The fourth (and only male) of the five Takanashi siblings, sixteen-year-old Souta never ever intended to work part-time, let alone in a family restaurant (his home life is busy enough). This all changed one winter day when he encountered a petite girl asking for part-timers on the street. Charmed into helping her out, Souta soon found himself in the middle of a workplace full of... colorful co-workers. Ironically, due to his own issues he fits right in.
Accidental Misnaming: Popura keeps calling Souta "Katanashi". He doesn't mind as long as it's Popura.
Compliment Backfire: Often compares Popura to a bug. To him this is a compliment, to everybody else, not so much.
Crazy Jealous Guy: Invoked in episode 4 of Season 2 when he suspects Inami's constant staring at Satou means she must like him. However, he tells Souma that the feelings he's having are like training a dog not to bite the owner, but the dog does it anyway, then shows affections towards another owner. Souma, however, knows it's not true, but plays along anyway because he finds the misunderstanding funny.
Cuteness Proximity: His reason for working at the restaurant was because Popura bumped into him and asked him if he wanted to work there. He just found her small size too hard to resist, despite being younger than her.
His sisters state that all members of the Takanashi family share this trait.
Fish out of Water: He is understandably confused at why his coworkers act the way they do on his very first shift, such as why Yachiyo carries a katana around, and what exactly Kyouko does as a manager.
When he realizes that he just might have feelings towards Inami besides that of a dog owner, he loses it. Not even a pile of cute toys could break him out of it.
Suffers yet another one once he realizes Nazuna is close to edging him out in terms of height.
Innocently Insensitive: In episode 1 alone, he asks Kyouko her age, then quips she's an "old woman". She retaliates by having him work on all working days. In another instance, he unconsciously insults Inami, and the result is not pretty.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He looks really nice, but he's snappish, irritable and disrespectful, especially to Popura. However, he also willingly puts up with Inami, wants the best for her and even tells off her father for screwing up her life. After Inami has made him crossdress, something he finds incredibly humiliating.
Mistaken for Pedophile: Because he likes small, cute things people tend to assume he's a lolicon. Thanks to a long series of misunderstandings, Izumi is convinced that he's after an elementary student without realizing that Popura is both older than Souta and more developed than her height and face would indicate. For his part, he pretty flatly denies anything of the sort with a statement that basically boils down to "Yeah, kids are cute, but so are kittens." Except Souta being Souta he would actually say water fleas instead of kittens, but it's the thought that counts, right?
His deep denial took a step further in Chapter 222, when he thinks that his crossdressing as Kotori was the trigger that caused Inami to act strangely with him, and decides to crossdress again to sort out her feelings!
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Claims to Yamada that normally Mahiru wouldn't be able to hit him, but he has to abide by this trope not because of moral grounds but because of his upbringing. On the other hand, apparently Yamada herself doesn't count, seeing that he has no problems hitting her.
Cute and extremely petite, seventeen-year-old Popura is Souta's sempai both at school and at work. Indeed, she's the main reason why he is even working at Wagnaria to begin with, having "recruited" him off the street one day. Earnest and hardworking, Popura would like it better if some of her coworkers took her more seriously; unfortunately due to her cuteness and her diminutive height, this won't happen any time soon.
Gag Boobs: While Inami tries to calm her down after accidentally insulting her about her height, she shakes Popura while saying she has a large rack to try to calm her down... and one can see Popura gainaxing while shaking. Karino Takatsu sure seems to like big-breasted little girls.
At first glance, Inami looks like a shy seventeen-year-old who wouldn't hurt a soul. However, as Souta found out (the hard way), Inami has extreme androphobia, and her first impulse when faced with someone of the opposite gender is to send the poor sod flying with one of her punches. Hard. Inami herself isn't happy about this, and wishes that she could talk to guys normally.
A-Cup Angst: It certainly doesn't help that twelve-year old Nazuna is better-endowed than her.
Brick Joke: Souta constantly thinks of her as a dog and when Kozue gives them cosplay outfits, guess what she gets...
Character Development: Relatively minor, given the series' genre, but compared to her first appearances Inami is a lot less violent come Season 2. She still punches Souta on reflex when surprised, but these are getting increasingly uncommon, to the point where almost a month passed since she last decked him. She's really putting a lot of effort into changing, and it's showing results, thanks in part to Souta himself.
Charles Atlas Superpower: She can shatter concrete on touch, her punches crack plaster walls, and at one point she nearly broke an electric tower just by hugging it.
Hair Decorations: Suffice to say that Inami has a lot of hairpins, and it's common for her to cycle through a few during an episode. Amazingly none of them are ever reused over the course of the series.
Heroic BSOD: After Souta touches her head and she wakes up.
Ostensibly the floor manager of Wagnaria, Kyouko doesn't seem to actually do much work. Indeed she is usually seen eating either her usual parfaits (care of Yachiyo) or whatever food is in reach, much to Satou's annoyance. A delinquent in her youth, Kyouko can still call on members of her old crew whenever the restaurant is in need of extra help.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Averted. While Kyouko can still ask her ex-comrades for help, they're not particularly skilled.
Innocently Insensitive: She doesn't seem to fully realize that there's anything wrong with her behavior. Sure, it irritates people, but it doesn't really seem to sink in that that's a bad thing. If there's something that would really obviously be wrong (like taking a little kid's cake) she acts like a decent person even if she's starving.
The daughter of a family of blacksmiths (explaining the katana she always carries around), twenty-year-old Yachiyo is the senior waitress of Wagnaria. Souta, Popura and Inami all work under her, while Yachiyo in turn reports directly to Kyouko. Responsible and hardworking, Yachiyo absolutely dotes on Kyouko ever since the latter saved her from bullies, and is always happy to prepare for her manager her favorite parfaits. Yachiyo's adoration of Kyouko annoys Satou to no end, partly because it eats through their supplies, and partly because of... other things.
One of the two cooks usually on duty, chain-smoking twenty-year-old Satou seems mostly unaffected by the eccentricities of his coworkers. With stress on "mostly". He and Yachiyo started working at Wagnaria at the same time, and as much as he hates to admit it, he's taken a shine to his katana-wielding peer. Unfortunately for him, she only has eyes for Kyouko, though if it's of any consolation Yachiyo does see him as a close confidant.
The Gadfly: He enjoys playing pranks on Popura and messing with her head, which is noted in-story as just being his way of coping with the stress of dealing with Yachiyo. He can get fairly mean spirited about it sometimes, though.
The other cook normally seen on duty, Souma's personal life is a mystery to his coworkers. Unfortunately, the opposite could not be said for him, who happens to be very well-versed of their backgrounds, which he often uses to his advantage. He enjoys watching the weirdness that goes on between the folk in Wagnaria, though that's not to say he doesn't mind helping to get things moving — so long as it suits him, of course.
A girl of indeterminate age Otoo brought back with him one day, Aoi has been living in the restaurant's attic ever since. She works as a day "trainee", though her contribution to the actual workload is dubious at best. Her main goal at the moment is to get Otoo to formally adopt her, something he seems to be set on delaying for as long as humanly possible.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: If she looks like she's doing something nice or thoughtful, it's probably just because it'd be amusing. Or, in the case of Souma being forced to buy clothes, because she'd rather have lots of cheap clothes rather than a small amount of expensive clothes.
Senior manager in charge of the Wagnaria branch everyone is working in, Otoo-san (as he is called by his employees) doesn't spend as much time at the restaurant as he should. This is because he spends his time looking for his wife, who wandered out of the house one day to buy milk and never returned. His search led him all over Japan, which means he always brings some treats whenever he does drop by the restaurant.
Another waitress sharing screentime with the floor crew, eighteen-year-old Maya deliberately avoids taking part in the daily antics her coworkers keep getting involved in. A perfectly normal working girl in her mind, she wants to make sure it stays that way... which makes her come off as rather weird to the rest of the cast.
Last Episode New Character: Sort of. She's in the credits from the very beginning and is often visible in the background serving customers, but anyone not paying close attention won't notice her until the last episode of both seasons, where she finally gets some dialogue.
Living Prop: She is seen working throughout the show, but doesn't have much screentime until the last episode of both seasons, particularly the second one.
This is invoked by her desire to be "normal" and stay distant from the weirdness of the rest of the staff.
Single Issue Psychology: As an omake reveals, Maya's hang-up about being normal stems from an incident in grade school where she got teased by her classmates for having an unusual bento during a school trip. Said bento happened to be made with kusaya, a very pungent type of fermented fish.
The eldest of the Takanashi siblings, 31-year-old Kazue is a recently-returned divorcee taking up law to supplement her income. Despite her stern demeanor, she often worries over her younger siblings, particularly her reclusive immediate younger sister Izumi.
The second of the Takanashi siblings, 28-year-old Izumi is a romance novelist, though often struggling to meet her deadlines due to lack of inspiration. Gloomy and extremely frail, Izumi almost completely depends on Souta to even function at home. Except for one exception, her wardrobe seems to consist mostly of black gothic-style dresses.
Nice Girl: Despite her gloomy nature, she's a kind, sensitive person who's always nice to (albeit dependent on) Souta, unlike Kozue and Kazue. She shows concern for her other siblings on several occasions as well, but due to her feeble disposition she can't really act on those concerns.
Woman Child: She literally can't take care of herself despite being her age, relies on Souta to take care of her, is implied to be pretty inexperienced about the outside world due to being a Hikikomori, and is constantly seen crawling around on the ground in a manner similar to a baby. Plus her gloomy/feeble nature is pretty childlike and adorable. Besides the "exuberance" aspect, she fits this trope quite well.
The middle child of the Takanashi siblings, 26-year-old Kozue is a women's self-defense instructor and a regular at Wagnaria... much to Souta's chagrin. Despite being very attractive, she seems to have awful luck at keeping boyfriends, which leads to her drowning her sorrows through copious amounts of alcohol.
Comically Missing the Point: When she gets turned down by Youhei, she's thrilled because he didn't turn her down for the usual reasons her relationships end (namely, beating up her boyfriends), so she's convinced that he'll come around and settle down with her.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Subverted in that her habit of beating up her boyfriends is cited as the reason she can't keep a relationship. Played straight in that nobody outside of Souta complains about her physical abuse of him (which is specifically said to increase when she's single).
Hidden Depths: Knows aikido and karate. Given her drunken ramblings, she knows some pro-wresting moves as well (her usual response to getting dumped is a German suplex after all). Not surprising though, given her line of work.
Pet the Dog: Kozue, unlike her older sisters, seems to realize at least some of the problems heaped on Souta by their family are pretty harsh. Consequently, she'll periodically show her more caring side towards Souta (she's the one who gives Souta the first toy that wasn't a hand-me-down from his sisters).
Shipper on Deck: For all the problems with her own love life, she likes the idea of Inami and her brother going out.
The youngest of the Takanashi siblings, twelve-year-old Nazuna seems to be happiest helping out Souta, and would do anything, up to and including manipulating her older sisters, just to help ease the pressure from him. She helps out at Wagnaria sometimes under the excuse of doing a school "project".
Big Brother Worship: Unlike the rest of her sisters, Nazuna is quite open about looking up to her brother and thinking highly of him, to the point that nearly all of her Guile Heroine moments stem from wanting to make Souta's life easier.
Guile Heroine: Nazuna has been shown to be increasingly adept at making other people do her bidding, especially if it helps Souta. The guy is naturally worried about this.
Huge Schoolgirl: Already tall for her age, come Season 2 she has caught up to Souta's height (171cm) and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Naturally, Souta does not take this development very well.
Manipulative Bitch: She has her three older sisters figured out and wrapped around her finger. She's rather open about it too. Fortunately for her brother, she's intensely devoted to him and wants to make things easier for him. It also extends beyond the family: She has a pretty good grasp of what makes Souta's coworkers tick.
One of Kyouko's old henchmen from her delinquent days who started following her ever since she beat him to a bloody pulp. These days Youhei is still ready and willing to rush to fulfill whatever request she might have. In fact the main reason he hasn't started looking for work of his own was so that he could be free whenever Kyouko needs him.
Youhei's fraternal twin sister and Kyouko's other high-school henchman. Unlike Yohei, Mizuki became Kyouko's follower... because she just loved how Kyouko beat her brother to a bloody pulp. Nowadays she's a productive member of society, unlike her brother, and works as an insurance lady. This still doesn't stop her from running to Kyouko's side whenever the latter needs help.
No Sense of Direction: She got lost trying to buy milk at the supermarket, somehow ending up in a manhole. She's been lost for years, apparently.
Off Screen Teleportation: When she finally appeared in the series, she is still prone to disappearing without a trace. Taken Up to Eleven in one occasion where she managed to leave a completely sealed room without anybody noticing it!
Stealth Hi/Bye: She manages to do this in front of Yachiyo and Kyouko.
A young man looking for his sister (two guesses who), Kirio's initial methodology in looking for her made everyone think that he was a molester, though an encounter with Inami cleared up that misunderstanding. A member of his school's karate club, Kirio is one of the few males capable of stopping Inami's concrete-destroying punches.
Honor Before Reason: Determined to defend Inami's honor from Souta's declaration of her violent behavior despite the fact that it's her whole schtick. To the surprise of everyone present, it doesn't go well for him.