This article is about Isao Shīrabi, otherwise known as the King of Spades. If you are looking for the King of Spades game, click here for the one played in the current immigration period or here for the one played in the previous immigration period.
- "I still respect life. Thus I am saving you from the misery that is agony."
—Isao in the manga Chapter 49
Isao Shīrabi is the King of Spades in the borderlands.
Isao is a tall old man with a bald head. Because of his age, he has many wrinkles on his face. During the Second Stage in the Borderlands he wore the complete gear and outfit of a soldier with a bullet-proof vest and a fire-proof mantle.
Isao is a cold person who considers that to live is to suffer and repent, believing that salvation only exists in death. As a soldier, he considers agony the most terrible thing. He takes no pleasure in killing people only doing it so he can free them from the despair of the Borderlands. He believes in the circle of rebirth and thinks that there's no sadder thing to break it to someone. That is the reason why he gives a burial to all the corpses he found, even for complete strangers. Because of the wars he fought and the death of his friend Apache, he suffers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Isao was a very competent mercenary. One day while he was on vacation in Tokyo he received a call from another mercenary: Apache. Isao asked him how the liberation army is. Apache explained that because of the rain, they're not fighting and asked how Tokyo is. Isao answered that's an unpleasant city and that looking at all the leisurely people makes him wonder who he is and that he perhaps is only meant to live on the battlefield. Apache announced him that his owner wants him for his next job and that he'll shelled out a million swiss francs for him but Isao declined the offer. Based on the information he got, he knows that Apache's side is losing and that as mercenaries, they are going to be thrown away if not killed. Apache complimented him by saying that as usual he is prudent and he is his friend of war. Isao asked him if he will trade life for money. He also said that he is not his friend, but his business rival; Next time they met they might be enemies and even if they're on the same side one will use the other as a shield to make out a bigger pay. For mercenaires, friends do not exist.
Despite everything, Isao accepted the job. While they were on the battlefield, Isao asked Apache where the front line was, Apache replied that it was all split up and they were completely isolated. He confirmed what Isao said: they were just being thrown away like sacrificial pawns. Again, he called Isao his friend in war and said that he was an idiot too because the only reason he took the job was to shut him up. Isao only said that he took it because of the price. He tried to get back to the point but before he could finish his sentence, they both got shot. They succeeded to get away but Apache was greatly wounded. While Isao was holding him and trying to get away, Apache said that he had done enough and he should let him behind to die from his wounds to focus on Isao's chance of survival. While they were resting, Apache asked him if he would get mad if he calls him a friend of war because they will no longer be people who sell their lives for money. Isao answered yes because he needs to meet him on another battlefield. Apache asked finally one last thing: to kill him with his own hands. When he saw Isao's surprise, he explains that because he is not going to make it he shouldn’t extend his pain. Isao asked if he can say no but Apache called him again a friend in war and begged him because it was more than death; It was to save him from this agony. Isao asked him if this is salvation, to which Apache confirmed to him before finally being killed by Isao.
Borderland: As player
Isao arrived in the Borderlands two days before Kyūma. At his fourth day of sojourn in the Borderland, while he was doing radio calisthenics, he met Ginji Kyūma. Felling nostalgic, Kyūma joined him. A short time after he met Keiichi Kuzuryū and Mira Kanō. One day, while he was giving burial to someone he didn't know, Mira asked him why he was doing it. Isao explained that humans do not want to die atop some asphalt and be decomposed by predators, and there's no sadder thing. Mira decided that she'll plant a seed and water it every morning to enjoy its growth, to honour his word. Each morning they met up at the same place to do radio calisthenics and to talk. During that time, whenever Isao found a dead body, he buried him and made him a prayer. One day Kyūma explained to Isao that the day before he played a game where there were a limit to who could clear it and because of that, someone died because of him. Isao answered that by existing, humans have sinned and that to live they must suffer and repent; In the Borderland where they must kill to survive, more people are just coming to that realization. He assumed that perhaps salvation only exists in death. Kyūma answered by saying that he don't feel that the purpose of life is death but the opposite. Death must be feared but not looked away. It's not the final goal. Death is here to make the living boil. To that, Isao only said that he was a weird man.
The second stage started at his 87th day of sojourn. The 2nd day of the next stage, Kyūma asked which head they beat, to which Isao answered that he beat the king of Spades. After the announcement that there was only one face card remaining, Kyūma proposed that as a celebration, they participate together for the first time in the last game. Mira asked what they would answer if they had the opportunity to became a citizen of the Borderland. After Kyūma answered to her question, Isao asked what it means if you don't take permanent residence. Mira replied that it is unknown; Perhaps they will return to the old world, or be exterminated on the spot. Even so, Mira thought that the succeeding citizen wouldn't be up to snuff due to the abundance of curious people like Kyūma. Isao said that it sounded like a helpless situation and if someone must stay on the battlefield, he will shoulder the burden of slaughter and save the coming people from suffering as early as possible. The group finally takes the directions to the last game: The King of Hearts.
Borderland: As citizen
After the Ten of Hearts was completed and that the players reunited all the card games, Kyūma, Mira, Isao and Keiichi made a press conference to the players to announce them the beginning of the second stage. When it was his turn to speak, Isao said that this is necessary to eliminate all regrets; Those who seeked self-interest birthed regret from agony and remorse.
At the beginning of the second stage, Isao started moving around the city. He settled on the top of a building where he shot on Arisu group's with his sniper, killing a few members before they got in a car and escaped.
After they left, he began to move around the city to locate big groups of players and kill them.
At the third day of the second stage, he attacked the camp where Yūji Mahiru and Kameyama Kaito were to have the answer about the Borderlands. He fired on the girl before she could reveal anything; Mahiru ran away but Kaito stayed. After the fighting he walked to Kaito who was saying his last worlds to his video camera and shot him in the head.
At the fifth day of the second stage, he made a surprise attac by the air with his blimp to a group of players who barricaded themselves into a building. Even if they had the number, with his skills in point shooting, his gears and his GPS which indicated the positions of all players; he easily killed all the people. One last girl begged for her life and asked him how he can be so cruel. Isao explained him that he don't take pleasure in killing, he only do it to free the players from the despairs of the Borderlands. He found that Hayato Dōdō has escaped and tried to shoot him but a gust of wind prevented him. He said that Dōdō has bad luck.
After that, Isao start to hunt the remaining players who abandoned the pursuit of the games to hide from him. He finally found Dodo who had been joined by Morizono Aguni and surrounded their camp with wire traps and smoke bombs. Isao made a flame thrower from his blimp and started to surround their camp with fire, but Aguni and Dodo escaped with a tunnel. While they were thinking they were safe for a moment, Isao, with his GPS, took them by surprise and opened fire on them. During the counterattack, Isao guessed that they would cover each other while backing up. He decided to wait until it was Dodo who was shooting to counter attack. But to Isao's massive surprise, Aguni ran to him with Dodo's weapon and understood that Aguni too want to accelerate the fight. They exchanged shots, Isao hit Aguni's arm and Aguni hit Isao' torso but he was protected by his bullet proof vest. Then, Aguni pushed him in the fire but because of his fire-proof mantle he didn't get burned. He decided to retire for now.
He tracked down Dodo who had run awa and found him with Akane Heiya, then opened fire again. Heiya retaliated with a handmade flashbang so they could run away but Isao protected his eyes with his mantle. Dodo finally understood that Isao must have a way to locate all the players and threw another flash bang so that Heiya could shoot an arrow on his GPS while he was protecting his eyes. The arrow hit the GPS and Dodo and Heiya could run away safely. Isao asked himself why they don't realize that their only salvation is to abandon their selfishness and return to nothingness.
Later, while he was eating a rabbit, Isao heard gunshots; he went to investigate and found Aguni in a parking garage and next to him a lot of barrel bombs. He said to Aguni that if they shoot they'll both get blown away. Aguni answered that if he wants to pull the trigger and end all this, he doesn't care. He asked then that if someone killed him, whether every player in the Borderlands will get their visas; This was only answered with silence. When Aguni was about to shoot on the barrels, Dodo interrupted them. Isao took advantage of the situation and start to move toward Dodo with his knife. Dodo ran away, Isao followed him and threw a grenade to Aguni and the barrels. Aguni escaped in time but the explosion destroyed the building's foundation. Isao started to remember the moment when he killed Apache. He tried to shoot on Dodo but Aguni intervened and saved him with a cover fire with his last bullet. When a land avalanche started to destroy the building, Isao remembered how he killed his friend and yelled, shooting into the air. Aguni and Dodo took the opportunity and started to go on the top of the building. After empting his weapon of ammos, Isao started to followed them mumbling continuously his friend name.
On the top of the building, while Aguni was escaping with a rope thrown by Heiya, Dodo covered him and tried to shoot on him but can't hit him with his bullet proof vest. Isao hit Dodo in the arm make him fall in the land avalanche. While the building was collapsing, Isao used Heiya's rope and landed on a car. Full of rage, Aguni ran on Isao who start to shoot at him, but that did not stop him. Aguni arrived at him and broke his neck. While he was dying, Isao apologized to Apache, saying that it was the only way he could save him and finally died.
As a player
|Unknown Number of Games||King of Spades||King of Hearts|
As a citizen
|King of Spades †|