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Professor Foreman Takeda is a fictional character that appears in the W.I.T.C.H. comics. He's the primary villain of Arc 8: Teach 2b W.I.T.C.H.

Personality

He is married to Mia Takeda with two daughters, Mariko and Shinobu. Mariko also worked as his assistant and he believed highly in her intelligence, expecting her to become a greater scientist than him someday.[1]

When first shown, he seemed to be a calm boss, very dedicated to his work and kind to his employees. Behind the scenes, however, he displayed merciless cruelty to anyone who had magic. This was especially true of Liam who was forced to obey Foreman's orders just to glimpse Mariko. Takeda blamed him for Mariko's condition and enjoyed making the boy suffer.[1]

Contrary to his other personas, Foreman reveals to be a loving father and husband, worried about his lost daughter. He shows concern for his wife[1] and though he hasn't shown Shinobu he loved her lately, he protected her with his own life when she was in danger.[2]

Plot

Professor Foreman Takeda

Foreman is a great scientist, who worked for years with "The Cold", designing and implementing a variety of equipment, from refrigerators to air conditioners, and also with the cryosurgical science. Foreman created Coldness, a powerful machine, able to freeze anything and able to achieve just three degrees away from absolute zero (or -273.15 degrees Celsius).[1]

Mariko is in a cryo-stasis unit within her father's laboratory.

Foreman and Mariko had been working together with the Coldness machine when they accidentally opened a portal into another dimension, the Fast World, one which vibrates with a speed so high that it is impossible to reach using normal means. They were excited by the possibilities of this new land but an incident occurred in which Mariko became stuck in the other world, evidence suggesting she chose to stay against Foreman's wishes after falling in love with a native, Liam.[1] Thinking she had been kidnapped, Foreman tried to forcibly bring her back to their normal dimension but only succeeded in bringing back Mariko's body;[3] her spirit remained in the Fast World.[4] Foreman didn’t know his daughter had been split in two and mistakenly thought she was under a magical spell, forced to sleep. He preserved her unconscious body in cryogenic fluid and began a plot to destroy all of Earth's magic, hoping it would free his daughter. If not, then he would still get his revenge.[1]

At some point, he learned about W.I.T.C.H. and believed them to be the epicenter of Earth's magic, thus he had to destroy them. Foreman made contact with Liam and recruited him to help. He developed a cold serum that allowed Liam to live normally in their dimension and traded it to the boy for a creature from the Fast World. To be closer to W.I.T.C.H., Foreman created a new branch of Takeshita Inc in Heatherfield, moving his family there as well.[1]

On the day of the new building opening, Foreman held a meeting with the town mayor and showed him all the new amenities of the building, plus the ways in which they worked with the cold for refrigerators, medicine, and space science. Later on that day, he and his assistants ran experiments with the Coldness machine and they noticed it was more powerful than they thought. Foreman quickly dismissed their concerns and once they had left for the day, he used the machine to open a portal to the Fast World, allowing Liam to cross over. As they agreed upon, he traded the speed fluid for a naiad, a serpent that fed on magic, which Foreman would use to attack W.I.T.C.H. Liam begged to see Mariko and Foreman refused, blaming Liam for her current condition. The two argued about what Mariko truly wanted, science or love, and Foreman threated to send Liam back to his own dimension if he didn’t obey him. He ultimately did let the boy see Mariko, only to make him suffer. Foreman injected the naiad with the same cold fluid and was excited about using her against W.I.T.C.H.[1]

Foreman returned home for the day and was met by Mia, who he noticed looked tired. She assured him she was fine and tried to get him involved in Shinobu's school life, however Foreman was too preoccupied to take notice. Mia asked if there was news about Mariko and Foreman lied that she was busy with her government work, though he swore she would come back. Shinobu arrived, trying to get her father's attention but he was too consumed with worry for Mariko that he didn’t notice her which broke the girl's heart. While taking a shower, he cried for his lost child. That evening, he released the naiad into the Vandom-Collins home where it attacked Will Vandom. Meanwhile, he sent Liam to infiltrate W.I.T.C.H.'s group and earn their trust.[1]

The next morning, Foreman sat in his car to watch Will leave her home. He could see her fatigue and knew the naiad was now draining her power.[5]

Against Foreman's hopes, Liam returned to say the naiad was defeated by Taranee Cook. The boy declared the girls were stronger than he expected and Foreman was so furious, he accidentally broke the vial of cold fluid. He told Liam to wait until he could make more, glad that the boy was in agony as he wanted him to suffer for what "he" had done to Mariko.[5] Foreman did eventually make more fluid and sent Liam back to stay with Hay Lin.

Sometime later, Foreman was doing work when Liam returned, transforming back to his ice form and needing more fluid again. Foreman gave him more, telling the boy not to forget he needed Foreman's help or else he'd be pulled back to his own world. Liam asked to see Mariko again but Foreman refused, commanding him to first find W.I.T.C.H.'s weak spot. Liam warned Foreman that his mission was doomed as magic was spreading through Heatherfield, just like it had in Liam's world. Foreman declares he'd just do some "disinfection" once they'd removed W.I.T.C.H., meaning he would eliminate even the young children who were magical. He still believed that magic was evil and better off destroyed.[6]

Foreman developed a robotic bird to spy on Cornelia Hale as she left her house. While he worked, Mia came to visit him in his office, demanding to see Mariko. Foreman insisted Mariko was on a government mission but Mia no longer believed this, demanding to see her precious daughter. She went on to cry that their lives have been destroyed by Mariko's absence, declaring that Shinobu also missed her sister and was miserable without her. Foreman was overcome with emotion and told Mia to leave while he ran off to his lab, declaring they could speak more about it tonight.[3]

In the evening as Foreman readied to leave for the day, his secretary informed him that Mia never left the building. He confronted her and she again demanded to see Mariko, refusing to leave until she did. Finally giving in, he took Mia down to his lab and showed her the containment unit for Mariko's body. Mia was horrified while Foreman declared it wasn't his fault, that they were investigating a new dimension and Mariko was "stolen" by someone she met there (meaning Liam). When he tried to get her back, something was "snatched off" and now she was trapped in magical slumber. Mia begged to hold her and Foreman declared they had to break the bond of magic over her. As he watched his wife break down, he swore he would make those who controlled magic pay for everything.[3]

To sooth Mia, Foreman took Mariko out of her containment unit. Mia was still stunned and he tried to snap her out of it, telling her to hug the girl. Mia chose to comb her child's hair and this scene overwhelmed Foreman with grief and rage. After putting Mariko back in her containment unit, he and Mia drove to Cornelia's apartment so he could collect his spy-bird.[3]

Though Foreman made a promise to drive Shinobu to school, he had to rush off early in the morning, leaving Mia to cover for him. Somehow, he planted a camera in W.I.T.C.H.'s Teach 2B W.I.T.C.H. bus and learned of their plan to tell Sun Moore of her magic powers. Planning to catch the group off guard, he called his secretary to cancel his meetings, then called Mia to say he'd have work that day. Mia reminded him it would be Shinobu's birthday and Foreman coldly declared they could celebrate it another day. While he went to visit Mariko’s containment unit, Liam found him, once more insisting that his revenge scheme won’t save the girl. Scolding Liam for coming to see Mariko, he noticed the boy starting to fade away as the cold fluid effects were getting weaker. Still, he offered him more as he needed more creatures from the Fast World. Liam agreed to bring in Mormers.[7]

The next day, Liam led the Mormers to Earth and had them attack the Moore's Animal Clinic where they kidnapped Sun. Foreman gloated about his trap to Mariko, declaring she'd come home soon. Though W.I.T.C.H. did defeat the Mormers thanks to Sun's powers, Liam successfully won their trust which Foreman was glad for. His spy would now be in a position to strike W.I.T.C.H. on a more personal level.[7]

As Foreman had hoped, Liam convinced Hay Lin and Will to let him move into the Vandom-Collins house which put him close to Will's magical baby brother, William Collins. When Liam came to Takeshita Inc. to report his findings, Matt Olsen had followed him but Foreman saw him coming with his spy-bird. Liam tried to talk about William, but Foreman asked if he could trust someone who let himself be tailed all the way to their base. He sent his cyborg security guards to capture Matt. Though the boy fought hard, Foreman trapped him in a block of cryogenic ice, leaving him alive but stuck. Foreman called Liam a fool for being so clumsy but was at least glad to have one more enemy out of the way.[8]

Moving forward, Foreman ordered Liam to kidnap Will's brother. Liam argued against this, horrified at the idea of stealing a baby, but Foreman was adamant to remove anyone who had magic, even the children that W.I.T.C.H. were teaching. Liam ultimately agreed to obey orders, but only after being allowed to see Mariko again. Foreman agreed, though secretly planned for this to be the last time Liam would see his daughter. Liam's body began to freeze over again, needing more fluid, but Foreman refused to give him anymore unless he kidnapped William.[2]

Liam did as commanded and returned to the lab with the infant just as Foreman dismissed his regular security guards, activating his robot cyborgs to protect the building. Using the robots, he activated the Coldness machine to open another tunnel into the Fast World, telling Liam to take William to the other side. Liam demanded more fluid and Foreman mentioned it was locked in his safe, refusing to give Liam any until William was gone. Liam finally snapped, declaring Foreman had no humanity but the scientist retorted that it’s magical beings like Liam and William who were truly inhuman. With no choice, Liam crossed over to the Fast world with the child. However, he chose not to harm William and gave up his plans to help Foreman, never returning to Earth again.[2]

Though Liam didn’t come back, W.I.T.C.H. had discovered William missing and smashed their way through Takeshita Inc. Foreman hid as the Guardians went through the ice tunnel, then had his machine seal it behind them. The Guardians were forced to travel to the Fast World and Foreman believed he had finally won. However, his youngest daughter Shinobu revealed herself, having discovered powers of invisibility and watched everything he had just done. She had already broken into his safe to get the cold fluid he promised Liam and in an act of defiance to all he’d done, she injected herself with it. Foreman was horrified and asked the girl why she had done this. She explained that she watched what he had done to the baby and though he defended it, saying it was for their family, Shinobu declared he never saw her at all while he obsessed about Mariko. As the fluid was causing a negative reaction in Shinobu's body, Foreman frantically reopened the tunnel to the Fast World, telling his daughter to cross over where she could survive. He promised to come get her and while she declared she couldn’t do it, he begged her to think of her mother and push through the pain. The security cyborgs were confused by Shinobu’s body state, believing her to be an intruder and threatening to trap her in ice as they had Matt. Foreman jumped in front of the beam, declaring the girl was his daughter, and he was frozen instead. Shinobu escaped to the Fast World while the robots were confused, overcome with guilt.[2]

Foreman remained trapped in the ice, stuck with his memories of his family and regrets for having torn them apart with his revenge. When W.I.T.C.H. finally returned through the tunnel with William, they brought both of his daughters with them. Mariko's spirit returned to her body but this triggered an avalanche in the lab, burying the frozen Foreman and Matt under the rubble.[9]

Mariko and Shinobu returned home to see Mia, then went back to the lab as Shinobu wanted to free Foreman. Mariko was amazed that Shinobu still felt attached to their father after everything and Shinobu declared Mariko also still loved him and wouldn’t want him to be swept away by the invaders from the Fast World. They reentered the lab and managed to free their father from the ice, also freeing Matt.[9]

When W.I.T.C.H. returned, having defeated the The White Queen, they finally met Foreman Takeda who Mariko coldly declared was the one behind everything. But Shinobu told them that he was also her father, not wanting to Guardians to treat him too harshly. A teary-eyed Foreman took Mariko by the hand, declaring that he had done it all out of love.[9]

It's left unclear if Mariko will forgive her father for all he’s done, including his part in Liam's death by the White Queen.

When W.I.T.C.H. thought back on the enemies they had faced over the years, they imagined Foreman Takeda among the most prominent ones. [10]

Appearances

Trivia

  • Professor Takeda's actions, personality and affiliation with cryogenics, are very similar to DC Supervillain and Batman adversary Mr. Freeze who, like Takeda, was trying to revive an incapacitated relative by keeping them in suspended animation.

References

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