Ryuuji is a seventeen-year-old high school student in Class 2-C. Due to biological inheritance, his face makes him look like an intimidating delinquent and causes many misunderstandings. Since he lives in a fatherless family with just his mother and their pet parakeet "Inko-chan" (''inko'' literally means parakeet in Japanese), Ryuuji learned to be a good cook, tailor and overall house husband. He holds a crush on Minori, a girl his age in his class, and has made a pact with his neighbor, Minori's best friend Taiga, to help him win her over, even as he also helps Taiga with domestic chores.
Neat Freak: And how! Hits absurd extremes in the last novel when his punishment for leaving school is commuted from expulsion to cleaning the faculty restroom every day and writing weekly reports about it. Teachers start to freak out when he begins indexing the hairs he finds on the floor.
Slasher Smile: His default smile but subverted in that it's his bone structure that give him this type of smile, not his intent. He is able to pull a non-Slasher Smile when he does a non-toothy half-smile though.
Son of a Whore: Subverted. His mother is not a whore, just a late-night bar hostess, but, in some aspects, it's perceived as pretty much the same in Japan.
Taiga is a childlike 17-year-old schoolgirl who has trouble engaging with others. Due to her ridiculously short stature at 143.6cm (4'8.5") and her tendency to snap at others brutally, she is given the nickname "Palmtop Tiger", giving her a Napoleon complex and a frequently sour face. Essentially, Taiga gets upset easily and is considerably clumsy. She also hails from a rich family, but due to its recent troubles, she has taken to living on her own. However, being a child of privilege barely prepared her for dealing with domestic chores. When she meets Ryuuji and learns of his talents, she begins to depend on him for them. Aside from sleeping in her own house and going to school, she spends most of her time at Ryuuji's house; so much so that she is almost considered a member of his family, and many classmates think they are dating.
Character Development: Learns to tone down her wrath as the series goes on, be more upfront with her love for Ryuuji, and try to mend her broken family (which is the reason she initially comes off as unpleasant in the first place). She also learns to be more social, since at first she wasn't interested in having any friends besides Minori, but starting in the school festival arc she becomes more and more proactive in school activities.
Combat Pragmatist: When Taiga decides to take action, she'll use any advantage she can think of. A light-hearted example would be the swim race against Ami. Certainly no reason she couldn't bring practically every flotation device that she could carry with her to help her stay afloat. Or even better, to throw at Ami to distract her while Taiga uses a boogie board to build a lead.
Love Epiphany: On Christmas Eve, after sending Ryuuji off to see Minori, she tearfully realizes that she has been in love with Ryuji for a long time, but with him getting a good chance to finally win Minori's heart, she runs outside her house for Ryuuji, and upon not finding him anywhere, she breaks down crying, calling out for Ryuuji.
Shana Clone: A deconstructed one. She's a childlike Tsundere with Rapunzel Hair and Zettai Ryouiki. However, part of the roots of her short temper, besides issues with her small body, flat chest and childlike appearance, stems from lack of social skills and having to deal with a broken family. Also, her body issues due to her looks are portrayed in a more realistic way (i.e. she uses her temper as a cover for deep-seated insecurities over her lack of height and curves).
She Cleans Up Nicely: She is already cute but everyone commented on how stunning she can be when she made the effort to dress up at the Christmas Party.
Tsundere: A deconstructed Type A. Her mood swings and anger seem to stem more from familial than romantic issues, not to mention that to get and keep Ryuuji's affection, Taiga has to tone down her attitude and rebuild her family. This aspect of hers is also much less prevalent in both the novels and the manga adaptation.
Yuusaku is Ryuuji's best friend and the Student Council Vice-President, class representative to Ryuuji, Taiga and Minori, and captain of the men's softball team. Yuusaku wears glasses, and has a diligent personality. He thinks he is poor at talking to girls, though Ryuuji observes otherwise; Yuusaku likes the student council president Sumire Kanou. Despite being on the Student Council, he is in violation of riding a motorcycle to school.
Anguished Declaration of Love: Gives one to Sumire right in front of the whole school, only for her to coldly reject him (although she has her reasons).
Shameless Fanservice Guy: A rather mild version, but one episode had him nonchalantly walk into a room in full view of the three main girls with nothing covering him except a hand towel held in front of his naughty bits.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: He had a crush on Taiga one year prior to the series, but she turned him down. By the time she realized she did like him, Kitamura had already moved on and fallen for Sumire.
Yes-Man: To Sumire, when he's still the Student Council Vice President. Justified that he's also in love with her.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Possibly just Hair Color Dissonance, since while he does have dark bluish-green hair, he later bleaches it, turning it blonde. People react to this, but that's probably because he is the student council president.
"Just as much as I'll want to doubt them, thinking 'Do they really see ghosts?', I'll end up thinking 'Are they really in love?'. I just don't see it. As much as I believe, it continuously eludes me. I've never experienced any of it for myself, y'know. These things that other people speak of as simply natural, they've never happened to me. And so that's why, I just can't believe in such things. I'm left on the outside... I want to believe, but I've kind of given up. The most I can do is enviously watch 'the ones who can see' with my finger in my mouth, cheering them on from the sidelines. Just that, is a connection, I guess... What a bunch of lies! It's all a delusion! A figment of your imagination! is what I want to shout because I still can't shake my doubt."
Minori is Taiga's best friend as well as her, Ryuuji and Yuusaki's classmate. In contrast to the negative Taiga, Minori is always smiling and cheerful, but is also a natural airhead. She is very athletic and is the captain of the girl's softball club at school, though at the same time she holds many part time jobs. She is a glutton when it comes to food, but is also constantly combating with dieting.
Cry Cute: In Episode 24. After sending Ryuuji and Taiga off, the normally cheerful Minori finally breaks down in front of Ami, wondering if she lost Ryuuji to Taiga, Taiga to Ryuuji, or both Taiga and Ryuuji to each other.
"Crying is a nosebleed of the heart... If you trip while running down a hallway, you'll get a nosebleed. If you trip in life, you'll cry."
The Pollyanna: She never gets sad, nor cries until when she accidentally broke the Christmas star the rest of her classmates set up for their Christmas tree, and continued having a period of depression up until after Taiga and Ryuji got together.
What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Ryuuji out after she discovers he lied to Taiga about her rescue at the Class Trip and ignored her confession. She also gets angry with Taiga for repressing her feelings so she and Ryuuji could be together, saying that her happiness is something she must choose and gain herself.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: She holds many part time jobs. She later reveals that she is working hard because she does not want to hinder anyone and because she wants to save lots of money, then get into a sports university.
"I’m not the Palmtop Tiger who’s always sticking around with you; neither am I Minori-chan, who’s your sparkling sun. I, Kawashima Ami, am standing in the same land as you, walking on the same path as you. It's just that I’m a few steps ahead of you."
Ami is Yuusaku's childhood friend who transfers into his class midway through their second year of high school. She is very beautiful and even works as a model, and although she has temporarily stopped upon her transfer, she still tries to maintain her figure. She is always kind and generous towards others, though this is merely a deception. In truth, she is arrogant and will not hesitate to use others for her own benefit.
Cry Cute: In the final volume of the light novels, she breaks down crying after she realizes that Taiga has gone with her mother, confessing that she wanted to keep her friends close to her. This served as the climax of her Character Development in the novel.
Hoist By Her Own Petard: Thanks to Yuusaku, Ryuuji sees past Ami's facade early on (when she was in full Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/Alpha Bitch mode), when Ami tries to taunt Taiga by saying that Ami will take Ryuuji from Taiga, even though she thinks very little of him. This convinces Ryuuji that Ami just likes to play around about liking him... which bites Ami in the ass later when she does grow to like him, but Ryuuji won't take her seriously.
Yasuko is Ryuuji's 33-year-old mother, though she refers to herself as eternally 23. Soon after Ryuuji was born, her husband died, leaving her to raise him by herself (Though in reality, he ran off with another woman). She works at the "Bishamonten Kuni" bar, where she goes by the name "Mirano" and singlehandily supports her family financially. However, she is also childish and, due to her job, entrusts household chores to Ryuuji. She instantly takes a liking to Taiga and already regards her as a member of her family.
Absurdly Youthful Mother: She was about 16 or 17 when she had Ryuuji. Comes heavily into play near the climax of the series.
Children Raise You: Since Ryuuji's father died when he was young and she works late at night and sleeps most of the day, Yasuko leaves him to do the household chores.
Woman Child: She acts this way most of the time. However, she can also be highly perceptive at times (almost superhumanly so). For example, she could accurately guess that Taiga's father was pretty much a self-centered jerk from what Ryuuji told her (note that Ryuuji was, at that point, still under the impression that he was decent), when she had never even met the guy before.
Yuri is the 29-year-old homeroom teacher of Ryuuji's class. She likes to do things at her own pace and is timid towards Taiga's way of speaking out. Since her twenties are almost over, Yuri is in a hurry to get married soon and she even tries to dress well so as to be able to get into a relationship quicker. After she becomes thirty without getting married, she develops a twisted and depressed personality, which does not help that when Taiga talks about her, she emphases her single status.
Her freakout during the wrestling show is scripted. The students are so impressed by her performance that they vote her MVP and invite her her the after-party.
When Kitamura announces he's quitting the Student Council and storms out the class, she cancels a date and spends the night trying to contact his family. When he tries to leave school the next day, she physically restrains him and has a sub cover for her so she can spend the day talking to him.
In the last volume, she tells off Taiga's mother for expecting her daughter to abandon the people who've taken care of her for the last year in favor of a mother who abandoned her. Then when Ryuuji returns to school, she puts her career on the line to prevent him from getting expelled.
Sumire is the student council president and always manages to get the top grades in school; she is in fact a Scholarship Student and has horrible eyesight. She has a strong-minded personality which she depends on to be a figure those will follow. Her younger sister is Sakura and her parents own a supermarket. Sumire likes Yuusaku and as a result is the object of an one-sided hostility from Taiga.
Break His Heart to Save Him: Sumire's whole reason for coldly rejecting Yuusaku when he confessed to her. She was going to America to become an astronaut, and she didn't want him to throw away his own future to follow her.
A first-year student who is the main character to Toradora Spin-off!. He works on the student council in general affairs, and gets good grades. He always had a crush on Sakura, and later he succeeds in starting a romantic relationship with her.