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Kusaka Kori
Personal Info
Real Name Kusaka Kori
Kanji 日下コリ
Age 26.[Notes 1]
Gender Male
Height 181 cm (5'11½")
Weight 67 kg (148 lbs)
Family Sojiro Kori (cousin)
Player Profile
Display Name Arashi
Kanji (Display)
VR Played «Sword Art Online»
Occupation Clearer
Affiliation «Brightscale»
Status Alive
Appears In «Sword Art Online (Kenji)»

Kusaka Kori (日下コリ), known by the username Arashi (嵐), was one of the 10,000 players trapped in «Sword Art Online». He was a founding member of a Clearer guild called «Brightscale» and served as its Second-in-Command.


Kusaka is a toned fair-skinned man with spiked black-coloured hair.[1] As a Tank he wore heavier armor than his comrades that slowed his movements, but eventually opted for a more mobile suit of heavy armor.[2] Sometime before December 7th, 2022, Kusaka applied several tattoos to his avatars face in SAO. The first comprised a set of three scars straight over his right eye that continued down his cheek, the second comprised a "69" on his left cheek, whilst the third consisted of a blue-stripe tattoo that ran across his left cheek and over the bridge of his nose.[3] According to Kenji this contributed to Kusaka's punk-like look and he commented a few times that he found him frightening to look at.[4]


Kusaka is quick to anger and generally more confrontational than his friend Kenji. When Kenji messaged him that he was likely going to turn orange when he encountered Loki, Kusaka was so angry at Loki that Airi was the one who replied to Kenji's message.[5] It takes very little to set Kusaka off and he often comes across as rude and uncaring, but was actually very worried about his cousin Sojiro. He was initially against welcoming the twins Momoko and Akiye into the group and found their antics childish.[3] His attitude towards the twins softened when they introduced Ino Choyo to the group.[6]

Despite his angry responses Kusaka is serious and reliable when the chips are down and is trusted to lead the guild's raid-team -- replacing Kenji -- when Teams A and B join forces.[7] He first demonstrated his leadership abilities when the founding members of «Brightscale» encountered Zagan the Exile. Kusaka coordinated the entire party, calling out patterns, arranging DPS windows, and organising pot rotations to accommodate his fellow Tank. Kenji was so impressed that he initially offered the leadership role to Kusaka.[4] His serious nature extends to questing and grinding. Kenji noted his outlook was very different from his own relaxed way of doing things.[8]

Even without using the «Howl» skill Kusaka is naturally loud.[9] Despite being muffled by the entire content of Momoko's inventory Kusaka's shout was still heard clearly by all present.[3] This extends to the battlefield. Kusaka's booming voice can clearly be heard by his friends even over the furious sounds of battle.[4]


SAO Beta


Main article -- Sword Art Online (Kenji).

Aincard arc





Stat Value Time
Level 12.[1] December 4th, 2022.[1][Notes 2]
Level 13.[3] Evening of December 7th, 2022.[3]
Level 14.[4] Following the battle with Zagan the Exile on December 14th, 2022.[4]
Level 15.[8] As of December 24th, 2022.[8]



Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Unnamed two-handed sword» Two-handed Sword Already in Kusaka's possession as of December 4th, 2022.[1] Eventually replaced by a "monstrosity of a two-handed sword" before December 7th, 2022.[3]
«2nd Unnamed two-handed sword» Two-handed Sword Acquired by Kusaka before December 7th, 2022.[3] This particular sword boasted incredible attack power which led Kenji to nickname it "Arashi's monstrosity".[3]


Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Iron Armor» Heavy Metal Armor Already in Kusaka's possession as of December 4th, 2022.[1] Replaced on December 6th and subsequently given to Yoshiro on the morning of December 7th, 2022.[3]
«Unnamed Heavy Armor» Heavy Metal Armor Acquired by Kusaka as a rare drop either on the 5th or 6th of December, 2022.[3] Includes gloves and boots.[3]
This particular set possessed better stats across-the-board compared to his old «Iron Armor».[3]
Possessed a lightweight attribute that made it lighter than his old «Iron Armor».[3]



During the beta test of SAO Kusaka ran a Tank-build with a focus on powerful counter-based Sword Skills delivered with a two-handed sword. In the official release of SAO Kusaka continues to be a two-handed sword-wielding Tank who, according to Kenji, does his job very well.[1] Kusaka is a leader on the battlefield whose booming voice carries well, even over the various and sometimes furious sounds of battle.[4]

Kusaka is a Strength and Vitality-focused build with frightening attack power thanks to his weapon choice. His Strength was sufficient on the 2nd Floor to completely cancel out the Sword Skill of Zagan the Exile -- a monster described by Kenji as "having arms like tree-trunks".[4]

He prefers to draw his targets in with «Howl»,[9] before solidifying aggro with a powerful Sword Skill.[3] In normal situations from the 3rd Floor onward this meant he was Team B's damage sponge, but in raid-party settings he and Yoshiro showed the necessary discipline to pull off flawless aggro switches for potion rotation. Due to his attack-power however he could very easily serve as a backup DPS when the situation demanded it.[7]

Sword Art Online

Two-handed Sword Heavy Metal Armor Howl Parry
154 / 1000
104 / 1000
157 / 1000
103 / 1000

Sword Skills

Two-handed Sword
  • Cyclone -- a two-handed spinning sword slash.[4]
  • Back Rush -- a counter-stroke used when the player is outflanked and approached from the rear.
  • Cascade -- a simple overhead slashing attack.
Tanking Skills
  • Howl -- the Tank's bread and butter skill and Kusaka's main aggro-building Skill.[9] Kusaka's proficiency, coupled with his high attack-power, is extremely effective at building and holding aggro.[3] He could pull hate from Kenji despite him having fired off two successive Sword Skills and causing a bleeding DoT affect to a Boss with only a single use of «Howl».[4]
  • Parrying -- a technique allowing one to parry and suffer lesser damage. Kusaka's proficiency in the technique allowed him to constantly parry attacks whilst partying up with Kenji on the 1st Floor and suffer accumulated damage amounting to 30% of his HP over the course of several hours.[1]
  • Sword Skill Cancellation -- not a Skill as far as the system is concerned but rather a possibility brought about by clashing Sword Skills. Against Zagan the Exile Kusaka demonstrated the precise timing required to completely cancel the monster's Sword Skill with one of his own, whilst possessing the requisite Strength not to be moved backwards whilst simultaneously stunning Zagan.[4]

Supplementary Skills

Outside System Skills

Author's notes

Behind the scenes

  • Kusaka's height and weight measurements, including physical appearance, is modelled on Shūhei Hisagi from Bleach.


References & notes



  1. Kenji states that Kusaka and he used to be in the same class at school. Kenji himself is confirmed to be 26 in December 2022.
  2. Events depicted in SAOK: Unexpected Meetings are stated to occur four weeks into the official release of SAO. This would coincide with the fight against the 1st Floor boss Illfang the Kobold Lord.
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