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    Haruo Yaguchi 
Voiced by: Kouhei Amasaki (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English), Diego Becerril (Latin American Spanish)

The protagonist of the series. Having been addicted to gaming at a young age, Haruo has spent most of his time around video games to the detriment of almost everything else, particularly his schoolwork. As a result he lacked any kind of realistic ambition in life until the day he met Akira Oono.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the manga, it was never really shown whether or not Haruo actually defeated Akira with his tick throw strategy in the first chapter, making the latter's outburst seem a bit preemptive. He succeeds in breaking her 29-win streak in the anime, which gives more context behind the resultant beatdown Haruo receives.
  • Always Second Best: To Akira.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Zigzagged. His concentration is nearly topnotch when playing video games unless he's being pestered by other people, such as his mom. Outside of gaming, he constantly appears bored out of his wits until anything concerning gaming manages to catch his attention.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser: Aside from being the Butt-Monkey, Haruo has among the worst grades in his class and likewise was apathetic about his life. He also has noticeable smaller eyes compared to the rest of the cast.
  • Berserk Button: Getting defeated by someone better at fighting games will trigger his temper. Later in the series, he manages to control his violent urges and weaponize it instead.
  • Betty and Veronica: Akira is the Veronica, while Hidaka is the Betty.
  • Book Dumb: In spades. He will hardly care about any topic if it doesn't have anything to do in the least with video games. He grows out of this mentality eventually after he realizes what kind of man he needs to be in order to support Akira.
  • Butt-Monkey: Oh boy, where to begin. He's frequently the target of Akira's abuse, his mother beats up on him whenever she discovers that his grades have plummeted due to his gaming addiction and even Hidaka joins in on the act later on after their Love Triangle with Akira becomes more apparent to everyone except Haruo himself. Then there are his accidents involving the Oono family limousine...
  • Catchphrase: "I won't lose to someone that can't face losing themselves." In the second half of the manga.
  • Chaste Hero/ Celibate Hero:
    • A case can be made for either or both. Zigzagged when he spots a naughty fighting game in a store while searching for a missing Akira, but Guile quickly knocks the thought out of him with a standing short kick. Even when he manages to get into bed with Akira prior to their tournament showdown, he still refuses to give in.
    • Haruo occasionally can acknowledge the female form... when it's in the context of a female video game character. Otherwise he often mocks any opponent that picks their character of choice due to any kind of crush they might have on the character, and scoffed at Akira leering at splash screen of a naked woman in a naughty Mahjong game.
    • Played for Drama in the ending when Haruo receives the toy ring he had gotten for Akira in a small letter she sent to him. He completely believed the gesture to be that Akira was severing all ties with him, until Hidaka tearfully scolds him and reveals she wanted him to deliver it back to her before she left for Los Angeles.
  • Character Development: Starts out as a Bratty Half-Pint who barely gives a crap about real life as long as he has his video games, and matures into a more well-rounded person later on thanks to his love for Akira and wanting to be worthy of her.
  • The Chew Toy: Poor Haruo can't seem to catch a break from Akira's fists when she gets annoyed.
  • Chick Magnet: Overlaps with All Girls Want Bad Boys; both Hidaka and Akira fall in love with him despite his gaming addicted one-track mind and rough mannerisms, although for the latter it's more due to how nice he really is as a person.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Haruo isn't above fighting dirty when his immediate loss in a fighting game becomes apparent. His tricks range from using turtling methods and tick throwing with Guile to distracting Hidaka with a dirty joke when she was about to beat him in Samurai Shodown II. He grows out of this habit later on.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Akira defeats him seven times in Street Fighter II at the very start of the manga, their relationship begins to bud. This is made even more pronounced in the anime version, wherein Haruo actually defeats Akira in turn on his 8th attempt.
  • Determinator: Subtly grows into this over the course of the story due to his love for Akira and is fully set into motion after the latter gets grounded by Ms. Gouda, kicking off his Character Development via being determined to become a man worthy of being Oono's pillar of support.
  • Disappeared Dad: Haruo's father is nowhere to be seen in the entire story; only his mother is present. In the Volume 4 omake,it is revealed that he is always away for work.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Downplayed, overlaps with Double Standard on the part of his spectators, and ultimately Played for Laughs. Whereas Haruo keeps assuming that he was impressing arcade crowds with his talents, they're actually regarding him with envy and dismissing his consecutive fighting game victories as "gross" or "disgusting". This is contrasted with Akira and later Hidaka whom the same spectators routinely praise. The latter even gets her own all-male cheering squad during her fight against Haruo, the members of whom chase him out of the arcade after his victory! It's ultimately downplayed as Haruo is usually too self-absorbed to even notice that other gamers are badmouthing him simply because he kept winning matches.
  • Evil Makeover: Downplayed, but the friends he makes in Shibuya while under exile from Mizunoguchi Arcade get him to exchange his usual "lame clothes" for possibly lamer delinquent-esque apparel in black.
  • Expy: Less an expy and more a walking Affectionate Parody of legendary professional gamer Daigo Umehara.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: In the ending, when he gets the toy ring Akira treasured, he thought she was telling him that it was over between them, but Hidaka reprimands him and tells him she wanted him to give it back to her at the airport before she leaves Japan for good. He luckily succeeds in meeting Akira one last time.
  • Genius Ditz: He may be Book Dumb, but his knowledge of the history of gaming is nothing short of amazing.
  • Graceful Loser: He promptly ditches his Sore Loser tendencies once he grows up. Ironically, this gets him in trouble when Hidaka beats him in a 10v10 Fighting Vipers match and he *agrees* to go on a date with her just to satisfy her whims, and Akira spots the two of them together.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Losing a heated fighting game match made him go berserk in his younger days, but none so much as when he realizes his opponent had merely been toying with him. Later on, this manifests when Hidaka, Mrs. Yaguchi and Makoto Oono are all pestering him during his Tokimeki Memorial playthrough.
  • Hidden Depths: Shows a healthy interest in the various technical aspects of different video games. He later gets his hands dirty creating a game using the Super Famicom version of RPG Maker at Makoto's behest, as part of her plan to cheer Akira up. Haruo manages to finish it in 30 days while handling every aspect from map layouting to balancing combat.
    • Really, Haruo's love of video games, while it appears to have stunted his personal growth at first, had in reality instilled him with a sense of personal honor and responsibility, taking up a part time job in order to fund his hobby and do his best to become a pillar of support for Akira
  • Honor Before Reason: Anyone else's first instinct when faced with a love confession they can't reciprocate would have to let the girl down easy. Not Haruo, though. When faced with Koharu's confession, he's compelled to honor the ultimatum its delivered with: a rematch he's been itching to exact revenge on.
    • Late in the story, the opportunity to sleep with Akira in an Osaka hotel basically falls on his lap, but he's much more concerned over getting a good nights sleep for the Super Street Fighter II Turbo tournament the next day.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Often ends up leaving Hidaka and occasionally Akira exasperated with him due to his blockheadedness and one-track mind. Once Hidaka is made aware of Akira, she interprets Haruo's hotblooded pep talks about wanting to move forward and face stronger opponents as a euphemism for building his relationship with Akira. And in a way, she's right.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Not him, but Ryo Sakazaki tries to invoke this by telling Haruo to "use Haoh Sho Ko Ken" while Akira is beating him up. Akira's sister Makoto also attempts to teach him about boy-girl relationships using a copy of Tokimeki Memorial, with varying results. Played straight much later on when Haruo is studying for a moped driver's license exam and keeps referring back to Hang-On to help him remember the exam details. Surprisingly, it works.
  • Insecure Love Interest: He doesn't see himself as worthy of Oono, to the point that when he fails to get into Oono's high school of choice, he actively avoids her since he doesn't see himself as worthy of standing at her side or being with her at the arcades. She disagrees.
  • I Will Wait for You: When Oono leaves to go overseas, he shows up at the airport to tell her that he will wait for her to come back, giving her the toy ring that she keeps around her neck later in the series. He then promises to do the same at the end of the series, along with I Will Find You.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's incredibly rude and stubborn, has a one-track mind, is somewhat irresponsible with his mother's finances and possesses a bad case of Hair-Trigger Temper, but in truth he's a nice kid who offers to become Akira's friend despite the two of them often butting heads literally and figuratively. He even grows out of his Jerkass tendencies and becomes a more self-sacrificing person later on.
  • Kid Hero: A 6th grader at the start of the series, and a high schooler at the end of the series.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Akira sees him as one. He plays it somewhat straight later in the story, barring his obliviousness to romance.
  • Large Ham: If it involves gaming, expect him to get really passionate and theatrical, whether its him filibustering about a game, its design and its lore, or him getting eagerly excited to face off against an opponent.
  • Made of Iron: Can tank a vast majority of the slapstick violence the series throws his way and is frequently the target of Akira's physical abuse, among other things such as tanking his mother's German Suplex, and hardly ever comes out the worse for wearnote . He even lampshades it concerning himself after getting struck by Oono's limousine for the Nth time:
    "There is one thing I can take pride in! I can take a beating..."
  • Mr. Exposition: Whenever he's talking about various video games and gaming systems. Justified since many of the referenced products are at least a couple of decades old and sometimes even quite obscure, at least to international audiences.
  • Oblivious to Love: It took Guile Dope Slapping him with a Sonic Boom to make him realize his feelings for Akira, and several years after the fact he's still as oblivious as ever which forces Hidaka to make a bet against him in order to try and win him away from Akira.Spoilers  Ironically, it is this act of desperation which makes him realize how much he cares for his beloved Ojou, and even then Miyao had to ram this fact into his thick skull with a Rousing Speech. Even his Tokimemo playthrough suffers as a result of his obliviousness to romance, causing him to pick the more selfish dialogue choices almost every time.
    • That said, Haruo does catch on to Koharu's attempt to end their night in Shibuya with a visit to a love hotel and rebuffs it, stating that the only reason to go there would be as a gesture of mutual love. That's surprisingly mature of Haruo.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Akira.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: An elementary school student variant, but plays it straight later on.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: After Haruo is forced to play at Shibuya's arcades, he starts adopting the local youths' activities and fashion. Miyao and his other friends begin chastising him for looking like a delinquent and even Gouda-sensei sends Akira to drag him away from the place before he goes too far.
  • Reality Ensues: Haruo spends the final semester of Junior High cracking down on his studies and avoiding letting video games distracting him because he wanted to apply for the same prep school that Akira was going to go to. His teacher, mom, and friends all even told him that he was in for an uphill battle trying to get into the toughest High School in the town after spending years slacking off on his studies. Come time for him to take the entrance exam, he does indeed fail.
  • Red Baron: "Beastly Fingers Haruo". Mostly self appointed, though.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Akira's blue. Sometimes, however, it gets reversed such as during the arc when Akira ran away from home.
  • The Rival: To Akira, at first. Hidaka later becomes another rival of his.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Again, towards Akira. It even goes so far as to affect his decisions during his Tokimemo playthrough and cause him to be uncomfortable after Hidaka forces him to date her by way of defeating him in a First-to-Ten matchup.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Fancies himself to be a fighting game legend, even giving himself the title of "Beastly Fingers Haruo". It took Akira's comeuppance to make him think otherwise though it is implied later on that in addition to becoming more humble, he actually began to live up to his self-appointed designation.
  • Spirited Competitor: In fighting games. This attitude of his annoys Hidaka to no end even after she became just as good a fighting gamer as he was. Futako even lampshades it when she realizes that Hidaka was only playing fighting games to catch Haruo's attention, while Haruo himself genuinely loves to compete.
  • Talking to Themself: A downplayed example; he's often discussing important matters with Guile and sometimes other video game characters, and if one subscribes to the theory that it's simply a case of him personifying his innermost thoughts and conscience, then it's this. Otherwise, Magical Realism appears to be at play.
  • Terror Hero: His rushdown-oriented playstyle is designed to pressure and eventually crack the opponent's defenses, leaving them with little options to recover during the neutral game. He later adapts a more defensive style of play to counter both Akira's Zangief and Hidaka's aggressive Huitzil. This is why he easily gravitated towards Guile, Guy, Ryo Sakazaki, Terry Bogard, Gen-An and Bishamon.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gradually over the course of the series. After struggling so much against her at first, he eventually manages to beat Akira in a money match during their field tripnote  and when Hidaka challenges him to a Best of Three after having received tutelage from several pro gamers, it is revealed that he also had been training himself to the limit, allowing him to defeat her without resorting to the dirty tactics he loved to use in the past.


    Akira Oono 
Voiced by: Sayumi Suzushiro (Japanese), Christine Marie Cabanos (English), Alicia Velez (Latin American Spanish)

The Deuteragonist of the series. A highly talented, extremely popular honor student who also happens to be the heir to her family's Zaibatsu and an incredibly skilled arcade gamer on top of it all, Akira seems to have the whole world wrapped around her pinky. Yet underneath her quiet and aloof exterior, all is not what they seem...

  • The Ace: Compared to Haruo. To say that Akira is skilled in multiple fields would be an understatement; she's classically trained in everything from traditional Japanese customs to music, art, academics, sports and even a wide variety of martial arts from Karate to Kendo and even archery. Unfortunately, the methods involved in her education has left her internally messed up.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin in the manga, while her hair in the anime is purple/ violet.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Poor girl was throwing every hint she could possibly throw Haruo's way during their trip in Osaka, and made special care to grab Haruo with Rasputin's Secret Garden of Love super. Guile is pretty envious.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In spite of her popularity, Akira is incredibly shy and is never heard speaking to others. The symptoms appear to match those of social anxiety disorder, but it's never elaborated on.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: She is able to pick up game mechanics almost immediately after watching others play and taking hold of the controls herself. For instance, it only took her all of one trip to the local arcade in order to fully realize Zangief and Mike Haggar's strengths, and she was able to unlock Gouki/Akuma only a couple of days after Super Street Fighter II was released.
  • Berserk Button: Of the Tranquil Fury variety. She does not take well to Haruo's usage of "cheap" tactics, causing her to flip out and beat the living daylights out of him on their first encounter. Later on she demonstrates a different kind of Berserk Button when Hidaka openly declares her intention to claim Haruo as her boyfriend.
  • Big Eater: Downplayed, but Akira never turns down an opportunity to snack with Haruo when offered, and usually eats with loud, boisterous chomps as well as with each hand holding a snack item. She also greatly appreciated Mrs. Yaguchi's "picture-book perfect" pancakes. Its likely the strict Oono regiment back home even includes a well regulated diet with little to no room for sweets or junk food.
  • The Big Guy: Not her, but her preferred fighters in video games are all big brutes. She first started with Zangief because she overheard people criticizing him for being a bad matchup against others, so she felt pity for him and started proving everyone he is to be feared.
  • Broken Bird: Her private tutor's incredibly strict mentoring regimen has taken its toll on her entire person, resulting in her becoming cold and distant from a young age. Haruo's friendly and carefree disposition causes her to break out of her emotional prison little by little.
  • Catharsis Factor: In-Universe, this is what draws her to arcades and video games at the very start of the story in a flashback chapter. The constant stimuli and visceral violence both onscreen and off immediately fill her with warmth and makes her feel at home as soon as she walks through the arcade doors for the first time.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Does this to Haruo often, usually to steer him towards something she wants.
    • She ends up also doing this to Koharu to prevent her from running off after the Shibuya incident. Likely done out of empathy towards Koharu in her frenzied state, considering Akira just spent all evening worriedly seaching for Haruo before getting some shuteye in a late night manga cafe.
  • Challenge Gamer: Her preferred mode of play. Aside from completing Final Fight on a regular basis with Haggar (while keeping her life stock at zero), she tends to favor heavyweights with high execution requirements, and also because she tends to favor underdog types in general.
  • Character Development: She begins the story as an incredibly aloof and socially stiff girl, but interacting with Haruo causes her to slowly open up and be more carefree, letting out more smiles and smug grins the further their relationship develops.
  • Child Prodigy: Is unnaturally talented for a kid her age, although it was taken to excesses due to Gouda-sensei's relentless homeschooling regimen.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Surprisingly enough.
    • When Hidaka musters the courage to question Akira about her relationship with Haruo during a Virtua Cop co-op session, it throws the latter's game off at first. Once Hidaka admits her intent to make Haruo her boyfriend, Akira goes ballistic and completely dominates the game, leaving Hidaka in the dust score-wise.
    • Shows up again when she discovers that Hidaka had been trying to force Haruo into a serious relationship after defeating him during the Shibuya Fighting Vipers matchup, leading her to face Hidaka down in Super Street Fighter II Turbo and completely destroy her with Zangief. Note that Hidaka was using Akuma at the time.
    • Even her sister Makoto isn't spared her wrath. When Makoto jokes that she's already visited Haruo's room thrice possibly rendering Akira to be the Unlucky Childhood Friend, Akira immediately tries to pry her face off.
  • Covert Pervert: Has played a naughty variant of video Mahjong at least once.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Because she's forbidden from owning video game consoles at home, Akira initially isn't nearly as handy with a gamepad as she is with a stick.
  • Cute Bruiser: Beneath her elegant looks lies a highly trained mixed martial artist who can take down older kids with only a couple of hits. Only Haruo is able to withstand her punishment when she gets pissed.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: On the rare occasion that something manages to slip past her otherwise ironclad defenses, characters will remark on even Akira taking a bump to the face being oddly endearing .
  • Cute Mute: While she may not exactly be physically mute, she nonetheless never speaks a single word throughout the manga and instead prefers to use facial expressions and body language to get her point across. The most that readers would ever see her vocalizing are growls and her Inelegant Blubbering when she bawls her heart out at the airport while hugging Haruo tightly at the end of the first volume. Howevever, she's extremely adorable and lovable.
    • Silent Snarker: The amount of sass she can carry out through scowls and smirks alone is impressive. Anything she can't express in person or jab Haruo in the gut for she'll pandomime in-game.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played with. She's not a "helpless princess" type per se, but Ms. Moemi's overly harsh tutoring schedule and curfew enforcement caused her to see Haruo as a Knight in Shining Armor rescuing her from a gilded cage. Haruo even outright calls her one during the Runaway arc.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In relation to Haruo's entry, it went both ways during their first meeting as he was very close to defeating her on his 8th try—had she not resorted to physical violence.note  Unwittingly for both of them, it only drew them closer rather than farther apart.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: The core of her character development involves Haruo slowly but surely defrosting her heart the only way he knows how: video games.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Her preferred playstyle involves taking Mighty Glaciers with awkward movesets such as Zangief, and exploiting their mechanics to play mind games with her opponents until she gets an opportunity to crush them.
  • Dope Slap: Akira's preferred method of getting Haruo's attention, from love taps to headbutts to pinches and tugs.
  • The Dreaded: Almost every other player who faces Akira in a fighting game match learns to fear her greatly. Even Hidaka, who thought she had a fighting chance against Akira, learned the hard way when she realized the only way her Akuma could win against Akira's Zangief was by a very narrow Time Over. She was in tears after their matches ended.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: A downplayed version unlike Futako later in the story, but still dresses quite formally.
  • Facial Dialogue: Relies on this to communicate with others almost all the time. Haruo even describes her face as being "so easy to read".
  • The Gadfly: If a co-op game has friendly fire enabled, she'll occasionally give Haruo a hard time through it.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: dislikes Splatterhouse on general principle and can't handle most games with horror themes very well. Space Gun, which is a Light Gun Game Spiritual Licensee of Aliens makes her firmly keep her foot right on the retreat pedal due to all the spooks and gore. She makes an exception for Darkstalkers, which is more off the wall wacky than scary.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Has one garrish looking crane prize delivered to her by Makoto on Haruo's behalf, and she's taken by it the instant she receives it.
  • Handicapped Badass: A video game version; she is able to 1CC Street Fighter II with Dhalsim despite several of the machine's buttons being broken and later puts up a tough fight against Haruo in a money match under similar circumstances, leading the latter to initially think she was toying with him after he won the tournament.
  • Hidden Depths: Of course, any stranger or passerby from school is absolutely surprised that a doll-like beauty like her would give someone like Haruo the time of day and tend to excuse rumors of her hanging around in arcades as mere fever dreams. Any opponent or spectator in an arcade are immediately in awe of her skills and absolutely ruthless playstyle. And Haruo, who knows about her love of gaming and iron fist first hand and sees her as a rival and fellow gamer first, is usually blindsided whenever her behavior becomes more feminine and demure.
  • Hime Cut: As befitting of an ojou-sama.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Despite her cold demeanor, it's implied that all she really wanted was to have friends her age and enjoy a normal childhood. Gouda-sensei and the heads of the Oono zaibatsu, however, wouldn't have any of it.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Her taste in player characters gives off this effect. Imagine being absolutely humbled by a player that manages to make a hulking brute like Zangief (normally dismissed as an awkward to use sitting duck in high level play) every bit as terrifying as he should be, then peeking over to the opposite machine to find a delicate looking japanese girl sitting behind the controls.
  • I Let You Win: Downplayed example. During the Kyoto money match, Haruo's opponent smashed the arcade machine panel in frustration, which unknowingly broke some of the buttons. When it was Akira's turn to face Haruo, she realized that some of the buttons were unresponsive but purposefully neglected to make it known, instead choosing to make do. This leads to Haruo defeating her in the match, although she didn't mind either way until Haruo found out and confronted her about it.
  • Invisible Parents: Akira's parents are never shown at all, with the possible exception of the lady at the airport who may or may not be her mother. Instead, Gouda Moemi and the family butler have more prominent roles.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: When Haruo calls her a "violent nitwit" during the Runaway Arc, her first response is to swat Haruo with a low kick.
  • Kid Hero: A 6th-grader at the start of the series.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: neither she nor Haruo had any real idea how to go about sleeping together in bed in an Osaka hotel, so she opted to chew on his shoulder instead.
  • Mundane Utility: Her martial arts training, when its not being used to discipline Haruo or to one-shot belligerent rage quitters, can be utilized to open stubborn Bolis ice pops with a knife hand strike.
  • Not So Different: Like Haruo, she has a video game character (in her case, Zangief) give her psychological opinions.
  • The Ojou: Belongs to a rich family that owns a Mega-Corp, and is being groomed to take it over.
  • Oral Fixation: Often seen with a lollipop. As thanks for helping Haruo outlast a bout of rain in a snippy old lady's candy shop through a Final Fight 1cc (and assisting him in an arcade brawl a day ealier) she claims two lollipops over the single one she was offered and immediately begins to lick both.
  • Powerful and Helpless: She has a multitude of practical skills under her belt from years of private tutoring and video games come to her as easily as breathing. Despite all this, she's bound by duty to fulfill her role as the Oono Zaibatsu heir as long as she lives under her parents's rules.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Her trademark day to day wear is a violet dress.
  • Rebellious Princess: Downplayed in that she ultimately does want to do right by her family's wishes, but will storm out of the Oono Manor's gates to blow off some steam at an arcade if Ms. Moemi's lesson plans push her past her limits.
  • Red Baron: The manga's tagline implies it to be "The Twister".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Haruo's red. Sometimes, however, it gets reversed such as during the arc when Akira ran away from home.
  • Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: her ever present silence means that the cast usually has to fill in or guess what she wants from them, though her needs are never too cryptic. Haruo likes teasing her about it, especially when she's on an empty stomach.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Haruo almost says this word for word while scolding her for running away from home without taking any emergency supplies or money with her.
  • The Rival: To Haruo, at first. Hidaka later becomes her rival for Haruo's affections.
  • The Runaway: Figuratively speaking; when she is first introduced, it's revealed she routinely sneaks into arcades to escape from her harsh homeschooling. Played straight later on when she literally runs away from home, twice.
  • She's Back: Akira manages to piledrive her way back into the Osaka National SSFIIX tournament semi finals by channeling the ruthless hard as nails exterior that impressed Haruo back in 6th grade.
  • Shrinking Violet: Is too shy to interact wholeheartedly with most people. A bit realistically played in that she may actually be suffering from a form of social anxiety thanks to Gouda-sensei.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Haruo. Even when she was being woo'ed by more handsome boys such as Doi, it's the former who really caught her heart. Helps that they both share a passion for video games.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She's one of Haruo's few friends who ever understood how kind a person he really was...and falls in love with him for it. Helps that Zangief himself ultimately convinced her that he wasn't the bad boy he makes himself out to be.
  • Spare to the Throne: It's later revealed that she was chosen to receive special training as the heir to the family business because her older sister didn't want to shoulder the responsibility.
  • Sweet Tooth: Loves sweet things such as candy. Even the Nendoroid figure comes with a lollipop to show her love for sweets.
    • Koharu notes that based on what Nikotama has told her about the mental benefits of sugar consumption before a match, Akira keeps lollipops handy for utilitarian sugar rushes just as much as she does for indulging her sweet tooth.
  • Tranquil Fury: Hidaka soon comes to know exactly what Haruo means by Akira's "Rage Meter being at max". Once Akira pays her parent's shop a visit to issue a challenge, Hidaka receives several glimpses into Akira's inner bloodlust, including: A Death Glare from behind her shop's Street Fighter cabinet, a demonstration of the disparity in their core strength through a grip measuring machine, and lastly, the final Spinning Piledriver that Akira lands in their Super Turbo match; the 360° motion inputted with just a finger flick to the stick.
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: Akira's idea of a couch multiplayer playdate with Haruo at her house is to send her family bodyguards and forcibly drag him inside her abode from off the street. "The young lady's sense of humor at work", according to the family butler.
  • When She Smiles: Whenever she smiles and her eyes light up, it's a noticeable difference to her usual glum stoic expression.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Is deathly afraid of ghosts, and as such cannot play horror-themed video games very well. When the apparently functioning ten-yen arcade that she and Haruo visited turned out to have been long abandoned and the creepy old owner similarly long dead, she freaks out.
    • This fear of ghosts also leads her to superstitiously check behind picture frames in hotel rooms in case she sees any paper talismans pasted onto them.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Whenever she performs poorly in a video game, it's a sure sign that something is wrong.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Video game example; all of her preferred fighting game characters happen to be grappler types such as Zangief, Victor, Goro Daimon, Clark Still and Mike Haggar.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Her strict upbringing seems to have this in mind for her, as she's learning everything from high level grammar and mathematics, to flower arrangments, tea ceremonies and calligraphy, to various forms of self defense and martial art from Kempo to naginata training. Her initial mean streak towards Haruo would likely disqualify her from YN-hood, had it not been for Character Development.

    Koharu Hidaka 
Voiced by: Yuuki Hirose (Japanese), Erika Harlacher (English), Jessica Angeles (Latin American Spanish)

Haruo's junior high classmate, an attractive but otherwise unambitious young girl whose family owns a convenience store with a mini-arcade. While she initially derides the idiotic Haruo for being so obsessed with video games, she slowly warms up to him to the point of becoming Oono's rival for his love.

  • All Women Are Lustful: Not at the beginning, but gets demonstrated in a scary way later in the story. She kept dropping naughty hints about wanting sex during her "date" with Haruo in Shibuya, causing him to grow suspicious of her intentions and play dumb just to be safe. Eventually she confesses to wanting to drag him into a love hotel and "violently attacking" him, but couldn't bring herself to do so in the end.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Whereas Akira's pokes, pinches and punches are done as much out of affection as they are out of annoyance, Hidaka will instead blast Haruo with a palm straight to the face out of exasperation with his thickheadedness.
    • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Hidaka slapping Haruo in the last volume while he's resigned not to see Akira off for her second flight abroad can be interpreted as this.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Gender-flipped and downplayed version. Hidaka believes that Haruo will only take her seriously if she can prove to him that she too can keep up with his love of video games, to the point of training herself at fighting games to become better than he is. She eventually makes a bet with him on the condition that if he wins against her, he can go after Oono; but if he loses, then he has to date Hidaka instead. She loses the bet.
  • Born Lucky: Even before Hidaka learned to play video games legitimately, she was able to button mash her way to using advance techniques that most of the other kids were struggling to pull off.
  • Christmas Cake: In DASH.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Has a tendency of picking Game Breakers or hidden boss characters on matches where her personal stakes are high. This blows up in her face twice. Once at KOF 95 when Haruo's Ryo Sakazaki ends up beating her Omega Rugal, leaving her to realize she's not familiar enough with Heidern and Saisyu to pose enough of a threat to Haruo and should have just stuck with the Women's Team that she's familiar with instead. And then in her fated match against Akira in Super Turbo, her overreliance on Akuma's Zanku Hadouken leaves her in a downward spiral of doubt and self-loathing mid-match as Akira adapts to her rhythm and makes a comeback through absolutely merciless Zangief play.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Right up there with Akira, for Haruo. When the Shibuya girls openly try to seduce Haruo in front of her during the Fighting Vipers 10v10 match, she asks Futako to let her go up first. She ends up wiping the floor with the entire team—Haruo included.
  • Deal with the Devil: Koharu resigning herself to use Akuma in her Super Turbo match against Akira is represented this way and she refers to it as such.
  • Determinator: Despite realizing how thick-headed and oblivious Haruo is towards her advances, the poor girl just won't give up pursuing his affections. Even after losing the bet she made with him, she's still thinking of a way to hone her fighting game skills and defeat him eventually in the hopes that she might also win his heart away from Oono. She eventually gets to defeat him later in a First-to-Ten match against a group of Shibuya gamers who forced an unprepared Haruo to be their trump card. Nothing, not even a broken heart can stop this girl.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper/ Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The entire Shibuya arc, and her actions resulting from the desperation from it probably could have been avoided had Koharu kept her fanboys from bullying Haruo out of Mizonoguchi Arcade.
  • Entitled to Have You: She gets pretty selfish when it comes to her feelings of Yaguchi and tries to get in the way between Yaguchi and Oono and loses it when a Shibuya girl hits on him. Eventually she has a Jerkass Realization and gives up trying, but only after she tries to force herself on him.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Happens twice. The first is when she lets her hair grow out to full length from the bob cut she had in junior high during the second time skip to signify her coming of age and the second is when she has it cropped back to the bob cut she had as a teen after finally coming to terms with Haruo and Akira's relationship near the end of the story.
  • Fanservice Pack: Much more curvy and buxom as of High Score Girl DASH, with a splash of Hot Teacher to go with it. Despite the sequel having a field day with Koharu getting dangerously close to her 30's, virginity intact and all, she still gets plenty of male attention Thrown her way.
  • First-Person Smartass: Has more than enough cutting remarks for Haruo, his antics and his beloved hobby in her head. She lets them out in the open once she becomes a good enough player to give Haruo trouble.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A non-villainous yet still antagonistic example. After being ignored by Haruo in part due to her ignorance of video games, Hidaka spends a whole Time Skip practicing games on their family's Neo-Geo MVS machine and her personal PlayStation console until she's able to tangle with even high-level professional gamers, even winning a 10v10 player match on her own.
  • Gag Boobs: As of High Score Girl DASH. The principal of the school where Koharu teaches would prefer if she could go out of her way to dress a bit more modestly for the sake of the student body. And the staff.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Literallynote  and figuratively. She grows more and more jealous after learning of the relationship between Haruo and Akira. Her warning to Haruo after watching him fumble through Tokimeki Memorial for Akira's sake while using Hidaka's Playstation console sells it:
    "Just remember...I have a bomb on me too."note 
  • Heel Realization: She eventually comes to understand the depths of Haruo and Akira's relationship after challenging the latter in Super Turbo using Akuma. The fact that Akira was willing to take her on using a character widely considered to be one of the worst matchups against Akuma (Zangief) causes Hidaka to realize how pure her love was for Haruo, whereas Hidaka was willing to stoop so low as to use a completely broken character just to gain the upper hand.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Develops a fascination with Haruo during their second year of middle school, but it's apparent that he only ever had eyes for Akira even though he didn't realize it at the time. Even before Akira returned and reentered Haruo's life, Hidaka's was resigned to the fact that Haruo had more interests in playing video games than her.
  • Hot Teacher: As of High Score Girl DASH.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Twice in a row. She's initially reluctant to participate in the East vs West turf war going on between the Mizunokuchi Force and the Shibuya Squad. Once she sees Haruo getting female attention from the Shibuya Squad she immediately changes her tune towards bloodlust, asking to be put first so she can sweep the entire opposing team herself, Haruo included. After the match she goes back to decrying the turf war shenanigans she just had a hand in finishing.
  • Instant Fan Club: The Mizonokuchi Force that Futako had Hidaka train with become her loyal following, white knights and multipurpose minions. This greatly annoys Nikotama when Hidaka starts relying on them to harrass and exile Haruo out of the Mizonokuchi arcade as retaliation over her loss in the ultimatum she issued him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ultimately resigns herself to this attitude in the end after her Super Turbo duel with Akira; in her heart, Hidaka couldn't bear the fact that she was perfectly willing to practically cheat at a video game just to win the affections of a boy who was already in a relationship with another girl, and finally accepts that Haruo and Akira were meant for each other.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Perhaps not intentionally on her part, but after Hidaka begins expressing an interest in video games she mentions wanting to play horror titles like Sweet Home, D no Shokutaku or Otogirisou.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Goes absolutely berserk at Haruo rebuffing her affections twice, once when she got fed up with his obliviousness and the second time after he defeated her fair and square in the best-of-three tournament, causing her to lose the bet she made with him.
  • Not So Above It All: At first she thinks video games are a waste of time and thinks Haruo a fool for fawning over them, but she gradually becomes interested in gaming out of her attraction to Haruo and eventually comes to love gaming in itself after losing to him in a mini-tournament.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Koharu only barely manages to win against Akira at Super Street Fighter II Turbo, with a narrow time over. Considering she relied on the most broken character in the game and still only managed to secure victory through a technicality against a bottom tier character, this victory costs her her self confidence, to the point that she no longer feels worthy of taking Haruo for herself, least of all after seeing just how pure Akira's love for Haruo really is by going up against near impossible odds.
  • The Rival: To Akira, for Haruo's affection.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Grows from a plain-looking young girl to an attractive, well-endowed woman post-timeskip.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: The girl is so smitten with Haruo, her mindset might as well be described as "Thinks Like an Otome Game".
  • Sore Loser: of her mini tournament challenge against Haruo. She feels especially insulted by what was otherwise a congratulatory "World of Cardboard" Speech and violently lashes out from the desperation.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: At first she's a fairly decent girl, albeit a tad judgemental towards Haruo's hobbies. In the later high school arc, she tries to force Haruo to go on a date with her if he loses in their grudge match, then throws a huge tantrum and starts beating him when she loses. When her fanboys assault him, then intimidate him from returning to his regular arcade, she does nothing. And after she beats him after the Fighting Vipers mini tournament and he agrees to play along and go on a date with her, she then attempts to manipulate him into spending the night with her in a Love Hotel with the intention to force herself on him. However, her manipulation fails and has an emotional breakdown the next day after realizing how far she has gone in her last desperate attempt to win Harou's affection.
  • Triang Relations: Type 4. She likes Haruo a lot, even though it's clear that he and Akira only have eyes for each other.
  • Tsundere: Tries to act like this around Haruo, albeit more out of frustration at how dense he is rather than out of embarassment at having to drop a cool or stoic facade. It only serves to confuse Haruo further as to what her intentions really are.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: She's pretty, is skilled at games and would do anything for Haruo's sake. Unfortunately, the latter only has his sights set on Akira...and more video games.
  • Unsportsman Like Gloating: As part of her big to get Haruo's attention, in addition to beating him handling at every game they played, she also started trash talking him after the fact. Though the reason Hidaka did this was to try and bait Haruo to continue to play games against her.
  • Unstoppable Rage: This is how she defeats Haruo's Shibuya team during the Fighting Vipers mini tournament. Futako even lampshades how she beat them out of pure anger and not skill.
  • Weak, but Skilled: A variation. Hidaka had never bothered to play fighting games before in her entire life, but when she picked up the joystick she could execute difficult super moves and even fatalities despite never having played the games in question before. She takes advantage of this fact and trains hard to try and win Haruo's affection, and the results show after the timeskip.
  • Woman Scorned: Shows signs of this early in the story after finding out about Akira, and becomes a downplayed example of the trope after her official defeat at Haruo's hands.
  • Yandere: A somewhat downplayed example especially after her first defeat at Haruo's hands, in which she started growing more and more emotionally unstable whenever he's around. This eventually comes to a head when she goes berserk and defeats a 10-man team in a Fighting Vipers match simply because Haruo was being seduced by a pair of Shibuya ladies. She simply cannot let the guy be taken by another girl.

Supporting Cast

     Game Characters 
In the world of High Score Girl, various characters from 90s video games have somehow sprung to life in the real world, periodically interacting with the protagonists of the story and helping them to overcome real-life obstacles. Just how this is possible, however, is not clearly explained. They are often spearheaded by Guile, Haruo's character of choice in Street Fighter II.

  • Adapted Out: Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting never becomes part of Haruo's subconscious in the Anime adaptation.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Strangely enough, they are the ones to pull this off several times in the story.
    • Just as Haruo was about to give up the search for Akira, Guile, Dhalsim, Blanka, Bub and Bob and Hell Chaosnote  show up to point him to a nearby arcade. Sure enough, Akira is playing Darkstalkers inside, and if Haruo had opted to go home at that point then not only would he have narrowly missed finding her, but would also have left her to wander about in a dangerous part of town just as night was falling.
    • Happens again in the final chapter. Akira appears to have given up on her relationship with Haruo after being defeated by Hidaka in Super Turbo and was once again leaving for the States, but unlike the previous instance at the start of the story Haruo doesn't make it in time to the airport to confess his feelings for her, and her plane takes off. Cue almost every video game character that had appeared in the series up to that point somehow stopping traffic so Haruo could blaze past everybody on his moped, followed by Guile leading a charge to surround the plane and force the pilots to perform an emergency landing by manifesting themselves as bright flashes of light. What follows is one of the most tear jerking Big Damn Reunions in all of manga.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the manga, they fade away after successfully reuniting Haruo and Akira and getting the former to finally confess his feelings, thus bringing the coming-of-age theme full circle.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Several characters have their moments of Insane Troll Logic when trying to advise Haruo, which could also count as Fridge Brilliance since it reflects Haruo's game-obsessed way of thinking.
    • Ryo Sakazaki advises him to use Haoh Sho Ko Ken to solve any problem he comes across. The one time it does work is when Haruo makes a spectacular comeback against Hidaka's Boss Team in KOF '95.
    • Geese Howard suggests thinking about his theme songnote  should the Japanese Language section of Haruo's entrance exam contain a question regarding the kanji for "soy sauce".
    • When trying to search for a missing Akira, E. Honda suggests checking out his stage for clues.
  • The Comically Serious: Guile and Zangief both have their moments, often while trying to help the protagonists solve their problems. Guy also displays a bout of silliness after eating Edi's chewing gum off the pavement, and even Bishamon gets in on the act by using a bento factory conveyor belt as an obstacle course. Not to be outdone, Akuma serves as Miyao's right-hand man when lecturing Haruo about relationships, going so far as to display the kanji for "Love" on the back of his gi in the same pose he makes after a Raging Demon!
  • The Conscience: Guile and to a lesser extent Dhalsim perform this function for Haruo, often giving clues as to what to do next and encouraging him to do the right thing and to keep trying his best whenever he's down in the dumps. Zangief on the other hand is Akira's voice of reason and after her best-of-three match in which she lost, Hidaka sees Huitzil cheering her on. Hilariously enough, even Guile's wife Julia joins forces with M. Bison to break up a fight between Akira and Haruo.
  • Dope Slap: Guile beans Haruo with a Sonic Boom while he's indulging in Sour Grapes over Akira leaving for Los Angeles. During Haruo's fated rematch with Akira Guile offers him a Sonic Boom to psyche Haruo up for Round 2. Haruo accepts.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: So much so that Wreck-It Ralph would be proud.
    • Damnd warns Haruo at the end of the first volume not to let go of his love for Akira so easily, or else there will be consequences down the road...using a variation of his threat regarding Mike Haggar's daughter in the intro to Final Fight, no less!
    • Geese Howard tries to be helpful to Haruo regarding his entrance exam. Well, tries.
    • As mentioned under Big Damn Heroes, Hell Chaos aids in the search for Akira when she goes missing.
    • When Akira and Haruo get into a fistfight, M. Bison of all people implores them to stop. He does it again at the end of the manga by forcing the plane Akira was on to perform an emergency landing alongside Guile and a number of other characters.
    • When Anda-Obaasan taunts Haruo for losing to Hidaka in Samurai Shodown II, Hell Chaos tells her to shut up alongside E. Honda.
    • Subverted with Yoritomo, who makes fun of Haruo while Hidaka is attempting to score a perfect victory on him in KOF '95 using the Boss Team. Guy beats the snot out of him with an infinite combo in retaliation.
  • Funny Background Event: Expect them to supply this Once an Episode, either by being hidden in the background or interacting with it in an unconventional way, such as Bishamon using a bento factory line as an obstacle course. See The Cameo above.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Some sage pieces of advice include:
  • Invisible to Normals: The story implies that only a person who truly loves gaming would be able to interact with characters from their favorite games as is shown with Hidaka finally being able to see Huitzil after her loss to Haruo. However, the way in this is presented isn't exactly clear; see Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is never explained just how the protagonists can communicate with the game characters. On the one hand, it's entirely possible that they are simply personifications of their innermost thoughts, desires and consciences, as exemplified by the way Guile and Zangief voice their concerns. On the other hand, given the author's penchant for supernatural storiesnote  and the existence of the Cracked Skull arcade which houses an honest-to-goodness ghost, it's also possible that the game characters indeed exist in true Captain N or Wreck-It Ralph fashion and are actually interacting with the heroes, since they also tend to say things the protagonists would never think to mention and even interact with one another. In this sense, they seem to act as a stand-in for Japanese Kami or Yokai, elements Oshikiri is fond of using in his stories. It's finally confirmed at the end of the manga that they do act like Japanese Kami, when they step up to the plate to reunite Akira and Haruo in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Mr. Exposition: Guile tends to highlight Haruo's Character Development and urge him to greater heights in the process.
  • Only Sane Man: Guile and Zangief are among the few game characters to consistently give sound advice to the heroes, with the other ones prone to Comically Missing the Point or having Insane Troll Logic instead.
  • Tetris Effect: likely explains why the main cast can so easily communicate or become guided by these game characters.
  • The Cameo: While some characters such as the Street Fighter and Final Fight heroes are regulars, others such as Hammerin' Harry, King Arthur, Bub and Bob, Wonder Boy and Billy and Jimmy only show up once or twice, often mingling with real people in the background and either slightly out of sight or doing something ridiculous.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Compared to the other game characters, Anda-Obaasan's only role seems to be to taunt Haruo at every given opportunity.
  • The Dragon: Huitzil for Hidaka. When Guile tries to warn Haruo not to take Hidaka to his house, Huitzil zaps him with Confusioner before he could explain anything, leaving Haruo baffled as to what was really going on. Fridge Brilliance comes into play when the reader realizes that Huitzil was also The Dragon for his home series' Final Boss.

Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese), Lucien Dodge (English), Alan Fernando Velazquez (Latin American Spanish)

Haruo's best friend whom he met in junior high. Unlike Haruo, Miyao is quite intelligent and very empathic towards others, which gives him the advantage of being able to tell his friends' feelings at a glance—a trait which proves useful later in the story.

  • Above the Influence: Even though he's popular with the ladies, he'd rather not take advantage of it.
  • Best Friend: He's Haruo's closest confidante. Later on, even Doi latches on to him as a buddy simply for being a Nice Guy.
  • Chick Magnet: The girls are all over him during high school. He's not exactly comfortable with the thought because he believes he's not ready for the accompanying responsibilities yet.
  • The Empath: He's perceptive enough to notice that Haruo and Oono had a thing going on and that Hidaka was similarly head over heels in love with Haruo. This also causes him to get nervous when Hidaka and Akira meet each other for the first time, prompting him to try and de-escalate the tension between the two before anything serious breaks out. The same trait shows up again much later when he unwittingly drags Hidaka along to Haruo's house without the three of them knowing that Akira and Makoto were already waiting there; unlike the first scenario, however, things almost went downhill quickly were it not for Akira and Hidaka's self-restraint.
  • Nice Guy: Miyao is notably the only of Haruo's classmates who doesn't judge him on his obsession with gaming. While he does try to get Haruo to hang out with him and be more social, he still respects his interests.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only one in the entire cast who is level headed enough to clearly perceive what's actually going on in his friends' lives, be able to immediately read the atmosphere in any given encounter and to come up with a clear solution to a problem. Makoto Oono also shows signs of this, but she's not exactly a well-grounded person.
  • The Reliable One: Haruo can always count on him to lend an ear or a helping hand in times of need. Even he himself encourages Haruo to call him up whenever he's in trouble.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The reasonable, emphatic guy to Haruo's stubborn, oblivious man.
  • Shipper on Deck: Actively ships Haruo and Akira. For the former, he takes it upon himself to keep pushing and prodding him to advance the relationship with a bunch of rather pointed questions. He's not so good at answering them himself, however.
  • The Smart Guy: Is often the first one to help Haruo with his homework and exam reviews. Haruo even relies on him to help solve trivia questions in Quiz & Dragons or Quiz King of Fighters.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Haruo's red.
  • Wingman: Miyao develops something of an attraction to Oono upon seeing her. He was working up the nerves to make a confession, but the moment he realize the lingering feelings between Haruo and Oono, he decides to put a pin on that and ship the two of them instead.


Voiced by: Daiki Yamashita (Japanese), Kyle McCarley (English), Irwin Daayán (Latin American Spanish)

Haruo's grade school classmate, a handsome young boy who also happens to be a bit of a bully. He also likes the ladies a lot—especially Akira—and does not shy away from trying to use his looks to his advantage. Thankfully for everyone involved, it often backfires.

  • Bishie Sparkle: Even the other characters lampshade how sparkly he is all the time. Of course, the fact that his sparkles are ‘’black’’ says a lot about him. Near the end of the story, said sparkles turn to white, after he's come to realize he is actually pathetic compared to Haruo (in Doi's words, Haruo has girls pinning for him, actually got a scooter license, and is working diligently at a job, whereas Doi has none of that but a measly 2000 yen monthly allowance) and he starts being more supportive of Haruo. Even Miyao points out later that Doi is far better than the egocentrical jerkass he used to be, which makes Doi blush.
  • Born Lucky: Well, he's lousy at getting the kind of female attention he wants, but for some reason pachinko and gambling machines really love him and always leave him with more play tokens than he can reasonably handle.
  • Butt-Monkey: His attempts at picking up girls—particularly Akira—often end with disastrous results, such as when his tomboyish classmate Onizuka painfully squeezes his privates out of jealousy.
  • Camp Straight: His need to always stand out in a crowd lends itself to this.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He keeps playing up his Bishounen image in a vain attempt to attract the ladies, but mostly to woo Akira. It doesn't work, naturally. In Doi's defense, Akira's a pretty ambitious catch as it is for reasons he himself states early in the series.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Acts like a refined gentleman to please the ladies, but in truth he just wants to catch some tail.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: His most distinguishing feature, not that it works in his favor.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: a bonus chapter from the Continue rereleases explains how Doi upgraded from tagalong to a close member of Haruo's friends. Some belligerent gyaru girls began harrassing Doi once they thought they were being ogled, prompting Haruo and Miyao to come to the rescue as he's being tickled to submission. They botch the rescue and end up getting rescued by their middle school teachers but its the thought that counts.
    • And Zoidberg: That said, Haruo and Miyao still flinch at the thought of outright calling him "friend".
  • Flower Motifs: His family owns a flower garden and he himself seems to be quite versed in floriography, which he tries to use to impress Akira. It fails miserably, of course.
  • Handsome Lech: He knows he's got the looks and he's not afraid to use them to attract the ladies. Thankfully, it often backfires.
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Akira. Humiliation Conga isn't far off whenever he tries to make advances at her.
  • The Movie Buff: He really, really loves the contemporary Japanese films of the day and constantly tries to invite Akira to go to theaters with him.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Inverted. If Doi starts a physical altercation the receiving end freaks out over getting smeared by his excessive use of hair product.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes part of Haruo's circle of friends post-timeskip and later joins the gang in shipping him together with Akira.

     Namie Yaguchi 
Voiced by: Satomi Arai (Japanese), Cindy Robinson (English), Julieta Rivera (Latin American Spanish)

Haruo's mother, raising her child alone while her husband is away for work. While she has a lot of silly and embarassing moments throughout the story and is often shown bemoaning her son's abysmal scholastic performance, she nevertheless proves time and again that she loves Haruo from the bottom of her heart no matter what.

  • Action Mom: While it's played for laughs, she's capable of some darned impressive feats like busting out impossible ninja moves while spying on her son's bedroom, expertly pulling off wrestling stunts on Haruo and being able to eavesdrop on a conversation from a distance. during a thunderstorm with an accompanying downpour. Little wonder Gouda-sensei took her very seriously after meeting her.
    • according to supplementary bonus material, Namie met her husband while they were both escaping their adoptive grandfather's brutal assassin's martial arts dojo. Yeah.
  • Berserk Button: Haruo's terrible grades will send her into a frenzy. She even performs Guy's infinite combo on Haruo after discovering his high school report card. Openly insulting her son even without him having done any wrong leads to a scarier type of button being pushed.
  • Blush Sticker: Sports a pair of funny looking ovals on her cheeks.
  • Covert Pervert: One would be hard-pressed to tell if she's ashamed of the fact that Haruo is an unintentional ladykiller—or incredibly proud of it to the point that she actively anticipates him indulging in a little private time in his bedroom whenever a girl comes to visit.
  • Doting Parent: She loves Haruo a lot, so much so that she willingly allows him to buy whatever video game consoles he likes as long as it's within reason. Subverted, however, in that she still expects him to perform well in school and takes appropriate measures whenever he does poorly in academics.
  • Good Parents: Namie is an eccentric but loving mother to her son. She will punish Haruo harshly for slacking off on his studies and gets a little too interested when girls visit him. However, she also stands up for Haruo when other adults, like Ono's tutor, bad-mouth him, never denies him his freedom or the video games he's so passionate about (outside of the above mentioned discipline) and even maintains a passing interest in her son's hobbies that frequently surprises Haruo himself. She shows nothing less than genuine pride whenever Haruo displays maturity or puts genuine effort into something, such as taking on a part time job to both help at home and fund his hobbies himself.
  • Mama Bear: She may be goofy at times, but calling Haruo a burden in front of Mrs. Yaguchi is taboo if the Death Glare she gave Gouda-sensei is any indication. That's right, she fearlessly stared down a Lady of War and got her to back off.
  • Manchild: She's so enthusiastic to the point of being a few steps shy of Manic Pixie Dream Girl status. At one point she even tries to invite Haruo to watch both Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie as well as a Dragon Ball movie with her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Between her goofy antics and her Hair-Trigger Temper at Haruo's dismal academic performance, she nonetheless loves her son very much and supports his video game hobbies, telling him that it's pointless to expect him to do well in many different subjects if he couldn't even do one thing right. Sure enough, it encourages Haruo to do better for her sake.
  • Shipper on Deck: For her son and any girl who fancies him, specifically Hidaka and Akira. Haruo doesn't appreciate it in the least.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Her preferred method of chastising Haruo for his incompetence involves suplexing him into the floor and using a scorpion hold to make him submit.

     Moemi Gouda 
Voiced by: Shizuka Ito (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English), Karen Vallejo (Latin American Spanish)


The Oono Family's private tutor, a frighteningly stoic woman who will stop at nothing to ensure that Akira will get the education she needs in order to become a proper heir to the household fortune—even if she has to break her to do it.

  • Big Bad: She's more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than an outright villainous character, but for all intents and purposes she is this for the plot. She later turns into something of a Big Good after her Heel–Face Turn, even sending Akira to drag Haruo away from Shibuya after learning that the boy had gotten himself involved with the locals there.
  • Christmas Cake: An omake reveals her to be worried about whether or not she'll even find time to have a boyfriend and get married because of her tutoring obligations. This comes right after she mentions that "love and romantic relationships" will only serve as a hindrance to Akira.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: She never cuts Akira any slack, instead choosing to push her more and more to her limits with each training session.
  • Education Mama: Subverted in that she's not Akira's biological mother, but still shares the central trait of being obsessed over bringing up Akira "properly"...according to her standards, that is.
  • Everybody Has Standards:
    • Buys Haruo a Twin Famicom system as an apology for discarding the Super Famicom he lent to Akira, noting that she had gone too far in her actions.
    • She is disgusted about Akira's parents not accounting for her daughter's feelings after they decide to forcefully have her move to Los Angeles, move schools, and even arrange someone to marry her.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Downplayed example, as she's less "evil" and more "misguided". Gouda for a majority of the story doesn't seem to understand that any instances of Akira having heightened bursts of productivity and motivation towards her studies directly correlates to time she makes for playtime and diversion, not once giving a second thought as what the rumors she keeps hearing about Akira paying visits to arcades imply. Makoto has to spell it out for her once Gouda throws out the Super Famicom Akira was playing "Oono's House Quest" on.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Although she eventually gets a change of heart later in the story. Eventually.
  • Heel Realization: Eventually comes to accept that her tutoring methods are unreasonably inhuman after throwing out Akira's Super Famicom and getting an earful from Makoto for her trouble, realizing that it's no use tutoring a child when they'll simply grow up to hate you for it.
    "I suppose I felt pressure from the enormity of the Oono corporation...but if all you do is push down from above, nothing will be able to grow..."
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Invoked by Haruo of all people after seeing how cute she is without her triangle specs:
    "It's like you're an unexpectedly gentle person when you take off those weird glasses... I bet you could get along better with Oono that way."note 
  • Just Following Orders: At the end of the day, Akira's parents have the final say in Akira's upbringing and seemed to have approved of her Training from Hell from the start. Ideas like Akira living in Los Angeles from time to time is all theirs, something even Ms. Moemi pities Akira for.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Expect the otherwise lighthearted albeit dramatic storyline to take a steep downhill slide whenever she's involved. It takes a turn for the lighthearted once more after she has a change of heart.
  • Lady of War: She's the one who taught Akira how to fight, which not only involves barehanded martial arts but also weapons training. The poor family butler can attest to the strength of her low kicks, in particular.
  • Meganekko: She wears outdated-looking triangular spectacles.
  • The Perfectionist: She considers perfect exam scores a "disappointing everyday result." Let that sink in for a while.
  • Sadist Teacher: Oh, yes.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Whenever she displays her Sadist Teacher tendencies.
  • The Spartan Way: Her method of tutoring does not involve any breaks whatsoever apart from A Spot Of Tea. It only serves to drive Akira further to the brink at the end of each day and causes her to snap a few times, the last instance of which had dire consequences.
  • Spikes of Villainy: the pointy cat-eye glasses she wears give off this effect.
  • The Stoic: All serious, all the time—unless she's grinning in ecstasy over the hell she's going to inflict on Akira for "being neglectful of her studies" (read: relaxing at an arcade after school). She eventually admits that it was a facade forced on her due to the pressure of managing the upbringing of a potential future CEO.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Part of her character development is finally realising that her teaching methods aren't working with Oono and led to her running away from home and resenting her, as well as accepting the growing relationship between Oono and Yaguchi.
  • Training from Hell: See The Spartan Way. She strongly believes that the only way to prepare the Oono Zaibatsu's heir for the future is to bombard them with non-stop training schedules for all manner of subjects from physical education to traditional culture.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She's afraid that any manner of slacking off would result in a wayward child such as what happened with Akira's elder sister Makoto. Given how Makoto and Akira have their subtle similarities, she might have a point.

     Ziiya, The Oono Family Butler 
Voiced by: Chō (Japanese), Joe Ochman (English; credited as Joseph Whimms), Jose Luis Orozco (Latin American Spanish)
Akira's personal driver and elderly bodyguard, often seen picking her up after school and ferrying her home in time for her homeschooling. However, unlike Gouda-sensei he is actively concerned about Akira's well-being and will gladly bend the family policies to do what's best for the young lady.

  • Butt-Monkey: Gets reduced to this at the hands of Gouda-sensei, often falling prey to her physical abuse whenever he stands up for Akira.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's been working for the Oono household as a chaffeur for the longest time and is quite chipper with his young charges, including the elder Oono sibling Makoto, who sees him as an ally.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: according to a bonus chapter from a High Score Girl special from Kajimest Magazine, Ziiya got his job way back in his youth while he was pursuing his ex girlfriend in the middle of a nasty break up. An Oono bodyguard flags him down before things can get too drastic and offers him a job as a driver, stating that Mr. Oono was impressed by his crazy car stunts. He graciously accepts, happy that he'll have a steady income to supplement his Pachinko addiction.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Perhaps due to his age, he often could not see Haruo standing right in front of the limousine before thinking to hit the brakes. Thankfully for him, Haruo is Made of Iron.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone refers to him as "Mr. Butler".
  • The Gambling Addict: Hopelessly hooked on Pachinko. All it takes to distract him is the mere mention of taking a Pachinko break, which sends him off on a wild goose chase. It does, however, help him empathize with Akira's need to relax via video gaming.
  • Moment Killer: Has the bad habit of accidentally ramming into an unsuspecting Haruo whenever the lad's otherwise dormant romantic side begins to surface before Akira.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After Akira gets grounded by Gouda-sensei, he buys her a Game Gear to make sure she gets her relaxation during the ride home. Unfortunately, Gouda-sensei discovers the handheld and dismisses him from his chaffeur duties, replacing him with a more stringent bodyguard and driver.
  • No Name Given: His name is never revealed throughout the series, with everyone referring to him only by his profession.
  • Noodle Incident: When asked by Makoto just what kinds of stories he tells Akira to keep her from being bored during long rides, he casually mentions his Pachinko addiction and the time when his girlfriend cheated on him with 8 other boys.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Even though he complies with the family policies regarding Akira's homeschooling as best he could, he nevertheless understands that even the young miss needs to live like a normal girl and repeatedly implores Haruo to always be there for Akira no matter what.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Despite repeatedly warning Akira not to stay outside late after school or else face Gouda-sensei's wrath, he still cuts her loose every now and then so she can enjoy herself in an arcade and spend time with Haruo. This only gets him suspended from his driving duties later in the story.

     Futako / Nikotama-chan 
Voiced by: Shiori Izawa (Japanese), Reba Buhr (English)

A pro gamer girl whose father owns an arcade. Seeing Hidaka in action during a Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge match catches her fancy, and she immediately takes to personally mentoring Hidaka in the ways of Professional Gaming.

  • Defeat Means Friendship: Became Hidaka's closest ally after losing to her in Darkstalkers II.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: She dresses the part, complete with black parasol and a miniature hat hair ornament.
  • Gamer Chick: Specifically, she's a well-known member of the local Fighting Game Community, and even has her own cadre of male groupies, all of them pro gamers.
  • Mentor Archetype: She introduces Hidaka to the concept of metagaming in order to give her an edge against Haruo.
    • Warrior Poet: She can infer a great deal about someone and their inner turbulence just from a few minutes of their playstyle alone.
  • Only Sane Man: Is overall reluctant to enable the antics taking place in the Shibuya arc, thinking that Hidaka's attitude, and especially her treatment of the Mizonokuchi Force as loyal lapdogs is unbecoming of the group.
  • The Ojou: Acts like one. It's implied she may be well-to-do, seeing as her father owns a successful arcade.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Apart from her first name, she's only known by her Red Baron callsign.


     SPOILER: Makoto Oono 
Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English, Season 1), Cristina Valenzuela (English, Season 2), Stephanie Gandara (Latin American Spanish)

Akira's elder sister. Originally the chosen heir of the Oono Zaibatsu, she opts out of the responsibility in favor of living life the way she wants to, which forced the burden onto Akira's shoulders instead.

  • Abdicate the Throne: She refused to become the legal heir of the Oono family fortune, knowing that she couldn't bear all the responsibilities and still be able to live the carefree life she'd always dreamed about at the same time. As a result the responsibility was passed down to her younger sister Akira, who got double the discipline in fears that she too might turn into a delinquent if the "proper measures" weren't taken.
  • Christmas Cake: Exaggerated Trope in that Makoto is ultimately only 19 years old but watching her own sister Akira, barely a first year highschooler embroiled in an intense love triangle makes her self conscious enough to behave like this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite the devil-may-care exterior, Haruo witnesses firsthand just why she's Akira's elder sister as she instantly masters the mechanics of an arcade puzzle game on her first try.
  • The Gadfly: She gets a kick out of annoying other people with her zany antics but especially Gouda-sensei.
  • Good Bad Girl: She rants about being disallowed her own Windows 98 PC when she first appears, stating that she wasn't going to use it to play Eroges anyway. Later on, Haruo sees her playing a pornographic puzzle game at the local arcade, and after being openly repulsed at the panty she won at random from a crane game, she pockets it and makes a mental note to wear it later with a huge grin on her face.note 
  • Hime Cut: Almost exactly like her sister Akira's, although there's a subtle wavy stringiness to it, in line with her status as The Slacker older sister.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Not openly a sukeban, but her blatant rebelliousness has shades of this.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Openly chastises Gouda-sensei for pushing Akira too far after the latter fell ill from the excessive curfew she received as punishment for running away from home. This eventually leads to Moemi's Heel Realization and later, a full-on Heel–Face Turn.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She may be an annoying wench, but she actively looks out for Akira, the family butler and later Haruo himself. She even gets along well with Mrs. Yaguchi and Hidaka. In fact she may be the closest to a Big Good the series has, outside of Mrs. Yaguchi and the butler.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Akira falls ill later in the story, Makoto chastises herself for being the reason behind her little sister's suffering. She then discovers Akira and Haruo's photo booth picture and decides to fix things with a little help from the family butler.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She likes roughhousing and manhandling Haruo just as much as Akira does. Haruo knows he's dealing with an Oono the instant he's being shaken like a human rattle not five minutes after meeting her.
  • The Ojou: Subverted in that while she's Akira's immediate relative, her attitude and demeanor are both unbecoming of a prim and proper rich lady.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Unlike the more reserved Akira, she's incredibly energetic, carefree and outgoing to the point where Haruo wonders if she really is Akira's sister.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Akira's blue. Turned Up to Eleven as she is almost the polar opposite of what Akira is.
  • The Slacker: To call her lazy would be an understatement of the highest degree; the first time she is shown, she just woke up from a nap and caught a cold because she didn't bother to put any clothes on before sleeping.
  • Sweater Girl: Likes to wear form fitting turtlenecks. The one she brought home from Shibuya got immediately stripped off and burned by Ms. Moemi alongside the rest of her semi saucy number.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Looks exactly like an older Akira. Even Haruo himself was fooled the first time he encountered her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her slacker attitude is the very reason Akira's homeschooling regimen has turned into a living hell.
  • Walking Spoiler: See above; she's the reason behind the whole plot.


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