Alley Cats Guild/Net Game Club
- Animal Motif: Each of the four main characters has a creature and colour associated with them. These symbols appear frequently when related to the respective character.
- Ako is the pink jellyfish.
- Hideki is the blue bear.
- Akane is the yellow pig.
- Kyou is the green duck.
- After Nanako becomes a regular of the guild, her creature is Mu-tan and the color associated with her is pink.
- Badass on Paper: The Alley Cats tend to be one. While the core members are all high leveled and avid gamers, they're not competitive players and like to fool around a lot.
- Cassandra Truth: Hideki doesn't believe the others when they tell him they're girls in real life until he actually meets them. Even when they tell him they were girls, he just plays it off, thinking of the G.I.R.L. trope.
- Contrived Coincidence: All of the members of Alley Cats just happened to be students at the same school. Even Nekohime turned out to be Nishimura's homeroom teacher.
- Cross Player: Two of the initial four members are women who play male characters.
- Damager, Healer, Tank: Schwein and Apricot are the damagers, Ako is the healer, and Rusian is the tank. Sette later joins as an additional damager.
- Gamer Chick: Everyone in the Net Game Club save for Hideki are girls.
- As the title of the series states, Hideki believes that this was the case until he met his teammates in real life.
- Inverted with Schwein and Apricot, who play male characters but are girls in real life.
- Nekohime admitted to Rusian after he confessed to her that despite being a female character, she is an older guy in real life. Subverted when it's revealed that Nekohime is an actual woman to be exact, Hideki and Akane's homeroom teacher, Yui Saitou.
- Glass Cannon: Apricot is a high damage, low hit point wizard that relies on power boosting items. Schwein is a DPS-focused fighter who forgoes defense for offense.
- Meaningful Name: An alley cat is a homeless domestic cat. The members of the Alley Cats guild are players who don't fit in with other guilds because of their personalities or play styles. If it wasn't for each other, they'd have Solo Class characters and not be in a guild.
- Samus Is a Girl: Rusian's guild mates all turn out to be female, except for Ako who clearly established herself as a female to begin with. Nekohime zigzags this trope by having a female avatar, told Rusian she was a man after he proposed to her, then turned out to be his teacher.
- Supporting Harem: Averted. Despite the premise of having only one guy in a school club filled primarily with girls, the Net Game Club isn't treated as Hideki's harem at all, especially given that their primary goal is to help Ako recognize the differences between the game and real worlds. Aside from a few Ship Tease moments from Akane and Nanako, none of them show any romantic feelings towards him and the same applies in reverse, instead retaining a platonic camaraderie with each other instead.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese) and Dallas Reid (English)
The primary viewpoint character of the series. A Legendary Age player who plays as a damage tanking knight.
- Battle Couple: With Ako.
- Boring, but Practical: When he has a sparring match with Apricot, he just uses a Shield Throw skill to stunlock her down.
- Catchphrase: Constantly reminding Ako (and occasionally himself) that "games and reality are separate."
- Chick Magnet: Ako's his wife, Sette was pretty attached to him when he was teaching her, and Schwein once acted Tsundere towards him in a pretty Ship Tease-y way.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: He's basically the one in charge of Ako, and he was Taught by Experience on how to deal with her eccentricities. Deconstructed in that, during a sleepover, the other girls eventually get worn down by her, and, once a gaze into her thought process becomes the straw that broke the camel's back, they all frantically ask him in the game how he's able to manage her.
- The Confidant: He is one for Ako, when not being the focus of her romantic affection. Whenever something troublesome happens, she will run to him and vent her frustration of the situation so he can find an answer.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: While playing as Rusian in-game, he's often on the receiving end of this when the mobs attack and eventually kill him multiple times.
- Japanese Ranguage: His game name is more than likely a kanafication of the name Lucien.
- Mighty Glacier: He's the same base class as Schwein, but focuses on armored defense over weapon damage.
- The One Guy: The only male member of the guild, much to his own surprise.
- Online Alias: Rusian.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Played with. Hideki frequently reminds Ako to call him by his real name in real life in an attempt to avert this trope. Unfortunately, Ako is so used to calling Hideki "Rusian" that it becomes his In-Series Nickname in real life.
- Only Sane Man: By far the most together member of the group due to the quirks of the group's various girls. During the girls' sleepover, they struggle without his influence to calm down Ako, and resort to calling him when Ako's Daydream Believer logic taints them.
- Paladin: Sword and shield, plus nice armor? The designated tank to defend his friends in-game (and sometimes, in real life)? Yes, his in-game character does evoke the image of one.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rusian or Lucian? The official anime subs use the former, while some manga translations use the latter.
- Stone Wall: He's the guild's main tank, and focuses on defense.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: His in-game character has access to the "Shield Throw" skill, which proves effective in stunlocking Kyou and preventing her from casting spells during a Player Versus Player practice match.
Voiced by: Rina Hidaka (Japanese) and Trina Nishimura (English)
The cover girl of the series, and the in-game wife of Hideki, who is unable to distinguish between reality and fiction. In Legendary Age, she plays as a cleric.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Rusian notes that her stats are well balanced, and she's the member (outside Schwein) most suited for PVP. She clarifies that it's accidental.
- Awesome, but Impractical: She attempted to wear water-resistant armor in a fire-themed dungeon simply because she liked the aesthetics.
- Battle Couple: She often helps Rusian fight enemies while in-game.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Hideki first helped her out when she was unsure how to log out of the game as a new player. Ako also mentions that while other players gave up on her after a while largely due to being a bad healer, he stuck it out with her.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Being unable to discern video game from reality, she can't keep any of her friends gaming online activities a secret.
- Catchphrase: Whenever she doesn't understand what someone is talking about, she uses a confused "Yes?"
- Cold Sniper: Quickly proves herself to be The Ace at First-Person Shooter games, and comically begins exhibiting some of the eccentric mannerisms of one.Ako: Beautiful!
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Gets quite upset when other women make moves, or even just flirt a little too much with Hideki.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Has these anytime she goes into Yandere mode when she suspects Hideki of cheating on her.
- Establishing Character Moment: When she meets Hideki in real-life, the first thing she does upon realizing that he's Rusian is to grab his arm in excitement.
- First-Name Basis: Insists that Hideki call her by her first name, something he's not comfortable with outside of the game since he doesn't know her outside of the game too well. However, when she threatens to call him "Rusian" instead, he immediately obliges.
- Idiot Hair: Has a particularly cute one that doubles as Expressive Hair.
- The Ingenue: Despite the amount of time she spends on the internet and online gaming, Ako is surprisingly ignorant about digital culture's dark side. She uses her contact info for game identities, doesn't know about real money trade, and willing to meet complete strangers from the game. Akane has pointed out that Ako was fortuitous Hideki (and the rest of the Alley Cats) turned out to be an honest and morally strong individual, rather than a dangerous creep. On the other hand she's quite knowledgeable about sexuality and seduction, so it's probable she's seen online porn.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Highlighting her naivety.
- Insane Troll Logic: Whenever Ako explains how her marriage to Rusian in the game world is still legally binding in the real world. The examples she gives are very compelling arguments, causing others to fall into her Cloudcuckoolander mentality. For example, at one point during a sleepover she basically argues that since it would be ludicrous and hurtful for a member of a married couple IRL to insist on disregarding their IRL marriage in-game, likewise her marriage in-game should be taken seriously IRL. The other girls ever-so-briefly find themselves actually following along with their logic, and it horrifies them.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Rusian notes that her stats are distributed pretty evenly.
- Limited Social Circle: Ako is fine having just Rusian, Schwein, and Apricot. Getting her to associate with more people is a core part of the plot.
- Loners Are Freaks: Tried to establish this persona at school so as to avoid having to interact with anyone. Unfortunately once she starts visiting Hideki at school, some of her female classmates start talking to her, which she finds uncomfortable.
- Naked People Are Funny: In episode five, he visits Ako's house, and gets a key to her room from her mother. Ako, obviously startled by his appearance, tells him not to come into the room, but he does it anyway. He sees her barely wearing her underwear, and immediately closes the door. She then tells him she's ready a few moments later, and he opens the door again, only to find her completely naked. He then closes the door again and tells her to put some clothes on.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- In-game, she's a terrible healer, and Rusian often suffers lots of hilarious deaths from the group of mobs that attack, while she's too distracted and chatty to notice he needs heals. However, this is often Played for Laughs.
- In real life, Ako completely blows Akane and Hideki's cover at school when she greets them in a very friendly manner and uses their online avatar's names in front of their classmates. Made worse by the fact that she doesn't quite understand that the two were trying to keep their online gaming separate from their school life, and initially thinks they were going to be bullies instead.
- No Social Skills: Ako is very shy in real life with most people, even to those who are nice to her. She also doesn't understand why Hideki and Akane don't want her talking about Legendary Age in class. Improving her social ineptitude was one of the reasons the guild started the Net Game Club.
- Online Alias: Ako, also doubling as Real Name as an Alias.
- Single-Target Sexuality: With the exception of Rusian, Ako doesn't even recognize other guys exist and becomes visibly annoyed when any of them try to interact with her. Before she knew who Hideki was, she avoided and ignored him like everyone else. Once she knew they were one and the same, she loathes whenever she has to leave his side.
- Stalker with a Crush: After Hideki shows her how to logout of the game when she first started playing, she suddenly stalks him obsessively, following him wherever he went in the game.
- Team Chef: She's the only one out of the group who knows how to cook. Which comes in very handy when Kyou orders food for a barbeque, and then has no idea what to do to prepare it for cooking.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Nanako upon discovering she is Sette's player. Nanako would like to be friends, but Ako is humorously fearful the flirtatious teammate is after her man. However the animosity is always done for laughs.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Ako pulls out her cellphone while taking a bath with the other girls when she tries to call Hideki in episode nine. The other girls immediately wonder how she managed to have it on her despite being nearly naked at the time.
- White Mage: Ako is the healer, though she's not particularly good at it and often gets distracted when Rusian needs help.
- Yandere: Downplayed increasingly as the series goes on, and taken as proof that the club is working to an extent: Ako is obsessed with Rusian, clinging to him in and out of school, despises non-gamers and is very distressed to see him with girls she does not know. She even attacks Saitou-sensei after she realizes she is the "Nekohime" who broke Rusian's heart, but with a toy prop rather than an actual weapon. By the time Sette shows up as potential competition, however, Ako "only" spends a day at home playing Legendary Age with the implication of living inside the game forever; it's a minor improvement!
- Zettai Ryouiki: Wears a set of white ones on her game character, and a set of black ones in her school uniform.
Voiced by: Inori Minase (Japanese) and Jad Saxton (English) [Akane] / Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese) and Josh Grelle (English) [Schwein]
- A-Cup Angst: A major sore point of Akane is how every girl except her has impressive boobs. Ako and Kyou tease it's because Akane never followed proper nutrition and sleeping habits while growing up, but Akane retorts it didn't matter because she lacked the (genetic) material to craft the items they have.
- Alpha Bitch: The image Akane portrays in the real world. She's considered one of the school's top beauties and incredibly popular, but as Hideki puts it, "a tsundere that's nothing but tsun." It's soon revealed she's actually a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
- Atrocious Alias: Half the jokes around Akane revolve around her character's name, Schwein, meaning pig in German. She just thought it was a cool-sounding name.
- Badass Adorable: Akane is cute, petite, and serves as the main melee fighter of the party.
- Becoming the Mask: Akane before the Alley Cats revealed their real identities to each other. Her true personality is that of a game loving geek who loves computers. Comments from her admonishing of Ako's social life hint she once wasn't so different and forces herself to be an Alpha Bitch in public. During the second term, she finds it hard to keep up her mask of being a "normal high school girl".
- BFS: As the Alley Cats' primary melee damage-dealer, her in-game character frequently carries one.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Used against her to convince Akane to help out with the Net Game Club. She initially refuses to join, not seeing the point of Ako distinguishing between games and reality in this way. However, Kyou and Hideki then comment that the computers they'd be using at school were top-of-the-line ones designed specifically for gaming. Kyou also mentions how Akane's personal computer at home is fairly slow, and if she didn't join them, she'd eventually fall behind in levels and wouldn't be able to play with them anymore. Akane then reluctantly agrees to join the club.
- Bokukko: Only as Schwein, where she refers to herself by "ore-sama", which is even more arrogant than "ore".
- Boobs of Steel: Averted, the flat-chested one is the one with the BFS.
- Celibate Hero: She's not interested in dating because a boyfriend would cut into her game time. That said, she has shown signs of having feelings for Rusian.
- Closet Geek: She's very reticent about her gaming habits and goes to great lengths to hide them from her friends.
- Cute Little Fangs: Shown to have one whenever she becomes agitated.
- Dude Magnet: While popular with the guys at school, she turns them down just so she can have more gaming time.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Akane thought her "Schwein" avatar name is an "Awesome McCool" Name. Then Kyou tells her that it is also a German word for "pig", and since then her alias has been gleefully swapped with pig-related nicknames and shortforms.
- Freudian Slip: When she talks to Hideki about how Ako likes spending time with him not just in games, but in real life, she inadvertently mentions that she'd feel the same way. It ends up being an Aborted Declaration of Love when she says she just enjoys the social interactions, and nothing further than that, realizing that Ako needs him much more than she does.
- Girlish Pigtails: They go well with her tsundere personality.
- Gratuitous German: As mentioned under Atrocious Alias, Akane chose a German word as her handle, simply because it sounded cool to her, without giving its meaning a thought, and this time, it was acknowledged in-universe that this tends to have laughable results.
- Heroic BSoD: Suffers one when Nanako first finds out about the Net Game Club after her friend sees her suspiciously looking around before entering the room. Then suffers another one after she finds out Nanako is playing LA as well.
- Hypocrisy Nod: Akane has an obsession for hiding her true personality, to be something she's not for popularity. While it's great she's trying to fix Ako's social life, she has some unhealthy issues of her own. This is acknowledged by Akane herself, but not an aspect she'd willingly change. After Nanako becomes aware of Akane's secret, the former tries to get her best friend to become more honest and proud of her true self.
- I Call It "Vera": She dubbed her designated computer in the club room War Machine.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She's shown some signs of having a thing for Rusian under that Tsundere attitude. That said, she's happy to let Ako have him.
- Lightning Bruiser: She's the same base class as Rusian, but focuses on weapon damage over armored defense.
- Online Alias: Schwein.
- Shana Clone: Akane is rather short, flat-chested, wears her hair in twintails, wears Zettai Ryouiki, and is a heavy Tsundere. In a twist, she's less of a romantic tsundere than a gaming tsundere.
- Token Mini-Moe: Amongst the guild members, Akane is clearly the shortest and most childlike.
- Totally Radical/Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Because her high-and-mighty 'ore-sama' type speech is pretty much impossible to translate to English directly, in the English dub, she calls herself a 'bad mamma-jamma'.
- Tsundere: A non-romantic variant, in that she constantly tries (and fails) to deny her gaming life in public. As an extension of this, she's incredibly reluctant to publicly associate with Ako and Nishimura.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Nishimura have a fiery relationship. That said, they are still good friends.
Voiced by: Mao Ichimichi [credited as "M.A.O."] (Japanese) and Mallorie Rodak (English) [Kyou] / Wataru Hatano (Japanese) and J. Michael Tatum (English) [Apricot]
Student Council President of Maegasaki High School and leader of the Alley Cats Guild. Plays as a mage in Legendary Age.
- Boobs of Steel: She has a massive rack in the in-game scenes after it's revealed that Samus Is a Girl. She also uses a massive number of Pay To Win items that make her the most overpowered member.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Kyou buys a lot of premium items that give her a huge advantage in battle, to the annoyance of Hideki and Akane.
- Brought Down to Normal: Played for Laughs during their first session as the Net Game Club. Kyou is forbidden from using any of her in-game premium items, in a form of Self-Imposed Challenge. Unfortunately the only thing she was left with was a fairly weak blizzard spell, which just causes the monsters to aggro and kill her character.
- Crazy-Prepared: She buys lots of expensive healing items for the last siege battle before the school festival. When Bats attacks her, she simply spam heals with said items, so that she could survive long enough for the siege to end. When Bats says she spent a crazy amount of money for what amounted to a basically trivial win, she says that the cost didn't matter to her.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Her stuff's geared towards plowing through dungeons. In PVP, she gets her ass handed to her.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": At school, she's normally referred to as "President". By the guild, they tend to call her "Master." Rarely is her real name or character name used.
- Godzilla Threshold: She uses this to justify using her premium gear in the Siege event. Unfortunately, Bribing Your Way to Victory is forbidden in siege warfare under the game's rules.
- It Amused Me: She starts up the Net Game Club at school, mostly to help Ako distinguish between reality and fantasy. However, she smirks and laughs at Hideki's situation as well, and enjoys watching him squirm when Ako interacts with him.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Forced to be one by her parents, in their efforts to make her a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Luminescent Blush: Kyou experiences this when Hideki calls her by her first name without honorifics, even though she insisted he do this.
- Ms. Fanservice: Often wears revealing clothing, from her in-game costumes to her choice in bathing suits.
- Online Alias: Apricot.
- Spoiled Sweet: She's the daughter of a Fiction 500 family. She's also a Nice Girl, and a Reasonable Authority Figure who created the club as therapy for one of her guildmates.
- Squishy Wizard: Her in-game character deals most of the damage in the team thanks to her Area of Effect spells (and premium items), but as shown during their Player Versus Player practice matches, Kyou's character doesn't react too well to melee attacks. Also, she's squishy in another way, which is emphasized by her Stripperiffic outfits.
- Student Council President: Of Maegasaki High School. She uses her position to start up the Net Game Club, whose main purpose is to help Ako connect to reality.
- Unskilled, but Strong: She's the most overpowered member because she plays by Bribing Your Way to Victory. That said, when her teammates demand she use non-premium equipment, and especially when the guild does some PVP sparring, she gets bodied soon after.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: As Apricot "he" basically wears little except for baggy pants, a cape, detached sleeves and a pair of tassels. Whenever "he" is shown as Kyou, her tassels would conveniently cover her breasts (but not by much).
Voiced by: Hitomi Ohwada (Japanese) and Tia Ballard (English)
Hideki's classmate and Akane's best friend. She later starts playing Legendary Age as "Sette", a summoner, after finding out about Akane's secret gamer life, and eventually joins the Net Game Club.
- The Confidant: Serves as this to Akane when it comes to anyone outside her social circle.
- Dude Magnet: She's just as popular with the boys as her best friend, Akane.
- Foil: To Akane, on two levels:
- While Akane can be cold and harsh toward the boys who have a crush on her, Nanako has a warm and friendly personality.
- Unlike Akane, who is a veteran Gamer Chick, Nanako is new to online gaming and frequently makes newbie mistakes that sometimes cause a Total Party Kill. Thankfully, she gets better.
- Online Alias: Sette.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Sette's animal companion and wolf pup, Mu-tan.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Pink-haired and absolutely nice.
- Summon Magic: Her in-game character can summon a cute little wolf pup named Mu-tan (which is unfortunately prone to bouts of Artificial Stupidity by drawing unwanted aggro towards the party), or a giant siege golem.
- The Tease: Acts in this manner when she first plays LA, and questions how close Hideki and Ako really are outside the game.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pink in the anime.
Voiced by: Yoshino Nanjo (Japanese) and Monica Rial (English)
Homeroom teacher of Nishimura and Segawa, as well as the teacher representative of the Net Game Club.
- Blackmail: How she became the teacher representative for the Net Game Club. She initially refused the request until Kyou learned that she was Nekohime.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: She was threa- invited to be the teacher representative of the club by Kyou.
- Cat Girl: Her in-game name loosely translates to "Cat Princess", her in-game character wears cat ears, and she uses "-nyaa~" as a Verbal Tic (which sometimes bleed into real life).
- Closet Geek: Keeps her online gaming activities hidden from public, as it's frowned upon for a teacher, especially since her "Nekohime" avatar has one of the largest fan clubs in Legendary Age, consisting of high-school students (some of which are attending her own school).
- Cross Player: Averted, she was lying when she told Rusian she was a G.I.R.L..
- Hello, Nurse!: In the game, Saitou has an entire guild of fanboys completely devoted to her avatar and follows her every whim, much to her embarrassment in real life.
- Instant Fan Club: Her old guildmates turn into this when they realize that she's playing LA again. So much so that they threaten Rusian when he runs into her in the cemetery. They also help to recover Rusian's items after his account was hacked.
- Nerd Nanny: Played with since Hideki is technically the only male member of the Guild. Saitou doubles as being the Reasonable Authority Figure for the group and also tends to get exasperated with how seriously the central four characters take the game.
- Online Alias: Nekohime.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite the blackmail used against her to force her to be the advisor for the net game club, she does stick around them and offers fairly good advice, and allows them to play games quite a bit since it was to help Ako to become less dependent on net games. She also acts as the adult chaperone when they're on their training camp at a private beach and hotel owned by Kyou's family.
- Sensei-chan: Played with. While she is fairly good at her job, her mannerisms as "Nekohime" would occasionally seep in, such as her unconscious habit of sometimes ending her sentences with "~nyaa~".
- Walking Spoiler: Her online identity as "Nekohime" and her rejection of Hideki's in-game marriage proposal by posing as a guy in real life more or less jump-starts the series' premise.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Was on the wrestling team in college, and puts her moves to good use against some of the students.
- Verbal Tic: When stressed or angered, Yui-sensei will start ending her sentences with "~nyaa~" in the real world.
Voiced by: Megumi Takamoto (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Gives Hideki the key to Ako's room.
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: The only visible difference between her and her daughter, is that mom is slightly taller and combs her hair.
- No Name Given: Her first name and maiden name are still unknown.
- Shipper on Deck: Is quite approving of Hideki's relationship with her daughter.
- Stacy's Mom: Could easily be mistaken for Ako's older sister.