Tengai is a tall and thin man with short spiky hair. He wears a traditional dark colored Japanese kimono with sandals, with a long white piece of cloth acting as a belt and a white plague mask that is strapped to his face with 3 belts. A thin belt between his eyes and 2 wide belts that cover both cheeks and ears.
Tengai has a monk-like disposition, always showing calm and never losing his composure. However, he is capable of losing this mindset when found in a compromising position.
Tengai seems to be against excessive violence, even expressing pity on his enemies and considers enjoyment in fighting to be a low, selfish desire and as such prefers to finish his missions as fast as possible.
While talking, Tengai generally keeps his eyes closed and gives off a somewhat enlightened image, he is often seen analyzing the situation and commenting on it.
During the raid of Eight Precepts of Death's hideout, Tengai is paired with Rappa. When Joi Irinaka launches Fat Gum and Eijiro Kirishima into another room, Tengai and Rappa are already waiting for them. Using his ability to block Fat Gum's attacks, Tengai introduces himself and Rappa as "Spear and Shield", while noting that Fat Gum's and Eijiro's Quirks make them "Shield and Shield", due to their defensive natures, although Tengai points out that they can be hardly considered shields, since they cannot even defend against Rappa's punches.
Rappa tells Tengai to stop using his Quirk to shield him, to which Tengai reminds him that Overhaul paired the two up because their Quirks have great synergy together. Rappa replies by trying to attack Tengai, which he blocks with his Quirk. A confused Tengai asks Rappa what he is doing, to which Rappa replies that he does not care about Overhaul's plans and that he only wants to kill. Tengai decides to let him do as he pleases, while also reminding him to address Overhaul properly.
As Fat Gum prepares to fight back, Rappa orders Tengai to not interfere, to which Tengai assures him that he will not. Upon seeing Eijiro's fear, Tengai notes that he has already given up and expresses pity for the young hero. After Rappa is done assaulting Fat Gum, Tengai notices that Fat Gum is preparing for another counter attack and tells Rappa to finish things quickly. As Rappa tries to finish Fat Gum off, Eijiro interferes, taking his attacks and attempts a counterattack; however, Tengai blocks it with his Quirk. Tengai simply notes how meaningless it was for Eijiro to take these attacks.
But soon he realizes that Eijiro's actions were not in vain, Fat Gum emerges from the dust and releases all the impact he stored from Rappa's punches with a single powerful blow; however, Tengai creates a barrier with maximum defense that absorbs most of the impact, which prevents the two from being knocked out. Rappa stands up again, and claims that it is a fight to death and he is not dead yet. He asks Fat Gum to take Eijiro to the next room with first-aid supplies. Tengai questions the selfish attitude of Rappa and demands that he follow his orders, but is knocked out by Rappa and then tied up and taken to the first aid room.
Quirk and Abilities
Tengai is very loyal to Chisaki. He tries to follow his orders as closely and quickly as possible. Tengai also does not like it when Chisaki is addressed improperly.
Tengai and Rappa do not get along very well, due to their opposite personalities. Tengai does not approve of Rappa's selfish desire to fight and how he addresses Chisaki with made up nicknames. Rappa even tries to attack him, at which point Tengai quit trying to reason with him and just lets him do what he wants.
- The way Tengai introduced himself and Rappa is a reference to the Irresistible Force Paradox, which is famously illustrated with a Chinese anecdote where a man sells spears that he claims are so strong that they can pierce anything and shields that he claims are so strong that they can defend against any attack. When asked what happens when someone tries to attack the shield with the spear, the merchant could not respond. However, Tengai's Quirk easily defends against Rappa's attacks.
- "Tengai" refers to a type of Buddhist canopy or dome. His first name contains the kanji for wall (壁 kabe?) and mercy (慈 ji?).
- He seems to represent a corruption of the eighth tenant of the real eight precepts of Buddhism, which forbids taking shelter and resting under a luxurious canopy.
- ↑ Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 142
- ↑ Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 143
- ↑ Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 145
- ↑ Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 146
- ↑ Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 142, Page 16
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