Mister Tanaka (タナカ Tanaka?) is a character from the anime series Sonic X and its comic series published by Archie Comics. He is a human who serves as the bulter of the Thorndyke Mansion and the bodyguard of Christopher Thorndyke. In his free time, he devotes himself to meditation and practicing martial arts.
New World Saga
On the morning after Chris met Sonic, Tanaka would serve his young master breakfast. Some time later, Tanaka caught Chuck running around with Chris. While he let Chris go, he insisted that the elderly Chuck took easy and forced him to go take a nap. Tanaka would not long after receive a call from Nelson Thorndyke, saying that he would and his wife would come home for a visit. Bringing these news to Chris, Tanaka and Ella grew suspicious when Chris did not seem happy about it. Regardless, Tanaka gladly welcomed back Nelson and Lindsey when they arrived. When Chris did not come home from school as planned however, Tanaka thought about going out to look for him, but Ella had him dismiss that thought. After Chris finally came home though, Takana was able to serve the Thorndyke family's dinner.
When Lindsey was preparing for a party, Tanaka revealed to Chris and Cream when the former was scolding the latter that he knew that Sonic's friends were staying in the mansion. He promised, however, to keep a secret, as requested by Chris. During the party, Tanaka guests - Mr. Stewart and Sam Speed. Unfortunately, Cream eventually revealed herself to the group of party guests. In order to not raise suspicions, Mr. Tanaka claimed he was practicing ventriloquism when Chris and Chuck claimed Cream was a toy. However, while Chris managed to mislead Sam and Steward, Ella was still confused. After the party, Tanaka and Chuck convinced Chris to tell Ella everything. This allowed her to keep the secret about Sonic and his friends too. Some time after, Tanaka discovered the TV signal was gone, which was the result of Dr. Eggman's E-90 Super Sweeper sucking up satellites. Tanaka later took noticed when Eggman's private television broadcast got interrupted by Sonic.
Tanaka later escorted Chris when he traveled to Emerald Coast to oversee the opening of Hotel de Blanc there, while Sonic and his friends stayed at the Thorndykes' bungalow. When Eggman invaded the holet grounds with his robots however, Tanaka took a stance to protect Chris, but was held back by Ella. Fortunately, Sonic and Amy soon showed up and drove Eggman off. Tanaka was later teaching Sonic and his friends good table manners when Bokkun arrived with a message from Eggman, who alerted them to the appearance of a Chaos Emerald and challenged them to a game of baseball for it. Arriving at Diamond Stadium, Tanaka joined Sonic's team, who faced Eggman's team of E-21 Ballios. At the end of the game, Eggman fled with the Emerald, although the good show Tanaka and his friends had put up allowed the decommissioned Diamond Stadium to remain in business.
Chaos Emerald Saga
When presidential aide Jerome Wise came to the Thorndyke Mansion to get Sonic for a meeting at the White House, Ella was unable to convince Wise and his accompanying agents to leave. As such, she summoned Tanaka, who forced the agents into leaving by overpowering them with his martial arts. When the Egg Fort later attacked Station Square, Mr. Tanaka brought the X Tornado to the city center in a semi-truck to aid Sonic and his crew, destroying E-33 Buball which threatened Chris and his friends in the process. Thanks to his aid, Sonic and his friends were able to destroy the Egg Fort.
After presenting Sonic and co. with their own official passports, Tanaka bid farewell to Chris, Sonic and their friends when they went on a vacation to the Sapphire Sea. Following the request Chuck however, Tanaka secretly followed them to ensure Chris would stay safe. Arriving in the Sapphire Sea, Tanaka arrived with a large boat for Chris and his friends to use, just as they were battling Eggman's E-57 Clurken. Later, at the behest of Nelson, Tanaka brought some senior citizens from the Silver Star Retirement Home on the cruise Chris and his friends were on so the senior citizens could teach the group of heroes how to relax. Chris inisted that they only asked for lift to get the stir-crazy Sonic back to the mainland, but Tanaka insisted that Sonic, as a warrior, needed to learn how to relax. After Chris and co. returned home, Tanaka and Ella would in the middle of the night attack an intruder on the Thorndyke property, only to discover that it was Sam Speed, who wanted to challenge Sonic to a race in his new Rocket Car. Tanaka would subsequently observe the race between Sonic and Sam (after Sonic was "persuaded" to compete) as a spectator. In the end, Sonic won the race by a landslide.
Later on, Tanaka took Chris, Frances, Danny, Tails, Amy, Cream, Sonic and Mr. Stewart on a field trip back to his homeland of Japan. After paying his respects to a warrior's monument upon his arrival, Tanaka went with the others to the campsite. There, Mr. Tanaka prepared a meal with Stewart and Amy's aid. After Cheese vanished down a nearby river, which prompted Chris and his friends to go look for Cheese, Tanaka assured a worried Amy that Chris and the others were fine while telling her about his childhood. When Mr. Stewart returned after losing track of Chris however, Tanaka and his group saw E-66 Da-Dai-Oh fly over their camp. Tanaka, Amy and Stewart thus located Sonic to warn him about Eggman's attack. Fortunately, the blue hedgehog managed to destroy the machine. At the end of the day, Mr. Tanaka found out that Chris and his friends had found the Chao colony that he discovered when he was a boy.
Some time after, Tanaka was summoned to Filmdom City by Nelson, as part of a plan to surprise Lindsey on their wedding anniversary, and discovered that the wedding ring Nelson got Lindsey was actually a Chaos Emerald. When Nelson's plan fell apart and the Emerald began reacting violent with the other Emeralds in the vicinity, Tanaka was able to subdue it and suggest taking the Emerald somewhere safe before Lindsey got into an argument with Nelson over trying to ruin her latest movie. When Eggman then crashed the sound stage in the Egg Fort II and acquired Nelson's Emerald, he unleashed E-74 Weazo to attack the Thorndykes. Tanaka tried to confront the E-Series robot himself as part of his duty to protect the Thorndykes, but E-74 easily swatted him aside. Though Sonic and Knuckles took down E-74, Tanaka felt he had failed his duty and dishonored himself, but Chris and Lindsey assured Tanaka they were still proud of him and want him to remain as a member of their staff. Tanaka then took part in the celebration afterwards.
On a day following Sonic's battle with Eggman's E-88 Lightning Bird, Mister Tanaka was going to the car, unaware that Sonic had gotten a microchip from E-88 stuck in his ear. When Tanaka used the car's remote control to unlock it, it activated the microchip and caused Sonic to run non-stop until he got the chip out of him.
Over six months later, Tanaka saw Sonic and Tails take off in the X Tornado to rescue Amy from Dr. Eggman. He also assured the worried Chuck that Sonic and Tails had this crisis under control. Back in the Thorndyke Mansion some time later, Tanaka watched a news report with Tails and the others that detailed Tails' heroic efforts in stopping a missile from destroying Station Square. When Tails then needed to get unseen through a crow of grateful citizens outside the mansion, Tanaka and Ella helped the fox cub by disguising Tanaka like a baby that Ella was taking out for a walk, which distracted the crowd while they snuck Tails past them.
When Perfect Chaos launched its flooding of Station Square, Mister Tanaka remained behind to wait for Chris at the mansion while Chuck, Ella, Cream, and Cheese evacuated, determined to save Chris from the flood waters if needed. After they left, Tanaka took a meditative state as he prepared for the worst.
With the Thorndyke Mansion in a sorry mess after Perfect Chaos's attack, Tanaka came along with Chris, Ella, Cream and Chuck as they moved to their temporary residence in the capital while the mansion underwent repairs. Not long after however, Tanaka and his group saw a news report that showed who seemed to be Sonic as he stole a Chaos Emerald from the National Museum of Art, something which Tanaka refused to believe was true. Learning soon after that Sonic was in downtown, Tanaka went with Chris and Chuck to investigate it. There, they saw Sonic fighting Shadow the Hedgehog, an associate of Eggman and the one who stole the Emerald and had been posing as Sonic. After Shadow made his escape, Sonic got cornered by the authorities, whom he calmly surrendered to at the request of Chris and let himself get taken to Prison Island. Refusing to let him rot there, Tanaka and Chris traveled to Prison Island by boat in disguise while Amy and Tails headed there in the X Tornado.
When they neared Prison Island, Tanaka and Chris used a swan boat to approach the island without raising suspicion. Once on dry land, they climbed the cliffs to reach the forest on the island. However, Tanaka had Chris stay behind when a battle on the island began to unfold. Eventually, Tanaka met up with Tails, Amy and Sonic, but when went to get Chris, Tanaka discovered that Chris had left on his own and began to look for him fanatically. Upon finding him however, Tanaka saw him get teleported away with Shadow. He was then picked up by Sonic and taken off Prison Island by his friends, just before Prison Island exploded. After the explosion, Tanaka assumed Chris perished in the blasts and was deeply saddened.
Learning later from a news report that Chris had to be alive and be with Shadow, Tanaka and the other started to look for the Eggman base where they suspected Eggman kept Chris. In the meantime, it was revealed that Eggman was residing on Space Colony ARK. Demonstrating the ARK's powerful Eclipse Cannon, the doctor demanded that they surrendered to the Eggman Empire within a day or he would fire the cannon at Earth. Tanaka and the gang subsequently teamed up with Knuckles, who had found a rocket in an Eggman base that they could use to reach the ARK. While trying to break into the base however, Bokkun would attack the group with the Egg Golem, who eventually took Topaz, who had been lurking around the base, hostage. Thanks to Tanaka distracting Bokkun however, the heroes got the Egg Golem's control away from Bokkun and sent the Egg Golem after the miniature robot. In the process, Tanaka saved Topaz when the Egg Golem dropped her. Tanaka subsequently went into space with Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles in Eggman's private space shuttle. Making it onboard the ARK, Tanaka and the group look for Chris and a way to shut down the Eclipse Cannon until Eggman attacked, knocking out Tanaka and taking Amy hostage in the process. Awakening in time to see Sonic seemingly perish when he got ejected into space in a space capsule that exploded, Tanaka and Amy stood back while Tails defeated Eggman. However, Eggman still got away with the Chaos Emerald Tails had, which he needed to perfect the Eclipse Cannon. Tanaka, much to his joy, soon after found Chris, while also learning that Sonic was still alive. After seeing the Eclipse Cannon get incapacitated by Sonic however, Tanaka and his friends witnessed Eggman's accidental activation of Prof. Gerald Robotnik's doomsday program, which Gerald had set up to get back at the world for the death of his granddaughter Maria.
With the Space Colony ARK now on a collision course with Earth, which would destroy the planet, Tanaka and his group located Eggman and teamed up with him to stop the Space Colony ARK's descend. Tanaka, Chris and Amy stayed behind while the others headed for the space station's core to stop the ARK. There, they met Shadow, whom Chris tried to convince to help save the world. Shadow, who wanted revenge at mankind for Maria's death too, initially refused though and kept knocking back Chris, but Tanaka, knowing that this was something Chris had to do, made the tough decision to not interfere and held back Amy's attempt to stop them. Once Chris convinced Shadow to help though, Tanaka would watch over the unconscious Chris. After getting a brief visit from Super Sonic, who revitalized Chris, Tanaka saw Super Sonic and Super Shadow destroy the Final Lizard, whom was keeping the deactivated ARK on his collision course, before sending the ARK back into orbit with Chaos Control. Learning afterward that Shadow had seemingly perished from his attempt to save the world, Tanaka and the others headed home to Earth.
Egg Moon Saga
Back at the mansion, Tanaka was there when a news report came on saying that Eggman had launched a missile toward the Moon. However, it turned out that he was fixing the Moon he had damage as an apology for the events regarding the ARK and his grandfather. Tanaka himself was amazed when he laid eyes on the new Egg Moon.
Tanaka later joined everyone to celebrate the first sunrise of the New Year, only to find it ruined when the Egg Moon eclipsed the Sun. Eggman himself explained that the Egg Moon was malfunctioning and needed repairs, and offered his Sunshine Balls to compensate. However, when it was discovered that Sonic was destroying the Mirror Towers powering the Sunshine Balls, an angry mob surrounded the Thorndyke Mansion. Amy tried to provide a way out using her hammer to break down a wall, but Tanaka and the others were soon faced by the mob. Fortunately, Sam Speed and his Speed Team arrived, forcing the mob to disperse. Once Sonic revealed Eggman's true intentions regarding the Egg Moon, Tanaka offered to travel up to the Egg Moon with Knuckles, Rouge, and Topaz in a shuttle to deal with it. During the journey, Topaz commented on Tanaka's piloting skills, and once the eclipse was over, Tanaka suggested he and Topaz spent some time together.
With Eggman, Decoe, and Bocoe locked up in prison, Tanaka picked up the new vacuum cleaner that Ella had ordered. On the same day however, electronic equipment from Thorndyke Industries attacked the Thorndyke residence and the entire city of Station Square. Eventually, Tanaka and his allies discovered that the machines could be destroyed by flooding them with water. Access to it, however, was cut off. Mr. Tanaka, Chuck, Chris, and Lindsey thus flew over the dam, with Nelson, Amy and Tails joining them there. Together, the heroes unblocked the dam, which restored water to the city and enabled the heroes to destroy the rogue electronics.
Some time later, Mr. Tanaka and Ella comforted Amy when she felt lonely and unloved. Tanaka was later made a participant in the Chaos Emerald Martial Arts Mash-Up tournament, whose main prize was a Chaos Emerald, by Nelson. During the early rounds, Tanaka faced off with Topaz, but won the match by winning Topaz's heart by giving her a beautiful necklace. For the next round, Tanaka faced Emerl. Donning a samurai outfit, Tanaka attacked Emerl using a wooden sword, only for the robot to copy his technique and block his attack. Seeing Emerl's skills, Tanaka surrendered just before he received the final blow.
Word soon came from the President that time was in danger of being frozen forever unless Sonic and his friends returned to their world. When the time came for them to leave, Topaz was so upset over seeing Rouge leave that she cried, and Mister Tanaka comforted her, only for the both of them to watch in shock when Chris shuts down the portal before Sonic could step through and ran off with him. As everyone started looking for him, Tanaka paired up with Topaz, but they were unable to find them.
Tanaka is calm, composed and very dedicated to his job. He cares very much for the well-being of Chris and his family and has risked life and limb for them on several occasions.
In the English dub, he speaks with a stereotypical Japanese accent.
Powers and abilities
Mr. Tanaka is a skilled martial artist (though in the English dub, this is apparently because he watches "too many Kung Fu movies").
Sonic the Hedgehog
Even though he is a good friend of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic holds him in low contempt and does not like it when he goes on adventures with him, believing that he is not useful. This may be because he usually hinders Sonic more than he helps when he tries to assist Sonic.
- The French dub of Sonic X switches between the usual Tanaka name and "Édouard". It is likely that his name was intended to be completely localized in this language, but the translators may have been sloppy with their efforts.
- Tanaka information card from Sonic X
- Miki, Koji (24 February 2004). "Little Chao Lost". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 22.
- Miki, Koji (18 October 2003). "Party Hardly". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 7.
- Miki, Koji (13 September 2003). "Sonic to the Rescue". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 2.
- Miki, Koji (4 October 2003). "Cracking Knuckles". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 5.
- Miki, Koji (11 October 2003). "Techno-Teacher". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 6.
- Miki, Koji (25 October 2003). "Satellite Swindle". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 8.
- Miki, Koji (1 November 2003). "The Last Resort". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 9.
- Miki, Koji (8 November 2003). "Unfair Ball". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 10.
- Miki, Koji (22 November 2003). "Beating Eggman, Part 1". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 12.
- Miki, Koji (6 December 2003). "That's What Friends Are For". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 14.
- Miki, Koji (13 December 2003). "Skirmish in the Sky". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 15.
- Miki, Koji (17 January 2004). "Depths of Danger". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 16.
- Miki, Koji (14 February 2004). "Cruise Blues". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 20.
- Miki, Koji (21 February 2004). "Fast Friends". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 21.
- Miki, Koji (6 March 2004). "Emerald Anniversary". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 23.
- Miki, Koji (13 March 2004). "How to Catch a Hedgehog". Sonic X. Season 1. Episode 24.
- Masake, Hiro (2 October 2004). "A Robot Rebels". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 29.
- Masake, Hiro (16 Ocotber 2004). "Revenge of the Robot". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 31.
- Masake, Hiro (23 October 2004). "Flood Fight". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 32.
- Masake, Hiro (30 October 2004). "Project: Shadow". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 33.
- Masake, Hiro (6 November 2004). "Shadow Knows". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 34.
- Masake, Hiro (13 November 2004). "Sonic's Big Break". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 35.
- Masake, Hiro (20 November 2004). "Shadow World". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 36.
- Masake, Hiro (27 November 2004). "Robotnik's Revenge". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 37.
- Masake, Hiro (4 December 2004). "Showdown in Space". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 38.
- Masake, Hiro (11 December 2004). "Defective Detectives". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 39.
- Masake, Hiro (18 December 2004). "Sunblock Solution". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 40.
- Masake, Hiro (22 January 2005). "Eggman for President". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 41.
- Masake, Hiro (5 February 2005). "Mean Machines". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 43.
- Masake, Hiro (19 February 2005). "Prize Fights". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 45.
- Masake, Hiro (26 February 2005). "A Wild Win". Sonic X. Season 2. Episode 46.