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Tsukasa Shishio (獅子王司 Shishiō Tsukasa) is the main antagonist of the first 82 chapters of Dr. Stone.

His goal is to thin out the human population to create a new world without modern technology, saying that adults and how humanity evolved caused them to become evil.

Despite his claims that no threat would come after Senku and Taiju, which proved ironic[1], Tsukasa became one of the biggest obstacles to Senku's Kingdom of Science and restoring humanity as a whole in general.

Appearance

Tsukasa is a tall man that is estimated to be somewhere around 6 feet 8 inches in comparison to the cast of characters and Boichi's commentary that he's the tallest out of the cast.

His hair mimics chestnut brown and reaches his lower back along with amber eyes. Also to keep in mind, Tsukasa has androgynous features that blend the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics into an ambiguous form. This can be explained below:

In Japanese culture, Bihaku (美白) is a Japanese term meaning "beautifully white". Senku compares Tsukasa’s eggshell skin tone to a "white lily-flower" in the official Viz English translation[2] because Tsukasa's skin is just that pale. It's intriguing to note that Senkuu compares Tsukasa to that of a lily flower despite Tsukasa being a male; if his features weren't so blurred between the sexes, then Senku should've addressed his similarity to something like a white seashell or etc. It's interesting to note that back in Chapter 4, Senku accused Tsukasa of flirting with him because Tsukasa complimented Senku's ingenuity-- though Senku compliments Tsukasa's eggshell skin tone and compares it to a flower even though Tsukasa's a guy himself. Tsukasa also has elongated dark eyelashes, hair, and his face is rather slender than to be compared as chiseled and defined. Even though his body is rather muscular because he is an MMA/UFC global athlete, averaging to be around 225 lbs to compete in the Heavyweight Division, his features remain ambiguous. He also wears his lion coat draped around his shoulders post chapter 26 almost mimicking a woman wearing a fur coat and scenes that imply Tsukasa's effeminate characteristics further in the manga are captured. Whether this is intentional or sleight of hand by Boichi and Riichiro Inagaki, Tsukasa's androgyny currently remains a mystery.

He has three stone markings; one across his face that cuts across his right eye, another etched deep into his left one from the corner of his eyelid all the way down across his nose and ends at the bottom of his jaw on the right, and the other being stretched across from his left shoulder over his chest and stopping at his upper abdomen.

After years of MMA fighting, Tsukasa gained permanently swollen knuckles found on his index finger, middle finger, and ring finger. Before humanity was petrified, Tsukasa had unruly hair he’s been growing out since he was little. Post-petrification, he’s kept remnants of stone on the tips of his hair and has a shaved undercut with a slit at the sides, complimenting his stone markings across his eyes.

His initial outfit starts off with a red yukata made from a lion’s remains he ended up killing to protect Senku and Taiju. He used its pelt as a coat that he wore around or draped across his shoulders. He wears no shoes. After chapter 78, he wears a cream pelt shirt with his torn yukata as a skirt.

Gallery

Personality

Tsukasa is essentially violent but extremely careful and aware of his actions. He is a very kind, thoughtful, and polite man outside of his pessimistic ideals towards humanity. He offers help in the beginning to Senku and Taiju after they revive him and becomes their hunter for food, using his skills as a prominent athlete to aid them. It’s revealed later that Tsukasa plans to purge humanity and thinks Senku will go along with him, but instead Senku rejects him. After this point, Tsukasa becomes fairly determined in carrying out his plans even to the point of leaving their group. He’s confessed to Senku that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, though in the latter half of the story it’s revealed that Tsukasa loves his sister Mirai more than anything in the world and that is where his resilience comes from, so he can save her.

He also reveals that Senku could’ve been his first friend pre-petrification as to which Senku agrees. From this angle, we can assume Tsukasa shuts himself off from others and only focuses on saving his sister. He’s naturally withdrawn outside of his goals. He tends to hate humans who control and manipulate others. By his actions, it is possible to assume that Tsukasa hates any hierarchy or practice of power. His goal is to create a society without technological advancement and he uses any means to achieve that objective; creating his own empire modeled on his twisted views of humanity.

Though to note, there are many points in the story that explore Tsukasa's psychotic behavior. One instance is when he first breaks a stone statue and has no remorse, continuing to crush more in his wake. He particularly goes after older adults and elderly people, but specifically leaves children alone. This can be related to his personal background and history of being assaulted and abused by those in authority. He also ends up taking Yuzuriha hostage in order to gain the Revival Formula. Tsukasa also by no means wants to resort to fighting or killing but will do so if he feels pressured or his vision for humanity is at stake. This is seen when he ended up killing Senku after sharing a tender moment of wishing they could've met 3,700 years later.

Abilities and Skills

According to Taiju, Tsukasa has the reputation as "The Strongest High School Primate" due to his tremendous fighting abilities. The translators note that Shishiou Tsukasa means Lion Ruler.[3][4]

Intelligence

Tsukasa is a highly intellectual individual. After Senku, it's confirmed by Riichiro Inagaki that Tsukasa would have the highest grades and ties with Chrome in a school setting. Tsukasa also states that Senkuu is the only man he has met that is smarter than him by massive inquiring levels. From this, it's assumed that Tsukasa has spent most of his life alienated from social customs because of his prime intelligence (feeling that no one would understand him) and current predicament with his clinically brain dead sister, Mirai.

Physical Abilities

Tsukasa cutting down a tree

Tsukasa cuts down a tree with his stone sword.

True to his epithet, Tsukasa possesses an extreme amount of strength and is a highly proficient combatant. He was able to defeat lions and killed the leader of their pride with one punch.[5] He also managed to cut down a tree with a single strike from his stone sword, a tree which Senku noted to weigh 1 ton. Tsukasa's speed and reflexes are also equal to his strength. When Senku fired an arrow with a crossbow, Tsukasa managed to grab the said arrow with his bare hand. Senku later noted that the crossbow fired at 200 kilometers per hour. He was also able to parry all of Kohaku's swift attacks during their battle with apparent ease.

Tsukasa's fighting style mimics Muay Thai (kickboxing) as he demonstrates doing techniques such as Flying Knee, roundhouse kicking, hurricane kicking. He also portrays elements of Taekwondo with his Spinning Back kicks and other combat techniques. Since Tsukasa is considered the Strongest Primate of the Era, it is implied that he has gone to great lengths to master all forms of mixed martial arts. Currently, he stands undefeated despite participating in official UFC events while he was still in high school

Equipment

After being freed from his petrification, Tsukasa wielded a primitive-looking spear with a stone blade to hunt for fish. The hilt broke partially later on, effectively making the weapon into a sword. He appears to be highly skilled in wielding it during combat. The stone sword is sturdy enough to cut wood.

History

When he was younger, Tsukasa was picking out seashells on the beach to make a necklace for his sister Mirai because she wanted to be a mermaid princess like The Little Mermaid. It is unclear whether Tsukasa refers to the Danish fairytale version by author Hans Anderson, the Japanese film based off of this story with the protagonist named Marina, or the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid with the protagonist being Ariel.

While choosing seashells for Mirai, an old drunk fisherman came and beat Tsukasa to the point his face was unrecognizable. The fisherman justifies his assault behind him owning a fishing permit in the area and Tsukasa was trespassing. After this event, Tsukasa's sister became clinically brain dead, and required constant life support. From then on, Tsukasa somehow managed to train and find his way to the MMA so he could support his sister's life and defend himself by all means. He ends on becoming a well known MMA fighter nicknamed the "Strongest Highschool Primate" in the combat sport. He becomes so famous that even Taiju, who doesn't watch TV, knows who he is.

Plot

Stone Formula Arc

He is briefly seen by Taiju. Tsukasa is freed by Senku and Taiju to fight wild animals to save them. He kills a Lion and scares away the rest.

Petrified Tsukasa Shishio

Petrified Tsukasa

Vs. Tsukasa Arc

He smashes stone people, like the one who hurt his sister. He later takes Yuzuhira hostage. He later attacks Senku and almost kills him.

Vs. Hyoga Arc

He learns from Hyoga that Senku is alive.

Communications Arc

He is betrayed by Hyoga. While he and Senku defeat Hyoga, he is critically injured and put into cryosleep.

Symbolism

In the series, Tsukasa is represented by the metaphor of a pure white seashell and compared by Senku to a White Lily Flower. These symbols also have deeper connotations implying Tsukasa's known ambiguous androgyny and might hint at further character developments as the series continues.

In Hanakotoba, the Japanese term equivalent to the Language of Flowers refers to the ancient art of assigning meanings to flowers. In the Japanese culture, presenting flowers to another is not limited to women, and is not done lightly. The underlying meaning of the flower determines the message sent to the recipient. This allows one to communicate feelings and emotions without words. Senku compares Tsukasa to a White Lily Flower which in Hanakotaba means "Purity or Innocence"[6]. This also foreshadows the character development chapter focusing on Tsukasa titled The Pure White Seashell. It implies that the Pure White Seashell is the metaphor used when addressing Tsukasa and his "child-like innocence". His heart's in the right place but his antagonistic and persuasive behavior contradicts his values. The white lily is also commonly referred to as the Madonna Lily and is strongly associated with the purity of the Virgin Mary, especially in Roman Catholicism. The Victorians assigned detailed meanings to all common flowers and used them to communicate with each other. In her book "The Language of Flowers", Kate Greenaway listed the white lily as representing purity, modesty, and sweetness. Because of the strong cultural link between the white lily and the qualities of purity and modesty, this flower pops up in figurative descriptions (sometimes including negative or sarcastic ones) of people as pure and innocent. "Lily-white" is the most common phrase used to describe people in this way.[7] This probably correlates with Tsukasa's background history of his innocence being taken when he was violated on the beach collecting shells for his sister. Since this happened in adolescence, Tsukasa's purity was tainted and leading up to Mirai's revival, Tsukasa was a "Good Guy" and a "Murderer". It reflects his psychotic behavior despite trying to remain as far from violence as possible (which he uses to his utmost benefit when others don't agree with his motives). He is very much a double-edged sword.

Tsukasa is commonly referred to in the story as the Pure White Seashell and his background history revolves around this crucial totem. Along the coastlines of the world, a great variety of shells can be found. Seashells are made by the animals that live inside them and all shells grow steadily outward. Shells are among the most remarkable designs found in nature. Examples are the chambered nautilus, the sundial shell, and the triton shell. Shells are usually perceived as feminine; a symbol of birth, good fortune, and resurrection. Bivalved mollusks represent the womb and fertility. This is probably a direct relation to Tsukasa's known androgyny.[8] And also potent revival from his cryosleep which he is shown holding a necklace full of white seashells.[9]

The white seashell necklace Tsukasa holds in his cryosleep is made completely from cowrie shells. These shells represent rebirth and the female Gate of Life; used throughout the world as a charm for healing, fertility, magical power, or good luck. Romans called the cowrie the matriculus, meaning little matrix or little womb; among the Greeks, the word kteis meant vulva, a cowrie shell, a scallop, or a comb (an attribute of mermaids and sirens); Gypsy women valued the cowrie and wore them as amulets to focus on their feminine powers. This is probably a nod towards Tsukasa's physical ambiguity and the possibility of him being Intersex, a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit the typical definitions of female or male. This can also be an inference to gender identity controversy.[8]

Being that he holds cowrie shells as he enters cryosleep, this can also be an implication towards Tsukasa's charismatic nature being like that of a siren or mermaid. This key characteristic was what led to the Empire of Might's strength and Tsukasa's mass followers because of his charming beliefs and compelling argument. This can also represent his background history with making a seashell necklace for his sister Mirai so she could become a mermaid princess. When Senku puts Tsukasa into sustained slumber, Tsukasa is shown that he was given a seashell necklace--though, not by Mirai herself. Senku is the only character that knows of Tsukasa's past connected to seashells and was also the sole person in the cave as Tsukasa transitioned into cold sleep. Gathering subtle but cogent details like this, we can infer that Senku most likely made that necklace for Tsukasa to cope with his comatose state just like Tsukasa tried to do with his sister Mirai, and also implying that Senku knows about Tsukasa's ambiguous sexual anatomy and/or gender identity.

Trivia

  • Tsukasa's name is composed of "tsukasa" ( director; official; officer) while his surname Shishio is composed of "shi" ( lion), "shi" ( child) and "ō" ( king) to create Shishiō (Lion Child King).
  • Tsukasa placed 10th in the popularity poll.
  • Tsukasa placed 5th in the Second Popularity poll with 1073 votes.

References


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