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Characters / Judge

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WARNING: Unmarked spoilers ahead, please self-advise. Based on how the work is choreographed, various tropes here contains major plot spoilers!

    Hiroyuki “Hiro” Sakurai
He is the main character of the manga. He was in love with his childhood friend Hikari, who was dating his older brother Atsuya. He decides one day, nevertheless, to confess his feelings, by shifting an appointment that she had with Atsuya, but this initiative indirectly caused the death of the latter, hit by a truck. Two years later, Hiro finds himself in a dark place, handcuffed and wearing a rabbit mask, symbol of the sin of envy, for provoking the death of his brother, before meeting eight other teenagers in a courtroom, one of whom died before his arrival. The end of the manga reveals that Hiro was the mastermind of the game alongside Hikari, with both aiming to make the judge and jury members who acquitted the drunken truck driver who ran over his brother watch their family members die before being killed themselves. However, Hiro is poisoned himself by Hikari, who found out that he was the one who shifted Atsuya's appointment with her.
  • Asshole Victim: Considering his reasons for masterminding the Judge game, its a good thing Hikari kills him at the end.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: As he's dying, he tries to tell Hikari he loves her but can't get it out properly.
  • Animal Motif: He wore the rabbit mask and is labelled as the Rabbit.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate/The Chessmaster: One half of the creators of the Judge game. However, he’s betrayed and killed by Hikari in the end.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Attempted to, but wasn't able to finish his confession in time.
  • Gambit Roulette: Considering there were several occasions, when he could have died and by the end of it announcing it was Just as Planned. Hiro and Hikari's plan definitely falls under this category.
  • Hypocrite: Well let's put it this way, he blames the judge and all the jury for giving Atsuya's killer Ryuuji an unjustifiable sentence, when he's the one who's indirectly responsible for his brother's death in the first place and if it wasn't for himself, there would be no trial anyway. At least Hikari points this out to Hiro after poisoning him.
  • Ironic Name: His name sounds like “hero”, but he’s one of the villains.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted. It first seems like he'll get away with everything, just like Hikari, but then gets killed by her.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the final chapter, Hiro succumbs to poison that Hikari had slipped into his water.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Hiro uses his wide-eyed idealistic ways to try to get people to follow his words, asking them to vote for themselves during the first judging so as to prevent someone from dying and prolonging things. The bastard part of this isn't foreshadowed until the third judging when its revealed those who tie, must fight each other to the death and then later, when he reveals his and Hikari's entire plan on ruining the judge and jury's lives and reputation for their actions at Atsuya's death's trial.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Upon his realization that lying to Atsuya resulted in him being killed.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Through-out most of the series the reader is believed to think he's an Idiot Hero that's causing Plot-Induced Stupidity thanks to his Wide-Eyed Idealist personality. Until its revealed in the climax that his behaviour before The Reveal was a complete act and it was done intently.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Most people shorten him to Hiro.
  • Team Killer: At first it seems to be unintentional as Hayato switch Hiro's judging photos so he accidentally voted for Nobuyuki in the first judging. Then you find out...
  • The Reveal: He's one of the masterminds behind the Judge game to get revenge for Atsuya's death and the mild sentence his killer got. Despite the fact he's indirectly responsible for it.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Hiro represents Envy.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: He's been friends with Hikari for ages, but she's dating his older brother.
  • Villain Protagonist: Revealed in the climax that he is actually one of the two masterminds behind the Judge game.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Hiro's intent on keeping the peace among everyone and getting them out alive. In truth this is a complete hoax and he fully intends to have most of them killed.

A sweet-looking girl, who is best friends with Hiro. She had gotten advice to ask out the person she loves and asks out Hiro's brother, Atsuya, without knowing Hiro has deep feelings for her. Hiro devises a plan to tell his brother that Hikari had changed plans to meet up one hour later than the original time, in hopes to swoop in and show up himself, and Atsuya tells his boss about this change. Later, Hikari gets a message saying Atsuya had been hit by a drunk driver and tells Hiro, who feels guilty about what he's done. During the events of the game, Hiro and Hikari had been planning to exact revenge on the judges, jury and their loved ones who had been paid off to say the driver was innocent when proof showed the driver was not. With the loved ones playing the game, the judges and jury watch. Kazuyuki was the only one to figure out their plans, but it was too late. He had already been captured, killed and framed for the game. When exiting the building, Hikari had previously handed Hiro water which was laced with poison. As Hiro is dying, Hikari towers over him and tells him he is guilty for his actions. She found out Hiro's ruse after she asked Atsuya's boss why Atsuya was late.
  • Animal Motif: She wears the rabbit mask in the other group.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: She succeeds in her revenge and gets away with killing tons of people by pinning it on a judge.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After losing Atsuya, she comes up with a huge revenge plan and even kills her boyfriend's brother for it.
  • Big Bad Friend: Not only one of two masterminds, but she also kills Hiro at the end.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate/The Chessmaster: One of the two masterminds of the Judge game. Of the two, she’s more dominant, even killing Hiro in the end.
  • Break the Cutie: Atsuya's death was a huge shock to her and changed her.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Played for Laughs. She quickly gets jealous if Atsuya is paying attention to another girl, calling it 'cheating on her''.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: Was a perfectly happy adorable girl, until Atsuya's death and then she's hell bent on getting revenge.
  • Just as Planned: Is what she announces in front of Hiro and Hayato's father after taking Rina and her mother into another room. Which suggests that from the beginning Hikari had intended on herself, Hiro, Rina and her mother to be the four survivors. The former two because they were the masterminds and the latter two because the mother was the only one of the nine judges/jurors that had refused to accept the bribe from Atsuya's trial. This was a rather successful Gambit Roulette.
  • Karma Houdini: Creates the Judge game, several people die because of it, her revenge for Atsuya is fulfilled and she never gets any come-uppance for it.
  • Oblivious to Love: She never gets that Hiro actually likes her.
  • The Reveal: She is the other mastermind who created the Judge game to exact revenge for Atsuya's death and the mild sentence his killer got.
  • Yandere: Pretty much the reason why she's set this all up. At the very end she even says Rabbits are very possessive and protective.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: She has known Atsuya and Hiro for ages and recently got together with Atsuya.

    Asami Kimura
A blonde girl wearing a Christian cross in a wooden pendant. She displays a sexual behavior, trying to seduce Hiro to make him follow her votes. Found herself wearing a cat mask, representing the sin of lust. After seeing her fiancé being part of another game, she vowed to win for the sake of seeing him again. The fifth victim of the game, repeatedly stabbed in the neck with glass shards by Miku when both received an equal amount of votes and had to fight until one of them died.
  • Abusive Parents: Her father abused her sexually when she was a child.
  • Animal Motif: She wore one of the cat masks.
  • Berserk Button: Due to her background, Asami hates men who mistreat women. So when Ryuhei attempted to rape Rina she comes out of hiding and gives him a well deserved slap across the face and even decides to vote for him in the next judgment.
  • Killed Off for Real: During the fourth judging, she and Miku have the same amount of votes and must fight to the death. Asami has the upper-hand at first, until Miku stabs her in the throat with her glasses and then Asami gets killed by being stabbed in the throat multiple times.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Asami represents Lust.
  • The Tease: Tries to seduce Hiro to come over to her, Hayato and Ryuhei's side to make the split group turn to 4-vs-3 in their favor. Unfortunately for the both of them Rina witnesses this event.

    Hayato Takizawa
A law student, dressed in a suit, with black hair and glasses. He seems silent and contemptuous, and says he is ready to do anything to get out of the game and take revenge on his father, Kazunori. He is calm and manipulative. His sin is pride, represented by his lion mask, referring to his status as a student of law and also to his haughty and manipulative character. Killed by his own father, Kazuyuki Takizawa (the judge of the drunk driver's trial, who never assumed Hayato's paternity) with a cross-bow arrow shot through his heart, after he tried to betray and kill his very own father (Kazuyuki then falls from the stairs and dies shortly afterwards).
  • Animal Motif: He has the lion mask.
  • Bastard Bastard: He is the product of his father and a mistress and was never properly accepted by his father or his older brothers.
  • It Runs in the Family: His father is a judge, his brothers are all lawyers, be it prosecutor or defense attorney, and he's expected to work in law as well. He's studying law at college.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hayato is killed by his father with an arrow shortly before the climax.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Uses his cool head and logical thinking to his advantage, getting others to either follow along or cause them to distrust each other more. He switched the cards on the judging panels at his, Asami's and Ryuhei's place to make it appear like they are voting for themselves when they were actually all voting for Kazu.
  • In the Back: He is stabbed with a crossbow arrow in his back by his father.
  • Patricide: Attempted. Hayato pushed his father over a railing and expected him to die from it, using Hiro and Hikari as his witnesses that it was in self-defense. Unfortunately, the fall wasn't bad enough to actually kill his father.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Hayato represents Pride.
  • Try Everything: His reason for doing things during the judging, like figuring out that the character cards can be picked up and moved about.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Too bad for Hayato that all his actions did, was to help the masterminds of this game push people further into discord.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Hayato originally wanted nothing more than to be properly accepted by his father. But he eventually decided to just 'take everything' from his father.

    Kazuyuki Asai
A brown-haired boy who is in high school and quickly sympathizes with Hiro. He claims to be homosexual, which constitutes his sin, judged of lust. He found himself wearing a cat mask, like Asami. The third victim of the game, killing himself with a poisoned needle.
  • Animal Motif: He wore the other cat mask of the group.
  • Bury Your Gays: Kazu is gay, sure, though he didn't die because of his homosexuality.
  • Driven to Suicide: After being voted during the second judging, Kazu received an SMS that told him to commit suicide in order to honor the voting. As well as to ensure his mother's safety, although later after he's found dead a new SMS shows a picture of his mother dead.
  • Gayngst: He obviously didn't want to reveal it, but Kazu does admit his homosexuality toward Hiro and Nobuyuki when trying to get the latter to come out for judging. He succeeds.
  • The Mole: Kazu was given a cellphone, giving him instructions to put the masks on everyone and injecting anyone who tried to take the mask off before being allowed to with a poisonous needle.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He much prefers to be called Kazu.
  • The Runaway: Is forced to when Kazu revealed to his parents his homosexuality. Their shock and implied rejection as well as disowning him made him run away from home and he hasn't seen them for years.
  • We Have Your Mother: The reason why Kazu went along with his directions as a mole. He was shown a picture of his mother held at gun point and was told to do as directed, otherwise she'd be killed.

    Miku Sanada
A shy, timid girl with long black hair and glasses. Her sin, gluttony (represented by her pig mask), is derived from her past as an obese teenager before becoming thin with an operation paid by the bribe her grandfather accepted to acquit the drunk driver who killed Atsuya. After seeing her grandfather in another game, she vowed to somehow save him. Killed by Hayato's father with a cross-bow arrow shot through her forehead.
  • Ax-Crazy: In order to save her grandfather no matter what, she goes so far as to brutally stab Asami to death with her glasses.
  • Animal Motif: Miku had one of the pig masks on.
  • Dirty Coward: Hiro discovers she has found food and didn't tell anyone because she wanted to keep it for herself. He decides to not tell anyone what she did on the condition the food is shared, and even helps her hide the used wrappings. She repays his kindness by betraying him and voting for him during the next round, fearing he might tell someone what she did if he stays alive.
  • Formerly Fat: She used to be very fat, but got plastic surgery to make herself thin and beautiful.
  • Hostage Situation: Takes Rina hostage and forces her to vote for Asami in the fourth judging then threatens Hiro to do the same.
  • Killed Off for Real: Miku dies after getting an arrow from a crossbow through her head, shot by Hayato's father.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: She ends up finding food which she tries keeping herself, betraying Hiro after he helped her cover this, injuring Rina and take her hostage to force the others into killing Asami rather than her, and finally killing Asami herself. Soon after this, she is killed by Hayato's father.
  • Madness Mantra: "I'm not a little pig! I'm not a little pig! I'm not a little pig!"
  • Shrinking Violet: The most timid of the girls.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: She represents Gluttony.

A long-haired boy who found himself wearing a bear mask, an animal symbol of sloth. He seems to have a fairly violent past, apparently having killed his own mother because she criticized the way he lived. The second victim, killed with a poisoned needle.
  • Animal Motif: He wore the bear mask.
  • Hikkikomori: Nobuyuki tends to hide and lock himself into rooms. A flashback shows that he hasn't left his room in at least a month once.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's the second to die, apparently of poison, after the initial judging. Revealed in the climax that it was Hiro who injected him.
  • Matricide: He killed his mother in a fit of rage.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Nobuyuki represents Sloth.
  • Team Killer: Next to Ryuhei and Hiro, he was the only one during the first judging to not vote for himself.

    Rina Okamoto
A high-school girl whose alleged sin is avarice, represented by a fox mask, although she shows no trace of this trait. Everything suggests that she is the only one who has committed no sin, and that she is only a victim of the game. It turns out that, despite being a member of the jury that acquitted the truck driver, Rina's mother rejected the bribery attempt, and both mother and daughter managed to survive the game.
  • Animal Motif: She had the fox mask on.
  • Attempted Rape: Ryuhei tried to force her at gun-point to sleep with him, but Hiro and Asami stop him in time.
  • Expy: Its not surprising for anyone to mistake her for Rise Kujikawa, considering how similar they look.
  • Final Girl: Out of all the nine teen participants at the start of Judge, Rina is the only survivor left by the end of the series.
  • Nice Girl: Barring her mother, Rina is the only genuine nice character in the entire cast, who doesn't seem to have committed any sins. Fortunately both Rina and her mother make it out alive.
  • Only Sane Woman: The only character who does not have any psychotic tendencies. Due to this when she witnesses Asami seducing Hiro, she becomes suspicious of Hiro especially when he suggests they keep Asami alive until the end.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: She represents Greed. Although subverted in her case as she has not committed a sin.

    Ryuhei Shinomiya
A tall, thin young man, with gray hair capped in a Visual Kei style. He claims to have no real purpose in life, and was found wearing the mask of the horse, having sinned in wrath. His crime is unknown, but his reality is unquestionable given his aggressive and provocative personality. The fourth victim of the game, stabbed with a pair of scissors by Hiro when both received an equal amount of votes and had to fight until one of them died.
  • Animal Motif: He wears the Horse mask.
  • Asshole Victim: By the time he finally kicks the bucket, he has proven himself awful enough that you won't mourn his death.
  • Axe-Crazy: Most of the characters have various sorts of issues, but he is by far the least subtle about it. He constantly gets mad at everybody, threatens people at the slightest provocation and expresses disappointment when the "severed head" Hiro saw was just a statue. And let's not even talk about his Attempted Rape on Rina.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal one at that to boot! Ryuhei gets the gun that is in the cabinet with the VCR and carries it on his person. The gun shows up off and on, he uses it to threaten everyone and specifically force Rina to sleep with him. The gun comes full-circle when it misfires and severely injures him, with the gun revealed to have been set up to do just that if it were to get fired.
  • Convenient Misfire: When he's about to shoot Hiro point blank, the gun backfires, explodes in his hands and severely injures him.
  • Jerkass: Frankly, this probably is the nicest thing that can be said about him.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's killed later on, stabbed with a pair of scissors.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Conveniently, the gun he tries to kill Hiro with backfires and injures him. Justified, as we learn the gun was specifically tailored to do that if it were to get fired.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Ryuhei represents Wrath.
  • Team Killer: During the first judging, Ryuhei did not vote for himself.
  • Teen Idol: Ryuhei used to be the lead of a popular boys' band, but his personality caused problems and the band broke up as a result.

    Ryuuji Yoshino
The man who drove the truck that ran over and killed Atsuya. He was able to get off with a light sentence thanks to his connections, prompting Hiro and Hikari to start their revenge plot.
  • Covered in Scars: He has rather fresh cuts and scars all over his body, haphazardly sewn together with what looks like yarn.
  • Eye Scream: One of his eyelids has been sewn towards his eyebrow to permanently force it open. The other seems injured as well, though we don't know how.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gets crushed underneath a statue that he ran into.
  • Not Quite Dead: Hiro comes across him first and thinks he's dead, but realizes he's still alive.
  • The Reveal: Turns out that he's the man who drove the truck that ran over and killed Atsuya. He was drunk at the time.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He got a milder sentence for drunk driving and killing a pedestrian because he personally knew the judge residing over his trial, and the jury was also placated with cash.

    The Pig Guy
An overweight boy, found dead next to a pig mask as soon as the other participants were allowed to remove their masks, due to removing his mask before he was authorized to do so by Kazu. Kazu was following orders from his captives who threatened to kill his mother via cellphone contact. His sin is gluttony.
  • Animal Motif: He wore one of the pig masks.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Complained about the masks they wore, took it off and was consequently poisoned by Kazu because he didn't wait to take the mask off before they had permission to do so.
  • No Name Given: We never find out his name.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: When he's talked about, he's called 'the pig guy' using the pig mask he wore as identification.
  • Red Herring: Readers who read the previous work are likely to assume he’ll turn out to be the mastermind like Rei. He’s not- he really did die.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: He dies within the first few pages of the manga, just to serve as an example and prove the Judge game is indeed lethal.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Justified as he was killed before the game had even started.

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