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Our protagonist. At the beginning of the story, he has just returned to the town where he used to spend his vacations as a kid for the first time in seven years in order to stay with his aunt, Akiko, while his parents are out of the country. However, he has practically no memory of the time he spent there all those years ago. As time goes by, he gradually learns why that is, but he may have been better off not knowing. Little does he know that he has a long,painful journey ahead of him...Tropes associated with Yuuichi:
Easy Amnesia: He doesn't remember much about the town at all. For good reason, it turns out.
Forgotten First Meeting: It turns out he knows all of the main girls except Shiori from childhood. However, due to the traumatic events that occurred back then, he doesn't remember. More details about each are provided below.
The Gadfly: His life appears to consist mainly of trolling his various love interests.
Grumpy Bear: Not that the setting's exactly sunshine and rainbows, but he's more cynical than anyone else in the story, as is common with Key's male protagonists.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has his moments of seeming rather cynical, loves messing with the girls' heads and occasionally comes across as smug or condescending, but, on the whole, he's a pretty decent, charming sort of guy.
Nephewism: He goes to live with his aunt at the start of the story because his parents are leaving home for an extended period of time and would rather have him live with Akiko until graduation than be home by himself.
An Astral Projection, Not a Ghost: The version of her you see throughout is revealed to be this. She is actually in a coma because of an serious accident she suffered seven years ago.
Bokukko: She calls herself by the masculine pronoun "boku" in the Japanese version, despite being not particularly boyish herself. At one point Yuuichi tries to convince her to use more feminine pronouns, but she ends up being uncomfortable with this.
Crash-Into Hello: How she first meets Yuuichi or, rather, how she meets him again after not seeing him for seven years. It becomes an obviously invoked trope when Ayu keeps doing it on purpose, making it a Running Gag for a while when she keeps trying to tackle hug him. 'Trying' because he is prone to dodging.
Expy: Ayu is mostly an Expy from a game the Key team made under a different name, before they formed Key they were Tactics, a branch of Nexton. The game is ONE: To the Radiant Season. Look at the character featured on the cover art, its a grown-up look-a-like of Ayu.
Forgotten First Meeting: It turns out Yuuichi knows her from seven years ago, and they were very close back then. It takes a while for her and Yuuichi to recognize each other.
Genki Girl: Not much seems to get her down. At least, not until the revelation of her true nature, anyways.
Heroic BSOD: After finding out that the "school in the woods" doesn't exist, she begins to freak out as she realizes that her entire existence isn't exactly real. After frantically trying one last time to find her lost item, she disappears.
Hidden Buxom: When she takes her cloak off, her chest is around the size as the other female characters. She actually has a very slightly bigger breast size (80) than Shiori (79).
Iconic Outfit: The duffel coat and winged backpack are quite well known to be hers.
Ill Girl: She is in a coma, after all. Still, she has nothing on Shiori, and it's not immediately obvious.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Yuuichi tells her right before she disappears the second time to make her third wish on the angel doll, she wishes that Yuuichi would just forget about her, because that way he won't be distraught over what's happened to her- he rejects that wish, and tells her to wish for something else. So in the anime she wishes for something else instead, and this wish heals everyone else, implying that she simply wished for him to be happy.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: She knows she's looking for something, and she knows it's important, but she can't for the life of her remember what it is. It's the angel doll Yuuichi gave her. Also, she doesn't seem to remember that she's in a coma, and when she finds out the truth, she vanishes, since, after all, she is an Astral Projection.
Official Couple: With Yuuichi, since she's pretty clearly the main heroine.
Older Than They Look: She's Yuuichi's age, but she looks to be not much older than twelve. Yuuichi lampshades this mercilessly and Ayu is not amused. This is mostly thanks to her height and baggy coat, though.
Tomato Surprise: Two in rapid succession. The first being her accident (and thus, the fact that the Ayu we've seen all along is an Astral Projection) and the second being the fact that no, she's not dead, just in a coma.
Trademark Favorite Food: Taiyaki, of course. So much so that she accidentally steals it twice. It does look delicious.
Unexplained Recovery: She seemingly is well on her way to a full recovery by the end of the story, once she awakens from her coma. You can call it a miracle, which, it turns out, is exactly what it is, of course.
Cuteness Proximity: Any time she sees a cat (even a wild one), she'll go temporarily loopy and try to pet it, despite the fact that she's allergic to them.
Disappeared Dad: So disappeared that she's never even seen the guy. He's only mentioned once.
Dogged Nice Girl: She's been carrying a torch for Yuuichi since they were little kids, but he doesn't even notice except in her route and he forgot that she already confessed to him and he rejected her years ago.
Hair Intakes: The two "cat ears" that are part of her hairdo.
Heavy Sleeper: She owns at least a dozen alarm clocks and they STILL don't succeed in waking her up. Her running ability was developed in part to allow her to still be at school on time.
Heroic BSOD: Becomes very distraught when Akiko is hit by a car, refusing to leave her room or talk to anyone. Kaori eventually is able to talk her out of it, and she recovers. Really shows how close she is to her mother.
It's All My Fault: Blames herself for Akiko's accident because Akiko was out of the house for her sake, even though it was no one's fault.
A sickly girl that Yuuichi and Ayu run into early on, and who is frequently seen hanging around outside the school during classes, apparently waiting for "someone important to her". She's quiet, peaceful and pretty pleasant and normal (though she does have a somewhat odd sense of humor and an odd fondness for eating ice cream in below-freezing weather, not to mention her almost complete terribleness at arcade games), other than being terminally ill, of course. She also has some troubles at home that are vaguely alluded to.Tropes associated with Shiori:
Catch Phrase: "I don't like people who say things like that" and variations thereof.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: To an extent, what with her odd habit of eating ice cream outside in the middle of winter, her desire to build a thirty meter snowman and several other oddities. Still, not as extreme an example as Nayuki or Ayu, arguably.
Driven to Suicide: She admits to Yuichi that she had been thinking about killing herself. However, bumping into Ayu and Yuichi surprised her so much that it distracted her from her plans due to becoming interested in the pair.
Fainting: She apparently fainted on her first day of school, and, until late in the series, has been absent ever since.
Perfect Health: She initially Hand Waves her skipping classes and lack of energy as "a cold." While this excuse rapidly wears thin, the heartbreaking revelation is somewhat spoiled by the audience being well aware it could only be a fatal condition.
The Reveal: Turns out she is Kaori's sister, and that the two were very close until Kaori began distancing herself from her sister to avoid the pain of losing her. She attended school for exactly one day before she fainted in class and was sent home to recover, and does not return until late in the story. During this time, she hangs out with Yuuichi and has a birthday party thrown for her, during which she and her sister begin to repair their relationships to one another.
Snowball Fight: She gets into one with Yuuichi. She has good aim for someone whose eyes were averted for most of the fight...
Cute Little Fangs: Serve as a bit of a hint about her true nature as a shapeshifted fox.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Originally she has a grudge against Yuuichi but still kinda likes him anyways, but gradually she abandons the grudge and just fawns on him when he abandons the escalating trick war between them.
Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: Leads to a Downer Ending. When she was still a fox, she made a wish to be able to meet with Yuuichi again, which was granted by turning her into a human and giving her human intelligence. The price was losing all her memories and then slowly losing all her intelligence and motor controls until she eventually dies with only about as much intelligence as a fox possesses. Yuuichi is left all alone and unsure of whether he loved her or not, though it's implied he did not.
Forgotten First Meeting: She turns out to have been a young fox that Yuuichi rescued seven years ago when she was injured, and that she wants revenge on him because he abandoned her after she had recovered when he had to leave town to return home.
Identity Amnesia: She doesn't remember who she is at all, just that she has an inexplicable grudge against Yuuichi. In fact, it takes her some time to even remember her own name and it's not even hers. As is revealed later, this is because she's not actually human, and, as a fox, doesn't exactly have an identity in the human sense. Also, the act of becoming human erased her previous memories. She took the name Makoto Sawatari from one of the few things that she did manage to remember, which was Yuuichi telling her (while she was still a fox) about an older girl by that name he had a crush on.
Last Request: As she loses her intelligence, she tells Yuuichi she wants to marry him someday. They hold a little wedding ceremony before she disappears.
No Body Left Behind: Right after she and Yuuichi have been "married", she disappears in front of Yuuichi.
One Steve Limit: Turns out she's not the real Makoto Sawatari at all; it was the name of an older girl Yuuichi told her had a crush on at the time, and she took that name for herself since it was one of the few things she could remember. The real one makes an appearance in the 2006 Kyo Ani adaptation, and naturally there are theories about connections between the two...
Mai is a calm, seeminglyEmotionless Girl who comes to the school at night to fight demons. Because she has been seen there at night and because windows have been inexplicably broken, she is perceived as being responsible, and has been branded a delinquent by most of the students and the staff at the school. She is excellent with a sword, and she seems to know things about the strange goings-on around the town, giving Yuuichi cryptic advice on several occasions. Her best friend (and possibly more) is Sayuri Kurata, and she aspires to be a veterinarian.Tropes associated with Mai:
Delinquent: What the staff and most of the student body at the school believe her to be. She isn't, though.
Demon Slayer: She comes to the school at night to fight demons. They are actually a result of the repression of her powers.
Emotionless Girl: Of the variant where they just don't know how to express themselves. She doesn't react much, but it's clear that she's feeling something.
Forgotten First Meeting: Yuuichi knew Mai when they were younger, when he visited the town during summer break. They used to play in the wheat fields where the school is now, and he became her Only Friend (she was new in town, due to being driven out of the previous town with her mother because of her powers). When he eventually had to leave to return home, Mai believed he abandoned her.
Heroic BSOD: After Sayuri get attacked by demons. Yuuichi snaps her out of it.
Interrupted Suicide: After Sayuri is attacked by a demon while bringing her a birthday present one night. After Sayuri's brought to the hospital, Mai goes on another rampage and trashes everything that happens to be nearby before she tries to stab herself. Yuuichi stops her this time and convinces her to defeat the remaining demons that night, which she agrees to.
Kindly Vet: What she (and apparently Sayuri as well) aspires to be. Yuuichi is disbelieving, so she whacks him with the veterinary book she's reading.
Martyr Without a Cause: In addition to being a demon-killing Badass, she's also incredibly selfless. Hell, she was willing to let a dog try and eat her hand after it was attacking people because she had nothing to feed the thing.
Meganekko: She is briefly seen wearing glasses in the Kyo Ani anime version.
No Social Skills: She seems to lack both the ability to act friendly or sociable. Goes with the territory of being an Emotionless Girl. However, Sayuri seems to put up with it.
Not So Stoic: She is very much The Stoic at first, and seems pretty much emotionless up until the middle of her story arc. Sayuri gets attacked when Mai is not around, and Mai's reaction to this is absolutely heart-wrenching. She first collapses in shock at the sight of the wounded Sayuri. Once Sayuri is admitted to the hospital, Mai then tries to kill herself, feeling guilty for not having been able to protect her friend. When her suicide attempt is foiled by Yuuichi, she breaks down into tears.
Oracular Urchin: She's very mysterious and knows more about the weird supernatural stuff that's been going on around town than anyone else, though she only ever offers very vague hints or cryptic advice about anything.
Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Sayuri. Yuuichi fantasizes about it in the VN when he's trying to figure out why Sayuri and her seem to get along in spite of being (well seeming to be) opposites. Opposites Attract, after all.
The Stoic: Given her calm, uncommunicative, at first.
Submissive Badass: Although she's constantly bullied and seen as a delinquent, she never defends herself or explains her actions. Still she's a demon-killing Badass who won't let anyone mess with her friends.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Extremely calm and stoic, coming across as emotionless. Deep down, though, she's a very nice girl who cares very much for those close to her and wants to be a Kindly Vet.
Swiss Army Tears: Deconstructed: Her tears have healing powers, but when she used them to save her mother's life when she was little, after making her briefly famous and revered, she was persecuted and driven out of town for it, causing her and her mother to move to the town where the series is set. The repression of her powers created the demons, and it's only by embracing her powers that she is saved and the demons disappear.
Your Mind Makes It Real: Years ago, she tried to make Yuuichi stay by claiming demons were attacking the field in which they used to play (which was being demolished to make way for the school), but it didn't work. Because of feeling abandoned and repressing her powers, she subconsciously made the "demons" become real.
Look Both Ways: She is hit by a car near the end of the series, and this causes Nayuki to have a complete breakdown. Though she survives, and it wasn't really her fault (blame the driver or the condition of the roads due to the weather).
Mum Looks Like A Sister: Not only do she and Nayuki look a lot alike, but Akiko doesn't look that much older than her daughter.
Nice Girl: She's very maternal, and is usually calm and gentle. Actually, she's always calm and gentle, even when it would be justified for her not to be. Another thing her daughter seems to have inherited from her.
Open-Minded Parent: She has no problem with taking in "strays", and seems unusually accepting of the idea of girls she barely knows staying at her house. Also, she takes Yuuichi's word for it when he explains the truth about Makoto.
And there was that time when, after Makoto's firework prank backfired on her, she came to investigate the noise and, rather than get angry, she asked if Makoto wanted to play with fireworks.
Parental Substitute: Let's just say that if you're homeless girl who needs a roof over her head and 3 square meals a day, just ask and you'll have an instant family of your own, no background check of your shady past needed. She goes as far as to say "Come play with Mommy" to Makoto as the latter begins to lose her memories.
Silk Hiding Steel: Always calm and gentle and though assertive, she never raises her voice in anger.
Mai's best friend (with whom she has a fair amount of Les Yay), Sayuri is a seemingly cheerful girl with an odd habit of referring to herself in the third person. Her family is rather wealthy, and she is a good cook. She and Mai have seemingly diametrically opposed personalities, which causes Yuuichi to remark that "they sure do make an odd couple of girls". She is also referred to as being almost like Mai's older sister. Kind, friendly and gentle as she is, though, she has her own sorrows, and these are what drew her and Mai together.Tropes associated with Sayuri:
Aloof Big Sister: How she treated her little brother while he was still alive - she wanted him to grow up to be like her father, a man of high social standing. She felt so guilty about how she treated him afterwards that it (combined with his early death) changed the way she talks.
Bungled Suicide: In the past, due to the death of her brother. A scar on her wrist is (briefly) visible in episode 14 of the Kyo Ani adaptation, and the game mentions it in more detail. It didn't work.
Kaori Misaka is Nayuki's best friend and the object of Kitagawa's unrequited romantic interest (she mostly laughs at him, ignores him or makes him do heavy lifting for her). She seems to be fairly well-adjusted (if somewhat snarky and maybe a bit no-nonsense), but she has some fairly serious family issues that eventually come up. She's also the rep for Nayuki and Yuuichi's class at school. She is sometimes seen staring wistfully out the window of the school.Tropes associated with Kaori:
Aloof Big Sister: She is Shiori's sister, but she refuses to acknowledge her existence to avoid the pain of her loss. Not that it works. She acknowledges her sister's existence again by the end, though.
Defrosting Ice Queen: With regards to her sister, arguably (see Jerkass Fašade, below). Possibly regarding Kitagawa, as well, since they do get together in the Toei version, and it's always possible in the Kyo Ani version and the VN as well, though it'd have to be after the fact. They do bond somewhat near the end of the 2006 version as well during Nayuki's arc, when Nayuki is still suffering from her Heroic BSOD due to Akiko's accident and they both show up to try and comfort her.
Quit Your Whining: She's the one to talk Nayuki out of her Heroic BSOD, even though that whining wasn't Wangst exactly, as it was justified by the fact that she'd just had her mother get in an accident.
The resident Butt Monkey and chew toy at Yuuichi's school, and a friend (of sorts) of Yuuichi's. Also has an (unrequited) interest in Kaori, who mostly takes advantage of it to make him do things for her. Is a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, has a fondness for ridiculous clothes, as seen at the ball, and thinks he's a ladies man as well (he isn't).Tropes associated with Kitagawa:
Casanova Wannabe: He spends most of the series chasing Kaori around (and being taken advantage of by being forced to do her heavy lifting), but he still manages to hit on Sayuri. Kaori comments on it, and he denies it, but still...
Dogged Nice Guy: He pursues Kaori like with the tenacity of a bloodhound. She views him with amused indifference and sometimes contempt. Significantly different in the 2002 version, where he's less dogged and more restrained in his advances. Works out better for him, to say the least.
Standard Hero Reward: Very mild, not completely romantic, partial example. Here's the context: Kuze, the Student Council president, is trying to get Mai expelled because he thinks Mai deliberately caused trouble at the dance by swinging her sword around. Kitagawa, who is on the council, lies to Kuze and tells him that swinging the sword around was Kitagawa's idea, since it made such a great "exhibition." This lie saves Mai from expulsion. Kitagawa's reward for helping Yuuichi save Mai and not liking to see beautiful faces like Sayuri's sad: Sayuri lets him hold her hands for a few seconds to thank him, causing him to blush at the contact.
An antisocial girl sometimes seen around the school. She provides Yuuichi with exposition and comfort at the end of the Makoto arc, and she helps Makoto try to remember after she begins to fade. She and Yuuichi reminisce about their experiences afterwards, and she is later seen hanging around with some girls, suggesting that she gets over her isolation and unhappiness and makes friends.Tropes associated with Amano:
Defrosting Ice Queen: When she is first introduced she is antisocial and distant. By the end of Makoto's arc, however, she starts to act more natural around both Yuuichi and Makoto.
The Jerk Ass Student Council President, who is apparently intent on expelling Mai (and possibly Sayuri as well, if she continues to associate herself with Mai) from the school.Tropes associated with Kuze:
Jerk Ass: Boy, is he ever... Trying to get Mai expelled after the ball is pretty extreme, considering the demons did the damage, not her- she didn't start waving her sword around until AFTER the windows all broke and tables started flying. Yet he still tries to get her blamed for that, too.
Jerkass Has a Point: Sort of. The shocking revelation later on is that the demons Mai's been fighting have all come from Mai herself, due to Mai's inability to accept her healing powers. So Mai technically was responsible for the demons causing trouble at school and for the windows and glass breaking! No excuse for Kuze jumping to conclusions and trying to get Mai expelled, though, since there's no way Kuze could possibly have known about the demons and what little evidence he had to reach his conclusions didn't conclusively point to Mai as the cause. And he didn't assume Mai somehow "caused" the damage, he concluded that Mai was a delinquent who just went around breaking things for fun, when Mai had repeatedly demonstrated a desire to help others rather than hurt them, such as her behavior towards the wild dog for example.