This page contains spoilers from the light novel! Read at your own risk.
"I was the last one left back then, and that's how it's always been till now. That's why I have to take them with me. I'll take everyone who fought and died alongside me to my final destination." ― Shin to Lena, regarding his promise.
His Personal Name is Undertaker (アンダーテイカー, Andāteikā?).
Having survived five years on the Eastern Front and the Special Reconnaissance Mission, he is considered one of the most elite Processors alive. Among the Eighty-Six, he is known as the Reaper of the Eastern Front. His ability to hear the voices of the Legion allows him to locate the Legion without the use of detection systems like radar.
Shin has the bloodred eyes of a Pyrope and the jet-black hair of an Onyx. His pale features and slender physique are characteristic of the Giadian Empire's nobles. He is described to be rather handsome, attracting the attention of a few of his female comrades.
Shin almost always wears a sky-blue scarf to conceal the jagged scar on his neck. He obtained this scarf from the captain of his first squadron—Alice Araich. Before he was gifted the scarf, his scar was concealed by bandages.
As the Spearhead Squadron's leader, he wears a desert camouflage uniform scavenged from an abandoned Republic military depot. He later switches to the Federacy's steel-colored panzer jacket uniform, but retains his blue scarf, removing it only for official meetings.
Shin feels that it his responsibility to shoulder the deaths of his comrades. He had always been the last and only person left alive until he had met Raiden Shuga. Thus, even after meeting a companion that could survive along side him, he always felt it was his duty as the survivor to silently carry the tags of the fallen to his final destination. Even once letting go of his comrades on the border between San Magnolia and Giad, he still uses their deaths as an excuse to return to the battlefield. Shin's ability to hear the voices of the Legion places enormous mental strain on him even when he has become accustomed to listening to the constant wails of the dead. The weight of both his responsibilities and the effects of his ability have contributed to his stoic nature and lack of mirth.
Shin has a strong desire to protect his companions, even if he sometimes does it in the wrong way. This is demonstrated in when he chooses to face the Shepherd alone to put his brother to rest, as well as when he forcibly takes control of the Spearhead Squadron's last Juggernaut and attempts to hold off the Legion so that the rest of his squadron can escape to Federacy territory.
In contrast, he has a distinct lack of care for himself. He compares himself to the Legion, calling himself a ghost, aimless and wandering like the Legion that had lost their country. Consequently, he often throws himself into dangerous situations without regard for his own safety, somehow surviving through luck and combat skill. This tendency grows worse in Run Through the Battlefront. After he had put his brother to death, he had not particularly cared about his own life. He began to care about his survival again once he had a wish he wanted to fulfil, which was to take Lena to see the ocean together. This wish, coupled with the realization brought upon by the Sirins during the siege of Revich, made him reflect on his near suicidal fighting style.
Shin is known to be an avid reader, reading various types of books to take his mind off of the voices of the Legion. He has a dismissive attitude towards maintaining the condition of his Juggernaut, an aspect of his that leads to many arguments with Chief Mechanic Lev Aldrecht.
Shin is known as the Reaper of the Eastern front, a practical legend among the Eighty-Six. Both a moniker of reverence and fear, those who were assigned in the same squadron as him dreaded their fate of certain demise, or accepted that they would die knowing Shin would carry on their memory. No one would survive longterm in a squadron with Shin present, no one except the one known as Wehrwolf.
Shin is often compared to a plague bringer or a prophet of death. His notoriety would spread from the word of his previous mechanics or squadmates which were transferred out of his squadron, such as Rito Oriya. His reputation would achieve a similar status in the central Republic military, due to stories of him breaking his Handlers and driving some to suicide through his ability to hear voices of the dead.
Born on May 19th in Republic Year 351, Shin lived with his family in the First Sector of the Republic before the war with the Giadian Empire began. It is implied he lived a sheltered life, surrounded by "only kindness and affection". He also appeared to have developed his extrasensory ability early on, hearing "voices that spoke without words" from his family. He would often play with the daughter of his father's colleague, Henrietta von Penrose, whom Shin called Rita.
Shin and his family were forced to relocate to an internment camp when the war began due to the Republic's discriminatory policies. Shin's father was first to enlist in the Republic military, accepting the Republic's promise that Shin and the rest of his family would have their rights restored in exchange for military service. Despite this, the Republic does not uphold its promise. Upon delivering the news of Shin's father's death, it informs Shin's mother that the military service was in exchange for only one person's citizenship. Continuing to trust the Republic, Shin's mother also enlists to protect her sons, leaving eight-year-old Shin and his eighteen-year-old brother Shourei in the care of an Adularia priest, a friend of the Nouzens who had resisted the Republic's policies and remained in the village-turned-internment-camp's church.
Shortly afterward, Rei receives notice of his mother's death on the battlefield and an enlistment form for him, proving the Republic's promise to be a lie. Shin, to whom the concept of death was not yet comprehensible, implores Rei to explain why their mother would not be returning. Shin's pleas caused the grieving and frustrated Rei to snap and choke Shin in a fit of violent rage. Rei brings Shin to the brink of death before the priest intervenes and resuscitates him. Shin is left with a jagged scar around his neck as a reminder of his brother's hatred. The near-death experience also opens Shin's telepathic ability to a broader range of human consciousnesses, including those of the Legion, by temporarily experiencing the post-mortem collective consciousness of humanity. Rei avoids Shin after the incident and refuses to say farewell or even glance at Shin when he enlists and leaves Shin behind with the priest.
Four years after Rei's enlistment, Shin hears his brother's voice among the laments of the Legion and realizes that Rei is dead. On that day, Shin enlists with the military and becomes a Processor.
- Fragmental Neoteny: Brand
Shin had been on the battlefield for almost a year. His captain, Eijyu, suggested that he start considering his Personal Name and mark. Shin was dismissive of the idea, as he thought it was a pointless endeavor. The captain suggested the name Báleygr, due to his flame colored eyes, but Shin didn't think it fit him.
After a sortie in which the entire squad save for Shin had perished, he had come across a destroyed Juggernaut of an unknown squadron. The pilot had already decomposed within the cockpit. While his promise was to carry on the deaths of his squadmates, he felt that it was his duty to carry this stranger's mark as well. The Personal Mark painted on the unit, a headless skeleton wielding a longsword, resonated with him. After burying the bones and collecting the marks of his squadmates, he returned to the base. He requested the chief mechanic to paint the mark on his own Juggernaut, replacing the longsword with a shovel. Shin officially took up the Personal Name of Undertaker, the sole survivor that dug the graves of his comrades.
In his fifth year of deployment, April of RY 367, Shin and his squadron are combined with veteran remnants of other squadrons from the Eastern Front to form Spearhead Squadron, with Shin leading as captain. Characteristic of Shin's squadrons, Spearhead does not patrol the battlefront for the warning on Legion attacks, instead of relying on Shin's ability to detect the Legion. Despite the Processors' years of experience and the advanced awareness of the Legion, Spearhead soon takes losses. By the time Spearhead receives their new Handler, three Processors have fallen in action: Mashu, Mina, and Kujo.
Shin fought a battle in which his squadron was annihilated. His Handler at the time asked how many had survived, to which Shin ignored him and disconnected the Para-RAID.
- Chapter 2
On May 22nd RY 367, Shin and the Spearhead Squadron received the first Para-RAID synchronization from their new Handler, Vladilena Milizé. The Handler continued to check in on the squadron nightly, with Shin always the first to curtly greet her in a businesslike tone. The first half-month of Lena's presence as their Handler would pass by without any casualties in the squadron. Shin and the rest of his squadmates would entertain her for the time being, knowing that her time as the squadron's Handler would be short lived, just like the rest of them.
- Chapter 3
Relations between Lena and the squadron would sour after Kaie's death on June 15th. Lena herself would disconnect abruptly from their resonance after Theo's tirade. She would eventually nervously reconnect with Shin later that night. As always, Shin greeted her in a businesslike fashion, without a sense of disdain the rest of his comrades had shown earlier. Sensing that Lena was eager to prove herself once more to the squadron, Shin gave her a chance and introduced his comrades' names to Lena one by one, also telling her about his promise to carry the tags of his fallen comrades. He would eventually introduce himself as Shinei Nouzen, to which Lena would ask if he was related to a Processor by the Personal Name of Dullahan—Shourei Nouzen. He confirmed that Shourei was his brother and told her of his death five years ago. He admits to Lena that he does not have any plans once he was discharged, only that his current goal was to search for his brother.
Shin—who had always been observant of his squadmates despite never seemingly looking at them—noticed that Theo had felt bad about his outburst towards Lena. The next day, Shin would set up Lena and the squadron to make amends, all the while he mostly kept silent. The squadron was able to set their boundaries for Lena, and in turn they would tolerate Lena as their Handler.
- Chapter 4
One day, when Shin and Lena were making idle chatter regarding Lena's duties and Shin's brother, Shin suddenly urged everyone to prepare for battle. Once ready, Shin made a request to Lena to turn off her Para-RAID for the mission, as the incoming Legion assault was comprised of many Black Sheep. As she did not understand Shin's intentions, Lena did not cut off her Para-RAID. Shin was content with only warning her and proceeded with the battle. As soon as Lena began to panic due to the voices, Shin forcefully cut the link. Shin would explain his ability and background to Lena later that night, as well as his theories on how the Legion operated.
- Chapter 5
As Shin was inspecting the supplies sent by Lena, he was rudely informed of a "special warhead" she had sent by one of the resupply officers. He soon contacted her via Para-RAID to thank her for the explosives she had sent—i.e., fireworks. He increased his synchronization level to where the cheers of his squadmates could be heard by Lena. Shin continued to talk to her. He thanked her for letting his fallen comrades be honored by an artillery salute, reminisced with her about his brother, and asked her to not forget the Spearhead Squadron once they perished.
- Chapter 6
Shin and the remainder of the squadron finally informed Lena of the execution ground that was the First Ward after four of their members died during a sortie. They laid out all of the lies the Republic has spouted to them over the years as evidence of their certain demise within the next month. Shin and Raiden looked back on that day's battlefield, regretting that they couldn't find pieces to etch the names of their fallen. Shin listened intently towards the sounds of the Legion and confirmed that his brother had finally found him. Shin expressed his joy at the situation, which left Raiden stunned. Shin asked what Raiden would do, to which he replied that he would stick with their Reaper to the very end.
The Spearhead Squadron was ordered to deploy on their Special Reconnaissance Mission. Lena apologized that she could not rescind the order, to which Shin assured her that this was their destiny from the beginning. The Spearhead Squadron would soon deploy on their mission with five members remaining, all had accepted their fate. Shin especially had looked forward to putting his brother to rest.
- Chapter 7
Shin and the Spearhead Squadron engaged against the Dinosauria manned by the vestiges of Rei. At first, Shin gave the order for everyone to advance ahead of him as he took on his brother alone. Raiden and the rest objected to their leader's order, instead choosing to support him by eliminating the other Legion surrounding Rei. Another form of support would arrive in the form of Lena's artillery. Shin left his squadron to their own devices as he fought his brother mano-a-mano, blocking out all other distractions. Through their dance of death, the two brothers would have their final conversation. Shin would eventually make a mistake and lose consciousness.
Rei approached Undertaker, intending to assimilate his brother into the Legion. His squadmates would attempt to bind the Dinosauria with their anchor wires, but the Juggernauts were simply too light, unable to stop the unit completely. The efforts of the squadron would not be in vain, however. Just as Rei's micromachine hands prepared to tear off Undertaker's canopy, Lena would fire her artillery in his direction. As Rei did not intend to have Shin simply die, he used his micromachine arms in order to protect him, not knowing that the shell was a dud.
Shin awoke after Lena fired the dud and resumed combat. He fired one final high-explosive anti-tank warhead from his cannon at point-blank range. Before Rei was destroyed, his micromachine arms slipped into Undertaker's cockpit and gave Shin a final goodbye. Shin finally let out the emotions he was unable to express since his near death. After composing himself, Shin and his squadmates would bid Lena a brief, nonchalant, and carefree farewell.
A genetic feature that is seen in people of Pyrope heritage. Those with the extrasensory ability can communicate with family members by hearing their thoughts. This ability makes use of the part of the brain known as the Night Head and is the basis for the Para-RAID's communication abilities. The range and limitations of the ability are unspecified in people other than Shin.
In Shin's case, his ability was originally restricted to only his family, the same as others with the ability. However, during his near-death experience after being attacked by his brother, Shin's consciousness temporarily entered the abyss of death, and he was able to hear the voices of those who had died. Upon being resuscitated, Shin retained the power to hear the voices of the dead that were still among the world of the living. The ability allows him to detect the Legion because the Legion was designed with the human neural system as a basis for their central processing system. While the Legion's original replica processors are not as easily detected by Shin, being more of an electric haze to his ears, the Legion's processors which have derived from the neural systems of dying Eighty-Six create easily distinguishable, and haunting, voices that Shin can hear.
The voices Shin hears can be transmitted through the Para-RAID. By turning the synchronization rate of his Para-RAID to the maximum, Shin has traumatized many incompetent and abusive Handlers with the haunting voices to the point that one Handler commits suicide. When linking with other Processors, Shin turns the synchronization rate lower. The transmission of voices also allows linked Processors to determine the positions of nearby Legion using the voices' distance and direction.
Shin's combat skills are unmatched by other Processors, as he has honed his skills to levels far above the other veterans. Combining his reflexes and telepathic ability, he can perform attacks that no other Processor can do, such as charging three Löwe at once in a frontal attack. His Undertaker is specialized for his melee-oriented combat style, replacing its standard machine guns with high frequency blades, with all of its limiters being broken to maximize mobility. Due to this, however, there are situations where he could be completely useless against long ranged targets once his main smoothbore gun ran out of ammunition.
He is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat, taking down the much larger Raiden in a fistfight and stating that he could disarm and kill three Republic soldiers before they can even remove their safeties. His proficiency in various forms of combat ties back to his heritage as a Nouzen, an Onyx clan that served as the Giadian Imperial guard.
Shin carries around a 9 mm pistol which he obtained from Isuka. He uses the sidearm to euthanize his comrades that have been mortally wounded. The motion of cocking the gun and aiming to put his comrades out of their misery is second nature to him, a habit he would carry even outside the Eighty-Sixth Sector. He claims that he has no attachment to the weapon.
- Before Meeting
Shin was always Lena's primary contact point for the Spearhead Squadron, as such the two would talk frequently over Para-RAID discussing both business and other topics. Shin was cold, curt and honest to a fault with the Handler; he thought of her as annoying and naïve. His opinion of her would change from her persistence in her cause, as well as from their time bonding over their shared link to Shourei. He would grow to respect her input and to be thankful of the things she had done for them, even something as practically insignificant as sending them fireworks. Shin would ask her to not forget him and the Spearhead Squadron during the Revolution Festival. He would later write a final message to her, asking her to leave them flowers at their final destination.
His time spent talking to Lena would have an impact on him after their farewell, much like the other survivors of Spearhead. He would remember some of the things she'd said unprompted and relate it to whatever he was thinking about previously. Raiden would ask Shin regarding his opinion on Lena's survival, to which he shrugged. Raiden noted that Shin was not being honest with himself.
Their first reunion on the field of spider lilies would haunt the both of them in embarrassment. Shin was surprised that the Republic had survived, even more so that an Alba officer was commanding on the frontlines carried by a one of her Processor's Juggernauts. As he did not know she was Lena at that moment, he thought of the things she had said—that she would continue to fight for her country and comrades—as awfully rich coming from the cowardly Alba. He interrogated her, asking for what purpose did she fight; only then did she reveal her name and her mission to reach the Spearhead Squadron's final destination. He did not reveal himself to be Shin, as he didn't want their reunion to be on the battlefield. Their second reunion at the Processor memorial was less confrontational. They regarded each other with a salute before Shin revealed their identities. He was still curt, but he wore a smile when speaking to her.
- "Dicit ei: Legio nomen mihi..." (He replied: My name is Legion...)[† 1] ― Mumbling to himself before a sortie.
- "This is the best outcome I could have hoped for, but you guys got the short end of the stick... What will you do? Knowing that you'll die tomorrow, will you hang yourself today?" ― Shin to Raiden, regarding the Special Reconnaissance Mission and their upcoming battle with Shourei.
- "If, one day, you make it to our final destination, would you please leave flowers?" ― Shin to Lena, handwritten on a piece of paper.
- "It's been a while, Handler One." ― Shin to Lena, reunion at the Processor memorial.
- The continuation of the line is "...est, quia multi sumus." (...for we are many.)
- The literature Shin reads are references to works or events that influenced the author during her writing of the novel. The literature he is known to have read are:
- All Quiet On the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Volume 1)
- Second Variety by Philip K. Dick (Triage - Black Tag)
- The Mist by Stephen King (Triage - Black Tag)
- Takasebune by Mori Ōgai (Volume 4)
- Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Triage - Black Tag)
- The Bible (Volume 1)
- Thou Shalt Not Die by Akiko Yosano (Triage - Black Tag)
- The Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Paul Dirac (Manga Chapter 7)
- His cooking is bland and unappetizing due to his lack of care, though he is adept at using a knife.
- Shin knows how to sew, having learned the skill to repair his clothes. He often has to help Kurena with mending her clothes, though this may just be a ploy by Kurena to get a chance to talk with him more often.
- Shin's Legion callsign is Báleygr, a name of Odin meaning "Flaming Eye".
- "Shin" is word play on the Japanese word for "Death" (死, Shi?) and the English word "Sin".
- Despite what he said to Lena in Episode 6, Shin does not like sweets.
- Shin's internment number is E022-23093.
- Volume 1 Chapter 3
- Volume 1 Prologue
- Volume 3 Chapter 7
- Volume 10 Brand
- Volume 6 Epilogue
- Birthday Special - Shin Continued
- Volume 2 Chapter 4
- Volume 2 Chapter 2
- Volume 7 Chapter 4
- Volume 9
- Volume 10 Pledge
- Volume 10 Misericorde
- Volume 10 Undertaker
- Volume 2 Chapter 1
- Volume 1 Chapter 2
- Volume 5 Mechanical Design Illustration 2
- Volume 3 Chapter 9
- Volume 1 Chapter 7
- Volume 1 Interlude 3
- Episode 1
- Episode 2
- Volume 4 Prologue
- Volume 1 Chapter 4
- Volume 5 Chapter 4
- Volume 1 Chapter 5
- Volume 1 Epilogue 1
- Volume 3 Epilogue
- Volume 1 Epilogue 2
- Volume 1 Chapter 6
- Volume 2 Chapter 3
- Volume 1 Special Edition Bonus
- Birthday Special - Raiden