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    Kaoru Tsunashi (nee Samura)
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura

A hardworking Office Lady, married to Hajime. She is also a secondary character in Metsuko ni Yoroshiku.

  • Adaptational Curves: She has bigger breasts in the anime than in the yonkoma.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Subverted. Kaoru doesn't get drunk easily. But when she gets drunk, she gets DRUNK.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Doesn't know how to cook despite her father being a professional chef.
  • Cute Little Fangs: She has a little molar that sticks out, and it is useful for imitating catgirls to motivate her otaku husband.
  • Daddy's Girl: She is her dad's pride and joy. This is one of the reasons he's not fond of Hajime for snatching his little girl.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelorette: She always told her friends that she'd never get married. Then she met Hajime.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: It's implied Kaoru was a heavy drinker during her time as a lonely wage slave stuck in a dead-end job she hated.
  • Dye Hard: invoked She's a natural purple, but she's been dyeing it blonde ever since she got married. It is explained in the yonkoma: she once flipped her hair over her face to imitate Sadako, and Hajime was surprisingly overcome with moe, to Kaoru's distress. So she dyed her hair just because Hajime's "Sadako moe" thing freaked her out so bad.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Invoked. Kaoru feels bad that she can't cook a good meal for Hajime, so she goes to her father (who is a professional chef) for lessons.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Downplayed. She hung out with Akiko and Yuzu, but she never actually took part in any of their activities.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Variation. It wasn't Hajime being in a relationship, but rather the fact that he was rejected by one of their co-workers and seeing his dejected state of sadness that caused her to realize that she was in love with him. As she put it, she was strangely angry and kept wondering if it was their co-worker that he truly liked, hence the epiphany.
  • Happily Married: To Hajime. While his antics irk her and she doesn't fully understand otaku culture, she is much happier with him than before she met him. There is a tender hug moment at the end of episode 2.
  • Hidden Depths: She's a fan of Enka.
  • Important Haircut: She dyed her hair blonde after she got married to Hajime, probably to distance herself from the time she spent alone and miserable before meeting him. It also has the bonus effect of making her look like her mother.
  • Lethal Chef: Despite the fact that her father is a chef himself. In the manga, Haijme theorizes that it's one of the reasons why she married him.
    Hajime (commenting on Kaoru's fried rice): These huge blocks of carrot and onions... the slight char, the ineffective seasoning, and this barely-fried rice... It's a yes!
  • Missing Mom: Her mom passed away when she was a child.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's well-endowed, is in great shape, and has provided a number of bathing scenes.
  • Office Lady: Her job and she likes to do it.
  • Only Sane Man: She was this for Akiko and Yuzu back during her high school years.
  • Opposites Attract: She is a deadpan "normal person" and her husband is a high energy otaku.
  • Parenting the Husband: Averted. Despite Hajime's Otaku tendencies, he's shown doing just as much housework as Kaoru.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: She doesn't understand the otaku language. It's right there in the title.
  • Sentimental Drunk: She gets a lot more affectionate with Hajime when she's drunk.
    I love you! I'm drunk so I'll keep saying it! I love you! I love you lots!
  • Straight Man: To Hajime. She reacts to his otaku nonsense as part of the series' humor.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Kaoru looks just like her late mother, the only difference being that Kaoru's natural hair color is purple.
  • Survival Mantra: Would constantly have to tell herself "It'll be ok." back when she lived alone and was working a dead-end job. Not so much anymore.
  • Tears of Joy: Several times, most notably when she sees that she got a positive on her pregnancy test.
  • Western Zodiac: Cancer. She notices that this doesn't make her very compatible with Hajime, a Sagittarius.
  • Workaholic: She doesn't seem to have a problem with her unstable, and occasionally long working hours. One of the things that bother her about going on maternity leave is that she'll be getting the perks without doing any work.

    Hajime Tsunashi
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura

Kaoru's Otaku husband. A freelance programmer by trade, he has problems having stable employment, much to his family's chagrin.

  • Aloof Big Brother: A flashback shows how his interest in anime and video games have caused him to not form a relationship with Mayotama until they finally bonded after Hajime rescues his younger brother from bullies.
  • Cassandra Truth: He can never persuade his mother to believe he's actually working, and earns more than Kaoru.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Beneath his stereotypical geeky wardrobe hides a surprisingly shredded physique.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's never called Hajime; it's always "husband", "darling", "anija", or (for some reason) "Takashi".
  • Fetish: He's a lolicon, plus he likes large breasts and sweat. He might also have attraction to crossdressers since he said that Hime-chan was his waifu.
  • Geek Physiques: Defied. It's explicitly noted in the manga that he does exercises to keep himself fit, particularly the abdominal region.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: The basic premise of the series is the married life of Kaoru, normal person, and Hajime, Otaku.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: In the manga, Kaoru tried to make him more presentable when he met Rino and Tanaka for the first time by taking off his glasses and tidying his hair. She didn't even recognize the result.
  • Happily Married: Despite calling anime characters his "waifu", he gets all romantic when talking about Kaoru to Kaoru's friends.
    Kaoru's friend: What attracted you to Kaoru?
    Hajime: When I realized it, she's my angel.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: He got his father's dark hair.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: After Kaoru's collapse, he goes to his father-in-law to apologize. Kaoru's father gets angry and nearly punches Hajime, but refuses Hajime's request to do so, saying his daughter wouldn't want that and asking Hajime to just be there for her.
  • House Husband: He works from home and is a much better chef than Kaoru.
  • Loving a Shadow: Variation in the past. When looking back on his relationship with Kaoru (namely when they were co-workers), he noted that if he loved Kaoru and their co-worker, he clarified that it was more like he idolized them, comparing the experience to falling for fictional characters. He also noted that while they wouldn't return it, he wouldn't get rejected. When the co-worker rejected him, it reminded him that this was something different, and he self-admonished himself for it during his depression. He also suspects it was when his love for Kaoru become something more solid, substantial and real.
  • Moment Killer: Ends up ruining his own Friendship Moment with Nozomu by wondering when he set off an Event Flag.
  • NEET: Despite his otaku lifestyle, he actually subverts this. At the start of the series, he runs a blog that he heavily monetized (the manga stated he receives affiliate income in six-figure yen). However, he moves on to become a web-designer, though he still works from home to be near his wife (and humorously enough, he makes more than Kaoru does). Played for Laughs when he demonetizes the blog and claims that he is now a NEET (shown as a faux-horror gag), but this doesn't last long since he then goes to look for a more "official" job, and ends up as said web-designer.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Kaoru collapses from overworking herself, Hajime becomes more doting and attentive, to where he asks for more work and even goes to apologize to his father in law. Both are aware of this and note not to go to the other end.
  • Opaque Lenses: The artist's style has Hajime's glasses changing opacity with his emotions. They vary from clear Smart People Wear Glasses through Opaque Nerd Glasses with an occasional full-on Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Opposites Attract: With Kaoru. There's a chapter dedicated to this, as Kaoru herself finds them to be almost completely incompatible when checking love sites and esoteric means for relationship advice. When she tells Hajime, he tells her that he'd already did the footwork himself with all the love advice mumbo-jumbo, but understood that their mutual love trumped all that crap.
  • Otaku: Main part of the humorous Odd Couple angle of the series. Especially contrasted against his Workaholic wife who doesn't really get it.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Often declares anime girls to be his waifu. Of course, this is a stereotypical otaku trait.
  • Real Men Cook: Hajime does most of the cooking in the household. But, as he points out, it's not a talent they ask about in interviews.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Played for Laughs in episode 7 when he randomly decides to take off his shirt after trying some of Kaoru's improved cooking, showing off his surprisingly toned abs.
    • A similar scene occurs in the manga (complete with Bishie Sparkles), though with the justification of it being really hot out. Turns out that Kaoru had no idea he was that good looking since he always keeps the lights off when they have sex.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: The title of the series is in reference to the fact that Kaoru never picks up on any of his references.
  • Spider-Sense: Hajime has a moe-sense (e.g. when he was watching Nanoha StrikerS and Kaoru imitated Nanoha's face behind his back, he noticed it).
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He's basically his father with glasses, without a mustache, and a slightly different haircut.
  • Western Zodiac: Sagittarius.

    Youta "Mayotama" Tsunashi
Voiced by: Sayaka Horino

Hajime's crossdressing mangaka younger brother. He idolizes his brother and has a crush on Miki.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Towards Miki. A good example is that in S2E03 Miki and Mayotama won a free trip to the hot springs, and Miki decides to pay for all his friends to the trip in S2E05 to avoid having to "date" Mayotama. In fact, Miki goes Blue with Shock whenever Mayotama looks lovestruck.
  • Big Brother Attraction: He sells Yaoi that he draws of the two of them for god's sake!
  • Bleached Underpants: In-Universe example - He started off drawing Yaoi, but later switched over to Shōnen.
  • Blunt "Yes": In S2E09, after Hajime gets a lecture from their mother for still not having a job.
    Hajime: Then are you telling me to work until I die?
    Mayotama: Yes. That is the proper way for an adult to live.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Hajime says his "brother" is coming to visit, but Kaoru thinks he meant "sister" when she sees Youta for the first time. So Hajime splits the difference and calls Youta his "Broster".
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: He is both dainty and feminine to an attractive extent, making even Miki question himself whenever they interact. The guy just plays an excellent dame.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though he acts kinky and coy most of the time, it's shown that his attraction to Miki is indeed sincere, so his efforts are less perverted when Miki comes to mind.
  • Expressive Hair: His ponytail wags like a dog's tail when he's excited or nervous.
  • Gilligan Cut: Whenever he starts getting too perverted or touchy with Hajime, the action cuts immediately to him morosely returning home through train after either Hajime or Kaoru kicked him out.
  • G.I.R.L.: As Hajime points out during Destiny Fucker's meetup, Mayotama is an OkamaTranslation ...uhh...I mean NekamaTranslation .
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: He got his mother's red hair.
  • Incest Subtext: His adoration for his older brother is very borderline incestuous.
  • Keet: He's enthusiastic towards other people.
  • Moustache de Plume: Gender-inverted. Mayotama uses a female persona to publish yaoi doujinshi, as the genre is dominated by females.
  • Older Than They Look: Mayotama says that people often think he's in junior high when he's actually a college student. Of course, he's 1.55m tall, some 19cm shorter than the average Japanese male (but around the female average).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The only person who refers to him by his real name is his mother.
  • Otaku: Not as bad as Hajime though.
  • Shown Their Work: No matter how good a doujinshi artist is, they're still doing amateur-work. Unlike Miki, who primarily works as a detective, Mayotama can't earn a living off of selling doujinshi; his switch to Shounen is Truth in Television, as amateur artists will go pro since that's where the money's at.
  • Sequential Artist: He's a popular author of Yaoi doujinshi, though he later switches over to Shōnen and tries to get stuff professionally published.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: A flashback to his childhood shows him to be moody kid far from the Keet he is in the present.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: He has a very feminine build, enough for Kaoru and Miki to confuse him for Hajime's younger sister rather than his brother. He also holds his arms as if he was a woman covering her breasts when he's in a hot spring.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: The doujinshi he writes stars his older brother and himself.

    Miki "Destiny Fucker"
Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu

Hajime's friend and on-and-off employer who runs a detective agency.

  • Cool Shades: He's always wearing sunglasses. He also happens to be the only person who's able to defeat Akiko in Metsuko ni Yoroshiku (who also appears to work with hi and apparently his cousin).
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Not to the extent of Youta, but Miki's visage is noticeably feminine compared to most other male cast members.
  • Fix Fic: His Doujinshi Circle specializes in this, turning bad endings into good ones.
  • God Was My Copilot: He appears in Mononoke Sharing as one of the creators of the current world alongside Lucoa and few others. And it is implied throughout the series that he is in fact the "Future Oni" from Peach Boy Riverside.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: While his is most consistently seen as a detective, he has shown up in other Cool-kyou Shinsha works as the owner of a Maid Cafe (in Metsuko ni Yoroshiku) and crepe stand (in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid).
  • Otaku: His main hobby is creating Fix Fic Doujinshi after all.
  • Private Detective: He runs a private investigation firm.
  • Screw Destiny: His guiding philosophy though life, best seen by his username and his attitude.
    • A Season 2 episode delves into this. It's here that we actually see he is part of a circle called "Fate Deniers." They specialize in doujins of series that have bad endings and making them into good endings.
    • Later in the episode, during a conversation with Hajime, he points out that he will not accept the idea of good events happening because of past bad events and vice versa, believing if one is happy, they should strive to be happy forever. This practice extends to his friends, as he mentions he will not allow a bad fate to befall Hajime.
  • Sequential Artist: He's a member of a doujin circle.
  • Sunglasses at Night: See Cool Shades above.

    Rino Juse
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya

A mask maker who is one of Kaoru's friends from high school. She is one of the main characters of My Girlfriend Without Wasabi.

  • The Ace: Rino is a master mask maker, with such a level of artistry that some of her masks have sold in the tens of million of yens. She is considered a Japanese national treasure.
  • Adaptational Wealth: Her being The Ojou goes completely unmentioned in the anime.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Her main complaint to Kaoru is that Nozomu treats her more like a daughter than like his wife. She's particularly pissed at the sheer amount of sex she's missing as a result.
  • Child Prodigy: Played with. At first, it's played for laughs because Nozomu thinks that she's an elementary-school-aged kid at college, but she turns out to be his senior, out of all things. However, she's a prodigy in a whole different way: as a mask maker.
  • Cute Little Fangs
  • Gamer Chick: Apparently, the only reason she went to college was to play games.
  • High-School Sweethearts: She met and started dating Nozomu in college.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: The focus of My Girlfriend Without Wasabi deals with the exploration of Rino and Nozomu's relationship, and how their insecurities about her body image come into the fold. In particular, it focuses on their efforts to become closer, especially from Rino.
  • Legacy Character: She is the sole heiress of the Juse mask makers, a line of artists that has a thousand-year tradition. As a matter of fact, she was adopted by the family for that end.
  • Love at First Sight: While not strictly "first sight" (she spent the first few hours angry at him due to his comments about her appearance), she had fallen in love with Nozomu by the time she got home on the day that they met.
  • The Ojou: She's the adopted heiress to the Juse family, who are noted to be the equals of the Jigokumeguri and Gotouchi families.
  • Older Than They Look: She's quite short; in the spin-off My Girlfriend without Wasabi, her husband Nozomu at first thought she was a Child Prodigy. They were at college at the time. It's not helped by the fact that she often acts like a child.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her biological parents abandoned her at a garbage dump when she was three years old. She ended up in an orphanage after that and was adopted by the Juse family when they discovered her skill at mask making.
  • Reincarnation: She is the Reincarnation of the Mask Oni God Juselino from Peach Boy Riverside.
  • Shana Clone: Tsundere? Check. Short-stature woman? Check. Has dark hair like the Trope Namer? Check. Fond of S-Grade Zettai Ryouiki? Check. Voiced by Rie Kugimiya? Check. Supernatural abilities? Check.
  • Tender Tears: She gets some when Nozomu first confesses to her.
  • Tsundere: Rie Kugimiya playing a short tsundere? Who would have guessed? Although it only applies to when she was in college. She's a lot nicer in the present day.
  • Womanchild: And not just because her height makes her look like a grade-schooler. She whines and flails her arms like a little kid when complaining about things she doesn't like, her husband Nozomu views her more as his child than his wife, and she likes omelet rice (which is often viewed as a kid's meal).

    Nozomu Juse (nee Kimura)
Voiced by: Toshifumi Sakai

Rino's husband. He works at a convenience store and is a boxer. He is one of the main characters of My Girlfriend Without Wasabi.


Voiced by: Ryōko Shintani

A doctor who is one of Kaoru's friends from school.

  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Falls over during her turn in a bowling game and fails her shot as a result. Her husband and Hajime lampshaded it's still a win because she invoked this trope.
  • Failed a Spot Check: She was entirely unaware that her husband wore a wig until the Christmas party.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Both she and her husband kept their last names when they got married.
  • Only Sane Man: This when compared to Rino and Kaoru, given the former is a Womanchild and the other is a Workaholic who goes off the deep end when hammered.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Both Kaoru and Rino recalled she was the smartest one at school.

    Kyouko Tsunashi 
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi

Hajime and Mayotama's mother.