Kikuhide Tani (aka 谷 菊秀 or Tani Kikuhide), born roughly around 1960 in Japan, is a Japanese mangaka.

Little is known about him beside him being a long time mentor to Yoshihiro Kuroiwa and them having released their works via the publisher Shueisha.

Kikuhide Tani's most well known masterpiece and all-time favorite of his fanbase, though, has been the series 鬼神童子 ZENKI (Kishin Douji Zenki), an original work by his colleague Yoshihiro Kuroiwa.

His role in the KDZ Team and the making of KDZ

Zenki manga cover Japanese volume 1

Yoshihiro Kuroiwa originally created the Kishin Douji Zenki series all own his own and intended it as a novel.

He had already created the cover art, as well as Zenki's and Chiaki Enno's designs and characters before he made his first contact with Kikuhide Tani.

When Yoshihiro Kuroiwa changed his mind and wanted to turn Kishin Douji Zenki into a manga instead of a novel, he contacting Kikuhide Tani and told him about his idea for the series.

Kikuhide Tani replied, that he wanted to make detailed settings based on Kishin Douji Zenki. Soon enough, Yoshihiro Kuroiwa created the original draft and started working on the prototype of the Kishin Douji Zenki manga.

Yoshihiro Kuroiwa scrapped the prototype, but rereleased it later as a bonus chapter of the actual Kishin Douji Zenki manga as we know it.

Due to Kikuhide Tani being unable to participate, the first volume of the manga and the first episode of the anime series were completely made by Yoshihiro Kuroiwa on his own.

Starting from the second volume of the manga and the second episode of the anime, he was being joined by Kikuhide Tani.

Despite not being involved in the making of the first volume of the manga and the first episode of the anime series, Kikuhide Tani was credited as the author of them nonetheless, due to Yoshihiro Kuroiwa's kindness.

He ensured, that Kikuhide Tani would always be credited as the author on the covers and title screens of the Manga, the anime, the games and the OVA of the Kishin Douji Zenki series.

This information was originally published by Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, who, despite only being credited as the artist on the covers, was the original creator of the Kishin Douji Zenki series.

The only exceptions of this are some of the author comment section entries depicting his colleague Yoshihiro Kuroiwa's statements and possible statements from the other members of the original Kishin Douji Zenki team.

His cultural influence

Since the release of the series "Kishin Douji Zenki", which he had been working on alongside his colleague Yoshihiro Kuroiwa and which had then been released from 1992 to 1996 via the "Weekly Shonen Jump", other titles have been since overshadowed by the series performance.

Being a well received work both by the fans of the series and national entities, the series has also been released as the only major work by the Tokyo Television Network Co., Ltd. (aka "TV Tokyo") in 1995 as an anime series of the same name.

As "Kishin Douji Zenki" was heavily influenced by Ozunu Enno and his great importance to Buddhism and its uprising in Japanese history, as well as the folklore about the demon gods and holy guardian deities Zenki and Goki, Yoshihiro Kuroiwa's and Kikuhide Tani's work resulted in a massive increase in interest towards these topics over the course of the nineties.

A list of his works

This list gives a short overview of Kikuhide Tani's works.


  • 鬼神童子ZENKI (Kishin Douji Zenki / Demon God Child Zenki)
    • "Monthly Shonen Jump", December 1992 - September 1996, 12 volumes / 7 volumes (rerelease), original work by: Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, publisher: Shueisha

Little is known about in which works beside "Kishin Douji Zenki" Kikuhide Tani was involved in in the past, or if he published any other works at all, though it is very likely that Kishin Douji Zenki was not the only series he was involved in. It is just the most well known and best received one.


This gallery covers all images showing Kikuhide Tani alone or alongside the other members of the KDZ team. It also included his self portraits from the Kishin Douji Zenki manga's author comment sections.

References and Credits

In General

  • Vasara - writing this article about Kikuhide Tani
  • Gokimaru - writing the article about Yoshihiro Kuroiwa and giving Vasara a general overview regarding cross-over points of their works
  • First hand report from Takasi Tono, who was in direct contact with Yoshihiro Kuroiwa via Twitter
    • The original source of her report was an interview with Yoshihiro Kuroiwa himself from back in 2008


  • Unlike Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, who has a full biography regarding his work as a mangaka, very little is known about Kikuhide Tani.
    • The "probably" entries are assumptions based around him being Yoshihiro Kuroiwa's mentor, but referenced in a more friendship-like tone and them both being active around the same time and both of them working in Japan.
    • Unknown entries are currently unknown, as either no references about them exist or none of them are publicly available.