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Shunsaku Ban / Higeoyaji
ShunsakuBan X-PointSouthPacific Cover.jpg
Shunsaku Ban as "Sam Yudo" in the 1953 manga X-Point on the South Pacific
Profile
Age 42 (most of the time)
Gender Male
Occupation Detective / Teacher (most of the time)

Shunsaku Ban is a manga character known principly from the series Astro Boy.

With a round-face, and wearing tweed-suit, he is used for many characters in the assorted non-connected works of Osamu Tezuka. The character's most popular names in Japan are Shunsaku Ban (伴 俊作 Ban Shunsaku ?), or Higeoyaji (ヒゲオヤジ ?, "Mustache-Daddy," translated as "Mr. Mustachio" in the English-language Astro Boy manga). In most English translations he is known as Percival (or Victor) Pompous, Albert "Daddy Walrus" Duncan, and Wally Kisagiri.

A popular secondary character in the Astro Boy series, the character has been used as a regular figure in many varied titles such as Black Jack, Jungle Emperor, Metropolis, etc., as part of the artist's Osamu Tezuka's Star System, where many non-connected strips feature the same re-characterized figures. While there is a different voice actor for each varied anime title, in Japan his most famous seiyū is Kazuo Kumakura, and in America, Gilbert Mack.

Appearance

Higeoyaji is a middle-aged Japanese man (actually 42 years old, as he said in Volume 1 of the Astro Boy manga) from Tokyo, and is prematurely bald, portly, and has as his most distinguishing feature, a large droopy white moustache, making him appear somewhat like a walrus. Based on his appearance, the 1980 color remake of Astro Boy nicknamed the character Daddy Walrus, a possible pun on Daddy Warbucks.

In most of his manga/anime appearances, Higeoyaji is a private investigator, a teacher (especially in the manga and anime Shin Astro Boy, at Ochanomizu Elementary School), an expert at various martial arts (judo, boxing, karate, pro wrestling, and aikido are mentioned), as well as practiced in flower arranging. Depending on the role he's playing, Higeoyaji can be jovial, grumpy, paternal, victimized, or most cases, a quick-shooting tough guy. In every incarnation his trademark is a comedic emotional overreaction in dangerous sitations, only to rebound heroically usually defeating the threat with surprising skill. Its this paradox of disarmingly funny appearance combined with cool efficiency that has made the character one of the most beloved in Japanese graphic literature/animation.

Mr. Higeoyaji was usually Astro Boy's beloved teacher and personal friend, but in the episode "The Melanin Tribe," he was evicted and tossed out on the street by Astro, who was going through a human-hating phase due to damage to his electronic brain. The problem was solved by the wise and kindly Professor Ochanomizu/ Elefun,who persuaded the city of Tokyo to allow Mr. Higeoyaji to return to his old home, where he was happier and more comfortable. The incident thus had a happy ending and the teacher felt gratitude rather than resentment towards Astro Boy.

Prominent roles

The following is a list of the manga/anime in which Shunsaku Ban has appeared:

  • "Higeoyaji" in Lost World - 1948
  • "Dr. Higeta" in Magic House, The - 1948
  • "Grandfather" in Moony Man, The - 1948
  • "Uncle Bill" in Mysterious Underground Man, The - 1948
  • "Uncle" in Tuberculoses - 1948
  • "Frank Alain" in Man of a Tail - 1949
  • "Detective Higeoyaji" in Metropolis - 1949
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Jungle Emperor Leo - 1950
  • "Shoya" in Plain of Abusegahara, The - 1950
  • "Higeoyaji" in Wonderful Journey, The - 1950
  • "Higeoyaji" in Captain Atom - 1951
  • "Higeoyaji" in Nextworld - 1951
  • "Higeoyaji" in Adventure of Rock, The - 1952
  • "Higeoyaji" in Astro Boy - 1952
  • "Detective Higeoyaji" in Man From Mars, A - 1952
  • "Higeoyaji" in Monster of the 38th Parallel - 1953
  • "Sam Yudo" in X-Point on the South Pacific - 1953
  • "Higeoyaji" in Age of Great Floods - 1955
  • "Owner of the Kenka Nagaya" in Super Taiheiki - 1958
  • "Doctor Thrill" in Dr. Thrill - 1959
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in White Pilot, The - 1961
  • "Yakeppachi's father" in Yakeppachi's Maria - 1970
  • "Detective Pampas" in Buddha - 1972
  • "Various Roles" in Black Jack - 1973
  • "Higeoyaji" in The Three-Eyed One - 1974
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in MW - 1976
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Undersea Super Train: Marine Express - 1979 (anime)
  • "Midnight's Father" in Midnight - 1986
  • "Dr. Moustache" in Jungle Emperor Leo - 1997 (anime)
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Metropolis - 2001 (anime)
  • "Wally Kisagiri" in Astroboy - 2003 (anime)
  • "Tetsu" in Black Jack - 2004 (anime)
  • "Mustachio" in Astroboy - 2009 (Film)

External links


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