Shado

ShadoIn Arrow episode The Odyssey, another character is introduced, at the very ending: Shado, portrayed by Celina Jade. In the tv show, she is Yao Fei‘s daughter, a girl with a dragon tattoo on her back taken hostage by Edward Fyers and used by him to blackmail her father. Shado has become quite an important character in the comics, especially in the last years, but the series’ version seems to share just the dragon tattoo with her comicbook counterpart: the real Shado is not Yao Fei’s daughter, and she’s never been kidnapped by anyone. And, above all, she never cries.

Shado was born the daughter of Tomonaga, an important Yakuza boss who was sent to America with a lot of gold to establish criminal operations in the States. During World War II, Tomonaga was captured and sent into an internment camp, where he met some O.S.S. agents who understood that he was a Yakuza, but couldn’t prove it. Years after the war, when the man had had a daughter from his wife, those agents, now retired, found him, and tried to force him to reveal them where his money was hidden. When Tomonaga refused, the O.S.S. rogue agents killed his wife, hoping to convince the man to cooperate. In order to protect his daughter, Tomonaga gave them all the gold, thus shaming himself at his own eyes. The Americans wanted to use Tomonaga again, but they underestimated the Japanese sense of shadocomics1honor, and, rather than betraying again his fellow Yakuza, he committed seppuku, the traditional suicide. Shado was left alone in the world, and she was “adopted” by the Yakuza clan his father was a part of. Bringing her father’s disgrace on her young shoulders, the girl had her real name erased, replaced with the traditional name for assassins, Shado. She was trained intensively to become an avenger, a living shadow who would have killed the men who dishonored her family. She was assigned one of the best masters, Yoshitomo, who taught her both the military and the moral ways of bushido, and made her a master of kyudo, the “way of the bow“, Japanese archery. To seal her mission and her giri (Japanese for “commitment”, more or less), Shado received a dragon tattoo on her left shoulder, a visible sign that she had consecreated her life to Yakuza and to the mission they gave her. When she came of age, Shado, now a ruthless and extremely skillful warrior and assassin, passed her final test, proving to be ready for the real mission. After many years of training and preparation, she was finally sent to America.

Once in the States, Shado started hunting for the men who killed her mother and brought her father to suicide. One of them used the money he stole from Tomonaga to build a shipping business, while another had become a drug dealer, and used his friend’s operation for his trafficking. She killed them both. Unfortunately, she killed them in Star City, the territory of superhero Green Arrow. The two fought, but Shado restrained herself, not wanting to kill someone out of her mission, and fled; they would have met again soon after. Her impressive archer skills came in handy when she “helped” the hero killing the Seattle Slasher, a shadocomics2serial killer he was chasing. A real “team-up” between the two occured when one of the formed O.S.S. agents Shado was hunting for kidnapped Black Canary and brutally tortured her. Seeing that Green Arrow’s vengeance was more compelling than her own, she helped him reaching the American, and let him kill the torturer. The remaining agents, now drug traffickers, allied with Gregory Osborne, a corrupt CIA agent: this time, it was Shado that asked for Green Arrow’s help, and with his aid, she killed everyone on her list, and came back to Japan. In here, her oyabun (some kind of Yakuza godfather) got enraged because of her failure: she killed every man in the list, but one, the one she let Green Arrow kill in her place. This was considered a great dishonor, and she was ordered to cut off her thumb in atonement. Yoshitomo refused to see her greatest student losing her skills, and threatened the oyabun with a bow and arrow, while Shado was allowed to escape. When the girl was safe, Yoshitomo allowed his boss to kill him. Shado, overhearing the murder, came back and killed the oyabun in turn, thus starting a war with the entire Yakuza. She fled to Hawaii, where she was reached by Green Arrow, blackmailed by Osborne into chasing her. She shot him in the chest with an arrow, then cured and nursered him; while he was delirious, she raped him, and conceived a son. After the two archers fought their way against the Yakuza assassins, Shado disappeared. She came back years later to reveal to the hero he had a son, Robert, but disappeared once again immediately after, wanting to raise the child on her own.

Shado is a skilled and implacable assassin, trained since childhood in the art of killing; she is also extremely loyal to her master, Yoshitomo, and to her Yakuza clan, who are her entire world. She firmly believes that her very life depends on her honor, but she is more independent than her masters think, and she’s ready to forget about her oaths to defend the ones dear to her, especially her son Robert. A nearly infallible archer, Shado will never stop, whoever or whatever her target is.

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4 Comments

  1. […] the country’s instability. Things started getting difficult when a mysterious female archer, Shado, started hunting the drug traffickers, and they got even worse when two American […]

  2. […] with some of their most skilled warriors. Robert himself fell in love with one of the archers, Shado, and had a daughter from her, Emiko. Simon had in the meanwhile become an extremely proficient […]

  3. […] infallible international killer. When Komodo, during a personal fight with Green Arrow, kidnapped Shado and her daughter Emiko, he brought them to Vlatva to be kept prisoners by the Count. When Green […]

  4. […] combatant.  He was employed by the Agency to hunt down and possibly kill the Yakuza assassin Shado, a skilled Japanese archer. Shado had also kidnapped the heroine Black Canary, and so Green Arrow […]


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