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Sohoku High School
The Sohoku Team
- All There in the Manual: Interviews with the mangaka have provided a lot of extra trivia about them. You can find a collection here.
- Five Man Band: Year One Interhigh
- Year Two Interhigh
- The Leader: Teshima, in the sense he's The Captain, but Imaizumi is the real one, as he's taken over Kinjou's position as the ace essentially however, Tadokoro speculates that Naruko is the true ace and Imaizumi is the lancer.
- The Lancer: Naruko, as he is the ace's assistant however, it is lampshaded by Tadokoro that Naruko is the true ace and Imaizumi is the lancer.
- The Big Guy: Aoyagi
- The Smart Guy: Teshima
- The Chick: Onoda
- Sixth Ranger: Kaburagi
- Huddle Power: On bicycles!
- Played by: Daiki Yamashita (anime), Ryouta Murai (stage play)
Our main character who specializes in climbing. Onoda's claim to fame is his high cadence climb, honed by his years of riding his low-gear mommy bike.
- Accidental Athlete: Has said he's never gotten higher than a D in Physical Education, but shows natural prowess at cycling and improves and learns fast.
- All-Loving Hero: Looks for the good in everyone, even his opponents.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Onoda's "mommy bike" forced him to bike at a higher cadence, which really helps climbing slopes on a bike.
- Determinator: Routinely rides 90km going to and from Akihabara, in order to save on train fare.
- He also manages to beat Imaizumi in the climbing stage from last place during the Sohoku welcome race due to this.
- Onoda AGAIN manages to catch up to Sohoku at the front of the pack after crashing and reaching last place on the first day of Interhigh. He has to pass over 100 riders to do this.
- He THEN does the same thing again for Tadokoro, who has fallen to the back of the pack at the start of the second day of Interhigh. Onoda drops back and pulls him along back to the rest of Sohoku.
- Determined Expression: His default expression while cycling other than smiling.
- Fist Bump: Does this with Naruko often, almost to the point it's customary they do it before races, they describe it as offering each other spirit.
- Friendless Background: Suffers from this while in middle school. It's the main reason why he's trying so hard to revive the anime club at the start of the series.
- Genki Guy: Is adorably upbeat when he focuses on something he likes. While this part of him can easily be overlooked at the start of the series, due to him tending to be very withdrawn, as time passes and he becomes more confident it becomes one of his most defining character traits.
- The Heart: Onoda is the glue that keeps this team together and in good spirits. Let us count the ways:
- Imaizumi manages to recover from his Heroic B.S.O.D. by remembering Onoda's determination on the second day of Interhigh.
- Brings Tadokoro from the back to the front of the pack using the power of optimism and anime openings on the second day of Interhigh.
- Onoda's climbing skill gives Makishima hope to have a final match with Toudou - something he couldn't do if there wasn't another climber on the team.
- Let's just say that if Onoda ever dropped out of the Interhigh race, things wouldn't go well for Sohoku. And in fact, they actively support him when Onoda feels like he can't go on and finish the race on the 2nd day.
- On the third day of Inter-High, when Kinjou's knee gives out right before the final stretch, Onoda's the one who snaps Kinjou out of his depression and reminds him that Sohoku's dream can still be fulfilled.
- He's Back: Goes through this after both his Heroic BSODs listed below. The one during the freshman race is both heartwarming and hilarious, as, rejuvenated, he pedals dramatically off into the distance...leaving behind all the supplies that the seniors gave to him. Cue the rest of the club's collective Face Fault.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.:
- Has one at the start of the Freshman Race, complete with Broken Tears, after he realizes he mommy bike simply can't keep up with the others' road racers. While this may seem a bit pathetic at first glance, keep in mind that if he doesn't catch up he'll wind up in last place, which means he won't be able to join the cycle club, which means that he'll very possibly lose the first two friends that he's ever made. With that much riding on the race, it's a little wonder that he's so torn up about being unable to compete.
- He gets another one during training camp, after he gets it into his head that he only likes climbing slopes because it's easy for him.
- Has a minor one when he crashes during Interhigh and falls to last place.
- I Gave My Word: Is incredibly determined to fulfill his orders during Interhigh, going to such crazy lengths as riding in a gutter to pass 100 riders or dropping to the back of the pack to get Tadokoro.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: His burning desire to have friends is the motivation behind most of his actions at the beginning of the series.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Onoda tends to get very impressed by other cyclists, even the ones of his age.
- The most prominent example is Makishima. Unlike Imaizumi and Naruko, who see respectively Kinjou and Tadokoro as friendly rivals who they want to surpass, Onoda just looks up to Makishima and thinks everything he does is cool.
- This comes prepackaged with lots of sparkles and a Luminescent Blush or twelve, so much so in fact that it doesn't only make socially awkward Makishima extremely uncomfortable but thoroughly confuses the rest of the team.
- Although not the point of squee, he's also visibly amazed by Arakita after a very badass moment of the latter. It comes to the point that Onoda seems to want to go after him, even though he's an opponent, after he gets left behind.
- The most prominent example is Makishima. Unlike Imaizumi and Naruko, who see respectively Kinjou and Tadokoro as friendly rivals who they want to surpass, Onoda just looks up to Makishima and thinks everything he does is cool.
- The Load: Sometimes sees himself as this to the cycling club, especially when he compares his skill level to the likes of Imaizumi and Naruko. This self doubt is especially noticeable after the freshmen qualify for the interhigh, though it's quickly put to rest by the rest of the team's encouragement.
- Meaningful Name: His first name literally means "slope".
- Miracle Rally: Pretty much the only way he wins.
- Morality Pet:
- Onoda can be seen as this for Imaizumi.
- For Makishima as well. When Tadokoro gets left behind on the second day of the inter-high, Makishima makes the decision to go on without him. Onoda asks Makishima to let him stay behind and help Tadokoro catch up, which he reluctantly agrees to once he sees Onoda's Puppy-Dog Eyes.
- NaÔve Newcomer: The world of competitive cycling is completely foreign to him. This is actually played for drama during the summer training camp, when he fails to realize that the seniors have modified his bike, and almost suffers from a major existential crisis after his performance drops.
- Nice Guy: Essentially a nice boy who is friendly even to opponents and outright hostile riders. He goes as far as respecting the likes of Midousuji.
- No One Gets Left Behind: His personal philosophy after Kinjou tells him to keep Sohoku together during Interhighs. Goes out of his way to fulfill this. See Determinator above. During the third day of Interhigh, he and Imaizumi hava to leave Naruko behind after he wears out all of his stamina and collapses.
- Otaku: At the start of the series, he's your stereotypical anime otaku.
- The Power of Friendship: Converts everyone to "Onoda-ism" very quickly. He does this to Imaizumi during their back gate race, Naruko during their meeting in Akihabara, and the seniors and coaches during the Freshman race.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: Doesn't excel in social situations, but is an incredibly determined badass on the road.
- Tears of Joy: After catching up to Imaizumi and Naruko in the freshman race.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Onoda in a nutshell. Yes, he has an amazing cycling technique, but because of his lack of training he falls woefully short in both the stamina and overall fitness categories compared to the other club members. Since bicycle racing is mainly an endurance sport, this costs him more than a few races at the beginning of the series.
- The Watson: Onoda often asks Makishima and others about cycling and cycling strategy to help readers/viewers understand the sport.
- Wingding Eyes: His eyes briefly turn into spirals in episode 7.
- Worthy Opponent: To Imaizumi, who comes to respect the effort Onoda puts into growing in cycling, and Manami, who recognized his potential and wished to race against him from the beginning.
- Played by: Kosuke Toriumi (anime), Motohiro Oda (stage play)
A first-year and experienced cyclist who first notices Onoda's talent for climbing. He's an all-round cyclist whose main motivation is to defeat Midousuji in a race.
- Animal Motif: Word of God states that Imaizumi is like a rabbit. He does have a lot of rabbit shirts.
- Bishōnen: Considered to be this in-universe by many girls at his school.
- Butt-Monkey: In the omakes, both in the physical and nonphysical sense.
- Childhood Friends: With Miki.
- Converted Fanboy: Imaizumi becomes a serious fan of Love Hime thanks to Onoda. He even goes with Onoda to the Love Hime movie and gets just as in to it as Onoda does.
- He even attended a Love Hime CONVENTION with Onoda, though he was somewhat confused by the whole thing.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: A non-romantic version. Opens up after befriending Onoda.
- Don't Think, Feel: Imaizumi, who in his previous races tries to act logically based on his biometrics, decides to ignore his heart rate and cadence monitor and go all-out during his race with Onoda.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Starts having one when he's unable to catch up to Midousuji on the last stretch of the first day of the Interhigh, and then on the second day he has a full blown one when Kyoto Fushimi passes him and Kinjou while Midousuji declares that he never even saw Sohoku as competition.
- Informed Attractiveness: Possesses a group of fangirls, and his looks are frequently commented on.
- Inner Monologue: Most of his compliments for Onoda are not spoken.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Says this to Kinjou during the 2nd day during one of his Heroic BSODs.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: As he is an All-Rounder.
- Jerk Jock: Subverted. He is aloof and does have a "not here to make friends or play games" attitude in the beginning, as he's completely focused on cycling. That said, he's much nicer than his introduction makes him seem.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Often acts cold and uninterested, but he does genuinely care for people who get hurt - he helps Onoda when he crashes, and an old man when he trips. He also compliments Onoda on his skill and encourages him to better himself and become part of the cycling club.
- Lonely At The Front: Subverted, as Imaizumi's goal to be in first place is because it's quiet at the front of the pack.
- Lonely Rich Kid: As a child.
- Odd Friendship:
- It may seem odd that the reserved and aloof Imaizumi and hyper and overtly-friendly Miki are friends, but they've known each other since elementary school. Despite clearly being annoyed by Miki's teasing, he is still close to her.
- Imiazumi's odd friendship with Onoda could technically be considered the catalyst of the series.
- Say My Name: Episode 20 of Grande Road, he lets out a loud Naruko.
- Sexy Man, Instant Harem: This trope is in very much in effect for him, and it's completely Played for Laughs.*Cut to fangirls*
- Sweet Tooth: Though it hasn't been mentioned in series, Word of God states that he loves sweet tamagoyaki thatís loaded with sugar.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: One of the prettiest looking among the main cast and is a good head taller than the rest of the cycle club freshmen. He also overlaps into Tall, Dark, and Snarky territory too, especially in his interactions with Naruko.
- The Unsmile: Teshima tells him he needs to smile while praising Sadatoki for succesfully emulating Onoda's climbing style. The result isÖ confusing.Sadatoki: Nii-chan, was he praising me or angry just now?Sugimoto: Even I don't know!
- Unwanted Harem: Poor Imaizumi is downright horrified at all the female attention his races get.
- Played by: Jun Fukushima (anime), Yuuki Torigoe (stage play)
A first-year sprinter who transfers to Sohoku from Osaka.
- Affectionate Nickname: Was called "Shou-chan" by his childhood friends and elementary school classmates.
- Animal Motif: Tigers.
- Berserk Button: Disrespecting bicycles and their riders.
- Big Brother Instinct: Naruko has three younger brothers and is very caring towards them, to the point of spoiling them, as he carries candy on him to give to his brothers.
- Big Eater: Often has eating competitions with Aoyagi.
- Break the Cutie: His second year is just not going well for him; first he loses a race to Midousuji and has to give up being a Sprinter, then at the first day of Interhigh, after a valiant effort, he winds up losing due to the very thing he tried to overcome and he has suffered from Broken Tears quite a few times already. These defeats are wearing down on his confidence and could potentially effect him as Interhigh goes on.
- Broken Tears: Gets this when Tadokoro pulls from the pack on the third day of Interhigh.
- Gets this again when he loses a race against Midousuji and as per a bet, had to give up being a Sprinter.
- Happens again on the first day of his second Interhigh. After a valiant effort, he places second and narrowly loses to Ashikiba primarily due to the large difference in size. Naruko keeps up a brave face for the spectators, interviewers, and competitors; making the reader believe he isn't really effected by it. As soon as he is alone, however, he lets go of the emotions he'd been holding back and cries.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: To the point of it being a minor running gag.
- Character Tic: Often licks his lips when particularly excited about the situation in a race.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Turns out Naruko makes this happen, as he has been dying his hair since he was very young as a way to stand out. Some people think that his red eyes may be caused by color contacts.
- Cute Little Fangs: Has one pronounced canine.
- Determinator: During the third day of Interhigh during his first year, he pushes his body beyond its limits in an effort for Imaizumi, Makishima, and Onoda to catch up to Hakone, the exhaustion sets in and he even loses his vision and needs Onoda to tell him directions.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Imaizumi loves mentioning that Naruko's fans are mainly guys (Watanabe explains this decision is because Naruko is popular amongst the male readers), and as shown in the third day of Interhigh, while catching Sohoku up to Hakogaku, both the girls and the guys were watching him in awe, almost as if they had fallen for him.Male Spectator after Naruko high-fives him: (stares at hand) "I'm gonna root for Sohoku."
- Fiery Redhead: Possesses a vibrant head of red hair, which fits in with the whole Hot-Blooded, red oni shtick he has going on.Naruko: A man has to be in red.
- Height Angst: Often lost races in the past due to his height.
- Hot-Blooded: Hands down the most passionate member of the freshmen trio.
- The Idiot from Osaka: Dear lord. If you somehow missed this from his whole attitude and the obvious accent, his biking gear has KANSAI scrawled across it in block caps.
- Irony: At the first day of Interhigh, he expresses that he wants himself, Onoda, and Imaizumi to cross the finish line and win together on the final day. On the final day, Naruko burns himself out and has to be left behind, being the only one of the three not to cross the finish line.
- It's Personal: In the current Interhigh, Naruko personally challenges Midousuji to a race to get revenge from an earlier encounter that resulted in Naruko losing and having to give up being a Sprinter. He plans on winning to regain his title as a Sprinter.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: During the Welcome Race, Imaizumi was initially confused on what cyclist type Naruko was, as he excelled at sprinting and was pretty good at climbing; he at first believed him to be an All-Rounder, but after discovering his climbing technique was only effective on light inclines and not steep ones, Imaizumi realized Naruko was only a Sprinter. However, during their Second Year, Imaizumi has a similar thought on Naruko being an excellent Sprinter and has the potential to be a good Climber and suggests to him he becomes an All-Rounder, to which Naruko refuses. Later, Naruko makes a bet with Imaizumi, that if he beats Midosuji in a race, he stays a Sprinter, but if he loses, he has to become an All-Rounder. Naruko winds up losing the bet and goes home to Osaka for awhile to ponder on the soon to come changes, deciding he'll stick to his word and give it a shot; swapping to All-Rounder.
- Manly Tears: When he's frustrated that he lost to Imaizumi.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: The second oldest of five.
- Misery Builds Character: Learns to accept that his losses when he was younger has made him a better sprinter.
- The Napoleon: He's the shortest member on the team, his official height is said to be 165cm, the same as Onoda and Aoyagi's, but he is actually slightly shorter than the two of them.
- The Nicknamer: Gives much of the cast a nickname. Namely: "Hotshot" for Imaizumi, "Quiet Senpai" for Aoyagi, "Captain Shades" for Kinjou, "Old man" for Tadokoro, "Perm Sempai" for Teshima, "Eyelashes" for Izumida, and so it goes. He also calls one of the other racers in the inter-high "Gorilla".
- No One Gets Left Behind: Like Onoda, he hates having to leave his teammates behind and will often say they need to either go back or wait for them; especially during the first two days of Interhigh. Irony kicks in during day three of Interhigh when he overexerts himself catching Onoda, Makishima, and Imaizumi up to Hakone and winds up collapsing from exhaustion, dropping out of the race, and as a result, is left behind.
- Nosebleed: Gets one during a race against Midousuji back in his hometown where he goes all out, this is symbolic of his HotBlooded nature.
- Odd Friendship: Loud, boisterous Naruko gets along with Aoyagi.
- Older Than They Look: Enough to be mistaken for a kindergartner while in 3rd grade.
- Real Men Cook: Word of God says he knows how to cook and often cooks for his brothers.
- Real Men Hate Sugar: Subverted in an omake. Naruko pretends to enjoy black coffee when hanging out with Onoda, but immediately asks the server that milk be added the second Onoda goes to he bathroom.
- Signature Laugh: Has a distinctive "ka ka ka" laugh.
- Temporary Blindness: Is affected by this during the third day of Interhigh when he pushes himself too hard while drafting for Imaizumi, Makishima, and Onoda in an effort to catch up to Hakone. It doesn't stop him from catching them up.
- Tsundere: Type A towards Imaizumi, on the first day of Interhigh when he first proposes the idea that he, Imaizumi, and Onoda finish on the third day together, Imaizumi is surprised Naruko included him; Naruko's response was to say of course, turn away, and say he didn't want to see Imaizumi cry for leaving him out, while blushing.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Naruko is shown to have a fear of flying in the movie, as shown by his nervous behavior while getting luggage checked and nearly having a panic attack on the plane; telling Sugimoto to not talk, or it'll make the plane crash.
- Played by: Hiroki Yasumoto (anime), Naoya Gomoto (stage play)
A senior all-rounder for the team. He's the captain for Sohoku.
- Animal Motif: Snake.
- Badass Driver: Has insane control over his bicycle.
- Bishōnen: Considered this by girls at his school.
- Catch Phrase: "I never give up!"
- Cool Shades: Nearly always uses dark, magenta-colored shades. He usually only takes them off when not racing or when extremely impressed.
- Determinator: Doggedly sees his second-year inter-high race to the end, even after suffering a crash at the hands of Fukutomi on the first day and losing the lead he had so desperately worked to win.
- He's even one when he's sewing. After accidentally sewing his lapel and shirt together:Kinjou: I never give up!
- He's even one when he's sewing. After accidentally sewing his lapel and shirt together:
- Game-Breaking Injury: His crash during his second year at Interhigh forces him to drop out of his third-year race.
- Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: Averted. After he crosses the finish line on the second day of his second-year Inter-high, he's constantly holding his ribs, where he's bleeding through his jersey.
- I Can Still Fight!: Insists on racing the day after his crash with Fukutomi.
- It's All My Fault: Kinjou blames himself for crashing for not being able to fulfill his expectations as The Ace on the second day of his second-year Interhigh, despite it not being his fault. It's only after Fukutomi's apology that the team realizes what happened.
- He also does this again when he's forced to drop out of his final Inter High due to a knee injury.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: As an "all-rounder" for the team.
- Manipulative Bastard: A rare heroic example, Kinjou is surprisingly good at knowing exactly how to motivate his team to reach their full potential, such as egging on Imaizumi during a sprint and telling Naruko to make sure to act "flashy" right before he dropped out. Notably, it's heavily hinted that he wanted Makishima to tell Onoda about his secretly altered bike during the Training Camp From Hell in order for them to become closer.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Enjoys sewing and embroidery.
- Stage Magician: As a hobby.
- Pick a Card: Performs this trick for Onoda, Imaizumi and Naruko.
- The Stoic: Is notably very withdrawn and serious to the point of being intimidating at the beginning of the series, in contrast to the moody and creepy Makishima and loud and brash Tadokoro.
- Played by: Showtaro Morikubo (anime), Tomoki Hirose (stage play)
Senior climbing specialist, and mentor to Onoda.
- Affectionate Nickname: Toudou calls him "Maki-chan".
- Animal Motif: Spiders. Is sometimes associated with goats as well.
- Beauty Mark: Two in fact.
- Berserk Button: Touching his stuff.Makishima: If you touch things without permission, I'll have you executed.Tadokoro: [rummages through fridge] Have anything to eat?Makishima: EXECUTED!
- Character Tic: Covering one half of his face with his hand, usually while smiling.
- Covert Pervert: His interests apparently include reading gravure (which is essentially cheesecake).
- Creepy Good: He is initially depicted as creepy and intimidating but turns out to be one of the nicest characters in the series.
- Deadpan Snarker: You wouldn't suspect socially awkward Maki-chan of being capable of this but he gets some pretty deadpan comments in on Toudou occasionally.
- Does Not Like Spam: Grapes, according to Word of God.
- First-Name Basis: Not with anyone constantly but when he gets fired up he calls Toudou by his first name and later does the same to Onoda.
- Generic Cuteness: The mangaka said that he's supposed to be drawn as creepy and gross, but he's the most popular character in the series and the anime has a lot of fun making his hair as pretty as possible.
- Hates Small Talk: He outright states that he's bad at it.
- Hidden Depths: Word of God states that he is surprisingly good at drawing.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: While Makishima isn't very easy to talk to, he is nice and does help out Onoda during their joint practice and during the training camp (despite being told by Kinjou not to do so).
- Hide the Evidence: Cuts out part of the clubhouse's drywall that he used to mark his secret practices after some upperclassmen find out about it.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: His casual wear. The first time you see him out of his school uniform, Makishima is wearing a green and yellow stripes shirt with only one blue sleeve. Onoda thinks it's cool though.
- Kubrick Stare: When he sees that Onoda and Naruko have found the hole he made in the team clubhouse.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With Toudou, to a hilarious degree.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Which is funny since Word of God says he's supposed to be drawn as creepy and gross. Makishima himself was apparently not aware of that.
- Mr. Exposition: Answers a lot of Onoda's questions about cycling as a way of informing the reader/viewer about the sport.
- Multicolored Hair: It's green with red streaks.
- Word of God has outed it as being a very good dye job.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: For Onoda and Naruko initially. Now Onoda thinks he's the coolest person ever.
- No Social Skills: He's really bad with people and openly admits he's best at expressing himself with his bicycle.
- Odd Friendship:
- He and Tadokoro seem to have a friendly bond despite being near polar opposites in both personality and appearance.
- Also has one with Toudou from Hakone, who is loud and very flashy, contrasting to Makishima's more withdrawn personality.
- Pick a Card: His hobby is playing card tricks.
- Rapid Hair Growth: In flashbacks note his hair is almost shoulder length. By the time the series starts, it's down to his back. And that's only when he slouches. Word of God stated that he has very good metabolism and his hair grows fast as a result of that.
- Say My Name: JINPACHI!
- Straight Man: Is the most likely to play this role in the third years, due to being more grounded and realistic than either Kinjou or Tadokoro, and also to the more comical Toudou whenever they meet.
- Team Mom: Tries to fulfill this role with the 1st and 2nd years, but isn't always the best at it. He fits this role especially with Onoda.
- Tears of Joy: When Sohoku manages to win in the last day of Interhigh, Makishima cries when going on the stage with the rest of the team.
- Tsundere: He shows some signs of being a mild one towards Onoda in the beginning, what with waiting for him and then vehemently denying that he waited.
- Verbal Tic: Adds "-sho" to the end of his sentences.
- Weak, but Skilled: Like Onoda, he isn't very strong on flats or sprints but is very skilled at climbing.
- Worthy Opponent: Though he won't outright admit it, he does consider Toudou as this.
- You Gotta Have Green and Red Hair: Word of God states that it is dyed and that his natural hair color is brown.
- Played by: Kentaro Ito (anime), Masashi Oyama (stage play)
Senior sprinter for Sohoku.
- Affectionate Nickname: Makishima calls Tadokoro "Tadokorocchi".
- Animal Motif: Bear.
- Battle Cry: Ox-y-gen!
- Big Brother Mentor: Is this toward the second years Aoyagi and Teshima.
- He also seems to have a soft sport towards Onoda. He's the first of the team to see his potential, encouraging him to try and beat Imaizumi when he has to drop out of the first year race and giving him extra food during the training camp so he doesn't drop out. In his flashback to when he attempts to resign from the club, it's revealed that these are things that happened to him during his first year, hinting that he sees himself in Onoda.
- Big Eater: And HOW!
- The Big Guy: Physically the biggest, most imposing and boisterous guy of the club. To add, he is a sprinter, which, despite not being a part without its need of wits, is essentially about being the fastest while raising the team's morale and making a show out of it.
- Despair Event Horizon: Almost crosses it when he realizes he's too sick to catch up to the rest of the pack. Cue Onoda staying back to help him catch up.
- Hidden Depths: He has a love of history, specifically Japanese history. He makes a reference to Oda Nobunaga when signing a message on the Interhigh ribbon.
- Hot-Blooded: In a series full of hot blooded guys.
- Implausible Deniability: Tells Fukutomi when he visits that the pile of wheels totally fell on their own. On top of him. Makishima calls him out on it.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: At the end of the first day of his third-year Interhigh, he tells Makishima to leave him behind during Interhighs if he can't keep up.
- Manly Tears: Sheds them quite a lot.
- One particular example is on the second day of the inter-high when Onoda stays back and helps him catch up with the team. While he is thanking Onoda and telling him how grateful he is, he starts crying.
- Misery Builds Character: Touji adopts this attitude with respect to Tadokoro. Though Tadokoro lost a lot of races as a freshman, Touji knew that they would drive him and make him a better sprinter.
- Number Two: Kinjou's vice-captain, according to Pedal Sign trivia.
- Obsessed with Food: It doesn't help that his parents own a bakery.
- Odd Friendship: With the other third years, who are both very different from him: Makishima is quite socially awkward and has a very different style of cycling overall, and Kinjou is much more reserved and taciturn. Despite that, the three of them are very much True companions.
- Papa Bear: To the 2nd years. Doesn't help that he's frequently associated with bears.
- Signature Laugh: Written as "ga ha ha."
- Team Dad: In contrast to the stoic Kinjou and the awkward Makishima, he fufills this role for the 1st and 2nd years.
- Tears of Joy: When he and Onoda catch up to the rest of the Sohoku team on the second day of Interhigh.
- Weight Woe: As a freshman, one of his reasons for handing in his resignation from cycling club was because he couldn't lose weight, meaning that he wouldn't be able to climb well. Even if he did he would lose power.
- Played by: Kouki Miyata (anime)
Another first-year who joined the bicycle club with Onoda and co.
- A Day in the Limelight: From chapter 263 to 273.
- Character Tic: The "experienced" Declarative Finger.
- Determinator: He's able to match Kaburagi's skilled riding with willpower alone.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards Imaizumi.
- I Call It "Vera": Calls his bicycle "Col-chan".
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Subverted. Does give his advice and opinions on cycling in a smug way, but his advice is all correct.
- Little Big Brother: Turns out Sugimoto has a brother who is a year younger than him and is massively taller than him and he joins the cycling club in the main trio's Second Year.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Loves pointing out how experienced he is.
- Smug Snake: Downplayed. While he likes to flaunt his "experience", he is rather nice.
- Played by: Daisuke Kishio (anime)
A second-year bicycle club member at Sohoku
- Affectionate Nickname: Ashikiba calls him "Jun-chan" (a friendly, cutesy honorific).
- Always Someone Better: He actually felt this way towards Imaizumi, during middle school, enough to make him consider stop cycling. Meeting and teaming up with Aoyagi is what gets him out of it.
- Brains and Brawn: The brains in his partnership with Aoyagi, creating plans to push the other to victory.
- The Captain: Becomes Sohoku's captain when Kinjou graduates.
- Childhood Friends: With Ashikiba.
- First-Name Basis: Both Aoyagi and Koga call him "Junta." He used to call Koga by his given name and returns to the habit during their race. Aoyagi, on the other hand, is always "Aoyagi" until the second Inter-High.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Strains his leg muscles during the 1000 kilometer race, forcing him to quit the race and any chance of going to the Inter-High.
- Gratuitous English: "It's tea time."
- Green-Eyed Monster: Is envious of Imaizumi's talent and seemingly effortless victories, but gets better after the training camp and supports him as well as the rest of Sohoku's team.
- He also felt this way towards Koga when the latter was chosen to be a regular in their first year.
- Guile Hero: Especially noticeable during the training camp challenge and the second Inter-High preliminaries, when he easily confuses his enemies with smooth talking and some flashy gestures. He notes that a race is as much a mental battle as a physical one.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Despite a year of training with Tadokoro and Aoyagi, he isn't able to defeat first-years Naruko, Imaizumi or even Onoda (who, at this point, is still a beginner, albeit immensely talented).
- Averted in case of local races Ė with Teshima's help, Aoyagi wins five of six they've attended.
- The Heart: As captain, he understands his team very well and can quickly manage any personal or motivational issues.
- Teshima's determined riding motivates Onoda enough to snap him out of his depressive phase and win the Minegayama Hill Climb.
- Despite him considering himself the weakest member of Souhoku's IH lineup, both Imaizumi and Onoda agree that without Teshima they wouldn't have been able to win the prefecturals.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Aoyagi.
- Multicolored Hair: In pictured colored by Watanabe, his hair is depicted with shades of black, blue and purple.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Word of God states that he's proficient with cooking, sewing and knitting
- The Strategist: Works with Aoyagi to defeat their opponents with tactics.
- Tears of Joy: When, during Interhighs, Tadokoro wins the first checkpoint.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate and tea.
- Undying Loyalty: To Aoyagi and Tadokoro.
- Played by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (anime)
A second-year bicycle club member at Sohoku. He doesn't talk much.
- Adaptational Dye Job: Both hair and eyes, within both the manga and anime. In the his second year during the manga, he was depicted as having light brown hair, similar to the color in the anime, in his third year, he starts being drawn with blonde hair. Additionally, he has been draw with either blue and gold eyes, it varies often so his "official" eye color isn't stated, in the anime, his eyes are black.
- Big Eater: In emulation of Tadokoro, he often gets in eating competitions with Naruko.
- Bishōnen: Not so much in his second year, but his appearance changes a bit by his third year.
- Brains and Brawn: The brawn in his partnership with Teshima, as the slightly better cyclist.
- Calling Your Attacks: When he uses Tadokoro's Human Bullet Train technique.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Only sometimes in the manga where the artist decides to color his eyes gold after he starts being drawn with blonde hair.
- Deadpan Snarker: Turns out to be this after opening up more during the second year.
- First-Name Basis: Calls both Teshima and Koga by their given names.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Strains his leg muscles during the 1000 kilometer race (at the exact same moment as Teshima), forcing him to quit the race and any chance of going to the Inter-High.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Despite a year of training with Tadokoro and Teshima, he isn't able to defeat first-years Naruko, Imaizumi or even Onoda (who, at this point, is still a beginner, albeit immensely talented).
- Averted in case of local races Ė with Teshima's help, Aoyagi wins five of six they've attended.
- Also averted later in the manga, where Aoyagi becomes an incredibly strong sprinter.
- Hero-Worshipper: Absolutely adores Tadokoro, to the point of emulating him in his last year.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Teshima.
- Inner Monologue: Is prone to those, especially in the manga.
- Number Two: Teshima's, as he is named vice-captain in his third year.
- Odd Friendship: With Naruko.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Which covers his left eye (usually - it switches from panel to panel). In his third year, he sometimes parts his bangs so he has a strand running down the middle and fringe framing either side of his face. It's mostly present on color illustrations.
- The Quiet One: Rarely speaks.
- Tears of Joy: When, during Interhighs, Tadokoro wins the first checkpoint.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cabbage.
- Undying Loyalty: To Teshima and Tadokoro.
- Visible Silence: Very often. If a crowd shot with multiple speech bubbles features a "....." one, it will always be Aoyagi's. He also has a distinct "koku" onomatopeia for his silent nods.
- Played by: Ayaka Suwa (anime)
The club manager of Sohoku's bicycle club. She also works part-time in her family's cycling store (the same store that sponsors Sohoku's team). Childhood friend of Imaizumi and younger sister of Tooji.
- Awesomenessby Analysis: A minor case but, like her older brother, Miki has a keen sense of observation. This comes into play in Year 2, where she notices Imaizumi and later Aoyagi's injuries before they tell anyone
- Beware the Nice Ones: Didn't like when Naruko talked about her breasts and broke a broom over his head.
- Character Tics: Has a habit of pressing her hands together in front of her when she talks.
- Childhood Friends: With Imaizumi. They initially weren't very big fans of one another.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Aya claims she always "has her head in the clouds" unless the topic turns to bicycles.
- The Gadfly: Has a habit of teasing Imaizumi and Aya. She even teases Makishima after he finally starts cheering for Onoda during the first year race.
- Motor Mouth: Whenever she gets the chance to geek out about bikes.
- Ms. Exposition: In the early parts of the series.
- Has now somewhat regained this role during the Second Interhigh now that Aya (who has next to no knowledge of cycling) has joined the support team.
- Nice Girl: Her friendliness is a big part of why Onoda starts to rethink his "jocks are mean" philosophy.
- Non Action Girl: Despite loving bicycles and bikes so much, she has not been seen on a bicycle yet, so far.
- Odd Friendship: Two.
- She's been friends with Imaziumi for years, despite their relationship having a shaky start. Miki's overly friendly nature and tendency to push Imaizumi's buttons visibly annoys him a little, but they're still fairly close.
- The grumpy and abrasive Aya frequently and loudly complains about Miki's "alien bike talk" whenever she gets on a roll, but she clearly cares about her a lot. In fact, if second year is anything to go by, Aya might be slowly becoming interested in cycling.
- Otaku: A self-proclaimed cycling otaku, she talks about bikes the same way Onoda talks about anime, down to the exact same sparkling eyes.
- Plucky Girl: Definitely hits the "spirited" checkbox. She's also brave in the fact that she is able to speak on a comfortable level with her (intimidating) senpai and coldly shuts down a rival cyclist on Day 3 of the Inter-High.
- Say It with Hearts: Sometimes when she's speaking to Aya about all the hard work they have to do, giving her a bit of a sarcastic air.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to her tomboyish friend Aya.
- Played by: Junichi Suwabe (anime)
Miki's elder brother, who used to be the captain of the club. Now runs the local bike shop and helps out the team on the side (usually by driving everyone around in the shop's van).
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Seems to share this trait with Miki, he's able to figure out who the club "vandal" is by the distinct slant of their writing.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Kinjou, Tadokoro and Makishima.
- The Captain: When he was a senior at Sohoku.
- Oral Fixation: Pretz or a toothpick. Word of God states that it's dried squid.
- Played by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (anime)
The coach for the Sohoku bicycle team and an English teacher at Sohoku High.
- Cool Teacher: When the members of his team are in his class for a make-up lesson, he lets them go outside and practice riding instead.
- Eyes Always Shut: Though he often opens them in intense situations.
- Funny Foreigner: While watching Naruko and Imaizumi race:Mr. Pierre: [collapses] I just got so excited that I forgot to breathe!
- Gratuitous English: Justified, as he is a foreigner.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In the beginning. He falls over during the race so that Naruko and Imaizumi would check on him and he would be able to talk to them.
- Perpetual Smiler: Nearly always seen with a smile on his face.
Issa KaburagiA first year that joins the team after Interhigh in the following school year.
- Animal Motif: Like Naruko, he's pretty closely associated with the tiger.
- Arrogant Cycling Guy: Is quite confident in his cycling abilities. Later subverted: he is still over-confident and bratty sometimes, but at the same time it's quite easy to gain his respect. He's not above thanking and admiring Sugimoto of all people after defeating him.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Imaizumi and Naruko both find him arrogant and as a result, find him annoying because of it.
- Butt-Monkey: Imaizumi and Naruko find a way of bonding through making fun of Kaburagi.
- Childhood Friends: With Danchiku.
- Fearless Fool: During the first day of second Inter-High every other rider (even Aoyagi) gets intimidated by Doubashi's Battle Aura. Kaburagi meanwhile just casually rides up and starts throwing insults at him.
- Genius Ditz: He believes in soda spirits and is amazed by basic math. Good thing he can cycle well.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Again, with Danchiku.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Claims to be an All-Rounder, everyone else says he's a Sprinter, and is shown to be more suited to being a Sprinter.
- Sempai/Kohai: The kohai to Onoda's sempai, he has also shown more respect and general adoration to Onoda in comparison to Imaizumi and Naruko.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Orange Beena.
- Undying Loyalty: To Danchiku.
Ryuuhou DanchikuAnother first year that joins the team following Interhigh.
- Childhood Friends: With Kaburagi.
- First-Name Basis: Calls Kaburagi by his given name, Issa.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kaburagi.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Kaburagi, who during the training camp goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. while being forbidden from riding closer than 10 meters to Danchiku.
- Multicolored Hair: Most of his hair is black, with the exception of his bangs, which are blue.
- Satellite Character: Evident in this very entry. His existence revolves around being Kaburagi's foil and minder.
- The Stoic: Is generally serious showing little emotion.
- Not So Stoic: Gets very nervous before big events.
- Undying Loyalty: To Kaburagi.
Sadatoki SugimotoAnother first year who joins the team following Interhigh and is Sugimoto's younger brother.
- Adorkable: Gives Onoda a run for his money, he once said "Thanks for the food," when entering the club room.
- Alliterative Name
- Big Little Brother: Utterly towers over his older brother, and the rest of the team for that matter, he even makes the above average Imaizumi look short.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Is a huge fan of Onoda.
- Running Gag: Saying phrases that don't match the situation, see Adorkable above.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Is immensely sweet, not that his brother isn't, but he's a lot less sharp-tongued.
Kimitaka KogaA club member from Teshima and Aoyagi's year. Acts as a mechanic for the team.
- First-Name Basis: With Teshima.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Due to a crash during the previous year's Inter-High (caused by another injury from training camp) he's unable to ride for almost two years.
- Hero-Worshipper: He absolutely idolizes Kinjou.
- Remember the New Guy: He's seen for the first time in chapter 15, but gets proper introduction in volume 33 (266 chapters later). The manga then treats him as if he's always been there. It remains to be seen how the anime (which cut out all of his appearances leaving just a brief mention of his name) deals with the problem.
Aya TachibanaMiki's friend and a member of Sohoku's tennis club. Tags along and helps the support team during Onoda's second Interhigh.
- Grumpy Bear: Almost always has an unimpressed and sullen look on her face and rather unfriendly to Onoda in the first part of the series. She seems to have relaxed some by her second year.
- Hero of Another Story: Or failed hero, perhaps. Her own team loses their Interhigh qualifiers in second year hence why she tags along with Sohoku's cycling team to theirs.
- Odd Friendship: Loudly voices her dislike of otaku and disinterest in cycling, is close friends with the "cycling otaku" Miki.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: A downplayed example, but forms this with Miki.Miki: A woman's touch is vital in the resupply point~!Aya: I'm not sure I'll be good with that...
- Tsundere: A more platonic example (or not?) with Onoda, once she learns about his feats in the cycling team, she tries to be friendlier towards him (with somewhat awkward results).
- Another platonic example (once more, or not?) with Miki. Despite frequently criticizing Miki's tendency to become scarily excited when the topic of bikes comes up, the two are clearly good friends, and Aya worries about her good nature being taken advantage of by boys.
- The Watson: Occasionally plays this role with Miki, especially during the Second Inter-High, being the only member of the support team with no experience in road racing.
HigashidoA former teammate of Teshima's from middle school, now is a member of Sohoku's volleyball team.
- Childhood Friends: With Teshima and Ashikiba.
- Hero of Another Story: Or failed hero, perhaps. His own team loses their Inter-High Qualifiers. He causally mentions (with a somewhat solemn air) that his this means his high school volleyball career is essentially over, before hastily changing the subject back to Teshima.
- Nice Guy: Friendly and supportive of Teshima, even coming all the way to cheer him on during his Interhigh.
The Hakone Team
- All There in the Manual: Just like with Sohoku, interviews with the mangaka has generated a lot of trivia about them. View a collection here.
- Dream Team: Fukutomi describes Hakone as "a team of aces".
- Five Man Band: Year One Interhigh, they are an interesting case where some of the roles swap around.
- The Leader: Fukutomi
- The Lancer: Arakita in Day One, Shinkai in Day Two
- The Big Guy: Shinkai and Izumida both, but mostly Shinkai; Izumida in Day One, Shinkai in Day Two
- The Smart Guy: Toudou and Shinkai in general, mostly Toudou
- The Chick: Toudou in Day One, Arakita in Day Three
- Sixth Ranger: Manami
- Year Two Interhigh
- The Leader: Izumida as he's The Captain, however, Ashikiba is this as The Ace
- The Lancer: Kuroda as he's Izumida's Number Two, however, Izumida serves as the lancer for Day One
- The Big Guy: Doubashi
- The Smart Guy: Manami
- The Chick: Ashikiba in terms of personality, performance-wise, he's The Leader and Kuroda is The Chick in Day One
- Sixth Ranger: Yuuto
- Friendly Enemy: With Sohoku.
- Worthy Opponent: So far the second team to be given screen time and are shown to take sportsmanship seriously, and they seem to consider Sohoku the same.
- Played by: Tomoaki Maeno (anime), Eiji Takigawa (stage play)
The captain of Hakone's bike club.
- Arrogant Biker: He has a fixation on being the best.
- The Atoner: Wants to defeat Kinjou honorably after injuring him during their second-year Inter-High.
- Successfully atones when he and Kinjou complete the second day of Inter-High fairly during their third year.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: His eyebrows are rather thick.
- Catch Phrase: "I am strong." (Ore wa tsuyoi.)
- He says this so often in inappropriate situations that it's a Running Gag in the anime.
- Defeat Means Respect: He learns to respect Kinjou as a strong cyclist after Kinjou passes him in their second-year Interhigh and continued to compete even after his extensive injuries.
- Easily Forgiven: By Kinjou.
- Giver of Lame Names: He named his and Arakita's bikes (Giant and Bianchi) "Gian" and "Bian". And there is, of course, Turtle.
- Like Father, Like Son: Strives to be a successful cyclist just like his father and older brother.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Deeply regretted injuring Kinjou during their second year Inter-High race
- My Greatest Failure: Wants to make up for injuring Kinjou in their second-year Inter-High by competing with him fairly again during their last competition together.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Says this outright to Kinjou during his second interhigh, all while complaining that there are no Worthy Opponents to challenge him.
- Perpetual Frowner: Is almost always scowling.
- Pride Before a Fall: In Fukutomi and Kinjou's backstory, Fukutomi is only given about a half an episode to gloat about his training and heritage before he causes both him and Kinjou to crash.
- Privileged Rival: Comes from a background of successful cyclists, and has had much more instruction and training compared to Kinjou.
- Sweet Tooth: Well, if he likes apple pie then he must like sweet food.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Apples, apple pie.
- A Turtle Named Turtle: The trivia states that he has a turtle named Turtle.
- Played by: Satoshi Hino (anime), Shuuto Miyazaki (stage play)
A third-year sprinter for Hakogaku.
- Big Eater: Trivia mentions he eats as much as Tadokoro.
- Fatal Flaw: Can't pass riders on the left after running over a rabbit during a race. See My Greatest Failure.
- Removed Achilles' Heel: Gets over his fear of passing when he decides he needs to let go of his past to help the team win.
- Finger Gun: His trademark pose.
- First-Name Basis: Calls all the other third years by their given names.
- Multicolored Hair: Manga-only. He highlights his hair with blue streaks.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction to running over a rabbit during a race and coming back to realize he also orphaned her child.
- My Greatest Failure: Ran over a rabbit during the race while her child looked on.
- Number Two: To Fukutomi, as his long time friend and the one who knows and understands him best.
- Overly Long Tongue: When in his "demon" mode.
- Red Ones Go Faster: More so in the manga. Shinkai is one of the fastest sprinters in the series, and according to trivia, the author is careful to add red to everything when coloring him, including his skin.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Powerbars.
- Played by: Tetsuya Kakihara (anime), Ryou Kitamura (stage play)
Third-year of Hakone's bicycle club. He's also a climber.
- Bishie Sparkle: Whenever he's posing or just being charming, these will follow.
- Bishōnen: And he loves to remind people of that.Toudou: Yes, I am Toudou! Hakone Academyís beautiful third-year climber... Toudou!
- Chick Magnet: He has a fanclub, and it's been stated that none of his fans are male. Trivia also says he gains a lot of chocolate on Valentine's Day, all from girls who want to date him.
- Curtains Match the Window: His hair and eyes are dark purple.
- Giftedly Bad: He believes himself to be a great singer. According to Watanabe-sensei, it's not really the case. Here's Toudou's rendition of the Love Hime theme.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: His signature pose.
- Hair Decorations: Wears a hairband. Makishima uses this as his moniker before they become friends and calls it lame.
- Iconic Item: His hairband. According to the mangaka, he owns over 100 of them and always carries at least five with him.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With Makishima, to a hilarious degree.
- Nice Guy: He may be bratty and annoying, but he does care a lot about his teammates and kouhai. He even comforts Manami and helps him snap out of his guilt after the first Inter-High.
- After losing to Makishima for the first time he is frustrated for a whole ten seconds before he jumps right into teaching Makishima how to smile. It doesn't work but he tries and that with a person he a) doesn't know and b) just lost to. He's nicer than he'd admit.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: In a flashback, he refused to accept Makishima being forced to quit due to flat tires as a win on his part.
- Number Two: To Fukutomi, though not like Shinkai. Toudou is the vice captain of the team and the most likely to take charge if Fukutomi isn't around.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Makishima is forced to stay with his team because Onoda fell and landed in last place he shows nothing of his usually boisterious personality. His teammates think he's not be feeling well, saying they've never seen him like this before, and his fangirls are shocked when he completely ignores them. Of course, when Makishima does catch up he's downright glowing.
- Real Men Cook: Cooks best among the Hakone third-years and is even good at food arrangements, thanks to being taught by his older sister.
- Red Baron: Multiple nicknames are associated with Toudou. "God of the Mountains" corresponds to his career as a mountain climber. "Sleeping Climber" refers directly to his silent style of cycling; Toudou prefers it as "Sleeping Beauty", though according to Makishima most people actually call him "Forest Ninja".
- The Rival: To Makishima.
- Say My Name: MAKI-CHAN MAKI-CHAN MAKI-CHAN!
- Signature Laugh: "Wahaha!"
- Speed Echoes: When pulling off his Sleeping Climb.
- Stalker Without A Crush: Poor Makishima can't catch a break from him. The anime takes it Up to 11 in its stinger extras, where it's shown that Makishima receives several phone calls from Toudou a day. Though the without is debatable.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair
- Played by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (anime), Hiroki Suzuki (stage play)
A third year all-round cyclist.
- Animal Motif: Wolf.
- Big Eater: Is the second biggest eater on the team after Shinkai.
- Brutal Honesty: Doesn't mince words complaining about how Shinkai lost a race to Midousuji during the Interhigh. It actually helps Shinkai getting over it. Trivia also mentions that Arakita is a character who "says what's wanting to be said".
- Bikes Like Crazy: When he's fired up.
- Career-Ending Injury: He was a promising baseball pitcher until he hurt his elbow.
- A Day in the Limelight: A whole chapter in the manga and a couple of episodes in the second season of the anime are devoted to his backstory. One episode is even named after him.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Used to style his hair into a pompaudor typical of delinquents. He cuts it shortly after his run-in with Fukutomi, symbolizing his definitive advance towards the cycling world, and him moving on from the past.
- Friendless Background: In the beginning of high school, he had no friends, underlings, or anyone to count on other than his Vespa.
- Generic Cuteness: A meta example. Word of God is that Arakita is meant to be drawn ugly. Fangirls probably wouldn't agree to that.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: For all his rudeness, Arakita definitely has a soft side, even if he doesn't show it. In a special comic, he tries to give Pocari water bottles to his teammates as a gift for being in their care, but finds that too embarrassing. Trivia also states he'd be the first to text Toudou "Happy Birthday", because that's how he is.
- Ironic Name: "Yasutomo" means "peaceful friend."
- Japanese Delinquent: When he was younger.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: In his backstory we see Arakita trying to get along with a cat (though it basically ignores him), and in the present we see he still interacts with the same cat and even feeds it. In a drama CD as well, when a stray cat is brought to the Hakone cycling club, Arakita shows a surprising knowledge of how to deal with it. Word of God also confirms that despite being in a family of dog people and currently owning a dog himself, Arakita is most definitely a cat person.
- Mouth Screen: Gets quite a few shots of his mouth.
- The Nicknamer: Adds the suffix -chan onto the names of characters he acknowledges, such as Fukutomi, Manami and Onoda. Also coins the nickname "Wonder Boy" for Manami, and used to call Fukutomi "Stone Face".
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Only likes competing when he has someone to challenge, otherwise he won't try.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Speaks more rudely than anyone else on his team.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bepsi.
- Tsundere: Extremely abrasive towards everyone on the team and won't shy from calling them out when needed, but also cares deeply about each of his teammates.
- You Remind Me of X: He never says it out loud, but one of the reasons he helped Onoda to break away from the pack is because he reminded him of Fukutomi.
- Played by: Atsushi Abe (anime), Takuya Kawaharada (stage play)
A second-year sprinter for Hakogaku.
- Battle Cry: ABS!
- The Captain: Becomes captain of Hakogaku after Fukutomi graduates.
- Childhood Friends: With Kuroda.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The guy talks to his pecs as though they were real people.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Is depicted as comic relief at the end of the first stage play where he gets jealous of Shinkai "having taught" Onoda about his "Bang" pose; getting upset that Shinkai didn't teach him. It results in him screaming "Shinkai-san" several times before running off stage after him; his reaction causes both Naruko and Kinjou to say he's dangerous.
- Formerly Fat: Was rather heavy in one of his earliest flashbacks.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Wasn't able to defeat either Tadokoro or Naruko.
- Subverted, in that Tadokoro explains to him that his loss was due to lack of experience in racing, rather then anything to do with his abilities. Being able to move the fastest doesn't help you if you blink.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards Shinkai, it's even more noticeable in the stage plays.
- Manly Tears: Ghibli style.
- Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": Exaggerated. Named his pecs Andy and Frank, but he talks to them and have their own personalities.
- His hobbies include naming his own muscles.
- In a scene from 3DS game, he tries to think up names for his teammates' pectorals.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Frank and Andy, respectively.
- Shirtless Scene: Tons. Bikes in races with his jersey open as well as works out constantly while shirtless.
- Talking to Plants: He names them.
- Talking to Themself: His pecs do have their own personalities and they do communicate with Izumida, but not verbally. However, Izumida does talk back to them.
- Workout Fanservice: Poster boy for it.
- Played by: Tsubasa Yonaga (anime), Keisuke Ueda (stage play)
First-year member of Hakone's bike club and a friendly rival to Onoda.
- Affectionate Nickname: Arakita calls him "Wonder Boy". Given that it's Arakita, the "affectionate" part is kind of doubtful, but it does seems to be half sarcasm, half sincerity.
- Bishōnen: To the point that Toudou fears that he may steal some of his fangirls.
- Childhood Friends: With Miyahara.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Always late, falls asleep right before a super important competition (when he's already on the top of his bike!) and is almost scarily easygoing.
- Creepy Child: When he was younger.Manami: I wonder what it feels like to be stabbed.
- Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair and eyes.
- Day in the Limelight: Episode 20. It's even named after him.
- Expy: Oddly good-natured, despite being on the rival sports team, bishounen of the highest degree, and has an oddly intimate relationship with the cowardly protagonist as well as an association with angels. Kaworu Nagisa, is that you?
- Idiot Hair: It's included in his height as well.
- Ill Boy: As a child, he spent most of his time sickly and bedridden.
- In Harmony with Nature: Uses the wind to his advantage in races.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Subverted in that he's not that innocent (at least not to Onoda's extent), but Played Straight in that it alludes to his apparent naivety and cements his angelic motifs.
- Meaningful Name: His first name literally means "mountain".
- No Sense of Personal Space: At one point, in the middle of the race, he grabs Onoda by the waist and starts talking to him really closely. Onoda is understandably quite startled at first.
- Oblivious to Love: Doesn't realize that his Childhood Friend has had a crush on him for quite some time. It's gotten to the point where she fears that he might be in love with his bicycle.
- Perpetual Smiler: He's usually giving a peaceful or excited smile. If he isn't, chances are something's not quite right.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Manami may not look like it, but he's obsessed with reaching the goal first so that it remains "untainted." He hates Onoda for beating him on the third day of the inter-high and throws away the bottle he gave back to him.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: He's nice to Onoda during his first few meetings with him, but he's a completely different animal during a race.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: With added yellow highlights in the manga. The anime tries to stick to more natural colors for other characters (excluding Makishima, Naruko and Fukutomi, whose hair is stated to be dyed/bleached), which makes blue-haired Manami stand out like a sore thumb.
- Played by: Kenji Nojima (anime)
- Adaptation Dye-Job: A weird case. In the first anime season, his hair is light brown, but later the colored pages in the manga revealed it's supposed to be white. Grande Road corrects this and paints his hair white (even in flashbacks using footage from the first season). But in 3DS game published after those anime changes, it's inexplicably back to brown.
- Affectionate Nickname: Gets called "Yuki" by Izumida and "Yuki-chan" by Ashikiba.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: With Ashikiba as boke.
- Childhood Friends: With Izumida.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Acts like this towards Ashikiba sometimes.
- First-Name Basis: Calls Izumida by his given name, Touichirou.
- Number Two: To Izumida, in his third year.
Takuto AshikibaHakone's extremely tall and awkward climber and The Ace for the second Inter-High.
- Affectionate Nickname: "Shikiba," courtesy of Teshima.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: With Kuroda as tsukkomi.
- Childhood Friends: With Teshima.
- Genius Ditz: He's a spectacular climber and very talented piano player, but his way of thinking is a bit... unique. It surely takes a special kind of mind to mistake Imaizumi for Naruko.
- Odd Friendship: According to Word of God, he has good relationship with loud, violent Doubashi, due to their similar situations with abnormally huge bodies.
Masakiyo DoubashiHakone's loud, boisterous sprinter.
- Affectionate Nickname: Ashikiba calls him "Basshi."
- Animal Motif: Bull/bison. Although in Kaburagi's opinion, he's more like a pig.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Has a history of punching upperclassmen who tried to provoke him. Was even forced to quit the club several times because of that.
- Odd Friendship: According to Word of God he's friends with gentle, emotional Ashikiba, due to their similar situations with abnormally huge bodies.
- Younger Than They Look: Onoda is shocked to learn Doubashi is his age.
- Rapid Hair Growth: In the span of a single race.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair
- Played by: China Kitahara (anime)
- Character Tic: Fiddling with her twintails.
- Childhood Friends: She's known Manami since they were very young.
- Class Representative: And takes her job very seriously.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Since they were young. She's actually the one who introduced him to cycling in an attempt to help his poor health, and later helped tutor him so he could get into the prestigious Hakone Academy. She's also constantly trying to get him to do his schoolwork and stop skipping on sleeping through class, to little success.
- Crush Blush: Makes her feelings obvious enough that even Onoda's mom is able to pick them up.
- First-Name Basis: As they've known each other since they were very young, Miyahara actually refers to Manami by his given name, making the fact he only ever calls her by her title somewhat odd.
- Girlish Pigtails: Plays with them when she's nervous.
- No Name Given: Manami only ever refers to her as "iinchou" (confusing some English speaking fans who didn't know that's the word for Class Representative). Readers didn't even learn her surname until a flashback. According to Word of God, her name may be revealed during the second Inter-High.
- Tsundere: Despite all her scolding, she clearly cares deeply for Manami.
The Fushimi Team
- Played by: Koji Yusa (anime), Mitsu Murata (stage play)
A first year and ace of Kyoto Fushimi's bike club. He is also Imaizumi's rival.
- The Ace: As a first year.
- Ambiguous Disorder: More apparent after witnessing him as a child in his flashbacks. In the present day he could usually pass as just a weird jerk, but as a kid he was withdrawn, didn't seem to like talking and when he did he seemed to have difficulty articulating his meaning, prone to delayed physical reactions, and didn't like making eye contact. He also, to this day, thinks of emotions in very abstract terms, relating them to colors (happiness or contentment he describes as "yellow", for instance.)
- Attack Its Weak Point: Considers this an acceptable strategy during a race, using significant research on the other racers against them.
- Bad Boss: Isn't afraid to abuse his own team, with the excuse that he's The Ace.
- Break Them by Talking: Uses this often to try to beat the competition.
- Character Tic: A number of them. His weird hand and body movements when he chants "gross", his clacking his teeth, sliding his tongue out of his mouth, pulling down on the skin of his face to reveal the underside of his eyeball, and occasionally tilting his head to the side as he talks.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Midousuji discusses this trope in a Internal Monologue when he's bullied for not being good in anything aside from cycling. He decides that it's weirder to excel at everything (academics, popularity and athletics), rather than to just be incredibly competent in one thing.
- Crippling the Competition: In the backstory, he lied to Imaizumi during a race, saying the race personnel were looking for him because his mother had been hit by a car.
- Freudian Excuse: The reason Midousuji is so nasty while riding is that as a child he was ridiculed for wanting to be an athlete due to his poor physical ability, but was encouraged to pursue cycling by his sickly mother, who died before she could make it to one of his races. This drives Midousuji to keep moving forward and become the best at any cost.
- Also "explains" why he tricked Imaizumi into losing a past race by saying that Imaizumi's mother had just been hit by a car.
- Insistent Terminology: If youíre on his team, you better add -kun to the end of his name.
- Alternatively, some fansubs will have him demanding to have "Ace" added before his name.
- It's All About Me: He's really only in it for himself. Until we find out that he took up cycling because he wasn't good at anything else, and also because of his mother.
- Lean and Mean: He is very lanky and mean-spirited as they come.
- Loners Are Freaks: Midousuji was constantly bullied at school at a young age and made fun of because he wanted to be a sports star, yet wasn't good at sports.
- Missing Mom: Midousuji's own mother is dead. Part of why he took up cycling was to make her proud and he rode 20 km. to the hospital every day to visit her.
- Nightmare Face: See his mugshot.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: His face wouldn't be out of place on a Titan, and the way he moves makes it look like he doesn't have any bones.
- Overly Long Tongue: Add it to the list of reasons why this guy is creepy.
- Perpetual Smiler: Downplayed. Interestingly, he's probably not always smiling; he just keeps his teeth showing for so long that the effect is the same.
- Power Copying: Copies Manami's ability to use the wind for help during the 3rd day mountain race.
- Power Limiter: His taped fingers preventing him from using his outer gear during the second day of Interhigh. Also has bands on his legs.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Says this outright during his duel with Shinkai.
- Shadow Archetype: Is easily this to Onoda. As revealed in his flashback, like Onoda, he was never any good at athletics growing up with the sole exception of bicycling, which he had already gotten strong at for personal reasons and which he started pursuing as a serious sport with an outside nudge and plenty of determination. While Onoda has a family who doesn't seem to quite "get" it, has many supportive friends, and puts his all into cycling because it's something fun he can do with and "for" them, Midousuji had absolutely no friends, was encouraged to road race by his mother, and gets way less enjoyment from cycling itself than he does from succeeding, which he insists on doing by himself, "for" himself now that his mom's dead. Comes full circle when Onoda tells him that the difference in their reasons for smiling when they ride is that Onoda just enjoys riding with his team and Midousuji uses that to snap himself out of his post-Day 2 funk.
- Small Name, Big Ego: For all his bluster, he's a first year. Doesn't stop him from barging onto the stage where the previous year's champions were gathered and declaring himself the best racer there. And to be fair, he has the power to back up his trash talking but is still unable to defeat the aces, at least as far as we've seen.
- The Strategist: Makes detailed plans on how to crush everyone at Interhigh, researching everyone to know their weaknesses and how (and when) to exploit them. He also studies the entire race course extensively and matches his strategies to specific areas.
- 10-Minute Retirement
- Troll: In spades. Once he gets going, he does not shut up.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating
- Verbal Tic: Kimoinote
- Villainous Breakdown: Suffers a major breakdown during the second day when both Sohoku catch up as well as Fukutomi choosing Shinkai as his assistant, both things he didn't plan for.
- Has his ultimate breakdown at the end of the second day, when he hits his limit and both Fukutomi and Kinjou pass him while they're only a few meters in front of the goal.
- Played by: Hirofumi Nojima (anime), Toshiyuki Someya (stage play)
The previous ace for Kyoto Fushimi before Midousuji entered the club.
- Affectionate Nickname: His teammates of the same year call him Ishiyan.
- The Captain: Though any real authority belongs to Midousuji.
- Morality Pet: Seems to become this to Midousuji at some point during the last day of Interhigh. Ishigaki also begins to address him without honorifics, which is a big deal given Midousuji's Insistent Terminology.
- Nice Guy: He really is just... nice to everyone, for all that he's dragged along in his team's wake. He even seems to genuinely like and care about Midousuji of all people.
- Token Good Teammate: So far, the only Kyoto Fushimi member we've seen to be respectful/sportsmanlike.
- Played by: Yukitoshi Kikuchi (anime)
- The Load: Midousuji dubs him and the other Kyoto Fushimi sprinter this, as he breaks away with the rest of the team on a slope during the second day of Interhigh.
- Played by: Chihiro Suzuki (anime), Kento Masui (stage play)
- The Captain: After Ishigaki retires from the club.
- Yes-Man: He's this to whoever is in charge, to the point of imitating them. When Ishigaki was the captain, Mizuta tried to be just like him, including copying his hair style, but now that Midousuji is in charge, Mizuta acts like the most eager and obedient member of the team towards him and tries to imitate Midousuji with his attitude and Slasher Smile, which Arakita calls him out on in the manga.
Hiroshima Kureminami Technical School
- Played by: Tomokazu Seki (anime)
- Affectionate Nickname: Ibitani calls him "Miya."
- Animal Motif: A fighting dog.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: Machimiya's aggressive climbing style involves him repeatedly hitting his chest against his handlebars.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Machimiya is so insanely determined to get revenge on Hakogaku because Fukutomi refused to give Machimiya a water bottle during the last Interhigh.
- Though it did cost Machimiya that day's race, with his own unluckiness also playing a part, so it might be justified, to an extent.
- Foil: Is one to Arakita, which is even lampshaded by the latter himself. Like a young Arakita, Machimiya feels trapped and angered by his unsuccessful past, but while he's still stuck in his own failure, Arakita was able to move forward. Even their Animal Motifs are similar, both being dog-like.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He made a bet with members form Sohoku and Hakogaku that whichever group overtakes the other by 20 meters will be allowed to catch up with the aces, and the other group will have to let them go. He ends up losing that bet.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Uses this as a form of intimidation against his opponents on the 3rd day. He's incredibly grabby.
- The Power of Hate: Machimiya is hugely fueled by the desire for revenge.
- Unluckily Lucky: Machimiya claims to be Born Unlucky, which has some basis: he didnít manage to get on the podium in the second day of the previous Interhigh just because he didnít have a water bottle. However, his bad luck also seems to work on his favor, by becoming othersí misfortune: he did manage to place third at that same Interhigh thanks to other competitors having a flat tire, misjudging the course and such.
- Played by: Yoshiyuki Shimozuma (anime)