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Shotaro (将太郎 Shōtarō), also spelled Showtaro, is a young Dokeshi known as the Kyokotsu (loosely translated as "crazy bone" and also the name of the spirit within his own bones), able to gain the abilities of animals by biting their dried bones. In exchange for such power, he must do one good deed daily or else lose something "precious" inside of him. He is the main protagonist of B. Ichi.

Personality

Immature and simple-minded, Shotaro can be easily trusting of strangers to his detriment, as he strives to look for the best in people in his desire to do his daily good deed.

His ignorance can make Shotaro the butt of jokes or worse abuse. Yohei deceives him to believe that Mana's bra, which he discovered in her backpack, is to be worn on his head as a fashion accessory. He also does not realize that television listings are available in newspapers, which leads him to not know when shows air, and to think that people who do know are psychic. His ignorance extends to a failure to keep up on major news, such as the kidnapping of the Governor by the Tast Brothers.

But Shotaro's innocence also makes him adamant in his goal to do a good deed daily in order to improve humans' lives.[1]

Shotaro, like Yohei, is an avid fan of Justice, a television show starring the superhero Charisma Justice. Shotaro frequently copies the main character's Justice Blade attack, whether in play or in actual combat.

Relationships

Even though normal humans hate and despise Dokeshi, Shotaro holds nothing against them.

  • Emine: Shotaro considers Ermine his friend and desires to reunite with him.[1] He greatly values his friendship with Emine and thus diligently performs his good deeds.
  • Mana: Due to his ignorance, Shotaro can be insensitive to Mana, whether mocking her poor imitation of a fur seal (and calling her a "pipsqueak"), or wearing her bra on his head in public when Yohei claims it is a fashion accessory. While Mana tries to be mature around Shotaro, her patience can wear thin until she pummels or kicks him. Nevertheless, Mana considers Shotaro the first friend she has ever made.[2][3]
  • Yohei Nanami: Yohei first learns about Shotaro from a news report about his rescue of the Governor. This report helps lead him to learn that Shotaro is the Kyokotsu. Witnessing Shotaro's Bone Powers firsthand, however, the usually calm Yohei was surprised to find Shotaro fly and land in his Jeep when in a high-speed chase to escape Solence's motorcycle gang. Ever the improvisor, Yohei convinced Shotaro to fire weapons at Solence and at one point drive his Jeep, in order to avoid being killed and to retrieve the burger stand banner for Shotaro's acquaintance. After their first collaboration, Yohei continued to work with Shotaro. Yohei tends to tolerate Shotaro's antics as well as Mana, alternating between sardonic bemusement at his foolishness and annoyance at his mistakes. Yohei finds amusement in toying with Shotaro's innocence, such as tricking him to think that Mana's bra is actually a fashion accessory for his head.[2][3]

Appearance

In his mission to infiltrate the Fear Factory to rescue Yohei, Shotaro wears various outfits. First, before entering the Fear Factory, he dresses in a fuku sailor uniform, with dark socks with light stripes, his usual stitched shoes, and bone-decorated boxers. Second, when reunited with Mana, who is wet in sewer water, he takes off his fuku uniform for her to change into, while he puts on one of his dark shirts, which has bone decorations along the sleeves, and the bone-decorated boxers.[4] Third, after defeating Fear Factory agents, he takes one of their vests and slacks to wear.[5] At all times, he carries with him his satchel of animal bones.[4][5]

Before entering the Masked Assembly, Shotaro wears a new outfit, consisting of a tattered overcoat, a shirt, jeans, shoes, and two tattered scarves. He wields two long bones. His new attire has three motifs: stitches, attire like that of a clown (which is the direct translation of the Japanese word "Dokeshi"), and skulls (based on the Kyokotsu's similar thematic imagery and Shotaro's powers based on bones). Shotaro now has his face decorated like that of traditional clown makeup, with circles along the corners of his mouth, triangles above and below his left eye, and a bit of color along the bridge of his nose. While retaining his stitched shoes, they now are decorated at the tips with skull markers. Skulls also appear at the end of his new tattered and long scarves, and a skull, upside-down, is on his belt buckle. Stitches appear on both his shoes and his overcoat. His shirt and overcoat have stripes so that, when wearing his coat over his shirt, the stripes overlap and contrast: the stripes on his dark shirt are light, and the stripes on his light overcoat are dark.[6]

Quotes

Trivia

  • Shotaro's term, "Kyokotsu," is written with the characters for "insane or crazy" and "bone."[7]

Connections to Okubo's Later Works

Shotaro and Soul Evans (Manga) in bone underwear

Soul Evans from Soul Eater wears the same boxers as Shotaro

  • Shotaro shares some traits with another of Atsushi Okubo's protagonists, Soul Evans from Soul Eater.
    • Shotaro's boxers, decorated with bones (apt for his Bone Powers), are similar to boxers also decorated with bones as worn by Soul upon being stripped of his clothes during the Ultimate Written Exam in Chapter 12 and Episode 14 of Soul Eater.[8]
    • On the cover of Chapter 14, Shotaro puts a finger in his mouth, tugging at the left corner. Soul does likewise in promotional art for Soul Eater.[9]
  • Shotaro is frequently drawn with his face resembling a cartoonish skull. This distinctive design also appears on Shotaro's necktie choker in a later chapter. This skull later serves as Death's mask in Soul Eater, and the necktie choker is worn by Death's son, Death the Kid.

Cultural references

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 B. Ichi Chapter 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 11
  5. 5.0 5.1 B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 12
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ch20
  7. B. Ichi Manga: Volume 1, Yen Press English eBook, Pages 78, 189
  8. B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 11
  9. B. Ichi Manga: Chapter 14

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