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Characters / Iris Zero

Here are the characters for Iris Zero.

Toru Mizushima

Toru is the titular Iris Zero, one of the unfortunate few of the most recent generation born without an Iris. Now in high school and subject to a lifetime of abuse from his peers (and indifference from his elders), Toru copes through a policy of Minimal Exposure, a veil of guarded indifference to make sure he never comes to anyone's notice. He manages this policy with the aid of some truly impressive deductive skills, picking apart the motivations of others so he can predict how they'll react to anything he does. Beneath the cold, loner exterior, he's more scarred and vulnerable than he lets on.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Despite the positive qualities listed below, simply not having an Iris is cause for isolation, condescension and flat-out rejection from most of those with Irises.
  • The Chessmaster: Not quite there yet, but he's learning.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: And Sasamori wouldn't let him stop even if (when) he wanted.
  • Cool Loser: He is unpopular due to his Iris Zero status, depite being quite handsome, very smart and good-hearted. You'd think that his ability to figure things out despite not having Iris would impress people, rather than make him target for bullies.
  • Friendless Background: As The Loner, via ostracism.
  • Guile Hero: Even as an elementary student he'd tricked others into believing he had an Iris that could detect Irises, an illusion maintained solely through deduction. Yuki then outed him after he revealed her Iris.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Toru's reason for pretending not to notice Sasamori's feelings for him, as he's afraid of ruining his friendship with not just her but everyone else.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • Non-Action Guy: His usual approach to any sort of violent conflict is "sit there and take it" in hopes his bullies get bored sooner.
  • Not So Stoic: He feigns stoicism pretty well, but every once in a while something - especially Sasamori - gets under his skin enough to draw out a reaction. And not always a good one.
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted. He pretends to be blind about Koyuki's crush on him. Part of this is due to I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me.
  • Opposites Attract: Despite his initial annoyance with her, both Koyuki and Toru develop an attraction towards each other
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The original series concept had Toru as the only one with an Iris and everyone else was mundane, but the writer decided that was too cliche and that Toru had no other distinguishing features as a result. So Toru's "normalness" became his distinguishing feature.
  • Sweet Tooth
  • Take a Third Option: Toru deduces that if Koyuki's Iris can't find the person most suitable to be Student Council President the ideal candidate must be Koyuki herself.
  • Un-Sorcerer

Koyuki Sasamori

Friendly and cute, Sasamori is easily the most popular student at the school. She is lighthearted and optimistic, and frequently sees the best in everyone. She's also bullheaded with her optimism, meaning she thinks that everyone should be trying to be their best even when they say they don't want to. Fortunately for the sake of her popularity, she mostly keeps this attitude to herself rather than pushing her optimistic ideals on every random person she meets. That said, if she feels she can trust a person and prevail upon them for aid, she will drag them into helping - if only because refusing her feels like kicking a puppy.

Her Iris is the ability to see whether other people are suitable to some task or condition she has in mind, shown as a X (unsuitable) or O (suitable) over their heads.

Hijiri Shinozuka

Hijiri is Toru's closest (and, for a long time, only) friend. He is personable and laid-back, indifferent to many things that others get hung up on. He sees little reason to fuss and worry, and combined with his sloppy manner of dress and unkempt hair, he gives the impression of someone who is careless and flighty. However, Hijiri is smart and often very serious under the pleasant demeanor, sizing up situations and thinking ahead almost as carefully as Toru. Hijiri may be honest and doesn't bother to lie, but he plays his cards very close to his chest.

His Iris allows him to see black butterflies appear and gather around anything about to die, though the death sentence shown by his Iris is not necessarily irrevocable - it is a warning that death is likely for someone if something in their life does not change, though that "something," such as a terminal illness, may be beyond anyone's power to change.

  • Blessed with Suck: His Iris is actually pretty useful, as it isn't set in stone whether the people will die or not, but it also traumatized him as a child, and even now that he's mostly used to it, the butterflies can grow so concentrated that they actually block his vision when the danger is too extreme.
  • Bromantic Foil: To Toru
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: His Iris is the ability to see black butterflies gather on living things that will die soon.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Except when he's being serious.
  • The Lancer: To Toru
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Acts very flighty and silly, but beneath the surface is almost as analytical as Toru.
  • Self-Harm: He used to cut himself. The long sleeves he wears are to hide the scars on his wrist.

Asahi Yuki

The first thing anyone would have to say about Yuki is that she "possesses a strong sense of justice." She hates dishonesty above anything else, picking and choosing her friendships almost solely on how much a person lies. This is because her Iris shows her whenever people lie, which has left her with few illusions about social niceties. She is also hot-headed and quick to react thoughtlessly when upset, which leaves even her thinking she's a bit stupid compared to the others. This lead to tragedy in Toru's young life when, though they were friends, he guessed and revealed Yuki's Iris which she had been trying to keep secret, and she angrily denounced him as a Zero for that revelation. Her closest friend since then has been Sasamori, who is too nice and compulsively honest to lie.

As mentioned, Yuki's Iris shows her when other people lie. She sees it as a black devil's tail coming from the person. The Iris also does not distinguish little white lies and polite social fictions from big whoppers, showing her just how false most of society is on a day to day basis.

  • Easily Forgiven: Toru goes from complete unwillingness to help Asahi, to putting the resentment aside, thanks to Sasamori.
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Former Childhood Friends: With Toru. She's the one who outed him as a Zero when they were both still children, and only recently have they reconciled thanks to Sasamori.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being self-described as "Thick", she's the one who figured out that Toru was pretending not to notice Sasamori's feelings for him due to fear of what it might do to the group's rather fragile cohesion.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Thanks to her Iris. She puts on a good face despite that but doesn't completely trust anyone. She admits to Toru that she can't even stop herself from compulsively checking her closest friends.
  • Jerkass Fašade: She says that she'd never befriend Toru, but with a smile on her face, and we see the panel through her Iris, so we can see that she's lying.
  • Kids Are Cruel: She was maybe six years old when she outed Toru in a fit of pique, which Toru (not unreasonably) continued to blame her for ruining his life. She's matured since then, or at least become more guarded about what she says.
  • Living Lie Detector: Deconstructed as she becomes pretty jaded since she knows just how often people lie.
  • Personality Powers: Even polite lies and pleasantries bother her, since she sees them the same as more serious lies. Everyone who knows her describes her as having a "strong sense of justice" as a result.
  • Tsundere

Nanase Kuga

Kuga is a quiet, unassuming girl whom few would give a second glance. She is polite and reserved, refusing to put herself forward no matter the situation. She was drawn into the core group's wake when Toru invited her to join his group during a class trip, though he was just in a hurry to round out the group's numbers and she was convenient. She is mostly an incidental actor until the Iris Hunter arc, where she drives the main plot as the Hunter after discovering the boy she liked was dating her and willing to sleep with her because she sort of resembled Sasamori, when she could have gone on in blissful ignorance of his true feelings if she had not had her Iris. She is also a close childhood friend of Tokita.

Kuga's Iris is the ability to see people's emotions, rendered as colored butterfly wings on their backs. This has made her extremely perceptive of others' behavior, growing up knowing exactly what people are feeling at all times, but has also weighed heavily on her mind, constantly sacrificing her own wants for the sake of others. This resulted in her time as the Iris Hunter, when the one thing she wanted for herself - her boyfriend Houjou - turned out to just be using her as a substitute for someone else, and she couldn't keep herself from looking to see if he really loved her. This pushed her over the edge.

  • Aura Vision/The Empath: Kuga's Iris lets her see people's emotions as colored butterfly wings.
    • Her empathic ability is deconstructed as it shows how she paid more attention to other people instead of herself. This led to a pretty bad childhood.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Childhood Friends: With Tokita.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kuga's father was abusive and unloving, the first of which she hid and the second she could see with her Iris but refused to tell... until she did inform her mother, at which point her parents divorced, an event she blames herself for.
  • Easily Forgiven: Considering some of her acts as the Iris Hunter, she may or may not have gotten off rather easily.
    • That doesn't mean that she's forgiven herself, mind you.
  • Emotionless Girl: Growing out of it, though.
  • Walking Spoiler: Yyyep... That's a lot of spoiler tags you've got here, Kuga.

Harumi Tokita

A latecomer to the main cast, Tokita is a serious and cold-seeming classmate of Toru and Kuga's. He is also a long-time friend of Kuga's, who is one of the few people he opens up around. He has a minor role in student government, and is first seen in the beginning of the series overseeing the vote for student council president. He mostly remains in the background until the Iris Hunter arc, where he takes it upon himself to become a second "Hunter" to divert attention from Kuga in case she got found out. He wants to help others, but his efforts have so far had a bad habit of backfiring. Tokita doesn't much like Toru (or, really, anyone other than Kuga and maybe Yuki), but grudgingly tolerates him for Kuga's sake.

Tokita's Iris allows him to see what he calls "love affections," or who a person is romantically interested in. These show up as an arrow over the person's head pointing to the one they love, and the arrow is larger or smaller depending on the strength of those feelings.

  • Amusing Injuries: Especially prone to this as a result of provoking Asahi. In the bonus strips, the other characters also abuse him for saying dirty things or Blatant Lies. Kuga even stabs him with a scythe.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mild, but he's been the most critical member of the main cast over Toru's Zero status, willing to take advantage of it before he was brought into the core group. He's still struggling with his animosity towards Toru over it and other matters.
  • Headbutting Heroes: With Toru; Tokita's past efforts to help his friends have crossed paths with Toru's efforts to help his friends, to bad results for Tokita (and Kuga, and Houjou). Tokita's resentment towards Toru isn't entirely groundless.
  • The Matchmaker: Tokita's Iris lets him see who is in love with whom by an arrow over their heads indicating the target of their affections.
  • Not So Different: Despite claiming to hate Toru, the group claims that they're both rather similar to each other.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Often with opaqued lenses before he became part of the core group, making him easier to cast as an antagonistic figure.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friends: With Kuga. And his Iris always lets him know exactly how unlucky a childhood friend he is.

Rei Hoshimiya

A very recent addition, Rei is a girl from a grade above whose presence threatens to throw off the group's careful equilibrium. Rei is pretty, cheerful, rather forward, and very persistent. It's early yet, but she was introduced with some fanfare and immediately teased as a potential third point of a Love Triangle with Toru and Sasamori.

Her Iris is similar to Sasamori's, only instead of a binary yes/no she sees probabilities (as a percent chance) that someone or something can do what she's thinking of.

  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Her twin brother died in an accident which also damaged her eyes. Her brother's corneas were then transplanted to her.
  • Badass Transplant: Her Iris comes from her dead twin brother's corneas which she received.
  • Beauty Mark: Just under her left eye, working with her more fashionable clothes to fortify her fancy, attractive rich-girl-ness.
  • Foil: To Sasamori and Toru, sharing the former's cheerfulness and similar iris, and the latter's experience as an iris zero.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Was this with her brother.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She acts very affectionate with Toru, including grabbing his hand at every opportunity, within minutes of first meeting him.
  • The Rival: She's immediately played up as a Betty and Veronica-style rival (as the Veronica) to Sasamori for Toru's attention (and possibly affections).
  • The Tease: When Toru and Sasamori are a little too quick to belt out She Is Not My Girlfriend about each other, Rei produces a knowing little grin and then blatantly flirts with Toru while asking his help.
  • Un-Sorcerer: In truth she did not gain an Iris from the cornea transplant. She is still an Iris Zero just like Toru. Rei's closest friend uses her Iris to manipulate events to let Rei believe she has an Iris of her own.