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Shunsaku Ban is a manga character known principly from the series Astro Boy.

With a round-face, and wearing tweed-suit, he is used for many characters in the assorted non-connected works of Osamu Tezuka. The character's most popular names in Japan are Shunsaku Ban (伴 俊作 Ban Shunsaku?), or Higeoyaji (ヒゲオヤジ?, "Mustache-Daddy" or "Mr. Mustachio"). In the English translations of Tezuka's various television cartoon series he is known as Percival (or Victor) Pompous, Albert "Daddy Walrus" Duncan, and Wally Kisagiri.

A popular secondary character in the Astro Boy series, the character has been used as a regular figure in many varied titles such as Black Jack, Jungle Emperor, Metropolis, etc., as part of the artist's Osamu Tezuka's Star System, where many non-connected strips feature the same re-characterized figures. While there is a different voice actor for each varied anime title, in Japan his most famous seiyū is Kazuo Kumakura, and in America, Gilbert Mack.


Higeoyaji is a middle-aged Japanese man from Tokyo -- 42 years old, as he said in Volume 1 of the Astro Boy manga -- and is fat and prematurely bald. He wears a large droopy white moustache, which makes him look like a walrus. The 1980 color remake of Astro Boy picked up on his appearance and nicknamed the character Daddy Walrus, a possible pun on Daddy Warbucks.

In his manga/anime appearances, Higeoyaji has been private investigator; a teacher (especially in the manga and anime Shin Astro Boy, at Ochanomizu Elementary School); an expert at such martial arts as judo, boxing, karate, pro wrestling, and aikido; and a practiced flower arranger. In his chosen role Higeoyaji can be jovial, grumpy, paternal, victimized, or a quick-shooting tough guy. In every role his trademark is a comic emotional overreaction in dangerous situations, followed by a couragous rebound, winding up with his defeating the threat with surprising skill. This combination of funny appearance and cool efficiency has made the character one of the most beloved in Japanese graphic literature/animation.

Mr. Higeoyaji was usually Astro Boy's beloved teacher and personal friend, but in the episode "The Melanin Tribe," he was evicted and tossed out on the street by Astro, who was going through a human-hating phase due to damage to his electronic brain. The problem was solved by the wise and kindly Professor Ochanomizu/ Elefun,who persuaded the city of Tokyo to allow Mr. Higeoyaji to return to his old home, where he was happier and more comfortable. The incident thus had a happy ending and the teacher felt gratitude rather than resentment towards Astro Boy.

Prominent roles

The following is a list of the manga/anime in which Shunsaku Ban has appeared:

  • "Higeoyaji" in Lost World - 1948
  • "Dr. Higeta" in Magic House, The - 1948
  • "Grandfather" in Moony Man, The - 1948
  • "Uncle Bill" in Mysterious Underground Man, The - 1948
  • "Uncle" in Tuberculoses - 1948
  • "Frank Alain" in Man of a Tail - 1949
  • "Detective Higeoyaji" in Metropolis - 1949
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Jungle Emperor Leo - 1950
  • "Shoya" in Plain of Abusegahara, The - 1950
  • "Higeoyaji" in Wonderful Journey, The - 1950
  • "Higeoyaji" in Captain Atom - 1951
  • "Higeoyaji" in Nextworld - 1951
  • "Higeoyaji" in Adventure of Rock, The - 1952
  • "Higeoyaji" in Astro Boy - 1952
  • "Detective Higeoyaji" in Man From Mars, A - 1952
  • "Higeoyaji" in Monster of the 38th Parallel - 1953
  • "Sam Yudo" in X-Point on the South Pacific - 1953
  • "Higeoyaji" in Age of Great Floods - 1955
  • "Owner of the Kenka Nagaya" in Super Taiheiki - 1958
  • "Doctor Thrill" in Dr. Thrill - 1959
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in White Pilot, The - 1961
  • "Victor (later Percival) Pompous" in English translations of Astro Boy - 1963
  • "Yakeppachi's father" in Yakeppachi's Maria - 1970
  • "Detective Pampas" in Buddha - 1972
  • "Various Roles" in Black Jack - 1973
  • "Higeoyaji" in The Three-Eyed One - 1974
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in MW - 1976
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Undersea Super Train: Marine Express - 1979 (anime)
  • "Midnight's Father" in Midnight - 1986
  • "Dr. Moustache" in Jungle Emperor Leo - 1997 (anime)
  • "Shunsaku Ban" in Metropolis - 2001 (anime)
  • "Wally Kisagiri" in Astroboy - 2003 (anime)
  • "Tetsu" in Black Jack - 2004 (anime)
  • "Mustachio" in Astroboy - 2009 (Film)

External links