The female protagonist and the anime's viewpoint character.Small, cute and kindhearted, Haruka Kotoura could have lived an simple, uneventful life like the many anime heroines before her.The catch is, she's born telepathic in an universe that muggles don't believe in psychics. To make it worse, she can't turn it off, nor can she distinguish between speech and thoughts well, in a country with a tradition of hiding one's mind by lying as socially appropriate.Eventually her classmates ostracize her for blurting out their secrets innocently, even accusing her of being a compulsive liar. She causes her parents to divorce by blurting out they are cheating on each other. Her mother, who had been quite protective of her, decides that Haruka is ruining her life and disowns her. This is enough to put little Haruka past the Despair Event Horizon, as she doesn't even understand why people hate her. Later on, after she discovers she has been mind-reading all along, she becomes broken enough to decide she's actually a Doom Magnet that will bring despair to everything she's close to (having a cat taken to a shelter for euthanasia by an insensitive old lady doesn't help), and decides maintain a Jerkass Fašade so that she can be alone.So she transfers to a new high school and ends up sitting next to Manabe, a boy who hides nothing—perversion included. With him, she starts to have a more normal life (with romance on the side) while continuing to come to terms with her powers and her past.
A-Cup Angst: While her small breasts are alluded to in episode 4 during Manabe and Zenzou's Ham-to-Ham Combat, this trope doesn't show up until episode 6's beach scene—and, especially, its ending.
The song of the ending credits of episode 6 is completely about this trope, or, at least, some annoyance on how Manabe sees her breast. Per trope description she did try to remedy this by wearing loose clothing and showing her thighs.
Even the mangaka plays with this by declaring a "boobie mousepad" of Haruka is just a cutout, meaning she doesn't have any.
The Downer Beginning was ended by the subversion of this trope; as she saw Manabe holds nothing of contempt about her, unlike everyone else. This subversion persists as Manabe is so honest so the invocation above doesn't work at all.
Discussed later in episode 1, when Manabe admired of her powers...
Haruka: You idiot. There's nothing cool about it, you idiot... You don't know anything! You don't know how it feels to look into other people's minds!note The last line is manga-only.
In episode 9, when Yuriko asked her to recall the vision that made her collapse in episode 8, she pulled out Dull Eyes of Unhappiness, the first time since the first episode. Later that episode, when talking with Manabe, she said that was the most scary mind reading she ever had.
All of the above explains why she's the goddess of this trope.
Bad Liar: This poor girl has a very difficult time hiding her Telepathy since speech and thought are essentially the same to her. On the other hand, as an Ingenue, the lies she made to maintain her jerkass facade is usually very blatant—she's not that kind of a person to begin with.
Butt Monkey: A constant victim of trolling from her fellow club members as well as being incredibly clumsy. Done for Rule of Cute.
Calling the Old Man Out: Calls out Kumiko on her treatment in Episode 12. After having enough of her insults. She even assaults her with a pillow.
Cannot Spit It Out: Her inability to confess to Manabe, however, does not affect their romance. She does confess at the end.
The Cassandra: She is accused of being a compulsive liar with her mind reading abilities, particularly when she was younger. In the manga, her mother Kumiko still thinks she has delusional, in an psychiatric way.
She initially has these (of the 'no iris' variety) after far too many Freak Outs to count in her life, which thankfully doesn't last too long in-show. She still shows it when she recalls her past in the second half of episode 1, though.
She got that again in episode 11 when she was broken due to a heavy Guilt Complex.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: She can't transmit her own thoughts to people. Until episode 11, that is, when she manages to telepathically call for Manabe's help while the criminal who had been attacking high schoolers is trying to kill her.
Fainting Seer: Suprisingly rare for a telepath, but she had it twice, in the stinger of episode 8 and at the end of episode 10, when saw a vision of what looks like a violent crime, got a Heroic BSOD, and faints.
Fortune Teller: She becomes one during the later half of episode 2. It was Yuriko's first idea to prove Psychic Powers exist after recruiting Haruka; however, it backfires. Hiyori and her Girl Posse give her a vicious Poke in the Third Eye and continue to torment Haruka afterwards, leaving Yuriko to bear guilt for pressuring Haruka to do this for her.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic; she's highly insecure, timid to a fault, wants people to understand her and vice-versa, and is a complete sweetheart.
Fragile Flower: She has no constitution for sudden pressure, and she caves like a house of cards when threatened. It's often played for laughs, at which point it's kind of cute. As the series goes on, she tries to address this and grow some backbone, but it seems a part of it will always be ingrained into her nature. See also Lovable Coward.
Hollywood Tone-Deaf: when singing the anime OP in episode 3 and the anime's main ED in episode 12. In the latter case, she sings so badly, that Manabe is shown to age in face motion and Dai'chi's glasses break. Yuriko's smart and protects her ears with headphones.
Hope Is Scary: She has been seen to be this in the first episodes; Manabe convinced her for the last quarter of episode 1 and this trope also underlies why she vanished temporarily at the end of episode 3.
Jerkass: She was painted as the arch version of this by those around her. Eventually...
Jerkass Fašade: she cynically comes to the conclusion that she's a Doom Magnet, and the only way to avoid hurting people in the long run (and by extension, being hurt by abandonment from someone she cares about again) is this. Mind, people already assume she's a horrible person, she just decides to cultivate it so no one will get close to her again. Thankfully Manabe breaks through before it becomes terminal.
Leave Me Alone: She requested this from Manabe at the end of episode 1, as she thought his being close to her would eventually hurt him. Manabe talked her out of it, at least to try to be friends with him. Haruka also provides the page quote.
Loners Are Freaks: Inverted; she's not seen as a freak since she's a loner, but the reverse: after she's broken, she gradually distances herself as much as possible from people. Fortunately, Manabe and the ESP club help her out of this trope gradually.
Lovable Coward: she is ridiculously timid, and can get scared by her closest friends merely acting tough for laughs. In less serious situations, she usually responds by crying and/or running away.
Meaningful Name: Haruka means "distant" which can refer to her highly introverted nature. Kotoura can be seen as as combination of "kotoba" (word) and "ura" (back or hidden side). This combination makes a rather appropriate name for a mind reader, someone capable of seeing the hidden sides of people's words without having to be close to them (both physically and metaphorically). A slightly different explanation can be seen in the title of the opening theme Sonna koto Ura no Mata Urabanashi, desho? (This is the Secret of Secrets, right?, emphasis added.)
New Transfer Student: Twice, to the same school. Once in the first episode, right at the end of the Downer Beginning, when she attempted to change the environment. In episode 3, she ran away after hearing that Manabe was injured, declaring It's All My Fault and her world didn't change at all. In episode 4, she was thinking of where else to transfer when the ESP Club and Hiyori arrived and talked her out of it. She then was transferred back to the same class she has been attending!
Obfuscating Stupidity: When Yuriko finally comes clean to her about having used and manipulated her, Haruka tells her that she knew about it. She just went along because she was also getting something out of it, namely a place where she could belong.
Older Than They Look: Haruka herself is short among the girls, and her mother often teased her for looking child-like. Even more telling is after Haruka told Kumiko of her Dirty Mind-Reading of Kumiko's boyfriend Tsuyama, Kumiko accused Tsuyama for being a lolicon.
Power Incontinence: She can't shut off her mind reading powers, nor can she differentiate between speech and thoughts. She has some limited control over focusing on individual minds to read in the all the noise, but if she can't see them she may end up reading any nearby mind. Although she has a few friends now, she's still socially shunned by most because of this.
This trope was also Played for Laughs in the beginning of episode 6, when she was interrogated by Hiyori. She found herself unable to be sure that any answers she wrote in an exam—despite she thought to be done by herself—was not something she read from somebody else's minds. Manabe stopped the interrogation before it went too far.
A scene in the second episode where Yuriko confirmed rumours about Haruka's telepathy exploited the "cannot differentiate between speech and thoughts" part of this trope:
(Yuriko has been forcing Haruka to enter her club due to "rumours.")
Puppy-Dog Eyes: She gets an adorable set of these in episode 7 after Yuriko tells her to believe in Manabe anyway (who's suspiciously avoiding her in this episode). Yuriko is speaking from experience since her thoughts were centered around her own Dark and Troubled Past, and Haruka saw it all hence the reaction.
Trauma Conga Line: The start of the first episode is one big one especially for her: Her classmates ostracize her at school because she's different; her parents' unstable marriage is scuttled by her absentee, philandering father and lonely, desperate mother; her mother eventually abandons her, saying Haruka should never have been born to her face; a stray cat she was caring for - her last remaining friend - was taken to the pound by a cranky old woman (effectively a death sentence in Japan); and a broken, cynical Haruka ends up living alone, convinced it's better than being around other people.
Troperiffic: Did you notice the scroll bar on the side become about three times longer than its original length just by opening this character profile alone? This is notable because it's rare for a character from a Romantic Comedy to achieve this, especially for a Twelve Episode Anime. As of time of writing (6/29/2014), her profile's length consumes 57% of the entire page.
Tsundere: Very tsuntsun whenever Manabe's being a pervert or an idiot, but defaults to deredere.
The main male protagonist, and the manga's viewpoint character. Yoshihisa Manabe (usually only in Last Name Basis) is one air-headed pervert... except he is completely honest and has a heart of gold. He's the person who saw through Haruka's brokenJerkass Fašade and made her start smiling again, and quickly became her closest friend. As a true pervert, he enjoys having sexual fantasies of Haruka, just to make her fluster.
Above the Influence: Despite his blatant perversion, Manabe can't take advantage of Haruka even when he has a decent opening. And this is with him quite literally trying to force himself to follow through on his intentions (with Haruka's grandfather's blessing no less); he can't bring himself to act anything less than honorably in Haruka's presence ("honorable" for a horny Manabe, anyway).
His perversion is usually emphasized by having him act like and occasionally turn into a Wolf.
For exactly the same trait Enokids drew him as a monkey in the pages after chapters.
Badass: He managed to beat four dojo members that Hiyori sent after him. Also, in a different sense, just check the Awesome Moments page, which details Manabe singlehandedly standing up to and overcoming many of the pitfalls that could befall a relationship a Broken Bird could be re-broken by. Cruel classmates, ridicule, all the problems of dating a psychic, abusive parents, extensive issues stemming from trauma; you name it, Manabe refuses to let it get in the way of true love. It's enough to validate retain Haruka's faith, keeping in mind her extreme cynicism and bad experiences. A romantic badass, if you will.
Big Secret: He has one during the second half of Episode 7. It's actually a Surprise Party for Haruka's birthday which is celebrated at the end of the episode. The fact that he managed to keep this away from Haruka that entire time was extremely Badass on his part!
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Manabe is both very strong and an amazing fighter. These qualities come up very rarely and can be mistaken for instances of the Rule of Funny, but he has the occasional feats of strength to back it up.
Four Philosophy Ensemble: The Optimist; cheerful guy with a passion to protect Haruka and sees many things in a very unusual, yet loving way.
Foreshadowing: In the first episode, he claims Hiyori is only trying to get his attention because his fighting skills would really improve the Moritani dojo. A couple of episodes later, when he manages to seriously injure four members of the dojo that Hiyori sends after him, it's shown that he wasn't idly bragging. This does not work in the manga, though, as Hiyori is the daughter of cult leaders there. In the equivalent line in manga, Manabe claimed Hiyori was only trying to convert him into that cult.
Lovable Sex Maniac: He is a raging pervert, but he is mostly excused for his behavior because, in a hypothetical situation, if you put him in a room with, say, a beautiful supermodel and Haruka in it, he'd give the supermodel a token leer for a second or so, and then go on fantasizing about his girlfriend without hesitation, clearly smitten, which is heartwarming in a backhanded sort of way, even if he does tend to add on... upgrades to her figure. For that matter, he doesn't actually mind taking it slow with Haruka.
Oblivious to Love: Despite multiple hints that Hiyori's been attracted to him for years, Manabe never seems to realize that she fell for him. He also doesn't realize that Haruka has fallen for him as well. This was lampshaded in the first chapter of manga, when Haruka, at the time still on a Jerkass Fašade and hence quite snarky, calls him a "flag crusher."
The Atoner: after Haruka forgives her. She becomes overly sensitive about upsetting Haruka.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She initially hates how Haruka seemed to swipe Manabe from her, so she tries to alienate and bully her in episode 2. Once Manabe realizes what's going on, he confronts her about it and calls her out on her bullying.
Book Dumb: In episode 6, it has been revealed Hiyori's grades were very poor, despite looking more intelligent than Manabe, resident airhead.
The contrast between her "cooking" with Haruka's (good but not yet Supreme Chef levels, as Dai'chi commented) in episode 5 is clear. Manabe just calls the salisbury steak she cooked poison.
In episode 7, she made a meal so bad that it had not only infernally bad taste, but also altered their minds into self-unaware and unknowing Lovable Sex Maniacs: it made Hiyori want to get frisky with Manabe, then with Haruka. Manabe cuddled a vase, thinking it was Haruka.
Love Makes You Evil: Her mental bullying towards Haruka in episode 2 and asking people to attack Manabe in episode 3 was mainly driven by her realization that she had became the Hopeless Suitor for Manabe.
Arbitrary Skepticism: She believes in psychics, but she dismisses ghosts as ridiculous delusions, and explains Haruka's ghost sightings in episode 6 as accidental telepathy (sort of like Doing In the Wizard with a different wizard). She's right, but Manabe doesn't hesitate to lampshade how inconsistent this is.
Bad Bad Acting: She tries to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, but Dai'chi points out plainly that she's just fooling herself in thinking she's that cold-hearted. While she does have a partially hidden agenda regarding Haruka (presumably to make Haruka well-known as a psychic in order to vindicate Yuriko's mother), she still seems to care about her greatly.
Because You Were Nice to Me: In episode 7, Yuriko reveals part of her past to Haruka. Shortly after her mother committed suicide due to accusations of being a fraud, some kids mock and bully her. But then Dai'chi shows up, and tells her that he still believed her mother was a real psychic. She starts to cry after hearing it, and Haruka later turns on the waterworks as well.
Berserk Button: Don't take the club activities lightly, or else she's gonna threaten to beat you up with a chair.
Four Philosophy Ensemble: Realist; grounded in facts and is unconventional in utilizing them, cares about her goal and eventually learns to care about the people around her, and open to possibilities.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric/Sanguine blend; highly excitable and takes charge of situations in a tactical manner, a people-person who enthusiasticly sets her sights on her goals but sometimes ignores the feelings of her teammates.
Genki Girl: The ESP Society seems to run on her energy...
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: A young woman with her looks and temperament probably wouldn't have much trouble finding a date, but Yuriko relentlessly pursues the nebbish but intelligent and kind Dai'chi. His apparent refusal to acknowledge her charms, sexual or otherwise, merely spurs her attempts to make him notice her.
Soap Box Sadie: She explains her life's purpose practically every time she and the club meet someone new.
The diminutive vice-president of the ESP Research Club, and Yuriko's Childhood Friend. He the voice of reason of the club and acts to counteract Yuriko's Hot Bloodedness, but can sometimes be quite cunning as well. He's the first in the grade and also likes to play video games.
Celibate Hero: He isn't a single bit interested in Yuriko's sexual teasing, and so she was actually jealous about Haruka having Manabe.
Yuriko: Manabe-kun has his issues, but being ignored really hurts a girl...
Four Philosophy Ensemble: Apathetic; consistently neutral outlook, doesn't show biases, often aloof and on the sidelines, plays along but is more of an observer.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic; unfeeling but highly analytical of everything around him and speaks with precision that often "stings" people.
Frozen Face: His weird fish-lips + shiny-glasses combo seems to be a sort of poker-face he guards himself with instinctively. As the series goes on, it becomes clear that he's just naturally reserved like that.
Non-Standard Character Design: He is drawn markedly different from the rest of the cast, being shorter, rounded, and with minimal facial features save his lips, usually drawn in a fish-like pursing. When he speaks seriously with Yuriko, he is drawn much more seriously and normally, complete with visible eyes.
Older Than They Look: He is excessively short; when Haruka first saw him she thought he was a primary schooler. A flashback in the anime shows him way back in middle school. There is no visual difference; in fact, he looks more mature in the flashback because his nose and eyes are consistently visible.
Only Friend: He is this for Yuriko at least for awhile.
Platonic Life Partners: Though Yuriko makes several moves on him throughout the series. They're close enough to be practically family, especially since Yuriko lost her mother.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Inverted and played with a little. His coke-bottle glasses are opaque, which, when combined with his height, give him a rather nebbish look. His eyes are only shown when he speaks seriously, specifically to Yuriko, complete with a marked change in demeanor.
Haruka's maternal grandfather, who took the parent's role for Haruka's after her parents disowned her, and acts as her safe haven before there was Manabe—but is as perverted as the latter. He is apparently extremely rich.
Cool Old Guy: he is among some of the few people willing to stand by Haruka.
Dirty Old Man: He is as much of a pervert as Manabe is, as evidenced by him making Haruka sit on his lap, then bragging about it later to her friends in episode 4.
Fiction 500: He's on it, if the events of episode 6 are any indication.
Nice Guy: Regardless of him being a pervert, he is kind and attentive to Haruka, and is highly supportive of her romance to the point of coaching the boyfriend through it. He also treats her friends to a great vacation and is very friendly with them. Underlying this is his absolute outrage at his daughter's abusiveness, expressing complete intolerance for the casual prejudice most people have towards Haruka.
Not only as the only one who stands by Haruka. When he meets Hiyori, he implies quite clearly that he knows what she did to Haruka and that she isn't off the hook with him.
He was also so outraged at his actual daughter's treatment of his granddaughter that he disowned her outright. When he comes across her again, the first thing out of his mouth is a warning that he never wanted to see her again.
Pervert Dad: Downplayed and played for laughs, since it's barely serious. He fantasizes about his granddaughter constantly. But between being a genuinely loving and doting grandfather and Haruka being a mind-reader, there doesn't seem to have ever been an actual problem with his behavior (and Haruka isn't shy about berating him about it).
Shipper on Deck: He's all for Manabe/Haruka and actually complained, in episode 6, that Manabe didn't kiss Haruka for the entire episode.
Haruka's mother and Zenzou's daughter. She may be quite doting towards Haruka in the beginning, but disowned Haruka later on due to the burden of the latter's telepathy—and the fact that Haruka disclosed that she cheated. They reconcile in the end.
Pet the Dog: The anime spent great lengths to portray Haruka's mom Kumiko as better than how the viewers see her.
In episode 8 Haruka has a flashback on how her mother took cared of her when she was ill—before recognizing her telepathic abilities. That's a far cry from how the mother was latter, which is easily summarized as being an Abusive Parent.
Haruka's mother is given another moment in episode 9 when Manabe proudly declares that he would never abandon her no matter what happens. Although her mother says something along the lines of "do whatever you want", Manabe immediately starts having perverted thoughts, provoking a momentary Mama Bear moment in her to protect Haruka from his usual attempted advances. It was enough for Haruka to briefly feel her mother's feelings prior to her mental breakdown and abandonment.
And finally the last episode, when she comes to Haruka's apartment, has dinner with her, and after that they fight and reconcile. Haruka reads her mind when she falls asleep after that, and we see that after her "I should have never given birth to you!" line, she was actually crying.
Spoiled Brat: This is how Zenzou described her in the manga.
Tsundere: Deconstructed. She's a Type A towards her daughter, and the reader who get to this far should know how that works to their mutual detriment...