Personal Info Edit
Birthdate: March 29, 1972
Height: 5’10 (180)
Weight: 154 (70)-176 (80)
Blood Type: AB
Style: Muay Thai
Although Joe's place of origin is Japan, he spent the majority of his time in Thailand, where he trained Muay Thai. It was through his victories that he earned the nickname "Hurricane Upper" Joe Higashi. He seems to have a running gag of sorts where his legend is "just beginning" in his endings throughout the series.
After Joe earned his title as the Muay Thai champion, he heads to Southtown to prove himself in the King of Fighters tournament. On his way, he spots Andy and Terry Bogard, who were on the hunt for their father's killer, Geese Howard. As soon as he informs them that Geese is hosting the tournament, they became steadfast companions. In the tournament, he met with a bitter Hwa Jai and was able to defeat him. After this, they eventually became friends and rivals back in Thailand. In his ending for Legend of the Hungry Wolf 2, he also avenged Hwa's defeat by Wolfgang Krauser.
Before the events of Legend of the Hungry Wolf 3, he learns about the Jin brothers and Ryuji Yamazaki, and asks Hwa to come with him to South Town. Sometime after these events, he humorously takes Lilly Kane away from her brother since Geese was out of action. As a call back to this, Billy "rescues" her in his Real Bout ending.
In the Garou: Mark of the Wolves timeline, Joe was busy protecting his title in the Muay Thai championship. According to Akihiko Ureshino's personal blog, he gained an apprentice in the yet to be released Mark of the Wolves sequel from the old SNK team. Her name, as mentioned by Terry and Andy in a original story, was "Kuan" (クアン) and she even had a finished idle sprite. Her age wasn't particularly stated, though he comments that she was a particularly "cute lady". Although she has yet to appear in any games, she first meets Joe in his profile story for The King of Fighters XII. She is a thief who tries to pickpocket Joe. Impressed with her top class physical strength and her daring, he immediately dubs her his disciple and inspires the girl to live a new life learning Muay Thai.
Joe is a mainstay of Terry's team throughout most of the King of Fighters tournaments. He is often the motivating factor in getting Terry and Andy to join with him as a team. In this series, he developed somewhat of a rivalry with King. Joe is seen taunting her with his Muay Thai belt in The King of Fighters '98. In The King of Fighters 2001, he enters the tournament with hopes to use the prize money to keep a gym from closing down.
He is absent from King of Fighters XI because a Muay Thai tournament is being held at the same time. Wanting to live their old times together as a team, the trio agree to meet up once more. Before the tournament, Joe is annoyed by both of his teammates being late for their meeting. Knowing Hwa Jai's entry with Kim Kaphwan and upset by Terry's carefree attitude, an intoxicated Joe vents his frustrations against the team leader in a sparring match in Paopao Cafe. In his team's ending, he humorously gets his congratulation kiss from the same infatuated male fan (now even more effeminate than before, to the point of crossdressing) whose life he saved in his team's 2003 ending.
Wild Street (King of Fighters 13)
Muay Thai (Legend of the Hungry Wolf 2: New Battle)