He is the founder and leader of the secret organization Shadow Garden under the moniker Shadow to help realize his fantasy of becoming an “Eminence in Shadow”. However, unbeknownst to him, his fabrications are often revealed to be quite genuine in reality. He is also the reincarnation of Minoru Kagenou.
Cid Kagenou is a slim young man with short dark hair, with facial features often described as generic and frail. Attending the Midgar Academy, he is required to wear a uniform consisting of a dress shirt, trousers, a blazer jacket, a tie, and a pair of loafers.
Under his Shadow guise, Cid adorns a full-body slime suit, gloves, and boots along with a hooded trenchcoat, and a domino mask. This attire is dyed jet black with golden patterns.
Under his John Smith guise, Cid adorns a suit, fingerless gloves, and another domino mask to conceal his identity.
In his previous life as Minoru Kagenou, due to his constant training, Cid possessed a rather tall and muscular physique, towering over his classmates. Despite this, however, his face remained rather plain, with short black hair and black eyes. Overall, his appearance could be described as being a bulkier version of his post-reincarnation self.
Inspired by TV shows, video games and other stories, Kagenou is obsessed with becoming the Power Within Shadows, a person who exerts enormous power from the shadows. He spares no effort dedicating himself to that goal and takes great pride in his achievements. He appreciates other people’s hard work and disdains those who rob power.
His followers believe him to be a brilliant mastermind when in reality his success comes from dumb luck, improvisation, and his superior combat prowess. In his civilian persona, Cid hates drawing attention, portraying himself as a below-average student. In his Shadow persona, he is obsessed with appearing cool and mysterious in front of his followers, muttering ominous lines and performing silly antics. More than a few of Cid’s decisions are aimed at acting out various fantasies and story clichés he thinks are cool. For instance, his participation in the God of War Festival Tournament (under the false identity “Jimina”) was solely to fulfill his specific fantasy of being a mysterious fighter who is at first laughed at for being supposedly weak, but ultimately shocks everyone with his true strength.
Shadow Garden is extremely loyal to Cid, and some of its members are secretly in love with him, although Cid is oblivious to that. It annoys Cid whenever some of his subordinates take credit for the otherworldly knowledge they learned from him, Cid often mistakenly thinks they’re using it for themselves. He likes money and prefers to earn it himself rather than rely on the funds gathered by his subordinates. Despite being distant from his loved ones, he does care for them.
When it comes to his public persona, he is often obsessed with making himself a “mob character” and seeming as mediocre as possible, among things he allowed himself to be tortured by investigators for nearly a week because he feels it adds to his image as a mob character, even though he could have easily killed his torturers or simply used his knowledge of healing magic to recover from all the damage they did to him instantly. As long as he believes it makes him more “mob-like”, Cid will happily allow himself to be beaten black and blue, and stabbed; on one occasion he stopped his own heart for 10 minutes for the sake of what he called a “mob saves the main character event”.
- Martial Arts:
Cid Kagenou is an extremely powerful warrior, due to a lifetime of training in martial arts combined with his expertise in magic.
- Acquiring skills:
In his previous life, as Minoru Kagenou, he practiced various disciplines such as Karate, Boxing, Kendo, Mixed Martial Arts, Zazen, Buddhism, and Yoga. Around his teenage years, he reached peak levels of the human body and was capable of overpowering opponents who underwent military training.
- Previous world knowledge:
After being reborn into the Kagenou family, Minoru retained all of his past abilities while studying magic. This immensely augmented his abilities, turning him into one of the most powerful people in the world. In his civilian persona, Cid never displays his true power, instead, he practices what he calls Mob Fu, or the art of losing battles with style. As Shadow, he is skilled enough to simultaneously fight and effortlessly defeat Beatrix and Iris Midgar, two of the most accomplished Spellswords in the world. Iris regards Shadow as the strongest man in the world.
Cid has refined control of his magic due to years of performing experiments. He can cure cursed children and vampires, as well as create slime suits and swords. Presumably, his body releases his mana at full power that explodes into a whirlpool of splendid violet light, petrifying normal people and affecting the weather.
Other uses of his magic involve using wide-area detection magic, boosting an army’s combat power and mind control. He can also strengthen the defense of his slime suit to the point that he remains unscathed after receiving an all-out barrage from Maximilian, someone who has similar quantities of mana.
- Healing wave:
He can make his ability that mimics a Nuclear Explosion into a large healing spell instead.
- Special technique:
His signature technique is ‘ I AM ATOMIC!’, the result of all of his hard work to finally defeat his last challenge (of defeating a nuclear weapon) in where he pours much of his power into his blade into a devastating strike that once struck against its target, he or she will disintegrate followed by an explosion that can shake the land to pieces and even affect space.
It is implied that he can magically extend his lifespan to at least 300 years. He is more concerned about getting funds to live for 300 years (as he does not consider the money earned by Mitsugoshi Company as his own) and talks as if it is already set in stone that he will live for 300 years.
Outside of his combat abilities, Cid is a master actor who successfully portrays himself as a mundane individual. He is a skilled pianist who can play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and is knowledgeable in various sciences, to educate his closest subordinates.
While debatable as an actual ability, and more or less entirely serving comedic purposes, Cid displays a humorously implausible amount of luck, with both random guesses and random information he invented on the spot often inexplicably being correct. For instance, despite being oblivious to the Order of Diabolos’ existence, he informed Alpha about the cult during their first meeting, believing he made it all up, despite getting every detail correct. Following his sister’s kidnapping, he randomly threw a knife at a map Beta was analyzing and claimed that it was the location where Claire was being held, unaware that he was right. The members of Shadow Garden naturally mistake this for his brilliance and insight.