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Katagawa Jr. is the tertiary antagonist of Borderlands 3. He is the usurper head of Maliwan and also the head of Maliwan's Mergers and Acquisitions.


Katagawa is the son of two higher-ups in Maliwan, as well as an executive in Maliwan himself. He had either 11 or 12 older siblings, which, according to Rhys, were killed by Tyreen after his father told him that he was 12th in line for Maliwan. Naoko was the only sibling to escape and disguised herself as an Atlas soldier to keep a low profile.

Katagawa's quotes and ECHO logs seem to indicate he led a rich, hedonistic lifestyle (e.g. owning the Zanara, a pleasure yacht with an anti-gravity pool).


After developing an interest in acquiring Atlas and Rhys's friendship, Katagawa Jr. signed a deal with Tyreen and Troy when they search for the Promethea Vault. As the head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Katagawa is responsible for sending Maliwan troops to Promethea to forcibly absorb Atlas. During the Hostile Takeover mission, he contacts Zer0 to say that his offer to come work for Maliwan still stands, and tells the Vault Hunters to stay out of his way.

After Zer0 and the Vault Hunters defeat his Gigamind, Katagawa tells the Vault Hunters via ECHO that they've gone from being inconsequential to being a potential threat that he intends to get rid of. When the Vault Hunters meet up with Rhys in Space-Laser Tag to get the Vault Key fragment on Maliwan, Katagawa destroys Rhys's ship, forcing them to hijack a Maliwan shuttle with Rhys' help instead.

During the mission, despite numerous threats of destroying Atlas, the most Katagawa appears to do is blow up such places as Rhys's favorite frogurt and bagel stand as well as Lazy River Land, instead of Atlas HQ itself. After Rhys makes it clear that he has no intention of going along with his wishes and destroys Katagawa's pleasure yacht, Katagawa orders another invasion against Atlas and constructs a suit similar to Zer0's in an attempt to trick Rhys into believing that Zer0 has betrayed him. Katagawa then tries to kill Rhys and steal his Vault Key fragment, but the real Zer0 returns from radio silence and rescues Rhys. Zer0 knocks off Katagawa's helmet, revealing him as the false Zer0. With his cover blown, Katagawa engages in a battle with the Vault Hunters but meets his end when his suit malfunctions, letting out one final scream as he disintegrates.



Main article: Atlas, At Last


Hostile Takeover

  • "Hey, it's Rhys' best friend Zer0, stealing my tech. What's wrong? Atlas not 'cutting it' anymore? My offer still stands. It's not too late to come work for Maliwan."
  • "And YOU must be the Vault Hunter Tyreen warned me about. You know what, I don't even have time for you. I'll let my superior forces do the talking."
  • "This takeover won't be hostile for long. Atlas and Maliwan, we're hashing things out the corporate way. Rhys doesn't get it yet, but when this is over we'll all be one titanic happy family."
  • "You're small stuff, Vault Hunter. Not worth my time. Mess with my Gigamind, though, and that'll change. You keep playing under the feet of giants, you're gonna get stepped on."
  • "Wow. You really just popped the brains right out of my Gigamind. Not satisfied with running underfoot, huh? I get it. My father once said I was twelfth in line to run the company. So I made eleven quick little cuts to the family tree. Now, I'm next in line. Think about that, now you've put yourself in my way."

Space-Laser Tag

  • "Rhys, buddy! Given that unconditional surrender any more thought? Or do you need another love slap from your old pal Laser-roid to change your mind?"
  • "When you're ready, just swing by with the paperwork. Can't wait to absorb Atlas into the Maliwan family! Oh, and you can bring Zer0! I'll be he's interested."
  • "Rhys, is that you? Welcome! So, once we make your unconditional surrender nice and official, you and I are gonna party on the Zanara! That's my pleasure yacht."
  • "Wait a sec. Why are there Vault Hunters here? Tell me you weren't trying to take out my laser. It's my favorite laser, Rhys!"
  • [To Rhys] "Who cares about them? I'm doing this for us. The people who matter. The executives. But you're ruining it."
  • "Booya! And that's only half power. If you don't surrender soon, Rhys, I'm gonna slice you in half!"
  • "Oh Rhy-ys, buddy, I still haven't received those surrender papers! Let's see, what should I target next? Oh, what about your favorite theme park?"
  • "Rhys... Rhys, don't do this. Do not do this. Rhys, I swear... if you fire that laser, we're done, buddy. We are done."
  • "Override firing sequence immediately! Security! DO SOMETHING!"

Atlas, At Last

  • "Nice place, Rhys. I'm gonna enjoy watching it burn from the inside out."
  • "Your best bud Zer0 stabbed you in the back. How's it feel, Rhys?"
  • "Rhys, I don't even want Atlas anymore. Your brand is over. I'll make more profits selling your employees' organs than your guns."
  • "Oh, don't worry about Zer0, Rhys. He'll find you."
  • "You just don't get it, do you Rhys? This whole war could've been nice and quick. I move in, take Promethea and make Atlas a subsidiary of Maliwan. Then I make YOU vice president of Beach Drinks. We all win. That's how it works, that's how it's always worked!
  • "You were special, Rhys! I saw that. You brought this bottom-shelf company back from the dead. With you in the family we could've turned Maliwan into a universal monopoly. You and me, brothers, selling the only weapons anyone would ever need in all six galaxies! But I reached out my hand and you spat in it Rhys. So now you're not family, you're just the competition."
  • "You should've joined the family, Rhys!"

When Defeated

  • "Stupid Zer0 tech!... NOOOO!"


  • Katagawa Jr. has an increased chance of dropping:
  • Due to a bug, only Katagawa Jr.'s clones will scale properly on higher Mayhem Mode levels and True Vault Hunter Mode. Katagawa himself is not and can be easily killed.
  • When Katagawa is defeated, he will only die after a lengthy death animation. Vault Hunters who are crippled and have inflicted the final blow will not be given a second wind until the animation ends.
    • This does not apply to his clones.
    • He will drop a few piles of money when he teleports during this animation.


  • Similar to Rhys, Katagawa Jr. has an ECHO implant in his right eye.
  • According to an interview with Gearbox's Randy Varnell,"There’s a little bit of a bromance going on. Katagawa doesn’t just want Rhys’ assets, he just likes Rhys. And the only way that Katagawa knows to make friends with Rhys is to take over Atlas and force him to be his friend."
  • At the back of his neck appears to be a barcode (MALIWN0-13), as can be seen from the photo mode.
    • In the Borderlands 3 art book, the barcode is described as "[providing] a glimpse into his position within Maliwan — not to mention the way the corporation treats its employees as little more than disposable assets."
  • Katagawa has had four named siblings so far, Issako, Naoko, Sana, and Yuko.


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