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Shinkawa Shouichi (
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Background
- 4 Chronology
- 5 Non-canon Chronology
- 6 Known Equipment
- 7 Skills
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 Navigation
Sword Art Online Avatar
XaXa's overall design revolved around the color red. He customized his hair and eyes to be crimson, and wore a skeletal mask with glowing red eyepieces alongside a ragged, black hooded cloak marked with a red reverse cross, seemingly mocking the crest and colors of the Knights of the Blood. In combat, XaXa utilized an estoc so powerful that the metal gleamed in what appeared to be the colour of blood. He bore the Laughing Coffin guild tattoo on his right forearm.
Gun Gale Online Avatar
Shouichi's avatar in Gun Gale Online, Sterben, is similar to XaXa in Sword Art Online. Like his SAO avatar, Sterben wears a skeletal mask with black goggles containing red lenses, along with a dark gray, tattered optical camouflage mantle and grungy, faded boots. On his right forearm, he re-tattooed the emblem of «Laughing Coffin»: a half-opened coffin with a eerie, leering smile on the lid and a white skeletal arm extending from the darkness within, beckoning the viewer.
Shouichi is a cold and sadistic person who believed in PoH's principles. He enjoys killing other players, even with full knowledge that they would be killed in real life as well, due to relishing the feeling of being feared by others. Shouichi's sense of reality began wearing thin since he joined Laughing Coffin, feeling that only things beneficial to him were real.
When Shouichi began playing Gun Gale Online, he maintained interest in observing other players on the streets and imagining ways of killing them, rather than fighting monsters. His obsession only grew after obtaining his camouflage mantle, as he began practicing ways of obscuring himself from others, feeling that it was interesting to stalk someone from behind.
Since an early age, Shouichi had been rather frail and sick, thus resulting in frequent hospitalisations until he finished middle school. Due to him entering high school a year late, his father abandoned his hopes for Shouichi to inherit family business, thus pushing the burden onto his younger brother Kyouji instead. Shouichi eventually quit his high school and sought solace in the online world, where he started playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) until he became trapped in Sword Art Online.
In April 2024, XaXa, along with PoH and Johnny Black, was hired by Grimlock to kill Schmitt, Yolko, and Caynz to prevent anyone from discovering the truth behind the death of Griselda, the leader of the Golden Apple guild. On April 23, after Johnny Black paralysed Schmitt while he was being confronted by Yolko and Caynz at the Hill of the Cross, XaXa seized the estoc Yolko and Caynz had requested to intimidate Schmitt, complementing on its design and deciding to add it to his collection. However, before the red players could accomplish their mission, they were forced to withdraw when Kirito arrived on a horse and warned them that he had arranged for reinforcements to arrive and had enough healing items to stall for time. As the Laughing Coffin members departed, XaXa promised Kirito that he would hunt him down on a horse like the Black Swordsman had done to them.
During the anti-Player Killer raid led by the Clearers, XaXa fought Kirito at the start of the counterattack but was forced to retreat after his hit points were reduced to less than half, swearing to kill Kirito. Before being sent to the Black Iron Palace prison, XaXa offered to reveal his name to the Black Swordsman, but the latter refused to hear it, declaring that he never wanted to meet him again. While in prison, XaXa spent an indefinite amount of time practicing Sword Skills repeatedly, despite the lack of gain in cor and experience points, burning the motions into his muscle memory.
XaXa was one of the 6,147 surviving players to log out after Kirito defeated Heathcliff on the 75th Floor.
Due to being an orange player in SAO, Shouichi underwent a time of observation and counseling after his release from the death game, though he only confided his experiences and accomplishments therein to Kyouji. Lacking other SAO Survivors' aversion to virtual reality, he accepted his brother's advice to begin playing Gun Gale Online, where he focused on observing other players in town and imagining ways to kill them. However, when Shouichi acquired an invisibility cloak via a Real Money Transaction (RMT), he started utilizing it to stalk other players undetected just to amuse himself.
Sometime in early September, 2025, upon following one of his targets into the governor's office, Sterben impulsively decided to use his binoculars from a pillar's shadow as a player operated an information terminal. Surprised to find the player's real-life name and address displayed on the screen, he memorized the information and wrote it down after logging out. Excited by his theft, Sterben spent the following days in the governor's office, secretly observing player interactions with the information terminals, until he had acquired the personal information of sixteen players using this method.
One day in October, Shouichi shared the information on one such player named XeXeeD (Shigemura Tamotsu) with his brother, who believed to have been deceived by the player. The pair began discussing how they could hypothetically use the information to kill the player in real life, while making it seem like he had been killed from within the game. The plans stopped being hypothetical over time, leading to Shouichi using a master key stolen from his father's hospital to infiltrate Tamotsu's apartment on November 9. At 23:30, the boy killed Tamotsu with a lethal injection of a muscle relaxant called suxamethonium chloride (succinylcholine) via a high-pressure needleless syringe, just as his brother shot an image of XeXeeD from an interview on MMO Stream in-game.
Several days later on November 25, Shouichi repeated the feat by infiltrating Usujio Tarako's real-world apartment and injecting him with a lethal dose of succinylcholine around 22:00 just as Kyouji as Sterben shot the player in-game. However, both of their murders failed to garner any serious attention, prompting the duo to enact a more drastic demonstration by killing three people during the upcoming 3rd Bullet of Bullets tournament. Due to one of their targets living farther from the others, Shouichi also invited his former Laughing Coffin guildmate Kanamoto Atsushi (Johnny Black) to facilitate the execution of their plot.
Having passed the preliminaries, Sterben was qualified to enter the Bullet of Bullets battle royale when it began at 20:00 the next day on December 14. During the tournament, Shouichi as Sterben would stun people with special shells from his L115A3 Silent Assassin sniper rifle and then get up close to shoot them with his «Death Gun», the Type 54 "Black Star". While he committed the kill in-game, his brother and Kanamoto Atsushi would inject the players in the real world with succinylcholine. His plans were foiled by Kirito and Sinon, and he eventually went to prison after the incident had passed.
|Non Canon: Some or all events and details given in this section, may be considered non-canon to the main story.|
Sometime after Richter's (Kyouji's) second meeting with Kirito and Sinon, Shouichi used Kyouji's account to log into Sword Art: Origin. While wandering around the Town of Beginnings, he encountered Kirito, just as the boy was about to log off for the day. When greeted by Kirito, Richter inquired whether the boy was truly the legendary Black Swordsman of Sword Art Online. Treating his startled reaction as a confirmation of this, Richter commented on the strangeness of the Black Swordsman being in a world so similar to Aincrad. Before taking his leave, Richter gave a warning that the swordsman could not do as he pleased in Ainground, regardless of the resemblance between the two worlds.
Sometime later, after Richter's confrontation and reconciliation with Sinon, Shouichi logged into Sword Art: Origin with Kyouji's account again while his younger brother was taking a temporary leave from the game. Upon spotting Kirito in the Town of Beginnings, he briefly trailed the boy, until he was detected. Addressing Kirito by his SAO title, Richter disparaged the Black Swordsman for roleplaying as the hero, ominously warning the swordsman that he would end his story someday, before logging off.
Gun Gale Online
|«Accuracy International L115A3»||Sniper||Bought from the Real Money Trade system.||Primary weapon|
|Unnamed cloaking mantle||Armour||Bought from the Real Money Trade system|
|«Type 54 "Black Star"»||Pistol||Used for the Death Gun plot to allegedly kill players in the real world.|
|Unnamed estoc||Knife||Secondary weapon for close quarter battles.|
Sword Art Online
Gun Gale Online
- Knife Creation
- Weapon Creation
- Shouichi's GGO avatar was named as Mortale fucile (モルターレ・フチーレ, Morutāre fuchīre?) while Shouichi's real name was Ryouichi (亮一?) in the web version.
- Shouichi has an amazing memory, as he was able to remember players' addresses and then write them down when he logged off.
- Shouichi makes a brief cameo game appearance in Hollow Realization by using Kyouji's in-game avatar to speak to Kirito while his younger brother was spending time with Shino in the real world.
- Appears under another VR avatar in Hollow Realization