Voiced by: Kosuke Toriumi
The protagonist. He is the reigning champion of Bl@ster, a series of street brawls, and childhood friend to Keisuke. When he is falsely accused of murder, he faces life imprisonment...until he is approached by a mysterious duo; Emma and Gwen. In exchange for his freedom, they send him to Toshima, a city ravaged by the war, and participate in the game of Igura. Upon arriving, he learns that Igura is completely different from the street brawls of Bl@ster, and in Toshima, it's either kill or be killed.
- Blessed with Suck: It turns out he was a part of Project Nicole, a genetic engineering program that sought to create a drug which enhances the natural capabilities of humans. His blood is the antidote for said drug, and is the reason he is framed for murder and placed in Igura: Emma wants to use him to lure Nano out, whose blood is the source of said drug.
- The Determinator: When he first encounters Shiki, who is supposedly invincible, he refuses to run away, glaring at him despite a blade pressed to his neck. During their second encounter, he tries to block his sword with his knife, and succeeds for a while.
- The Dragon: He becomes one to Shiki in one of the latter's two bad endings.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Of course, especially in the visual novel, and especially in one of Shiki's bad endings, which he uses to his advantage to easily seduce Shiki's underlings.
- Forgotten First Meeting: With Nano.
- Gray Eyes: Or blue, or a mix of both.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Experiences this shortly after fighting with the Line-addled Keisuke. It gets even worse if he accidentally kills him in Shiki's route, to the point that he doesn't resist much when Shiki takes him captive.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Also after fighting Keisuke, where he struggles to merely keep awake.
- I Can Still Fight!
- Kick the Dog: Whether he deserved it or not, Akira telling off Keisuke is still the equivalent of kicking a puppy.
- Kuudere: Akira has shades of this. Sometimes turns into a full-on Tsundere with Keisuke, and with Motomi (albeit not to the same extent as with Keisuke).
- Lack of Empathy: Arguably, to Keisuke, depending which route the player takes.
- Morality Pet: To Nano.
- The Stoic: He is a textbook example of this at first. As the story goes on however, he shows a wider array of emotions, but more or less, he still keeps a cool head.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He was a bit more sociable when he was a child, and a whole lot kinder.
- Weak, but Skilled: Compared to abnormally powerful characters and Line users. Although his physical strength is inferior, he strategically reads and analyzes his enemies' movements to find openings and ways to avoid attacks. He exploits these to the utmost rather than swinging his weapon around randomly like some other characters.
- Wimpification: Debatable and may or may not be justified or even exist depending on which route is taken. He starts off as a strong and confident fighter, with no need to rely on anyone else. When he encounters certain sex scenes, he becomes like a typical uke. This is justified through excessive guilt from Keisuke's death in Shiki's route. Even in other routes, it may also be justified considering that he is new to experiencing anything sexual with someone else.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Towards Keisuke; while he does appreciate their friendship, he has always hated how Keisuke would praise him while belittling himself in the process, and wants their relationship to be more egalitarian and less sycophantic.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita
Akira's longtime friend, having lived in the same orphanage at the same age. After learning Akira has been sent to Toshima, he follows Akira with a vague knowledge of the dangers of the city. In contrast with Akira, he is quite meek until he takes the drug Line, after which he becomes violent and psychopathic.
- Adorkable: Arguably the main appeal of his character before the whole Yandere thing happens.
- Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings for Akira go unsaid for years.
- Corrupt the Cutie: What happens to him when he takes Line.
- Curtains Match the Window: His eyes and hair are the same shade of brown.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Keisuke is a very nice guy, and he's also been desperately in love with Akira for years, tagging after him for even longer. This is in spite of the fact that Akira, at least in the beginning of the game, is indifferent towards him, because he doesn't understand exactly why Keisuke was always so interested in him in the first place.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Only admits that his feelings are romantic when he sees a woman drape herself over Akira at a Bl@ster match.
- Incompatible Orientation: A narrative cut after Keisuke runs off when Akira snaps at him fills us in on Keisuke's first (and only) relationship with a girl. Though not for lack of trying, he can't bring himself to sleep with her when he begins to realize he has feelings for Akira.
- Insecure Love Interest: The entire reason he chooses to take Line in the first place, when he can no longer handle his perceived inferiority and his own feelings of being a burden for Akira.
- Kill the Cutie: Occurs in every route save his own.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In his route, after getting the Line out of his system, he has this reaction to realizing that he murdered a lot of people and raped Akira while he was under the influence. However, after Akira forgives and encourages him, he becomes The Atoner.
- Non-Action Guy: Just sits in the background doing nothing in particular, until he decides to take Line, at least.
- Rape as Drama: Inverted. Although he rapes Akira, he later apologizes for his actions and the rape becomes the subject of his nightmares.
- Shrinking Violet: During conversations with other characters, he usually fades into the background to the point the audience forgets he's even there.
- Single-Target Sexuality: In his route, he describes his feelings for Akira as being this.
- The Load: A part of why he feels inferior to Akira.
- Took a Level in Badass: If he survives having the Line in his body neutralized by Akira, not only does he gain a noticeable increase in strength and mental aptitude, he becomes less emotionally-dependent on Akira and is able to find the resolve to participate in a fight against multiple enemies and win.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: He and Akira have been friends since they were children, and if you don't take his route, he always ends up dead.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: In his route.
- Yandere: Like you wouldn't even believe.
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama
A helpful young boy who has been participating in Igura long before Akira and Keisuke arrived in Toshima. Many people mistake him for a girl. He enjoys taking photos.
- Badass Adorable
- Broken Pedestal: He once admired Shiki greatly, though that admiration turned to hatred after Shiki killed his teammates.
- Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to Shiki's Abel. Too bad for him it's not working out so well.
- Cute and Psycho: He is very nice and cheerful and also a mentally-damaged Death Seeker who will try to kill anyone in the way of his revenge.
- Cute Bruiser
- Death Seeker: He wants to kill Shiki or die trying to avenge his friends.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: The text of the novel states he is a "little girl" until Akira observes him closer.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He is extremely friendly and generous to Akira and Keisuke, even trading his own tags for supplies when they are injured. Until he stabs Akira in the back and takes his tags to face Il-Re anyway.
- He Is All Grown Up : In his good ending.
- Knife Nut
- No Sense of Personal Space: During his first encounter with Akira and Keisuke, he happily huddles up with them, one on each arm, making the two feel rather uncomfortable.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: The shortest and youngest member of the cast, but he can easily defeat several Igura participants. At once.
- Stepford Smiler: On the surface, he appears almost suspiciously as a cheerful, upbeat person in a Crapsack World. Later in the story, it is revealed his friends have been killed by Shiki, who also happens to be his older brother, and is participating in Igura to exact his revenge.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Throughout his route, the two become become so extreme Akira begins wondering which is the real Rin.
- Survivor Guilt: Due to Shiki killing his friends. Akira and the Power of Trust are needed before he can get over it by the end of his route.
- Waif-Fu: Demonstrated in the anime, where he defeats an opponent through the use of acrobatics.
Voiced by: Kazuya Ichijo
An older man living in Toshima as an information broker.
- Cool Old Guy
- Determined Widower
- Knowledge Broker: He states he is an information broker, but we rarely see him giving information other than common knowledge about Igura to the protagonists. This is until he has an audience with Arbitro, where he uses previously unknown information to interrogate him. In his route in the game, he reveals even more information to Akira about Project Nicole, and comes complete with the romantic subtext.
- Like a Son to Me: He sees Akira as one, though if his route is taken, their relationship turns from familial to romantic.
- May–December Romance: If his route is taken. While Akira and Motomi's ages are not specified, it's clear they are more or less twenty years apart.
- Non-Action Guy: Chooses to be an information broker instead of participating in Igura. However, he still keeps a gun for self-defense.
- Only Sane Man: He is the only person in the main cast who isn't obsessive, craves killing, mentally wounded from past events, or apathetic towards things which should be important to them.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Averted in that even that though Nano is responsible for his son's death and indirectly for his wife's, he doesn't want to kill Nano for revenge. He wants to do it in order to stop the spread of Line.
- The Medic: Before coming to Toshima, he used to be a medic during WWIII.
- The Smart Guy: Extremely knowledgeable about Igura, and the people controlling it. He used to work as a scientist in ENED, and therefore has had access to information he can use as leads to investigate further.
- The Tease: Downplayed, but in his route, he seems to be fond of poking fun at Akira.
Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa
A powerful and feared man who mysteriously appears in front of Igura participants and kills them.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Rin, with aloof being a huge understatement.
- Badass Longcoat
- Bastard Boyfriend: To Akira in his route. Not like most of the fans are bothered by this.
- Bishōnen: Face it, he may be a Bastard Boyfriend to the core, but there is a reason why he's very popular among fans.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Fight him, and expect it to be extremely one-sided. Even though Akira was able to hold his ground for a while, he was eventually overpowered by him. Rin couldn't lay a scratch on him either. The only one who could hold out against Shiki in a fair fight, and even turn the tides, is Nano.
- The Dreaded: His presence makes almost everyone who sees him run in fear. Not that he would let them leave alive...
- Final Boss: In-Universe. He is Il-Re, who has to be defeated to win Igura.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Towards Akira's unwillingness to surrender to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Even if he had any slightly sympathetic traits, one can count the total number of them with only one hand.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His weapon of choice, and is frequently shown slicing Igura participants (on Line) with hardly any effort.
- Lima Syndrome: Arguably, in his route, he has developed this towards Akira after the latter spent a while in captivity.
- Pet the Dog: Believe it or not, he has his moments. In his good ending, he shows Akira the way out of Toshima and tells him to go wherever he likes. He even goes as far as trying to comfort Akira when he was brooding about his blood, in an awkward Shiki-esque way.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Vengeance Feels Empty: In his good ending, should he choose not to drink Nano's blood, Shiki loses the will to live after killing him, since most of his life he was focused solely on defeating Nano. From this, he mentally regresses and becomes unresponsive to everything and everyone.
Voiced by: Takumi Yamazaki
A mysterious man who is being pursued by Emma and Gwen.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason why Nano is attached to Akira is because he is the only one who showed any kindness towards him in the past.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: He appears to have this, being capable of holding a man and strangling him with one hand effortlessly despite his scrawny physique. Then, we find out he is the product of Project Nicole, which intended to create the ultimate soldier.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Spending most of his time in a lab caused him to have a very limited knowledge on basic living. For instance, he survives on eating tree bark, and in an attempt to eat a Solid, he forgets to remove the wrapper first.
- Covered with Scars: His body and arms are full of them.
- Creepy Monotone: Combined with slow speech. Though both his tone and his speech get better in his good ending.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He doesn't look like much of a threat, which makes it more surprising when the game reveals just how dangerous he actually is.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: No one has any chance of winning against him, not even Shiki. Hell, the only reason he even dies in Shiki's route is because he let it happen.
- Dye or Die: In his ending, he dyes his hair black to blend in better, since he and Akira had become fugitives and are on the run from the military.
- Emotionless Guy: This is explained by the manipulation of his genetic features in Project Nicole, which resulted in the suppression of his emotions, allowing him to become invincible as per the goal of the project.
- The Fatalist
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Both Nano and Nicole Premier are only his code names, and while he does reveal his real name to Akira at the end of his route, the scene fades to the credits before the player can hear him say it.
- Purple Eyes: Or more specifically, light blue eyes which turn purple on occasion.
- Super Strength
- These Hands Have Killed
- The Stoic
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: He makes this vow at the ending of his route, carving cross-shaped wounds on the back of his hands as a reminder.
- When He Smiles: During the end of his route.
Voiced by: Hideki Ogihara
- Eyepatch of Power
- Honey Trap: Resorts to this to get tags.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Attempts this against Il-Re, the circulator of Line, the drug responsible for the degradation of his family, especially his mother.
- Sacrificial Lion: He is a powerful fighter, able to go toe-to-toe with Akira, a Bl@ster champion in a veteran's region. He survives in Toshima on his own, unlike others who are part of a small gang who tend to look out for each other. Despite this, he is convinced to take a dosage of pure and undiluted Line, only to have it painfully neutralized by Akira's blood. In his weakened state, he is promptly killed by a Line-addicted Keisuke. This is the first major indicator that Toshima is dangerous for reasons other than Igura.
Voiced by: Kousuke Okano
A high-up of the drug syndicate Vischio, which is responsible for distributing Line.
- Berserk Button: Motomi who got him fired from ENED once he discovered his hobby of mutilating young boys.
- Depraved Homosexual
- Evil Make Over/Fashion-Victim Villain: Believe it or not, Arbitro didn't always look so garish. He used to have short, black hair, wear glasses, and sported a lab coat while he worked at ENED.
- Faux Affably Evil: He is extraordinarily polite and invites Akira to dinner, offering him some bread... laced with drugs.
- Freudian Excuse: His parent's neglect in favor of gathering young children to abuse left him wanting his own collection of "dolls" to play with.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Akira's first impression of him is how bad his taste in clothing is. Many other characters also point that he has bad taste.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
- Shota Con: He prefers young boys or underdeveloped males. The few women he does have in his collection are only prizes for participants and are extremely emaciated.
A pair of men hired by Arbitro to enforce the rules of Igura, often through violent means. They are somewhat irresponsible and use whatever they can as an excuse to kill people randomly for fun. Consists of Gunji and Kiriwar.
- Beware the Silly Ones
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Igura participants make a big deal of when they randomly kill people for fun. However, the Executioners themselves shrug it off and pay no mind to it.
- Dumb Muscle: They are extremely strong fighters, able to kill a standard Igura participant with hardly any effort. However, Gunji is dimwitted, and Kiriwar confuses cats with dogs.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Implied what Kiriwar may with some of the participant he captures in his ending.
- Murderers Are Rapists
- Psychopathic Man Child: They speak with childish mannerisms... while beating the living daylights out of you.
Voiced by: Asako DodoA mysterious woman who approaches Akira, offering him freedom from prison in exchange for his participation in Igura. She is cold and calculating.
- Absolute Cleavage: Wears her jacket with zipper halfway down.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Appears in the beginning of the story to release Akira from jail. Later, she re-appears, revealing she knows about Nicole Premier, Akira's capability of neutralizing Line and is out to kill Nano, the source of Line fueling Igura.
- Et Tu, Brute?: She kills Gwen near the end of the anime when he disagrees with her.
- Evil Redhead
- Manipulative Bastard
- Revolvers Are Just Better
Voiced by: Takuo KawamuraEmma's right hand man.
- Expy: He looks like the splitting image of Phoenix Wright and shows especially when he's the Only Sane Man of the series.
- Only Sane Man: The only character outside the main cast to be reasonable and clear-headed.
KauA heavily mutilated boy who Arbitro keeps as a pet.
- Eye Scream: Part Kau's body modifications involved removing his eyes.
- Happiness in Slavery
- Malevolent Mutilation: Aside from having his eyes removed, there's the scar criss crossing his chest, and piercings covering his torso. Arbitro also removed his vocal chords.
- The Nose Knows: He has a very sharp sense of smell, and is often brought around by the Executioners to detect any rule-breakers.
- Stockholm Syndrome
- The Voiceless: Besides some breathing noises, he doesn't speak, due to Arbitro taking away his larynx.