Takeo Masaki . The honorable member of the Imperial Japenese Army. Follower of Bushido. Comrade of the Original Cast. Time Traveller. Hero of Shi No Numa, and numerous other encounters with the Zombies.
And quite possibly the oldest serving soldier in Call of Duty
How? Takeo's second letter mentions him partaking as a leader (note that) in the 1905 Battle of Mukden, which historically was a battle where the Imperial Japanese Army drove off the Russians from southern Manchuria and allowed the Japanese to take over the region.
Judging by this, it would be correctly assumed he was born somewhere in the late 19th century, at least in 1889, a year where he would be 16 at the Battle of Mukden, and the nearly absolute youngest plausible age to have served during the battle, much less as a leader. He would then be around 29 during the events of Origins, which is set in 1918. Furthermore, he would be a stunning 56 by the end of the Second World War, during Shi No Numa and Der Riese.
Previously, it was Alex Mason and Frank Woods who held the title, with around 39 years of service each, as both fought in the Korean War (1949 - 1953), assuming both started in late 1949/1950, and executed their lost op in 1989. Jackowicz comes in third, with around 28 - 30 years of service (sometime between 1915 and 1917 - 1945). Takeo holds first place with at least 40 years of service (1905 - 1945). Oddly enough, he is still a Captain after 40 years. VERY irregular for a soldier who served that long. In fact, it's practically impossible, unless the soldier deliberately passed promotions or had constant disciplinary issues (something unbefitting of Takeo).
Now, in honor of this, let's see Takeo throughout the years, and see how they compare, or match up to the age he supposedly is.
Here is Takeo in World at War . He uses the model of a generic Japanese soldier from the campaign, so there's not much to say on age. If we want to be nitpicky, he looks rather young for 56. But since we didn't know that back then, we can say it's okay.
Black Ops . Here, we see he has aged significantly, despite it being nearly no time passed at at all. However, this model is more age-accurate. He looks much more like his age. In-game, his model is now more appropriate and unique, rather than totally based on a generic model. However, it would seem his face is based on the Japanese officer from Semper Fi with a hat. He also loses said hat in Moon .
Here, finally, we have Takeo from Black Ops II, in 1918 during the events of Origins. Takeo here appears youthful, around his mid to late twenties. His character model also appears entirely new, with no previous influences, unlike his previous two. Because of this, he seems to be physically...different. While the first two seemed to have very narrow eyes and rounder faces, Takeo here has a longer face and his eyes are wider. He also sports an abundance of facial hair, unlike the previous Takeo models.
In all, that is my little piece of Takeo. Let me know what you think of any mysteries or just general comments.