— Shiso the Panda
Shiso, commonly referred to as Shiso of the East, is a male Mobian panda without special talents. He is a supporting character in Dimitri Chronicles, a series created by Chamesthehero. Introduced in Flames of Courage, the second installment of the series, he travels around the world in order to combat injustice.
Debuting in Before the Storm, Shiso's quest led him to encounter and befriend Team Prinus in a ramen-eating contest in Station Square. In order to attain peace and order, he later becomes the recurring sparring partner of the city's most infamous delinquent.
The self-proclaimed greatest disciple of the eastern continent, Shiso is a warrior with a sense of honor and loathes evil. Despite having his heart in the right place, this panda's foreign mannerisms and downright obliviousness occasionally lead him to trouble.
Shiso is a bicolored panda who boasts incredible height compared to other individuals. Like the other members of his species, he features both black and white fur all around his body, a furry muzzle, and small circular eyebrows on his forehead. His eyes are naturally squinted, so his eye color is a mystery.
Shiso has three bangs that stick out from his forehead. He wears a yin-yang-themed kimono with golden-colored highlights with pants of the same colors. His golden belt was given to him as a ranking of mastery only known within his dojo. He wears golden-colored finger-less gloves, headband, and walks barefoot.
Taking his normal appearance into consideration, Shiso looks tall but his kimono makes him look chubby. There needs to be confirmation on this, but it is speculated that the panda is actually incredibly buff!
Shiso is a honorable individual whose determination to eradicate injustice inspires him to venture around the world, supposedly representing his dojo. Because of his upbringing in a distant land that used to isolate themselves, this panda has mannerisms considered old-fashioned. When it comes to upholding his cultural and personal values, he is rarely affected by what others think, making him a very genuine person.
Venturing into the world with little life experience, Shiso considers himself to be the greatest disciple of the eastern regions—intentionally leaving the true meaning behind his self-proclaimed title ambiguous. Since he tends to have over-the-top reactions and appears comically confident in his abilities, this panda is someone that can lighten up the mood almost effortlessly. His big size and oblivious demeanor make him approachable.
Wherever he goes, Shiso lives and breathes his foreign lifestyle. He normally speaks with a heavy Yurashian accent and is prone to weaving his native language as he speaks another. Although he does appreciate other cultures, he tends to see them relative to his, often landing him in trouble due to his unintentional cultural insensitivity. As he travels around the world, however, this is gradually diminishing.
Beneath Shiso's over-the-top bravado, he hides a terrible secret: he has run away from his dojo due to his overwhelmingly low self-esteem. He feels as though being average in everything is his greatest curse; he believes he would never achieve his childhood dream of becoming a skilled and strong hero. As the series progresses, he starts to become more accepting of his abilities and himself as he starts to make more use perhaps his greatest weapon, his selflessness, to become someone people can rely on.
History and Appearances
Shiso was born to two merchants in a distant, isolated land in Yurashia. Ever since he was little, nothing extraordinary was expected of him. His clumsiness made him useless and not stand out in anything. His parents were not rich, but they managed. This panda was destined to inherit the family's business.
Little did everyone know, Shiso was interested in learning martial arts and becoming like the current legendary masters that are considered respected heroes of the continent. He learned about them through the stories his family's customers used to tell, and was excited about the brand-new dojo they were setting up in the mountains. Shiso's parents had no money to waste on a child's impossible dream, though...
Shiso would later meet a beautiful girl his age walking alone, who was surrounded and harassed by multiple teenagers and adults much bigger than her. The panda breaks through his cowardice and clumsiness and demands them to leave the girl alone, instead luring their attention to himself. This buys the girl enough time to understand what was going on and use martial arts to defeat everyone there in seconds!
The girl thanks an awestruck Shiso for grabbing their attention and acknowledges his bravery. The panda, trembling with excitement, asks the girl how she became strong and she tells him she is the granddaughter of a master that founded the dojo in the nearby mountains. She notices his fervent, genuine interest in becoming strong and invites him to join the dojo anytime free-of-charge. Shiso's life changed forever.
With the eventual approval of his parents, Shiso began living in the mountains and training relentlessly with the four masters that were considered the greatest heroes of Yurashian in modern times. Those who would graduate from the establishment were tasked of traveling around the world to fight injustice. Even though knowledgeable in weapon-summoning, he was often reminded of his lack of talent by his masters.
After a series of mysterious events, Shiso ran away from the dojo; it is unknown if this was within the intentions and expectations of his masters. He believed he would never become a master, so he settled on attaining the title of the greatest disciple. Using the few acquired skills he had, Shiso was determined to fight evil and possibly meet his savior again: the female who saved him and showed him the path to honor.
After some time, his international travels would later lead him to Soumerca. After hearing about Station Square's new Yurashian-themed restaurant called "Neko-Neko Menrui", he decides to head there...
Strengths and Powers
Shiso is an honorable battler who boasts to be the greatest disciple of the eastern regions. Training under four remarkable masters who are considered to be the modern heroes of Yurashia, this panda has received formal training and traveled around the world with the ultimate goal of attaining world peace. He has gained great amounts of experience during his quest, but has still much to learn and remember.
Most of his strength stems from his determination to do good, regardless of his talent. His obliviousness aside, he is a phenomenal opponent that should not be underestimated. Shiso's roster of weapons make him boast incredible raw destructive power and he takes full advantage of their one-time surprise-factor.
Shiso has great amounts of experience, but is slow to respond and act. He has his own pace of doing things and does not appreciate dishonor in the battlefield, hence his prevailing mentality of never killing his opponent no matter how loathsome they are. However, he is not above pummeling the face of evil.
Shiso's natural physical prowess stems from his species. As a large individual, he can pack quite a powerful punch and has great endurance, but his slow-thinking and general lack of agility hinder him greatly. He naturally looks the part with this kimono, but he can only perform the basic techniques of few martial arts.
Shiso's ultimate trump card, this panda is knowledgeable about the mystic arts. This hidden skill lies in the art of summoning weapons through the usage of o-fuda, mystical Yurashian paper talismans. Whenever activated, the talisman disappears in smoke and summons the weapon whose symbol was formally represented on the paper.
Shiso's roster of weapons is vast, but there are those he is most comfortable using. For example, he can summon twin katanas, a fully-automatic tactical machine pistol, a mini gun, and a custom-skinned AK-47. His signature weapon is a high-caliber light machine gun which tears through the opposition. As stated before, his destructive power is especially abnormal. His invisible inventory is quite impressive.
There are specific talismans to specific weapons and are one-time use. In addition, there might be a small limit to how many he can carry and store them within his kimono. His most glaring weakness is, however, that he never bothered to learn how to master them. Self-aware, while the accuracy of Shiso's attacks is questionable, he occasionally switches weaponry when his current one is not doing damage.
Creation and Development
The concept for this character was created while brainstorming ideas for more loony individuals amidst a cast of serious characters. It comes to no surprise anime is a huge inspiration for my series. The idea of spoofing nonsensical, talentless protagonists from them was appealing since such the original trope is occasionally found on many stories. When done right, the cliche becomes even fun and entertaining.
Shiso's background opens a lot of new concepts for the series. The whole continent of Yurashia is not explored extensively in the comics, bringing a lot of opportunities for writers like myself. Much of his backstory was intentionally vague because a spin-off special about it could be possible in the near future!
Whilst Arna serves as Ramonna's foil in terms of how they coped with their isolation, Shiso is the more light-hearted and comical than the serious, but gentle Prinus echidna. In addition, the panda and jackal also share an interesting contrast and chemistry. I personally find myself shipping them both for fun.
Relationships with Other Characters
- Little sister (vowed to become her hero)
Friends and Allies
- The beautiful girl who saved him (idol and rival)
- Arna the Ravager (sparring partner)
- Team Prinus
- Guardian Units of Nations (a mystery to him)
- Anyone who allies themselves with evil
- Shiso's name is based on an Asian culinary herb of the same name.
- The character is a spoof on anime.
- His personality, nosebleeds, and general obliviousness are a spoof on many anime protagonists.
- This panda's history is filled with the cliches of many anime heroes.
- His history took great inspiration from Kenichi: History's Strongest Disciple.
- In the series, Jasmine introduced him to anime, and he even likes it now.
- It is unconfirmed if Shiso will eventually have his own spin-off special in the future.
- This is because the author specifically maintained Shiso's training and travels vague.
- He has a monstrous appetite that surpasses even Dimitri.
- He once ate more than ten ramen-filled dishes for a competition under one and a half minutes.
- Many people speculate the colors of his eyes.
- Rumor has it they might be purple, fuchsia, or brown. Perhaps it is neither of those!