- "The World doesn't need an ending."
- — Shugo —
In Legend of the Twilight, Shugo looks like a smaller version of the character Kite. Their outfits are nearly identical; the most noticeable difference is their bracelets. Shugo's bracelet is large and golden, while Kite's was invisible. Shugo also has noticeably looser clothing and has a five-pointed star on his hat instead of the 10-pointed star on Kite's hat.
In his offline appearance and like his twin sister Rena, Shugo has short dark brown hair in a full fringe and wears casual clothing. In the ending sequence, Shugo's hair appears to be wavy and his fringes are now in each sides rather than being in a full fringe.
Unlike the more reserved Kite, Shugo is very energetic; he is also a lot more carefree. He has a weakness for pretty girls, and in terms of skill is much weaker than Kite. He has been beaten by monsters that even newbie players would have no problem with. He can usually be found with his sister Rena, who he is very protective of, or one of his other friends. However, despite his flaws, Shugo is a caring person who would do anything to help somebody in need, even at risk to himself.
In the real world, Shugo is a 14-year-old boy named Shugo Kunisaki. He goes to Junior High along with his sister, and his archrival Komiyan. His frequent fights with Komiyan have gotten them both the title "The Clowns of Class 3-A". He is just as protective of his sister in the real world as he is in the game. He used to be a fairly bad student, though his personality changed over the course of the series and started improving on that. He is 163 cm tall, and his birthday is December 12.
Aside from playing The World, Shugo likes various sports, which he used to play frequently before getting hooked on the game by his sister. He is very fond of dogs, and secretly took care of one when he was young in his room before his parents found out and made him get rid of it.
Wanting to reconnect with his twin sister Rena, who had moved away with his Mom when their parents divorced; Shugo agreed to play the popular online game The World with her using two special edition characters she had won. In their first adventure the pair were attacked by a strangely powerful monster, but using a Bracelet given to him by the mysterious girl Aura Shugo found that he had the power to defeat it. His actions drew the attention of System Administrators Balmung and Reki, who were concerned over Aura's intentions as well as her words that only Shugo had the power to save The World.
Shugo and Rena continued to play The World together, and soon made friends with a variety of characters, including the rare item hunter Mireille, the powerful fighter Ouka, the peaceful Hotaru, and the swordsman Sanjuro. With their new friends they completed many difficult events in The World, but with every step they took it seemed powerful monsters constantly appeared to wear them down. When one of these monsters attacked Rena, causing her to fall into a coma in the real world Shugo realized that this was no longer just a game. With the help of Balmung he began investigating the cause of Rena's coma.
His actions drew the attention of Kamui, leader of the Cobalt Knights and the debugging team of The World. She saw Shugo as nothing more than a hacker wielding an illegal item, and declared that he should be deleted on sight. Forced to hide out to avoid the Knights, Shugo's investigation seemed at an end. However information from Reki pointed him and his party to an incomplete Root Town named Naval Monte. Traveling there they discovered that Rena's coma had been caused by a small group of hackers, working with a powerful Wandering A.I. named Morti. Using her powers Morti defeated the Cobalt Knights that had followed Shugo to the Root Town, as well as three of the hackers that had helped her. Realizing they were at a disadvantage Shugo was forced to flee the area with his party and Kamui.
After regrouping Shugo and his party decided to confront Morti again, as defeating her was the only way to save Rena and the other victims of her attacks. Traveling back to Naval Monte they met Morti once again, and began their assault. Morti responded by summoning a powerful monster with Rena trapped inside. Unable to attack the monster without harming Rena, Shugo was at a disadvantage until he realized that the monster wasn't his real target. Targeting Morti he hit her with a Data Drain, deleting her from the system. Her death destroyed the monster as well, freeing Rena from its clutches. However it also started a program that began deleting the entire system of The World. With no options left, Shugo began to despair. But Aura revealed that he hadn't been the only character with a special ability, she had also given Rena a power that could only be released when used along with Shugo. Combining their powers Shugo and his Sister were able to successfully reboot the system, and save The World.
After he entered junior high, Shugo swore off on video games. However, when his twin sister Rena won a set of limited edition characters in the popular online game The World he decided to give games another shot. On their first adventure together Shugo had an encounter with a mysterious girl named Aura who gave him a unique Twilight Bracelet. With this bracelet Shugo was able to use the powerful Data Drain attack, which gave him the ability to alter data within the game. Unknown to Shugo this encounter drew the attention of Balmung, a former .hacker and a system administrator working for CC Corp.
Along with his Sister Shugo began exploring the game. During his adventures he made several new friends, such as the Rare Item Hunter Mireille, the powerful fighter Ouka, and the friendly but naive Hotaru.
Shugo's true test came after he encountered a Wandering A.I. named Zefie. After discovering that she was Aura's daughter, Shugo swore that he'd help her find her mother. This made him a target of the system administrators known as the Cobalt Knights, who saw both Shugo and Zefie as dangerous variants in the system. Hunted mercilessly by the Knights, Shugo sought refuge in the Net Slums, a place where CC Corp couldn't follow. With the help of his friends, and a little behind the scenes help from Helba and the .hackers Shugo managed to reach the Net Slums. There he met Balmung who, after testing his resolve showed him the way to reach Aura. Together Shugo, Rena, and Zefie traveled to a secret area where they were finally able to meet with Aura.
Aura revealed that his entire adventure had been created by her so he could fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a hero. Shugo remembers that when he was small he logged onto his friend Fumikazu's computer and played The World. Exploring the game he had encountered a much younger Aura and told her of his dream. Aura had never forgotten the encounter, and had created the character contest so that she could meet Shugo again. Happy that Aura had helped him realize his dream, Shugo thanked her for allowing him to create such wonderful memories.
Shugo and his Twilight Bracelet are mentioned by Jun Bansyoya during his recap of the events of Project .hack. Jun speculates that his entire adventure was a sort of game Aura devised to amuse herself.
An e-mail from Hokuto to Rena mentions that Shugo is now focusing on playing basketball.
An AI of Shugo appears with a counterpart of his sister Rena, reminiscing about their old adventures on a short adventure to help a lost Aina, completely unaware of their virtual nature before vanishing once again.
- see Shugo (LINK)
- A Shugo wallpaper is unlockable in .hack//Mutation through .hack//Quarantine.
- Shugo and his sister used to live next door to Fumikazu Hayami and his older sister Akira Hayami, better known as Kazu and BlackRose.
- Shugo's first kiss was inside The World, when he was kissed by Aura.
- In both the anime and manga, Shugo's second kiss was also in The World. According to the anime, Shugo's second kiss was with Reki (by mistake, thinking he was Rena); in the manga, Shugo's second kiss was with Zefie.
- Shugo's English voice actor, Bryce Papenbrook, would go on to voice the characters Kirito in the anime series of "Sword Art Online", Eren Jaeger in the anime series of "Attack on Titan" and Rin Okumura in the anime series of "Blue Exorcist".
- In Japanese Shugo is a noun that means Subject.
- At the start of the ending sequence of the anime, Shugo and his twin sister Rena appear in their offline appearances as their faces are not shown.