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Meme is a "meme" that can be summoned out of a personal computer. She seems to be unlimited in her ability to travel through time and space, and her exploits can be followed on the computer screen.
Series OneThe human regulars in series one were mostly used as a framing device, getting very little screen time in a typical episode though there were exceptions.
Daisuke & Sayaka
A brother and sister who first summon Meme when they try to use their computer to research the life of Galileo. They live in a modest flat in a high-rise building complex in contemporary Tokyo.
- Big Eater: Daisuke is determined to make the most of the hamburger-eating opportunities that his visit to the United States provides.
Mom & Dad
Dad is an average salaryman, Mom a generic housewife.
Series Two & Three
The Cherries/Rainbow Club
A group of seven children who accidentally summon Meme when they try to assemble their own personal computer. Originally a Little League team called the Cherries,note they decide to refer to themselves as the Rainbow Clubnote when doing anything science-related.
- Have a Gay Old Time: It's a toss-up which one of their collective identities has the more unfortunate name, really.
- Fan of the Past: Their first hangout is an abandoned video arcade in the basement level of an office building owned by Takeshi's uncle that has lain derelict since it closed down in (surprise surprise) the early 1980s. They find the antique game machines endlessly fascinating.
- Bland-Name Product: Said hangout is literally next door a to "Hamburger Mac" franchise, but despite their love of hamburgers they pointedly eschew it in favor of an independent burger joint...this in spite of it being five blocks further away, and its flagship offering bearing the singularly ominous name of "Mystery Burger".
- Mukokuseki: In marked contrast with the first series regulars.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Weirdly, they show far more regard for PICO, quite expressly depicted to be just a machine, than they do for the Ridiculously Human Robots TAMASABURO and OHMS.
SatoruThe protagonist of the latter two series. A fairly ordinary upper-middle-class schoolboy who lives 20 Minutes into the Future in "Sakuramatchi",note a fictional mid-sized Japanese city.
- The Ditz
- The Woobie
- Those Two Guys: With Takeshi.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Hiroko, if he could even gather the nerve to ask her out in the first place.
- Berserk Button: Does NOT take kindly to being given unsolicited advice.
MariSatoru's bratty little sister.
HakaseThe manager of the baseball team and the smartest member of the group.
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Insufferable Genius: Flanderized to Sheldon Cooper levels of absurdity in the third series.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The most difficult projects they take on usually end up boiling down to him doing all the work while everyone else awkwardly stands around wondering if there's something they ought to be doing. It's probably because of this that he prefers to work alone and present the group with a fait accompli.
- Expy: Looks rather like a miniature Jacob Bronowski.
TakeshiSatoru's best friend/arch-rival.
- One Steve Limit: Is never teased about his own weight problem until after Akiko gets Put on a Bus.
- Those Two Guys: With Satoru.
HirokoThe smartest member of the group after Hakase, and the closest thing it has to a leader. Usually takes the initiative in any major project. She is very strong-willed and determined, but seldom if ever bossy.
AkikoA tubby girl who is constantly getting taunted about her weight. (Blatantly unfairly, as her eating disorder is obviously hereditary.)
- Big Eater
- Iron Woobie / Jerk Ass Woobie: Has developed a thick skin and a harsh temper courtesy of being constantly taunted about her weight. Sometimes takes out her anger on people who don't really deserve it.
- Put on a Bus: Leaves the city (taking TAMASABURO with her) when her father changes jobs, but this being The Future (i.e. what we now call The Present) she still keeps in touch with the gang via video chat.
MitsuoHabitually gloomy, but generous and kind. While the smallest in stature, he excels at racing-related sports.
Satoru & Mari's ParentsMr. Ozura is a broad-shouldered, imposing corporate attorney who turns into a quivering mound of Jell-O whenever his boss is around. Mrs. Ozura is a stifled, insecure and miserable housewife.
[looking at old wedding photos]
Satoru & Mari: That's Mom?!
Mari: She's so...pretty!
Mrs. Ozura: (pained) Why yes...naturally...
Mr. Ozura: Yes indeed. Your mother was quite the beauty.
Mrs. Ozura: DEAR...!
Mr. Ozura: (swallows hard)
Satoru & Mari's Grandmother
Takeshi's FatherA gruff businessman. Only seen a couple of times.
Takeshi's UncleProvides the group with most of its resources. Is a wealthy property speculator and honey farmer, among other things.
Hiroko's ParentsHiroko's father is a large and intimidating senior corporate executive. Hiroko's mother is an elegant concert musician.
Hiroko's SisterA university student. Featured in a couple of episodes.
Hakase's ParentsHakase's father's profession is never given, but comes across as an engineer of some sort. Hakase's mother is a plain, bookish looking woman.
Akiko's ParentsAkiko's mother is a tubby woman who is waging a desperate, losing battle against her waistline. Akiko's father is an employee of Sakuramachi Cable Television. He is a slight, wiry man.
Officer HayazakiA lazy and oafish local beat cop. The successor to TAMASABURO as the show's Butt-Monkey.
- Abusive Parents: His mother was so cruel to him that he experiences severe panic attacks whenever he's in the presence of women.
- Ambiguously Bi: Displays a bit more than a professional interest in one robbery suspect.
TV PresenterA seemingly mild-mannered host for Sakuramachi Cable Television who specializes in crass and sadistic reality TV. His shows include "Wide World of Wideness", in which thin people are made to eat until they are morbidly obese, and a show with a viewer poll that nearly shatters the Ozuras' marriage.
- Life Imitates Art: I'm looking at you, Maury Povich.
- Ridiculously Human Robot
- The Scrappy: Lampshaded constantly, to the point that in one episode the gang gets so exasperated that they bind and gag him and stuff him in a corner of the room. They spend the rest of the episode cheerfully ignoring his muffled cries for help.
- Replacement Scrappy
- Put on a Bus
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In his one-off reappearance in the stargazing episode, his singing gets flanderized from being simply annoying to a bona fide Brown Noise, and he tries to kidnap and dismantle OHMS.
- Alas, Poor Scrappy: Gets mailed back to Sakuramachi after seemingly breaking down. Everyone is suitably remorseful over all the abuse they'd heaped on him until it turns out to be nothing more than a minor glitch in his power supply.
- The Bus Came Back: For the final two episodes.