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Shinobu Takeda is part of the supporting cast in Arc 8: Teach 2b W.I.T.C.H. of the W.I.T.C.H. comics.

Personality

Shinobu debuted in the midst of a difficult home life, with her sister suddenly missing and her father being distant. Due to this, she felt lonely and ignored by the world. She would spend a lot of time moping or crying and preferred to be left alone. She doesn't trust easily and feels very unsure of how to handle all the stress without her sister.[1]

Even so, Shinobu is an honorable person who cannot stand to see others acting cruelly, even her own father.[2] She took responsibility for the lost infant William Collins and did her best to protect him from danger, despite making herself more vulnerable.[3] Shinobu is a smart girl who gets good grades and supposedly friendly, as she quickly makes friends in a new town.[4] She shows remarkable bravery in protecting William as well as rescuing her sister from a deadly trap.[3]

Plot

Shinobu grew up as the youngest daughter of the rich Takeda family; her father was the cryogenics scientist Foreman Takeda while her mother, Mia, was a housewife. She had one older sister, Mariko, who worked as an assistant to their father. Shinobu and Mariko were always very close to each other.[5]

One day, Mariko did not come home and Foreman told Shinobu and Mia that she had been recruited to work on a mission for the government. Because of Mariko's advanced intelligence, they believed this to be true though missed her greatly. Unknown to them, Mariko had actually been lost in another dimension and Foreman was secretly trying to get her back. From that point, Foreman also began to withdraw from Shinobu's life, obsessing about Mariko and making his youngest daughter feel unloved.[4]

As Foreman created a new branch of his company, Takeshita Inc, in Heatherfield, the family moved to a new house[4] and Shinobu was enrolled in Sheffield Institute.[1] She received good grades and made friends, but continued to feel bad about her home life.[4]

She brought home a top-scoring test paper with praise from her teacher, showing it to her mother who was proud. Once her father arrived home, she listened to her parents talk about the missing Mariko until Mia noticed her and encouraged her to show Foreman what her teacher had written. Shinobu hesitantly showed him the paper and asked if she could attend a fieldtrip with her friends. Foreman seemed to not even hear her, breaking Shinobu's heart. Believing she was invisible compared to her absent sister, she balled up the test and ran away to another room, asking her mother to leave her alone.[4]

Mia told Foreman how Shinobu was suffering from Mariko's absence as the two sisters were so close.[5]

Sometime later, Shinobu woke up from a reoccurring nightmare about her and Mariko swimming in a pool, only to be attacked by men made of ice. She rushed to get ready for school as her father had promised to drive her, but she learned from Mia that he had already left for an important meeting which left her disappointed. Mia tried to make excuses about him being worried about Mariko, but Shinobu brushed her off and started the walk to school. Listening to her music player, she bemoaned Mariko's absence. Irma Lair noticed her and recognized her as the new kid in her class. She offered to walk to school together, but Shinobu just wanted to be left alone and kept walking.[1]

The following day was Shinobu's birthday. However, Foreman claimed to have a business meeting to attend to (actually trying to destroy W.I.T.C.H. and said they could celebrate on another day. Shinobu would later be approached by Irma who noticed her sadness and wanted to cheer her up. Irma planned to gift her two baby turtles then run away before she could refuse them.[1] It's unknown if this plan succeeded or not.

Shinobu eventually became fed up with being ignored by her father and decided to break into Takeshita Inc. to find clues of what was truly going on. She came to the building as a visitor and then wandered the halls after closing. As she did this, she counted the beats of her heart, trying to assure herself she was a real person. She was found by the human security guards who recognized her as their boss's daughter. She lied that she and Foreman were playing hide-and-seek which they believed, letting her stay after closing.[2]

She kept searching for clues into the evening, contemplating how she felt invisible to her father. She was found again, this time by the cyborg guards, who wanted to blast her with their ice guns. However, they read her genetics as being family to Professor Takeda and carried on without harming her. Shinobu assumed Mariko once moved around freely when she was Foreman's assistant and this only heightened Shinobu's misery. Her feelings of inadequacy were so great that she slowly became invisible for real.[2]

Now completely unnoticeable, Shinobu made her way into her father's secret laboratory and watched as he argued with Liam about deporting William Collins to the Fast World. Foreman mentioned the special cold fluid he held in his safe and forced Liam to take the baby into the other dimension. W.I.T.C.H. crashed through the building shortly after and once they went through the same tunnel to find William and Liam, Foreman sealed the passage behind them. Shinobu, disgusted by her father's cruelty, snuck into his safe and stole the cold fluid.[2]

While Foreman was glad to finally defeat W.I.T.C.H., Shinobu showed herself to him and, declaring she was done being ignored, injected herself with the fluid knowing it might destroy her. Foreman was horrified, asking why she would do this and she finally admitted to feeling unloved. Her father refused to give up on her, reopening the tunnel to the Fast World and begging her to cross over so she could survive until he came to rescue her. His cyborgs noticed Shinobu and as her body was changing, they no longer saw her as a Takeda. They turned to attack her and Foreman stepped in the way, declaring her his daughter, only for him to be frozen instead. Shinobu was horrified at what she had caused and went to the Fast World on her own.[2]

In the Fast World, Shinobu came across William where he had been abandoned by a repentant Liam. She took responsibility for the infant but the two were found by Black Army soldiers who were sent to capture them. Not trusting the soldiers, Shinobu ran away with William until being stopped by the Black Queen herself who called her "Bu-Chan", a nickname Mariko had given her. Shinobu was shocked when the Black Queen revealed to actually be Mariko, though only her severed spirit as her body was back in Takeshita Inc. The younger girl was at first resentful, demanding to know why Mariko had disappeared, but they quickly made up. After a tearful reunion, Mariko absorbed Shinobu and William into her magical armor to keep them safe while she went to war.[3]

Mariko's Black Army clashed against the White Army led by The White Queen who'd convinced W.I.T.C.H. to join her side. The White Army had a clear advantage and when Mariko tried to attack Cornelia Hale, the earth Guardian ripped Mariko's armor which revealed her to be a ghost. After this, the Black Army side was defeated and Mariko was imprisoned, though continued to hide Shinobu and William in her armor pieces.[3]

In her jail cell, the three were found and released by Liam and W.I.T.C.H. Shinobu was recognized again by Irma and explained to the group how she rebelled against her father and was saved by her sister. The White Queen interrupted them, revealing she wanted to trap them all together. She unleashed an artifact to freeze everyone, though Shinobu's new powers of invisibility let her go uncaught. The White Queen destroyed Liam and tried to do the same to Mariko, but Shinobu swooped in to destroy the artifact, freeing the group. The Guardians trapped the White Queen in an ice block to stall while they took the Takeda sisters away. They freed the remaining Black Army soldiers and all escaped on a street car.[3]

The Earthlings separated from the Black Army and fled from White City, trying to find the tunnel back to their dimension. The White Army caught up but after dodging their spinning blade weapons, the portal was found and they escaped to Earth. Back in Foreman's lab, Mariko's spirit rejoined her body and she became whole again, to Shinobu's delight. However, all their activities caused an avalanche that buried the frozen body of Foreman. Shinobu was terrified but Mariko assured their dad was safe in the ice. She led her little sister out of the building, declaring Shinobu was her number one priority right now.[6]

The sisters went home and were given a heartfelt welcome from their mother. They explained to Mia that Foreman was behind everything but was also trapped in ice; Shinobu insisted they could help him if they hurried. The two went back out into Heatherfield but ran across the White Queen's transmigrated army who were vibrating buildings to steal them from Heatherfield. When W.I.T.C.H. flew by, Shinobu explained the situation to them and she was present with Mariko as the White Queen began her main attack. Leaving W.I.T.C.H. to stop the White Army, Shinobu and Mariko walked to Takeshita Inc to free their father from his ice prison. Mariko was surprised that Shinobu was so determined to rescue him after all he'd done while Shinobu mentioned Mariko was still attached to their father as well. Besides, neither wanted him to be dragged over to the Fast World. The two arrived to Takeshita Inc and managed to free their father but also found an unknown boy in the ice.[6]

W.I.T.C.H. came to find them, having defeated the White Queen, and Will Vandom reunited with the boy who was her boyfriend, Matt Olsen. Mariko pointed out to the Guardians that Foreman was behind everything but Shinobu declared he was also their father, not wanting the Guardians to go too hard on him. Foreman tearfully grabbed Mariko's hand, declaring he did everything out of love for her while Shinobu watched on, not sure how to respond. W.I.T.C.H. left the family alone to settle their affairs.[6]

It is unknown how the Takeda family sorted out the aftermath of this as none of them were mentioned again.

Powers and abilities

Shinobu eventually develops a power of invisibility, though it isn't clear if she is truly unseeable[2] or simply prevents people from noticing her.[3]

References

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