The series's viewpoint character, Ryou is a Minor Living Alone that suffered from a case of Parental Abandonment. Her parents have been working overseas since she was eight and have only communicated by post since, leaving her under the care of her grandmother, who passed away shortly before the series begins, when Ryou was 14.
Ryou has fond memories of cooking and eating with her grandmother, but as the series begins, she found her own cooking to be utterly tasteless.
At the beginning of the series she is a middle-school student who studies in an Arts Prep in a view of entering an arts program in high school. After Chapter 14/ Episode 12, she enters the same arts high school as Kirin and Shiina.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Absolutely can't control the impulse to help others, sometimes to her own detriment by neglecting her own issues. Episode 7 involved an attempt by Shiina and Tsuyuko to defy this trope. Tsuyuko found it doesn't quite work.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She has these tendencies from time to time for things unrelated to cooking. This seems to be an inherited trait; her mother once mailed Japanese Ramen to Ryou just because the former saw in their local store the same stuff sold in Japan.
- When asked to sketch a bale of rice, bamboo shoots and carrots in Chapter 4/ Episode 3, she drew a bowl of Takeneko Gohan, a dish that can be made from these ingredients.
- Fails a test because she studied the wrong subject.
- Barely passes the make-up exam for the above, because she fell asleep during the test.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Somehow Downplayed. Her fine motor function is definitively fine, given her Supreme Chef status, but her gross motor function is, generally speaking, subpar.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Certainly a believer of this, as this is what her grandmother taught her.
- Gender-Blender Name: The name "Ryou," even with the kanji used in the series, isn't a name one would usually associate with a girl.
- Hates Being Alone: She doesn't really recognize it in the beginning that her food no longer taste as good was because of this trope rather than any issues with her cooking skills. She only noticed that in episode 4.
- Living MacGuffin: Yes, this is a Slice of Life... but Ryou's parents actually think Ryou has potential to be this. We still have no idea about what they have been working overseas except that it's top secret, absolutely vital, family breaks are extremely sparse (Ryou last saw her mom during grandma's funeral), and they continuously thought that Ryou and even Kirin need a bodyguard, an idea her grandmother strongly refused.
- Meaningful Name: Ryouri is Japanese for cooking.
- Minor Living Alone: Deconstructed. Ryou is a quintessential example and her extreme loneliness that comes with it is a major conflict of the story.
- Nice Girl: Emotionally mature and gets friendly with everyone easily.
- Parental Abandonment: Ryou's parents have been working overseas since she was eight. Her grandmother has since passed on by the time the series starts, and her aunt, who is currently her legal guardian, is often busy with work to spend a lot time with Ryou. This is obviously deconstructed; Ryou's depressive mood in the start of the series comes from this.
- Raised by Grandparents: After her parents' departure, Ryou was brought up by her grandmother until the latter's death shortly before the start of the series.
- She Is All Grown Up: The convenience store clerk in episode 4 notes this about Ryou after watching her gawk around at the many selections of food, much like she had done when she was younger and came there with her grandmother.
- Supreme Chef: At one point Kirin wondered if it'd be better Ryou to take up catering instead of art. Interestingly Ryou mentions a few times that her food only seems to taste good when she's eating it with others. When eating by herself, her cooking seems kind of bland.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Grade B.
Daughter of farmers, Kirin is Ryou's second cousin who started staying in Ryou's apartment on weekends as she enters the same Arts Prep that Ryou goes to. Despite her miniature figure, she is an energetic girl that has inhuman levels of energy, physical strength, and appetite. Being Obsessed with Food to the length of wearing food-themed accessories, she has to put up with her mother's only acceptable dish: stir-fried produce.
After getting into the same high school as Ryou, she moves into the Ryou's apartment in Chapter 15/ Episode 12.
- Big Eater: Despite her petite body.Ryou, on Kirin's first meal at her place: I wonder if this is what eating competitions look like...
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Generally speaking Kirin finds it uncomfortable when Ryou gets a bit too close with anyone other than her
- Kirin seems a bit uncomfortable when Shiina mentions having eaten some of Ryou's cooking at school in episode 2. So she starts boasting about the food Ryou made for her when she first visited, along with when she was sick.
- After bringing food for Kirin's basketball match at Chapter 22, Kirin's teammates wanted to exchange emails with Ryou. Kirin immediately asked Ryou to limit her email exchanges to five.
- Genki Girl: Kirin is very upbeat at every moment. Shiina compares looking at her to watching the circus in Chapter 24.
- Girlish Pigtails: Wear short pigtails and is the least mature of the cast.
- Hates Being Alone: Unlike Ryou and Shiina, Kirin hasn't experienced loneliness in her life. And the first time she experienced it in Chapter 25, she pretty much freaks out.
- Idiot Hair: She has a single strand of it.
- The Ingenue: She acts more like a bratty child than a teen.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: her energy brought Ryou out of the latter's depressive rut in the beginning of the series, starting with food sharing. This was noted by Shiina in Chapter 24:Machiko has changed a lot since Morino came... in a good way... I couldn't say it, but if I had a personality more like Morino, Machiko would have been happier now.
- Obsessed with Food: Only this can explain why she always buys food-themed accessories.
- Older Than They Look: Kirin is quite short and is commonly mistaken to be an elementary schooler. Hilariously in episode 12 one of the school officials at Ryou's school thought she was a lost child and attempted to keep her at the office until her parent's arrived, not realizing she was there to attend Ryou's graduation ceremony.
- Parental Abandonment: Averted. Though her father isn't seen nearly as often, both of her parents are still alive, and she's also living with them.
- Picky Eater:
- Played straight with her parents. She seems to have a problem with her parents' produce-rich diet.
- Averted with Ryou's dishes, as Kirin will eat anything she makes.
- Skirt over Slacks: She often wears a pair of sporty shorts under her skirts. In episode 8, she even took her skirt off in front of Ryou, showing her sportswear underneath.
- Stronger Than They Look:
- In episode 7, Shiina wonders if she shouldn't have had Ryou at least help with carrying charcoal. Kirin then pops on the screen, asking if the several boxes of coal she has is enough. Shiina then says she has enough coal to cook for several dozen people. Hilariously several of the employees at the store are shocked when she casually carries it over to the checkout lane. Viewers have found she carried at least 64 kilograms of it, potentially heavier than she is.
- In episode 12, she carries a lot of huge bags with her when moving into Ryou's apartment.
Ryou's other classmate from the Arts Prep, Shiina is a cool-headed girl despite being a bit quirky and slight unkempt in appearance. The fact that she lives in an Big Fancy House with an Old Retainer causes a mysterious aura around her.
- Instant Illness: She would have this when she has water splashed on.
- Loners Are Freaks: She is a bit quirky, does things on her own pace, and tend not to confirm to social norms as much. This makes her a social misfit, and her mother is quite worried about her lack of friends.
- No Name Given: We still don't know her given name.
- The Ojou: Though her slightly unkempt hairstyle may say otherwise, she comes from a rich family, as Ryou and Kirin find out in episode 5.
- Only Sane Man: When grouped with Ryou and Kirin, she seems to be the only one that doesn't make rash decisions or do spur of the moment things as the other two girls have a habit of doing, particularly Kirin.
- Stalker Without a Crush: In chapter 20, she mentioned she had done this to know what was Tsuyuko's birthday.
- Weaksauce Weakness: She absolutely can't be splashed by rain; any amount would make her sick for a whole week. This is why she was wearing a whole hazmat gear when she's "risking it" to the cram school in chapter 6/episode 4. Dishwater apparently does the same thing, as seen in episode 7. Unanimated chapters shows that her constitution is probably weaker than average; she is perennially anemic and has awful stamina.
Ryou's maternal aunt and her legal guardian while her parents are still out of the country. Akira is an Office Lady that, between her busy work and Hard-Drinking Party Girl tendencies, does not see Ryou much.
Having taken care of Ryou until her recent death, Ryou's (maternal) grandmother is a Parental Substitute to Ryou. While in Ryou's memory she may be a Supreme Chef, in fact she was a Lethal Chef who only started to study cooking serious for Ryou.
- Lethal Chef: While in the library in episode 4, Ryou is told her grandmother used to borrow a lot of cookbooks from there. She calls her aunt, who tells her that her grandmother used to actually be a lousy cook while raising her and Ryou's mother. She is then told that her grandmother only seriously started learning how to cook after she started to watch Ryou more.Akira:She would either grill fish into lumps of coal or leave them half raw, and her miso soup barely had any flavor—she totally wasn't using dashinote in it. And her bento lunches were awful! I once got rice topped with nothing but sweet bean jam!
- Posthumous Character: She passed away shortly before the beginning of the story.
The college student that lives in the apartment below Ryou's. She becomes the librarian in the high school Ryou, Kirin and Shiina studies.
- Cute Bookworm: At 24 years old, she's a little bit too old for this trope, but her bibliophilic and Shrinking Violet tendencies put her squarely in this trope.
- Eating Lunch Alone: Implied. In Episode 10, she mentioned before that episode's events, she had never ate with anyone that's not her family. She's a college graduate at this point, implying this trope. In fact, Ryou sees her dividing a large pizza into 4 single meals a bit "pathetic." In chapter 18 it reveals that her level of social anxiety means she eats her lunch in her car.
- Friendless Background: At the time of her introduction, she says her has no human friends.
- No Social Skills: She plainly couldn't communicate well.
- Punny Name: Her last name is homophonous to the word for "shy."
- Shrinking Violet: She's painfully shy. And her profession? The school librarian, of course!
- Trademark Favourite Food: What else can explain her eating only pizza for three whole weeks?
- The Ditz: She obviously doesn't have the smarts Tsuyoko has.
- Genki Girl: Probably a bit too old for this trope, but she is the most energetic member of the Shiina household.
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: To the point where their maid Tsuyuko was first thought to be the mother by Kirin. She and her daughter are even the page image!
- Unnamed Parent: Per the series' convention.
The emotionless-looking maid from the Shiina household that acts like an Old Retainer. She has been Shiina's parental figure as the latter's mother was busier at work during Shiina's formative years.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Played for Laughs when Kirin and Shiina ask her to help them cook saury for Ryou in episode 7.
- Emotionless Girl: Not that she is without emotions (especially towards Shiina), but she always looks that way.
- Expy: Of Professor of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class—Tsuyuko looks like a grown-up Professor, equally emotionless and have a tendency to wear kimonos, and both have some pretty unhumanly skills.
- Kimono Is Traditional: Justified as she works as a maid in a Big Fancy House in true Japanese style.
- Old Retainer: She isn't really that old, but she acts like one. She is loyal to the Shiina household and really emotionally attached towards the teenage daughter.
- Only One Name: We don't know her surname.
- Parental Substitute: When Shiina was younger her mother had a busier job. Tsuyuko became her mother figure.
- Supreme Chef: Even more than Ryou—she defeated three three-star chefs!