. He enjoys spending time with the boy, and his company has kept at bay many a depressing thought. Lelouch also adopted Alma into his home the same time he did Ken, adding onto the illusions of a sort of surrogate family.