This article refers to the Rance Series character Gengorou Shinoda as he appears in the game Rance X: Showdown. For information relating to the character as he appears in Kichikuou Rance, see Gengorou Shinoda (Kichikuou Rance).
| Spoiler Alert: This page contains minor spoilers from the events of the games. |
Don't worry too much about them but take it into account.
|“||That fella's Gengorou Shinoda; the Free Cities'... No, the world's greatest tactician.||”|
—Copandon Dott, introducing Shinoda.
|Age / Birth||32 / GI0990|
|Ht. / Wt.||174cm / 86kg|
|Affiliation||Free Cities Alliance|
|Skill levels||Strategy Lv2 (?)|
|Appeared in||Rance X|
|Mentioned in||Rance 03|
Sometime during the late GI Era, Shinoda served as a commander for the Free City of Portugal while it was being invaded by the army of a certain warlord from JAPAN. Despite being outnumbered 500 to 5,000 and greatly outclassed in terms of skill, Shinoda’s outstanding strategic ability allowed Portugal to successfully repel every attack made by the JAPANese army as well as suffer almost no casualties. Eventually, the JAPANese army’s inability to penetrate Portugal’s defenses forced it to abandon the invasion attempt, saving the city in the process. Following Portugal’s victory, Shinoda, a pacifist by nature, chose to retire as a military strategist and return to his home in Hanna.
Upon returning to Hanna, Shinoda, a lifelong fan of the sport soccer, chose to begin a career as a sports commentator. Reviewing old footage of soccer matches on Rarerare Stone recordings, Shinoda wrote several editorials for a local paper, wherein he predicted which teams he believed would win upcoming tournaments based on observations he made about their previous performances. Shinoda’s exceptional talent for accurately anticipating the actions of others allowed his predictions to have a perfect success rate, causing him to gain a considerable reputation within the soccer community.
During his time as a sports commentator, Shinoda became infatuated with Sayori Unga, the young widowed owner of the M Land amusement park. Shinoda made multiple attempts at courting Sayori by sending her a series of love letters, but, due to Sayori's deep devotion to her late husband, was largely ignored. Unwilling to abandon his efforts, Shinoda continued to send Sayori letters every day, hoping to eventually be able to convince her otherwise.
In the year LP0002, the Free Cities became involved in the 7th Leazas-Helman War when a portion of the Helman Empire's forces began to invade its territory after successfully occupying the Kingdom of Leazas. Due to having retired as a strategist, Shinoda did not participate in the defense effort against the Helman Army, and instead chose to ignore the war entirely. Shinoda was briefly mentioned by Sayori during the events of Rance 03, which took place during this time, where she mentioned the daily letters that she received from him to the warrior Rance. Intrigued by this statement, Rance promptly asked if they were love letters. Sayori showed slight surprise at this question, but firmly stated that her heart belonged only to her departed husband and the children that visited M Land, causing Rance to mockingly call Shinoda a loser.
Sometime after the successful eradication of the Helman Army from Leazas and the Free Cities, Shinoda traveled to M Land to propose to Sayori. Shinoda was immediately rejected by Sayori, who politely told him that she was not interested in him, as well as to stop sending her letters. While Shinoda was heartbroken, he upheld Sayori’s request and gave up on trying to romance her.
|This section contains spoilers from a game that has not been translated to English yet.|
Expand if you wish to read regardless.
In the year LP0007, the Free Cities were invaded by a large division of the Monster Army from their border with the Kinani Desert to the northwest. Due to lacking a formal organized military, the majority of the territories that comprised the Free Cities' western half were swiftly conquered by the invading forces, with only the Kingdom of Parancho, which was protected by a large mountain range and a small, elite army, maintaining a successful resistance. Basing themselves in M Land, the area closest to the fighting that had not yet been conquered, the leaders of the seven most influential regions in the Free Cities met with each other in order to form a more unified front against the Monsters.
While searching for competent military personnel, Copandon Dott, the elected representative of the Free Cities during the war and a former resident of Portugal, remembered stories she had heard of Shinoda’s incredible performance during JAPAN’s failed invasion of Portugal. Intrigued by Shinoda's ability, Copandon traveled to Hanna, which had not yet been conquered by the Monster Army, to privately meet with and recruit him as a strategist. Shinoda staunchly refused Copandon's request, bluntly telling her that he had no interest in ever taking part in war again. Copandon attempted to persuade Shinoda through a number of ways, including offering him an enormous sum of GOLD and a collection of one-of-a-kind rarerare stones that featured recordings of legendary soccer matches, but was turned down each time.
After multiple failures, Copandon was eventually forced to give up on attempting to recruit Shinoda, causing her to dejectedly begin filling out paperwork informing the other city officials of her failure. While Copandon filled out the form, Shinoda recognized the pen that she was using as bearing the logo of M Land. Reminded of Sayori for the first time since his rejection, Shinoda asked Copandon where she had obtained the pen, causing her to reveal to him M Land's status as the Free Cities' base of operations against the Monster Army. Realizing that the war had reached a point where it was directly threatening the safety of Sayori and the theme park that she had placed all of her dreams into, Shinoda was overcome by a desire to protect both. Making the excuse that he had changed his mind about not wanting the rarerare stones, Shinoda agreed to Copandon's request and was formally recruited to serve as the chief strategist of the Free Cities Army.
During the events of Rance X, Shinoda was called to M Land to devise a strategy to ambush the Monster Army. The leaders of the Free Cities agreed to abandon all active war fronts to contribute as many soldiers as possible to the attack, which was decided to take place at Sekigahara, a large range of hills just outside of the city of Goa. With the future of the war hinging on the battle’s outcome, the fate of the entire Free Cities was placed into Shinoda’s hands.
The night before the battle, Rance, the president of the United Human Army, learned of the existence of a traitor among the Free Cities' leadership that was in league with the Monster Army and was planning on sabotaging the operation. To uncover the identity of the traitor, Rance met privately with several of the highest-ranking members of the Free Cities' forces to conduct an impromptu interrogation. Rance was quick to accuse Shinoda of being the traitor during his meeting with him, but was calmly rebuffed by the other man, who noted that the only person capable of organizing any kind of obstruction to such a large scale project would be someone in a position of authority. Along with this, Shinoda also suggested that a person motivated to perform such a heinous betrayal would have to be motivated by their own self-interests, providing Rance with a major clue to the traitor's identity.
The next morning, Shinoda succeeded in creating a strategy that optimized the strengths of each of the army divisions at his disposal. Taking advantage of Sekigahara's hilly terrain, Shinoda launched a pincer attack on the Monster Army using the combined forces of the armies of Kathtom, Diptheria and Parancho, as well reinforcements from JAPAN in the form of the remnants of the Takeda House cavalry unit and samurai Hanny from Imagawa House. Throughout the battle, the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, an elite unit led by Rance composed almost entirely of the most capable individuals on the Continent, navigated its way through the chaos to attack and defeat each of the Monster Generals in charge of the enemy forces until they were without leadership. In addition, Shinoda placed Cecil Carna, the acting general of the Free Cities Army, in command of a special unit composed entirely of Guards and Divine Magic users fully equipped with magic resistant armor to restrain the Dark Lord Lei, the most powerful member of the monster forces, to prevent him from interfering with the rest of the battle.
Following the defeat of all of his commanders, Pizarro, the Great Monster General in charge of the invasion of the Free Cities, called for a full retreat of his remaining soldiers, abandoning Lei to hold off the human armies in the process. Having anticipated this action, Shinoda called for the remainder of the Free Cities’ forces to surround Lei, restraining his movement and allowing Rance, whose possession of the Dark Sword Chaos made him able to damage the Dark Lord, to attack him in a closed space. Already worn out from his earlier battles, Lei was further weakened by a lightning rod attached to Maria Custard's Tulip 3 tank drawing all of the electricity from his attacks. Though he narrowly managed to escape with his life, Lei was wounded significantly in the struggle, allowing for him to be defeated a short while later.
While the campaign, known as the Battle of Sekigahara, was a costly one, sacrificing both Parancho and Hanna to the monsters to come to fruition, it proved to be a pivotal moment in the Free Cities’ effort to rid itself of its invaders, removing a sizable number of the Monster Army’s commanding officers as well as contributing greatly toward Lei's eventual defeat.
Shinoda plays a central role in the Free Cities' final victory over the Monster Army if Rance does not assist it in doing so. Taking advantage of how thinly spread out the opposing forces had become over the course of the war, Pizarro organizes an enormous siege unit of 10,000 monsters to march toward the understaffed M Land and destroy the Free Cities' central command in a single attack. While his colleagues are thrown into a panic by this news, Shinoda maintains a cool head and calmly states that he will hold off the assault using the resources available to him until reinforcements arrive to properly intercept it. With only a few hundred soldiers at his disposal, Shinoda resolves to use guerilla tactics to slow the approaching army's progress.
Across the next several days, Shinoda orders a small unit of Tebasaki riders to launch repeated raids on the monster siege unit during the night. Rather than attack directly, the mounted soldiers are instructed to burn down the tents containing the enemy's food supply. Though it is swiftly driven off without much trouble each time, the cavalry unit's actions cause the monster soldiers to steadily grow more and more exhausted from their dwindling rations and lack of sleep, substantially reducing their speed and energy. By the time the monsters begin to near M Land, they are stopped by the gate of a large gate that Shinoda had a group of Poppins engineers build along a long and narrow mountain passage surrounded by steep rock walls. Shinoda appears in the distance on the other side of the gate to speak directly to the Monster General leading the charge, identifying himself as the Free Cities' strategist and warning that moving any further would likely be a long and arduous experience. The Monster General scoffs at Shinoda's words and orders his troops to continue onward.
Due to the restricted space available to them, the monsters are forced to march single file as they move toward the gateway, slowing their momentum to a crawl in the process. Shinoda exploits this setback by summoning a group of JAPANese musket users from either side of the high mountain walls to begin firing at the monsters, killing several of the weaker soldiers while debilitating the stronger ones. As the monsters draw closer to the gate, they begin triggering numerous gaping pitfalls that Shinoda had commissioned the poppins engineers to dig, causing many of them to be incapacitated and accidentally trampled to death by their comrades.
After finally reaching the gate itself, the remaining monsters are forced to expend greater amounts of their waning energy to break down the barrier by force, only to be greeted by the disheartening sight of an even greater stretch of winding mountain road on the other side. Additionally, due to the compact size of the gateway itself, several of the unit's larger soldiers, such as Dekants, find themselves to be incapable of passing through it, causing the agitated Monster General to simply abandon them to keep pressing forward. By the time the monsters successfully move through the gate, only 2,000 of the original 10,000 troops are still present within it.
Several hours later, the front gates of M Land at last enter into the siege unit's sights, with Shinoda once again waiting for it on the other side. Shinoda congratulates the Monster General for making it past the previous gateway, but informs him that the struggle is not yet over. Before the general is able to respond, the monsters are ambushed from both sides by a small swarm of JAPANese soldiers and mercenaries from the Free Cities. Instead of attacking, the human soldiers swiftly weave through the monsters to draw attention toward themselves and confuse the enemy army. After several seconds, Shinoda gives a signal that causes all of his soldiers to use Return Wood to vanish just as suddenly as they appeared, disorienting the monsters even more. With their focus directed at the ground, the monsters are blindsided by a sudden bombardment of Puchi Hannies dropped from above by a poppins helicopter, causing their diminished numbers to plummet once again.
Upon reaching the entrance of M Land, the Monster General, fueled solely by his unbridled rage at Shinoda, shatters the gate in a single attack. Perfectly in time with the strike, Shinoda mounts a tebasaki along with its rider and begins running speedily in the opposite direction of M Land. His rage clouding his sense of reason, the Monster General momentarily forgets the original intent of his mission and orders his troops to pursue Shinoda, who gives them chase for several hours. Shinoda's tebasaki finally expends all of its stamina at the dawn of the next day, leaving him stranded in the forest with the monsters mere moments away. Without showing even a hint of worry, Shinoda thanks the tebasaki rider for his hard work and hands him a return wood to flee to safety before preparing himself to confront the enemy alone.
When the monster unit reaches Shinoda's location, the general calls off his troops to have the privilege of killing the troublesome strategist himself. The general's attack is briefly delayed when Shinoda plays a rarerare stone that he had a small group of Ninja covertly record several nights earlier containing the agonizing screams of the monster soldiers as their food supply was burned down, which buys the precious seconds needed for Cecil to arrive with reinforcements. Cecil's soldiers overwhelm the remnants of the siege unit with ease, saving M Land. Soon afterward, an elite army composed of the Free City's strongest warriors launches a final assault on the Monster Army's headquarters in the city of Ice, where Pizarro is ambushed and killed by the Four Witches of Kathtom while attempting to flee to safety. With Pizarro defeated and a significant portion of its forces destroyed in the failed attack on M Land, the Monster Army falls into a state of total disarray, and is decisively defeated not long after.
At some point during the war, Shinoda was recruited to serve as a member of the Dark Lord Extermination Squad. As a member of the squad, Shinoda used his strategic brilliance to assist his allies in countless battles. Outside of combat, Shinoda continued his hobby of analyzing recordings of soccer games while also occasionally assisting the United Human Army's head strategists in formulating battle plans. Throughout this time, Shinoda regularly returned to M Land, where he would remind himself of Sayori to maintain his resolve to continue fighting.
During the "Great Invasion of the Monster Realm" ending route, Shinoda and the rest of the Free Cities Army join forces with the Zeth Army to launch an attack on the Monster Realm from the south. Despite being greatly outnumbered, the passion and drive of the United Human Army allows it to break through the Monster Army’s defenses and capture the Demon King’s Castle. At the Demon King's Castle, Shinoda convenes with the other top strategists of the world to discuss the whereabouts of the Dark Lord Kayblis, the leader of the Monster Army. Using information obtained from the Monster Captain Abashiri, the group deduces that Kayblis retreated from his base inside of Mount Bezdog to the secret mountain cave Lucconfood to buy himself time to kill Kurusu Miki and obtain her power as Demon King for himself. Using the combined strength of all four nations of the Human Realm, humanity moves in the direction of Lucconfood and takes part in a final decisive battle against Kayblis. Despite his great power, Kayblis is eventually overwhelmed by humankind's strongest warriors and defeated, freeing humanity from his tyranny and ending the war.
An alternate version of Shinoda appears in Kichikuou Rance, but shares little in common with his canonical portrayal outside of his strategic ability, infatuation with Sayori, and obsessive love for a particular sport.
Personality and Appearance
Shinoda is an overweight man of average height with short, calico-colored hair, a cleft lip and a bulbous nose. He is never seen with his eyes open and almost always sports a calm smile on his face, giving him an overall genial and unassuming appearance. As if to further convey this pleasantness, Shinoda is usually portrayed as being surrounded by flowers, causing him to have a perpetually gentle atmosphere. Shinoda's clothing consists of a plaid-patterned button-up shirt, blue jeans and a brown fleece sweater adorned with large yellow stars on each shoulder. Shinoda is frequently seen holding a soccer ball, which he spins between his hands when deep in thought.
A good-natured, quiet, and placid man, Shinoda maintains a relaxed air around himself at all times, and rarely ever loses his composure even when in stressful situations. Despite his exemplary talents, he is naturally very modest and quick to downplay his abilities when praised by others, preferring to live a life of simple anonymity rather than become a famous tactician. He is also a self-professed pacifist who dislikes conflict and openly opposes all kinds of violence, causing him to outright refuse to assist in warfare unless his own personal interests are involved. This hesitance disappears entirely whenever he is forced into action, however, where he plots against his enemies with ruthless and even terrifying efficiency. Upon first meeting him, Oda Kou compared Shinoda to her older brother Oda Nobunaga, claiming that both were outstanding men who nonetheless desired to live peaceful and ordinary lives.
Beneath his outward contentment, Shinoda possesses a considerable amount of self-loathing. He is shown to be very critical of his own pacifistic ideals, stating in private that he believes them to be out of cowardliness rather than a genuine interest in peace. Despite these feelings, Shinoda's earnest admiration for the dream that M Land was built upon suggests that he is sincere in his beliefs.
Shinoda's greatest passion lies in his love for the sport of soccer. Believing it to be the ultimate test of quick-witted tactical thinking, Shinoda derives an extraordinary amount of pleasure from watching and analyzing soccer matches. While watching soccer, Shinoda completely sheds his normally mild-mannered demeanor and becomes loud, energetic and excitable, to the point where he is described as acting like an entirely different person. Shinoda love for soccer mixes well with his strategic abilities, as he has been able to make a comfortable living for himself as a sports analyst through his talent for accurately predicting the outcomes of upcoming games.
Shinoda is deeply in love with Sayori Unga, the young widowed owner of M Land. While the origin of these feelings is unclear, Shinoda is shown to be profoundly moved by Sayori's aspirations of bringing joy to the children of the world, and claims that it is a dream worth protecting. Shinoda made several attempts at courting Sayori throughout the early LP era in the form of love letters, though they went largely unnoticed by the theme park owner, whose devotion to her late husband made her oblivious to the other man's feelings for her. Shinoda's efforts to win Sayori's heart culminated in him journeying to M Land to propose to her in person, where he was immediately politely, but firmly, rejected.
While Shinoda abandoned all attempts at entering into a relationship with Sayori following this rejection, he nonetheless maintained his feelings for her. When approached to join the United Human Army during the 2nd Dark Lord War by Copandon Dott, Shinoda was finally pushed into agreeing upon learning that the Free Cities Army had based itself in M Land due to his desire to protect the park that Sayori had placed all of her hopes into. Shinoda would periodically look out across M Land throughout the war in order to remind himself of Sayori and maintain his resolve to continue fighting for her sake.
An impossibly brilliant man, Shinoda is speculated to possess the single greatest strategic mind on the Continent, and is regarded as a living legend by all who know of him. He is one of only two individuals in the world known to have the Strategy Lv2 Skill Level, giving him an outstanding amount of potential as a tactician. Shinoda is extremely skilled at conceiving intricate and ingenious strategies in very short amounts of time and is capable of fluidly modifying them whenever a new variable enters the situation. He is noted in particular to be uncannily skilled at understanding the thought processes of others, allowing him to optimize the strengths of his allies and reliably predict the movements of his enemies. Shinoda's talent for strategy was displayed several times across the 2nd Dark Lord War, where it scored the Free Cities Army numerous important victories against impossible odds while also greatly minimizing its expenses. Shinoda further displayed his genius during a recreational game of chess against Arlcoate Marius, another individual noted for her incredible strategic ability, where he was able to swiftly gain the upper hand before being interrupted by Rance, leaving both Urza Pranaice and Cream Ganoblade, themselves talented strategists, in speechless awe.
Outside of his tactical ability, Shinoda does not appear to have any skill as a combatant. During the 2nd Dark Lord War, he had succeeded in reaching the above-average Level of 35, which is presumed, but not confirmed, to be his Level Cap. Despite the considerable amount of potential such a level cap would give him, Shinoda's out-of-shape body and apparent lack of fighting ability suggests that he is relatively weak as an individual when compared to others of a similar level.
- Shinoda came in 25th place in the "Males" category of the Rance X Popularity Poll, tying with Ragnarokarc Super Gandhi and Gigai.
- According to Orion, the Rance Series' main artist, Shinoda's radical design and personality change from his Kichikuou Rance incarnation was the result of TADA, the series' director, hating his original character. Upon revealing this, Orion admitted to disliking the older design as well.
- Shinoda's calico-colored hair is a reference to the character of El Rommel from the Alicesoft game Daiteikoku, who, like Shinoda, is noted to be an eccentric tactician of great skill. Early concept artwork of Shinoda's redesign reveals that he was at one point intended to be much thinner, causing him to much more greatly resemble Rommel. According to Orion, Shinoda would assume the appearance of this unused slimmer design were he to lose weight.
- Both of the major battles that Shinoda contributes to during the events of Rance X are inspired by real life military campaigns, with the Battle of Sekigahara being based on the historical battle of the same name, which marked the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Keichō era Japan, and the strategy to liberate the Free Cities being based on the Battle of Yangping, one of the final military conflicts fought during the end of China's Han Dynasty.