The main character of the story who came to the Capitol on the hopes of earning money to send back to his impoverished village. After learning of the corruption of the Empire, he's recruited by Night Raid and begins to help them in killing the wicked. After Braht's death, he inherits his Teigu. He also manages to steal Esdese's heart when participating in a fighting tournament sponsored by the Empire.
Combat Pragmatist: In chapter 38, he ends up fighting one of the Rakshasa demons, who he knows is stronger and more skilled than him. How does he beat his opponent? He destroys the building that both of them are in, bringing it down on top of the Rakshasa demon's head, killing him.
One of the stronger members of Night Raid—enough so that when their actual leader is out, she's appointed as the defacto leader. She was an assassin for the Empire before joining Night Raid. Little is known about her past aside from this. She quickly grows attached to Tatsumi.
The first member of Night Raid Tatsumi encounters. Ironically, her encounter with him is what causes him to meet the nobles who were their targets at the time. When she witnesses Tatsumi's first on-screen kill, she notices his potential and decides to recruit him.
Badass Gay: It's pretty obvious he's more than just "curious" about men, but that doesn't change the fact he took down three of the empire's strongest soldiers (who where also teigu users) in the blink of an eye.
Leader of the Jaegars. A high-ranking general and the most powerful fighter in the Empire. A true sadist, she is an expert in torture and loves to inflict it upon others (indeed, the prospect of her "personal" attention is seen as a terrible fate). Ironically, when offered a title of nobility for hunting down and destroying Night Raid, she instead wanted them to find someone she believed could be her One True Love (to the utter shock of everyone in the room).
Tropes associated with Esdese
All Women Are Doms All Men Are Subs: Goes right along with her pure sadistic nature, but when she thinks Tatsumi is a masochistnote After he asks her to Pinch Me, she is quite over joyed and thinks it's further proof they are made for each other.
An Ice Person: Her Teigu can create ice from nothing, lots of ice. In fact, it's said to be the most powerful teigu in existence.
Blood Knight: The reason she brutally kills all but a few people when putting down a rebellion. She wants that hatred to be preserved and spread once more, so another revolt happens in time, so that she may fight again. Hopefully against stronger/more worthy opponents.
Freudian Excuse: She's a Social Darwinist because she was raised in a very rural, unforgiving area of the continent where Danger Beasts ran rampant. Her father emphasized the importance of survival of the fittest for her own sake, but it wound up backfiring terribly after his death at the hands of raiders from a rival tribe.
Subverted because it still doesn't explain why she is so terrifyingly sadistic. Even her father was apprehensive at how much excitement she found in cutting bodies up. Although, being given a name (see Meaningful Name below) that forced her to claim to be a sadist every time she introduce her name might have something to do with it.
Also averted as the reason she utterly demolished the Northern tribes. Not because of revenge, but because it was simply her job.
Jerk Ass: She's actually very aware of how the Prime Minister is manipulating the emperor and allowing the Capitol to become corrupt and rampant with crime, but doesn't give a flying fracas about it. So long as she can fight, she'll do nothing to stop him.
Tatsumi even attempts to convince her to use her influence to better the Empire from within by appealing to the good side of her he's seen: He tries to explain how the drastic class gap could keep people who loved each other apart, but her obsession with Social Darwinist philosophy causes her immediate response to be that she can't comprehend something like that. To her, the strong fight for what they want and if they're strong enough to survive, they do. If they don't, they're too weak and she doesn't care.
I Control My Minions Through......: Kindness ironically. Despite her philosophy she's very kind (in her own way) and caring to her subordinates... Until they screw up badly, at which point the sadist in her comes out and they get tortured (but not killed, as is usually the case with her).
I'm Taking Tatsumi Home With Me: Tatsumi is the first person she encounters who fits her criteria for her perfect match, so she kidnaps him with the entire stadium full of spectators watching. No joke! She slaps a collar around his neck, starts to drag him off, and knocks him out when he asks her to wait a moment.
Tatsumi: WAIT! Hold on a—
Esdese:(Hits Tatsumi on the back of the neck.) No, I will not wait. Lets go to the palace where we can talk alone.
Esdese slings an unconsious Tatsumi over her shoulder and walks off.)
(A panel showing the spectators' reactions that includes a dumbfounded man, a stunned woman, and an utterly distraught Esdese fanboy.)
Love Redeems: Subverted. Tatsumi realized that she can't be changed from her current standpoint, because she isn't just a product of society or her time, she really is insane and nothing will change that.
Social Darwinist: An extreme example, she believes it only natural for the weak to die. Indeed, she even states she cannot understand "the feelings of the weak." It's to the point that when Tatsumi tries to reason with her and get her to use her influence to help eliminate some of the corruption within, appealing to the fact that she loves him with a scenario of a girl who's kept from her love by the large social gaps and corruption, she coldly states that she doesn't understand such things.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She used to be a very nice girl who loved nothing more than hunting and being with her fellow tribe members, her father especially. However, her father emphasized Social Darwinist philosophy in her upbringing for her own sake; the Danger Beasts running rampant around their homeland meant that she'd die if she couldn't become a force to be reckoned with by the time she became old enough to hunt. However, her village was later wiped out during a raid by an enemy tribe, and her father's last words included even more about survival of the fittest, and without his guidance, she became the sadist working for the empire that we've come to know.
Slightly subverted, in that even her father admitted she had a few moral screws loose. Her sadistic tendencies are implied to have been all nature, not nurture.
Villainous Crush: With Tatsumi, who managed to fit all her criteria for a lover plus the extra one (A pure and innocent smiling face would be nice). It seems to be genuine Love at First Sight for her, as she only becomes softer and kinder when she's around him and is pretty determined in her efforts to get him to fall in love with her (even asking Bors for advice) despite the fact he stated he was going to join the revolutionary army.
Tropes associated with Wave
Anti-Villain: A Type 4. He doesn't really like the state the empire's in and is very well aware of the immense corruption of the nobles and of the more psychotic members of his group but he embraces his role as an enforcer due to a debt from an unseen savior back in the navy.
Anti-Villain / Punch Clock Villain: Despite having a job that entails burning down entire cities, innocents included, he still views it as a job. He is also very aware of how horrific what he does is and knows that, one day, karma will catch up to him. He still does his job for the sake of his wife and child.
The Undead: What will happen to you if you're killed by Yatsuhusa. All skills and abilities you had in life are retained, but you are under Kurome's complete control. In essence, you become something like Sasori's puppets.
Cool Big Sis: She tries to become this for Tatsumi when told that he'll be joining their group, patting him on the head and saying that he's amongst good people. It takes the danger of being found out to keep Tatsumi from cursing her out.
Nice Guy: He's very kind to those he believes are good people and are loyal to the empire. He even tries to help Esdese find her perfect match after Tatsumi gets away, but she respectfully insists that she's fine with finding Tatsumi again.