Crane Hermit (anime character)

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"Your heart is cold and ruthless. It warms my own."
Crane Hermit in "Counting Controversy!"

Crane Hermit (鶴 仙人, Tsuru Sen'nin; FUNimation "Master Shen", Viz "Tsuru Sen'nin") is the master of the Crane School and Tao Pai Pai's older brother. Whilst they both trained at the Mutaito Training Academy, a rivalry quickly grew between Shen and Muten Roshi. Master Shen and Tao, likewise, began to fight over the smallest things, namely because despite being younger, Tao was much stronger. Eventually, a simple spilled bowl of rice was enough to break the brothers apart.


A young Master Shen

Shen and Roshi were both students of Master Mutaito, and they quickly became rivals. Master Roshi states that when King Piccolo defeated Mutaito, he could not deal with the shame of losing in front of his pupils. Roshi believes that on that day Shen changed for the worse. Mutaito returned and sealed King Piccolo with the Mafuba, but died in the process. Shen was never the same again. His heart became dark, and his Master's failure and eventual death weighed heavily on his mind. He eventually started the Crane School, whilst Roshi started the Turtle School, and their rivalry continued.

Dragon Ball

Fortuneteller Baba Saga

Tao and Shen

Crane Hermit was mentioned in "The Last Dragon Ball" and later appeared in an old photograph of Turtle Hermit and himself. In "Which Way to Papaya Island?", he appeared with his two students.

Tien Shinhan Saga

A very old photo of Roshi and Master Shen as teenagers with a baby InoShikaCho.
Master Shen, Chaozu, and Tenshinhan

Master Shen's students Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu entered the Tenkaichi Tournament while Master Shen watched. Rival [Roshi, disguised as Jackie Chun and his students Son Goku, Krillin, and Yamucha also entered the tournament. All of them reached the final eight. Tenshinhan fought against Yamucha and defeated him in the first match. The second match had Jackie Chun fighting Man-Wolf, which he defeated easily. Chiaotzu fought Krillin, but lost, in the third match. Goku defeated Pamput in the last match. Tenshinhan fought Jackie Chun in the first semifinal, and during this match, Master Shen figured out who Jackie Chun really was and told Tien by using telepathy. Tenshinhan told Roshi he knew it was a disguise. Roshi started lecturing Tenshinhan, which ultimately led to Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu leaving Shen. Roshi forfeited the match, and Tenshinhan was ready for the final round. Goku and Krillin fought an intense fight next, but Goku was victorious.

During this tournament, Master Shen finally heard what had happened to his brother Mercenary Tao. Only in the anime, Shen tried to kill Goku the night before the tournament but failed when Tenshinhan intervened. Tenshinhan stated that he would kill Goku during the final. After finding out that Shen ordered Chiaotzu to constantly paralyze Goku during the match, Tenshinhan had an argument with Shen and decided not to be an assassin anymore. This results in him no longer wanting to kill Goku. Furious after hearing this, Shen then angrily ordered Chiaotzu to paralyze both Goku and Tien, in order for him to kill them both. As Chiaotzu refused to paralyze either of them, Master Shen then grabbed Chiaotzu and tried to kill him. Having seen enough, Roshi used his Kamehame-Ha to blast Shen away, thus saving Chiaotzu. Tien won the tournament, but Shen was not present at the time.

King Piccolo Saga

Turtle Hermit and Crane Hermit during King Piccolo's rampage (flashback).

Crane Hermit appeared at the start of the King Piccolo Saga in the episode "Enter King Piccolo" during Roshi's flashback when he and Master Shen narrowly survived King Piccolo and his mutant spawn. During this time period, he and Roshi were good friends until their master left them and Shen lost faith in him.

Piccolo Jr. Saga

Crane Hermit carrying an unconscious Tao while flying out of the Tenkaichi Tournament Stadium.

In the episode, "The Time Room", Goku goes back in time and meets a teenaged Roshi and Shen when they were students under Mutaito. During this time, Shen and Roshi are rivals and Shen is as ruthless as in the present timeline, striking Roshi's love interest Fanfan and taking her hostage. He later traps Goku and Roshi in a deadly ring of fire, but is finally stopped by Goku and is thereafter scolded by Mutaito, who tells him that if he wants to stay in his school he will have to restart his training from the beginning.

In present time, he appeared three years later when he returned to the tournament with his brother, Cyborg Tao. Tao brutally defeated Chiaotzu during the preliminary rounds and easily qualified for the final rounds. He met Tenshinhan in the first match, as Shen eagerly watched. Tien knocked Tao unconscious and told Shen to never bother him again. Master Shen then carried away Tao and left in shame, swearing revenge.

In Dragon Ball Z he is seen again briefly during the Vegeta Saga in Tenshinhan's flashback after Chiaotzu Self Destructs in an attempt to kill Nappa (this flashback is only in redubbed version).


Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure

Crane Hermit appeared in Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure as the main antagonist. He was part of a plan along with Tenshinhan and Tao to take over the kingdom of Mifan ruled by Emperor Chaozu. He was later defeated by Tenshinhan with the Tri-Beam.

Video games

Master Shen first appeared in a video game as a boss in Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu. He also appears in Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Gokū Den: Totsugeki Hen, Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Gokū Den: Kakusei Hen, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans.

He is mentioned in a dialogue between Tao (his brother) and Roshi (his former comrade and later rival) in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans

In the video game Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, while the Z Warriors are searching for the Dragon Balls, Master Shen kidnaps Chiaotzu, as part of a plot to get revenge on Tenshinhan (for humiliating him and his brother). He lures Tenshinhan and the other Z Warriors to his hideout within Mutaito's Training Grounds and unleashs his TPP-EX (short for Tao Pai Pai EX) robot to attack Tenshinhan and the Z Fighters. After the Z Fighters defeat his robot, Tien threatened to put an end Shen if he ever threatens Tien or his friends again. Shen promptly flees.

Dragon Ball Online

In Dragon Ball Online, after Gohan's book talking about Ki control makes the old ways of the Turtle and Crane schools popular, people want to train under Roshi or Shen. The two former masters have retired, so Kuririn becomes the Turtle School master, while Tenshinhan becomes the Crane School master.


Crane Hermit's High Speed Rush
  • Bukujutsu
  • Telepathy – Crane Hermit can speak with his targets mentally.
  • Dodon Ray – Crane Hermit uses this in Mystical Adventure. It is a technique also used by the Crane School's pupils.
  • High Speed Rush
  • Tri-Beam – Although never seen using this technique, he taught it to Tien. This life-risking energy technique releases a massive blast that greatly surpasses that of the Kamehameha, at the cost of the user's life force. Many great warriors died using it, or at best had their lifespan greatly reduced, and Roshi greatly resented that Shen taught it to Tien.

Voice actors


  • The name Master Shen only exists in the FUNimation dub. In the original Japanese dub, the name Shen refers to the Human who Kami takes over at the 23rd Tenkaichi Tournament (the character is named Hero in the FUNimation dub).