After the Ur-Quan Slave War, the warrior Tanaka was the last surviving member of the Shofixti military as well as the last male of his race, possibly along with one of his many brothers Katana. Though the stories of the progenitor of the current Shofixti species do not make it clear whether this individual was Tanaka or Katana, most historians assume that Tanaka is the most likely candidate, though it should be kept in mind that the details here could apply to either one.
During the last days of the war, Tanaka, like many other Shofixti, was assigned as the single pilot of a small, lightly armed Scout vessel now considered obsolete, to perform forward reconnaissance for a Yehat squadron attempting to proceed unobserved through enemy territory, in this case to investigate the Sun Device kept by the Mycon at Beta Brahe. Unfortunately Tanaka happened upon a Mycon fleet as it was operating the Sun Device, and, caught unprepared by the radiation flare, found himself and his ship incapacitated. By the time he recovered and was able to repair his sensors he found that he had been separated from his squadron and was forced to make the journey back alone. Moreover on the journey back he encountered a VUX patrol; attempting to destroy it with his Glory Device, he "used too much gusto" breaking the switch and he was forced to destroy the Intruder using conventional weaponry, but not before several limpets had attached to his ship and greatly reduced his acceleration and manuevering capabilities. Along the way back Tanaka encountered a Rainbow World at Zeta Sextantis, whose unique radiation pattern extensively damaged his sensors.
Thus hampered, he was trapped by these unfortunate circumstances in a half-functioning, near-sensor-blind Scout in transit toward the Delta Gorno system while the Shofixti's final battle against the Ur-Quan was being fought. Alone among the Shofixti he was not able to hear about and join the battle before the final decision to activate the Ultimate Glory Device. Returning home to find his race destroyed and his world reduced to a lifeless rock, Tanaka was thrown into despair, and maintained a solitary vigil over the Delta Gorno system, debating with himself whether to commit suicide by crashing his ship into an asteroid or to watch all his FunRoms another hundred times.
In the end, and fortunately for the Alliance, Tanaka elected to postpone death, and was still alive when The Captain from the New Alliance of Free Stars found him, hoping to resurrect the Shofixti race. With the majority of his sensors malfunctioning, Tanaka interpreted the mass indicator readings from the huge Flagship to mean it was instead an Ur-Quan Dreadnought. The Shofixti warrior attempted to die an honorable death engaging his enemy in combat, and only through repeated attempts at negotiation, in which The Captain repeatedly and violently broke the diplomatic formality that Ur-Quan Lords meticulously upheld, was Tanaka convinced that The Captain was a Human and representative of the Alliance. Though heartbroken to hear the news that the original Alliance had suffered defeat despite his people's sacrifice, The Captain persuaded Tanaka to forgo honorable suicide and serve the New Alliance of Free Stars.
It was difficult to find a task for an aging warrior in a barely functional ship to perform, but The Captain did. Finding the set of cryogenically frozen Shofixti Maidens captured by the VUX Admiral ZEX long ago, The Captain recovered them and brought them to Tanaka, offering him a chance to replenish his species. Tanaka eagerly accepted, and after reviving his new wives and explaining the situation to them, they enthusiastically began procreating; the first generations were brought to the Starbase to be fed and raised, and the very fast Shofixti gestation and maturation rate meant that a viable population of Shofixti personnel was available to crew Alliance operations within months, with the reestablishment of the Shofixti species on a new homeworld expected in the near future.
Tanaka himself has recently been observed returning to his vigil in his old Scout vessel over Delta Gorno, in desperate need of solitary, personal time to reflect after the honorable yet strenuous duties of fathering a new race.
Sources of information
The Melnorme are the only ones with any information on Tanaka, including instructions on dealing with him. They also mention that his brother Katana might still be around, an effective "second chance" should Tanaka be accidentally killed.
Relevance to the plot
Tanaka is an essential part of the optional quest to resurrect the Shofixti race. If the Shofixti Maidens are in the manifest, the option to entrust them to Tanaka will automatically appear in the conversation. You must insult him and then escape from combat a number of times before he will calm down though. Two months after Tanaka has received the Maidens, the following become available: