Real Name: Tom Gifford
Birthdate: January 27, 1984
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
1. Shiro Kusanagi (real name: Tom Gifford) is a 28 year old otaku
, who originally hails from San Francisco, California, USA. Shiro has a bit of a...slightly traumatic past, having endured verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of his adopted mother since he was 13. After discovering Busou Shinki
when he was 22, Shiro began planning to move to Japan to escape her and immerse himself in the world of Shinki
Despite appearing to be a very outgoing, cheerful person online, Shiro is actually somewhat of a shy, reclusive individual, rarely opening up to anyone unless he feels he can trust them. Shiro hopes to build a group of friends in Japan amongst BR players.
2. Shiro happens to bump into the Protagonist at a Shinki
shop, and exchanges contact info, anxious to learn about other BR players.
3. Shiro has three main Shinki, both of whom are very close to his heart.
The first Shinki he ever purchased was an Ianeira model, whom he named Neira for short (though she herself sometimes romanizes it as "Nayla" or "Neyla"). After activating her and witnessing her motherly personality, he immediately became very attached to her.
Being a major Gradius
fan, Shiro made it a point to purchase the twin Vic Viper types, Vervietta and Lilleviette. His Vervietta is named Stephanie (after the heroine of the Salamander anime
OVA). In battle she goes by the code name "Victoria Viper", or "VV" for short. She is almost NEVER seen without her four Options flanking her at all times.
His Lilleviette unit is named Lilie, and in battle, she goes by the code name "Lord British" (a reference to the red fighter jet from Salamander
of the same name!). Lilie favors the Ripple Laser in battle when in fighter jet mode.
4. Shiro has at least two other known Shinki
, an Arnval Mk.2 and a Strarf Mk.2.
His Arnval Mk.2 is named Kaguya, and goes by the codename "Moon Angel" in battle. Her history is rather similar to that of Kaguya from the "Busou Shinki
(being directly inspired by her, minus the Tempesta outbursts).
His Strarf Mk.2 is nicknamed Yuki (yes, a reference to Yuki Nagato from "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
"). She has yet to receive her battle code name.
5. All of Shiro's Shinki
love him dearly and support him like a surrogate family, but each of them loves him in more ways than one.
Neyla's personality is much like that of many other Ianeira: Kind, motherly and nurturing. However, after witnessing her Master being emotionally and verbally abused by his mother, Neyla took it upon herself to actually step into the role of Shiro's mother figure, and she loves him deeply with all her heart.
Being completely devoted to Shiro, Neyla always puts his well-being above everything else, even staying at his side 24/7 whenever he becomes sick. Deep down, she wishes she could have a real flesh-and-blood body, so she could give Shiro the tender loving care he truly needs and deserves. She often fantasizes about holding him in her arms, and may be starting to harbor sexual desires for him.
Stephanie is somewhat of a shy wallflower. She is easily embarrassed by thoughts of romance or sex (which she has near-CONSTANTLY about her Master), and like Neyla, desires to be her Master's lover deep down. Steph also possesses a natural talent for shoot-'em-ups, and regularly comes close to besting her Master's many high scores at Gradius
, and Tyrian
Lilie can be somewhat hotheaded at times, but when it comes to her Master, she is absolutely nuts about him. Like Stephanie, she also enjoys playing shoot-'em-ups with her Master on his Wii, XBOX 360 and PS3, though she is somewhat less skilled than Steph is.
Kaguya possesses an "I-will-do-my-best", go-getter attitude typical of many Arnval units. She is somewhat of a computer geek, often reading up on old computers or operating systems. She is probably the only Shinki in the world who is well-versed in operating MS-DOS from the command prompt.
Yuki, much like her namesake, can be somewhat emotionless and distant at times, but deep down she harbors strong feelings for her Master, and is willing to do anything to see him happy. She is also somewhat of a bookworm, spending frequent time reading e-books on his iPad 2. Among her favorite works are "The Hound of the Baskervilles
" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and "The Da Vinci Code
" by Dan Brown.
The five Shinki
sometimes butt heads over who deserves to be Shiro's girlfriend the most, but Neyla almost always wins in the end.
6. Shiro purchased Neyla at a small model shop in San Francisco's Japantown (which explains Neyla's distinctly Californian accent and fluency in English). Shiro had long desired an Ianeira unit for himself ever since he learned of its motherly personality. He took her home to his room and activated her the same night he bought her. While getting to know his new Shinki
, Shiro's mom barged into the room. After seeing that he spent his saved-up money on "a childish doll", she immediately began to berate him for wasting his money. The tirade lasted for about ten minutes, and by its end, Shiro broke down in tears as his mom left the room.
Neyla, having seen and heard the whole thing, immediately leapt off of her cradle and comforted her new Master as best she could. After he calmed down, they both made a vow to each other: That somehow, some way, Neyla would help Shiro get out of his childhood home, and they would find a place where he would be safe from abuse. Sadly, time and circumstances conspired against them for nearly four years, as Shiro continued to suffer more and more. Eventually, Neyla took matters into her own tiny hands. Having learned how to operate his laptop by watching him closely, she accessed his email, and sent a message in his name to a friend of his in Japan (a former foreign exchange student of his named Takuya). After corresponding for nearly a week, she managed to arrange for him to stay at Takuya's house in Tokyo for as long as needed.
7. Shiro has played BR from the day it first debuted...up until Konami decided to shaft the American players. After that, he flew to stay with Takuya in Japan just to keep playing.
8. Shiro loves his Shinki
dearly, thinking of them as family members. In particular, he views Neyla as a surrogate mother figure, after his mother callously abandoned him to walk the streets of the world. Though Shiro himself won't admit it, he is in fact deeply in love with Neyla, and views her as a potential girlfriend.
9. All of his Shinki
are absolutely loyal to him, and as stated above, all five are head-over-heels in love (and lust) with him. They make a potent team, and have the potential to become one of the best BR teams in the world.
Shiro is known to be a major fan of the shoot-'em-up series Gradius
, and is even making special models of the Vic Viper and Lord British for Steph and Lilie that actually fly, allowing them to actually become fighter pilots themselves.
Shiro has the rather unique ability to fall asleep practically ANYWHERE, and in practically ANY POSITION, even standing up!
Due to his shut-in lifestyle growing up, Shiro has never had a girlfriend. He secretly wishes that Neyla would become a real girl, and become his girlfriend... In fact, he's currently researching ways to make this happen. (I'd love to see a scene where Neyla does become human. ^^)