A nice, sweet yet repressed and self-criticizing artist/gamer geek who came to Japan because of what Largo did at E3. Out of money, he helped out some unknown girl in a train station and things just snowballed from there.
Attractive Bent-Gender: A throwaway gag has a stalker fan of Erika comment that "female behind counter cute but not Hayasaka-san" when inside the Megagamers store. But Piro and Erika are the only employees in the store at the time...
Author Avatar: You have to be a good writer to get away with naming a main character after yourself without receiving (much) backlash.
Beware the Nice Ones: After one incident in particular, the forums celebrated his development of "a spine and balls".
Dark and Troubled Past: Most of Piro's self-confidence issues can be traced back to the Endgames event. Endgames was an MMORPG that he and Largo used to play before the North American Servers were shut down due to the actions of a rogue player— one Miho Tohya. Piro had a role in that whole mess, and for him, it turned ugly... really ugly.
My Secret Pregnancy: Miho's Endgames character got his Endgames character pregnant, which is part of what led to their falling out. He hid it from her for years. She doesn't handle the news well at all.
Tsundere: He has shades of Type B towards Kimiko. However, he is a blatant Type A towards Miho (for understandable reasons, as it later turns out).
Piro: I went to see her to make sure she was doing okay. I mean, I don't really care if she's okay or not.
Best Beer Ever: It's been some time since we have seen him drinking; there is good reason for that.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Largo sees no difference between "in-game" or "real life". Pack of ravers? Zombies! Manhole covers? Spawn points. Subverted, he may look like one for most times but there are moments when he is, in fact, very right about the situation: Extra-dimensional zombies are actually plotting invasion on Tokyo, and yes he really fights them while riding on a rentable Godzilla pastiche. He still can't seem to tell the difference between genuine zombies and ravers, though.
Chivalrous Pervert: In some earlier strips, we have seen that Largo is quite interested in Erika's r4ck, but when Erika later suggests stripping due to static-y fabric (see here) Largo says no, because "It would... distract me"
Genius Ditz: Crazy as he is, he's smarter than people give him credit for. We only see his direct thought processes twice, but both times he's figuring out some of the most complicated aspects of the comic.
First, he recognizes Miho's aura and tactics and realizes who she is: An old party member from the Endgames MMORPG, who took control of nearly every PC in the game and almost destroyed the virtual world. Too bad Piro wasn't listening.
Second, he manages to deduce what Miho is: Based on the police's reaction to a Magical Girl, and the comment "never let anything get zombified that's hard to kill," he comes to the conclusion that she's an undead Magical Girl. He's at least half right on that.
Hey, You!: He has a tendency to not call people by name. Since Largo doesn't speak Japanese and he seems to have a hard time remembering Japanese names, this is pretty justified.
Leet Lingo: It's called 'English' at the school he "teaches" at.
Despite how much he and Piro disagree with each other at times, Largo has shown that he is willing to risk life and limb for his friend on a few occasions, once saying "If one of us is not secure, then neither of us is."
This is also the reason behind his animosity towards Miho. She was one of his True Companions in Endgames, and not only did she betray that trust horrifically, she did a number on Piro in the process.
Übermensch: has shades of this, seeing as Largo lives and acts according to his own set of principles and ideals that don't really match up to anyone else, and yet make a certain amount of sense. Like The Unfettered example below, this is probably one of the more comical versions in existence.
A former idol and occasional booth babe who works at Megagamers.
Badass: It's hard to tell where she is compared to people like Largo or Ed, since she doesn't really get into serious fights, but she is still capable of some pretty impressive feats. Not to mention that she apparently uses a real gun for cosplaying.
Boobs of Steel: She definitely qualified early in the story, having biggest cup size and being the strongest character (able to easily overpower the likes of Largo). It ceased to apply ever since Tohya and Yuki showed what they were capable of.
Kuudere & Tsundere: In many ways, she has been moving from being something of a Broken Bird to dithering between being both Kuudere & Tsundere depending on the day. She is neither completely cold and is too playful to be a permanent Kuudere (whom leans towards cynicism) while she tempers her rage more than most Tsundere (whom happens to also be a type A) characters. In either mood of the day, only Kimiko and (surprisingly) Largo can pull out full compassion or tears from her.
Only Sane Man: She seems to be able to see the multiple overlapping realities of the city, which puts her in a unique position to snark over them.
The Tease: If there is one character that is this, it's Erika. But only among the other megagamers (Kimiko is a frequent victim).
A young wannabe idol and Erika's roommate who, through a combination of luck, the internet, a feverishly-awaited game and a radio interview, garnered a legion of obsessive fans who would do anything for her. Something of a female counterpart to Piro.
A-Cup Angst: In the beginning of the series, while she's working at Anna Miller's, she's seen to stuff her shirt. Her busty coworker remarks, "Wow. You really do need those, don't you?" Living with the extremely well-endowed Erika doesn't help either. She doesn't fret about it as much after she starts getting close to Piro.
Idol Singer: At the early stages of her career. Although it seems the "singer" part is subverted; while she's a good singer, apparently she starts crying whenever she sings.
Instant Web Hit: When she defends "pathetic little fanboys" on a radio show, her popularity goes from "let's hope this girl doesn't screw up the character" to "complete and obsessive adoration".
Sayuri: Do you think I should hug her? Matsui: After this, the only games I'm gonna produce are violently depraved kichiku blood-baths.
Older Than They Look: Slightly. It is heavily implied that Kimiko is the oldest of the main quartet, Erika being at least a few months younger (and Piro and Largo being younger than either of them), although it's difficult to know since very few characters' ages are given.
Pettanko: Borderline example. After she becomes famous among the otaku horde, fans often reference her lack of endowment. She's not particularly short, though.
A mysterious teenage goth girl who appears after Largo has one of his adventures. It eventually becomes clear that the weirdness around her is not due just to Largo's skewed perceptions. She's prone to fainting spells and suddenly disappearing, and, despite many scenes in cafes and restaurants, has only once been shown eating.
She's too reserved to bring it up with anything approaching regularity, but she does show some mild annoyance (or at least surprise) after Ping's Breast Expansion.
Miho: I can't believe that used to be my top.
And yet, she's clearly better endowed than every other major girl in the series aside from Erika, Ping (temporarily), and probably Junko. Also Komugiko, but then she's not a major character.note Seraphim's an odd case. In "big mode", Sera's more amply endowed, but considering that she's in "little fairy mode" 95% of the time, Miho (like every other girl) wins on sheer volume.
Adaptation Decay: invokedIn-universe. Her story, the tale of an innocent girl dying of a nameless disease, created the Ill Girl trope and countless imitations. But that was just the very end of her story. She tells Kimiko that she had life and love, and was not the innocent little thing she's remembered as.
Ambiguous Innocence: Despite her manipulative nature, she has a very strong reputation for being a sweet, innocent girl in a bad situation. It's this perception that created the Ill Girl trope. Miho disagrees.
Miho: But I was never that girl. I lived. I had a life. I knew love. I lived. And it was a monstrous life that destroyed the people I loved.
Anthropomorphic Personification: It seems she began as one (being the physical embodiment of the Dying Heroine archetype) but she hates it and might have at least partially transcended this form by deliberately acting againsther characterarchetype. It is also possible that Ping, Junko and Yuki's actions from chapter 10 may result in changing that or at least making her the embodiment of a different archetype.
Defrosting Ice Queen: see Not So Stoic below. Early strips had her as very enigmatic, but that changed when Yuki visited her in the hospital. Add in Ping releasing a bunch of photos of her online, the ice starts to melt, and it becomes apparent she may still harbor feelings for Piro.
Doom Magnet: As the embodiment of the "Tragic Ill Girl heroine", every "story" she is in ends in tragedy.
The Dreaded: To Largo, Inspector Sonoda, and Ed. That is, three of the most badass characters in the comic.
Foreshadowing: Well, just to start with, she recognizes Piro's name. Turns out she was his lover in an MMORPG which she nearly destroyed.
Gamer Chick: Though she doesn't play in typical fashion.
G.I.R.L.: Twisted all around. She played a male in Endgames, who seduced Piro's character. Then they got to talking in real life, and she sent him pictures. Then she told him she was actually a guy, and the pictures were fake. THEN Piro found out she was indeed female and the pictures were real, causing him to freak out.
I Have This Friend: She tells Kimiko a What If? story about Kotone (the Ill Girl Kimiko is voicing). Since she was talking about herself before swerving into Kotone (and Kotone is one of her expies), it's pretty clear who the story is really about.
Ill Girl: Possibly not just anIll Girl, but theIll Girl. Apparently her story was so great that it became more real that she was—forcing her to come back to life and relive it, only to die over and over again. Kotone is specifically mentioned to be one of her "major character representations," and it's implied all other Ill Girls are the same.
Miho: Have you ever fallen in love with a girl because you knew she was going to die?
Important Haircut: She was able to hide her identity from Inspector Sonoda simply by cutting her hair.
Improbable Hairstyle: She wears a ribbon wound through her hair, which people in real life have found frustrating (but not impossible) to duplicate.
The Endgames Incident, a major event in the backstory, involves Miho abusing the emotional systems of an MMORPG to turn the entire virtual world into her minions. Only Piro and Largo resisted her. She carries this trait into her real relationships, too.
Fails to pull this off in the hospital when Yuki visits.
When she found Ping waiting at her side when she woke up after collapsing, she started crying about how she didn't need Ping's "simulated pity".
At one point, she asks Kimiko why she's so invested in the character she's voicing, and Kimiko explains how she feels the only way to bring the character to life is to make people care about her... and she turns around to see Miho silently weeping. We later find out that this describes Miho's situation almost word-for-word.
Older Than They Look: Certainly older than high school age. Implied to be at least as old as Piro and Largo, if not Yuki's mother Meimi. Some of the things she's said implies she used to run around with Meimi, and she referred to Ed as "young man". When Yuki finally discovers her, she certainly looks older than she was the last time we saw her. Kinda.
Parental Abandonment: Miho lives in the basement of a goth nightclub. No mention of her family is made. After one fainting incident, the school nurse complains that she can never get in touch with Miho's parents, and says she needs their cell phone numbers. It's never mentioned again. Considering what Miho is, it's highly likely that she might not actually have parents.
Rapunzel Hair: Had this prior to the Endgames fallout. Piro has a drawing of her immediately post-haircut in his sketchbook, which Yuki scribbled comments on. After the confrontation with Ed and the zombie horde at the end of Chapter 9, which culminated in her apparently being blown up by a BFG, she reappears several weeks later in the hospital she was supposed to have been at the entire time, with her long hair once again intact.
Spirited Young Lady: Her real story, judging by the story about Kotone she tells Kimiko. She always had a love of adventure, and left home to visit her uncle. She was shipwrecked, rescued by dangerous people, and joined them in their schemes.
A prototype of the Emotional Doll System (EDS), a PS2 app that uses a Robot Girl for Dating Sim games, Ping was left with Piro and Largo by Tsubasa, her original owner, after he left for America. As you might expect, she's somewhat naive, but has a good heart and is very enthusiastic.
A-Cup Angst: Ping is a rare case of having both this and its inverse. She gets upset that Piro ignores her, and subconsciously assumes it's because she doesn't look like Erika (with whom Piro had been spending a lot of time). The end result, well... see below.
She can do this to better fit the game she's playing. It can also happen unconsciously, which freaked her out once she noticed it.
She later undergoes de-expansion. She certainly seems a bit shorter and noticeably less well-endowed than before. Given the timeframe, it could be either a reaction to the rest of the girls bullying her while she was Expanded, or depression over Miho's disappearance.
Compulsory School Age: She was looking for Largo and stole a school uniform. Now she's part of his class.
Junko: Good thing girl robots that can rip poles out of the group and smash delivery trucks don't bother me! Oh, and people flying through the air? I see that all the time! And how about that huge turtle with the wine bottle down the street? I thought that was really funny! Ping: Wasn't it really kinda sad? I think Mr. Turtle might have a drinking problem.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Programmed in; EDS units automatically break off any romantic relationships with their owners if they get a real girlfriend. Which means that, as Miho observed, "For her, every game she plays will end in a broken heart." (though Miho is something of a pessimist)
Japanese Honorifics: She bounces around the list, since without anyone playing with her, she's not sure what relationship she's supposed to have with Piro and Largo. Piro has gotten -san, -kun, "Mr. Piro-san," and even -niisan, while with Largo she alternates somewhat randomly between -san and -sensei. Junko yells at her for this before she realizes she's a robot.
A lot of people treat her this way. Piro sees her as an Annoying Younger Sibling at best, and more often as an annoying appliance he can't find the off switch for. Largo treats her as a pawn for evil – which, in fairness, she kinda is. Ed just sees her as stolen property that needs to be recovered or destroyed. Even Inspector Sonoda doesn't have a problem with abandoning her on the roadside. And who knows what Miho thinks. Erika, Kimiko, Yuki, and Junko are the only ones who treat her like a real person.
Mr Ibara (Junko's dad) dishes it out the worst. He looks her over like he would any computer and then says to her face that her existence is a pitiful tragedy.
Finally Junpei gives a credible explanation of why this should not apply.
Ridiculously Human Robots: Indistinguishable from human other than her strength and digital readouts. She has implied on at least two occasions she has a working uterus.
Robot Girl: No one notices, despite the very obvious digital readouts hanging from her ears.
Yuki (age 15) first met Piro while he was reading shoujo manga in a bookstore. After berating him for it – since that is something Not Done in Japan – she discovered that he left without his sketchbook. After much drama, the sketchbook is returned. Then Miho and Ping turn up at her school, and her life takes a turn for the weirder.
A-Cup Angst: Has a bout of this after she sees Piro with Erika, and assumes (incorrectly) that the two are an item. Unlike Miho, Yuki really is lacking in the bust department.
Idiot Hero: She's still very naïve, such as when she dresses in an Impractically Fancy Outfit or nearly kills Kobayashi dragging him around town at super speed. Thankfully, she has people to explain things to her before it gets too out of hand.
Impractically Fancy Outfit: Her first instinct when fighting zombies is to dress in something like this, since magical girls are supposed to be cute. Then she runs into Largo, and he gives her something better.
Impossible Thief: She stole a zombie zilla right before the TPCD's eyes. Her standard fighting style is to just steal everyone's weapons.
Dom: Where's my gun? ...and my car?
Kleptomaniac Hero: She accidentally stole Piro's bookbag (after she returned it to him the first time), and implies this isn't the first time something like that has happened.
Magical Girl: As she finds out when she follows Miho up some power lines.
Junko:I am one of your female students! You can't ask me something like this!
Ordinary High-School Student: There doesn't seem to be anything special about her at all, other than the fact she keeps stumbling into things. She used to be friends with Miho, is present when Inspector Sonoda is explaining how important idols are, realizes Ping is a robot and witnesses Yuki roofhopping, and her father gives her a detailed explanation of what Miho is.
Rape as Backstory: Implied. She mentions it "must be nice" that Ping doesn't have to have sex if she doesn't want to, and expresses envy at Ping's ability to rip telephone poles out of the ground and beat people with them.
Seraphim is a field agent for the Conscience Enforcement Authority and Piro's "conscience". She routinely appears to Piro as a small angel-winged woman perhaps six inches (15 cm) tall with (apparently) correspondingly reduced weight and ability to make virtually everyone overlook her presence.
Twin Switch: Takes place in Chapter 5. It causes her to change her policy regarding helping Piro.
Asmodeus is the only conscience entity introduced into the story so far who is not a member of the Conscience Enforcement Agency. He is apparently the evil side of Piro's conscience, although he seems to generally view his suggested deeds as "having fun", rather than "doing evil."
Stupid Evil: He's really not as effective as he could be.
Boo is a hamster who is currently employed as a temp agent by the Conscience Enforcement Agency. He was assigned to help ease Seraphim's caseload after she complained about how severely overworked she was. Soon after, he was given a role as Largo's conscience, which has been his primary mission ever since.
Dom is an American who works for Sega's black ops division. When he hired in, the job opportunities were tight, with only one slot available for a new employee.
Author Avatar: Or rather, "Guy-Who-Has-Some-Connection-To-The-Author Avatar" of Fred's friend Dominic "Shirt-Guy Dom" Nguyen.
Cool Car: A sleek black company car. Miho casually destroyed it with one hand.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Although he's generally a wet-works man, he's also been known to dabble in the paperwork side. Such as when he helped buy the company producing the game Kimiko was working on.
Even Evil Has Standards: When he was competing with Ed over a job, he only locked Ed in his trunk so he missed his appointment.
Largo: What about all the other applicants?
Dom: Well... they weren't my friends, right? [reaches into his jacket and pulls out a gun]
The Sociopath: Has shown zero remorse for any of the things he's done.
Trigger Happy: In the early years, Dom and Ed were used to play off a Japanese stereotype: That all Americans are well armed and willing to whip out a gun at the slightest provocation. These days Dom's the manipulativeschemer of the two, but he'll still rely on an endless supply of pistols to solve his problems.
Ed is a Sony Enforcement Division agent, Dom's best friend and rival. They both applied for a job with Sega Japan after graduation. Dom locked Ed in the trunk of his car so he would miss the job interview.
The Worf Effect: He's one of the strongest characters in the series. He also gets beat up a lot.
Trigger Happy: In the early years, Dom and Ed were used to play off a Japanese stereotype: That all Americans are well armed and willing to whip out a gun at the slightest provocation. Ed has become the more violent of the pair, using high level Sony weaponry and robots in blunt (yet effective) ways.
A Ninja who first showed up as the challenger to Largo for a Mortal Combat Visa, Junpei now seeks to assist the 'l33t-master' and learn from him.
Anime Hair: Slicked back into curved spikes, and multi-colored. Was straight black until he decided to follow the "Way of L33t".
He does dress in black after meeting Largo for the second time, but still, he is seen by anyone (though not while doing ninja-y things...)
Subverted at one point in the comic, where it says that the real Ninja Headquarters cannot be shown.
Honor Before Reason: At one point is willing to go up against a powerful magical girl in order to protect Largo. Keep in mind that Junpei considers the magical girl 'code of love' to be far more dangerous than the ninja 'code of honor'.
Roof Hopping: Seems to be his main method of getting around. Comments at one point that this would be difficult to do while carrying Piro and Ping, as our resident robot-girl would be heavy, and some roofs on the way to their destination have a low load limit.
One of Yuki's classmates, and as of late her love interest. Evidently nursed a crush on her for many years which she has only recently become aware of.
The Chew Toy: He gets injured so often that even Dom feels sorry for him.
Mistaken for Pedophile: When Inspector Sonoda looks him up, he starts yelling about how a Level 1 fan of Lolis in Lavender shouldn't be allowed near his daughter, or any girl for that matter. Turns out the inspector was looking at the wrong Kobayashi file.
Stalker with a Crush: It hasn't really been portrayed either positively or negatively yet, though. In fact, the only word someone used to describe it was "pathetic".
Komugiko "Mugi" Sawatari
A part-time bouncer at the Cave Of Evil, and a very old friend of Miho's. Looked after Pirogeth (Piro's character) in Endgames when he stopped playing. She’s a high school Biology teacher who specialized in the study of the Poacae plant family, specifically wheat and barley. note Komugi = wheat, ko = girl
Ms. Fanservice: She's both petite and busty, so she makes sure her costumes take full advantage of it. Even her street clothes do this; her regular shirt has a plunging neckline. When she meets Piro, she immediately gives him a front-row view of her cleavage, saying "Yeah, they're real." (though that comment may have been referring to, well, see above.) This seems to have officially become a Running Gagwith Largo chiming in.
Yuki's mother, and a mysterious woman who knows more about what's going on than she should.
Oh Crap: When he realizes there's an unregistered Magical Girl on the loose, though less than his subordinates. During one of the livestreams Fred said that not only was he the one to finally arrest Meimi back during her magical girl days but that it almost got him killed in the process so magical girls in general probably bring back some bad memories for him.
Overprotective Dad: When he finds out his daughter has a boyfriend, he immediately does a background search, all while yelling at the poor boy over the phone.
Masamichi: I will have a dozen officers monitoring your every move, your every purchase, your every mouse click, you understand me boy? I will get text alerts!
Reasonable Authority Figure: The highest-ranking official seen, and has the best interests of not only the entire city, but most of the cast, at heart. He even deputizes Largo when it looks like he'd be useful, only to rescind it almost immediately due to Erika's cover being blown.
A Japanese friend of Piro's. Piro and Largo crash at his apartment after they lose all their money. An extremely hard-core otaku, he was Ping's original owner. His departure forces Piro & Largo to move into Megagamers, getting the plot going in earnest.
Engrish: A mild example. He uses very stilted dialogue, especially when he writes.
Put on a Bus: Done at the request of the guy he was based on.
Walking the Earth: This is what he's been doing since leaving Tokyo. Somehow he's still able to keep up with otaku news.