A quieter and more level-headed complement to his best friend Susumu Kodai, Shima becomes chief navigator and helmsman of the Yamato. He suffers from a lack of self-confidence in his ability to control the mighty vessel, despite skillfully saving it on many occasions. Shima and Kodai have frequent arguments in the first series, some of which escalated into physical brawls, but the end results only made their friendship stronger. In the second season, he falls in love with Teresa of Telezart by interstellar radio, and is heartbroken when she elects to remain on her world in the face of the Comet Empire, though he vows to carry on the fight in her name.
He was blown into space by Gamilian troops but was rescued and revived by Teresa.
He loses his life in the line of duty in the movie "Final Yamato."