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Portrayed by Takeshi Kaneshiro
|Affiliations:||X-Men, Xavier Institute - graduate student|
|Birthdate:||March 15, 1987|
|Player:||Available for applications|
Former Xavier’s student and current X-Man/art student, Shiro Yoshida is certainly not the friendliest or most agreeable person this side of the Pacific. Though his intense nationalistic pride has been tempered during his time in the States, Shiro remains a volatile, independent, yet sometimes vulnerable young man.
- 1 Details
- 2 Biography
- 3 Physical Characteristics
- 4 Powers
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Trivia
- 7 External Links
- 8 Plots
- 9 Meta
Character Journal: x_sunfire
Real Name: Shiro Yoshida
First Appearance: November 10, 2003
Date of Birth: March 15, 1987
Place of Birth: Tokyo, Japan
Relatives: Yashida Clan: Saburo Yoshida (father - deceased), Shinobu Yoshida (mother - deceased), Leyu Yoshida (sister), Shingen Yashida (great uncle - deceased), Keniuchio Harada (first cousin once removed), Mariko Yashida (first cousin once removed - deceased). Tomo Hino (maternal uncle - deceased).
Education: High school diploma, currently working for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cartooning at the School of Visual Arts.
Relationship Status: single
Team Affiliation: X-Men
The Yashida Clan is one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Japan, claiming to be able to track their heritage back to well before the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Though they hold exclusive ties to the Yakuza, Shiro’s father Saburo was a diplomat, committed to strengthening post-war Japanese-American relations.
Shiro’s mother’s family hails from Hiroshima, and his maternal grandparents were victims of the atomic bomb dropping in 1945. Though they were lucky enough to survive without significant personal damage, they and their children were all very sickly. When Shinobu and Saburo married, they agreed to take in and care for Shinobu’s older brother Tomo. With Saburo away often and Shinobu growing weaker after giving birth, child rearing duties fell to Tomo. He blamed America for his family’s condition, and raised Shiro to share these anti-American sentiments. By the time Shinobu died after giving birth to Leyu, the damage was done and Shiro accepted Tomo’s hatred as Gospel truth.
When Shiro was 11, Tomo took him to Hiroshima so he could see first-hand the destruction wrought. When he touched the still-radioactive soil, his powers manifested, and Tomo decided that he could use his nephew as a weapon against the Americans. He trained Shiro to use his powers for destructive purposes. When Saburo discovered what his brother-in-law was doing, he confronted Tomo, who shot him. Shiro witnessed this, and in a fit of rage lost control of his powers for the first time, utterly annihilating his house and everything in it. Thankfully, Leyu was out at the time.
Now orphans, the Yoshida children were adopted by their father’s cousins, Keniuchio Harada and Mariko Yashida. Shiro and his sister lived with Harada for the next four years. Despite Harada’s numerous business ventures with the United States and Mariko’s insistence of the maintenance of cordial international relations, Shiro stayed true to Tomo’s lessons. It was to his great dismay that his guardians decided to send him to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in 2003 to further develop his mutation, which both Harada and Mariko agreed was a mission of the utmost importance.
Living At The X-Mansion
Shiro set himself apart from the rest of the student body the moment he entered the school. But despite his automatic contempt for Americans, he befriended his roommate Alex Summers after they decided to kick out their other roommate, Angelo Espinosa, in order to get him to seek help for his personal problems. While this action further alienated him from his peers, he developed an everlasting bond with Alex.
The next year proved itself challenging for Shiro. The school was invaded by Pete Wisdom's former employers and not only did Shiro dispatch two of the soldiers, but also witnessed a confrontation between Sarah Morlocke and a possessed Betsy Braddock. He earned Harada's ire after failing to deliver Piotr Rasputin to a cadre of Yakuza working in conjunction with the Russian mob. And the joy he felt at helping to rescue a kidnapped Alex from the hands of Selene was supplanted by Kwannon's seduction and Betsy's subsequent rejection, Illyana Rasputin's abduction to Limbo, and Skippy kidnapping Artie Maddicks and Miles Blaire.
In August, Shiro was one of many who was spirited away to Asgard by the vengeful deity Loki. He ended up in the company of the goddesses of fate, the Norns, who had taken on the appearances of the three lead characters of the anime Aa! My Goddess. He became their champion and performed errands for them until an encounter with Marie-Ange Colbert ultimately led him back home.
Blaze of Glory
Not three days after coming back to Earth, Shiro returned to Tokyo for a vacation, taking Alex with him. Their fun came to an abrupt end when Harada demanded that Shiro drop out of Xavier's to become his protege in the Yakuza, claiming that this was his responsibility and destiny as a Yashida. When Shiro refused, Harada disowned him and threatened him with death should he ever set foot on Japanese soil again. Shiro packed his bags, grabbed Alex and his sister Leyu, and headed off to the airport to return to New York. After a brief confrontation with Harada's bodyguard who ordered Shiro to leave Leyu behind, the three crossed the Pacific and Shiro enrolled Leyu in the school.
Stripped of his family and his country, Shiro became withdrawn and began to ponder his fate. He concluded that all of his troubles stemmed from him beind a mutant: his mother dying, Tomo murdering his father, Harada trying to control him, and everything that happened in his nine months in the States. He convinced himself that the only way to discard his lot in life and start anew was to strip himself of his powers. Thanks to the timely intervention of Manuel de la Rocha, Cyclops, Cable, and Northstar, he was saved from an act that would likely have ended in his death. The trade-off of losing his powers, however, was his entire skin turning pitch black and exposing Jean-Paul to significant amounts of radiation.
When Shiro awoke, he agreed to seek counseling. The summer's events proved to be a wake-up call for him, prompting him to seriously reevalute himself. He started his college application process in the fall, investigating local art schools and taking the required standardized tests. He even went out on a date with friend Clarice Ferguson. At the end of October, he fell ill, but this was just a brief preparation for the explosive return of his powers.
Proteus, Reavers, and the X-Men
Reempowered, Shiro jumped back into studies of both his mutation and of the mundane kind. He completed the TOEFL and ACT in November, and with Alex's help in December, discovered new aspects of his power. Anxious to demonstrate a willingness and commitment to help, he disobeyed orders and tried to assist a small team of X-Men against a creature granted the powers of Moira MacTaggart's dead son. The resulting fallout prompted him to again reevaluate his views of himself.
This impetuousness was tempered a couple months later when a group of cybernetically enhanced soldiers known as the Reavers attacked the school. Alex and Shiro went to help Kitty Pryde assist some of the younger students when they were attacked by three of the Reavers. They managed to take out the Reavers and get to safety. Also around this time, Clarice and Shiro decided to pursue a romantic relationship, and he also joined the X-Men as a trainee. He had his first (unsuccessful) Danger Room run in July.
With the beginning of college in September, 2005, Shiro found himself juggling school responsibilities, X-Men training, and an increasingly complex personal life. He was in Seattle for the riot, helping to discourage potential arsonists and to rescue people from the damaged monorail. And with Alex down in Hawaii for college, Scott asked him to move in with new student Tommy Jones, a former member of the Friends of Humanity. Their relationship began as cordial yet distant, but they grew to understand and tolerate each other over time.
Full Metal Mutants and Shiro’s Fall
2006 started off well for Shiro. His training progresses smoothly and classes were going well. After missing the Japanese festival of Setsubun for the third year in a row, he decided to ignore Harada's death threats and spend a weekend in Japan with Clarice for White Day. Of course, even the best clandestine affairs fall apart. While taking a walk around the ryokan where they were staying, a small contingent of ninja from The Hand spotted them and attacked, thinking that Shiro was a Yakuza spy out to get them. Though Shiro and Clarice managed to neutralize them and retreat, the encounter of Hand and Yashida led to increasing violence in Japan between the two warring clans.
A truce was negotiated between Harada and the leader of The Hand, Matsu'o Tsurayaba in April. By marrying Mariko to Matsu'o's right-hand-man Hideki Noburu, The Hand and Yashida Clan would be united and the violence would end. Shiro was surprised to receive an invitation to the wedding, but temporarily put that concern away when a strange old woman tried to kidnap some of the young students. It was determined that only younger people could stand up against her due to some age-dependent bioweapon, so Shiro and the other X-Men trainees set out to find and apprehend her. Shiro was promoted to full-time X-Men after successful completion of this mission.
The wedding was set for barely two weeks later. As Shiro expected, The Hand betrayed the Yashidas, poisoning Mariko and igniting an offensive in the shrine where the wedding was held. Clarice, exhausted from teleporting across continents often, managed to send Leyu back to New York, but stayed in Japan with Shiro to help him fight alongside his clan. The Hand was beaten back, but Mariko could not be saved. Before she died, she pled with her half-brother to start a clean slate with Shiro, and he acquiesced.
Once again a Yashida, Shiro found himself contemplating his abilities and his duties again. In late June, he helped Yoshi Satou, a friend from school fend off a gang of Korean thugs. Twice. Yoshi admitted that he was indebted to the Korean mob because he was taking a mutation-enhancing drug called Kick. Shiro offered to help Yoshi pay off his debt in exchange for a promise to get clean. Yoshi agreed, but Shiro found him Kicking. Angry and betrayed, Shiro sent Yoshi to a hospital and confiscated the drugs.
He didn't have time to consider what to do with it, though, as he was called to San Diego for the events of The Rictor Effect. Cyclops called on him, Storm, and Iceman to avert a series of mini-tsunamis after Magneto tortured Julio Richter to the point where he lost control of his seismic manipulation powers. Shiro questioned his ability to do this job until he found a cartridge of Kick that he'd accidentally packed away with him. He viewed using the drug to be the lesser of two evils, and successfully destroyed the tidal wave with the drug's boost.
A side effect of Kick's power-boosting effect is an incredibly high possibility of addiction, and Shiro fell victim to the drug's influence. By the end of the summer, he was so dependent on it that not only could he not access his powers without Kicking, but he'd lost his natural immunity to the radiation he emits and was growing ill. Shiro blamed this on his supplier, Korean crime lord Chung Sheng Ho, and high out of his mind, he flew to the Lower East Side to confront him. Amelia Voght, having seen Shiro just before he left and noticing his odd behavior, alerted Xavier, who sent Scott, Logan, and Marie D'Ancato (with Ororo on comms) to retrieve him. Scott tried to appeal to the young man, but when Shiro noticed Logan and Marie off to the sides, he thought that it was all a trick and attacked. Marie subdued him by touching him, and Logan managed to talk her down before Shiro's influence became too much. When Shiro awoke again, he apologized for his behavior and eagerly accepted treatment for his addiction.
It wasn't easy, but Shiro ultimately asked everyone for forgiveness, especially the people who came to retrieve him from the deli. He also befriended a few of the younger students, namely Yvette Petrovic, Angelica Jones, and Kyle Gibney. Sam Guthrie offered to help him learn how to fly again after a failed attempt to induce it by jumping off the mansion nearly resulted in Shiro's death. By December, he'd redeveloped a great deal of control, and offered to accompany Red X to Hawaii when an angry psuedo-goddess threatened all of Hawaii's non-native inhabitants. While helping with the evacuation efforts, Shiro's sensitivity to Alex's mutation led him to his friend, who was being used as a battery by Pele. Together, they defeated her and returned to New York.
When the rest of the mansion was celebrating the end of the fall semester with a semiformal, Alex and Shiro had a boys' night in in Shiro's suite. They got a little tipsy, and after having a rather depressing conversation about failed relationships and their respective neuroses, they kissed. After some consideration, the two decided that they were an item of sorts, though at Shiro's behest they kept it quiet.
Shiro also helped Forge design new uniforms for the X-Men, and was allowed to return to full status just before X-Men Mission: Phalanx. He was one of the many people stuck in the dreamworld of When It All Goes Wrong Again; had he not been a mutant, then he would still live with his father who would never have been murdered by his uncle. His memories returned upon contact with Lorna Dane when she caught him fooling around with someone who bore an uncanny resemblance to Alex.
News of increasingly violent fighting between Yakuza and Triad forces in San Francisco reached Shiro in mid-March, who, worried that the violence could spill into the streets and innocent people would be hurt, went with Marie, Remy LeBeau, Amanda Sefton, and Betsy to investigate. There they encountered the Mandarin, a Chinese national with notions of rebuilding the ancient Chinese empire by brainwashing the local Yakuza. Though the Mandarin fled under Remy and Shiro's combined force, the spell broke and the two gangs separated again.
In April, Leyu was one of the students on the the field trip to the new Mesozoic Biofloral Conservatory, and Shiro took part in the rescue team to find her and her classmates, though all they accomplished before they found their own way out was to take down an angry triceratops. Soon later, when many people spontaneously changed sexes, he caught Alex and Lorna kissing, and the two did not attempt to reconcile for a few weeks. During this estrangement, Shiro returned to Japan briefly to attend memorial services for Mariko, and was informed by his father's lawyers that now that he was 20 years old, he was eligible to obtain the full inheritance that his parents had left for him.
The end of May was a troubling time for Shiro. Children were kidnapped and turned into mindless slaves, and during the confrontation to bring them back, Shiro was reminded of when he was on Kick. During the ensuing flashback, he beat and nearly killed one of the mercenaries who were keeping the kids, and was only stopped by Siryn's intervention. As usual, he bottled up and forced himself to forget about this incident. Barely a month later, he was sent with Blink and Juggernaut to Krakoa, a small island off the southern coast of Japan in order to investigate reports of mutant activity. They discovered the lone survivor of World War 2-era human experimentation, and after offering the old man final peace, returned home with hard evidence of the atrocities that took place there. With Cain's and Nathan's encouragement, he has started to look into ways of atoning for Imperial Japan's crimes, but finds himself up against significant bureaucratic roadblocks that prevent him from making much progress.
Shiro fell ill with the flu around Thanksgiving, but it was thankfully a short-lived bug that left when Alex returned from a short vacation in Hawaii, allowing them to take their relationship to the next level and make love for the first time. Shiro became sick again soon afterwards when he chaperoned a trip to Japan, but recovered just as quickly as he had before. After a third bout just weeks later, Alex forced Shiro to go to the infirmary and get checked out, fearing that this was something serious. Though it took some time for the doctors to complete their tests, the prognosis suggested similar symptoms to when Shiro first lost his powers and re-manifested.
That proved the final piece of the puzzle to Alex, who figured out that the link between their powers had become one-sided, with Shiro actually feeding off Alex and becoming addicted to him. When Alex tried to end their relationship for the sake of their healths (not to mention safety), Shiro revolted and almost assaulted Alex. Alex then fled the mansion and moved in with Lorna, who confronted Shiro a couple weeks later. Loudly. In the foyer. In front of the rest of the school. Between that and conversations/ultimatums from Scott, Jean, and Amanda, Shiro finally agreed to seek professional help to deal with his addiction.
Spring didn't bring good cheer, as after a nearly botched mission that left Shiro and a team stranded in the middle of Iran, he learned that Clarice had moved on and started dating Kyle. With some motivation from Scott, Shiro took the initiative to contact Alex and try to reestablish their friendship, though that certainly wasn't without complications.
In May, both the X-Men and X-Force were mobilized under Christian Kane when the megalomaniacal villains Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil resurfaced after two decades of obscurity to build a doomsday device to conquer the world. Shiro and the other pyrokinetics were abducted by an old acquaintance, Amora the Enchantress of Asgard, to fuel the weapon. Remnants of Asgard returned just a couple of weeks later, when a cult of Loki tried to capture Shiro to summon Fenrisulfr.
Shiro didn't take Alex's joining the X-Men well, afraid of what that would mean for his still struggling self-control. Bickering turned into a verbal argument when Alex accused Shiro of making mountains out of mole hills, so to prove that he could be normal and act like non-damaged people, Shiro visited the mutant nightclub Silver. He woke up the next morning in bed with Jay Guthrie and, confused about what this meant about himself and his sexuality, begged Jay to keep it a secret, who grudgingly agreed.
Approaching the Divine
Apocalypse's conquest of Manhattan in October stirred the mansion and X-Force to action, and Shiro was recruited to the team of heavy-hitters to lead an assault on Apocalypse's stronghold. Before leaving for the mission, Nick Fury brought to his attention a Plan C: if Apocalypse could not be stopped by any other means, then the utter nuclear destruction of Manhattan would be necessary. Though appalled by the order, Shiro agreed to carry it out. To Shiro's relief, Apocalypse was defeated before Plan C could even be considered.
Fall of 2008 turned out well for Shiro when Jean-Paul Beaubier returned, providing Shiro with the mentor figure he desperately wanted. Their friendship strengthened over winter when Jean-Paul invited Shiro to ski with him over Christmas break, and later when their mutual distaste of the Superbowl and Valentine's Day sent them seeking each other's company away from the public. Winter wasn't all good, however. The realization that he'd soon be done with college and he had no future path planned was slightly frightening, especially when he learned of classmates with job offers. His anxiety increased in February, when Shiro and a small team traveled to Japan to investigate the murders of several mutants. The murders turned out to be part of a Hand plot to search for the Japanese Imperial Regalia, relics of tremendous power that the ninja hoped to harness. The X-Men saved the regalia, though not before the bearer of the divine sword was killed, and Shiro himself wielded the sword, an awesome experience that has him questioning himself in a new light.
Another Hand plot was foiled in Tokyo, with the help of Amanda Sefton, Wanda Maximoff and Walter Lawson, the grandson of a war veteran experimented upon by Unit 731 and whom Shiro met whilst engaged in his reparation project. Shiro had little time to ponder the coincidence, however, as Jean-Paul was captured and tortured by Taygetos, undergoing psychic rewriting to make him a weapon against those who would rescue him. Part of the recovery team, Shiro was deeply shocked at seeing his friend in a psychotic state, covered with the blood of the Taygetos personnel he had killed, and razed the facility to the ground. He continued to worry about Jean-Paul from a distance, unsure of how to approach him and caught up in his increasing lack of control over his powers. When a mission in Wyoming put Shiro face to face with Alpha, the man responsible for Jean-Paul's torture, he deliberately allowed several conditioned children to attack and kill the man. His cold-bloodedness prompted his benching from the team by Scott.
Adrift without regular training and the summer vacation, Shiro began meditating more and more. He had a brief relationship with Jay Guthrie, which ended abruptly when Jay called him by the wrong name during sex. When his little sister Leyu manifested with powers the same as his own, his fear for her drove him even further away. He began experiencing hallucinations - convinced they were divine visions brought on by his contact with the sacred sword, Shiro ignored the advice of his friends and peers and went to Japan, where he was captured by the Hand and it was revealed that his issues over the months were the result of their manipulations. However, Shiro was too far gone to do much more at this point than call the school, asking for Jean-Paul's help, before almost destroying several important Japanese landmarks. The X-Men, with Jean-Paul, were able to take him down, but his fragile mental state - meditation induced psychosis - meant that Charles Xavier encouraged him to go for further treatment at Muir Island, which was better suited to dealing with potential powers accidents. To his comfort, Jean-Paul accompanied him, along with the speedster's sister, Jeanne-Marie.
Weight: 130 lbs.
Other Features: Shiro’s skin turns pitch black when he overexerts his powers, due to an increase in pigment production in order to increase sunlight absorption.
Shiro possesses the mutant ability to absorb sunlight and use the stored chemical energy to ionize air into plasma. With little effort, he can release an omnidirectional wave of plasma, and with some concentration, he can control and direct its path. He can also fly by riding on a hot cloud of monoatomic hydrogen atoms. Mental stimulation of this hot cloud can propel him through the air at a maximum speed of 400 miles per hour. His lungs are developed to extract oxygen from altitudes of up to 30,000 feet above sea level, and the heat from the plasma equalizes the pressure. He’s also learned how to shape plasma into small exploding fireballs, and to extend his vision into the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Despite the intense heat, light, and radiation released by use of his powers, Shiro is immune to their effects. Whenever he uses his powers, he automatically conjures a personal force field that protects him. The force field is visible, ranging from a faint golden glow to bright flames that cover his entire body and extend up to five inches outward (like the Human Torch) depending on the intensity to which he accesses his powers. He cannot extend this force field to offer anyone else protection; it affects his body, his clothes, and small objects on his person.
It is possible for him to exhaust himself if he uses more energy than he can bring in. When this happens, melanocytes and similar cells go into overtime pigment production so he can quickly absorb light and regain his energy. He absorbs a lot of light during this period, so his skin doesn't reflect any, turning it black. This will last until he's back to normal levels.
The most dangerous application of his powers was demonstrated in the summer of 2004; he can release so much energy that he acts as a thermonuclear bomb. At full strength, he could annihilate a small island. The strain of such an act would likely tear his force field apart, and if he didn't die immediately, then he would be poisoned by the intense radiation and die within the week.
Shiro's mutation and Alex's share a unique interaction. They both metabolize certain frequencies of energy and emit energy "waste." It so happens that the energy that Shiro emits is the same frequency that fuels Alex, and the energy that Alex emits is the same frequency that fuels Shiro. The two can therefore establish a power loop with each other, feeding on one another to increase their respective powers. This effect is especially strong when they come into physical contact. A side effect of this bond is that they can sense one another when they're relatively close; while not a psychic rapport like Amanda Sefton and Manuel de la Rocha shared, Alex and Shiro can feel each other as great sources of energy.
Shiro owns a katana given to him as a gift by Betsy a couple of years ago. He used to own a custom-made sword that Harada had commissioned for him, but it was destroyed when Shiro was cast out.
When he was addicted to Kick, he’d carry around what looked like an asthma inhaler loaded with a cartridge of the drug. He’s long since discarded it.
When Forge and Shiro redesigned the X-Men uniforms in December, 2006, they added a number of enhancements to Shiro's. These include silicate-based photovoltaic array panels connected to a catalytic converter, which increase the amount of solar energy that Shiro can absorb at a time while "cleaning" the radiation that he emits as a by-product; small fins on the uniform that extend when he reaches a certain temeprature to act as a heat sink; and a red rising sun motif on his right glove that illuminates one ray at a time to show how much power Shiro is using, much like the concentric circles on Alex's containment suit.
Shiro never learned how to drive, but out of his own volition. Who needs to drive when they can fly?
Legally, Shiro's name in Japanese is spelled 四郎, which translates to "fourth son." (His father, Saburo, is "third son," whose father Jiro is "second son," whose father Ichiro is "first son.") After the events of Blaze of Glory, however, Shiro began to sign his name as 死郎, which loosely translates to "death boy" or "death son." He did this to represent how the break from his family was in many ways equivalent to death.
Phase 1 Comms
Player Icon Base: Takeshi Kaneshiro
Shiro’s theme song is “Wish” by Hitomi, because his player listened to it often when the character was first introduced.