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Shuichi Shindou (新堂愁一 Shindō Shūichi) is the primary protagonist of the anime and manga series, Gravitation.
Shuichi's ambition at the start of the series is to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Ryuichi Sakuma, the lead singer of the band Nittle Grasper, by creating his own successful music band named Bad Luck.
One day when, as he is walking through a park reading his lyrics of the song "Glaring Dream", a sudden breeze blows them away, where they are picked up by a mysterious man who labels dismisses them as "elementary-level", saying that Shuichi has zero talent and should just give up. Stung by the man's criticism, Shuichi becomes determined to make him apologize. Shortly after his friend Hiroshi Nakano helps him realize that he is attracted to the man in the park, Shuichi sees an interview on television that shows that the person in the park is, in fact, the famous romance novelist Eiri Yuki.
Initially, Yuki treats Shuichi coldly, but Shuichi perseveres through Yuki's icy demeanour and eventually the two begin a relationship. Shuichi's band also begins to rise in fame, and a major portion of the series focuses on his attempts to balance the demands of his job with his pursuit of Yuki's affections—this can be seen at the beginning of the series, when Shuichi cannot seem to finish the record because of his struggle to realize his feeling for Eiri Yuki.
Shuichi has an innocent and energetic personality that is typical of the uke stereotype. This is amplified in the anime, where he frequently bursts into super deformed mode, a production choice which some find distracting, particularly when it occurs in the more serious scenes, but is in keeping with the manga, particularly later episodes. In the first few graphic novels, he is much more a typical high school kid with dreams of being a rock star.
Despite his apparent immaturity, Shuichi shows determination and perseverance when he buckles down, and focuses on what he wants. This is evident in his zeal to get to the top of the charts with Bad Luck, and his concurrent aggressive pursuit of his love interest Eiri Yuki. He also tends to be melodramatic, easily breaking into tears or getting over-excited at critical moments. A good gauge of his over-emotional state can be seen when the quality of his singing is affected by the state of his relationship with Eiri. More than once offhandedly he has said he isn't gay which, although could mean to him he loves Yuki as an individual rather than as a man and so in his head he isn't, this still is an odd statement
Ever since he was a kid, Shuichi was a fan of Nittle Grasper and wanted to become just like its lead singer Ryuichi Sakuma, wearing his hair in the same style as Ryuichi's and even using the same shampoo. He later becomes the leader and vocalist of Bad Luck, which steadily gains prominence in the music world as the series progresses. In the follow-up manga Gravitation EX, Bad Fuck is battling it out with Nipple Grasper and it seems that they will reach the top spot.
A big fan of Yellow Magic Orchestra, T.M.Revolution, B'z, Electric Groove, and B-2 Dept, Bad Luck's music can be said to share influences from these and other J-Pop bands, while still having its own distinctive, high-energy sound. His favorite food is strawberry Pocky.
Shuichi's best friend is Hiroshi Nakano, the guitarist in his band who acts as a calming influence upon him and is a big brother figure for him. He also has a younger sister named Maiko, who is a huge fan of Eiri Yuki. Maiko is not shown in the main anime series, but is definitely a factor in the manga and appears (briefly) in the OVA, Lyrics of Love, based on the same manga. While Maiko seems a little less out there than Shuichi, she still has the same energy and presumably the same kindness as her older brother.
Relationship with Eiri YukiEdit
Shuichi first meets Eiri when his song lyrics are blown away by the wind. Eiri catches them, reads them, and tells Shuichi that he has no talent. From then on, he becomes infatuated with Eiri, and he becomes Shuichi's main priority, so much so that the quality of their relationship affects his performance at work; when it goes badly, his vocals suffer.
In the beginning stages, Eiri treated Shuichi with a mixture of indifference and hostility, especially when Shuichi's childish antics irritated him. Despite this, and many other obstacles, including the arrival of Eiri's fiancee Ayaka Usami, Shuichi kept on pursuing Eiri in the hope that his feelings would be reciprocated someday. This confused Eiri, who initially did not understand how someone would want to be with him with his cold personality, and endeared Shuichi to him.
A major plot point in the series was when Taki Aizawa found about Shuichi and Eiri's relationship and threatened to expose it if Shuichi did not submit to being gang-raped by his comrades. Because Shuichi valued Eiri's safety above his own, he complied. When Eiri found out, he exacted revenge upon Taki by beating up his band mate, Ma-kun. Believing that Shuichi was better off without him, Eiri decided to follow through with his arranged marriage to Ayaka, but Shuichi, with the help of Tatsuha, was able to prevent the marriage. Shuichi tells Eiri that he won't let go of him because he loves him; Eiri then confides in him about his past, that he killed someone. Later on, Eiri reveals that he believes that Shuichi is like him now because he had been sexually abused as he had been when he was younger.
After that event, Shuichi's love for Eiri begins to exact a noticeable change in Eiri's personality; Eiri gradually becomes more open and caring towards him in his own way. Nonetheless, there still exist some sources of tension in their relationship, the main one being Eiri's lingering feelings for his former mentor Yuki Kitazawa. Shuichi's music career also threatens to interfere with his commitments, and Eiri's brother-in-law and friend, Tohma Seguchi threatens him more than once to stay away from Eiri when it becomes clear that Eiri is under a lot of stress.
Eiri's guilt over Yuki Kitazawa's death is resolved in the manga when he is forced to reenact the rape scene with Kitazawa's younger brother, Yoshiki. The resulting revival of all his past memories causes him to have a greater appreciation of his mutual love with Shuichi.
In the later volumes, Shuichi is involved in a competition with Ryuichi where the person who makes 10 hit singles first is the winner, Eiri offers to write the lyrics. However, Shuichi feels he needed to grow up and write the lyrics himself. Eiri then forces Shuichi to choose between music or Eiri. Shuichi then realizes what Eiri is doing and accuses Eiri of replacing Yuki Kitazwa with Shuichi.
Later, when Bad Luck crashes Nittle Grasper's performance, Eiri gives Shuichi lyrics. Shuichi, however, didn't take them and hummed a song. After the performance, Shuichi tells Eiri he didn't accept his lyrics because Shuichi believed those lyrics were really meant for Kitazawa. Eiri tells Shuichi he made a mistake in trying to make Shuichi a replacement Kitazawa, which Shuichi responds to angrily. Eiri cries and tells Shuichi that he isn't a replacement for Kitazawa and there is no replacement for Shuichi either. Shuichi then tells Eiri that Eiri is always making comparisons and why can't there be more than one number one. They then kiss and make up.
In Gravitation EX, which takes place right after the flight to New York, Shuichi and Yuki embark on a destination to Yuki Kitazawa's grave to bury Eiri's past. They meet up with Yoshiki and surprisingly enough, Kitazawa's toddler son, Riku. Forced to take Riku back to Japan with them while Yoshiki finishes his sex change operation. While Shuichi has no trouble with the change, Yuki becomes stressed over the fact that Riku is Kitazawa's son and blames Shuichi for being thoughtless with his feelings. Obviously angered by the accusation, he blurts out that Eiri still could not get over Kitazawa this whole time and wonders if Eiri was better off dying with him.
Eiri throws a soda machine at Shuichi in hurt and anger and storms off, leaving a profusely apologizing Shuichi behind. Shuichi runs into Ryuichi, who claims to be in love with Shuichi and kisses him, just as Eiri arrives to reconcile with Shuichi. As Eiri pours his troubles of becoming the victim of an affair instead of the usual instigator to a surprised Tohma, Shuichi is racking his brains about the 'affair' he committed and the public outrage because of it. Riku, wanting to lead Eiri back to Shuichi to make up, steals Eiri's scarf and Eiri chases after him, but not before being in the path of a truck. Eiri pushes Riku away from danger and Shuichi's senses of 'love' alert him to Eiri's danger and single-handedly karate kicks the truck, leaving only Eiri blind from the accident.
Shuichi is then tranquilized by Tohma and locked up under NG, to deter him from arriving to see Yuki while the company goes under damage control with the media. This doesn't stop Shuichi and Tatsuha rescues him and they make their escape to the surface, with K, Rage and the media after them.
They reach a deserted spot where Eiri waits and relays the fact that he's only temporarily blind and wonders why Shuichi is so sad, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to take care of Eiri.
While being in bliss at the chance of becoming Eiri's slave, Ryuichi appears claiming Shuichi as his with the evidence that Eiri would be a terrible lover unlike him. He then asks Eiri that without his writing talent and his beautiful face, what would he have left in life?
Eiri makes an effort to reach Ryuichi, falling and tripping due to his blindness, and desperately clutches at Ryuichi's shirt, begging for Ryuichi not to take Shuichi away from him, for he would have nothing left.
Ryuichi, satisfied with Eiri's answer, leaves with Tatsuha for now, leaving Eiri, Shuichi and Riku with a heartwarming reunion.
After Shuichi collapsed in the cave with Ryuichi, it left him in a comatose state. This made Yuki and Hiro both very worried (Yuki moreso); his life is possibly depending on Yuki singing, for him to wake up.