Shinsuke was the son of a wealthy family. He recklessly challenged other children to kendo and who got involved in many fights, until the day he was disowned by his parents. Shinsuke was eventually rescued by Yoshida Shouyou, a samurai and teacher in his town. Shinsuke was curious about how strong Shouyou's disciples were, and challenged them all, beating every one of them prior to losing to Gintoki. He was crushed, but Shouyou encouraged him to join his school and become stronger.
Realizing he was weak, Shinsuke challenged Gintoki in constant battles, to the point where he didn't even give his old wounds time to heal. Eventually he did beat Gintoki, and met Katsura Kotarou. Over the course of their life, Gintoki and shinsuke fought a total of 492 times, with Shinsuke winning 247 times and losing 246 times.
When the Kansei Purge (which eliminated or captured the Joui) occured, Shinsuke and Katsura were full-time students at Shouyou's school. He wasn't present during Shouyou's capture, but he was one the Four Heavenly Kings of the Joui War. It was during this time that he created the Kiheitai, which means Demon Army.
After the defeat of the Joui Rebels, Shinsuke, Katusra, and Gintoki were captured. He was forced to watch Gintoki execute his sensei for their lives, and the event mentally scarred him for life.
Powers & Abilities
- Superhuman Speed: Shinsuke was far faster than regular humans, cutting down and dodging arrows and bullets. He is superior to and faster than Okita Sougo, who could cut down sniper rounds and move faster than humans could perceive. Against Gintoki, Shinsuke was delivering multiple blows per second.
- Superhuman Strength: Shinsuke is also far stronger than a regular human, perfectly matching Gintoki, who could snap steel cables, smash craters into solid rock, and pull down a helicopter with one hand and little leverage. When freeing Kamui from his imprisonment at the hands of the Harusame Pirates, Shinsuke easily cut through his ally's steel shackles, and against Gintoki, the force of their blows was smashing the ground they stood on.
In sheer tactical prowess, Takasugi is only surpassed by Utsuro and Oboro, and only rivalled by Sakata Gintoki, Nobume, and Okita Sougo.
- Swordsmanship: Takasugi Shinsuke is one of the best swordsmen in Gintama, easily rivalling Gintoki, who's "name once struck fear in the heart of every Amanto." Shinsuke could beat hordes of Amanto (alien) soldiers and leave unscathed. During the Joui war, he was feared as one of the Four Heavenly Kings, along with Gintoki, Katsura, and Saramoto. Shinsuke could easily defeat dozens Naraku assassins and fight Oboro right after. He lost his left eye against Oboro, and later returned the favor in Chapter 519.
- Unarmed Combat: Takasugi was trained in unarmed combat by Yoshida Shouyou, and he trained himself. He was beating Gintoki in unarmed combat, despite the latter being physically superior to him.
Equipment and Gear
- Katana: Takasugi always carries with him a katana. It is a shikomizue, a kind of hidden blade with is conceled in what (when sheathed) looks like a wooden rod. It is possible that it is the blade he used in the Joui War.