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Brody

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brody.png
"Some days you're better off staying in bed."
The main protagonist. He's a slacker who spends most of his time playing street music for money, working odd jobs, hanging out with his Only Friend Gabriel, and mourning over his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. After winning a staring contest while out playing music for money, he gets the shock of his life when his opponent leaves her van via the roof.
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  • Character Development: From a depressed, lazy bum to a Badass Occult Detective.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Despite his cynical quips and rage issues, Brody is a good-hearted guy who, especially early on, was terrible at fights and easily freaked out, as well as being depressed and self-loathing over a bad break-up. He slowly gets better as time passes.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. His decision to stand up to the L47s and confront Landon end up being life-threateningly stupid. He knows it's stupid, he's told they're stupid, but he does it anyway because the idea of letting them walk all over him infuriates him to no end.
    • Speaking of infuriating, Rage is the other half of his Flaw, seeing how his worst mistakes in his love life, the Penny Murderer case, and even just getting through the day stem from losing his temper at the worst possible moment.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Whenever he cuts his hair, gets a shave, and wears decent clothes, Brody transforms into an upstanding looking young man.
  • Heroic Build: Not at first, but he gets there under Kagemura's tutelage.
  • Homeless Hero: He's stuck in a one room flat in god knows where, and often resorts to begging and odd jobs to make ends meet. Thanks to Landon, he doesn't even have that by the end. Though Nicole and Gabe seem to be helping him out of it.
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  • Hot-Blooded: Double Subverted. He claims this, but Talia notes that he seems pretty chill for the most part and content with doing his own thing. Later we see that he can get fired up if under enough stress. It's deconstructed, because most of his worst mistakes in his love life, the Penny Murderer case, and even just getting through the day stem from losing his temper at the worst possible moment. His decision to confront Landon after he vandalised Brody's apartment is probably the biggest example.
  • The Narrator: He narrates the series with the same tired cynicism as classic Noir detectives.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His stalking of Nicole (even if it's to save her life) not only gets him nowhere with the Penny Murderer case, but it draws the ire of her mob boyfriend, making his job more difficult than it needed to be. Attacking Landon for vandalising his room just makes things worse.
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  • Not Good with Rejection: He never goes Yandere for Nicole, but his response to their six month long break up is letting his apartment become a pig sty, reducing himself to begging and odd jobs to survive, and desperately spending whatever money he can scrounge up in a vain attempt to reconnect with her. It's not until his training with Kagemura that he's willing to move on.
  • Occult Detective: A variation. He uses his supernatural abilities in his work, but the case he ends up dealing with is a Serial Killer case grounded in reality.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Averted towards Nicole, as it's done in spite of his feelings for her. He does care for her, and he is stalking her, but it's to protect her from the Penny Murderer. Nicole unfortunately believes him to be a straight example, with dire consequences.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From the first volume on, he goes from having the body of a potbellied scarecrow to being totally ripped and able to take on multiple opponents in a fight. This is due to Kagemura's intense training.

Talia

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/talia.jpg
"So let's get on with this. I'm Talia. I've been dead for about five years now. Leukemia. Very depressing story. Don't make me go into it. All you need to know is this. I'm locked out of heaven. They say I can't move on to the afterlife until I've done, like... a super good deed. A 'life task' they call it."
The titular ghost, Talia's a spectre stuck on Earth until she can complete her life task - bring the Penny Murderer to justice. Since she can't interact with anything beyond breaking glass, she ropes Brody into her investigation of the Serial Killer.
  • Beneath the Mask: There are hints beforehand, but there's more to Talia than her snarkiness. She's had to watch her father die of leukemia, witness her mother go insane in her absence, and watch herself get choked to death in an Out-of-Body Experience. Her Stepford Snarker persona hides a soul of rage and regret over her life being cut short.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Engages in this frequently, especially early on in her relationship with Brody.
  • Ghostly Goals: She can't get into Heaven unless she does a "super good deed". She can actually go anytime she wants to, but what she wants is to see her murderer choked to death at Brody's hands.
  • Intangible Man: She's a ghost, so aside from breaking windows she can only phase through things. This is the reason why she wants Brody to help her nab the murderer.
  • It's Personal: Averted with the Penny Murderer. As much as she loathes him, she doesn't like thinking about the injustice of him living at the expense of his victims, as those thoughts lead down some dark paths. It's actually played straight. As his first victim, Talia's been itching to make him pay from the moment she realised she was a ghost.
  • The Unapologetic: There are two instances in the series where she should have apologized, yet didn't do it. The first was for lying to Brody about how she died, after which she can't form the actual words and only says that it was wrong of her to do. The second was at the climax, after admitting that her revenge scheme has led to Brody's life going down the drain. She outright states that this isn't an apology, since he could have refused her any time he wanted...before indirectly asking for his forgiveness.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By kindly picking up and returning a penny she saw someone drop, Talia inspired a series of murders by the man who witnessed her do it, who wanted to "protect" pure-of-heart women like her.
  • Picked Flowers Are Dead: She relates to Brody how there was a vase of flowers in her hospital room when she was dying of leukemia, and she cries as she recalls wondering why people did that, putting them in water as if it was going to keep the flowers from dying. It's clear she's thinking of it in the context of life support. Although she never had leukemia, we later learn that the story is true—her father died of leukemia and had a vase of flowers by his bed.
  • Stepford Smiler: A bit of Type 1 and 3. Her optimism hides a woman with a large amount of bitterness over her past life. When in the presence of the Penny Murderer, or when provoked by Brody, the Tranquil Fury she engages in is frightening.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: She wears a pleated skirt with thigh-high stockings.

Kagemura

"The training begins at dawn."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kage.png
A site spectre - a ghost stuck to one specific location - who Talia asks for help in awakening Brody's supernatural talents. He resides in the dilapidated remains of a Shinto shrine.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's not one for sugarcoating things, bluntly stating that the training Brody will have to go through will likely kill him, given his piss-poor physique at the time.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's got good intentions, but he's rarely straightforward or nice about them, and his focus on the bigger picture makes him unsympathetic to Talia or Brody's concerns.
  • Grumpy Old Man: A curmudgeonly, wizened samurai from Feudal Japan, sticking around as a ghost in the near future.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: He has a cynical view of the world that Brody lives in, but still intends to train Brody to help people.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He makes it extremely clear he couldn't give a damn about the Penny Murderer, but as he points out to Talia, men like the Penny Murderer are barely a drop in the bucket of problems the world suffers from. He sure isn't going to train Brody just to nab one Serial Killer when he could accomplish a lot more with his powers.
  • Mr. Exposition: His role in the comic is relegated to training Brody and explaining everything he needs to know about his psychic powers.
  • My Greatest Failure: Turns out, he was a ghost seer much like Brody, and was in a position where he could have done a lot of good for his people. Unfortunately, he failed, his people were scattered and broken, and he's been swimming in regret since.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: His own failures are why he's even considering tutoring Brody on the subject of awakening his powers.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The comic is black and white, but whenever he's shown in color on the covers, the ghostly Kagemura has a green tint to him.

Gabriel

"Brody, I'm a cop. I can't explain half of what I see on a daily basis."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gabe_4.png
Brody's only friend before he met Talia. He works as a cop, and provides some aid for Brody over the course of the story.
  • By-the-Book Cop: For the most part, Gabe refuses to do any dirty dealings and instead stays on the right sight of laws and regulations. He does allow Brody to sneak into police headquarters, but it was to help prevent another murder.
  • The Last DJ: He's one of the last honest cops in the city, to his unending frustration. He refuses to put himself in the mob's pocket despite knowing how well it pays.
  • Only Friend: Probably Brody's remaining contact with human society after his break up and before he meets Talia. He remains a good friend to Brody for the entirety of the series.
  • Only Sane Man: He's one of the few well adjusted people in the series.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Brody. After learning about his ghost seer abilities and his investigation of the Penny Murderer, he helps him get into police headquarters. When Landon attempts to use him to lure Brody out, he sends a coded message to warn him instead.

Nicole

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shrimp.png
Brody's ex-girlfriend; a good-natured and sweet, if a little high-maintenance, girl. Breaking up with her derails Brody's life before the story begins, and she later becomes significant as the Penny Murderer's next victim.
  • Dies Wide Open: Brody's vision of her death shows her eyes as being slightly open.
  • Irony: She tells her new boyfriend that it pays to be honest when he calls her a "girl scout." The thing he called her a girl scout for was her giving back a penny's worth of extra change to a man she bought ice cream from—and since that man was the Penny Murderer, in this instance it definitely didn't pay to be honest.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Due to a series of misunderstandings, Nicole comes to believe that Brody's become a Stalker with a Crush, and reveals everything she knows about him to her new boyfriend. She's then horrified to discover from Gabe that Brody was actually trying to protect her from the Penny Murderer, and her boyfriend had made him a fugitive and nearly had him killed as a result. The first thing she does when she see him again is to tearfully apologize for making things worse for him when he was trying to save her life. Thankfully, Brody forgives her for it.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Penny Murderer chose her as his next victim when she returned her penny extra in change to him.

The Penny Murderer

A Serial Killer who has murdered a series of young women, leaving a penny on their foreheads as a calling card. Despite years of activity, the police haven't gotten any closer to catching him.
  • Big Bad: There are lots of bad people in the story, but he's the man behind the murders Brody is trying to stop.
  • Calling Card: He leaves a penny on the forehead of each girl he kills, the penny extra that they gave back to him when he gave them their change—proof that these women were "pure" enough to take the trouble to return something as worthless as a penny.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Wears a dark mask with two eyeholes when he kills his victims.
  • Mask of Sanity: He does an exceptionally good job at playing an ordinary employee to his customers, especially his victims.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: "Malo mori quam foedari" is written on a penny in a vision Brody has while holding one of the murderer's possessions, which Brody translates as "death before disgrace." The killer wanted to preserve the "purity" of the women he killed by ending their lives before they'd really begun.
  • Serial Killer: An actual example in that his crimes take place over the course of five years, with an average of one victim per year.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: He's an ice cream vendor at an amusement park.

Landon

Nicole's new boyfriend, a wealthy hot-shot from the financial district. It's no secret that he has mob connections, and doesn't appreciate Brody stalking his girlfriend.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: While the Penny Murderer is the main concern of Brody and Talia's investigation, Landon ends up being the source of Brody's many woes in the Second half of the series.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He and Nicole believe Brody is stalking her. After failing to heed his threats, he has Brody's flat vandalised, tries to have him assassinated, and then sics the police on him to torture and kill him.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He gets the credit for bringing the Penny Murderer to justice, when he'd actually been trying to shoot Brody in the back.
  • Karma Houdini: He's certainly a mobster, and is the one responsible for wrecking Brody's life. He's punished by being known as the guy who killed the Penny Murderer.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Nicole breaks up with him in the time between the Penny Murderer's death and seeing Brody again when she finds out he's a two-timer.
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