|Manga debut||Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 22: "American Hero (Part 1)"|
When Tomoya was ill, Mr. Hanasaki bought him a Zombire figure from the United States and visited him at the hospital. He told Tomoya that Zombire is the strongest hero in America. Tomoya said that by holding the figure, he felt stronger too. Mr. Hanaskai was delighted to hear this and promised to bring him more Zombire toys and figures every time he returned from America.
When Yugi Mutou, Katsuya Jonouchi, Anzu Mazaki and Hiroto Honda visited Tomoya, Mr. Hanasaki arrived home from America. He entered Tomoya's room wearing a Zombire mask, scaring Tomoya's friends, although Tomoya recognized him. After the friends left, Mr. Hanasaki caught up with them for a word and asks them to stay friends with Tomoya, as he worried Tomoya was fragile and that Zombire action figures were becoming his only friends. Yugi assured him that they would stay friends and Jonouchi said that Tomoya is not as fragile as Mr. Hanasaki thought.
That night, Mr. Hanasaki spotted Tomoya sneaking out disguised as Zombire. In an attempt to boost Tomoya's confidence, he paid a group of boys to stage unjust acts and let Tomoya fight them off. The boys did so and Mr. Hanasaki asked if they could do it again sometime, which led the boys to take advantage of Mr. Hanasaki for his money.
The gang pretended to kidnap Yugi and drew Tomoya to them. Mr. Hanasaki found out, and was unable to pay the boys' demands. Yugi arrived at the Hanasaki house shortly afterwards and Mr. Hanasaki told him Tomoya was in danger. Both of them then proceeded to help Tomoya.
When they located Tomoya, that gang had started attacking him and explained that they were paid to let him beat them before. Dark Yugi emerged and confronts the gang. Mr. Hanasaki tries to get Tomoya to leave, while Yugi had the gang distracted, but Tomoya refused, saying he would never be strong if he left.
Dark Yugi disposed of the gang and Tomoya rushed to him to apologize. Dark Yugi encourages him saying he could still be a hero. Mr. Hanasaki then realizes that he was wrong, Tomoya was a hero for getting beat up to defend his friend.