He is tall, thin, looks stern and wears glasses. He is a skilled martial artist (though in the English dub, this is apparently because he watches "too many Kung Fu movies") and develops a relationship with Topaz in the first series. He discovered the presence of Sonic and the others long before Ella did and revealed his secret to Chris when he found him scolding Cream. Tanaka entered the Emerald Fighting Tournament and was defeated by Emerl. In the French dub, his first name is revealed to be Edward. Tanaka is 35 years old, 175 cm (5ft 9in) tall, and weighs 72 kg (154 lbs).
Even though he is a good friend of Sonic, Sonic holds him in low contempt and doesn't like it when he goes on adventures with him, believing that he isn't useful. This may be because he usually hinders Sonic more than he helps when he tries to assist Sonic.
Tanaka cares very much for the well-being of Chris and has risked life and limb for him on several occasions during Season 1 (or 2 in the 4Kids dub.)
In the English dub, he speaks with a stereotypical Japanese accent and is voiced by Darren Dunstan.