Hiro Nakamura is an office worker, specifically a level-3 programmer at Yamagato Industries, living in Tokyo, Japan who one day discovers he has the power to manipulate time and space (The Crane). An otaku, Hiro is an avid fan of superheroes and science fiction. Naïve and over-eager, Hiro is the one character that aspires to the pure heroism of comic book crime fighters, shouldering the responsibility to use his powers for good. His best friend is the skeptical Ando Masahashi. At the start, Hiro is only able to speak Japanese, relying on Ando as his translator, but as the series progresses, his English slowly develops. Hiro's Blog, maintained by NBC and written from Hiro's point of view, is updated after each new episode is aired, usually about the events of the episode.
At the start of the series, Hiro's power is developed enough for him to turn the second-hand of his clock back one second. It is later discovered that this same power made a train fourteen seconds late. Ecstatic at these accomplishments, Hiro confides in his friend, Ando, who is extremely skeptical of Hiro's new abilities. At Ando's suggestion, Hiro teleports himself into the women's bathroom of a local club, though Ando is not looking at the time. Seeing Hiro dragged out of the bathroom, Ando states that this only proves that he is a pervert, and a crestfallen Hiro walks away as Ando yells sarcastically that he is a "Super Hiro!" As Hiro returns home on the train, he sees a vacation ad for New York City. At this point Hiro's power inadvertently activates, teleporting him to Times Square.
 New York
Hiro appears extremely happy to have successfully used his ability. He soon discovers a comic book called 9th Wonders! in a nearby newsstand that shows himself standing in Times Square with his hands up and yelling, "I did it!", an incredibly accurate depiction of Hiro's arrival in New York. He attempts to pay in Japanese yen, and runs off with the comic book. Hiro then discovers that the story includes what has already happened between himself and Ando, and his discovery of his abilities. Hiro decides to find the artist and writer, Isaac Mendez, by visiting his loft.
Hiro visits Isaac's loft, discovering the artist's dead body, partially decapitated with the brain removed. Hiro is arrested by the police and during the interrogation discovers he has traveled not only through space, but through time as well. It was October 2 when he left Tokyo, and he arrived in New York November 8. Just as Hiro discovers this, he witnesses a cataclysmic explosion. Before the blast reaches him, Hiro turns back time to the exact moment he left Tokyo and teleports himself back to the train he was standing on, still holding the comic he picked up in the future.
After going to the future, Hiro decides that he must save the world by preventing the explosion. Hiro then persuades Ando that his powers are genuine by saving a young girl from an oncoming car (as predicted by the comic book from the future).
They take a plane to Los Angeles but go the rest of the way by car, because that is what the comic book says they do. Hiro and Ando then have several misadventures in Las Vegas where he sees Nathan Petrelli literally fall from the sky like a meteorite. After Nathan enters the diner, Hiro briefly talks with the man, and Nathan decides to give Hiro a ride back to the casino, where he and Ando are reunited.
Their attempts to call Isaac Mendez are finally successful, as Peter Petrelli answers the phone, relaying a message from Hiro's future self, and tells them to come to New York City. However, the pair are detained further when the same player they cheated earlier forces them to play a poker game to make money to repay what they gained before. Ando and Hiro manage to escape shortly before the other players are slaughtered by Jessica Sanders. Hiro is crestfallen that he is unable to prevent their deaths but is comforted by Ando, who claims Hiro is still beginning his journey to become a true hero.
Hiro exercises his power as a hero again when he and Ando run across D.L. Hawkins and his son, Micah, at the scene of burning car wreck with a passenger trapped inside. As D.L. frees the passenger, the vehicle explodes and Hiro freezes time to save them. Hiro complains about not having super strength when he is forced to drag the pair away from the explosion. After he unfreezes time, he shows the future edition of 9th Wonders! to Micah and speaks to him in English about his space-time manipulation powers.
Continuing their journey to New York, Hiro and Ando stop at a diner in Texas and meet a waitress named Charlie, who recently developed powers of her own. As Hiro talks to Charlie, who finds him to be "sweet," Sylar watches them talk. Charlie is later found murdered in the diner's storeroom with her brain removed, just as Hiro had found Isaac's body in New York. Not wanting to fail to save someone like he did in Las Vegas, Hiro goes back in time in an attempt to prevent her murder, promising Ando that he'll return in five seconds.
Hiro's attempt to teleport to the day before Charlie's death goes awry, landing six months in the past, on the day of Charlie's birthday. Though he considers another time-travel attempt, the possibility of being eaten by a dinosaur dissuades him. Hiro tries to warn Charlie and protect her from the "very bad man", but ends up forming a close relationship with her after his attempts to convince her fail. Eventually, he asks her to come with him to Japan. As the date of their departure gets closer, Charlie reveals that she has a blood clot in her brain and will die no matter what. She says she was going to give up before Hiro came and that she has fallen in love with him. Just as they are about to kiss, Hiro inadvertently teleports to Japan some time after he and Ando had left for the United States. Unable to return via his own powers, he is forced to make his way back to the diner through normal means. Ando, happy to see Hiro again, assumes Hiro used his powers (not least because Hiro now appears in a photograph on the Diner's wall taken with Charlie six months previously) and was successful, but Hiro explains that he failed and made his way back through public transportation. After this incident, Hiro's powers appear to weaken.
The novel Heroes: Saving Charlie expands and changes the events of the history. Hiro's love story with Charlie is expanded, as is her own role in foretelling her demise. They dated and fell in love during the months Hiro teleported back to, and eventually told her that her memory was a power like his own. He did convince her to go to Japan with him, and they ended up in the same bar where Hiro has first told Ando his mission was to save the cheerleader, and save the world. Charlie realized Hiro lied to her (he had told her his mission was to save her) and went back to the US to live her final days with the people she knew her entire life.
 The Quest for the Blade of Takezo Kensei
Two weeks later, at the beginning of "Godsend", Hiro and Ando go to the Museum of Natural History looking for the sword that Hiro saw in Isaac's painting. They find it in a glass case on the back of an ancient warrior, Takezo Kensei. On the hilt of the sword is the symbol that appears in various points throughout the series. Hiro recalls a story his father told him of Kensei and how the sword was believed to have benefited him. He decides to steal the sword, believing it will help him control his powers. While doing so, he brandishes it against a model dinosaur in the museum, mimicking the picture Isaac had drawn earlier. However, the museum's version of the sword is only a wooden replica made by the Simone Deveaux. Hiro also happily re-encounters Nathan (whom he addresses as "flying man"). After introductions and brief discussions, Simone recommends Hiro go back to Las Vegas with the dinosaur painting and see Mr. Linderman, an avid collector of Isaac's paintings.
 Return to Vegas
In "Distractions", Hiro's father tries to convince him to go back to Tokyo, admitting that it was a bad idea to start him off at the bottom and offering him a job as Executive Vice President of the company. After Hiro's initial refusal, his father rips up Isaac's painting. Kimiko, Hiro's sister, admits to him that, though his father is too proud to admit it, the company has gone through hard times. Ando reminds him that his powers are declining and it might not be a bad idea. Hiro eventually convinces his father that his sister is a better candidate to take over the company. Mr. Nakamura then lets Hiro continue with the mission.
In "Run" alt="" />", Hiro and Ando are again sidetracked by a weeping Las Vegas showgirl named Hope. Hiro and Ando get separated while trying to retrieve a bag for Hope. Hiro is locked in a closet by Hope, then later freed by a Gaming Commission agent, who is looking for her. After watching Ando get shot during a firefight between the agent and Hope in "Unexpected", Hiro feels his mission is too dangerous to bring Ando any further. Hiro defeats Hope by unexpectedly using his powers to reverse the bullet in time one second sending it back into the gun, disarming Hope. She and the agent are arrested but since Hiro had his eyes closed he doesn't realize he used his powers which haven't been working lately. He leaves the Versa with Ando and boards a bus alone (greeted by comic icon Stan Lee playing the bus driver).
In "Parasite", Hiro tries to enter Linderman's casino, but becomes aware that he has been red flagged and is not to enter the casino. As Nathan Petrelli enters the casino to meet with Linderman, he uses his influence to help Hiro get inside. Hiro delivers the painting to Mr. Linderman's vault, where the vault curator accepts it. While the curator is in another room, Hiro locates the sword and steals it, with the help of Ando, disguised as a security guard. Hiro teleports them both out of the building to escape the other security guards, but they find themselves on top of the Deveaux building, in a post-apocalyptic New York five years after the explosion.
 Dark future
In "Five Years Gone", Hiro learns from his future self that the bomb still went off. The younger Hiro in turn reveals to his future self that their present day Claire was rescued and Sylar got caught, but Sylar himself wasn't killed yet. This gives Future Hiro hope, but before they can do anything about it, Matt Parkman and his Homeland Security team break into Isaac's loft and begin a raid. Ando and Future Hiro manage to escape but present day Hiro is apprehended by Matt and the Haitian. Hiro is brutally interrogated by Matt, who doesn't believe he is telling the truth about time travelling. Mohinder Suresh is called in to investigate Isaac's loft, where he is convinced about Hiro's story but fails to convince the President, Nathan Petrelli (who is in fact Sylar in disguise). The President orders Mohinder to kill present day Hiro, but Mohinder finds he can't bring himself to do it. In the meantime, Ando and Future Hiro enlist the aid of future Peter Petrelli and they break into the building Present Hiro is captured in. They defeat all the guards and with the aid of Mohinder manage to rescue Hiro. Unfortunately, before Hiro and Ando manage to travel back to their time, Future Hiro is shot by Matt Parkman, who is in turn stopped by Peter, who uses telekinesis to close the door on Parkman. Hiro is shocked to see his future self die, but when Ando confides he believes in Hiro now and shows him a copy of the 9th Wonders comic book in which Hiro stabs Sylar with his sword, Hiro gets his confidence back and travels back to the time from which they came.
 Stopping Sylar
In "The Hard Part", upon their return to the present timeline, Hiro proudly vows to New York City that he'll do his best to save it. However, he does realize it will be the hard part of his destiny. Hiro and Ando return to Isaac's loft, hoping to fill in the gaps of the futuristic comic book. However, they arrive to find that Isaac has been killed by Sylar. When Hiro and Ando hear Sylar in the bathroom, they hide behind a painting. Sylar hears their heartbeats and uncovers their hiding spot. However, Hiro teleports Ando and himself to safety before they are found.
Hiro and Ando continue to follow Sylar and watch him meet with his mother, attempting to reconcile with her. After Sylar's mother is accidentally stabbed, Hiro stops time and approaches Sylar, sword drawn. However, as he swings, time resumes and Sylar grabs Hiro's sword. Sylar begins to freeze the sword, and – as Hiro teleports to safety with Ando – it breaks in two.
In "Landslide", after Ando looks in the Yellow Pages for someone who can repair the sword, he finds an ad bearing the helix symbol seen throughout the series. Upon arriving, they encounter Hiro's father Kaito, who tells Hiro that he is worthy of the family destiny. He also trains Hiro to fight and kill with a sword. When Hiro is done training, he and Kaito discover that Ando, thinking that Kaito had convinced Hiro to return to Japan, bought a sword and has left to confront Sylar alone.
In "How to Stop an Exploding Man" Hiro teleports to Isaac's loft to find Ando about to be killed by Sylar, but manages to teleport them both out of danger and back to Japan. Hiro returns with Ando's sword, leaving the Kensei sword with Ando, telling Ando that it is "so you know I'll be back." Upon returning he stabs Sylar. Sylar uses the last of his strength to send Hiro flying toward a building, forcing Hiro to teleport to save himself. In doing so, however, he sends himself three centuries into the past to Kyoto, Japan, circa 1671. Upon collecting himself, he finds himself caught in the middle of a battle between a small group of samurai about to attack a figure on the horizon, who appears to be Kensei, the original owner of Hiro's blade. Before the battle begins, however, an eclipse shadows the scene.
In "Four Months Later…", the premiere episode of Season 2, Hiro freezes time as the archers from the battle scene at the end of "How to Stop an Exploding Man" are about to kill him. He then teleports who he believes to be Takezo Kensei away from the battle and into a small forest. There, he learns that the man is a decoy, and that the real Kensei, an Englishman in samurai armor, had been hiding in a tree in order to snipe the enemy with a crossbow. After some conversation, Hiro realizes that, by interfering in the battle, he has changed the past, and Otsu is razed. The swordsmith's daughter, a woman named Yaeko, who Kensei was supposed to wed according to the legend, grows angry at Kensei and takes back her father's sword given as payment, saying that she will go fight the bandits herself. Kensei reacts to this with general apathy.
In "Claire Bennet.
With Kensei's newly discovered power, Hiro realizes how he became the hero of legend. Since Kensei isn't quite ready to accept his destiny, Hiro forces him to play out another of his legends, this one the retrieval of the "fire scroll" from 90 angry ronin. The task convinces Kensei to take up his own mantle, and he likens Hiro to his conscience — except he pays attention to Hiro. Believing his task to be done, Hiro initially decides to return to his own time, but during the attempt suddenly stops and returns to Kensei.
Hiro, determined to preserve the timeline, decides to remain in feudal Japan until Kensei defeats White Beard and saves Japan. They locate White Beard's army camp and Hiro helps Kensei rescue Yaeko's father. However, in a moment of weakness, Hiro gives into his own desires and confesses his love to Yaeko and they kiss, unaware that Kensei is watching them. Hiro tries to apologize, but Kensei reverts back to his old ways and knocks Hiro unconscious and turns him, Yaeko, and her father over the White Beard's soldiers. According to Hiro's note to Ando, this causes a currently unknown alteration to the timeline.
Hiro is kept prisoner in White Beard's camp where they use opium to dull his senses, preventing him from using his powers. Yaeko manages to free herself from her shackles and removes the opium. Hiro is able to focus just enough to teleport them to safety. Later, Hiro returns to White Beard's camp to destroy the guns. Before he can set the gunpowder cache on fire, Kensei confronts him and the two engage in a sword fight. Hiro tries to persuade Kensei to join him to stop White Beard, but Kensei refuses, and vows to Hiro that as long as he lives he will destroy everything he holds dear. Hiro teleports out right before the guns explode. He meets Yaeko under the cherry blossoms one last time, and tells her the final tale in the legend of Kensei, where he is forced to cut his heart out. Yaeko vows that as long as she has a breath in her she will tell his story as the story of Takezo Kensei. They share a final kiss, and Hiro teleports out, leaving Yaeko alone under the cherry blossoms.
 Return to the present
Hiro then teleports back to the present day, effectively fulfilling the final task by leaving Yaeko behind, and he learns from Ando that his father has been killed. Hiro attempts to go back and prevent his death in "Cautionary Tales", but his father convinces him that they cannot play God with their gifts. Hiro accepts this advice, but uses the opportunity to learn that Kensei was the one responsible for murdering his father. In "Truth & Consequences", Hiro is able to learn more about Kensei and his new name, Adam Monroe. He travels back in time to 1977 and learns that Adam was imprisoned by his father after he almost releases a virus that could kill everything. He learns that the virus will be kept in the Primatech facility in Odessa, Texas. Determined to avenge his father's murder, he teleports to the facility with his sword and stops time. There he sees Peter Petrelli for the first time since "How to Stop an Exploding Man". Hiro declares his intentions to Peter, but Peter refuses to let Hiro harm Adam. Peter's hand crackles with electricity as Hiro lets out a battle cry and charges with his sword drawn.
In Powerless, Hiro confronts Peter, but is knocked unconscious. Later, he is reunited with Nathan Petrelli and Matt Parkman, who are there to stop Peter and Adam from getting the virus. Hiro teleports into the vault and confronts Adam for the first time since the tent in White Beard's camp. Hiro tells Adam he should not have let Adam live long ago, then grabs Adam and teleports him away. Hiro later reveals to Ando that Adam will not hurt anyone ever again. The scene cuts to Adam locked in a casket, buried alive in a Japanese graveyard.
In the third season, "Villains", Hiro has taken his father's place as head of Yamagato. His family's lawyer gives him a tape his father recorded telling Hiro that in the office safe is one half of a formula that could destroy the world if it fell into the wrong hands. Out of curiosity he opens the safe and the envelope containing the formula, which is then stolen by a speeding superhuman named Daphne. Her super speed negates his ability to freeze time, and she escapes by knocking him unconscious.
Hiro travels to the future to validate his father's claim, where he sees Tokyo destroyed by some undefined cataclysm. He also witnesses his future self being killed by Ando, who now possesses some sort of electricity-based power. This makes Hiro distrustful of Ando. To stop this future, Hiro and Ando follow Daphne to her home in France. However, Hiro is unable to capture her as she threatens to kill Ando. Using a tracking device, they follow Daphne to Berlin, Germany, where the other half of the formula is. The Haitian is holding it, so Hiro and Ando knock him unconscious to steal it, only to have Daphne speed in and steal it first. The Haitian awakens and captures them before they can pursue her.
Hiro and Ando are locked in Level 2 of the Company, where they resolve their differences over Ando killing Hiro in the future.They are released by Angela Petrelli, who scolds Hiro for losing both halves of the formula. Ando supports Hiro and declares they will get the formula back. To accomplish this, Hiro and Ando dig up Adam Monroe. Adam leads Hiro to a bar under the impression that they can find information there, but it is just a ruse for Adam to escape. He tricks the bartender into knocking Hiro out, then flees. Depressed, they decide to drink at a bar where they meet Daphne and Knox, who captured Adam. Knox says that he will let Hiro join them if he kills Ando. Hiro uses his powers to travel back in time, retrieving a packet of fake blood and a retractable sword to make it look as if he really killed Ando. This convinces Daphne and Knox.
Daphne sends Hiro to Africa to find a precognitive painter named Usutu. After two failed attempts to catch the painter using his powers, Hiro decides to use conventional methods, which Usutu had been waiting for him to do, as he had been overly reliant on his ability. He then shows Hiro a montage of those Hiro has to fight; namely Arthur Petrelli and his newly-assembled team of villains. Hiro and Ando are given food from Usutu to induce a spirit walk, which causes Hiro to witness Arthur Petrelli's past, among other things. Arthur discovers this and teleports to Africa, killing Usutu and wiping Hiro's mind, leaving him under the impression that he is only ten years old. Ando barely manages to get the mind-wiped Hiro to teleport them to safety.
With Hiro's memory gone, Ando is forced to reacquaint Hiro with his powers. After a series of tests (mixed with some of Hiro's childish pranks) in a Tokyo bowling alley, the duo teleport to Sam's Comics, which Hiro claims is the source of all knowledge. Ando finds yet another prophetic issue of 9th Wonders which depicts the very situation that he and Hiro are in. The book also depicts a solar eclipse, with the caption, "It's Coming…," in the corner. The comic directs the duo to Matt Parkman, who can presumably restore Hiro's memory. Matt, however, cannot even understand Hiro, much less fix him, and instead enlists Hiro's help in finding Daphne, which the comic also depicts. When the eclipse causes both Hiro and Matt to lose their powers, Matt loses faith in his ability to help Daphne. In his own childish way, Hiro successfully convinces Matt to save Daphne. While Matt goes to Daphne, Hiro and Ando track down then nearest Sam's Comics to find the new issue of 9th Wonders. The proprietors are surprised when the issue depicts Hiro and Ando asking for it.
 Alternate futures
- Another Hiro Nakamura, this one claiming to be from the future, first appears in "Collision". When he appears to Peter Petrelli in a subway, he freezes time in order to speak with Peter privately. He urges Peter to "save the cheerleader, save the world" and to "be the one we need," but doesn't elaborate for fear of causing a rift in the space-time continuum. He also mentions that Peter looks different "without the scar."
The future Hiro appears to be much more fit, confident, and experienced than his present self. He sports a soul patch and ponytail, no longer wears glasses, wears a black overcoat, carries a katana on his back, and speaks fluent idiomatically-correct English. Future Hiro's fluent accent is in fact Masi Oka's real voice, deepened for dramatic effect. He is also much more serious, focused, and calm than the current-day Hiro, and his sense of humor appears to be diminished. The future Peter Petrelli speculates that it was Ando's death in the explosion that changed Hiro.
He appears again in the episode "Five Years Gone" which tells a side story about himself. Future Hiro also appears in the graphic novel Heroes #30 "String Theory" in which he acts as a nightwatcher who watches over people with powers getting hunted down by normal, human police officers. In this issue, Hiro rescues a girl named Sparrow and the two seem to know each other. He also explains a bit what happened in the future after the bomb went off. The issue ends with the final scene of ".07%".
- Before "Five Years Gone" takes place, in the graphic novel series "Walls" Parts 1 and 2, Hiro and Peter break other people with special abilities out of a prison, though Hiro and Peter aren't able to stop time, because one of the others block the ability, though Hiro does draw his sword.
- In "Five Years Gone" the scene starts again with Hiro and Ando meeting Hiro's future self. He tells them how they aren't supposed to be there and asks why the future hasn't changed. Future Hiro learns that present day Hiro has not had the chance to kill Sylar yet. He decides that he must get present Hiro back to the past so that he can stop Sylar, but before Future Hiro can do so, Matt Parkman, his Homeland Security squad, and the Haitian raid the loft. Future Hiro and Ando are able to escape, but present day Hiro is captured.
Future Hiro begins recruiting people so that he can free present day Hiro and goes off to Las Vegas to seek Peter's help. Ando and Future Hiro encounter Niki, who is currently in a relationship with Peter. Niki tells them nothing about Peter, but when prompted, tells them that she knows that Hawkins” class=”mw-redirect” title=”D.L. Hawkins”>D.L. Hawkins, Candice Wilmer, and Molly Walker. While at first Bennet doesn't want to help, he agrees when he hears that they know Claire is alive.
Future Hiro and Ando then begin talking about what happened to Ando in the future. Right when Hiro is about to tell Ando something important, he is shot with a Taser by Matt. Before they are about to be captured, Peter comes and by utilizing Hiro's power, is able to help them escape.
With Peter's help, Future Hiro and Ando are able to enter the building where present day Hiro is being held and make it to him. Right after they free present day Hiro, future Hiro tells them he will take them back to their time since present day Hiro still doesn't have full control of his powers, but before he can do it he is shot and killed by Matt Parkman. Before Future Hiro dies he gives Ando Isaac's incomplete comic book.
- In an alternate future shown in "
 Powers and abilities
Hiro possesses the power to control the space-time continuum, giving him the power to manipulate time, travel through time, and teleport to any location at will. Specific examples of temporal manipulation include slowing time relative to himself and rewinding time specific to certain objects (a clock, a train, and a gun in various episodes). As demonstrated by his encounters with Daphne, a woman with the power of super speed, Hiro cannot stop time completely. Hiro has shown the ability to teleport both himself and others in physical contact with himself, both through space and time.
Although stressful events and practice have helped Hiro to develop his abilities, Hiro initially has trouble with the more complicated teleportation and time travel abilities. For example, when he teleported to New York, he inadvertently traveled five weeks into the future as well. Although he was able to travel back to the same time and place from which he left, he was only able to do so when his life was in danger from a nuclear explosion. Later, when he attempted to save Charlie's life by traveling to the day before her death, Hiro accidentally ended up six months in the past. He also inadvertently teleported to Japan from Texas just as he and Charlie were about to kiss and then could not teleport back, no matter how hard he tried.
After the incident with Charlie, Hiro's powers began weakening, eventually becoming completely unusable. He seeks out Takezo Kensei's sword in the hope that it will focus his failing powers. After obtaining the sword, Hiro exhibits the ability to teleport other people along with himself, which he uses to rescue himself and Ando from an impending attack by casino guards in "Parasite", though this too resulted in an inadvertent trip five years into the future, after the explosion had occurred. The episode "Five Years Gone" marks his first successful use of teleportation and time travel. By "The Hard Part", Hiro has improved his skill in teleportation, as he uses it twice without traveling any discernible distance through time. His father attributes this to a matter of confidence rather than any effect caused by the sword. In addition to his power over time, Hiro is skilled with a katana, having been trained by his father.