''Saiunkoku Monogatari'' has a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters rich and diverse cast]] and the list below features important primary and secondary characters in the series.


[[folder:The Shi Clan]]
!!Shi Ryuuki
->The nineteen-year-old Emperor of Saiunkoku. Basically a big dork, albeit with HiddenDepths.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/TomokazuSeki (JP), Creator/BradSwaile (EN)

* AbusiveParents: His mother resented the fact that Emperor Senka didn't favor her, and took it out on Ryuuki. Senka wasn't actively abusive, but he won't be winning any father of the year awards where Ryuuki is concerned either.
* AcquiredPoisonImmunity
* {{Adorkable}}
* ApparentlyPowerlessPuppetmaster
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Ryuuki is a good enough swordsman to make it the semifinals of a combat tournament with some of the finest warriors in the empire. He also [[spoiler: takes down a group of assassins in a pitch-dark room in order to rescue Shuurei, in spite of his own serious fear of the dark.]]
* BigBrotherWorship: To Seien, the only one of his older brothers who was ever nice to him. This was especially true when they were kids, but it still shows: Ryuuki's main reason for refusing to rule is the hope that by making himself thoroughly objectionable and useless as Emperor, he will inspire someone to bring Seien back from exile to take the throne.
* {{Bishonen}}
* BiTheWay: It turns out that Ryuuki's habit of spending the night with various male servants is because he's afraid of the dark, but as he explains to Shuurei, he is attracted to both men and women.
* TheChainsOfCommanding
* ChickMagnet: At one point, Shuurei uses him as fanservice for a jewelry shop, to help sell more pins to the ladies. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* DiggingYourselfDeeper: When Shuurei encounters him at a brothel, he tries to save face by saying that he doesn't need to go there because he can do that sort of thing at Imperial Residence if he wants. Oops.
* DoggedNiceGuy
* TheEmperor: Of the most benevolent sort.
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:To Shuurei. It doesn't last long and he never re-marries.]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy
* KingIncognito: Frequently, especially earlier in the series, and on at least one occasion his subjects don't initially believe him when he ''does'' state his true identity. On the other hand, the first time it comes up it's almost immediately subverted: when they first meet, Ryuuki introduces himself to Shuurei as Ran Shuuei, but Shuurei sees through the lie instantly since she's already met the ''real'' Ran Shuuei, and who else but the Emperor would be wandering around the palace gardens in expensive casual clothing in the middle of the day?
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* TheMourningAfter: [[spoiler: After Shuurei's death giving birth to their daughter, Chouka, he never remarries or takes any concubines.]]
* ObfuscatingStupidity: There's a reason that Ryuuki was the only one of the previous Emperor's six sons to survive the Imperial Court long enough to take the throne; he is considerably sharper than he chooses to let on.
* ParentalAbandonment
* ReluctantRuler: And he neglected his duties so that the Court would be mad enough to demand his older brother's Seien's return.
* RoyalWe: In the original Japanese dialogue he refers to himself with a [[JapanesePronouns royal pronoun]] which serves essentially the same function, and is sometimes translated as the royal "we." It occasionally trips him up a little when he's being [[KingIncognito Emperor Incognito]].
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Shuurei's purpose in joining the Imperial Harem is to turn Ryuuki into this.
* SkilledButNaive: Ryuuki is by no means incompetent but season 2 and the later novels show that he is severely inexperienced when dealing with older officials.
* SonOfAWhore: It is stated in a side-story that his mother was a high class courtesan, which is yet another reason Ryuuki was TheUnfavorite in the court.
* TheUnfavorite: Ryuuki grew up at the absolute bottom of a pecking order of six princes and their mothers.
* UnexpectedSuccessor: The youngest of six princes, he only became Emperor because one of his brothers was exiled and the rest executed for treason.
* YoungestChildWins: May count as a straight example or a subversion, depending on your perspective; he may be the most successful of the previous emperor's children, but the series takes pains to show how much being emperor fails to make him happy. [[spoiler:All things considered, the real winner of the happiness lottery is probably Seien/Seiran, making it a subversion.]]

!!Shi Senka
->Ryuuki's father, the previous Emperor, deceased by the time of the story.

* AbusiveParent: He attentively watches over his sons and has the policy of saving each of his sons' life once. However, he does not care about their personal well-being and does nothing to prevent the power struggle that leads to the death of four of them.
* TheEmperor: An extremely charismatic tyrant whose effective rule is recognized by even his enemies.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:The novels reveal that he died protecting his son Seien from a curse by the Hyou clan.]]
* LonelyAtTheTop
* MagneticHero: People who know him all comment on his charisma. Even the notoriously ruthless and independent-minded Ran triplets would follow him if he asked them.
* ParentalFavoritism: While Senka is apathetic to all of his sons personally, Seien is definitely the one he favours. Senka [[spoiler: took the curse meant for Seien]], exiled the boy instead of executing him even with the charge of treason, and ordered the [[spoiler: Black Wolf]] to take care of him.
* PosthumousCharacter
* SocialDarwinist: Has shades of this with the way he pits his sons against each other to weed out the weak ones and openly challenges [[spoiler: Ou Ki]] to overthrow him.
* WellDoneSonGuy: To Seien.

!!Shi Chouka
->Ryuuki and Shuurei's daughter, [[spoiler: and future Empress of Saiunkoku]].

* CreepyChild: From a young age she would often wander the palace corridors at night.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: [[spoiler: She grows infatuated with a "crow", actually the Sage of Purple Shou in disguise, because she thinks he's a lonely, which is why she rejects all her suitors. When Shou returns to the Imperial Court, she becomes aware of his ruthless past, but doesn't care either way, and decides to become Empress because of him.]]
* ObliviousToLove: Much like her mother,[[spoiler: when Shuuei's son Shijaku proposes to her, she misinterpets it as an invitation to return to where they were speaking again in the future.]]
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: When she is older, she is purported to be more beautiful than her mother.

[[folder: The Kou (Hong) Clan]]
!!Kou Shuurei
->Our heroine, an impoverished noblewoman and classic PluckyGirl. Her dream is to become a government official, which is a little problematic since women aren't allowed to serve as government officials in Saiunkoku.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/HoukoKuwashima (JP), Creator/KellySheridan (EN)

* HundredPercentAdorationRating: It runs in the family.
* ACupAngst: PlayedForLaughs.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Averted; when her UnluckyChildhoodFriend [[EmbarrassingNickname Santa]] tries to win her heart by joining a gang, she is definitely not impressed. However, she ''is'' attracted to [[ManipulativeBastard Sa Sakujun]] - a fact which makes her no little uncomfortable.
* ArentYouGoingToRavishMe: When [[spoiler: Sa Sakujun]] captures her, she asks him this almost word-for-word. Unlike most examples of this trope, she's relieved that he's not going to do so (yet) rather than insulted.
* CelibateHero: Says she's afraid of falling in love because it would distract her from her goals in life. Later, she admits that [[MommyIssues her insecurities related to her mother's death]] are the real reason.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: She just can't leave a person in trouble alone or let injustice slide, sometimes to the detriment of long term benefits. A few people call her a "softhearted idiot" and some try to [[StealthMentor train her to do it more effectively]].
* DaddysGirl: Her father is Shuurei's favorite person in the world.
* [[spoiler: DeathByChildbirth]]
* {{Determinator}}
* DudeMagnet: At least three men have declared their love for her. Various others (or really, most of the male cast) are also shown to be attracted to her romantically in varying degrees. Eigetsu is pretty much the only non-grandpa-aged male to show none whatsoever.
* ILoveYouBecauseICantControlYou: Accounts for the strength of Shuurei's appeal to quite a number of men, starting with Ryuuki.
* FearOfThunder: In one particularly memorable episode that involved [[spoiler:Kijin]].
* GirlyRun
* GoldDigger: She first became Ryuuki's concubine because the job came with a payment of 500 gold ryo. In Shuurei's case the trope is less a reflection of persona greed and more one of extreme practicality: she and her father are struggling to make ends meet and Shuurei has personally witnessed the kind of suffering and death that can come from poverty, so she's very motivated to secure financial stability for her household.
* GuileHero
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:To Ryuuki. Until her death.]]
* HeadDesk: Does this in the first episode after finding out just how much she has her work cut out for her with Ryuuki.
* IllGirl: Was one until her mother's death.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: At first. Despite her title, she needs to hustle for every part-time job she can find just to keep up her family estate. Then she marries up.
* NaiveNewcomer: To politics. Quite a few characters express their exasperation about her naivete and ignorance, especially when it comes to power struggle between the clans and the factions at court.
* NotWithThemForTheMoney: Yes and no. On the one hand, she did become Ryuuki's concubine to restore her family fortune. On the other hand, she ''hates'' extravagance thanks to her personal experiences with poverty and want. As a result, she's unimpressed and even angry with Ryuuki's attempts to shower her with gifts, only accepting them when they can serve a practical purpose, such as when he sends her a block of ice during the heat of summer - and even then, he has to be careful.
* ObliviousToLove: And when she does notice, she is a CelibateHero to the misfortune of her admirers.
* PluckyGirl
* SupremeChef
* SweetPollyOliver: She briefly poses as "Kou Shuu" to work as an assistant to Ko Kijin in the Ministry of Finance, courtesy of Li Kouyuu.
* ThroughHisStomach: Everybody loves Shuurei's cooking, but it has special meaning for Ryuuki thanks to Shouka sharing the meals Shuurei cooked for him whenever he visited the Archives.
* {{Tsundere}}: Type B. Shuurei is mostly friendly and polite, except when it comes to Ryuuki and Sakujun.
* WideEyedIdealist: Has strong views about justice, which irritates some of the more cynical people around her to no end.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: [[spoiler:Because of the unusual circumstance of her birth (child of an Immortal, who is supposed to be infertile), her lifespan is reduced when she goes out of the capital Kiyou.]]

!!Kou Shouka
->Shuurei's [[DotingParent doting father]], in charge of the Palace Archives and, to all appearances, mostly useless outside of them.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/ShuichiIkeda (JP), Creator/MichaelKopsa (EN)

* [[spoiler:BadassBookworm]]
* BigBrotherInstinct: In the gaiden stories, he became a hostage to Emperor Senka to protect his little brothers.
* BumblingDad
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: [[spoiler:You think Shouka's an idiot, until he isn't.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In a side story, this is how he becomes friend with Hokuto, a member of [[spoiler: the Wolves of the Wind]].
* DoggedNiceGuy: How he won his wife Shokun's heart.
* DotingParent
* EyesAlwaysShut: An indication of his easygoing good nature. [[spoiler: When he does open them, ''watch out.'']]
* HappilyMarried: Until his wife dies.
* HonorBeforeReason: In later novels, when Ryuuki is out of favour with almost all of the courtiers and noble families, Shouka still stands by the young emperor because he has made his promise. It's a Kou family thing.
* HundredPercentAdorationRating: Almost every character with a name adores or at least respects Shouka.
* ImpoverishedPatrician
* ImprobableAge: [[spoiler: Became the "Black Wolf" a.k.a. leader of the Emperor's assassins Wolves of the Wind when he was a little above 11.]]
* LethalChef: He can't even make a cup of tea without wrecking the kitchen, and Ryuuki is the only one who can drink his tea without cringing.
* LoveAtFirstSight: With Shuurei's mother Shokun, [[spoiler: the Hyou Clan's Rose Princess]].
* NomDeGuerre: [[spoiler: The previous Black Wolf names him "Kaito", the chief star of the Dipper.]]
* NotWithThemForTheMoney: The family's financial situation would be much less dire if Shouka weren't so easygoing and completely unconcerned about money that he allowed his pay from the palace to be reduced almost to nothing. This in spite of the fact that not only are his brothers (who adore him) some of the most wealthy and influential men in Saiunkoku, he's served as a surrogate father figure for years to the man who is now the Emperor.
* PapaWolf: [[spoiler:Though he mostly seems content to play the kindly BumblingDad, when the Black Wolf is moved to protect Shuurei and Seiran, he is completely merciless.]]
* ParentalSubstitute: To both Seiran and Ryuuki.
* [[spoiler:RedEyesTakeWarning: On the rare occasion we see him with his eyes open in the anime, they are a vivid red.]]
* RescueRomance: [[spoiler: As the Black Wolf, Shouka was ordered to kill the Rose Princess. However, after learning about what happened to her, he decided to free her instead]].
* [[spoiler:RetiredBadass]]
* [[spoiler: StepfordSmiler: He ''is'' kind and benevolent, but his early life as an assassin weighed heavily on him]].
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: As his great aunt puts it, he is a sad child as he is no longer innocent at the age of ''5'' because of the in-fighting in the Kou clan.

!!Shi Seiran
->Shouka and Shuurei's loyal retainer. [[spoiler:Secretly, Seiran is Ryuuki's older brother Shi Seien, who was exiled when Ryuuki was still young.]]
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/HikaruMidorikawa (JP), Creator/AndrewFrancis (EN)

* BackToBackBadasses: With Ensei during one of the fights with Murderous Blades.
* BashBrothers: With Ensei in the past. They quickly click when meeting again after ten years.
* BattleButler: Shuurei's.
* BerserkButton: The Satsujinzoku.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Towards Shuurei. To a lesser extent, [[spoiler: Ryuuki. When Shuurei proves to be capable of surviving on her own, he becomes dedicated to helping his brother instead.]]
* {{Bishonen}}: His good looks is often commented on in-story. His brother once complains that he is "too perfect".
* BitchInSheepsClothing: PlayedForLaughs. He can switch between smiling to Shuurei and doing something unpleasant to the likes of Ensei and Suou at the drop of a hat. In more serious situations, he claims to be a ruthless person deep down, the truth of which is illustrated in all of his interactions with Sa Sakujun.
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler: As Prince Seien, he was very proud and a rather tactless perfectionist as his interactions with a young Shuuei shows. His talents and attitudes ultimately backfired on him.]]
* DudeLooksLikeALady: As [[spoiler: Seien]], he was once mistaken to be a girl by a young Shuuei.
* {{Facepalm}}: Does this a lot in the manga.
* HappilyAdopted: And loves his adopted family dearly
* IJustWantToBeNormal
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Except when Sa Sakujun courted Shuurei.
* JadeColoredGlasses: [[spoiler: Despite Ryuuki's rosy memories of a kind big brother, Seien was portrayed to be highly cynical at the ripe old age of ''ten'' in the side-stories, courtesy of the DeadlyDecadentCourt he grew up in.]]
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: Displays this tendency towards Shuurei. Ensei and Suou among other people called him out on his overprotectiveness, and growing out of it and focusing on bigger picture for both Shuurei and Ryuuki's sakes is an important part of his characterization.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* [[spoiler:LongLostSibling: Ryuuki's.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: In the novel and manga, with Shuuei being his favourite target.
* MeaningfulName: "Shi," written with a different kanji than the family name of the Shi clan, refers to a plant used to make purple dye - meaningful because not only do they sound the same, the "Shi" of the royal family's name means "purple." "Seiran" means "silent orchid," and was given to him by Shuurei's mother because he did not speak for some time after the Kou family took him in.
* OldRetainer
* PornStash: Suou speculates that he has one. He does not, [[DiggingYourselfDeeper but inadvertently reveals to Shuurei that he knows what "peach coloured" books are]].
* RedBaron: "Little Whirlwind"
* RedOniBlueOni: Blue to Ensei's red.
* SpitTake: Makes one when told by Shuurei he's her second favorite person in the world.
* TheStoic
** NotSoStoic: Loses his cool while confronting his own DarkAndTroubledPast [[spoiler: involving Murderous Blades]] and when he thinks Shuurei has feelings for Sa Sakujun.
* TooCleverByHalf: As his father [[spoiler: the previous Emperor Senka]] said, he is not foolish enough to be destroyed easily. However, he is not clever enough to avoid conspiracies either.
* [[spoiler:TheWisePrince]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Ensei.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: [[spoiler: Prince Seien was famous to be remarkably precocious.]]

!!Li Kouyuu
->Vice Minister of Civil Affairs under Kou Reishin. A promising up-and-coming government official, he is specifically assigned as an aide to the Emperor... provided he can ever ''find'' him.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' NobuyukiHiyama (JP), Creator/AndrewToth (EN)

* CantHoldHisLiquor: Gets drunk very easily and Shuuei is often the one who has to take him home.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Like Shuuei, he is aware that he can be tied down by Reishin and by extension the Kou faction, and thus cannot swear true loyalty to Ryuuki. This is where Reishin's HiddenHeartOfGold shows: by not giving his adopted son the Kou surname, he is keeping Kouyuu away from clan affairs.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: [[spoiler: In the novels, he was adopted by a kind old couple, who got murdered. Then he fell into the hands of slave traders. After he was sold back and forth several time, he ended up being tied to a tree as a human sacrifice when Reishin found him.]]
* DeskJockey: He specializes in bureaucracy and thus is often not involved in what goes on outside the palace.
* FatalFlaw: His overattachment to Reishin.
* HairTriggerTemper
* HappilyAdopted: Though it is not easy being Reishin's son and Kouyuu openly envies Seiran for being taken in by Shouka, who he greatly respects.
* HeManWomanHater: Kouyuu claims to dislike women (though he gets along fine with Shuurei).
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Ran Shuuei.
* HypercompetentSidekick: To Reishin, whose job Kouyuu mostly does for him. This is due to laziness on Reishin's part rather than incompetence; he's a {{Chessmaster}} in his own right when he cares to exert himself, but often as not he can't be bothered to do the day-to-day work of his position, leaving it to Kouyuu instead. In second season, it is also heavily implied that Reishin wants to [[OverprotectiveDad keep Kouyuu from getting too involved with Ryuuki]]. [[spoiler: In a later novel, it is revealed that this is Reishin's method of forcefully making Kouyuu stop living solely for his foster father's approval. Unfortunately, Kouyuu missed the point and ended up making both of them lose their positions]].
* ImplausibleDeniability: His explanations for why he never finds the place he wants to go to.
* MeaningfulName: "Li" for plum, Reishin's favorite flower and fruit. The "Kou" in "Kouyuu," similar to the family name of the Kou clan, means "crimson," and finally his "Yuu" in "Kouyuu" means "To flow freely (like water streams)." [[note]]Not bound by family ties, rules, or regulations, just be free to decide who he wants to be.[[/note]] The "Kou" in "Kouyuu" is also homophonous to the character used for his name before he was adopted by Reishin.[[note]]His original Chinese character was written as "Light (光)," but uses the Japanese pronunciation as "Kou." The Chinese pronunciation, "Guang" is completely different, even though the official Chinese translation kept it's meaning, his name lost it's DoubleMeaning in context.[[/note]]
* NiceGuy: But protested when Ryuuki commented on that.
* NoSenseOfDirection: Though he usually refuses to admit this flaw and instead claims that his intended destination has moved without his prior knowledge.
* NonActionGuy: His ability with a sword is pretty much limited to "wave it wildly until Shuuei bails him out."
* ParentalAbandonment: Until Reishin takes him in.
* SternTeacher: To Ryuuki in the beginning, going as far as shouting and whacking the Emperor in the head.
* TeenGenius: Has the reputation for having been this.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: The guy has serious abandonment issue. It does not help that his father figure is ''Reishin'' and his adopted mother is rather strange.
* {{Tsundere}}: A very mild example, but he seems to demonstrate a few classic traits.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Kouyuu's response to Shuuei's claims that they are good friends is usually an annoyed denial.

!!Kou Reishin
->Shouka's younger brother, the Minister of Civil Affairs.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/MitsuakiMadono (JP), Louis Chirillo (EN)

* BigBrotherWorship: Reishin more or less worships the ground Shouka walks on, and this also extends to Shouka's daughter. They're the only two people he can be bothered to be nice to on anything like a regular basis.
* BrutalHonesty: He never bothers to sugarcoat his opinions.
* CannotSpitItOut: Reishin has serious communication troubles, as his treatments of Kouyuu and Shuurei show.
* CreepyUncle: How creepy? He acts more like a StalkerWithACrush than Shuurei's uncle, and in a rant to Shouka, says outright that he doesn't mind marrying her and that she will be happy with him. (To be fair, they were discussing about arranging a political marriage for her and it's not said with romantic intent, which makes it slightly less creepy. Slightly.)
* HappilyMarried
* InsufferableGenius: He is frequently described as haughty and obnoxious.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: His friend Kijin muses about how Shouka helps him barely escape this fate (in contrast to Ryuuren, who does not have such a figure in his life).
* {{Jerkass}}: How much of a jerk is Reishin? When he and his friend Ko Houju fell for the same woman, Reishin [[spoiler:forged a letter from her to Houju saying she could never bear to be with someone so much more beautiful than herself. Then Reishin married her.]] This led directly to Houju constantly wearing masks and calling himself "Kijin," meaning "weirdo." All this in spite of the fact that, aside from his family, Kijin is pretty much Reishin's ''only friend''.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: As the manga states, "his personality ''sucks,''" but underneath it he's a good person.
* OverprotectiveDad: To his adopted son Kouyuu, although he'd never admit it.
* RelationshipSabotage: See "{{Jerkass}}."
* {{Tsundere}}: Reishin is more or less a jackass to anyone else, even his friends and his adopted son, but Shuurei and Shouka reduce him to blushing and cooing. Also, as Shouka explained to Kouyuu, Reishin does not show his likes or dislikes openly.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Ko Kijin. Reishin is too much of a JerkAss and Kijin is just too weird to be best friends with anyone else. May also be HeterosexualLifePartners; Reishin is married but we never see his wife and these two almost always pop up together.
* WellDoneSonGuy: To Kouyuu.

!!Kou Shokun
->Shouka's wife and Shuurei's mother, who died of illness when Shuurei was a little girl.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/MieSonozaki (JP), Creator/LisaAnnBeley (EN)

* TheGamblingAddict: In Seiran's recollections, she often made her husband and young servant play dice with her, and the loser had to drink sake. She was basically responsible for Seiran's strong stomach for alcohol.
* [[spoiler:HealingHands: As the "Rose Princess," she had healing powers.]]
* [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice: Shokun gave up her life in order to cure Shuurei's constant illness.]]
* LethalChef: Seiran had to break his silence when her attempt to make medicine for Shuurei resulted in an explosion.
* MissingMom: Shuurei's.
* PosthumousCharacter
* [[spoiler: ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: She is the Sage of Red.]]
* SlapSlapKiss: She was pretty sharp to Shouka when they first met.
* SomethingAboutARose: [[spoiler:Shokun was the Hyou clan's "Rose Princess."]]
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Is reputed to have been so beautiful that her beauty even caused troubles for the whole nation.

!!Kou Kurou
->Shouka and Reishin's youngest brother and the proxy leader of the Kou Clan.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' RyotaroOkiayu (JP), David Orth (EN)

* DisproportionateRetribution: When Reishin is accused of tampering with the results of the Imperial Examinations, Kurou orders a labor strike which grinds the entire capital city to a halt. When Shouka's servants abandoned him following Shokun's death and stole most of the household's valuables, Kurou had them hunted down and had their eyes and severed ears sent to their families.
* TheReliableOne: Is considered as more level-headed and more concerned with clan affairs than his two older brothers, and is therefore effectively the head of the clan despite the position being officially held by Reishin.
* ThickerThanWater: Takes clan affairs ''very'' seriously. He claims to hate Shouka for being irresponsible and probably does not get along well with Reishin, but touch his older brothers (and niece) and he will show why the Kou clan should not be messed with.

[[folder: The Ran Clan]]
!!Ran Shuuei
->A general of the Imperial Army. Like Li Kouyuu, he's an up-and-comer in the Imperial Court and was assigned as a personal retainer to the Emperor. Reputed to be a ladies' man, but usually seen joined at the hip with Kouyuu instead.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/ToshiyukiMorikawa (JP), Creator/MichaelAdamthwaite (EN)

* BigBrotherInstinct: He cares a lot for Jyuusanhime, his younger sister. And his youngest brother Ryuuren, but he seldom expresses it openly. In a sidestory, he comments that Ryuuki is like a little brother to him, probably even more than Ryuuren.
* BodyguardingABadass: Subverted. While Ryuuki is strong in his own right, and guarding him is indeed his duty, Shuuei is actually much stronger than Ryuuki but prefers to keep that a secret.
* TheCasanova: Can get any woman to fall for him except for the two he fell in love with.
* ConflictingLoyalty: Between Ryuuki and his [[TheClan family]].
* DeadpanSnarker
* DoggedNiceGuy: Towards Shusui.
* {{Facepalm}}
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Li Kouyuu.
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: In the manga, he is pretty much the only client who can leave Kiyou's best courtesan Kouchou in the middle of the night.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Shuuei likes to flaunt his TheCasanova reputation but his frequent visits to the red light district are not just for pleasure. Also, very few people know how strong he actually is at swordplay.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: In contrast to grumpy scholar Kouyuu and mostly silly Emperor Ryuuki.
* OnlySaneMan: Plays this to Kouyuu and Ryuuki, sometimes even Seiran, especially in the comedic moments.
* PrincelyYoungMan: Is noted by his childhood friend Shiba Jin to be the "young master" type.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Kouyuu, whose lack of a sense of direction and dislike for women he frequently makes fun of. In his childhood, he and Shiba Jin were this.

!!Ran Ryuuren
->Shuuei's younger brother. Generally understood to be a genius; also generally understood to be completely loopy.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/HidenobuKiuchi (JP), Creator/MatthewErickson (EN)

* BewareTheSillyOnes: Ryuuren's loopiness is part of his genius. His unpredictability means that nobody can get a handle on him or manipulate him. Also, his flute-playing is completely tuneless, physically painful to hear, a legitimate weapon and can also stop pouring rain.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Ryuuren is so quirky that most people can barely understand anything he says. He's also a genius who travels as he wishes because, regardless of the place, nobody can keep him ''out''. [[spoiler:When Ryuuki needs to transport the governor's seal to Shuurei and Eigetsu in Sa Province, knowing that the Sa Clan's agents will be trying to intercept it, he gives the task to Ryuuren knowing that Ryuuren will be able to smuggle the seal across provinces without letting it be discovered.]]
* DreadfulMusician: His flute-playing.
* GeniusDitz
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: His intelligence is mentioned before as a reason for his quirks because he does not see the world the same as ordinary people.
* MeaningfulName: "Ryuu" means "dragon", and "ren" means "lotus". Dragon and lotus are two charges on the crest of the Ran clan. The name marks him as the special person in the Ran clan whose will is respected by the clan head, [[spoiler: and the vessel of the Sage of Blue]].
* MomentKiller: To Kourin's great frustration.
* NiceHat: He wears a number of odd things on his head, but the standout is the large and brilliantly-colored ''phoenix'' he wears to the palace's new year celebration.
* [[spoiler: ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: He is the Sage of Blue.]]

!!Ran Jyuusanhime
->Shuuei's younger sister, and a prospective bride for Ryuuki.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/MegumiToyoguchi (JP)

* ActionGirl: Very much so, [[spoiler: she even joins the Military and rises to General of the Left Ourin Army.]]
* AffectionateNickname: "Hotaru," meaning 'firefly,' is the name given to her by Shiba Jin in response to her complaints about her given name.
* BoobsOfSteel: The main visual distinction between GuileHero Shuurei and ActionGirl Jyuusanhime is the latter's larger bust.
* DualWielding
* IdenticalStranger: She and Shuurei look almost exactly alike.
* KissingCousins: Her mother comes from the Shiba clan, which makes her a relative of Shiba Jin.
* StarCrossedLovers: With Shiba Jin.
* TwinSwitch: Their very similar looks lead inevitably to Jyuusanhime and Shuurei switching places as part of a ploy to foil an assassination.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Her name just means "thirteenth princess," which is the position she was born into in the Ran clan. She is shown complaining about it as a child.

!!Ran Setsuna
->Shuuei and Ryuuren's oldest brothers, a set of triplets collectively named Setsuna who co-lead the Ran Clan.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/MitsuruMiyamoto (JP)

* BigBrotherInstinct: Despite their reputation of ruthlessness, they fight their clan's tradition and assume the leader position so that [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation Ryuuren]] can have more choices in life.
* [[SingleMindedTwins Single Minded Triplets]]: Played with. Multiple births are considered unlucky in Saiunkoku, so the Ran family named ''all three'' triplets "Setsuna" (they have individual names as well, but don't use them in public) and raised them to be as indistinguishable from one another as possible, treating them as the same person. In fact, this becomes a plot point late in the second season, as a test for [[spoiler: Shuuei.]] The only other person to have successfully differentiated between the three of them is the wife of one of them.

[[folder: The Sa Clan]]
!!Sa Enjun
->Leader of the Sa Clan and one of the three "grand old men" of the Imperial Court, along with Shou Yosei and General So.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Naoki Bandou (JP), Creator/TrevorDevall (EN)

* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Enjun's greatest goal at the end of his life is to surpass Shou Yosei.
* IWasQuiteALooker
* [[spoiler: OurGhostsAreDifferent: Becomes one after his death.]]
* OutGambitted: And then some. But then also subverted, when it is revealed that[[spoiler: his failure leads to his BigScrewedUpFamily being cleaned up, as noted below.]]
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:His plot to assassinate Ryuuki turned out to be one of these, in that its failure gave the Emperor a reason to take action against the corruption of the rest of the Sa Clan.]]
* UndyingLoyalty: As symbolized by chysanthemum, the flower the previous Emperor gave him.

!!Hyou Eiki
->Sa Enjun's wife, and not a woman to be messed with.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Mami Horikoshi (JP), Jacqueline Samuda (EN)

* CoolOldLady
* IWasQuiteALooker
* NeverMessWithGranny: Because she can and will bitchslap [[spoiler: immortal sages.]]
* SpiderSense: Eiki has the ability to see the future.

->Thirteen-year-old lady-in-waiting to the Imperial Harem.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/EriSendai (JP), Creator/ChantalStrand (EN)

* [[spoiler: TheAtoner]]
* HiddenDepths: Unexpectedly manages to write down the whole obscure poem she was tested with while [[spoiler: masquerading as Shuurei.]]
* PrecociousCrush: Implied to have one towards [[spoiler: Sa Eijun]], the person who adopted her.
* ProperLady
* {{Tsundere}}: Type B. Kourin is sweet and ladylike to everyone - except for Eigetsu. And Ryuuren, but he exasperates everyone.

!!Sa Sakujun
->One of Sa Enjun's nephews.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' TakehitoKoyasu (JP), John Murphy (EN)

* AcquiredPoisonImmunity
* AloofBigBrother: To Kokujun
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Easily took hold of the position as head of the Sa clan and deflected any violence from Seiran.
* [[spoiler:BloodFromTheMouth]]
* {{Bishounen}}: His beauty is almost legendary throughout the story and he knows it.
* BrilliantButLazy: He's generally only motivated to take action when something's getting in the way of his personal amusement. And by "take action" we mean "manipulate someone else into removing the obstacle." Even with that, he manages to do quite a bit of damage [[spoiler:before he self-destructs]].
* CampStraight: Looks and behaves somewhat flamboyantly, but only likes women, specifically Shuurei.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Often times just because he was bored.
* CrazyJealousGuy: He hates the idea of Shuurei paying attention to anyone other than him.
* EvilRedhead
* FieryRedHead: Averted. Sakujun is disturbingly calm and composed even during the most inappropriate times.
* ForcefulKiss: Plants a few on the object of his affections.
* GoOutWithASmile
* HiddenDepths
* TheHedonist
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* ManipulativeBastard: Oh yes.
* ShadowArchetype: Ryuuki's. They're both much more intelligent and capable than they choose to seem, but Sakujun lacks any semblance of Ryuuki's strong morals. The resemblance gives Shuurei a number of bad moments.
* VillainousCrush
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Sakujun is distinctly fuzzy on the concept of caring about anyone other than himself, and admits that he can't be sure his feelings for Shuurei are actually love since he's never felt anything of that nature before.
* {{Yandere}}: Has shades of this towards Shuurei

!!Sa Kokujun
->Sakujun's younger brother, another one of Enjun's nephews.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/KosukeToriumi (JP)

* TheDragAlong: In Ryuuren's antics.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Gets this from Ensei and then Shunki. He does not completely get rid of his inferiority complex but is more willing to do something.
* KissingCousins: With Shunki.
* NiceGuy
* YoungestChildWins: In Kokujun's case, mostly by virtue of being a decent human being and not ''crazy''.

!!Sa Shunki
->Enjun's granddaughter and Kokujun's fiancee. She inherited the power of her grandmother's Hyou Clan bloodline.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/RumiShishido (JP), Natalie Walters (EN)

* CompellingVoice
* CuteMute: At least until her voice is unsealed.
* KissingCousins: With Kokujun.
* LysistrataGambit: A very mild version; when Kokujun gets overwhelmed by his responsibilities as the new leader of the Sa Clan and panics, Shunki motivates him by gently pointing out that finishing his duties will give them "more time to spend together as husband and wife." It works perfectly.
* TheVoiceless: Again, until her voice is unsealed.

[[folder: The Ko Clan]]
!!Ko Kijin
-> The Minister of Finance. One of the odder characters in the Imperial Court, which is saying something.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Kazuhiro Nakada (JP), Mark Oliver (EN)

* AppropriatedAppellation: His real name is Ko Houju. "Kijin," meaning "weirdo," is a nickname originally given to him by others, which he began using himself after being rejected by a woman for being too beautiful.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: He's in charge of the Ministry of Finance, and respected in spite of being difficult to deal with... not to mention his other quirks.
* DeadpanSnarker: Very much so, especially towards Reishin.
* ExpressiveMask: His masks are not animated, but Reishin provides him with a wide assortment of them and some of them are painted to be very expressive.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: So pretty, people go insane.
* NiceGuy: Eccentricities asides, he is absolutely loyal to his friends and as his subordinate Kei puts it, he is interesting to know once you get past the mask.
* RapunzelHair: A lot of the men have it, but Kijin is particularly notable because he wears his completely loose.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: The year that Kijin took the Imperial Examinations, his beauty proved so distracting that only two other candidates passed the exams and thirty officials had to be fired for forgetting to announce the end of the exam period.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Reishin. See his entry for this.

[[folder: The Hyou Clan]]
!!Hyou Riou
->Head of the Hyou family, although that is a position that is ordinarily held by a woman.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/ToshihikoSeki (JP)

* OlderThanTheyLook: He's actually in his eighties, but looks like a young man.
* SomethingAboutARose: His appearances and disappearances tend to be accompanied by rose petals.
* TheRival: To [[spoiler: Shouka]] with regards to the Rose Princess' affections. Riou is a sore loser.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: This isn't a particularly good man.

->Hyou Riou's son, who also goes by Riou, although he says at one point that it isn't really his name.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/YukiKaida (JP)

* AlasPoorVillain: In-universe, he has one of these moments over [[spoiler:Ren, observing that Ren's actions were driven by his desperation for his mother's approval, and that if he'd had the chance to spend some time with Shuurei and her friends, he could have received the genuine affection he craved so much]].
* HappilyAdopted: [[spoiler: After his father's death, he's adopted by Ryuuki and Shuurei and is made Crown Prince, since Ryuuki's only child is his daughter Chouka. He later surrenders the Throne to Chouka anyway, but remains as her Prime Minister.]]
* MonochromaticEyes
* MouthyKid: In a DeadpanSnarker kind of way.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears

!!Hyou Ren
-> Son of Hyou Riou's sister Ruka.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Asami Yaguchi (JP)

* BodySnatcher: Snatched the body of Ka Shin, Eigetsu's father figure, and founded the Jasenkyou as part of a wider conspiracy to lure him and Shuurei.
* EnfanteTerrible[=/=]PsychopathicManchild
* WellDoneSonGuy: Did everything to win the approval of his mother.

!!Hyou Ruka
-> Sister to the head of the Hyou clan Riou, and mother of Ren.

* AbusiveParents: Heavily implied in Ren's desperation for her affection and his generally completely screwed-up state of mind.
* BodySnatcher: She can both mind control and occupy [[spoiler: Shusui]]. She plans to steal the body of [[spoiler:Shuurei]], daughter of the Rose Princess, to make her brother pay attention to her.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Her attempt to get her brother's attention has vibes of this.
* FacialMarkings
* ManBehindTheMan: Is the one who has actual power in the Hyou clan.
* OlderThanTheyLook
* UsedToBeASweetKid: She starts out as a young girl who wants to protect her clan.


[[folder: The Heki Clan]]

!!Heki Hakumei
-> A young man who takes the Imperial Examinations in the same year as Shuurei and Eigetsu.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Atsushi Kisaichi (JP), Creator/GabeKhouth (EN)

* HiddenHeartOfGold: Gets angry when Shuurei and Eigetsu are singled out for harsh treatment and eventually helps them despite being well aware that he himself can become a target for bullying like them.
* InsufferableGenius: Likes to remind people how smart he is.
* ThickerThanWater: Refuses to cooperate with Kouyuu, someone he admires, to find the famous artist Yuukoku because people from his clans have been exploited and thus the Heki want to protect their current genius.

!!Heki Karin
-> An eccentric woman who is an art expert. She is [[spoiler: the famous artist who will be the next head of the Heki clan.]]

* DoesNotLikeMen: PlayedForLaughs considering that she's married and has a son.
* HonorBeforeReason: [[spoiler: She is chosen to make a magical mirror for the Hyou clan, a task said to kill every single person who completes it. Though that makes her angry, she still accepts it.]]
* NomDePlume: She is the famous artist [[spoiler: Heki Yuukoku. Her clan forces her to take on a male professional name because female artists don't get much respect.]]


[[folder: Officials and Residents of the Imperial Capital]]
!!Shou Yosei
->Usually referred to as "Advisor Shou". With Sa Enjun and Grand General So, he's one of the three Grand Officials of the Imperial Court. [[spoiler:Shou is one of the Eight Immortal Sages, specifically the Sage of Purple.]]
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/KoujiIshii (JP), John Novak (EN)

* AlienNonInterferenceClause: [[spoiler: After leaving the capital, he is supposed to keep away from humans for at least a century, but returns to the Court under a younger identity to serve Ryuuki and Shuurei's daughter, Chouka when she eventually becomes Empress.]]
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler:He plays Sa Enjun and the rest of the entire Imperial court like a harp in order to force Ryuuki to take his role as Emperor seriously.]]
* CleverCrows: [[spoiler: Disguises himself as a crow when watching over Chouka, except for some reason, she can see right through it.]]
* JerkAss: Was willing to let the country burn in civil war despite being perfectly capable to clean the mess up, all for the sake of finding a worthy emperor. [[spoiler: Shouka openly threatened to kill him because he did not care if Shuurei and Seiran died as a result of his plot]].
* KnightTemplar: Doesn't care whether or not the country lives or dies, so long as a worthy emperor is on the throne.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: [[spoiler: When Ryuuki's reign is secure and stable, he erases himself from the memory of everyone in the court and disappears from the capital. His last appearance being at Shuurei's funeral.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: And openly considered as such by most of the Court.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: [[spoiler: Chouka grows up and becomes infatuated with him, and when she decides to become Empress in her own right, he returns to Court despite promising the other Sages to stay away from human affairs.]]
* [[spoiler:ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Is actually the Sage of Purple.]]

!!Grand General So
->The third of the three Grand Officials of the Imperial Court, with Shou Yosei and Sa Enjun. Usually appears for the sole purpose of beating the stuffing out of swordsmen fifty years younger than he is.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' MitsuruOgata (JP), Dale Wilson (EN)

* BadassGrandpa
* BoisterousBruiser: When the road to and from Sa Province is plagued by bandits, he eagerly volunteers to assist the Ourin Army in clearing them out.
* CoolOldGuy:
* SecretKeeper: He seems to know what Advisor Shou's plans are, [[spoiler: and that he's the Sage of Purple.]]
* SternTeacher: So stern that he is not asked to be trainer for the army again.

->Lady-in-waiting to the Imperial Harem; she assists Shuurei during Shuurei's time as Consort. [[spoiler:Shouka took her in from the Hyou Clan when he abducted Shokun, and made her one of the Wolves of the Wind, in which capacity she serves briefly as a double agent between Sa Enjun and Shou Yosei.]]
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/AkemiOkamura (JP), Creator/NicoleOliver (EN)

* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Courtesy of [[spoiler: Hyou Ruka]].
* FeminineWomenCanCook: Played with a little. Shusui is adept in all the feminine graces save for embroidery, at which even ''Ryuuki'' is better than she is.
* LadyOfWar
* MindControlEyes: [[spoiler:While under the hypnotic control of Hyou Ruka.]]
* ThePowerOfLove: Could shake off hypnotic control thanks to this.
* [[spoiler: UnexpectedSuccessor: Takes over the Hyou clan by the end of the series]]

!!Tei Yuushun
->Contemporary of Reishin and Kijin and inarguably the sanest of the three. Mild-mannered, pleasant, and ''very'' adept at playing politics.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/NobutoshiCanna (JP), Vincent Tong (EN)

* ActuallyIAmHim: [[spoiler:He's initially introduced to Shuurei and Eigetsu as "Jun Yuu," a minor government official sent from the capital of Sa province to advise and assist them in taking over as co-governors. Throughout the arc in which they do so, they are told that Lieutenant Governor Tei Yuushun has locked himself in a prison tower to continue the work of the Governor's office in safety... until Shuurei arrives to rescue him and finds the tower ablaze, at which point Yuushun admits his real identity.]]
* TheChessmaster: It comes with being the [[spoiler: Hourin]]
* ChessmasterSidekick: While Ryuuki is intelligent and competent in his own right, he lacks experience in governing, especially when it comes to the finer points of clan-related issues and power struggles. Hence, he relies heavily on Yuushun to bail him out when he's cornered in assemblies and to think of plans and tactics. For example, Yuushun is basically responsible for his tactics for bringing Shuuei back from the Ran clan from start to finish. Although it's never really discussed, he presumably filled a similar role to Ensei while serving as Lieutenant Governor of Sa Province, given the unusual nature of Ensei's appointment as Governor.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: [[spoiler: The novels reveal that he is the "Hourin", head of a legendary hidden clan of strategists who would only appear to help the Kou clan in time of crisis. Emperor Senka wiped his clan out when he was little, which the Kou clan turned a blind eye to.]]
* [[spoiler: DragonWithAnAgenda: He is involved in Ou Ki's plot to usurp Ryuuki but until the very end, nobody is quite sure what his aim is.]]
* [[spoiler: FaceHeelTurn: Zig-zagged. he is ultimately loyal to Ryuuki but puts the young Emperor through hellish tests and considers turning away for real if Ryuuki does not have it take to be a good ruler]].
* HappilyMarried: To Sai Rin after the mess in Sa province is sorted out.
* HiddenDepths: He may seem mild-mannered and even kind of bland, but he has a very sharp political mind, not to mention ''cojones'' of solid steel.
* LastOfHisKind: [[spoiler: The sole survivor of a clan of strategists who were vassals to the Kou clan]]
* TheMatchmaker: In a side story, he tries to get Reishin (of all people!) and the latter's not-love-interest together.
* NonActionGuy
* OnlySaneMan: To his friends Reishin and Kijin.
* [[spoiler: PoisonousFriend: While he helps Ryuuki get what the latter wants, he never points out to the young Emperor the full extent of the long term consequences or the better alternatives. To make it even more awesome, he ''warns'' Ryuuki to take his words only half seriously]].

!!Shin Suou
-> Introduced late in the story, after Shuurei comes back from the Sa Province. Makes a failure of a proposal to Shuurei on his father's orders. Later becomes Shuurei's colleague and helps her in Ran family arc.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/AnriKatsu (JP)

* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: His first response when realizing that his parents were going to see him off was to run away.
* BewareTheHonestOnes: He says whatever is on his mind. However, Seiran admits that it is difficult to figure out his motives and ways of thinking. Kouki says he can play the fool easily ''because'' he is a fool.
* BrilliantButLazy: An interesting case. He's definitely lazy, but while he's not necessarily as intelligent as Shuurei or Seiga, he's not ''nearly'' as dumb as most people - himself included - claim he is. In particular, he turns out to be extremely perceptive, and in the end, out of Seiga, Shuurei and himself, is [[spoiler: actually the first to be promoted]].
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Appears to be this at first with his rather strange proposal to Shuurei and his golden tanuki statue.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: [[spoiler: Delivers a scathing lecture to Ryuuki and to some extent, Seiran, about the responsibility of a ruler when Shuurei goes missing just after accepting to be a Royal Consort]]
* HiddenHeartOfGold: He complained about being dragged into troubles by Shuurei all the time but eventually [[spoiler: voluntarily took the fall for her]]. He also takes very good care of his father, who while not abusive is irresponsible and a bit of a wimp.
* InSeriesNickname: "Tan-Tan," courtesy of Seiran. This is because he carries around a golden tanuki statue in his first appearance.
* [[spoiler: TheMole: He does not work for the bad guy. However, he acts as agent of the Inspector General and reports on what Shuurei does when she works in Ran province, which can get her fired. He ultimately voluntarily takes the fall for her.]]
* OnlySaneMan: Is not necessarily depicted as "right" all the time, but his laid-back attitude makes him this in contrast to Shuurei's enthusiasm and Seiran's crazy overprotective tendencies, among other things.
* ParentalAbandonment: His mother leaves his dad and him for a rich man, and can't even recognize him when she sees him. However, unusually in this cast, [[AngstWhatAngst he's not very broken up about it]], and accepts his mother when she comes back to them.

!!Riku Seiga
-> A friendly and confident young officer who was without an official job. [[spoiler: In truth, he is a promising and utterly ruthless young official of Governmental Inspection Department]]

* BadassBureaucrat: It comes with being [[spoiler: an Investigator]].
* [[spoiler: BitchInSheepsClothing]]
* [[spoiler: HeManWomanHater: A much more sinister example than Kouyuu as he actively harrasses Shuurei.]]
* [[spoiler: JerkAss: As noted by the Inspector General, he is willing to sacrifice people in contrast to Shuurei, whe is helped by people.]]
* [[spoiler: TheMole: He is actually a spy of the Inspector General to report on Shuurei.]]
* TheRival: Shuurei views herself as this to Seiga, who in turn loathes to admit that she is on the same level as he is.

-> The head courtesan of Kogorou, the best pleasure house of the capital and where Shuurei works for a while as an accountant. Beautiful and one of the people you should not piss off.

* AbsoluteCleavage
* CoolBigSis: Plays this role to Shuurei.
* HoneyTrap: Can pull this off masterfully. Shuuei relies on her for information about what goes on in the city for a reason.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold
* JerkassFacade: Acts cold to Shuurei during the time she was accused of cheating in the examination.
* RealWomenNeverWearDresses: {{Defied|Trope}}. Shortly before Shuurei takes the Imperial Examinations, Kouchou presents her with the gift of a large cosmetics case to remind her not to be ashamed of being a woman, but to take pride in it.
* SilkHidingSteel: She wields considerable power in the lower part of the city.

!!Ki Kouki
-> Head of the Governmental Inspection Department. Ruthlessly strict and considers Shuurei a complete idiot.

* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: He is a master at delivering this.
* SinkOrSwimMentor: Does not hesitate to get rid of people who do not live up to his standards.
* StealthMentor: He forces Shuurei to reflect on her WideEyedIdealist approach and as a results helps her to better navigate the muddy court politics.
* SugarAndIcePersonality

!!Ou Ki
-> Chancellor in Central Government who often criticises Ryuuki's policies.

* LastOfHisKind: [[spoiler: Previous Emperor Senka thoroughly wipes out every clan that has blood relation to the original Emperor Sou Gen. Ou Ki is a survivor of the purge. As a result, he takes in survivors of the purged clans]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler: Gently but scathingly lectures Ryuuki on what being a ruler means]]
* TheRival: [[spoiler: He is a candidate to the throne]]
* [[spoiler: TheStarscream: Wants to depose Ryuuki. With noble reasons, no less]].

!!You Shou
-> Investigator of the Ministry of Personnel and thus a subordinate of Reishin

* BeleagueredAssistant: His superior is ''Reishin'', an InsufferableGenius who does not care an ounce about work. He had some hope for Kouyuu but was soon disillusioned.
* BrutalHonesty: He does not bother to defer to superiors who have not earned his respect. Thus, he is very confrontative to Reishin (as shown in his report of Shuurei, who he knows is Reishin's niece). He also does not hesitate to persecute Kouyuu, whom he personally is quite fond of, when Kouyuu does not fulfill the duty of an official.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Is a believer of this, hence his disdain for Reishin who is a genius from a powerful clan but does not use his talents for the greater good.
* DeadpanSnarker
* MasterOfDisguise: He often needs to go undercover for his work.
* {{Megane}}


[[folder: Sa Province Officials and Residents]]
!!Rou Ensei
->An old friend of Seiran's, and general go-to guy for when you need someone to open up a can of unadulterated whoop-ass.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/KentaroIto (JP), Jason Simpson (EN)

* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Despite not having passed any of the examinations required to qualify for public office, Ensei was made Governor of Sa Province by special dispensation because the Imperial court needed someone in the position who could survive the [[BigScrewedUpFamily Sa clan]]'s repeated assassination attempts.
* BadassBureaucrat: Despite his martial prowess, he aspires to be an administrative official rather than a military officer.
* BoisterousBruiser
* BookDumb: Seiran likes to claim that Ensei's brain has turned into muscle, to which Ensei cheerfully agrees. He could still pass governmental exams to be employed officially, albeit with unimpressive rank.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Ensei has an x-shaped "hero scar" on his cheek.
* HeCleansUpNicely: When first introduced, Ensei sports an unkempt, bushy beard and generally wild appearance. When he shaves the beard off later on, he turns out to be quite a good-looking fellow.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Ordering him to drop his staff is a bad idea - Ensei prefers to use a staff as a weapon because, as Seiran explains, it allows him to be ''more gentle'' on his opponents than when he fights barehanded.
* NiceGuy
* RedBaron: "Little Staff King"
* RedOniBlueOni: Red to Seiran's blue.
* SimpleStaff
* ShipperOnDeck: For Shuurei/Seiran, during his first appearance in the series. [[spoiler: Becomes somewhat ambiguous later though, with heavy implications that he is in love with Shuurei himself.]]
* TripleShifter: In his first appearance, he works with Shuurei at Ministry of Finance at day and hunts bandits at night.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Seiran.

!!To Eigetsu/Yougetsu
->A thirteen-year-old boy who comes to the Imperial Capital to take the qualifying examinations for government office. Keep him away from sake.
->'''[=VAs=]:''' Creator/DaisukeNamikawa (JP), Reece Thompson (EN)

* BrutalHonesty: Eigetsu sometimes gets into trouble for this.
* DemonicPossession: More or less. He was saved from dying of ParentalAbandonment by Yougetsu, who possessed him in order to extend his life. Yougetsu is [[spoiler:the immortal Sage of White]] rather than a demon, but in practice it works out the same.
* DrunkenMaster: Drinking or even smelling sake brings out Yougetsu, who is a master fighter.
* HellishPupils: A visual cue for when Yougetsu takes over.
* [[spoiler: HeroicSacrifice]]: [[spoiler: Though Yougetsu is an immortal Sage and thus does not actually die, he eventually seals himself to give Eigetsu a normal lifespan.]]
* IWasJustPassingThrough: Yougetsu makes excuses for basically everything nice that he does.
* ImprobableAge: Co-governor of a province at thirteen.
* ParentalAbandonment: Eigetsu originally came from a large family; his parents [[OffingTheOffspring tried to kill him]] when, due to their poverty, they could not afford to feed everyone.
* PeekABangs
* PowerUpFood: Sake, since it brings out Yougetsu.
* PowersViaPossession: What Yougetsu does for Eigetsu, essentially.
* ShrinkingViolet: Eigetsu is shy and soft-spoken. That does not mean he is a pushover.
* SuperPoweredEvilSide: Yougetsu. Though he ultimately proves to be less Evil and more of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* TeenGenius: He claims that he's not a genius and is able to memorize texts due to sheer hard work, but considering that he's the youngest person to ever pass the exams (younger than Kouyuu by three years), in first place no less, it's not very credible.
* {{Tsundere}}: Yougetsu a.k.a. [[spoiler: the Sage of White]]. He goes to impressive lengths for Eigetsu but always denies that he cares for the kid.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Necessary as he enters politics at the young age of thirteen.
* [[spoiler:YourDaysAreNumbered]]: [[spoiler: Yougetsu saved Eigetsu from dying as a child, but could only prolong his life by "about twenty years," a duration then halved when Yougetsu saves Eigetsu's adoptive father Doushu by sharing Eigetsu's soul with him, and further shortened every time Yougetsu takes control of Eigetsu's body.]]

!!Kai Yu
->Governor of Koku Province, later Governor of Sa Province, all-around cool guy.
->'''[=VA=]:''' Creator/YosukeAkimoto (JP)

* CoolOldGuy
* [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have]]: Shuurei is warned that if he were thirty years younger, she'd be in danger of losing her heart to Kai Yu. She doesn't take it seriously... until she meets him. Heck with IWasQuiteALooker; he's quite a looker ''now''.
* TheMentor: Becomes this to Eigetsu.

!!Sai Rin
-> Representative of the Merchant Guild and the manliest woman in Saiunkoku. Famous for her inventing skills.

* [[DoggedNiceGuy Dogged Nice Girl]]: Despite being repeatedly turned down, she keeps proposing to Yuushun over ''ten'' years. He eventually relents.
* HappilyMarried: To Tei Yuushun.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Hence her determination to regain the family fortune via commerce.
* IntrepidMerchant

!!Sai Shou
-> Sai Rin's brother. Calculates gains and losses as well as devises money making schemes ''all the time''.

* ImpoverishedPatrician: Shares her sister's ambition to improve the fortune of their family.
* IntrepidMerchant
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* {{Megane}}
* TurnCoat: [[spoiler: averted]]


[[folder: Other Characters]]
!!Dr. You Shikou
->Regarded as the best doctor living in Saiunkoku at the time of the story. He treated Shuurei when she was a child, since she was often ill. [[spoiler:Actually the Sage of Yellow, one of the Eight Immortal Sages.]]
->'''[=VA=]:''' Aruno Tahara (JP)

* BunnyEarsLawyer
* DirtyOldMan: Acts like this to ''Ko Kijin'' in the manga.
* [[spoiler:ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Like Shou Yousei, Dr. You is one of the Eight Immortal Sages - in this case, the Sage of Yellow.]]