- "The World and all of its wonders; this is my world, you see."
- — Tsukasa —
Tsukasa is a young silver-haired boy clad in grey robes. He has two salmon wave tattoos on his face and almost always carries a silver staff with him.
Tsukasa was initially a cynical loner, and seemingly arrogant to the other players in The World. Tsukasa tended to avoid others as much as possible and didn't take any enjoyment in leveling up or participating in events. In fact, his sole enjoyment seemed to come from defying the Crimson Knights. As Tsukasa was slowly befriended by Mimiru, Bear, and Subaru, he began to warm up to them, eventually seeking them out, as well as being sought out by Subaru who came to him for aid when she felt lost. By the end of the series, Tsukasa reveals the kind heart he had kept hidden for so long.
In the real world, Tsukasa is a high school girl named An Shoji (荘司 杏). Her mother died when she was very young, so she was raised by her father. Her father, a businessman of some kind, subjected her to years of mental, and sometimes physical abuse and neglect. In order to escape from reality, An started playing The World, choosing a male avatar in order to further distance her character from her real self. The name "Tsukasa" comes from the character for the "Ji" (司) in "Shouji".
After the events of SIGN, An begins a romantic relationship with Mariko Misono and meets Mimiru's player offline for their promised trip to Shimokitazawa. She is also financially supported by Ryo Sakuma. Unison revealed that she is living in a dorm. An now attends a boarding school and has a keychain of Macha on her cell phone.
It is unconfirmed but in the final episode of .hack//SIGN's main story: Return, Morganna's copy of Tsukasa says the line "Sudden death, acts of violence, car accidents", this may imply that An's mother may have died in a car accident.
An's hobbies include playing The World and watching old movies, which she used to watch with her mother when she was still alive.
- Although the player behind Tsukasa is female, the character Tsukasa is male and is referred to here using male pronouns.
While searching for the Vagrant AI Macha, Albireo, leader of the Cobalt Knights, hears rumors of a Wavemaster that has the power to control a mysterious monster. Knowing that the monster has the ability to physically affect players in the real world, Albireo decides the Wavemaster Tsukasa is of a higher priority. Soon, Albireo encounters Tsukasa after his monster has killed four PKKs. However, the two never get the chance to speak because Macha appears, and after multiple warnings, orders a Twilight Guardian to attack Albireo causing the deletion of his character.
As part of her plan to prevent the waking of Aura and her birth as the Ultimate AI, Morganna conspired to link Aura to a person who could corrupt Aura, placing her in a state where she would never awaken. The person chosen for this purpose was An Shoji, a female high school student and the person behind the character known as Tsukasa. Tsukasa's real life was far from perfect; her mother had died at an early age, leaving her in the care of her abusive father. In order to escape from her life in reality she had created Tsukasa, spending hours in The World so that she wouldn't have to be reminded of her life outside of it. Realizing that Tsukasa wanted nothing more than to remain in The World forever, Morganna sent her servant Macha to lure him into a trap. Acting as a friendly PC, Macha took Tsukasa to the bottom of a dungeon, where a trap set by Morganna data drained him, trapping his mind inside of The World itself. To further trap him, Morganna altered his memories, making him believe he was a male in reality, as well as causing him to focus on the memories of his father.
Wanting to keep Tsukasa safe, Morganna bestowed two great powers on him: the ability to summon a powerful Twilight Guardian and the ability to bypass the Chaos Gate and warp from field to field or server to server at will. These powers soon drew the attention of the Crimson Knights, who saw Tsukasa as nothing more than a hacker trying to destabilize the system. The Captain of the Crimson Knights, Silver Knight, held a particular grudge against him, having been killed by his Twilight Guardian in their first encounter. Other players, such as Mimiru and Bear, became concerned about Tsukasa, especially when they realized that he appeared to always be inside of the game, never logging out.
Because of his powers, rumors began to circulate throughout the community that Tsukasa had discovered the legendary Key of the Twilight, a seemingly mythical item said to give its wielder absolute control over The World. Knowing that he hadn't found it, and not realizing that the real key was under his very nose in the form of Aura, Tsukasa decided to join up with Mimiru and Bear and attempt to search for the Key himself. Their investigation, aided somewhat by the players Crim, BT and Sora, led them to The Inverted Castle. There they met with an AI copy of Harald Hoerwick, the original designer of The World. Through his ramblings Tsukasa realized that the key was in fact Aura, but an attack by Macha and the memory wipe that followed caused him to forget what he had learned.
In his confusion after the memory wipe, Tsukasa was met by Subaru, the Guildmaster of the Crimson Knights. Confined to a wheelchair in the real world, she used The World as an escape too. Seeing each other as kindred spirits, the two began a relationship and started seeing each other frequently inside of The World. Opening up to her, Tsukasa decided to show her Aura, but upon arriving in the field where Aura had been, he saw that she had been taken elsewhere by Morganna. As punishment for bringing Subaru, Morganna tried to completely destroy his memory, leaving him in a vegetative-like state. However, Morganna failed to destroy him completely and, after a period of healing, he was able to recover his wits after receiving a message from Subaru. Traveling to Net Slum, he was told the entirety of Morganna's plan by Helba and realized that if he wanted to break free from her clutches he would have to awaken Aura himself. It was here that Tsukasa realized that Morganna had been altering his memories to make him believe he was a male in the real world; up to this point, Tsukasa had no idea that he was in fact a female.
With the help of his friends and the unexpected aid of Macha, who had decided to betray Morganna, Tsukasa managed to travel to the place she was holding Aura. There he declared that he was no longer afraid of Morganna or of reality and that he intended to log out and meet Subaru. This caused the binds on Aura to break, awakening her. In retaliation, Morganna summoned Skeith to hunt him down, but some quick thinking by Helba allowed them to escape, and Tsukasa to wake in the real world after being trapped in The World for about six months. Leaving the hospital, An Shoji was met by Mariko Misono, the player behind Subaru. With tears in their eyes the two embraced, having finally found what they'd been searching for.
Though Tsukasa had left The World, fragments of his PC body and personality still survived in the system. These memory fragments, along with those of the other SIGN characters, began to appear throughout The World. Kite discovered several of them throughout his adventure. Eventually, enough fragments gathered in Net Slum that Helba was able to fashion a Tsukasa AI. She gave this AI's member address to Kite, who gladly accepted it into his party.
After a lengthy absence, Tsukasa returns to The World and joins with the rest of the cast in celebrating the liberation of The World from Morganna. During the celebration at Net Slum, Tsukasa spots a lonely Sora and invites him to join.
After witnessing the corpse of Orca (actually Bear), Tsukasa aids Mimiru in searching for the Twilight Hot Springs. Tsukasa proves to be of no use to Mimiru, but he eventually joins with Kite in the male hot springs, despite being a girl in real life. This fact is made fun of as Tsukasa is drawn with a female anatomy while he is sitting naked next to Kite - Kite dim-wittedly still fails to realize Tsukasa is a girl until Tsukasa tells him. Tsukasa is also seen holding a teddy bear, which he had gotten from Aura's bed in SIGN.
Tsukasa makes a brief cameo in the manga.
- See Tsukasa (LINK)
- Tsukasa shares the same Japanese and English voice overs (Mitsuki Saiga and Brianne Siddal) as Elk. Mitsuki Saiga, his Japanese VA also does the voice of Endrance, and his English VA Brianne Siddal also does Tooru Uike.
- His AI's starting weapon is called Ludicrous, a level 99 rare staff.
- In reality, she has a Macha keychain.
- His fragment color is brown.
|Kite's party members.|