- "Can't anyone here beat me?"
- —Jann Lee in Dead or Alive 6.
Jann Lee (simplified Chinese: 李强, traditional Chinese: 李強, pinyin: Lǐ Qiáng) is a bouncer and Jeet Kune Do martial artist that made his debut in the first Dead or Alive. Throughout the series, Jann Lee's only goal is to become the greatest fighter of all time. To get to his goal, Jann Lee enters the Dead or Alive Tournament to prove his skills against others who join. He was the official winner of the 5th and 6th Dead or Alive Tournaments.
Jann Lee has made many friendly rivals through the series, like Leifang, Ryu Hayabusa and Hitomi to name a few. Like other Jeet Kune Do characters before him, Jann Lee is based on the late martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee.
Jann Lee has never seen the faces of his parents; they died when he was very young and left him an orphan, alone to fend for himself. He lived in poverty, having to wander the streets for food, and faced many hardships. In order to protect himself, Jann Lee learned Jeet Kune Do by watching various martial arts films; especially from Bruce Lee. At first he fought to replace the feelings of loss from when his parents died, but eventually Jann Lee fought purely for the sake of fighting. Eventually, he got skilled enough to get a job as a bouncer at a high-class club.
Several years before the first tournament, he saved a young girl who was challenged by a gang of street fighters. Though prepared to take them on single-handedly, Leifang was suddenly rescued by Jann Lee. This incident left her determined to find and defeat him.
Jann Lee entered the first Dead or Alive Tournament for the sake of the fight. Now the self-taught master of Jeet Kune Do, he seeks the thrill of battle whenever he can. During the tournament, he meets Zack who becomes one of his rivals. He later meets the girl that he saved - Leifang - who is ready to defeat him to prove that she is a great fighter like him. However, Jann Lee wins and Leifang goes on to train harder.
Jann Lee fights from his soul. He appears at battles where only the strongest of men fight. He strives for each attack to be the most powerful strike he has ever made in his life. For this reason, Jann Lee once again enters the Dead or alive tournaments.
Fighting his way along the tournament, Jann Lee crosses arms with Ryu Hayabusa, who warns him about the real nature of the tournament and claims that he will not be able to survive long. Later, he meets Zack again. Jann Lee defeats him and chastises him upon victory, stating that he hasn't progressed at all since the first tournament. Afterwards, he meets Leifang again. Having perfected her kung-fu, she vows to prove to the man who saved her that she can handle things on her own.
Despite Jann Lee defeating Leifang again, it was Hayabusa who made it to the final round, and who would later kill the tengu Bankotsubo, and win the tournament. Returning home, he tests his strength against a giant tree, which he easily destroys with a single punch. It would suggest that Jann Lee came in 2nd place of the Tournament.
Jann Lee, the fighter without a cause, still walks a lonely path. Though the reputation of Jann Lee - the Dragon, as he is called - is universal, his search for a stronger enemy never ends. His presence is still prominent in the third Dead or Alive tournament, and his battle cry can still be heard.
Along the way, he meets Hitomi for the first time. Sharing a keen passion for martial arts, the two shared martial arts philosophies and demonstrated their own martial arts skills. Continuing, he encounters Leon, who praised him for making it far in the tournament, all the while claiming that he is the strongest.
Aboard the Freedom Survivor, Leifang, having trained hard, asks for another rematch with Jann Lee. However, he ignores her challenge and starts to walk away. Nearby, Hitomi and Hayate are about to have a friendly spar when Leifang is thrown by Jann Lee across the room, landing on a nearby table. Hitomi intrudes and gets mad at him for being too hard, but Leifang insists that she stay out of their business. Ignoring both girls, Jann Lee notices Hayate and asks for a fight.
After the tournament, Jann Lee returns home to his job as a bouncer. While working, Jann Lee stops a group of arrogant customers from defacing a table inside the club. Challenging them outside, Jann Lee easily defeats the group all by himself, causing the leader of the group to flee in fear.
The heat that burns the soul and the scorching that says you are truly alive; these all come from the power of the fist. What Jann Lee is really searching for is the elation, the heat, which comes from trading blows with one who is truly powerful. This is the only reason that Jann Lee attempts to emerge victorious in the next Dead or Alive tournament.
Fighting his way along the fourth tournament, Jann Lee "rescues" a distracted Hitomi from a dinosaur. Even though Hitomi was almost eaten by the creature, she found Jann Lee's approach to be quite "cruel". Hayabusa and Jann Lee also encounter each other again, and they both have a friendly nunchaku exhibition before sparring.
At the beginning of the destruction of DOATEC, Leifang meets Jann Lee in the Great Hall, and once again Leifang challenges and finally defeats Jann Lee. After their fight, Leifang encounters Alpha-152, who proved to be too powerful. Jann Lee mysteriously appears and once again rescues her.
After the tournament, Jann Lee returns to his normal, everyday life in China. While playing the trumpet, Jann Lee remembers his childhood. He had a memory where he was walking in front of two or three thugs in a restaurant during a rainstorm, asking them for something to eat. The man in the sunglasses makes a "come here" gesture towards Lee, "offering" him a pastry. As he reaches out to take it, the man turns his hand over, letting the pastry fall to the ground, wasting it. The man then proceeds to slap & punch poor young Lee just before stepping on the pastry in front of him, later showing him in tears sobbing. Then the scene shows Jann Lee watching an unknown "Bruce Lee" film while clenching his fist in inspiration. Then the scene ends with an Adult Jann Lee in the present day, kicking a hole in his punching bag.
Jann Lee is initially introduced training with nunchaku in the Temple of the Dragon, where he is approached by Kokoro, who is passing through. He notices Kokoro walk in on his exercise turned demonstration, beckoning her to display her skills with the weapon as he tosses them toward her. Kokoro chooses not to catch them, causing them to go through a vase and break it, causing Kokoro to ask why he did it. Following this, they proceed to battle.
While training in a forest in South America, Jann Lee is approached by Zack, who gives him an invitation to Dead or Alive 5. Jann Lee accepts the invite but he challenges Zack to fight. During this time, Hitomi and Leifang observe from the forest, though he seems not to notice them.
Later in New York, Jann Lee is seen leaving a gym as he is shadowed by Leifang. He is followed into the train by Leifang, during which he prevents a middle aged man from accidentally groping her as the train comes to an abrupt stop. Following this, Jann Lee challenges Leifang to a fight, noting that she would gladly accept a match with him, misunderstanding her true intentions. They proceed to fight. However, the train crashes and tips to the side, resulting in Jann Lee and Leifang collapsing onto one of the walls, with her on top of him.
Jann Lee is later seen in a bar, shoving Brad into a table, telling him to leave, insulting him as he does. Rig attempts to break up the fight, which can be seen as successful, as Jann Lee then focuses on Rig rather than Brad. He challenges Rig to a fight, noting that he looks like a real fighter. Following this, they battle, which Jann Lee loses.
During the tournament, Jann Lee's opponent during the quarterfinals is Leifang, who is still embarrassed by the train car incident. Jann Lee tells her to focus on the fight, following which they battle, resulting in Jann Lee's victory marking his fourth win against her. Following this, Jann Lee battles Bass Armstrong, which is another victory for him. He then fights Hitomi in the finals, a match in which he is victorious, granting him the title of champion of the fifth Dead or Alive tournament. However, before he can be crowned by Zack, he goes to a bar for a few moment for a drink, noting that he only has one more person to defeat. The screen goes over images of Rig, suggesting that he is holding a grudge toward him for the defeat earlier in the story, he then goes back to the arena where he's going to be crowned as the "winner".
Despite winning the last tournament, Jann Lee falls into a depressive slump. Even with the challenge of defending his title in the sixth tournament and another fight with Leifang, Jann Lee feels as though his battles have become too easy and don't excite him anymore.
After the tournament starts, Jann spots Rig in a bar at the arena, thinking he can challenge him again. However, Rig appears strangely irritable during their fight and claims to lack memory of their previous encounter, perplexing Lee. Rig is defeated before heading off with Christie.
Eventually, Jann Lee makes his way to the final round against the newcomer Diego. He initially beats him down and defends his title as Zack declares Jann Lee the winner. However, Diego rises from the ground, refusing to concede, and pummels Jann Lee in an impromptu rematch. Both men then collapse to the ground in exhaustion, but Jann Lee appears to have enjoyed the experience.
- See also: Jann Lee's costumes
Jann Lee has a slightly tanned complexion, which appears darker in the later games. He has spiky dark-brown hair, small light-hazel eyes, and peculiar looking eye brows; going down in a curve with a thin part going up. One other noticeable feature in all of his appearances is his muscular build, which is apparent as he usually appears shirtless. He is startlingly buff, with highly defined biceps and arms, broad chest, carved abdominal six-pack, and a muscular back.
Most of the muscular men wear shirts, but not Jann Lee; showing his upper body, he usually only wears kenpo pants, and sometimes, different martial arts outfits ranging from Bruce Lee's signature yellow jumpsuit, to Kung-fu suits with a dragon emblem, also usually associated with Bruce Lee. Being a bouncer of a high-class club, several of his outfits are also formal suits.
In Dead or Alive 5, his overall design was changed only slightly. While still retaining his signature hair, muscular build, and outfit themes, he appears to have a lighter, more yellow-toned skin, making him look closer to his Chinese roots. He also has a more natural muscular build, and more natural, realistic facial features. He has a new traditional martial arts outfit for his first costume. His previous first outfit is now his second. He can also wear a white button-up shirt and slacks, a bouncer style business suit, and in the Ultimate version, he wears a MMA style wrestling trunks outfit, which is his most revealing costume in the series.
Being a self-taught master of Jeet Kune Do, Jann Lee is a very confident fighter. In fact, he can become so overconfident to the point of him appearing quite arrogant, which is rather contrary to the laid-back personality of Bruce Lee, whom he is based off. Before fights, he sometimes declares another win for himself, or that his fist has never once let him down. Jann Lee also loves to fight. Seeking to prove his strength against strong opponents, he never stops looking for a challenge, which is again contrary to Bruce Lee, who preferred to teach others rather than test his own skills. After winning a fight, he'll comment on how weak the opponent was; things like "You'll have to hit me harder than that!", or "Come on, make my blood boil!", suggesting his desire to fight a stronger opponent.
However, he has also shown care and respect to others at times and has been seen to develop positive relationships with other fighters over the course of the series, including Hayabusa and most notably Leifang.
In addition, Jann Lee likes to train constantly, and when he's not sparring, he's working out. For him, physical conditioning is almost an obsession. Jann Lee believes in strength and power, and that one must feel the power within oneself. He respects other individuals who display their own confidence and strength.
Jann Lee's name is a Japanese reading of the Chinese name 李強 "Lǐ Qiáng" (Cantonese: Lei5 Koeng4). The name literally translates to "strong/intense plum", with the Li (李) character being a very common Asian surname, especially for most fictional martial artists of Asian descent, and being the very same surname of Bruce Lee himself.
Leifang was once saved by Jann Lee from a gang of thugs years before the first tournament. Not wanting anyone to assume that she can't handle things on her own, Leifang entered the tournaments to defeat Jann Lee. However, it is unclear whether Leifang harbors anything more beyond her one-sided rivalry.
In Dead or Alive 2, Leifang perfected her kung-fu in order to defeat him and become "a part of his world" only to lose to him in which he replies to her, "This is not the place for you." indicating the hard life of fighting he has done and she does not have to fight. He defeats her once more in Dead or Alive 3. Regardless of how much Jann Lee beats her in the combat arena, Leifang still persistently tries to keep up with him.
In the events of Dead or Alive 4, when they meet for battle and the Tritowers begin to detonate, he tells her "What do you say, Should we die together?" She tells him, "I'm not going to die." He replies to her willpower by clenching his fist and saying, "No, you're not." implying that he cares about her. However, his feelings are rather confusing, since in Dead or Alive Dimensions, Jann Lee pushes Leifang trying to get her away from him.
In the events of Dead or Alive 5, Leifang persistently follows Jann Lee, while secretly training with Hitomi to keep her skills sharp enough to beat him. At one point, she almost encounters him, which results in her pursuing him onto a train. A potentially embarrassing and somewhat familiar occurrence following a sudden acute movement of the train is averted quickly thanks to Jann Lee: An older man almost relies on Leifang's breasts to regain balance, but Jann steps in at the last minute. After another sharp movement of the train, Leifang falls on top of Jann Lee and the two stare at eachother in embarrassment. During the Dead or Alive 5 quarterfinals, Leifang was still distracted by the event that had happened on the train, however, Jann Lee was completely focused on fighting which resulted in him winning over her.
Jann Lee first encountered Hayabusa in the second Dead or Alive tournament, when Hayabusa warned him as he was a civilian about the dangers of the DOA tournament. Since then, they seemed to have formed something of a friendly rivalry, they do respect each other as masters of their chosen arts. It could be the fact that Jann Lee wants to face strong opponents like Hayabusa. In Dead or Alive 4, Jann Lee demonstrated his mastery in double nunchakus. He threw them to Hayabusa in which he showed complimentary mastery. The two engage a friendly spar with him in the fourth tournament.
It is implied Zack was amongst his first rivals during the first Dead or Alive tournament. Jann Lee seems to show a lack of concern for Zack and thinks he does not take his training seriously. During the events of the second tournament, Jann Lee chastises him upon victory, saying he hasn't progressed at all since their last meeting.
During the events of Dead or Alive 5, While training in a forest in South America, Jann Lee is approached by Zack, who gives him an invitation to the Dead or Alive 5 tournament. Jann Lee accepts the invite, but he challenges Zack to a fight. As implied, Zack loses to Jann Lee once more.
During the events of Dead or Alive 2, Ein is his rival and ace. Winning in tag battles, they will celebrate the victory together. During the events of the third tournament, as Hayate and Hitomi are about to have a friendly battle, Hitomi tries to rush to aid Leifang from Jann Lee's attack which sends her flying into the table but Lei Fang tells Hitomi to stay out of her affairs. Jann Lee ignores the girls seeing Hayate and asks him to fight with him as he sees that he is a worthy challenge and it is unknown what happened to the girls then.
Jann Lee first met Hitomi in the third Dead or Alive tournament, which they shared a keenness in martial arts resulting in a friendly rivalry. Another rival of Jann Lee for which he has returned respect. Upon meeting, the two agreed that real power comes from within, showing how easily they get along.They met again when he rescued her from being eaten by a dinosaur in the fourth tournament. However, when he saved Hitomi from being eaten by a T-rex, she didn't fully agree with how he went about doing it. They both met at the finals of the 5th Dead or Alive tournament, in which Jann Lee won.
During Dead or Alive 3, they challenge each others strength. Jann Lee considers him a worthy challenge. As a tag alliance, they share one team-up instigated by Jann Lee and finished by Leon.
Jann Lee holds a grudge against Rig. Jann Lee was kicking Brad Wong out of a bar while insulting him at the same time. Rig broke it up and Jann Lee challenged him since he looked like a "real fighter." Rig won, embarrassing Jann Lee. After Lee won the 5th Dead or Alive Tournament, he disappeared before being crowned and went to the bar, thinking that he wouldn't be a true champion until he took Rig down.
He eventually found Rig before the former’s final match against the street fighter Diego in the sixth tournament. Although he managed to defeat Rig this time, he realized that Rig wasn’t himself, while unaware that he was under the effects of mind control.
Diego proves to be Jann Lee’s most worthy opponent in the sixth tournament, earning Jann Lee's respect. Although Jann Lee won the match officially, he is defeated by Diego in an unofficial Round 2. Both fighters then collapse in exhaustion, with Jann Lee accepting his defeat from the street fighter honorably with a smile.
- See also: Jann Lee's command lists
Jann Lee is one of the fastest striking characters, with quick, intricate chain combos as well as sudden, hard-hitting "super blows". Because of this, he can be considered a "strike" character in that he relies on quick combos to wear down the enemy and keep them on the defensive. This is in keeping with the concept of Jeet Kune Do, which focuses on intercepting the enemy by countering directly and being faster than them.
He has potentially one of the best juggling games in Dead or Alive 5 thanks to a few moves in particular, namely Dragon Upper (a powerful launching move), Combo Knuckle Uppercut (keeps enemies airborne longer) and Dragon Cluster (causes a critical stun whilst also counting as five hits). Together, they allow him to execute combos approaching 20 hits, albeit at the expense of maximum damage.
Jann Lee's preferred distance is long-range, as his attacks have very good reach (e.g. Sekkan Chop) and his most powerful attacks have a pause duration (e.g. Dragon Kick, Dragon Spike) that allows the opponent to easily punish him in his recovery time frame if they are able to avoid being hit. Some of these attacks (e.g. Dragon Elbow, Dragon Knuckle) even leave him with his back to the opponent, ironically opposite to Bruce Lee's teaching that one should never take their eyes off their opponent. Most of his strikes do not cause critical stuns without being counter-strikes and thus he is reliant on his "interception" strategy, keeping pressure on the opponent.
He has few throws, which do mediocre damage with a couple of notable exceptions (The Way of the Dragon and Bulldogging Head Lock plus their wall equivalents). His holds, too, are relatively weak, although some of them open up opportunities for follow-up attacks (namely Trace Gunner and Double Bind). Nevertheless, he can be considered a top-tier character due to possessing both speed and power, and being well-suited to all the game modes, with no major weaknesses. His relative ease of use and combination of fast strikes with powerful blows makes him a very preferred character for all-level players.
Dead or Alive 5 adds the "Dragon Stance" to Jann Lee's arsenal, allowing him to perform a few extra moves (most of them at a blinding speed almost impossible to counter) and keep opponents guessing a bit more.
The following are Jann Lee's official stats as listed in the games.
|Dead or Alive 5 (5+)||5/5||2/5||2/5||4/5||4/5||3/5|
|Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
Dead or Alive series
- Dead or Alive games (playable, 1996-98)
- Dead or Alive 2 games (playable, 1999-2000)
- DOA2: Hardcore games (playable, 2000)
- Dead or Alive 3 (playable, 2001-02)
- Dead or Alive Ultimate games (playable, 2004-05)
- Dead or Alive 4 (playable, 2005-06)
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (mentioned, 2006)
- Dead or Alive Paradise (mentioned, 2010)
- Dead or Alive Dimensions (playable, 2011)
- Dead or Alive 5 (5+) (playable, 2012-13)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade (playable, 2013)
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (playable, 2015)
- Dead or Alive 6 (Playable 2019)
Jann Lee makes a cameo in the movie. He was defeated by Christie.
- Dead or Alive/Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate
- Dead or Alive 2/DOA2: Hardcore
- Dead or Alive 3
- Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate
- Dead or Alive 4
- Dead or Alive Dimensions
- Dead or Alive 5
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
- Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
- Dead or Alive 6
The following are the music themes used for Jann Lee throughout the series.
Note that both the Dead or Alive++ and Dimensions themes have no official names.
|"Kokou no Kenshi"||Dead or Alive (arcade, 1996)|
Dead or Alive (Sega Saturn, 1997; Arcade Mode)
Dead or Alive 1 Ultimate (Arcade Mode)
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (optional theme)
|"Heated Heartbeat"||Dead or Alive (PlayStation, 1998; Tournament Mode)|
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (optional theme)
|"Jann Lee's theme"||Dead or Alive++|
|"Natural high"||Dead or Alive 2 and DOA2: Hardcore games|
Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate
Dead or Alive Online
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (optional theme)
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (optional theme)
|"Trip"||Dead or Alive 3|
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (optional theme)
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (optional theme)
|"Jann Lee (or Achoism) Remix"||Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate (Ray House; as "Jann Lee Remix")|
Dead or Alive 4 (Crash Club; as "Achoism Remix")
|"Fang"||Dead or Alive 4|
Dead or Alive 5+
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (default theme)
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (default theme)
|"Jann Lee's theme"||Dead or Alive Dimensions|
- See: Jann Lee gallery
- In the prototype version of the first Dead or Alive, Jann Lee's name was Loo (ルー Rū).
- His name is a reference to Bruce Lee's real name: "Lee Jun Fan."
- As shown in his Dead or Alive 4 ending, Jann Lee can play the trumpet.
- Jann Lee shares the same birthday (November 27th) as Bruce Lee.
- Jann Lee is one of only two non-ninja characters who has won a Dead or Alive tournament, the other being Helena Douglas.
- From the first Dead or Alive to Dead or Alive 2 (and the Dead or Alive Ultimate games), Jann Lee's occupation was mistranslated as "bodyguard" as the kanji used to write "bouncer" (用心棒 yōjinbō) can also be written for "bodyguard".
- Jann Lee is briefly seen in the 2002 film One Hour Photo. In the scene, the son Jake Yorkin (portrayed by Dylan Smith) is playing the DOA2: Hardcore in his bedroom, the television screen shows Jann Lee and Leifang fighting in the Aerial Gardens.
- Jann Lee is seen in the 11th episode of the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled "Gone" from 2002 where two of the Trio members, Andrew Wells and Jonathan Levinson, play Dead or Alive 3 at the arcade. The screen shows them playing as Jann Lee and Brad Wong in the stage Tao.
- Ironically, Jann Lee has begun obsessing over beating Rig since Dead or Alive 5, just as Leifang was obsessed over beating him.
- Jann Lee is mentioned throughout the Dead or Alive Xtreme sub-series through Leifang as the player interacts with a gold trumpet, pizza, french fries, etc.
- On a similar note, Leifang's romantic relationship with Jann Lee was alluded to by Sakuta as being one of the reasons why they're hesitant to add any of the cut girls into DOAXVV besides Leifang. Leifang also gives an indirect reference to Jann Lee during her ring episode where she hesitates in accepting the diamond promise ring from the Owner before accepting it under the premise that there's more ways to bond than just romance.
- Jann Lee's Dead or Alive 3 ending seems to contain references to two Bruce Lee films: First, the scene where one of the club customers stubs his cigar out on the table is similar to a scene from Way of the Dragon. Second, when one fighter attacks Jann Lee with a nunchaku only to have him take it from him and demonstrate far greater skill with the weapon, this is similar to a scene in Enter the Dragon.
- Jann Lee is the only character to canonically officially win two separate DOA tournaments (the fifth and sixth tournaments), although both times, he was never formally crowned champion due to missing the awards ceremony.
Notes and references
|Acupuncture • Central Intelligence Agency • Dead or Alive World Combat Championship • DOATEC • Donovan's Glasses|
ID Bracelet • Katana • Nanobots • Needle • Ninja • Nunchaku • Runaway Shinobi • Shuriken • Volleyball
|Ishikari Mountains • South China Sea • Hong Kong • DOA Island • Buddha • Waterwheel • Bamboo Forest • Forbidden Square • Gray Steps • Lab Complex • DOA Compound • Tina's Yacht • Ninja Clan|
|DOA: Dead or Alive Original Soundtrack|