Characters: Sand Chronicles

The characters of the manga Sand Chronicles.

Some unmarked spoilers follow.

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    Main characters 

Ann Uekusa/Minase

The main protagonist. Ann moves with her mother, following her parents' divorce, to the country town of Shimane. When her mother commits suicide, Ann is left in a deep depression and is only lifted from it by Daigo's kindness and the support of her family and friends in Shimane.
  • A-Cup Angst: Sometimes embarrassed of her undeveloped chest, especially when Ayumu makes fun of hers and brags about her own chest.
  • Betty and Veronica: Betty to Ayumu and Shiika's Veronica for Daigo. Ann is the average Girl Next Door, Shiika is the spoiled and alluring girl, Ayumu is athletic and enjoys making fun of Ann.
  • Broken Bird: Goes through a lot - her parents' divorce, mother's suicide, moving back to Tokyo with her dad and consequentially affecting her relationships with her friends and Daigo back in Shimane is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Cool Big Sis: Is one to the younger girl Chii who is her younger half-sister, though less emphasis on the cool. She constantly looks after her as a baby/toddler while her mum Kaede and their dad go to work, and treats her well enough when older, even taking her to see the Sand Museum, much like how her mum took her when younger. Chii also does look up to her, when not ragging on her for being lame anyways.
  • First Kiss: With Daigo on the bus ride home from a field trip.
  • Generation Xerox: Takes after her mum and is commented a lot about it. She looks practically identical to her mum when she was her age. It's also what stresses Ann out, worrying that she might become a Broken Bird like her mum. It hits home when she collapses from fatigue at age 26 and she's told by the doctor to not push herself, which is near identical to what the doctor 14 years ago says about Miwako's fatigue.
  • Na´ve Everygirl: Somewhat. She's a little na´ve (something she comments on sometimes), ignorant and especially insecure, and gets picked on by love rival Ayumu; but she's also very cautious of her surroundings and actions.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: When moving to Shimane from Tokyo, and finds it hard to adjust to the close-knit and carefree lifestyle in the countryside.
  • Official Couple: Ann and Daigo share their first kiss at the end of Chapter 2 and start to date afterwards. They go back to this after their break-up too, nearly 10 years later.
  • Plucky Girl: She's not perfect and goes through much hell, but it won't stop her from trying to be optimistic and moving on with her life.
  • The Rival: Ayumu, who's in Daigo's judo club and would rather have him for herself while making Ann's life hell.
  • Second Love: Fuji tries hard to become one for Ann post-Daigo-break-up, even arguing that for Daigo to be her "first" love there surely has to be a second one too. Fuji successfully becomes one but it doesn't last.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • The Girly Girl to Ayumu's Tomboy. Ayumu is athletic, sports a Boyish Short Hair and is more out-spoken and bossy, while Ann is more cautious, weak in anything remotely sporty but does well in cooking instead.
    • Also the Tomboy to Shiika's Girl Girl. Ann is more hotheaded (at least when Daigo's concerned) and not particularly graceful, Shiika is The Ojou and mostly dresses like such.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Daigo, though it gets zig-zagged. They meet at age 12 after she moves to Shimane and successfully admit their feelings a few years later.

Daigo Kitamura

Ann's first friend in Shimane who also becomes her first love and boyfriend. He is more athletic than smart and is Hot-Blooded but kind.
  • Betty and Veronica: Betty to Fuji's Veronica towards Ann. Daigo's the reliable and Nice Guy, Fuji is the Chick Magnet but also quite aloof.
  • Book Dumb: He's strong and has decent street-smarts, but he does terribly on his school tests and exams. He improves drastically in the last year or so of school so that he can go to the college he wants and become a teacher.
  • First Girl Wins: Gender-inverted with Ann, though it's zig-zagged due to their falling outs. He's the first kid her age Ann meets and befriends after moving to Shimane, and they eventually date.
  • First Kiss: With Ann on the bus ride home from a field trip.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Gets easily jealous whenever Ann spends time with Fuji, beginning when he found out that Fuji kissed her.
  • Hot-Blooded: Passionate, determined and easily irritated.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: This is what Daigo wants to be for Ann, being able to protect and comfort her at all costs. This is even before they date, when as 12-year-olds he comforts her about her mother's health and feels that he's failed when she commits suicide afterward. It's there that he promises to never leave her side.
  • Nice Guy: His Hot-Blooded tendencies aside, he mostly means well, whether it be being a caring boyfriend to Ann or helping Shiika make more friends.
  • Official Couple: Ann and Daigo whom start dating after Chapter 2. Go back to this after their break-up too.
  • The Rival: Fuji, since elementary school where they constantly got into fights, and Up to Eleven when it becomes clear Fuji also has feelings for Ann.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Blue Oni Fuji. Daigo is Hot-Blooded and wild, Fuji is more collected and intellectual.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Ann notices that Daigo's gotten taller in Chapter 2 (1.5 years after Chapter 1) and she wonders if it's why she feels nervous around him.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: With Ann, though it's zig-zagged. They meet at age 12 after she moves to Shimane and successfully come to admit their feelings a few years later.

Fuji Tsukishima

The smart but troubled son of the wealthy Tsukishima family and Shiika's older brother. He develops feelings for Ann and starts to pursue her after both he and Ann relocate to Tokyo - despite the fact that she is seeing Daigo.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Very smart and handsome but also distant from Shiika due to his cold personality. It's to the point that Shiika is much more upset about Ann moving to Tokyo than her own brother. He softens up to her as they grow up.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Daigo's Betty towards Ann. Daigo's the reliable and Nice Guy, Fuji is the Chick Magnet but also quite aloof.
  • Big "WHAT?!": He lets out a very big one when he finds out that it's Shiika who's the child of their mother's affair and not him.
  • Chick Magnet: Despite his questionable personality, many girls in both Shimane and Tokyo adore Fuji for his good looks and cool aura.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rumours have it that he is the product of an affair between his mother and a young man, and it's one goal of his to reunite with him. He does reunite with him, except 1) said father is quite the dick, and 2) he's revealed to be Shiika's instead.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Falls for Ann nearly as soon as he first meets her, but he also notices her feelings for Daigo and respects them at first while still being her good friend that helps her out.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Fuji for Ann who is oblivious at first and has her eyes set on Daigo. Even when they become a couple, Fuji soon realizes that Ann will always love Daigo.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He regrets how his mum's prevented him since childhood from getting to do typical leisure activities kids normally do such as going to the amusement parks and setting fireworks, due to his role as the heir.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: With Ann, several times. First when she's dating Daigo which he respects despite his hurt feelings, then when he dates her but realizes she's not over him and breaks up with her so she can seek her own happiness.
  • Kissing Cousins: At one point he dates his cousin Mariko, who takes care of him after moving to Tokyo. They eventually marry, but it takes a long time to gain his parents' approval.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Wealthy but not very friendly which leads to him making few friends.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Red Oni Daigo. Daigo is Hot-Blooded and wild, Fuji is more collected and intellectual.
  • The Rival: Daigo, since elementary school where they constantly got into fights, and Up to Eleven when it becomes clear Fuji also has feelings for Ann.
  • The Runaway: Goes into hiding after he takes Ann to the amusement park to sort himself out.
  • Second Love: Tries hard to become one for Ann post-Daigo-break-up, even arguing that for Daigo to be her "first" love there surely has to be a second one too. He succeeds but it doesn't last long as Ann doesn't really get over Daigo.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Fuji and Shiika. Fuji is the aloof and cold brother, Shiika is the sweet and helpful sister.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Constantly commented on his good looks, while also holding a rather troublesome personality and personal issues.
  • The Unfavourite: He resents how his parents treat Shiika more favourably than him and mostly only nag him about studying and duties as the future heir, which is why he's convinced he's the product of his mother's affair. Turns out Shiika's treated better than him because she's the illegitimate child and their mother feels guilty about it; she treats Shiika well to make up for the unpleasant circumstances of her birth and is colder towards Fuji because she's too scared to directly approach him about it.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Ann who befriends him after moving to Shimane at age 12 and of course is in love with Daigo. Fuji gets out of it briefly when they date during their high school years in Tokyo.

Shiika Tsukishima

Fuji's younger sister and Ann's best friend. Though she's spoiled by her parents and servants, she's very kind-hearted and eager to help out.
  • The Atoner: After causing much trouble with her two friends and brother, she sincerely apologises via a letter to Ann and convinces her mum to let her study in Canada to sort herself out. They return to being on good terms when they reunite.
  • Betty and Veronica: Veronica to her friend Ann's Betty towards Daigo. Former is a dude magnet and The Ojou, the latter is seen as more plain but more sociable.
  • Broken Bird: When she finds out that she is the illegitimate child of the family and not Fuji, she becomes very depressed and becomes a bit cynical. She gets better.
  • Chick Magnet: Dude Magnet in this case, she's popular with guys due to her looks and sweet personality.
  • Cool Big Sis: Becomes this to Chii, Ann's younger half-sister, especially when she takes her to America. She looks after her while she's there and Chii thinks she's cool for being able to work there.
  • Disappeared Dad: Due to the mother having used to lead an infamous love life, rumours abound that someone is the product of one affair. Despite popular belief amongst the servants, Shiika is actually the illegitimate child of the family instead of Fuji, as a result of that affair between her mother and a young man. When Shiika secretly learns that it is her, she becomes a broken bird.
  • Hime Cut: Gains one in her mid-late teens and is also The Ojou. She gets rid of it as an adult when she's become more independent.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Towards Daigo, who is in a relationship with someone else.
  • Na´ve Everygirl: Due to be doted on by her parents and servants, she has little knowledge of the outside world and how harsh reality can be.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Daigo's friends are initially wary of her because she seems like a spoiled princess to them. It gets better when Daigo helps her out and she proves how hardworking and nice she really is.
  • The Ojou: She's a young daughter of a wealthy family, and is treated like so by her servants as well as others.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Fuji and Shiika. Fuji is the aloof and cold brother, Shiika is the sweet and helpful sister.
  • Spoiled Sweet: She's the beautiful and delicate daughter of a rich and prestigious family and has plenty of admirers. However she's a good and cheerful kid who likes helping out and making lots of friends - in particular she's Ann's best friend and worries a lot about her. It's also because of how overprotective her parents and servants are over her that she's very unaware of the more cynical side of life and struggles to cope when she unexpectedly gets herself into bleak situations.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Ann's Tomboy. Ann is more hotheaded (at least when Daigo's concerned) and not particularly graceful, Shiika is The Ojou and mostly dresses like such.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Daigo who's been her friend since childhood but is rejected when she makes a move on him. Different in that she falls for him much later, in their teens.

    Other characters 

Miwako Uekusa

Ann's mother. She moves back to her home village Shimane with Ann after divorcing but struggles to cope getting back on her feet. She eventually commits suicide, leaving Ann in her parents' care and setting off the emotional roller-coaster that will be Ann's adolescence.
  • Broken Bird: Ever since her school years where she was a cute but troubled girl who didn't cope well with criticism and harsh rumours that surrounded her and yearned to escape the village. When she moves back to said village, she finally hits breaking point and takes her own life.
  • Childhood Friend: Became good friends with Daigo's mother Hiroko in their first year of high school, and she kept in contact with her after moving to Tokyo.
  • Driven to Suicide: Unhappy that she's back in the hometown she hated after a failed marriage and unable to face her burdens anymore, she takes her own life and is found on the top of a mountain in the first chapter.
  • Ill Girl: She collapsed often prior to the divorce due to overworking and does it again after moving back to Shimane, and she also has a very fragile mental health that goes as far back as her school years.
  • Love at First Sight: She fell for Msahiro as soon as she met him and helped him out.
  • Missing Mom: Dies in the first chapter and leaves Ann in her parents' care.
  • Posthumous Character: Is already dead at the very beginning when Ann is 26 years old, and when the flashback starts she dies in the very first chapter. This death is the one thing that haunts Ann and affects her relationships with others for a long time.
  • Snow Means Death: She commits suicide and is found dead on a mountain in the winter when it's snowing quite badly.
  • Stepford Smiler: She's always cheerful and optimistic with Ann despite struggling to keep herself together. Ann notes that though she always smiled in contrast to her Bumbling Dad's constant worrying, the first to break down before the divorce was her.

Misayo Uekusa

Ann's maternal grandmother. Ann and her mother Miwako move in with her and her husband after the divorce, and she raises Ann herself after Miwako commits suicide. She's quite stern but dearly loves her granddaughter.
  • Apron Matron: She may be a traditional Japanese grandma but she is stern and very strong-willed. She can be rather frightening and is not above resorting to (Played for Laughs) violence, such as threatening a policeman with a knife to find the missing Kuro and her heartwarming welcoming gesture to Masahiro mentioned in Obnoxious In-Laws. She's in charge and the most prominent figure in her household, to the point that her husband is hardly noticeable when around her.
  • Granny Classic: The traditional Japanese and sterner kind. She prefers her old traditional and simple life to modern culture, as seen by her irritation when she visits Tokyo for the first time. She's also Ann's Parental Substitute after Miwako's death, a Apron Matron and adores her pet cat Kuro.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Is clear about her distaste towards her ex-son-in-law Masahiro, since he took Miwako with him to Tokyo against Misayo's will and brought much trouble to his family. When the two reunite, she smiles very politely before attacking him with a pot of salt. After Ann moves back to Tokyo, she's a bit more accepting of him enough to let him visit her for New Year's/Miwako's anniversary along with Ann. Later she genuinely congratulates him when he tells her he's remarrying and even attends his wedding. She gets along with his new family and allows them to visit her, which implies she no longer hates Masahiro all that much.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: She didn't approve of Miwako's marriage to Masahiro at first but eventually gave in as she knew she couldn't stop them. She still doesn't like him when he sees her again post-Miwako-death.
  • Parental Substitute: Towards Ann, especially after Miwako commits suicide and she has to take care of Ann herself.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: She initially feels responsible for Miwako's death, regretting having snapped at her to "get a hold of [her]self" not long before her death when she really meant to tell her to do her best.

Masahiro Minase

Ann's father, who lives in Tokyo. He eventually persuades Ann to come live with him. Ann shows some resentment towards him for being the cause of his divorce and seemingly not visiting Shimane to pay his respect to Miwako, however she comes to realise his good intentions and loves him dearly.
  • Bumbling Dad: He's hardworking and has good intentions but also a bit of a scatterbrain, and Ann says she used to think of him as "naive and unreliable" as a child.
  • Chick Magnet: Ann wonders if her father was popular with girls back in his younger days after she finds out that, besides her mother, Kaede also fell for him back in their school days.
  • Disappeared Dad: He divorced Ann's mother just prior to the story because of his debts, and she takes Ann with her to Shimane thus leading to this. However he returns to take Ann back with him to Tokyo.
  • Love at First Sight: Was smitten when he first got a good look at Miwako.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: He and Daigo's mother Hiroko both put up signs in their kids' rooms that say "You have to pay back your debt this year!" and "I deduct telephone costs from your allowance!" respectively during the long-distant relationship. In a bonus chapter from Volume 9 Miwako actually comments that he reminds her of Hiroko.
  • Trash of the Titans: He's very poor at housework, as Ann discovers the hard way when she first stays the night at his new apartment.
    Ann: *stares at the apartment full of trashbags* The... House of Trash. I saw it on TV.
    Masahiro: No! I can explain! It's not usually so bad! I just forgot to take it out last week... and the week before... and the week before that... Hey, don't touch my trash!

Kaede Kuroki

A doctor and old friend of Ann's dad Masahiro. She's the one who tries to convince Ann to come back to Tokyo for her dad's sake. She becomes a role model for Ann, especially for love advice.
  • Boyish Short Hair: She has short hair that becomes even shorter as years pass, and she's also a doctor that lacks a few feminine traits such as cooking skills. She also had short hair in her school years when she was very studious and athletic.
  • Lethal Chef: Discovered to be one when Ann freaks out upon seeing smoke coming out of her apartment, only to see that Kaede had come in and is burning the meat she's trying to cook. As a result, she often brings food to the Minases so Ann can cook for her instead. She doesn't seem to improved much as the series goes on.
  • Parental Substitute: Becomes a maternal role model for Ann after she returns to Tokyo. Even moreso after she becomes her step-mother.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: She's revealed to have been the Unlucky Childhood Friend to her crush during her school years; however she gets to date him after he's single again. That man is Masahiro. They get married and have a daughter.

Ayumu Narasaki

A girl who has unrequited feelings for Daigo who is in her school judo club. She doesn't get along with Ann and, during a school field trip, she tries to separate the two and mess with Ann.
  • Betty and Veronica: Veronica to Ann's Betty. Ann is the average Girl Next Door, Ayumu is athletic and enjoys making fun of Ann.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Has short hair, is in the judo club during middle school and is the tomboy to Ann's girl girl.
  • Buxom Is Better: Brags about her large chest to Ann and shows it off to her flustered male classmates in her revealing bikini at camp. In later years one of Ann's friends comments that her body, which has developed well, is what guys are usually attracted to.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Has a crush on Daigo who only loves Ann.
  • Jerk Ass: Is one at first, especially when she puts Ann through a lot of trouble at camp. The most questionable move she pulls is hiding her beloved hourglass and making her go through a dangerous treasure hunt game that nearly kills her - the last part wasn't intentional of course but that aside the game is too extreme and nasty for a "playful prank". She's grown out of it by the time Daigo reunites with her.
  • The Rival: She's one to Ann, the center of love interest Daigo's affections, and vice-versa.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Ann's Girly Girl. Ayumu is athletic, sports a Boyish Short Hair and is more out-spoken and bossy, while Ann is more cautious, weak in anything remotely sporty but does well in cooking instead.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: She likes Daigo, a fellow middle school judo club member who has his eyes on Ann. They get out of it briefly years later when he reunites with her and she's become a lot nicer.

    Chapter 13 spoiler 

Chii Minase

A young girl who is the daughter of Masahiro and Kaede, and thus Ann's half-sister. A simple-minded but cheerful and optimistic girl.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Occasionally. There's tiny signs of brattiness that's typical of any young sibling and she constantly wants to hoard her sibling's things, but otherwise she's mostly a good-natured kid who's concerned for her sibling's wellbeing.
  • Daddy's Girl: Masahiro worries about her the most, as seen when he freaks out over her going to America alone. She also adores him well enough, to the point that when he's depressed about Ann marrying she tells him he can marry her instead.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: A story from Volume 9 follows Sakura's encounter with her and how (little) they get along.
  • Generation Xerox: The mangaka introduces her in a side note saying she takes after her mother more than her father. Both girls have the same hair colour and are more easygoing than said father.
  • Last Minute Baby Naming: It's not clear if the parents think about her name before her birth but either way it's her maternal grandma that ends up naming her on the spot for them after she's born (see Meaningful Name).
  • Meaningful Name: To her grandma anyways, not so much Kaede. The grandma names her after their old dog Chiroru, due to how strong it was and how it'd chew up stray cats. It's touching when she says that she'll become a strong child, but otherwise Kaede isn't impressed.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Daigo remarks how tall she's become when he sees her in Volume 10 which takes place about 4 years after the main story.

    Chapter 14 spoiler 

Keichii Sakura

An arrogant 32-year-old businessman that lends the 26-year-old Ann a hand when she misses her train stop and has her bag stolen. They meet only a few times yet appear to become fond of each other - to the point that he unexpectedly asks her to marry him, despite the two not knowing each other well nor having started a relationship yet.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: A story from Volume 9 follows Sakura's troubles in America and his encounter with Chii.
  • Jerk Ass: He has a hatred for feminine women who are weak and cry a lot, and is quite snobby and insensitive. Ann eventually calls him out for this attitude towards his ex, which leads him to angrily break off their engagement. He becomes a tiny bit better after encountering Chii in Volume 9, but he's otherwise aware and not really bothered that he isn't a pleasant person.
    Heartless? Selfish? What's wrong with that? It's my life.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Save for some snobby grins and rare genuine smiles, he mostly frowns.
  • Put on a Bus: His work has him transferred to America.
  • When She Smiles: Gender-inverted with him. He's a bit unpleasant and mostly a Perpetual Frowner, yet at the first two times he genuinely smiles at her, Ann blushes and admits he has a killer smile and is probably popular with women.
  • Workaholic: He's very dedicated to his work and being amongst the top, which is probably the root of his snobby and Jerk Ass tendencies. He's not pleased when he's put on leave for showing bad teamwork skills in Volume 9, as he states several times how much he hates taking days off. He says that he feels if he even misses one day of work, he "might never come back".