- “I have a system: there's a place for everything, and everything in its place.”
Wasabi is a major character in Disney's 2014 animated feature film, Big Hero 6. He is an applied physics student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, and a member of Big Hero 6. Despite his burly physique, Wasabi is neurotic and compulsive.
Wasabi was created by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama.
- Wasabi is committed to precision. He’s super smart and just a touch neurotic, but the big and burly neatnik can’t help but join the cause when Hiro needs him most. As part of “Big Hero 6,” Wasabi amplifies his martial arts skills with jaw-dropping plasma blade weaponry. Sharp doesn’t even begin to describe this guy.
Out of all his friends, Wasabi is arguably the most grounded and appears to be the one with the most common sense, initially finding Hiro's plan to form a team of superheroes to stop a villainous masked man to be insane. In reality, such an idea would sound ridiculous. With these facts, Wasabi is often mistaken for a coward, as he's easily scared and disturbed when facing intense situations, whilst his friends generally take a more fearless, or considerably less excitable approach. Wasabi is overly a "by the book" kind of person, strictly following rules and believes in using law and order as a way of going about everyday life. Whilst the other members of the team prefer to jump into action spontaneously, Wasabi would usually stand aside for a few moments to concoct a plan, eventually putting it into immediate, affective motion once he does. With the other members of the team being rather reckless at times, Wasabi's ultimate composure and ordinance can be a valuable source of prosperity amongst the team, specifically when dealing with crime-fighting.
Even so, Wasabi's lawful nature can sometimes annoy the others members of the team, specifically Go Go, who was openly frustrated with Wasabi during a high-stakes car chase through the city as the group tries to evade the villainous Yokai; as Wasabi would constantly follow the various rules of the road as he drove, slowing down their escape and making them an easier target for Yokai's clutches.
Wasabi is also shown to go by a system: where there's a place for everything, and everything is in its place; as shown during his introduction at San Fransokyo Tech, where he showcases his carefully organized and divided tools to the newcomer in the form of Hiro. His intense dislike for a disorder is also seen in the snippet, where Go Go comedically grabs a tool, thus tarnishing the entire ordinance of his table, and resulting in a tantrum.
However, despite his normally cautious and somewhat anxious personality, he can be very brave. This was shown during Big Hero 6's first confrontation with Yokai. While Yokai had Go Go and Honey Lemon cornered, Wasabi intervened and confronted the masked villain to prevent him from harming his friends, demonstrating he is willing to risk his life for them. It was also shown that while he does normally prefer being organized and having a plan, he can think on his feet and react quickly and effectively to a situation. This was shown when he was being squished by Yokai's microbots between two thick metal walls and expeditiously responded by using his lasers to cut a hole underneath him and escaping. He was also able to use the lack of gravity during the battle with Yokai to his advantage as he swiftly and agilely cut down a number of Microbots, advising the other team members to do the same. Interestingly, the latter action also demonstrates Wasabi's sense of leadership.
Wasabi is a large, burly man, creating a humorous juxtaposition with his ultimately soft nature. He is tall, very muscular, and well-kept, with his most notable feature being his smooth dreadlocks. He is also bearded, with brown eyes, and a dark complexion, and appears to be most fond of the colors green and yellow, when it comes to clothing attire. Wasabi can also be seen wearing all black, jikatabi shoes, which are often found in Japanese fashion.
When wearing his super suit, Wasabi dons mostly green, almost turquoise armor, accompanied by a flowing, shimmering cape (in promotional material), and what appears to be Japanese cropped pants, with particular patterns layered over it. Wasabi's jikatabi fashion also remains intact with his armor, though given red linings to accompany the black.
Powers and abilities
Like the rest of his teammates, Wasabi's scientifically engineered abilities are based off his latest school project; laser induced plasma. In addition to his natural physical strength and scientific skill, Wasabi's suit contains a pair of retractable plasma blades housed in the forearms. These blades are razor sharp and can slice through most, if not all, materials with relative ease. In battle, Wasabi appears to be the most powerful (or capable) member of the team, excluding Baymax, as seen when he used his plasma blades and own physical agility to counter nearly every one of Yokai's attacks. He has very quick reflexes, as shown during training when he easily cut down all of the tennis balls aimed at him from the quick tennis ball cannon without getting injured and was able to hold his own for a short time against Yokai (while not overpowering, Yokai was able to use the microbots to grab Wasabi's feet).
Wasabi is first introduced at San Fransokyo Tech, where he is working on laser induced plasma, with a little magnetic confinement for ultra precision. During the testing process, Wasabi meets Hiro, the younger brother of his friend, Tadashi. Wasabi takes the time to demonstrate his creation, as well as introducing Hiro to his method of organization, only to be thrown off by Go Go, so he goes after her. Hiro also learns that Wasabi received his nickname from Fred after spilling the food onto his shirt on one occasion. Later on, Wasabi and the others assist him in a project to earn enrollment by Professor Callaghan. Wasabi attends the showcase, claiming to have several different necessities in case of an emergency due to nervousness. Afterward, a fire breaks out, which kills Tadashi and Professor Callaghan. Wasabi and the others mourn the death of their friend and reach out to Hiro in hopes of having him join their side in school, only to face rejection. Later that night, Wasabi and the others were out on the city streets when they spot Hiro and Tadashi's robot, Baymax, snooping about the city. Wasabi follows behind in his van, and the gang soon finds themselves near the bay.
Wasabi confronts Hiro on his actions, but it leads to no real explanation. That is until a menacing figure wearing a kabuki mask arrives and attacks them; nearly killing a panicked Wasabi, though he is rescued by Baymax. Without further hesitation, Wasabi and the others retreat to the former's van, and a car chase ensues. A by-the-book Wasabi constantly obeys the traffic laws, however, slowing the group down and heightening of the mask figure's success in murdering them, until Go Go, out of frustration, takes the wheel. The chase ends with the team and van crashing into the waters of the bay, having the masked man believe them to be dead, thus taking his leave. Once emerged from the waters, Fred offers a place for recovery, which turns out to be his mansion home, much to Wasabi's surprise and utter confusion. After drying off, the friends discuss the masked man, and he's revealed to be a man who managed to steal Hiro's Microbots, and the cause of the fire that killed Tadashi. Wanting to bring him to justice, Hiro suggests they become technologically advanced superheroes to bring Yokai down, themselves. Wasabi is the first to express his apprehensions on the matter, exclaiming they're simply a bunch of nerds, and as such, don't stand a chance against the villain. Nevertheless, he goes along with it, and "upgrades" are given to each member.
Wasabi is given special armor, with his primary weapons being plasma blades based off his latest school experiment. After a little training at Fred's manor, Baymax and Hiro set out to track Yokai's whereabouts, eventually discovering it to be on an abandoned island off the shores of the city. Wasabi joins the others in traveling over via flight through Baymax, and openly expresses his lack of enjoyment due to his fear of heights. Once they arrive, Wasabi is the only member to point out the lack of precaution the others are taking, after spotting a "Warning" sign on the gates that lead to a hidden facility. Nevertheless, a fearful Wasabi follows behind, and the team soon stumbles upon a giant machine in the making. After watching a surveillance recording, they learn that the machine is a transportation portal, that originally belonged to tech-geru Alistair Krei, but was destroyed after a malfunctioning during its test run, apparently killing the test pilot, Abigail. This leads the team to believe Krei is the one behind the mask.
And just then, Yokai attacks. Whilst the other members immediately jump into action, Wasabi stays behind in an attempt to think of a plan, only to impulsively jump into battle. Though he puts up a decent fight, at first, Yokai soon gets the upper hand and defeats him. After a while, Hiro successfully unmasks the criminal, but it's revealed to be Professor Callaghan, who used the stolen Microbots to save himself from a fiery death. Infuriated, Hiro corrupts Baymax's programming and orders him to kill Callaghan. Knowing such action is wrong, Wasabi, Go Go, and Fred battle Baymax to stop him, allowing Callaghan to escape in the process. Fortunately, Honey Lemon restores Baymax to his normal safe, and the robot apologizes for his actions towards the team. Wasabi and Go Go confront Hiro on his behavior, only to have the boy storm off in grief, with Baymax by his side, leaving them stranded on the island until Fred's butler arrives with the family chopper. Once they return to San Fransokyo, Wasabi and the team visit Hiro to comfort him, understanding his actions were out of overwhelming sadness at the hands of Tadashi's death. Go Go then promises they'll put a stop to Callaghan's villainy, the right way.
The team then shows Hiro a piece of recording footage they found at Krei's facility, where it's revealed Abigail was the daughter of Callaghan, meaning his scheme is revolved around exacting revenge on Alistair Krei. With this knowledge, the team heads to Krei Tech, where Callaghan arrives and confronts the tech-geru. Before he's able to kill Krei, Wasabi and the team arrives, engaging in battle after Callaghan refuses to stand down. Wasabi is soon trapped between two metallic walls of Microbots, which continuously move closer from each side, as Callaghan plans to crush him to death. With the other members suffering similar catastrophes, Hiro advises them to look through a different angle to free themselves. Wasabi comes up with the idea to use his blades to get through the ground below him, thus freeing him from Callaghan's clutches. Once below, and reunited with some of the other teammates, Wasabi begins destroying the Microbots and sending them into the already activated portal, tarnishing Callaghan's source of power, and enabling the team access to apprehending him.
Though the portal is taken down, the magnetic containment field begins to fail, putting the portal on the verge of exploding. The team rallies together to evacuate the area, but Baymax senses life within the portal, and Hiro believes it to be Abigail. Hiro and Baymax enter the portal's dimension to save her, and though they do so, Baymax loses his life before they can return. Wasabi is the first to notice Baymax's absence when Hiro and Abigail return, and without word understands he sacrificed himself to save them. Abigail is taken into medical care, whilst Callaghan is arrested. Meanwhile, Wasabi and his friends return to their normal lives as students at San Fransokyo Tech, with Hiro, having overcome his grief, joining their side. One day, however, Hiro discovers Baymax's programming chip, thus enabling him the power of recreating the robot. Once Baymax returns, the Big Hero 6 team sees a resurgence, and the friends officially band together to protect the city from crime, in Tadashi's honor.
In the end credits, Wasabi has gotten a new van and is seen driving it with his friends inside as they drive around the city.
Wasabi returns in the television series, voiced by Khary Payton. In "Baymax Returns", Wasabi refuses to reform Big Hero 6, due to his various phobias. When Fred notes that Wasabi didn't seem afraid when battling Callaghan, Wasabi explains that it was merely a result of adrenaline high. Wasabi, Go Go, and Honey reluctantly suit up, again, for the sake of rescuing Hiro and Fred from Yama. They are forced to do so again when Yama unleashes an army of Baymax clones onto the city. During the battle, Wasabi tries to avoid combat by hiding, only to jump into action to save Fred. Destroying one of the Baymax clones gives Wasabi another rush of adrenaline, making him a lethal member of the team. Once the day is saved, Wasabi notes that things were a little too close to disaster, but agrees to join Hiro, Fred, Honey, Go Go and Baymax in becoming full-time superheroes.
Despite Wasabi's commitment, he remains neurotic and cowardly. It is rarely a hindrance to the efforts of Big Hero 6, though it does cause tension within the team at times. The most significant example occurred in "Killer App", in which Wasabi and Hiro are forced to work together on a science project, though Wasabi's "by the book" attitude and Hiro's haphazardness cause the two to clash. Ironically, Wasabi meets a villain that shares both his OCD and his penchant for plasma-based weapons: Momakase. Momakase allies herself with the mysterious figure Obake, who looks to destroy San Fransokyo. While trying to put a stop to Obake's plans, Wasabi and Go Go are confronted by Momakase. Wasabi fearlessly orders Go Go to protect nearby civilians while he and Momakase engage in one final battle. Despite having watched instructional fencing videos online to prepare himself for such a fight, Wasabi is eventually overpowered. He nevertheless chooses to stand his ground against the villain but is saved when Go Go returns to help.
Wasabi is a playable character.
Wasabi appears in the third installment of the series. Taking place after the events of the film, the Heartless invade San Fransokyo, prompting Big Hero 6 to join forces with Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Despite the extra manpower, Wasabi is unabashedly afraid of the new threat and would rather fight someone their "own size".
After their first encounter with the Heartless on the San Fransokyo Bridge, Wasabi is agreeing with an online news article that questioned Big Hero 6 and their ability to protect the city after getting their butts handed to them by the Heartless on the bridge, suggesting that the citizens evacuate while they still had the chance, causing Wasabi to agree with Honey Lemon that people take more interest in fiction over the truth. After Sora explains about the Heartless and their origins, Wasabi is quick to remind Fred that their situation is serious business since Big Hero 6 have no way to actually fight them. With Sora's help through a battle simulation developed by Hiro, Wasabi gives his blades the ability to be launched as projectiles. After being formally introduced to Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Wasabi and the rest of Big Hero 6 support them with fighting the Heartless, until discovering that they are being led by the Baymax that Hiro had to leave behind in the Silent Sparrow portal when they rescued Abigail Callaghan, now corrupted by the Heartless into a mindless killing machine with the remaining Microbots. With the help of Sora, Wasabi and the rest of Big Hero 6 are able to free the old Baymax from the influence of the Heartless and resume their duties with protecting San Fransokyo with the support of two Baymax by their side now.
Wasabi appears as a playable character in the game. His abilities are the same as in the movie, and his laser sabers have the ability to damage his enemies. His mission friends are Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker from The Muppets and Syndrome from The Incredibles.
Wasabi made his Disney parks debut during a private meet-and-greet event at Disneyland as an atmosphere character (he dons his battle armor, though his plasma blades do not always appear). Wasabi has rarely returned to the parks afterward, the current exception being the Disney FanDaze event in 2018, where he was available for solo meet-and-greet opportunities.
In Tomorrowland, Baymax and Hiro host the Baymax Super Exercise Expo. One of the workout moves that are taught is called the "Wasabi Arm Chop". While performing it, animation of Wasabi appears on the background screen.
- In the original comics, he is called Wasabi No-Ginger. However, his last name is dropped from the film.
- However, other forms of media still call him by his full name.
- He is 6'4" (193 cm) in height.
- Wasabi is multilingual, being fluent in English, Spanish, and Klingon.
- Wasabi is allergic to every known breed of dog.
- The 2013 Rotoscopers video and early information regarding the plot had Wasabi depicted as a disciplined, quiet and very strict character. Along with his dislike for Fred in general, he was a sushi chef with a razor sharp talent just like in the comics.
- Wasabi is actually a nickname given to him by Fred, for spilling wasabi on his shirt. Wasabi claims "it was one time!".
- According to the video game Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay, Wasabi lives in an apartment.
- He may be a germophobe as he is shown wearing sterile gloves while working with his experiments and was the most grossed out by Fred's statements about how he rarely washed his clothes. He was also worried when everyone went to the abandoned Krei lab because it was quarantined.
- He has acrophobia (fear of heights), and glossophobia (fear of public speaking).
- During renovations of the Walt Disney Animation Studios building, beginning in 2014, Wasabi was one of the character silhouettes featured on the wall mural.
- In the comics, he is Asian and obese. In the film, he is Black and rather burly.
- Casting for Big Hero 6: The Series chose Khary Payton for the role of Wasabi partly due to Payton's voice work as Cyborg in Teen Titans and other projects.
- "Wasabi Action Figure". Disney Store.
- Wasabi Poster
- Brandon, Emily (July 13, 2014). "Six Reasons We Can't Wait to see Big Hero 6". Oh My Disney. Disney.
- Disneysbighero6-bh6 (November 4, 2014). "Wasabi...". Tumblr.
- "Steamer's Revenge"
- "Fear Not"
- "Khary Payton on ‘Big Hero 6: Baymax Returns’ and His Own Take on Wasabi". Collider (November 20, 2017).