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Yu Ishigami

Voiced by: Ryouta Suzuki (Japanese), Austin Tindle (English)
Played by: Hayato Sano (live-action movie)

Debut: Chapter 11 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)

A first-year student at Shuchi'in and the treasurer of the student council. Incredibly unlucky, depressed and cynical, he lives his days scared of Kaguya.

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  • Above the Influence: He nearly loses his virginity to his crush Tsubame on Christmas Eve, but wanting to do things properly, he formally confesses and asks her out before things go too far. When she turns him down, he doesn't go through with it.
  • Ace of Spades: The anime assigned all the members of the student council a Playing Card Motif. Naturally, Ishigami -who spent most of the earlier chapters afraid that Kaguya was trying to kill him- was assigned the Ace of Spades.
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • According to his profile, he makes very astute observations on topics that would ordinarily be landmines. The reason he's able to do this is because he doesn't know they're landmines in the first place.
    • In Chapter 127, he manages to give a perfect confession to Tsubame due to not knowing the significance of giving someone a heart during the Devoted Heart Festival. Later Comically Missing the Point, he also gives Iino a heart locket to be placed in the lost-and-found, and Iino takes this gesture to heart too.
  • Achilles' Heel: As hilarious as it is, he's this to Fujiwara. While she's a master manipulator who can easily disrupt Kaguya and Shirogane's best-laid plans, Ishigami in turn is the only one who can reliably counter her, as he has no reservations calling out Fujiwara's selfish tendencies.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: He gets several cameos throughout the first 5 episodes, though only the first one actually qualifies due to all the others taking place after his Early-Bird Cameo in the manga.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Chapter 55 shows he is something of a pariah at school due to something that happened in middle school.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: He was the one that sent Iino the flower and the letter back in middle school.
  • Apathetic Student: He's very apathetic towards school, and instead of studying, he spends his time playing video games, watching anime, and reading manga and light novels.
  • Audience Surrogate: As a cynical loner, he fits right in with some of the target audience. The fanservice special has him make all the comments a regular reader would make as well.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • He states he can understand 5 to 6 percent of people's personalities by their stares. He states that Kaguya wants to kill him and gives murderous stares to Fujiwara a lot. He's proven right by the end of the chapter.
    • Chapter 76 has him correctly understanding Kashiwagi's frustrations with her boyfriend with only some information.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Why did Ishigami go so far to punch Kyoko Otomo's boyfriend and then refused to tell anyone the truth about the boyfriend cheating on her and then trying to buy Ishigami's silence by offering to pimp her out? Because Otomo treated him nicely, like she treated everyone else. He tried to protect her smile, which made him happy and revealing the truth would have hurt her.
    • Chapter 89 reveals the reason for Ishigami's close friendship with Shirogane is because Shirogane found the truth about the Otomo situation and went to Ishigami's house to congratulate him for protecting Otomo's smile and tell him that he wasn't wrong.
    • He develops a crush on Tsubame Koyasu since she was earnestly nice to him during his time in the cheer squad in spite of his dire reputation.
    • He starts admiring Kaguya after she selflessly helps him out loads of times. His determination to ace the exams in the "Kaguya's Impossible Task" arc was even motivated solely because Kaguya continued believing in him when no one else would rather than the fact that it might catch the eye of his crush Tsubame. When he failed to even enter the top 50 ranking among the first-years, he was understandably upset as he felt that he had disappointed her despite her efforts to teach him.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ishigami and Iino do not get along very well and are constantly bickering, yet they actually care about each other because of their own principles. Some people may mistakenly believe they are just acting Like an Old Married Couple, but Iino's Childhood Friend, Osaragi, states that they are actually really on bad terms, yet she also clearly sees that they are Not So Different.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Someone bragging about their relationship. In Chapter 48 when Tsubasa asks for advice again, Ishigami tries to kill him when it looks like he's bragging.
    • When a manga uses cheap tactics to hide its fanservice.
  • Beta Couple: He and Iino function as one to Kaguya and Shirogane. Romantically, he's aiming for Tsubame.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Insult him, he doesn't care. Insult people he respects and cares about like Shirogane or Iino, and he can go so far as to beat you up. Which is how he became a pariah in middle school.
  • Bishōnen: He's reasonably handsome despite his gloomy appearance.
  • Birds of a Feather: A part of Kaguya sees a lot of herself in Ishigami, which is why she starts to treat him much nicer as they become friends and she supports him in his studies and his love life.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: In Chapter 38, Shirogane asks him for romantic advice. He lampshades this of course.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: His very first dialogue is a complaint about his own character, as he doesn't see the point of a second male character in a romcom.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He is acknowledged as being very intelligent (to the point that Shirogane was willing to beg him not to quit his role as student council treasurer), but he was ranked third-to-last among the first-year students and on academic probation at the beginning of the series due to his apathy towards school. Kaguya theorizes that this attitude is a result of him having been suspended for several months during his final year of middle school. This is also implied to be the reason why Iino doesn't get along with him, since she fought for him to be allowed to graduate back in middle school on the grounds that he handed in all his homework on time during said months long suspension. Seeing him squander his potential makes her feel like all her efforts were wasted.
  • Bromantic Foil: For Shirogane. Where Shirogane is popular, a hard worker, and thinks before he speaks, Ishigami is a pariah, Brilliant, but Lazy, and has a bad habit of putting his foot in his mouth.
  • Brutal Honesty: One of his bigger issues is when he talks, he rarely has a filter on, coming across as insensitive and/or creepy. Lampshaded in Chapter 51.
  • But I Would Really Enjoy It: Rare Male Example. He turns down Tsubame's offer for sex on Christmas Eve despite clearly wanting to because she was only doing so to make up for the fact that she turned down his love confession. He refuses to sleep with someone who doesn't love him back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Very rarely do things go his way. Especially at the beginning, most of his pure intentions are misunderstood, Kaguya scares him shitless with her mood swings and Fujiwara keeps making fun of him.
  • Catchphrase: "I want to die, so I'm going home." This is followed by Shirogane telling him "Okay, but don't die."
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Subverted. In Chapter 70, he is caught by Kaguya and Fujiwara changing clothes in the student council room, where he is Mistaken for Masturbating by Fujiwara. However, he quickly explains that he had to help clean up after P.E. and didn't have time to change somewhere else.
  • Celibate Hero: Inverted, he wants a girlfriend but he can't get one.
  • Character Development: Ishigami, who was already a loner and had a somewhat cynical view, became even more secluded after what happened in middle school. He starts to open up to the student council and the world again over time, becomes more self-confident and starts to socialize more.
  • Character Focus: Ishigami starts getting focus in the lead up to the sports festival, which delves into his past in middle school. After that point, he gets upgraded to being the tritagonist.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He was mentioned multiple times, but he didn't appear in person until chapter 24.
  • Closet Geek: Hilariously Ishigami is revealed to be one in Chapter 110. While he's open about reading manga and playing games, he keeps his interest in anime and light novels secret, with only Shirogane being in on the secret.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: While he is actively chasing Tsubame, who has started to develop feelings for him, he also unintentionally has Iino and Osaragi fall for him.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: He's apparently based off of Sho Hirano, which gets lampshaded in Chapter 140. Ironically, Hirano was cast in the Live-Action Adaptation, but as Shirogane rather than Ishigami.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: He is a lot better at restoring other people's faith in humanity than his own.
  • The Confidant: When people come to him for advice, he usually can help them out. He acts at different times as an adviser for Shirogane, Kashiwagi's boyfriend, Maki, and Kaguya.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: This pretty much sums up his entire social circle. Given the fact that his reputation was destroyed thanks to an incident back in middle school, all of his friends are vastly higher on the social totem pole. This extends all the way to Kaguya and Tsubame, who are two of the most popular girls in school.
  • Covert Pervert: Despite his calm attitude, he does make a joke about Kaguya and Fujwara's respective breasts sizes. Sadly they were right behind when he made them.
  • Creepy Good: He may look creepy and gloomy, and tends to have a pessimistic outlook on life, but he's undoubtedly a good person.
  • The Cynic: He very rarely thinks anything good is going to happen and usually goes to the darkest explanation possible. Part of his character development is to become more optimistic.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Something happened in middle school that made him into a pariah to the point that he started skipping school till high school and he's still treated as a pariah. We learn what happens in Chapter 88; he learns that Kyoko's boyfriend was actually just fooling around with her and didn't love her the way she did him, so he defended her honor by punching him. His doing so led Ishigami to be looked at with disdain by the other students, and Kyoko thought he was ragging on her boyfriend for no reason, due to her being innocent about his personality. He was then suspended till the end of middle school because he wouldn't say he was wrong. This led to his father continually yelling at him night after night, struggling to finish his homework due to not attending classes and his realizing that everyone at school hated him.
  • Deuteragonist: Outside of the central romance of Kaguya and Shirogane, Ishigami's character arc is the most important plotline in the series. He's referred to as the "side hero" in the volume extras.
  • Devoted to You: Ishigami has the complete devotion of Osaragi of all people. In most scenes where she appears, she is speaking in favor of him or approves of his intentions to court Tsubame. Chapter 192 reveals that this began in middle school, after he called out jealous girls who were badmouthing Osaragi. From that point on, Osaragi developed feelings for him, and was looking after him, determined to help him find happiness, even if it's not with her. She goes so far to prioritize his happiness over her best friend, Iino's.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: His efforts to become someone Tsubame would fall for ultimately result in this, as while she does care about him deeply, she only sees him as an underclassmen and not as a romantic partner. He does accept her friendship though, even if he's left heartbroken about it.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He joined the cheer team to improve his demeanor, on the grounds that people on the cheer team always seem happy. It was only after he showed up at the first meeting that he realized the flaw in his logic; the only people who join the cheer team are those that are already too happy with their lives. Subverted in that it does give him a more positive outlook, just not in the way he envisioned.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: He is incredibly upset when Tsubame rejected going out with him and still tried seducing him to have sex with her, out of sympathy for his feelings for her. He doesn't want to sleep with someone who doesn't return his feelings in kind.
  • Dragged into Drag: The cheer team for the Sports Festival more or less strong-arm him into agreeing with swapping the girls and boys' uniforms. He can fit Kaguya's just fine, apparently.
  • Dramatic Irony: For all his love of emotional hyperbole and Grand Romantic Gestures, the most impact he ever made on someone's life came from a tiny flower.
  • Driven to Suicide: Usually treated as a joke, when he feels so upset, that he wishes to "go home and die", though he's usually fine the next day. It's taken seriously, when he suffers from a Heroic BSoD in Chapter 155 after Tsubame rejects his confession, but offers to have Pity Sex with him. While he doesn't actively try to kill himself, he still wishes he ends up dead when he is about to fall down the stairs as he was so upset, he wasn't wearing his shoes properly. He might have ended up dead or at least heavily injured if Iino hadn't soften his fall, which resulted in her breaking her arm.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: He shows up on the cover of Chapter 11, though he wouldn't get an on-screen appearance until Chapter 24.
  • The Eeyore:
    • Very rarely is he happy and nearly every chapter he appears in, he leaves crying. Kei even considers him an emo as a result when she meets him. This is lampshaded in the anime, which assigned him the Playing Card Motif of the Ace of Spades, aka the Death Card.
    • He makes an effort to grow out of it around the time of the Sports Festival, though it still remains a subtle part of his character.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: His hair used to be a lot shorter. He grew it out in order to shut himself off from the world.
  • Flowers of Romance: Given that his mother works as a florist, his default idea for a romantic gesture involves offering flowers that have some sort of obtuse meaning behind them (such as their species names forming a backronym for a message). Kaguya has to keep convincing him that such things would come across as creepy rather than romantic. Iino seems to appreciate the flower he sent her anonymously though.
  • For Great Justice: In retrospect, Ishigami says that back in middle school he had this kind of attitude as a result of reading some manga he can't even remember anymore; this led to him beating the stuffing out of a guy who was cheating on his girlfriend.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The apathetic, albeit due to his laziness and being uninterested in schoolwork, not because of a Lack of Empathy or morals.
  • Friendless Background: In the past, Ishigami had no friends. His first friend was Shirogane and later on the rest of the student council.
  • Good with Numbers: Shirogane picked him to be the treasurer because of this trope. His report card in the fanbook also lists math as the only non-elective course that he has an A in.
  • Got Me Doing It: He briefly started talking like the members of the Cheer Team due to exposure to them while thanking Kaguya for lending him her uniform. Neither of them have any idea what he meant.
  • Gotta Pass the Class: Ishigami is shown to be in danger of getting held back in Chapter 55 due to the incident back in middle school having made him apathetic towards schoolwork. Kaguya (who is looking for an excuse to pay back a favor she owes him) takes it upon herself to help him study and ensure that he passes.note  This ends up having consequences that last for the remainder of the series, as it was the first step in them developing their Like Brother and Sister dynamic.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: When trying to set up the budget for clubs, he tried to dock the sports club 50,000 yen per couple. Seeing as he didn't have a girlfriend...
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Ishigami can occasionally be seen wearing a large pair of headphones that highlight his seperation from the rest of the school.
  • The Heart: He links a lot of otherwise disparate characters together - Iino (who he introduces to the student council), Tsubame (who occupies a different social circle to the protagonists), and Karen (whose manga he edits).
  • Held Back in School:
    • Ishigami was in danger of getting held back at the beginning of the series due to a complete lack of desire to apply himself during exams. Kaguya ends up helping him pass a crucial exam due to owing him a favor and later convinces him to actually take school seriously by telling him that getting good grades could help him win Tsubame's affection.
    • He almost didn't graduate from middle school as a disciplinary punishment for his incident with Otomo, but was allowed to due to Iino's protests against the principal.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Ishigami suffered one, after being ostracized by everyone in middle school, after being labeled a crazy stalker who beat up one of the most popular guys in school. He couldn't tell anyone why he punched that guy because he wanted to spare Kyoko Otomo the shame and trauma of being cheated on by her boyfriend, which only made the resentment worse. This almost got him kicked out of school if it wasn't for Iino, Shuchi'in High School's principal and its student council - especially Shirogane - who figured out the truth by themselves.
    • Meeting Otomo again at the sports festival triggers Ishigami's middle school memories and leaves him in a catatonic state, until Shirogane intervenes and snaps him out of it.
    • He is lost in depressing self-deprecating thoughts, after Tsubame rejects his confession, yet still offers Pity Sex to him. He in turn rejects her offer, and the harsh way he does it makes him loathe himself and distracts him so much, that he almost could have died from a Stair Case Tumble, if Iino hadn't appeared in time.
    • In Chapter 205, Tsubame rejecting his feelings once and for all leaves him so psychologically shattered that he spends most of the chapter speaking in complete nonsense. The rest of the council spend the chapter trying to snap him out of it.
  • Hero of Another Story: Ishigami is referred to as such (more specifically, the "secret hero") in his character description.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Ishigami was openly hated by some of his classmates, particularly the girls, since he supposedly stalked a girl and then beat up her boyfriend in middle school. In reality, the boy was a cheating scumbag who tried to buy Ishigami's silence by offering to let him have sex with the girlfriend, then pulled a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to make Ishigami look like the bad guy. The student council did their research and found the truth of the situation, and those who got closer to him know he's really a nice guy.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Outsiders wouldn't think someone like Shirogane, the smartest and one of the most popular students in Shuchi'in, would be friends with a gloomy pariah like Ishigami, but the truth is that they are extremely close. Ishigami shares his love for video games and manga with Shirogane, and when Kaguya or Fujiwara decline to go to a place with Shirogane (like the aquarium or another festival), Ishigami is usually the one who accompanies Shirogane. Since Shirogane was the first person who believed in Ishigami and broke him out of his depression multiple times, Ishigami has Undying Loyalty for Shirogane. That said, Shirogane has Single-Target Sexuality for Kaguya, while Ishigami's love interest is either Tsubame, Iino, or Osaragi, though a crazy shipper like Karen can definitely see a romance happening.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He's very knowledgeable on all sorts of toys and games being the son of the president of a toy company. He gets to show off when he became very critical of the game the Tabletop Games Club made in Chapter 57.
    • Despite being cynical and The Eeyore, he has some rather idealistic ideas on love as shown in Chapter 64.
    • He demonstrates a wealth of knowledge when it comes to flowers in regards to their symbology, life cycles, and medicinal uses (which according to a Q&A on the manga's official Twitter is because his mother is a florist). This implies that he gave Iino her flower and note in middle school, which was confirmed in Chapter 192, where it's revealed that Osaragi saw him place the letter in Iino's desk.
    • He was a talented runner in middle school.
    • He's an excellent treasurer due to his analytical thinking and keen sense of prioritization and visual representation, going as far as casually coaching Kei when she visits the student council.
    • He's the most empathic and perceptive of the people in the student council. He's usually the one who notices when other people are being dumb with their relationships or who likes who.
    • Chapter 205 shows that he's familiar with classic Manzai routines.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Part of Ishigami's problem is that he has no confidence in himself, because people rarely acknowledge the good things he does, making himself doubt his actions. He gradually works on moving past his insecurities and gain a more optimistic view.
    • This is played for laughs when he for instance compliments Fujiwara, only to be called creepy, or when his genuine attempts to help Iino are misunderstood as hostile and condescending.
    • Played for drama in middle school. Ishigami wanted to help a nice girl, who was nothing more than an acquaintance to him, but his anger outburst led to him being framed as a violent stalker, causing everyone at home and in school to ostracize him. Ishigami eventually got better when Shirogane showed up and was the first person to believe in him.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Even from Volume 13, its clear that Ishigami never stood a chance in winning Tsubame's heart since she regarded their relationship in a platonic way and not a romantic one. Predictably, he was rejected in Chapter 204, with him later on coping with his loss.
  • Hyper-Awareness: He's shown to be the most observant of the student council, with the extras saying that he can easily see others' secrets.
    • This is one of the reasons why he's a bit scared of Kaguya at first, as he can see through the side of hers that she is deliberately trying to hide, which is also why he doesn't think that Kaguya (Ice) treats him any differently than Kaguya usually does. He's seen her hidden side already.
    • He instantly notices Fujiwara using a different hair conditioner, but the way he describes it in detail comes off as creepy. In another chapter, he smells the garlic in Fujiwara's breath and quietly offers her a breath mint, much to her embarrassment.
    • In Chapter 160, he notices Kaguya and Shirogane on a date, despite Kaguya's attempt to avoid them.
    • In Chapter 174, he notices how clean and elegant Iino's handwriting looks, calling it (and her personality) beautiful without thinking too hard about it. Since Iino is weak to compliments, she immediately starts treating him nicely.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Usually played for laughs, and often pointed out by Iino (or the narrator). For instance, he crushes any of the "four-eyed geeks" who try to impress Tsubame with their intelligent remarks despite himself being an otaku and countering their arguments to impress Tsubame.
    • Also, his tastes in anime are surprisingly generic for someone who complains about "normies" (his favorite movie is Your Name, and two of his favorite series are Sword Art Online and Oreimo).
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Played With. Since he doesn't know the identity of the boy that Kaguya likes, he does the whole routine with her instead, saying that he'd have to intervene if the boy turns out to be scum. And considering the whole fiasco with Otomo in the backstory, it probably isn't an idle threat.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: (Presumably) Platonic example. Despite cursing happy couples, Ishigami decided to make an exception and genuinely wished for Otomo to find romantic happiness. When he learned that her boyfriend cheated on her, he tried his best to keep this ugly truth away from her, thinking that she should stay blissfully ignorant to protect her happy smile, even if she started to hate him.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Fujiwara suggests Iino as a new girl to pursue a relationship with after Tsubame turns him down, he says that there's no way something like that could happen. Given that Iino had developed a crush on him and was sitting in the room at the time, she takes it rather hard.
  • Jerkass to One: To Iino. He's normally a nice guy (if somewhat inclined to put his foot in his mouth), but she notes during a drunken rant at Tsubame's Christmas party that he seems to exclusively be mean to her. The irony of this being that he's actually been looking out for and protecting her ever since middle school, he just doesn't tell her because it wouldn't be truly altruistic to hold good deeds over people's heads. Also, he actually isn't acting very nice towards Fujiwara very often as well, though it's quickly pointed out that he is just more willing to respond to her antics compared to the others.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Ishigami is a cynical man with a depressing view on the world, but he still is actually very idealistic, sees things mostly for what they are and respects and defends people who are earnestly putting an effort.
  • Lack of Empathy: Towards schoolmates with girlfriends:
    Tsubasa: I... had a fight with my girlfriend.
    Ishigami: Yeah, eat shit normie! Now go get yourself dumped!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Discussed. Following Tsubame's rejection of his confession, Ishigami wonders if this is punishment for all those times he mocked people that suffered from rejection.
  • Like Brother and Sister: At the start of the series he's deathly afraid of Kaguya due to a series of misunderstandings, but as the two spend more time around each other this fades away to the point where they almost have a big sister/little brother-type relationship (seen in Chapter 153 where Ishigami says that he won't let "lousy" people get near Kaguya). While Kaguya (Moron) is in control, she openly admits that she likes Ishigami more than Fujiwara.
  • Lovable Jock: While he was something of a loner, he qualified during his time on the track team back in middle school. He isn't on a sports team anymore, though it's never specified if he stopped because of his suspension or if he dropped it earlier for unrelated reasons.
  • Love Triangle: He ends up in the middle of one with Tsubame on one end and Iino on the other. It even leads to some in-universe Ship-to-Ship Combat among some of the other girls.
  • Love You and Everybody: Subverted when he offers a giant heart-shaped gift to Tsubame during the Devoted Hearts Festival (which is a sign of eternal love in-universe). Ishigami doesn't know the legend behind it due to having a very small social circle and was just giving it to her as thanks for all the times she's helped him out, but everyone else in the school interprets it as a Love Confession. Of course, Ishigami actually does have a crush on her and had been trying to find a way to confess, but he remains completely oblivious to the fact that he's already done so even after she asks him to set a deadline for her response.
  • Meaningful Name: "Yu" (優) can mean skilled, superior, excel (in grades) or kind/gentle. While he's not actually a top student, since he's Brilliant, but Lazy, he is definitely a Nice Guy. Tsubame even lampshades this after the Christmas party.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: All of the first-year girls hate Ishigami for what he (supposedly) did in prior years, and his constant visits to the disciplinary committee for minor charges don't help his case at all. The fact is, while he is still grumpy and a bit of a downer, he's way nicer and hardworking than most people give him credit for.
  • Morality Pet: Kaguya is significantly kinder to him than she is to others once they fall into the Like Brother and Sister dynamic. So much so that she doesn't treat him any differently while Kaguya (Ice) is in control, something that not even Shirogane can lay claim to.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • In Chapter 37 he feels this way when him eating one of the two pieces of cake causes Shirogane and Kaguya to fight for the remaining one.
    • Played for Laughs in Chapter 133. Ishigami didn't know that giving someone something heart-shaped amounted to a confession. When at a performance about the Legend of the Devoted Heart, he realizes too late that the heart-shaped cookie he gave Tsubame was basically a public confession.
    • The flashback during Christmas Eve in Chapter 156 shows him hastily leaving Tsubame's house after she rejects his confession, but still offers to have sex with him out of sympathy. Iino points out that him leaving like that must have hurt Tsubame, too, which makes him feel even more miserable.
  • Nice Guy: It's even indicated in his name, Yu. While a bit gloomy, he does treasure his friendships with the student council and is happy to help, that includes Kaguya. The full extent is shown in Chapter 67 when he refuses to let people mock Iino as he respects her work ethic even if they butt heads. Although the incident in his middle school turned him into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Ishigami's desire to help those in need is still there.
  • Noble Bigot: He is rather dismissive of girls' physical strength, but he never tried to force them to think the same way he does.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His attempt to let Kyoko know of her boyfriend's true nature ended with Ishigami becoming a pariah.
  • No Social Skills: Due to his lack of interaction with other people, he often comes off as creepy instead, despite his pure intentions. For instance, he tries to appeal to Fujiwara by noticing she changed her shampoo. Unfortunately the way he worded it sounded like he smelled her every day.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite frequently snarking at or dismissing Fujiwara's antics, many times he ends up participating in them anyway. Chapter 76 had him wearing Fujiwara's "Love Detective" hat after she handed it over to him, despite saying the hat makes people look stupid just two pages prior.
  • Not So Different: Despite some bickering on their part it is very obvious Ishigami and Iino are very similar to each other in some aspects, most notably on their sense of justice and being aware of people in need; while face to face they have some attrition, back to back they have stood for each other quite a few times without wanting to make the other know they have done so. When it's pointed out by Osaragi how similar they are, both flat-out deny it.
  • Not Your Problem: He is incredibly annoyed whenever Iino butts into his love life with Tsubame.
  • Oblivious to Love: He's so fixated on Tsubame that he doesn't figure out exactly why Iino has been spending so much time with him lately.
  • Odd Couple: What started as a simple gag of Ishigami being scared of Kaguya by her presence alone, evolved into a quite interesting friendship as the series progresses. Kaguya becomes supportive of Ishigami's growth out of his shell, hoping he achieves his objectives, while Ishigami sees Kaguya as someone he can confide in while becoming a better person, someone he fully trusts.
  • One of the Girls: His sentimental nature means he gets along well with girls, which is one of the reasons he was incorrectly believed to have romantic feelings for Otomo and Iino.
  • Otaku: He's into gaming, manga and anime, and likes to read light novels. The main reason Iino fights with him is that he indulges in these things while at school.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: His profile states that they represent his fear of others and are a way to block anything he doesn't want to see.

  • Plucky Comic Relief: The poor bastard just has to dig himself deeper whenever Kaguya's around...
  • Poor Communication Kills: There would be less arguing and drama around Iino and Ishigami if either of them openly said what they did for the other person, but since neither Ishigami nor Iino think that they need recognition for what they are doing, they don't get along very well and Iino believes Ishigami is acting like a Jerkass to her.
  • Properly Paranoid: A lot of his fears and thoughts about Kaguya are proven true when we see her point of view.
  • Prophetic Name: He's named for the prince from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter who was tasked by Princess Kaguya with retrieving a swallow's cowry, only to fall out of a tree and die (though he survives in some versions). Here, he's tasked by Kaguya with winning the hand of Tsubame Koyasu, and ends up falling down a flight of stairs after she turns down his love confession (only surviving because of Iino).
  • Protectorate: To Iino. She has stood up for him multiple times without his knowledge and always downplays his actions whenever she writes him up in a morals committe report. She also saved his life during winter break, keeping him from suffering a Staircase Tumble at the cost of breaking her arm.
  • Rousseau Was Right: His character arc during the sports festival has him realize this. After coming in second in the relay race, he expects to get hatred and abuse from his teammates, but instead they congratulate him for doing his best and try to cheer him up. At this point he finally realizes that people are basically good and caring, but he was too busy shutting out the world to notice.
  • Running Gag: He's quite a few running gags connected to his character
    • His complete fear of Kaguya.
    • Him leaving the student council office crying and planning to die.
    • Him making Fujiwara run off crying.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: He wants to quit the student council because he's afraid that Kaguya will kill him. Unfortunately, he can't quit for the very same reason.
  • Secret Keeper: He knows that Karen writes Kaguya/Shirogane Doujinshi, having been recruited to be her editor.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • It's implied that he knows Kaguya and Shirogane are dating.
    • If the Young Jump Love bonus chapter is taken as canon, he knows about Hayasaka's role as Kaguya's maid (since he casts her in that role during his harem dream).
  • Seers: His insight is entirely non-mystical in nature, but it fits the trope anyway, being an ability of inexplicable origin that isolates him from ordinary people.
  • Selective Obliviousness: He noticed early on that Kaguya seemed to be crushing on Shirogane, but after being threatened by her he retreated into a state of willful ignorance where he no longer notices the obvious signs.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Most of the people in his social circle are in higher grades than him, though the only ones who truly have this sort of dynamic with him are Kaguya, Tsubame, and (to a lesser extent) Kazeno. Justified that at the start of the series, most of the first years regarded Ishigami as a pariah and most of the Shuchi'in's influential students above him knew the full context of what happened, so this is to be expected.
  • Serious Business: He believes school clubs keep society from collapsing.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Osaragi. Osaragi is a victim of mockery and an Otaku, who hides behind her appearance and shut the world out, which is why many people appear or used to appear like The Faceless to her, just like with Ishigami. Like him, she can be very observant and wants to support her loved one without their knowledge. Even their Leitmotifs are similar, and they placed similarly in the exams in Chapter 105, with Osaragi being 151st and Ishigami being 152nd. However, Ishigami moved on from his insecurities and asked his crush out, which is something Osaragi wasn't able to do. He also puts an effort in to socialize more, while Osaragi still appears to be very introverted.
  • Shamed by a Mob: Flashbacks reveal how Ishigami was shamed by everyone in middle school after he supposedly stalked a girl and beat up her boyfriend. Ishigami's attempt to make his friend realize what a scumbag her boyfriend really was only made it look worse.
  • Shipper on Deck: He admits to thinking Kaguya and Shirogane would look cute as a couple, and expressed mild disappointment when she denied having feelings for him.
  • Ship Tease: With Iino. Ishigami has been watching over her and has tried to help her since at least middle school. He has seen the genuine effort she has put in to stand up for her ideals, and is visibly angry with people who do not acknowledge this and mock her. Having seen her almost breaking from the constant abuse people hurled at her, he anonymously sent her a letter with a flower attached to it, encouraging her and telling her that there are people out there who recognize her hard work. To this day, Iino treasures this gift above all, and this has given her seemingly unrealistic expectations of what her romantic partner should look like, even though the description perfectly fits Ishigami. Iino in turn stood up for Ishigami and was partially responsible for him being able to attend high school. They have the same idea of altruistic love, but due to being Too Much Alike, their poor communication prevents them from seeing what the other person has done for them. However, Ishigami makes it clear that he had no romantic feelings for Iino when he sent her the letter.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Okay, so Otomo isn't really bad, but she still catches his attention during the Sports Festival just to belittle him for what she thinks he did. He utterly shuts her down with three simple words.
  • Significant Birth Date: His is on March 3rd, the day of Hinamatsuri. It's even more significant due to the fact that he shares it with Fujiwara, which is something that she hates.
  • Silent Scapegoat: He allowed the school body to consider him a violent stalker rather than risk Kyoko's boyfriend retaliating against her or even just having her hurt by the knowledge of what he'd done. However, he could not bring himself to give a false apology for something he hadn't done, which unnerved the boyfriend enough that he kept a distance from Kyoko anyway.
  • Single Guy Seeks Most Popular Girl: He has a crush on Tsubame, and actually acknowledges that she is completely out of his league. If it wasn't for Kaguya's encouragement, he never would have even bothered pursuing her.
  • The Smart Guy: In his role as treasurer. While not necessarily the most intelligent member of the student council, he's certainly the geekiest, and his knowledge of mathematics and accounting makes him indispensable.
  • Spanner in the Works: In Chapter 54 when he reveals that he also got Shirogane a birthday present, this quickly shifts the conversation from Kaguya keeping Shirogane's birthday secret to Fujiwara being the only member of the student council that didn't know his birthday.
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: In Chapter 115 and later in Chapter 154, Ishigami tries to fit in with Tsubame and the other "normies" by using slang, but Onodera points out that what he picked up is outdated and makes him sound like an old man. It also doesn't help him understand Tsubame speaking in absolutely incomprehensible terms.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In Chapter 39, he abruptly manifests to interrupt a conversation between Kaguya and Kei, who had thought they were alone in the room.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He's a social pariah because it's rumored he beat up the boyfriend of a girl he liked. The truth is more complicated: He considered the girl one of his only friends, so when he found out her boyfriend Ogino was cheating on her and being super sleazy about it he attacked him. Ogino was more popular and a good actor, so he managed to spin the situation into being attacked by a stalker but loyally sticking by his girlfriend.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: He feels intense hatred for students and groups perceived as popular, and once tells Shirogane to tax them for being happy and successful.
  • Tears of Joy: He sheds them when Shirogane personally said he wasn't wrong for trying to help Otomo in Chapter 89.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • In Chapter 54, Kaguya sincerely thanks him for unknowingly helping her. Of course Ishigami just thinks he pissed her off.
    • Chapter 57, Ishigami spends most of the chapter on the sideline snarking at Shirogane and Fujiwara while Kaguya is too miserable to pay attention to him. He even admits that he had a good time.
    • Ishigami is the only one of the three people Kaguya asks for love advice that actually gives her a satisfactory answer in Chapter 64. Of course some shade is thrown his way, but he straight up ignores it.
    • The entirety of Chapter 90 is one for him. While he didn't win the relay race, no one blamed him for losing and instead cheered him for getting second place. He realizes that the cheer group is made up of good people and finally sees their faces as he enjoys the rest of the sports festival.
    • Chapter 174 gives one towards his relationship with Iino, where after unintentionally complimenting her handwriting, she treats him nicer; Wiping off some water he spilled, getting him some coffee milk, and even letting him play an exercise video game in front of her. They even bond over video games.
    • Chapter 198, despite some initial difficulty studying, through the support of his friends and his own efforts, Ishigami manages to to rank 37th on his final exam, fulfilling his promise to make the top 50
  • Too Much Alike: Both Iino and Ishigami secretly protect each other and share similar views on justice and altruism, but since neither has the intention to tell the other person what they are doing, everything they do and say to each other ends up being received as hostile and causes misunderstandings.
  • Tritagonist: Gets more focus and Character Development than anyone beyond the main duo, especially from the Sports Festival arc onwards, where the series begins following his own romantic endeavors with Tsubame and Iino.
  • Tsundere: For all his talk about disliking Iino, he goes through a lot to protect her from public humiliation and declares her his Protectorate inwardly. When Shirogane asks if she's a possibility for dating, he even blushes and smiles at the thought, but quickly reiterates that he definitely doesn't like her that way.
  • Undying Loyalty: For Shirogane. Giving someone validation for actions that all but broke them will do that to a guy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ishigami's talk about preference in girls' chest in Chapter 215 with Shirogane lead to an incident where Kaguya eavesdropped on Shirogane, Tsubasa and Mikado conversing the same topic. The narrator noted that this will have an impact in their later relationship in the future, starting in 217 where Kaguya having perverted thoughts of Shirogane.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He goes out of his way to help Iino and cares a great deal about her happiness and dignity, in spite of their obvious dislike for each other. He has stated that while he dislikes her, he admires her determination.
  • Wrongfully Accused: He was accused of stalking a girl he liked and getting into a fight with her boyfriend, making her transfer schools from all the commotion. However, some of this is on him; he never even tried to clear up the misunderstanding, making everyone accept the rumor as fact, though this is attributed to the threat of Otomo's boyfriend about hurting her if he let anything leak.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: This is the reason he admires Shirogane, Kaguya, and Tsubame so much, as they chose to see the best of him and made him arise from the emotional nadir he sunk into back in middle school.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: He tends to try to protect others from humiliation or persecution by redirecting it toward himself, such as by embarrassing himself to make someone else notice and avoid an embarrassing mistake or insulting people who bad-mouth someone so that they turn their attention to him. In particular, while he didn't intend to become a pariah falsely accused of stalking Otomo, he did choose afterward to endure all the pain and persecution, accepting possibly the worst reputation in the school just to keep her from being hurt.


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