Shinada has shoulder-length hair and a generally scruffy appearance, commonly seen wearing a worn brown suede jacket and matching Chelsea boots, along with a white tank top and blue jeans. His suede jacket has a bal collar, has the sleeves pulled up to the upper forearm, and is zipped up slightly at the bottom. He also wears a bracelet of wooden beads around his right wrist. He has medium length black hair and a slight moustache and goatee. Despite his departure from the Wyverns, he remained dedicated to ensuring he was extremely well-built, spending several hours a day in a park doing 5,000 swings, 1,000 push-ups, and 1,000 sit-ups. His physical build is more muscular than even Majima. Shinada is also rather tall, being around 6'1. Shinada also possesses 20/10 eyesight with great dynamic vision.
An unambitious and lazy person, Shinada's ban from playing baseball professionally had virtually killed all motivation for him to excel in life as he would often either procrastinate or make excuses to not do something important. While under most circumstances people will be taken aback by his freeloading. Shinada's easygoing attitude has allowed him to be a part of Kineicho's community.
Despite his faults Shinada is a very optimistic man, he puts a lot of faith in his friends and is heartbroken over the reveal of the Nagoya family. Despite that there is also a comedic side of him, demonstrated when he steals Baba's camera and mocks Kurosawa with it.
Shinada also has a huge respect for the sport he was banned from to the point that he will never use a bat in combat. Seeing them solely to be used for sports and not as weapons of violence. However, as a professional baseball player he is woefully hopeless at best as his record in the league he had only one at bat and more losses than wins.
By the end of the story, Shinada begins to mature as a person after learning about the truth of his ban and when Takasugi comes in to pick up the money, he has made an effort to start cleaning up his act as his apartment was much tidier than when he first met Takasugi.
During his teenage years, Tatsuo Shinada attended Kamuro West High School, along with Daigo Dojima. Shinada was the star slugger of the school's baseball team. In 1997, Shinada made his big league debut as a major league baseball player for the Nagoya Wyverns playing against the Tokyo Gigants. He is placed up to bat against his long time minor league rival, Yuki Sawada. Against all odds, Shinada hits a homerun on Sawada's last pitch, winning the game for his team. The next day, however, while Shinada signs autorgraphs for fans, he is arrested on suspicion of being involved in game fixing and illegal gambling. While he is eventually cleared of all charges, he is banned for life from professional baseball and his mentor, Coach Fujita, is forced to resign in shame as the team's manager.
Wanderings of the Golden Dragon: 1999
Two years after his fall from glory, Shinada lives as a homeless man, having to sleep on the streets of Nagoya. One night, his sleep is interrupted by a fight between Ryuji Goda and Joon-gi Han, Shinada yells at them to shut up and let him sleep. Han tells him to leave before he gets hurt, but he replies that as this is his spot, they are the ones that should be leaving. After hearing this Ryuji recognizes him as the pitch-hitter who made a famous sayonara homerun. Shinada says nothing, but Ryuji insists and Shinada says that he is mistaken. Ryuji recounts Shinada's moment two years ago, and apparently doesn't know what happened after the match. Shinada runs away after a police officer turns up and asks what's going on.
The next day, Shinada meets Ryuji once again at a cabaret club. Ryuji praises him for spending money on women even while being homeless. Shinada tells Ryuji to leave him alone and runs away, Ryuji says that he just wanted an autograph. Ryuji chases Shinada on the streets of Nagoya, with Han on tow.
Shinada eventually stops running and Ryuji asks him for his autograph. Ryuji finally remembers that Shinada was accused of match fixing but says that he still wants the autograph because he knows that Shinada is innocent and that anyone who watched the live broadcast could tell that Shinada and the pitcher were serious and says that if they were pretending they should have become actors instead of baseball players. Shinada is left speechless, as this is the first time someone believes in his innocence, but says that he isn't worthy of giving autographs to anyone, as he is a homeless man who lives day to day running away from reality, and that a life like that has no value, after which he ran away again.
The next day, during Ryuji and Han's escape from Nagoya, Ryuji is decided on meeting with Shinada once again. They find him in the park and Ryuji insults him saying that he shouldn't act in such disgraceful way in front on his fan, Shinada replies that Ryuji doesn't know anything about him and the two start fighting. Ryuji is glad of seeing Shinada recovering his fighting spirit and recounts how he felt after being expelled from the Omi Alliance, saying that Shinada should try to find another way of living. Ryuji asks him once again for his autograph and realises that he forgot to bring paper, so he rips a page of a magazine he gave Shinada and tells him to write his autograph there. Ryuji and Han are forced to run away after being found a group of members of the Nagoya Family. A cop asks Shinada if he had seen a blond man and a man with silver hair around there and Shinada says no. After the cop leaves, Shinada remembers that he never asked their names. Then he starts looking at the magazine. There's an advert marked, for a writer for a nighttime entertainment magazine. He phones and arranges an interview.
Yakuza 5: 2012
Shinada's misadventure begins as what would be another routine day in his life in Kineicho, working a dead end job as an entertainment writer for the red light district. He is constantly hounded by his loan shark Koichi Takasugi who makes sure Shinada pays his debts and avoid end up on the streets at the same time. Shinada was tasked with helping Milky resolve a dilemma involving the Nagoya family, the resident group of Yakuza in control of Nagoya that is neither Omi or Tojo aligned. After helping her out, Shinada arrives to meet Milky for the article and enjoys some time with her.
On his way to the office to get paid for his efforts, Shinada runs into Uno, who Shinada explains about his situation with Takasugi, he learns that for the last 15 years, Kineicho had no true Yakuza presence thanks to the help of the Nagoya family. In an attempt to get a free dinner at Ushijima's restaurant, he had learned both Omi and Tojo's delegates have been murdered and they are looking for the guilty party, but Shinada dismisses such concerns until he crosses paths with a stranger who knew about the baseball scandal that had ruined his career.
Promising to pay off his debts if he learns about the truth. The mysterious man entrusts Takasugi as the one responsible for the collateral who he accepts. Shinada, upon being forced to learn about the truth, is struck by misfortune almost immediately as people from his past proceed to condemn him for his actions. During a chance meeting with Milky, he tries to skip town with her but she refuses as Takasugi snoops around Shinada's back. Returning home, he reveals the information he had known. During the match between the Gigants and Wyverns, Shinada was accused of stealing signs from the rival team as he was able to hit the one ball that helped the Wyverns win and as a result caused a scandal that caused him to be banned from playing professionally and Fujita's resignation. He suspects that someone had plotted Fujita's fall from grace and Takasugi suspects someone profited from his resignation. With few leads, Shinada investigates around Uno who reveal's Shinada's involvement in the scandal crippled the Tojo and Omi's rackets in Nagoya and they are forced out of town, more importantly he gives Shinada a link to the scandal through Manabe, the Wyvern's cleanup hitter.
Meeting Manabe to disclose if there was game fixing or not, he confirms that there was game fixing by Manabe through the Yakuza to make things profitable, Manabe and the other plays complied to avoid being shuffled out of the team and thus complied. But before they can seek more answers, they were asked to leave. Returning to Uno, he confirms the Nagoya family were responsible and Takasugi was a Nagoya Family member. However he denies his involvement and explains that they are an enigma to everyone in Nagoya. Before they can investigate further, they noticed a thug filling the building with gas to start a fire. Chasing him down, Shinada demands answers only for him to get crushed by construction debris by Sakai, a former teammate of Shinada. Forced to fight his former teammate, he reveals that Shinada was indeed the scapegoat for the sake of Nagoya before being killed along with the thug when he pushes him aside to save Shinada.
The following day, Shinada realizes that Sawada, a rival player was also involved in the scandal. With the help of Takasugi, they try and get answers from Ushijima who denies anything about his involvement with the Nagoya family when Milky calls Shinada saying her brother kidnapped and she ends up being captured as well. Rushing to her rescue, he was knocked out by Ushijima and learns the truth; it turns out the entire town is the Nagoya family and they have been desperate to keep the peace here. But Shinada knew that someone had ordered his death and demand answers only Ushijima to try and kill him halfheartedly. Kubota, one of the actual Yakuza realizing Ushijima was hesitating decided to finish the job only for Takasugi to come to his rescue. Working together both them overcome the mysterious mobsters and survive the attack. However Shinada shocked by the betrayal, unable to accept that the very people who had been lenient with him, been so kind to him would ultimately be a criminal organization and wants to leave town for good. However Takasugi reveals that he knew about the whole thing and wanted to help Shinada get his home-run and pride back. Manabe then arrives, coming here to finish where Kubota failed as both Shinada and Manabe face off. However Shinada knew his intentions was to give him a reason to seek out the truth. Defeating Manabe, he hands Shinada the phone and learns of the true culprit: Fujita, the man who gave a chance to become part of the Nagoya Wyverns.
Piecing together the clues at last, he tells his benefactor the truth of the details about how Fujita was indeed working for somebody else and was rewarded the money. He then reveals himself as none other than Daigo Dojima, Shinada's former student. It turns out Daigo was expelled for getting into a fight with Kamuro Tech as he wanted to see the team make it to the Nationals despite ultimately losing. As he was willing to do him a favor to reinstate him back to the professional baseball league, Shinada is understandably upset as it was due to the Yakuza that led to the problems in Nagoya and having the people who he trusted get caught in criminal affairs. Settling his feelings with Daigo in a fight, he proves his determination to the Chairman, after their fight results in a tie, and Daigo agrees to see him in Tokyo. However, on the train to Tokyo, he learns that Sawada was to be traded to the Wyverns which meant Sawada would become the new head of the Nagoya family as Fujita leaves. Here he learns of the truth, the Omi Chairman uses his connects to clear the entire Nagoya family of all charges, in exchange Sawada will take control of the family and continue the rackets on the Omi's behalf once Fujita leaves. As Sawada is about to Shinada, he learns that Sawada had no interest in letting the Omi in Nagoya ever again and works with Shinada to defeat the thugs. Victorious at last, Shinada settles his affairs with Sawada as he hits the home run from Sawada at last.
Arriving at Kamurocho by himself, he was shocked to learned that Fujita was found dead and Katsuya was framed as the murderer. Warned by Sawada that there is going to be something big happening at Tokyo Dome, Shinada approaches Akiyama for a loan and realize he was not the only person who wanted the concert cancelled and suspect it is the center of a power struggle between the Omi Alliance. Finding the president of Mao Inc. they learned that Katsuya, Mirei and Majima are in fact working together and wanted to use the incident to reveal Kurosawa's attempt to maintain power in his deathbed.
When he learns that Daigo has been hospitalized, he goes to visit his room. Before reaching there, he briefly comes across Masaru Watase, who then asks if one should seek revenge for a deceased friend or pursue their dreams instead if they shared a dream. Shinada states he is willing to go for either as long as it is what they would want. Shinada's answer satisfies Watase.
Shinada eventually reunites with Kiryu, Saejima, and Akiyama at New Serena, and they all discuss how to approach the situation with the concert. Shinada decides that he should go to the Japan Dome to save Haruka Sawamura in the event there is a sniper, as he knows the stadium the best and pinpoints the only viable location for a clear shot at the stage, which is the center field stand at the very back of the Dome. They decide to leave New Serena the next evening, only for a news report on TV to reveal that Majima is not only alive, but taken hostage at the roof of the Millennium Tower, and they rush to the Tower.
After the four men come across Tsubasa Kurosawa's army near the Millennium Tower, Shinada splits from the group along with Saejima to the sewers to reach the Japan Dome. By the time he arrives, Shigeki Baba, the one assigned to kill Haruka, had already changed his mind about doing so. However, when Baba attempts to leave, Shinada refuses him, with the latter doing a "sloppy job" of hiding the evidence and not owning up to his original intentions. He fights and defeats Baba, who is now suicidal and apologetic to Saejima for disgracing him. Baba's attempt at his own life is stopped by his former cellmates, Himura and Oshima, and Seiji Kosaka, the warden from their prison.
As the concert calls for an intermission, Shinada thinks about where to go next and call home, only to get an unexpected call from Takasugi, who reveals that Milky was released from prison and that everyone, including himself, misses him. Shinada is left in tears as he realizes Kineicho was his real home all along. Shinada then watches the remainder of the concert along with the rest of the men present on the center field stand.
Shinadas unarmed fighting style is primarily based around clinch-fighting and grappling, making him unique from other playable characters whose fighting styles are more striking-based. Each of his combos can be ended with a clinch-hold, from which he proceeds to knee, headbutt, sweep or tackle his opponent. The tackle is called My Meteor Tackle, and from there he can run into other enemies, crash the enemy into a wall, or use My Meteor Finish. He can also grab his opponent in the middle of a rush combo or a side step and he can also counter his opponents' attacks by grabbing them. He can also pick his opponent immediately back up after throwing them, allowing him to immediately throw them again or strike them, though the enemy can break free.
His striking is primarily based around rather amateurish boxing with few simple kicks added in while his clinch-fighting has some resemblance to the Burmese martial art Lethwei, which is similar to the more popular Muay Thai but also features the headbutt. One of his finishing blows utilizes a double hammerfist in a fashion similar to swinging a baseball bat, tracing back to his roots. His rush combo consists of two left jabs and a right hook. His finishing blows include a left side kick, a jumping right hook, and a double hammerfist swing. His heavy attack is a right front kick. From a grab, he can use a three hit combo consisting of a headbutt, a right hook, and a spinning left backfist, deliver a single jumping right hook, or use an Osotogari. His grappling is primarily based around professional wrestling, featuring moves such as the Boston Crab, Snap DDT and German Suplex.
Unlike the fighting styles of most other characters, to whom weapons tend to be little more than gimmicks, use of weapons is integral to Shinada's fighting style. His primary weapons are a pipe, pole, knife and katana, all of which can be acquired as sturdy weapons, meaning their durability never runs out. Whenever he switches to one of these weapons, he does so by attacking with the weapon while switching to it, which can also be done as a heat attack. Each of these weapons features at least two heat actions, sometimes more when used by Shinada, whereas other characters typically only have one.
Two of his three Climax Heat actions are based on his proficiency with melee weapons with added improvisation. His climax heat actions are My Essence of Dragging, My Essence of Bashing Combo, and My Essence of Whirlwind. For My Essence of Dragging, Shinada will kick the enemy's feet and grab their legs while turning around, dragging the enemy along the ground on their face while running around with a grip on their ankles. For My Essence of Whirlwind, Shinada will use a pole to sweep three enemies off their feet and into the air, hit a particular enemy again in the other direction to cause them to spin the opposite direction, then slam the pole down on that specific enemy. For My Essence of Bashing Combo, Shinada will throw a swinging weapon such as a pipe or umbrella at the opponent, causing it to bounce off thrice before catching it for a final time and using the weapon to deliver a powerful baseball bat style swing, sending the enemy flying stiff.
Due to his respect for the sport of baseball, he refuses to use a baseball bat as a weapon. Despite this, many of his attacks both unarmed and armed feature baseball-style swings.
- Shinada will not use a baseball bat in a fight; if the player attempts to pick up a bat during a fight, Shinada will carefully place it back down, rendering it unusable, though this will also make him temporarily invulnerable. This is because of his respect for baseball, as he remarks that bats aren't for hitting people.
- His main outfit (a brown jacket over a white shirt and jeans) is potentially a visual callback to the outfit worn by the protagonist of the Shenmue series, Ryo.
- Shinada makes an appearance as a Super Rare attack soldier card in Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!'s Battle Dungeon minigame under the name Shinada Tatsunosuke.