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Shō Kusakabe Edit
Character Info
Kanji 象日下部 (ショウ・クサカベ)
Romaji Shō Kusakabe
Alias The Seriously Real Angel
Gender Male   Male.png
Status Active
Relative(s) Mari Kusakabe (Mother)
Shinra Kusakabe (Older Brother)
Voice Actor(s) Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese)
Justin Briner (English)
Technical Info
Type Third Generation
Fourth Generation
Birth Date December 25 (Capricorn)[1]
Age 14
Height 145 cm (4' 9")
Weight 37 kg (82 lbs)
Blood Type O
Professional Status
Affiliation White-Clad
Knights of the Ashen Flame
Occupation Commander
Debut(s)
Manga The Boy Knight
Anime The Promise (episode)
Techniques

Shō Kusakabe (象日下部, Shō Kusakabe) is a Fourth Generation pyrokinetic, and the Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame. The younger brother of Shinra Kusakabe, Shō was abducted by the White-Clad after he awoke the Adolla Burst as a baby, henceforth becoming the Third Pillar. After meeting his Brother and viewing his memories, Shō begins to rebel against the white clad and the Evangelist, forcing him to be put into an unconscious state by Haumea. After breaking out of this state and finding out about his backstory, Shō decided to join his Brother and assist the Fire Force in taking down the White Clad, until being teleported to Adolla after the reinitialization of the Great Cataclysm.

Appearance

Shō's full appearance.

Shō is a young teenager with large, bright crimson red eyes and pure white hair with bangs that fall in front of his face.[2] Just like his brother, the pupils of Shō's eyes are white. His brother Shinra calls him adorable and many people have noted that he looks like an angel.

He dons the uniform of the White-Clad: a white jumper with a red cross Sol God symbol on the front that is cloaked by a white sheet, white gloves, and white trousers tied by a quilted belt. The same quilted patterns are across the sleeves of his jumper. He wears long white boots that reach up to his knees at the front and carries his katana on his right hip.

After leaving the White-Clad, Shō tries to blend in to the public by wearing civilian clothing, though he clearly has no knowledge on trends and styles, as his civilian garb is rather over the top and highly noticeable. His civilian disguise consists of a light-colored sweater, a light-colored pair of pants with legs that stop just below the knees, a heavy plaid scarf, an oversized flat cap, a pair of knee-high argyle socks, and a pair of slip on shoes.

During the time period that Shō was under mind control, Haumea treated him like a doll. She dressed him in a fancy suit consisting of a white dress shirt, a white tuxedo jacket, and a white bow tie that hung downwards. Haumea also applied lipstick to his lips. He also had a dull look in his eyes.

Personality

In spite of his angelic appearance and innocent beginnings, Shō is cold and emotionally distant. In sharp contrast with his older brother, Shō is originally completely indifferent to his family relationships. While he accepts that Shinra is his blood relative, he expresses no compassion towards him beyond mild curiosity upon meeting him for the first time, going so far as to express his disgust at the thought that they are brothers during later meetings. As he has spent the majority of his life under the Evangelist's care, Shō thinks of 'it' as his only parent and claims to have no memory of his mother and feels no love towards her (much to Shinra's anger). Furthermore, Shō seems to possess no ambitions of his own, choosing to follow the Evangelist's orders no matter what. Shō's attitude fits with his status among the Eight Pillars as the one who represents apathy. To the point he sees his own actions as inconsequential to the Evangelist's ultimate goal.

As the Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame, Shō commands respect and obedience from his followers despite his age and stature. He is also very calm, and even when taken by surprise, the swordsman quickly adjusts and continues with his mission. While Shinra struggles with the prospect of killing other people, Shō is perfectly willing to murder those who get in his way. Arthur's quick reflexes was the only thing that prevented Shō from killing him during their first encounter. Though he is cold and professional, Shō claims that his intense battle with Shinra eased his boredom. He also shows irritation towards Haumea's flippant attitude.

Shō becomes more emotional as he reconnects with both Shinra and his lost memories. Shedding tears while witnessing Shinra's past. These emotions are stripped from him by However, it is revealed that he was manipulated by Haumea's manipulations but he awakens them once more. Alongside his familial love, Shō develops curiosity about the past and outside world, while insisting he doesn't care about the fate of humanity. During this period Shō displays curious child-like wonder at many things that he was deprived of when taken by the White Clad, such as balloons and children playing on scooters. He also develops a sense of humour and newfound purpose as Shinra's guardian angel. Believing that hope should endure as a hero is going to save the world.

Background

Shō with his family.

Shō was born as a virgin birth to his mother under mysterious circumstances, just like his older brother before him. In Year 186, while being monitored from afar by Charon and Haumea, Shō's Adolla Burst activated during the night, setting his house on fire and influencing Shinra to awaken his Ignition Ability. During the incident, Shō's mother turned into an Infernal, which Haumea used to abduct him. Afterwards, he was raised to believe the Evangelist was his parent,[3] all the while being unaware he had a mother and brother.[4]

Abilities

Shō is an extremely quick Third Generation pyrokinetic and skilled swordsman, being able to manifest feathers with his ability and battle Joker evenly with his katana. While trying to avoid killing his prey, Shō is able to fight using his sword's sheath to bludgeon them or consistently attack with the flat side of his blade.

Shō also possesses superhuman level strength, allowing him to fling Shinra across a room and shatter solid concrete with his strength. While striking with his Katana he was capable of completely shattering several pillars and knocking his brother around with barely any effort.

Adolla Burst

Shō using Severed Universe.

Like his brother, Shō has the rare Ignition Ability Adolla Burst,[5] and the Adolla Link. Through using his Adolla Link with the Evangelist, Shō is able to use the Fourth Generation ability called Severed Universe, which is capable of slowing the flow of time.[6] Severed Universe gives the illusion of super speed [7] and, using it in conjunction with his katana, Shō is capable of defeating Shinra, Arthur Boyle and Hibana with a single strike each. Severed Universe requires chilling the surrounding area to such a low temperature, it reduces the heat that causes the natural expansion of the universe, resulting in time passing more slowly for everything; the sole exception being Shō himself, who remains at normal speed.

The major flaw of this technique is it exposes Shō's body to extreme cold and he begins to freeze almost immediately. This makes Shō avoid using it for extended periods of time and deactivate it to thaw out the ice forming on his body. Another weakness is that time doesn't actually freeze, it just slows down significantly; so if someone is fast enough, it doesn't matter if time is moving more slowly. The ability is also based on Shō having the Grace of the Evangelist. Once he loses the Evangelist's blessing he is unable to use it.

Plot

Asakusa arc

When the White-Clad returns from their attack on Asakusa, Arrow informs Shō on Haran's death and becoming of a Demon, as well as somebody in Special Fire Force Company 8 acquiring the Adolla Burst and Adolla Link, to which Shō states that this is highly desired by the Preacher. He then says that he will go next time, drawing his sword.

Vulcan's Workshop arc

Shō threatens Shinra.

Shō and Arrow later arrive at Vulcan's Workshop, where they spot Shinra attacking Giovanni. As the brothers look at one-another, Shō is confused as Shinra says they're brothers. As Shinra talks to Arthur about their reunion, Shō immediately approaches and attacks Shinra, before telling him that he must come back with his group. As Arthur pulls out his sword, Shō slashes him, followed by subduing Hibana. He then orders his men to capture Shinra and kill the others. As he gives the command, Vulcan's Workshop explodes, and amongst the flames, a pickup truck emerges and carries out the wounded. While the truck attempts to flee the scene, Shō appears in-front of it and prepares to attack, before he himself is attacked by Joker. After the two exchange words, Shō attempts to slice the man, but to no avail. Seeing as the truck had escaped, Joker retreats, before Shō regroups with the other White-Clads.

Netherworld arc

Upon the Special Fire Force Company 8 entering the Netherworld and becoming separated by Mirage and Yona, Shō has his elite soldiers engage the brigade by targeting their weakest members first. Shō soon finds himself confronted by Shinra, to which his brother proclaims to fulfill the promise he made their mother. Declaring that he doesn't have a mother and that his parent is the Preacher, Shinra and Shō start fighting. Using his Ignition Ability, Shō begins overwhelming his brother. Shō claims Shinra will never catch him, claiming they exist in different universes.

Shō fighting Shinra.

An Adolla Link is established between them, allowing Shinra to see The Evangelist. Afterward, Shinra is slowly able to forge a Link with Shō using his feelings for his little brother, enabling him to move even faster by tapping into the Evangelist's 'Grace' and slowly reaching Shō's level. Despite his new-found power, Shinra is overwhelmed by Severed Universe until he simply disappears when Shō triggers Severed Universe. Shō stands in shock while time is slowed and tries to find Shinra until he finally has to return time to normal. Shinra suddenly reappears and Viktor Licht realizes that he is now moving faster than light. As such, Shō begins to fear his opponent as being able to force himself into his universe by acting faster than he can slow down. As the two Fourth Generation fighters clash, Shō begins seeing visions of his mother. Shinra and Shō clash for the final time, during which Shinra pulls Shō into a Adolla vision of his own creation. Seeing his brother's memories allows Shō to finally empathise with him and truly remember both his abduction and his mother's love. Returning to reality, Shō cries while his brother hugs him.

Much to the shock of both brothers, Shinra accidentally rematerialised with Shō's sword piercing through his body. Before either of them can react, an amused Haumea appears. Before she can take Shinra away, Shō steps between them to ask what happened 12 years ago but is ignored by the Second Pillar. When he tries to attack her Severed Universe does not work. Haumea counters with her own Ignition Ability, forcing a shocked Shō under her control and he is taken away while Shinra is saved by Company 8.

Joint Investigation arc

Shō is later kept in a mind-controlled state under Haumea's watch. Arrow is forced to watch as Haumea dresses Shō in a fancy white suit and applies make-up to the boy.

Ōbi's Rescue arc

With the White-Clad wanting to change Tokyo to its rightful state, Shō joins Haumea in leading a group of White-Clad to Holy See. Taking control of Raffles III's mind, Haumea has him summon Leonard Burns. Upon him arriving with Company 1's priests and the group revealing their presence, Shō watches Haumea persuade Leonard in serving the Evangelist with them. Later, Shō and a group of White-Clad confront Company 8 at Fuchū Prison after their exhausting fight against the Butchers, and watched when Benimaru Shinmon rescues them.

Stone Pillar Arc

Shortly before the White-Clad's final mass, Shinra establishes an Adolla Link with Shō for a single moment, resulting in Haumea's brainwashing being undone and Shō wanting to see Shinra. Not being able to afford to let Haumea or the guardians know his intention, Shō ran into Inca Kasugatani, Sumire and Charon before Arrow discovers him and questions where Shō is going. Pulling his sword on her, Shō instructs her to take him outside or he will kill her. Once there, Shō tells her to stay away from him but Arrow declines, leading to Shō allowing her to follow him from a distance.

Shō facing Faerie.

Upon a stone pillar and Giant Infernal arising off the coast of Tokyo, Faerie attempts to abduct Shinra by flying off with him, prompting Arrow to fire rods into the air towards him to allow Shō to jump on them to engage Faerie. Sent sent flying away with Faerie's Ignition Ability, Shō eventually manages to slice Faerie in two. Coming under the belief Faerie is an illusion, Shō listens to Faerie explain his gravity ability and that he has an Adolla Burst before watching his opponent disappear. Unable to find him, Shō saves Shinra from falling into the ocean below and takes him to the ground. Before he can touch his brother, Ogun Montgomery yells if Shinra is alright, leading to Shō deciding to leave and disappear.

Kusakabe History arc

Shō has an Adolla link with Mari.

Shō resurfaces alongside Arrow seeking out his family's history and medical records. While Shō has no interest in stopping the end of the world, he wishes to understand his place in the world and learn about his birth parents while it possible. The world's ever closer ties to Adolla allow him to effortlessly steal the required documents. Initially overjoyed to learn more about Mari Kusakabe Shō is shocked to learn that he has no father and all records imply both Kusakabe brothers were the result of virgin births.

Visiting the Shinjuku Community Centre, Shō and Arrow learn from the director that the Holy Sol Temple pressured the notice to never report on the story. Shō recognises that it was likely Yona's deception rather than an official Church order. As he readies to leave, Shō is pulled into an Adolla Link with his own mother. Seeing the hardships his mother went through to raise them and confirmation that they were virgin births, Shō concludes Shinra is a projection of humanity's need for a saviour manifested into a person. And if his brother was born in the image of a hero, then Shō was born from humanity's belief that angels will guide them. Visualising himself with wings, Shō promises his mother that her sons will stay together and returns to reality. He leaves alongside Arrow, swearing to restore his brother's rightful place.

That night, Shō intervenes in the battle between Shinra, the doppelgänger of Raffles I and Faerie. His attempts to be serious are briefly undercut by Shinra hugging him. He cheers on his brother, claiming that the true hero needs to raise above this mockery of the empire's faith. Shinra defeats the doppelgänger but with the Eighth Pillar alight and the people of the nation despairing over the death of their 'saviour', Shō and the other pillars are instantly drawn into Adolla and disappear from the world. Before he leaves, Shō orders Arrow to never give up hope and work alongside Company 8 to stop the cataclysm.

Trivia

  • Shō's first name, "Shō" (象), means phenomenon. or as in its Romaji form can mean commander or bright.
    • Like his elder brother, Shinra, his name could also be derived from the Japanese idiomatic lexeme "shinrabanshō" (森羅万象), which, when translated, can mean either "all creation" or "all things in nature".
  • Shō's pale skin, white hair, and red eyes strongly suggests he was born with albinism.
  • Unlike most of the other characters, the religious references regarding Sho follow a visual motif rather than a naming convention: the motif being that of an angel as opposed to the devil motif of his brother.
    • The feathered appearance of his ignition and his pale cherubic appearance are in stark contrast to the overtly demonic symbolism centered on Shinra.
    • The opposing angel/devil dichotomy that exists between the two brothers could be a direct reference to Lucifer, who in Christianity, is a fallen angel that is sometimes synonymous with the Satan (or Devil) character in Christianity.
  • Shō, as well as his older brother Shinra, was born as a Virgin Birth, conceived and born by his mother through an outside power and without sexual intercourse with a human male.
  • Shō is voiced by Justin Briner in Fire Force's English dub. Briner also voices Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia.[8]
  • According to his Character Profile:
    • He is self-proclaimed Commander.
    • His favorite foods is Paella. His least favorite foods are bell peppers and carrot.
    • His favorite music is silence.
    • His favorite animal are big elephants and dinosaurs.
    • His favorite color is white.
    • For his favorite type, he's not really sure.
    • He respects the Evangelist.
    • He hates loud guys and Haumea.
    • He is not afraid of anyone.
    • His hobbies reading dinosaur picture books.
    • His daily routine involves eating small fish and drinking milk.
    • He doesn't see the need for a dream.
    • His shoe size is 19 cm.
    • His eyesight is 1.5.
    • He's not really sure about his favorite subject but he likes reading. He also isn't sure about his least favorite subject.

References

  1. Fire Force Manga: Volume 12 Extras
  2. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 36 Cover Page
  3. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 78, Page 10
  4. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 61, Page 4
  5. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 50, Page 9
  6. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 70, Page 21
  7. Fire Force Manga: Chapter 63, Page 16
  8. Fire Force Season 3

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Leader Evangelist
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Great Cataclysm Execution Specialist Force Faerie
Knights of the Ashen Flame Shō Kusakabe (Commander)ArrowFlailHaranLisa (Former)MirageYona
Knights of the Purple Smoke Ritsu (Commander)OrochiIronSasori
Other Members CharonGiovanniHaumeaInca KasugataniLeonard BurnsRekka HoshimiyaYona's Servant
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Generations and Ignition Ability Users
Non-Powered Akitaru ŌbiGureo HaijimaMamoruMikakoOguruPandaQViktor LichtVulcan Joseph
First Generation Demon Infernal (Asakusa)Demon Infernal (Prison)Demon Infernal (Town Square)Hibachi Shinmon (doppelgänger)MasaoSaekoSakuraSetsuo MiyamotoTempe
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Fourth Generation Inca KasugataniShinra KusakabeShō Kusakabe