Tetsuo Shima

Tetsuo Shima


Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in an orphanage with Shotaro Kaneda, his best friend. Often bullied as a child, Tetsuo often had to be rescued by the older Kaneda – something that Tetsuo might have appreciated at the moment, but which has done serious damage to the fifteen-year-old's self-esteem. 

Living… in a dystopian Neo-Tokyo nothing like it is today. In 2019, the city is a decaying industrial wasteland, littered with garbage and wracked with social unrest – a fragmented, sprawling world on the verge of collapse.

Profession… a high school student and member of a biker gang. Led by Kaneda, The Capsules are currently at war with The Clowns, a rival gang. Younger and weaker than the other members, Tetsuo is considered the runt of the gang. As a result, he takes a lot of flak from his friends, leading him to struggle with his own adequacy as a member. 

Interests… bikes. Tetsuo has an extensive knowledge of motorcycles and customizations. Although still a proficient rider, Tetsuo makes up for a perceived lack of skill with his impressive knowledge about bikes. Even if he can't handle them the way Kaneda does, he definitely knows more about bikes than anyone else in the gang.

Relationship Status… seeing a girl named Kaori. A fellow classmate, Kaori really likes Tetsuo and seems to think he’s pretty cool – something none of his gang members ever seem to think. Yet while Tetsuo can be pretty gruff to her, he does care about Kaori a great deal and knows that she feels the same way. “Let’s run away somewhere,” he tells her, “…the farther the better.”

Challenge… dealing with a lack of self-worth. Tetsuo wants to be accepted by his friends and earn their respect, not be bossed around and babied by them. As he yells at Kaneda, “Why do you always have to try and save me?” Yet while the emergence of mysterious powers may help Tetsuo gain more confidence, they may bring more problems than they solve.

Personality… stubborn, sulky, and self-conscious. Introverted and unsure of himself, Tetsuo acts as a foil to the ultra-confident, outgoing Kaneda. Perhaps if he weren't surrounded by such strong-willed, arrogant friends, Tetsuo wouldn't struggle with such a strong inferiority complex.


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