Tsutomu Tanaka was a participant of the DofD tournament. He was a married office worker and the late successor of the Tenchi Mushin School.
Tanaka is a tall young man with a typically carefree and sincere appearance. He has medium length dark hair that is neatly combed and glasses on his face. He's always seen in a nice suit, jacket and tie from his job, even in battle and has yet to be seen without it. Despite his reserved appearance, Tanaka in fact sports a muscular, well-defined build from his arduous training.
Tanaka has a seemingly timid and carefree personality, even taking a phone call from his wife during a match. He also seems to be borderline naive as his initial ignorance of the robbery suggests, though this seems to be a facade to hide his true ruthlessness. He is also a polite individual, having a similar trait like Kenichi, treating others around him with respect, regardless the situation.
There's a running gag that whenever he's about to have a serious fight or talking in a serious situation, his phone rings and it's typically his wife and he answers in a timid manner and seems to try to have others (even the entire audience of the DofD Tournament) to be quite as he talks seemingly not wanting her to find out about his activities. However, it's later revealed his wife was never calling him, just an auto-dialing service, which was revealed was due to her being long dead and an attempt to keep Tanaka from losing control of his killing urges against Ogata.
Nonetheless, he is a devout follower of the Katsujinken, although his emotions tend to override him to the point where he veers on the edge of becoming a Satsujinken. He considers the fact that he would have killed Kenichi because he wasn't able to hold back his Wooden Neck Cross, and that Kenichi held back his punch upon seeing the elder stop Tanaka's attack, as an indication of his defeat. A prime example of him edging onto the path of the Satsujinken was shown he declared his determination to kill Ogata himself. The elder stated this dedication is similar to Ogata himself.
In the end, due to his hatred of Ogata, Tanaka appologized to Kenichi stating they can't walk on the same path and has chosen to kill Ogata. However, despite this, Ogata noted he couldn't sense any killing intent from him, indicating Tanaka has some restraint against the Yami master. However, as Ogata goaded him to killing him as a Satsujinken and into darkness, Tanaka began to lose control of himself and attempt to kill the Yami master to avenge his master. However, after Kenichi listened to his cellphone, it would be revealed his sole desire of revenge against Ogata is solely due to him having not just murdered his master, but also his wife and unborn child, leaving Tanaka seemingly a broken man, making others believe his wife is calling him when his phone rings and seemingly either in denial over her death, or is mentally unstable to cope with her and his child's loss. However, in his final moments of life, Tanaka realized how wrong his choices were and told Kenichi to never become like him so he too would not fall down the same path lest he too would regret it.
However, he has a fierce fighting style, defeating an enemy in DofD who was at least three times his size and muscle mass with only one finger. He has also shown that he can make his presence overwhelming, to the point of making Rachel and Ethan Stanley both flinch to distract them, and then disappearing before they could catch up to him.
- Tenchi Mushin Ryuu Master: Initially, Tanaka was not a skilled fighter, and was regularly beaten around by his master, Kai Midou in an almost identical fashion to how Kenichi is treated by his masters. However he eventually becomes a very powerful fighter, having achieved expert level in a short amount of time, with the Elder noting that he was comming close to becoming a master. This is proven true, as when he faces Ogata, the latter noted that he had finally achieved the level of master-class fighter. His prowess was solidified when he fights on equal footing with Ogata. While not much is known of the Tenchi Mushin style, it appears to revolve around the use of palm strikes and knife hands, as Tanaka uses several of these moves. Tanaka also noted that he developed his entire fighting style to try and counter Ogata's own.
- Enhanced Speed: Tanaka is a very fast individual. He was easily able to outrun Rachel and Ethan Stanley. In the DofD Tournament, he was able to fight swiftly and take out his opponents in a quick manner. In his second appearence during the fight between Odin and Ogata, he simultaneously managed to push the former away from one of Ogata's punches, while striking the grand master on the face while answering a phone call, all happening so quickly that neither the fighters, nor the bystanders noticed what had happend.
- Enhanced Endurace: Tanaka is a very durable character. In his match against Kenichi, he was hit by some of Kenichi's best moves and felt little damage. When ascending to the level of Master, his endurance developed accordingly, as he was able to endure a few of Kensei's powerful techniques, and still match him in power. He was even able to withstand a direct hit to the chest from Ogata's Kazoe Nukite, and quickly recover from the damage. Even after having his hands disabled from his last attack against Ogata, he didn't flinch and still made a move to tear Ogata's throat with his bare teeth.
- Enhanced Strength: Tanaka is a physically powerful fighter. While apearing to possess a slender, uninposing frame, this is quite deceptive, as seen during the fight against Ogata, where he displayed a highly muscular and well-toned body. He can throw opponents twice his size across the arena at the tournament when fighting and sending all the bank robbers through a wall when attacking them. He's able to break through a brick wall with little effort. Now that he has reached Master-level, Tanaka has now become able to effectively hold his own against Isshinsai Ogata, and at the very least, injure him more that once, as shown during his fight between Ogata and managed to send him flying with a single punch into a building, tearing down a portion of the wall in the wake of the attack.
- Enhanced Agility: Tanaka has proven to be quite agile, able to dodge most of Kenichi's attacks through most of their match and easily dodge the attacks from the bank robbers. He was even able to evade such strong disciples such as Rachel and Ethan Stanley without them noticing where he went. His reflexes eventually developed enough to avoid several close-range strikes from a Grand Master such as Ogata. The Sage Fist himself noted how Tanaka had trained himself to read and counter his attacks.
Tanaka was the disciple of the original Tenchi Mushin Ryuu master, Kai Midō, who trained alongside Ogata during their training days at Ryozanpaku. However one day Kensei used his master in martial art experimentation and left him with frail health, which left him affected with an unknown illness. However, his master continued to train him on a regular basis. His training days were similar to Kenichi's with his masters, as he regularly got beaten up and lost his glasses more than once.
During his training days he met the daughter of his master, and was smitten with her much like Kenichi is with Miu (which is hinted to have caused tensions between him and his master), and later they got married with a shotgun wedding at 18, he freely admits that he was "whipped" by his wife (though adds that Kenichi would receive a similar fate when he gets married). He apparently learned one of the Elder's 108 techniques, Kazoe Nukite, passed down from the Elder to Kai and later from Kai to Tanaka.
However, tragedy came for Tanaka as not only was his master murdered by Ogata, but his wife and unborn child also shared the same fate, leaving Tanaka a broken man and down the path for revenge against Ogata for taking his family from him.
Yami/YOMI Saga Edit
Tanaka is initially seen at the DofD, mentioned by Niijima as the fiercest of fighters who scared the Shinpaku Alliance with his skills. He participates alone against the Builder Five team and is mostly seen talking on his phone to convince his wife that he was on a business meeting. When assaulted by one of the impatient bodybuilders, Tanaka effortlessly defeats him with only one finger, and, given his clean appearance afterwards, most likely made short work of the rest of the bodybuilders, progressing onto the next round.
Tanaka then meets with Rachel and Ethan and asks about Ogata's whereabouts. When he realizes that Ogata isn't on Despair Island, he passes on his message of revenge and disappears, forfeiting the match and allowing the Gemini team to move on to the next round.
Tanaka appears again entering a bank and still on the phone during a robbery. He asks Kenichi and Miu to help him out and effortlessly defeats four of the five robbers while watching them take down one each. Standing on the top floor of the bank, he motions for Miu to keep quiet about him and has the two take credit for taking out the robbers.
Later, Tanaka goes to Ryozanpaku and requests a challenge with one of the masters, gives his story, and proclaims his desire to avenge his master and kill Ogata. Tanaka was initially denied, but allowed to fight when the elder noticed the fury he had in his eyes and allows him to fight Kenichi as the only condition for fighting any of the masters. He has his Kazoe Nukite countered by Kenichi's Shiraha Nagashi, though still manages to scratch Kenichi in this aspect, and compliments Kenichi for discerning his uncertainty with Ryusei Seikuken. However, upon seeing Ogata behind Kenichi, who poses an obstacle to his goal, Tanaka shoots forward and unleashes his Wooden Neck Cross on Kenichi, stopped only by the elder at the last minute. Tanaka accepts defeat upon feeling that Kenichi stopped short an attack that could have hit and watches over Kenichi and shares his experiences with his wife when the latter wakes up. As he leaves the dojo, he incurs the comical jealousy of the other masters, particularly Kensei, Sakaki, and Apachai.
Tanaka is shown back at Ryozanpaku greeting Miu and Kenichi while Miu was trying to sense her surroundings and Tanaka was hiding his presence and praises her. He then talks with the elder about Ogata not being at his castle and states he's been looking for information on him and that he discovered he's training in the mountains with his disciple. He tells him and the other masters that he doesn't want Ryozanpaku to fight him or for him to be sent to Big Lock, declaring he will be the one to kill Ogata, however, the elder notes what he says is similar to Ogata, shocking him. His phone then rings and he talks to his wife and leaves after talking with her but tells them all that Ogata is taking more efforts to raising his disciples and that he'll go to any lengths to make masters. He warns them that he may plan to make Kenichi and Miu and their friends into sacrifices for his disciples and tells them all to be careful.
While the Shinpaku Alliance was at the amusement park, Thor saw him walking there. Late at night however, Tanaka arrives and stops Ryuto from throwing his life away and saves him from Ogata's killing blow while on the phone with his wife. He then hangs up and scoffs at how Ogata never goes easy on anyone. Revealing he landed a blow on Ogata which greatly pleases him, Tanaka introduces himself to Ogata as he faces off against the Master.As they fight, Ogata is actually brought to his knees, much to everyone's shock, but Tanaka demands he get up and says he will kill him. Ogata marvels at Tanaka's skills noting he's now achieved the level of Master class as Tanaka continues to push him back. Tanaka notes he's goting easy on him, to which Ogata states is cause he can't sense his killing intent. He continues to goad him into killing him as a Satsujinken. As Tanaka begins to give in to his urge to kill Ogata to avenge his master, the two fighters clash, resulting in a masive shockwave.
Both Tanaka and Kensei exchange a series of blows and at one point Tanaka manages to knock Kensei away. Kensei however continues to taunt him saying that he doesn't have enough killing intent to win. As Kensei stands, Tanaka pulls out his cellphone and tells his wife that their family trip to the park will be slightly delayed while he takes care of some 'personal business'. Just then Kensei kicks the phone out of Tanaka's hand which causes Tanaka to fly into a more violent rage. Kenichi picks up the phone and tries to tell Tanaka's wife that it's too dangerous to come to the park. However, he is shocked and confused to discover that there is nobody on the other side of the call, just an automated message. As Kenichi attempts to ask where his wife is, Tanaka, seemingly transed now that Kenichi knows the truth, just says not to worry as she's in a "safe place". As the fight continues, Kensei starts to gain ground over Tanaka, and chastsizes him for his lack of killing intent, despite Kensei being the killer of his master, wife and unborn son. The two continue their pitched battle, and decide to finish it with same technique against each other. As their techniques clashed, Tanaka was eventually overpowered by Kensei's technique and received a heavy wound across his chest.As he listened to Kensei's explanation of how his philosophy for martial arts justify his actions, Tanaka takes off his shirt and prepares to finish his fight with Kensei and show his resolve for beating him. During the fight, Tanaka catches a glimpse of Kenichi rescuing Miu from the fire that was spreading, quietly telling him that he should continue to protect her. He tells Kensei that he understands that in order to beat him, he must give up on living and give on his beliefs. He also tells him that the one thing that makes him superior to Kensei is that his martial arts was designed for the sole purpose of defeating him. As there fight continues, Tanaka shows that he is able to not only keep up with Kensei, but also counter his attacks, something that Kensei himself noted. As Kensei congratulates Tanaka for being able to counter his moves, he counters Tanaka's move instead, which follows with Tanaka blinding Kensei and exucuting the final blow. In the process of this attack, Tanaka loses his hands and tries to finish Kensei by tearing his throat out with his teeth. However this attempt was all for nothing, as in his final moments he told Kenichi to never become like him, as Ogata effectively killed him by crushing his head with his elbow, destroying his spine in the process. As Kenichi's friends attempt to escape the burning down park, Haruo Niijima tries to find Kenichi and the other missing members of their group. While searching through the flames, he spots what appears to be Tanaka walking away with his wife and child. Unaware of Tanaka's demise and the status of his family, Niijima simply assumes Tanaka and his family were escaping and eventually finds Kenichi and tells him of Tanaka and his family's escape. Kenichi then realizes that Tanaka has finally reunited with his family.
- Versus DofD Tournament contenders (Win)
- Versus 5 bank robbers (Win)
- Versus Shirahama Kenichi (Loss, technical)
- Versus Ogata Isshinsai (Loss, killed)
- Tanaka is the first character to have been an Expert and to have reached the level of Master.
- Tanaka is the first character to have died outside a flashback as an ally of Ryozanpaku.