- "The future is a clean slate, and you're the chalk!"
Ken Doi (土井 ケン Doi Ken) is the owner of Chinese noodle bar Ramen Don and one of three plot-important shopkeepers in the game, the others being Makoto Miki and Sanae Hanekoma. He is also the creator of Tin Pin Slammer in Another Day. He returns in NEO: The World Ends with You. Although he previously ran a ramen joint, a few twists and turns led him to shift his focus to curry. He is currently trying to rebrand by opening a new restaurant: SPICY CURRY DON.
Ken is a middle-aged man with glasses and dark gray hair partly covered up by his headwear. In The World Ends with You, he dresses in simple white clothing with a blue-and-white bandanna.
In NEO: The World Ends with You, he wears a black t-shirt with green pants, white sneakers, and a camo green baseball cap.
Ken Doi is very friendly and always looking for advice on his ramen. He is also very smart and secretive, and when his past is mentioned, he will become either angry or melancholic. He hides a great many things about his past in both Another Day, where this becomes a plot point as he created Tin Pin, and in the main story.
Ken was once Eiji Oji's personal chef, and went by the name "Sebastian", a stereotypical name for foreign servants; why he changed his job is unknown, but it's implied that it wasn't entirely willingly. Ken is one of the very few people in Shibuya who does not wear a Red Skull pin, possibly because of their association with his rival Shadow Ramen.
When Makoto opens Shadow Ramen just down the street, Ken Doi is crushed by the competition, due to Shadow Ramen having a more "adventurous" way of selling their ramen, and also because Eiji Oji, the superstar of Shibuya, praised their ramen and "F's" it (meaning he thinks the ramen is fabulous). But Ken doesn't give up. He continues to try to improve his Ramen to bring in customers by inventing new flavors. Joshua and Neku try all of his creations and offer their opinions.
Finally, Neku and Joshua use the imprinting power to give Ken the idea of making "simple ramen". Ken then realizes that he doesn't need to make gimmicks to bring customers into the shop, and that plain, simple ramen is fine the way it is. When Ken offers Neku and Joshua to try a bowl, Eiji Oji interrupts and comes into the shop to try it. Eiji apparently used to eat Ken's ramen and loved it, but he hasn't eaten the ramen in a long time. He was tired of eating at Shadow Ramen. Eiji loved the ramen so much that he withdrew his support of Shadow Ramen and the rival business collapses, allowing Ramen Don to stay in business.
Ken Doi keeps his shop open for the rest of the game, and no problems arise if Makoto opens the Shadow Ramen again on Week 3, Day 6.
On Week 3, Day 7, If the player visits Ramen Don to obtain the Samurai Helm for that day's Secret Report, it is revealed that Ken was the one who secretly planted the "uber" Threads around town that are collected in the Secret Report quest.
In the Another Day chapter, Ramen Don serves as the secret base for Shooter and his Kindred Spirits. Ken seems to know a bit about pins, as he sized up Sho Minamimoto's newly made pin as a dud with one glance. At first, he tries to hide it, but once Joshua suspects him, Ken reveals that he is one of the founding fathers of Tin Pin. Ken worked in a team with Higashizawa and a few others to build the original model of the Solid Slammers. When it came time to design the Solid Slammer's successor, the higher-ups in the company meddled with it, whittling away at the budget. Soon, the (new) Solid Slammers were worse than the originals. Rather than sacrifice quality, Ken canceled the project. That sent the company stock plummeting so they forced him to resign. Soon after, Ken left the company and opened up Ramen Don. After hearing this story, Shooter begins to call him "Dr. Pin, Sr.".
In this alternate universe, Sho seems to be his apprentice or son.
NEO: The World Ends with You
Sometime after the events of TWEWY, Ken Doi became ill with what's described as a "noodle overdose" (likely referring to malnutrition consuming too many grains, brought on by his passion for ramen), and closed Ramen Don as a result. Following the closure of his shop, he started gaining interest in Indian traditional medicine, going so far as to study it in its country of origin. While overseas, Ken Doi tried authentic Indian curry for the first time, and aimed to reopen his shop with a new focus on curry.
However, Ken Doi would later question whether or not Indian curry made by someone of a different nationality, such as himself, would mean it would no longer be "authentic" (or "cultural appropriation" in the English localization).
Ken Doi does not have as much of a role in the story as in the original game, appearing in minor sidequests. He is kind to the Wicked Twisters. At one point, he has a debacle with a food critic named Buddy Rapids who threatens to give Ken's restaurant a one-star rating because Ken accidentally forgot to serve Buddy a glass of water. If the player intervenes, Buddy Rapids decides to let the matter go because of how tasty the food was.
Shopkeeper Quotes (TWEWY)
A shopkeeper's dialogue depends on two factors: the player's actions and the Friendship Gauge.
Entering the Shop
- LOW FSG: "Irasshai!"
- MID FSG: "Irasshai! Good to see you."
- MAX FSG: "Irasshai! Hey, kids! The soup’s a cut above today."
- LOW FSG: "What’ll it be?"
- MID FSG: "What can I get you? Let’s see, I think I’d go with the “shio” today, myself."
- MAX FSG: "You having the usual? I’ll make sure those noodles are firm. Make it an extra helping, too!"
Buying an Item
- LOW FSG: "Comin’ right up. Anything else?"
- MID FSG: "You got it. Sure that’s enough? No extra toppings?"
- MAX FSG: "Growing kids like you need to have a little more. How about some extra veggies?"
Leaving (without buying anything)
- LOW FSG: "Come again!"
- MID FSG: "Thank you! Come on back soon!"
- MAX FSG: "Thanks, kids! Come back soon. I’ll keep a bowl set aside for you."
Leaving (after buying something)
- LOW FSG: "Come again!"
- MID FSG: "Thank you! You should try out a different flavor next time."
- MAX FSG: "Thanks, kids! I’ve got some new soup ideas simmering. You’ll have to come test ‘em out!"
Unlocking a Thread Item's Ability (Upon Entering Shop)
- LOW FSG: "I gave you double bamboo shoots. On the house!"
- MID FSG: "I snuck a soft-boiled egg in there for ya. No charge."
- MAX FSG: "I gave you the best cut of the pork. Eat up!"
- Ken's surname Doi means "soil, earth" (土) (do) and "well, mine shaft, pit" (井) (i).
- It is possible that Ken Doi was the creator of Tin Pin Slammer in the main storyline. Supporting evidence for this includes:
- Part of the description for Solid Slammer reveals that Ken Doi made the accessory, which is part of Shooter's Tin Pin gear.
- Upon opening the Tin Pin Slammer Multiplayer feature a darkened mugshot of him is shown near the top. However, Sho Minamimoto and Yodai Higashizawa are also in the title screen. It is possible that Higashizawa worked with Ken Doi in the creation of Tin Pin Slammer, much like in Another Day. Sho Minamimoto though was revealed to be 18. If Reapers still age, then he would seem too young to have taken part in the creation unless he was a 'beta tester'.
- Shuto Dan, while drawing up an example of Tin Pin Slammer it shows a crudely drawn representation of himself (Labelled 'Fifth Grade') and another of Ken Doi (Labelled 'Ra Men'), making it possible that 'Dr. Pin' knew Shooter for some time, as he used Ramen Don as the 'secret base' in Another Day.
- During Beat's chapter, a Grand Slam takes place at Stride on Day 2 with him playing as 'The Don'. Moreover, in this Grand Slam, he plays against the Vice Wizard of Slam and the Pin Prof, both of whom are otherwise only seen in Another Day and are tied to Tin Pin in some way.
- His shop sells several tutorial books on Tin Pin (though these could be thought of as sold by his Another Day counterpart).
- Ken Doi's sprite is meant to resemble the director of The World Ends with You, Tatsuya Kando.
|Characters in The World Ends with You|
|Neku Sakuraba • Shiki Misaki • Beat • Joshua • Rhyme • Sota Honjo • Nao 777 • BJ • Coco Atarashi • Koki Kariya • Megumi Kitaniji • Mitsuki Konishi • Sho Minamimoto • Tenho • Uzuki Yashiro • Yodai Higashizawa Aily Ueno • Akira Yoshii • Anna Aoi • Ayu Hamaguchi • Banzai Ayanokoji • Fumi Gotoda • Fumiko Nishimura • Hideki Kikuchi • Hikaru Koike • HT Masuoka • Jun Odajima • Keiichi Okada • Ken Doi • Kyo • Makoto Miki • Masanori Ito • May Kurokawa • Mie Suzuki • Miki Kosaka • Nana Majima • Princess K • Rayca Hoshi • Rikako Toda • Sanae Hanekoma • Shigemi Konno • Shigemori Iwata • Shinta Iwata • Tadafumi Sato • Tak Kimura • Tatsuya Omura • Tsubasa • Yoji Iwata • Yosh Ishino • Yumi Sheena • Yuu Narumi Ai • CAT • Eiji Oji • Eri • Futoshi • Itaru Yokoyamada • Ken Doi • Makoto Miki • Mina • Mr. Mew • Neku's best friend • Pin Prof • Sanae Hanekoma • Shrimp • Shuto Dan • Tsugumi Matsunae • Wizard of Slam • Vice Wizard of Slam|