All characters in Kono Oto Tomare! Names will be listed in Japanese convention; that is, surname, followed by given name.
Tokise High School
- All Your Powers Combined: Although Hotsukis skill is far beyond any of the other club members, only when the club plays as an ensemble do their songs really shine.
- Book Dumb: With the exception of Kurata, none of the other members are shown to be particularly bright at academic subjects. Likewise, they learn better by listening to music and feeling its emotions instead of understanding its theory.
- Determinator: The club endures Training from Hell on a regular basis in order not to disappoint each other.
- Hidden Depths: Everyone on the team gets a significant amount of character development that prove that theyre more than their first impression.
- Love Epiphany: Various members of the club get one at some point in time.
- Ragtag Bunch of MisfitsFujimoto: An honor student next to a gyaru like seven jigsaws mixed together.
- Stronger Than They Look: Many of their rivals initially write them off due to their lack of reputation, mismatching personalities, and seemingly delinquent style.
- True Companions: It's what brought them all together and why they're able to play so well together. This companionship also inspired Takinami to take up music again and Akira to defeat her own personal darkness and cynicism.
President of the Koto Club. At the beginning of the story, Kurata is the sole remaining member of the club, after Mashiro and the rest of his upperclassmen graduated. With Kudou's help and a little bit of luck, Kurata develops the squandering club into a formidable ensemble.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The one time he really gets angry over Hiro trying to break up the club, even Kudo, former delinquent, is scared to death!
- Extreme Doormat: Overcoming this tendency is the crux of his character development. With the help of the rest of the club members, he grows into a respectable leader that guides the Koto Club to the national championships.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Kurusu comes to his house in Chapter 17 in order to motivate him to take control of the club.
- Grew a Spine: His desire to be a worthy president of the Koto Club leads him to be more assertive in confrontational situations. A prominent turning point for him occurs in Chapter 18, when he asks Takinami-sensei to resign as the club advisor.
- Heroes Want Redheads
- In-Series Nickname: Glasses from Kudou as a rough form of affection, Nadeshiko-chan from his bullies.
- Love Epiphany: After the Christmas Eve party, he realizes that he likes Kurusu.
- Only Sane Man: When Takinami-sensei uses childish appeals to motivate the boys of the club (like when he said they were too young to understand sex appeal), Kurata is the only one who doesnt fall for the ruse.
The first member to join Kurata in the club. Kudou brings with him a reputation for fighting and delinquency, which initially makes others distrustful of him. However, underneath his rough exterior is a kind heart who wants to honor his deceased grandfather by playing the koto.
- The Atoner: Kudou joins the Koto Club to honor his grandfathers memory.
- Determinator: Although every member of the club is intensely dedicated, Kudou is a cut above, usually being the first one in the club room every morning, practicing until his fingers literally bleed, and playing through a concert with a sprained hand. All so that he can catch up to Hotsuki and be worthy of playing with her.
- The Dreaded: At the beginning of the story his reputation is awful, and the entire school is afraid of him. Things get better.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He gets fired up very easily, which unfortunately has obscured his heart of gold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Magikarp Power: Although he begins as an absolute amateur, his natural talent allows him to play basic passages with incredible emotion.
- Meaningful Name: His name is written with the character for love.
- Sweet Tooth: Many of the after-chapter sketches humorously depict Kudou begging Tetsuki for sweets.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Strawberries, or anything strawberry-flavored. He loves them so much he asked that his class serve strawberry daifuku in their culture fair festival, which is one of the first things that gets his classmates to realize that he's not as bad as the rumors say he is.
- Tsundere: And Class S to boot!
A koto prodigy, and a member of the renowned Hotsuki Group, one of the most prestigious organizations in the koto world. After an infamous performance as a middle schooler, Hotsuki joined Tokise's koto club with the intent to increase her own fame. After further reflection and the help of the other club members, she comes to appreciate the koto as not just an instrument, but something more.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Cry Cute: Following her second rendition of Tenkyuu in Chapter 52, Hotsuki breaks into tears after reuniting with her mother.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Her excommunication from the Hotsuki Group left her cynical and unappreciating of other people's struggles. Playing in a group and understanding other people gradually warms both her personality and her sound.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: After her disastrous solo in middle school, she lost the light that playing the koto gave her.
- Irony: When listening to the original version of Tenkyuu that she played in the National Koto Competition, she realizes that such a harsh sound would never express the feelings of love she felt for her mother.
- Minor Living Alone: Kudou visits her in Chapter 11, to find that she lives in a dinky one room house.
- My Greatest Failure: When she was a middle schooler, she automatically disqualified herself by playing an original composition in a bid to send her mother a desperate message. Her mother only grew colder and excommunicated her from the Hotsuki clan.
- No Social Skills: A life fully submerged in the koto world left Satowa with little else to socialize about. In brief scenes of her chatting with female classmates, shes often left overwhelmed and confused.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Her only reason to excel at the koto was to earn her mothers smile. As her mother grew more and more stressed from managing the Hotsuki clan, Satowa pushed herself to higher levels of excellence to try to make her mother happy again.
A second-year student in Kurata's class, first appearing in Chapter 9. An attractive socialite unlike the rest of the club members, Kurusu seemingly joins the club on a whim. In reality, she joined to spread discord and destroy the fun atmosphere she witnessed at a performance last year. Gradually, her motivation transforms to more genuine reasons, and she becomes an equally dedicated member of the club.
- Big Sister Instinct: She is very protective of the other members of the club, and holds their feelings over all else. When realizing that Doujima's presence was affecting the club morale, she tries to convince everyone that the club is better off without her.
- Devoted to You: After falling in love with Kurata, she finds a renewed determination to be the best she can be.I'll do my best my absolute best, my everything. I'll do it.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After Kurata confronts her about her lies to break up the club, she invokes this.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Originally her defining feature. She joined the club because she was envious of the wholesome atmosphere. Although she makes vast progress, she occasionally relapses into bouts of jealousy, such as when Mashiro visited Kurata at the cultural festival.
- The Heart: She oftentimes is the first one to offer rallying words of encouragement to the rest of the club.
- No Place for Me There: As a result of her past, she feels recurring doubt that she truly belongs in the Koto Club. After Hotsuki and her bake a cake in Chapter 57, she accepts that the club members truly are her friends.What am I doing? Worrying myself, getting depressed alone... It's not like before. I've already made it here.
- Love Is a Weakness: When her feelings for Kurata distract her from playing well, she feels guilty and resolves to kill her emotions. After some mentorship from Takinami-sensei, she realizes that those emotions can be a source of strength as well.
- Plucky Girl
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She falls for the plain but serious Kurata when before she made fun of his unassertive personality.
- Tears of Joy: Many of her Ship Tease moments with Kurata end with an internal monologue of her wanting to cry in happiness. She also is the one to interpret the kanji of Tenkyuu this way.
- Cuddle Bug: He's very quick to hug people he likes.
- Determinator: Frequently struggles with difficult rhythms, but works extra hard to get the hang of them anyway.
- The Glomp: His very first appearance has him tackle-hugging Chika.
- Keet: The cheeriest and most energetic member of the idiot trio, as well as the whole club.
- Nice Guy: Sweet, outgoing, and very amiable.
- The Nicknamer: He dishes out Affectionate Nicknames on the regular, such as calling Akira "Aki-chan-sensei" or nicknaming his underclassmen Yoshinaga and Momoya "Yoshiyan" and "Momoyan", respectively.
- Then practice. If you dont want this to be the last one, then for the next two months, train like your lives depended on it. Efficiently, frantically, earnestly train so that you can proudly say no one trained more.
The son of a composer and a top-tier pianist, Takinami-sensei is a math teacher at Tokise High School that also doubles as the Koto Club advisor. At first, he holds only cynicism for the clubs prospects, but events in the story force him to reevaluate his stance on the world of music.
- The Ace: Although he wouldnt have the club know it, it is clear that he is an absolute genius composer with keen understanding of each individuals strengths and weaknesses.
- Affectionate Nickname: Hiro calls him Suzuka-chan due to him being her electives class teacher. Everyone else affixes the more respectful -sensei to his name.
- Blatant Lies: When Hotsuki asks him if he has any musical experience, he responds that he has none. He wrote a full orchestral score when he was seven.
- Brutal Honesty: He does not mince words or say when the club performs poorly. On the other hand, this makes his rare moments of encouragement that much more powerful.
- Stealth Mentor: His comments are often harsh, but they're said to make the club stronger.
- Wham Line: He gives many of these throughout the course of the story.
- He gives one to the rest of the club when he explains that Kurata and Kurusu have only one shot to go to the nationals.
- I understood from that one note alone the overbearing, absolute difference. No matter how much I tried I would never reach that place.
The Koto Club Instructor. Her first appearance is in Chapter 33, when Hotsuki comes back to her mother to beg for another seventeen-string koto, but she assumes the role of club instructor in Chapter 34. Akira first joins with the intent to break the will of the club members through spartan, traditional teaching methods. However, after witnessing the dedication and potential of the club firsthand, she turns around to genuinely wish for the clubs success.
- Always Second Best: Being surrounded by koto geniuses and strict teachers made her always feel like this. Its the main reason she harbors resentment towards Satowa.
- Arc Words: For her personally, her brothers words of encouragement.Because I gave it everything I have, I succeeded.
- Broken Bird: Despite what looks like a very successful koto career, she is absolutely miserable with her life. Until meeting the Koto Club, she did not think her effort did not have any value, when it was so easily surpassed by the naturally talented, like Hotsuki.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Believes that her own worth is nil, when musical geniuses like Satowa and her brother exist.
- Despair Event Horizon: The 36th National Koto Playing Contest. Despite an amazing performance that won first place, it only solidified the fact that she would never be on the same level as her brother.I thought there was light waiting for me. But all I saw was an even deeper inescapable darkness.
- Jade-Colored Glasses:All she wanted was to be like her brother, who she idolized. When it became clear that his natural talent was on another level from hers, she grew disillusioned about loving music for musics sake.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: After the koto competition that she felt she didnt deserve to win, she throws her award in disgust and screams at herself in self-deprecation. Its a stark contrast to the icy, dignified persona she built up in the chapters before.
- Yamato Nadeshiko