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Asahigaoka Branch School Students
Voiced by: Rie Murakawa
A fifth grader who transferred to Asahigaoka from Tokyo. Tall for her age, she has a crush on short-for-her-age Komari, whom she often makes plushies of.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: By design, Hotaru has a more wholesome face and a more cheerful expression in the anime than she does in the manga, making her girlier.
- Blatant Lies: In the first season finale, she has to lie her ass off while eating Komari's bento during their picnic as to not insult her disastrous, but earnest efforts. It's so obvious that she's having a bad time that Komari tells her repeatedly not to force herself.
- City Mouse: She comes from Tokyo, and isn't quite used to the idyllic lifestyle in Asahigaoka.
- Closet Geek: she is a big fan of mahou-shoujo anime. Especially the series called «Twinkle Sisters».
- Cuteness Proximity: She finds Komari very cute and gets ecstatic at the chance of petting her head.
- Hidden Buxom: It's not just her height that's developed, and she tends to wear loose-fitting shirts.
- Hidden Depths: See Closet Geek and Not So Above It All. Hotaru also doesn't seem to be bothered by things that would send "girly" girls like Komari running in panic, like lizards or cockroaches.
- Nice Girl: She's polite and often considerate of others.
- Not So Above It All: She acts mature around the other girls, but is more childish when she's just with her parents. No one believes her when she says that, though.
- Oh, Crap!: A couple of times:
- When the girls first visit her house and she tries to hide her collection of handmade plushies of Komari;
- When Komari disappears during the beach episode, she proverbially cries rivers;
- When she's walking her dog Pechi around and they get lost;
- When she and Komari are hiking at night and their flashlight runs out of batteries.
- Puppy Love: She's enchanted by Komari and develops a crush towards her, seeking her company as much as she can.
- Shrinking Violet: Though she's not withdrawn, it's shown that she despairs rather easily when put on the spot. She's certainly more shy than Komari, Natsumi and Renge.
- Stronger Than They Look: She's surprisingly strong, as she can arm-wrest Natsumi to submission with very little effort, and can easily carry Komari under her arm while running. She happens to be at a physiological age where she cannot accurately measure her own strength, which was further exacerbated by her meteoric growth spurt.
- Younger than She Looks: Hotaru is only 10 but can pass as a college student, or even an adult.
Voiced by: Kotori Koiwai
Renge, a first grader, is the youngest of the cast. She is adorably eccentric, can play the recorder and is talented at drawing.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Kooky 1st grader...and amazingly talented for her age sketch artist.
- Catch-Phrase: "Meowning!" (''Nyanpasu!")
- Cheerful Child: Despite having a single facial expression, Renge is a very cheerful child who constantly makes up her own songs, gets up to the usual childish mischief, friendly and very approachable, always curious and always ready to play.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Her interests are quite different from the other girls. Hotaru, Komari and Natsumi thinks it's hard to communicate with her.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Even she gets fed up by her sister's laziness and it's shown that she'll ask for help to scold her, or she does it herself if all else fails. When Nee-nee gets on her nerves one too many times, Renge resorts to exacting punishment on her by making her laziness work against her.
- Cry Cute: In Episode 4, after hearing of Honoka's sudden departure.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Though it's subtly exposed, Renge styles her characteristic hair with two pigtails because of Kaede, who began styling Renge's hair in such fashion when she used to babysit the girl. As such, they're a small part of her attachment to Kaede.
- Girlish Pigtails: Fitting for the youngest member of the cast.
- Good with Numbers: Yes, she is, much to Konomi's surprise. Renge is capable of answering multiplication-related questions instantly, despite not even knowing what the multiplication table is yet. She tells Konomi that she does this by adding things really really quickly. In her head.
- Hair Antennae: She has two strands of hair that stick up from the top of her head and she's quite the Cloud Cuckoolander.
- Meaningful Name: Renge is named after the pink lotus that grows in the hills surrounding the village, although she didn't know it herself.
- Perpetual Frowner: She has never been shown smiling yet, but beneath the single face expression runs deep emotions typical to a young child, which she shows through her actions.
- Plucky Girl: Renge almost never gives up when she's focused on something, like her walking up a hill in the dark pre-dawn for over an hour to watch the first sunrise of the year or her determination to ride the bicycle without training wheels despite falling off and scraping her knees constantly.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Her collarbone assault would make Kenshiro, Jonathan, and Jotaro bow in respect.
- Troll: When Kazuho tried to get her to lead her to bed because she was too lazy to take off the eyemask to see, Renge instead tricked her into wandering around outside and made her look like an idiot in front of her students who had just arrived at their house.
- Third-Person Person: Subverted. Contrary to other anime characters her age, Renge doesn't usually refer to herself by her first name and uses appropriate pronouns. It's implied that this might have to do with the fact that she doesn't interact with children her age, but older children by proxy who could have gone past this particular Verbal Tic themselves quite a while ago (assuming they had it in the first place).
- Verbal Tic: She adds a superfluous "-non" at the end of sentences.
- When She Smiles: But it's only in a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: She's more responsible than her older sister and teacher, Kazuho.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has violet hair.
Voiced by: Kana Asumi
A second-year middle schooler, Komari is only around 130cm(4'3) tall and is often mistaken for a child. She is easily frightened by scary things.
- A-Cup Angst: Very envious of her well-endowed Hotaru.
- Alliterative Name
- Beware the Nice Ones: She seems to be a polite person, but she's not like that all the time.
- Berserk Button: Any time her height and/or lack of maturity is mentioned.
- Butt-Monkey: The biggest in the series. Nothing in the series ever goes the way that she wants it to go if she makes the attempt. The quandary lies in the fact that Komari is too damn cute for the bad stuff that happens to her, making it somewhat difficult to laugh at her misfortune without wanting to give her a Cooldown Hug.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Despite being the oldest girl in school and trying to act accordingly, she is prone to stumbling around and being a klutz when doing a chore.
- Cute Little Fangs: She has one, which adds to her adorableness.
- The Cutie: Her defining feature and the reason Hotaru finds her so endearing.
- The Drag-Along: She is often dragged around by Natsumi. Also, when Natsumi is being grilled by their mother, Komari inevitably becomes part of the admonishment too.
- Embarrassing Nick Name: 'Koma-chan' which is derived from Komai (tiny).
- Expressive Hair: Her hair sprout usually bounces when she's really interested or surprised.
- Expy: She is one to Popura Taneshima from WORKING!!. They are cute diminutive girls who are Older Than They Look, are the butt of jokes accounting to their niceness and inability to defend themselves, have brown Rapunzel Hair and expressive eyes, and are more naive, immature, trusting and enthusiastic than they should be. The happen to be called Senpai by another character (Hotaru for Komari, Souta for Popura), who happens to be infatuated by their cuteness; Komari and Popura also are unaware/unclear about this infatuation, however. The main differences stem on Komari being crankier and unreliable, and Popura being both older (17) and more voluptuous.
- Flanderization: Her cooking skills become increasingly worse as time goes by, as she gets too excited experimenting.
- Height Angst: Doesn't like it when people mentions her height.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Komari isn't that unfriendly, in fact, she's the opposite but she does have her moments where she shows disdain for other people.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: She pretends to be knowledgeable about current trends, but others usually see through her quickly. A good example is when she, Hotaru, and Konomi were talking about music, fashion and love, and she was clueless on each topic.
- Lethal Chef: Averted in the beginning, but her cooking gets progressively worse as the series continue. First she made onigiri normally. Then she forgot to put water in the rice to cook it. Then she tried to make a bento and burnt everything. Hotaru ate it anyway.
- Lovable Coward: The most easily scared out of all the main character, which actually adds to her moe charm.
- The Napoleon: Komari does not like it when people mistakes her as a child for her short height and has got a temper to go with her height as well.
- Na´ve Everygirl: Komari is nice to a fault and will fall for Natsumi's taunting and pranks with very little persuasion. Natsumi even states that Komari would easily leave with a stranger if she was offered candy. To put things into perspective, even Renge is capable of manipulating her
- Nice Girl: Though she is a little cranky, Komari is nothing short of polite and kind to everyone.
- Oblivious to Love: She totally fails to notice Hotaru's obvious crush on her.
- Older Than They Look: Komari may be in 2nd year middle school, but she looks like she's 8. She's also very immature emotionally, as the only people close to her age at school are her brother and sister, who don't quite fit the bill in that respect.
- Security Blanket: Her teddy bear Soikichi, which she has had since she was a baby and which she repairs with Hotaru's help.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She is the girly girl to Natsumi's tomboy. If anything, Komari is childishly girly, pink overalls and all.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She gets scared very easily, and is particularly afraid of ghosts.
Voiced by: Ayane Sakura
A first-year middle schooler, Natsumi is rather relaxed and negligent of school work.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Natsumi would go out of her way to annoy her older siblings, particularly Komari, whom she frequently makes fun of because of her height and childish personality.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Natsumi is very prone to get easily bored and distracted, making the fact that she has to study on her own at school a bad idea. This, added to her sleepy teacher only makes everything go wrong for her altogether.
- Book Dumb: Does very poorly in her studies, and had received her mother's wrath numerous times because of it.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Was very prone to troublemaking even as a child. As her mother puts it:"You were the world's biggest brat back then!!!"
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: Said she wants to marry Suguru in a home video when she was much younger. Obviously, she doesn't have this attitude any more and she was mortified when she and her friends saw said video.
- Hidden Depths: It turns out she's pretty savvy when it comes to nature, and knows a lot of ways to catch bugs as well as what weeds can be eaten.
- Innocently Insensitive: Natsumi rarely measures the consequences of her actions, but she is not malicious per-se. She once subjects herself to the very thing she used to make fun of Komari (over-peppered her ramen soup) because she realized she was being watched by Renge... though she later realizes that Renge wasn't even paying attention in the first place.
- Jerkass: A troublemaker who frequently plays cruel pranks on her siblings, defies her mother, and refuses to take responsibility for her mischief.
- Never My Fault: Natsumi never sees herself to blame for whatever trouble she caused. She tore the paper screen at home? It's the door's fault for ripping so easily. She pulled off a roof tile? It's the tile's fault for coming off so easily. She got bad grades for her classes? It's the exams' fault for being so difficult. She overslept? Her sister's fault for not waking her up...
- Not So Different: Because of the assumptions she makes about Hotaru, Natsumi doesn't initially realize that Hotaru is just as interested in nature as she is, and is nowhere as squeamish as she tought. This is fair, considering that Hotaru is very girly and interacts more with Komari than with Natsumi.
- Outdoorsy Gal: She wants to do nothing more than play outside, and she often shows others the wonders of the country.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Though she is by no means unattractive, when Konomi more or less forces her to dress up in a more feminine manner, she's actually turns out to be incredibly cute. It's to the point where Komari actually gets a little jealous and Renge doesn't even recognize her upon seeing her. At first, she enjoys the attention and praise on how cute she is, but it becomes a bit too embarrassing for her and she promptly changes back to her usual tomboyish style.
- The Prankster: Frequently plays pranks on her siblings, such as wearing a creepy clown mask in the dark to scare Komari, or turning Suguru into a scarecrow while trying to avoid working in the fields.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Komari's girly girl. Natsumi is very outdoorsy, dislikes girly clothes and talks like a boy.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She usually wears her hair up high in a ponytail, and she's the more active sister.
A third-year middle schooler and Komari and Natsumi's older brother, Suguru is the only named male character. He rarely if ever speaks, but is responsible and good at sculpting with clay. He can also play the guitar.
- The Ace: He's pretty unassuming and rarely does much, but once he does get involved in action, he would excel at it.
- The Comically Serious: He shows almost no reaction to some of the things Natsumi puts him through. Then there's his high speed getaway in episode 6.
- Extreme Doormat: He willingly goes along with whatever antics Natsumi has in mind, such as turning him into a scarecrow during the "class field trip", or burying his head in the sand and forgetting about him in the Beach Episode.
- Hidden Depths: Suguru never speaks, and his primary role in the series is to be the token guy who stands around while the other girls get to interact. However, he is actually a reliable guy who can make quality clay anime figurines, play the guitar and the piano, play the ruler game in Repeat...he's basically good at everything.
- Mundane Made Awesome: During the ruler game, the girls are happily showing Hotaru how to play; cue Suguru, and the game gets freakin' tense. with special moves, camera pans and action shots. He takes it to that level and he doesn't even utter a word.
- Nice Guy: What other way is there to describe a guy who wins a free trip and instantly gives it to his sister?
- Not So Different: By the way he runs away from his mother after he and Komari see her scolding Natsumi for her bad grades, it's implied that he's actively doing something that would warrant the ire of his mom too (possibly not helping Natsumi study). He just doesn't have enough focus for it to be shown.
- Not So Above It All: In spite of his stoic demeanor, he'll join in the mischief if he's invited. When the girls are teaching Hotaru the ruler game, he joins in and it's shown that he's so good at it that the four girls have to join forces to bring him down. This is, all while Kazuho tells them that their break ended ages ago.
- The One Guy: He's the only male character introduced so far.
- Overwhelming Exception: As the description states, he's the only boy at school. He also is the only character whom Renge is shy around, and that's saying a lot.
- Running Gag: Suguru silently arriving earlier than any of the girls to wherever they go. In the first season OVA, he even gets to the convenience store by bike earlier than Kazuho and the girls, who get there by car. It's even shown that he only commutes sporadically to school at the same time as his sisters, so it's kind of a mystery how he gets back and forth from school considering that the public bus at Asahigaoka takes like two hours to arrive. He might be an avid cyclist, for the looks of it.
- The Voiceless: He doesn't have any lines and isn't voiced in the anime. The one time he is seen speaking in episode 8, we can't hear his voice because he was playing the guitar.
- The Reliable One: He quietly retrieved his sisters when they 'ran away', and helped Hotaru when she got lost while walking her dog.
Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka
The only teacher at Asahigaoka Branch School and Renge and Hikage's older sister. Kazuho can sleep any time, anywhere. She often sleeps in and arrives late to school for this reason. Her family owns a rice field.
- Apathetic Teacher: Subverted. While she's markedly uninvolved, unenthusiastic and employs an extremely laissez-faire approach, she does not proceed out of malice of resentment like the trope implies. She's just sleepy.
- Eyes Always Shut: Fitting, as she's a frequent sleeper.
- Sensei-chan: A strange case with Kazuho, since she's the elder sister of Renge, who is the youngest student in school. Played straight by the Koshigayas' mom, who calls her 'Kazu-chan'.
- Schoolmarm: Being the only teacher at a school with a class of only five students, she's essentially this.
- Sleepyhead: Kazuho frequently oversleeps and spends most of her time in class sleeping (since classes are mostly self-study due to the students all having different study material).
- Through Her Stomach: The first thing that she thinks when Renge tells her that they're fishing at the lake is that she wants sushi; in the same episode, Renge mentions that she likes to chew on scented erasers.
- Triple Shifter: Never really enforced, but she does manage her family's rice farm in addition to being a teacher. May explain why she's so tired all the time.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple hair, in this case.
Kaede "Candy Store" Kagayama
Voiced by: Rina Sato
Kaede runs the local candy store. Due to the shortage of children in town, she is perpetually short on cash and for this reason also rents skis, futons, etc. Kaede acts cool and calm, but is very kind and gets along great with Renge, whom she began babysitting when she was on middle-school. She's on her early 20's.
- Alliterative Name: Kaede Kagayama, though almost no one calls her by her name in the first place.
- Bad Liar: She's awful at coming up with excuses to visit Renge. It's pointed out repeatedly, and by multiple people at that, that she doesn't have to lie, because it's nothing to be ashamed of.
- Big Brother Instinct: Rare female example towards Renge. She falls naturally into caring for baby Renge even though she said she was terrible with babies. She instinctively acts whenever she feels Renge needs her, whether it's reaching for a candy placed high on a shelf or when Renge is down with fever.
- Cool Big Sis: She acts as this with almost all the girls, but is more pronounced with Renge. Renge admires her very much and Kaede, in turn, takes a good care of her.
- Cuteness Proximity: The whole town knows she bends to Renge's cuteness without much resistance. Renge's effect over her almost nears Cuteness Overload, but her natural stoicness keeps her reactions fairly in check.
- The Dreaded: Played for laughs. Natsumi, Komari and Hikage consider her more intimidating that she actually is. If anything, she is one of the nicest people around.
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone calls her Candy Store (Dagashi-ya), even in the flashbacks before she inherited it.
- Japanese Delinquents: As mild an example as it can get. Hardly anything ever happens in Asahigaoka warranting to be a "delinquent".
- Jerkass Fašade: She shows herself as blunt and disinterested, but she's girlier and nicer than she appears.
- Like Brother and Sister: Kaede is more sisterly and doting towards Renge than either Hikage or Kazuho. Likewise, Renge is more clingy towards her than to her own sisters.
- The Reliable One: The only named adult that the girls know that is neither sleepy nor berates them. She always has her doors open for them. She is also markedly protective and doting towards Renge.
- Tomboy: She was one when she was younger, though she likes girly stuff like candy and baking.
- Tsundere: She loves Renge with all her heart... Just expect her to stumble upon her own excuses to not admit it when you bring it up.
- You Keep Telling Yourself That: She tends to deny her kinder side and her unbending dedication towards Renge.
Voiced by: Akiko Hiramatsu
The mother of Suguru, Komari, and Natsumi. She's usually strict.
- The Dreaded: Nattsun, Koma-chan and Suguru are terrified of her tantrums. It's fair to mention that the kids do get on her nerves (especially Natsumi), yet she's nothing if not a loving, dedicated mother.
- Education Mama: She monitors her children's grades very closely, and if they're not up to par she'll let them know. Natsumi is especially aware of this. Out of necessity and kindness, though, she'll fill up on Kazuho's duties on morning calisthenics during summer so that Kazuho can get some sleep.
- Good Parents: She absolutely loves her daughters and son, even when they have a special knack for trying her patience.
- Improbable Weapon: She angrily hits Natsumi with a futon beater so hard that it gets stuck to the girl's scalp; it's not nearly as violent as it sound, as it's given a Slapstick treatment.
- Pet the Dog: She treats Natsumi and Komari with watermelon-flavored sweetfish when they returned home fully expecting to be punished after they ran away. This showed that she was more concerned than angry about their absence.
Voiced by: Misato Fukuen
Renge and Kazuho's sister who attends high school in Tokyo, six hours away by bullet train.
- Butt-Monkey: She's usually the recepient of jokes when on-screen, most of the others don't treat her well, and she finds herself in bad situations often.
- Cain and Abel and Seth: We didn't know Renge and Kazuho had a middle sister for much of the first season.
- Country Mouse: Attends a high school in Tokyo and in constantly in awe of the city.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: This is the redeeming aspect of Hikage that makes up for her smugness. It's not to the extent of Komari's clumsiness (or cuteness, for that matter), but Hikage has two left feet too, and it's always fun to see her stumble.
- Hero of Another Story: She's one of the main characters in Koakuma Meringue, one of Atto's other works. She also leaves for Tokyo around the same time Hotaru arrives in Asahigaoka and presumably has to go through similar situations with adjusting to her new environment.
- Not So Above It All: She tries to act she's above the antics of others, but given some time she reverts to her old country ways. Also, much like Natsumi, she'll resort to covering up her mistakes instead of admitting culpability if she does something wrong.
- Shameless Self-Promoter: A very mild example, as the first thing she does upon coming home is to brag about studying in Tokyo and riding the bullet train. Before Hotaru reveals that not only did she grow up in Tokyo, but she took a plane to get to Asahigaoka.
- Sixth Ranger: Albeit not the "sixth" girl per-se, but the fifth, Hikage will go with the girls to play and fits pretty seamlessly with them in spite of not interacting with them at school. This is notable, as she was shown to be a closer friend to Kaede and Konomi when they attended school together.
- Outdoorsy Gal: Savvy about nature and the outdoors as much as, if not more than Natsumi. She might brag about being a city girl now that she attends school in Tokyo, but very quickly reverts back to type once she joins the other girls to play.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She is literally the middle ground between Renge and Kazuho. She has Renge's morose expression and Kazuho's hair color; her tone of voice is also very reminiscent of Kazuho's, but markedly less "lazy".
- Through Her Stomach: At one time, she came to school and brought baby Renge with her just because there was going to be curry for lunch... that is, until Renge spilled it on the floor.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple hair, rather.
Voiced by: Ryoko Shintani
Natsumi and Komari's friend who lives next door and attends the "local" high school as a third year student.
- Beware the Nice Ones: If Hikage is any indication, Konomi is not someone to make mad.
- Cool Big Sis: Komari and Hotaru consider her one.
- Everyone Went to School Together: She was a school classmate of both Hikage and Kaede when they attended the Asahigaoka Branch School, who at the time had Komari, Natsumi and Suguru in elementary school.
- The Gadfly: She likes to say and do things to tease others, like making Renge believe she's a monster, or going on about instruments with Komari, when she knows Komari is actually interested in her cell phone.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She is the girly girl to Kaede's and Hikage's tomboy, though the two girls are not as tomboyish as, for instance, Natsumi.