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Characters / Sakana

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Main Characters

    Jiro Sakana 

Thoughtful, unassuming, observant, and "giant swirling mass of anxiety" are all apt descriptions of our nervous but hard-working hero. Jiro serves as the comic's initial protagonist, with his crush on the mystery woman working across from his stall kicking things off.


    Taro Sakana 

Jiro's older brother and fellow stall worker. Taro seems to enjoy his job as a butcher a little too much, but everyone agrees it's a much better outlet than "murderous thug." Always looking out for his little bro.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: In spite of his penchant for standoffish first impressions, Taro really is a nice guy. Threaten Jiro, though, and you might find yourself sleeping with the fishes.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Taro feels... strongly, about protecting his little brother, and is always there to help him out, which goes as far as threatening Yuudai with a butcher knife when he's about to say something bad about Jiro (and later punches Yuudai in the face when it looked like he was about to have another go). This also applies to the time when Taro was a delinquent, but then it was taken to rather hilarious extremes:
  • Blood Knight: Taro can get a little too excited about cutting into those fish.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His presence is first made known from the sound of him violently eviscerating some fish off-panel. His first in-panel appearance has him covered in blood and waving around a cleaver... looking for his glasses. Just a few panels later he's happily laughing at an unintentional pun Jiro made.
  • Japanese Delinquent: With Genji in his youth.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: In spades. He seems to have cooled off in recent years, though, if comparing his current self to flashbacks is any indication.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: While the rest of the male cast tend to simply just be socially inept, Taro leans more toward being genuinely off-putting, no thanks to the intense delight he takes to butchering fish and his rather violent suggestions to mundane situations.
    • One way he makes Jiro calm down is 'Mr. Eel Head', literally a fresh eel head that he uses like a puppet.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Despite being the smallest character out of all the important characters introduced right now (5'4'' or 163 cm), Taro, former delinquent, is easily the strongest.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: In contrast to his brother Jiro, who's most notable trait is his rather nervous disposition, Taro is rowdy and boisterous.

    Taisei Tachibana 

Proving you don't need a serious personality or a professional haircut to be a successful businessman is Taisei's fulltime job. He's super tall, super giddy, and super financially stable.

  • The Alcoholic: Under normal circumstances, Taisei is apparently "drunk 50% of the time."
  • Ambiguously Bi: He has dated women in the past, but it's left unclear as to whether or not he'd be interested in dating men as well. It's best described by Taro in this strip:
    Taro: I dunno, man. He's just kind of... Taisei.
    • Made unambiguous after he realizes he likes Yuudai.
  • Blinding Bangs: In casual attire. Depending on his mood and/or location, they can also lean towards Peek-a-Bangs
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being the loud, goofy, and terribly naive man that he is, Taisei also is the assistant director for a pretty big company and is probably the smartest man in the cast - academically speaking, anyway.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Taisei has a sleek, professional look at work, and the composed personality to match. As a result, he apparently has a good number of female co-workers swooning over him... at least until they see what he's like outside the office.
    • Reinforced when a trio of office ladies briefly discuss his break-up with a colleague. Sasaki, the one who initially brought it up, recalls that the colleague in question said that "more than she expected." She was most likely referring to his personality, but the trio seemed to have something else in mind.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Often. Best exemplified in this exchange:
    Taisei: I've already got some styles in mind! Lemme look up some pictures!
    Jiro: They're not like... Hypraman hairstyles, are they?
    Taisei: Pfft— What?! No! Hypraman wears a mask, Jiro! That wouldn't work at all! *shows Jiro his phone* This is what I was thinking.
    Jiro: ...This is the actor that plays Hypraman.
  • Ditzy Genius: He's generally absent-minded and goofy until he needs to be professional, at which point he becomes incredibly competent.
    • He's apparently great at just about everything he tries to do, sometimes to the point of bordering on Parody Sue territory, as demonstrated when he gives Jiro a haircut. Despite having never cut hair before it comes out perfectly.
      Jiro: He does this all the time! He's just good at stuff! It's ridiculous!
      Yuudai: What is that like?!
  • The Fashionista: While Jiro is also interested in shoes or frequently goes shopping with Taisei, Taisei is primarily the one who loves fashion, all kinds of cool clothes and shopping. The bad thing is that he can't wear most of the clothes he likes due to his enormous height.
  • Genki Guy: So long as he isn't hung-over, half-asleep or in professional mode he's the most loud and enthusiastic member of the main cast.
  • Gentle Giant: Taisei is by far the tallest member of the cast, standing at 6'6". He's also by far the kindest.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jiro.
  • Hidden Depths: It's implied during several instances later in the comic's run that part of the reason Taisei is so eager to please is because he can't stand the thought of being a nuisance to other people, even ones that he's just met - which also leads to him overthinking any future interactions with them.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Outside of work, Taisei's naiveté becomes all too apparent. For starters, he doesn't seem to notice that Yuudai is not exactly Jiro's friend, and instead immediately sees Yuudai as part of the team.
  • Manchild: Taisei may be the most successful of the main cast, but he has enough energy and enthusiasm to rival that of a ten-year-old on a sugar high. He's also a huge fan of Hypraman, a hammy Tokusatsu show considered juvenile by most.
  • Motor Mouth: When he gets into negotiation mode he suddenly gets a lot more talkative.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Taisei doesn't seem to have a personal bubble, and is therefore unaware that others might. As a result, he's prone to casually hugging/poking/cuddling/draping himself over pretty much anyone he considers a friend.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: A common thing for him, according to Word of God. He also is described as a "traveling sleeper", meaning he tends to roll around in his sleep, sometimes crushing or coming too close to his poor roommates by doing so.

    Yuudai Tanaka 

With the social grace of a nervous hornet, Yuudai avoids friendship like the plague. He is much more content to lord his position as fish stall supervisor over the heads of his underlings, and never, ever talks about his personal life.

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Yuudai seems considerably less ornery once he's sure that someone actually is being genuinely nice to him. This is most noticeable with Taisei, but lately it's begun to extend to Jiro as well, after the latter took the time to see if Yuudai was okay after Arata's unexpected return.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Yuudai is half-Swedish. He says it's the reason for his hair.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Downplayed at first. Word of God states that Yuudai doesn't have the best relationship with his father, seeing as his parents split when he was very young, and he grew up relatively poor. Eventually played straight when it's revealed he was in an abusive relationship that ended only a year prior to the events of the story. To make matters worse, the whole thing lasted 5 years, and all he got out of it was his scar and some serious trust issues.
  • Character Development: Over the course of the comic's run, Yuudai eventually goes from only tagging along with Taro and Taisei on their Date Peepers scheme so he can see Jiro be emotionally devastated to coming up with an elaborate lie on the spot about Jiro practicing butchery just to buy him more time to calm down in the backroom. He's still largely short-tempered and standoffish, but it's a far cry from who he was at the beginning of the comic.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Certainly has his moments, and is very understandably confused when it has no effect on Taisei.
  • Deuteragonist: Seems to have fallen into this role, with the comic dedicating a sizable portion of its run to his character growth alongside Jiro's.
  • Hates Being Touched: And it's implied that he has a pretty good reason for it.
  • Hidden Depths: He apparently watches Hypraman enough to recognize the haircut Taisei gave Jiro was modeled after the current season's lead's hairstyle, though he's not as big of a fan as Taisei is.
  • Ironic Name: The name "Yuudai" has several different meanings depending on the kanji used, but it's generally thought to mean something along the lines of "manly" or "majestic." Yuudai the character thinks of himself as downright pathetic.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Grouchy and uptight he certainly is, but he's not above standing up for Taisei or offering to patch Jiro up. He just happens to be pretty abrasive about it.
  • Kick the Dog: When Jiro ends up having to wear a "This Guy" cap similar to Arata's to cover up his last-minute Gag Haircut, Yuudai immediately assumes Jiro's mocking him. That Makes Sense In Context, but he ends up overdoing it when Jiro takes off the cap to show him the extent of said haircut's awfulness, and... Yuudai proceeds to laugh at him. Loudly, and without mercy. It doesn't take too long for self-awareness to kick in, though.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Owns a cat named Hime, who's initially the only living creature he seems to actually be willing to interact with. In fact, it's one of the first indications that there might be more to him than being a standard Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
  • Luminescent Blush: Prone to this when flustered.
  • Tsundere: Yuudai is very tsun around his co-workers, and very dere around his cat. The moments where he actually shows his kind side to them are rare indeed. He's not a bad guy once you get down to it, though. And do we even need to mention this page?
    Jiro: *offering Yuudai a handshake* Friends?
    Yuudai: *enveloping him in a Bear Hug without warning* Don't get ahead of yourself!
    Jiro: There's the Yuudai we all know and love.
    • He is also noticeably flustered whenever Taisei invades his normally well-protected comfort zone just by being friendly. To add even more fuel to the fire, it's revealed that Yuudai's at least beginning to actually have a crush on Taisei, and finds himself unable to outright brush him off like he does (or, at least, did) with everyone else no matter how much he wants to.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Any time Yuudai isn't being his usual grouchy self, it's a pretty big sign that something is either very right or very wrong. Naturally, this gets Lampshaded quite a bit.
    Taro: Did he just say thank you?
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: According to Word of God. And later, rather harshly confirmed when his past relationship comes to light. Best summarized in the Alt Text for Chapter 4's cover:
    Alt Text: Like an eel mixed with a cat and also a porcupine and also a swarm of hornets and also a very lonely person.
  • Sweet Tooth: Apparently, for pocky. And donuts.
  • Straight Gay: He's gay, but shows no stereotypical qualities at all. Amusingly, Jiro reveals that he knew Yuudai was gay already for a completely non-stereotypical reason—there was an incident wherein Yuudai got more than a little flustered upon seeing Shigeru take his shirt off. Well, that and he kissed Taisei while he was drunk.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Subverted. While Yuudai is a main character, he's not traditionally heroic.

    Cash Register Girl 

Once a pint-sized force of evil, now a cashier/huge dog trainer, Chie Yamamoto is as sweet and pretty as she is deeply mysterious, and is never caught off-guard.

  • The Anticipator: She can never be caught off-guard. Ever.
  • The Atoner: Part of the reason she reached out to Jiro to begin with is to apologize for bullying him mercilessly as children, and while she genuinely cares about him as a person now, it's clear she still feels guilty about it. She ends up going more in-depth about this with Yuudai, of all people.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Amicability aside, she's apparently not above meddling in other people's affairs without remorse if it means ensuring Jiro's comfort. This page in particular comes to mind:
    Jiro: Did you steal those tickets?
    Chie: Hehehe, Jiro! Steal is so harsh! Think of it more like... sweet revenge for trying to ruin our date.
  • Enfant Terrible: Was this in her childhood, but has mellowed out considerably since then.
  • It's All My Fault: Even back when she was a terrifying child she felt bad about driving Jiro to leave pre-school. Turns out she had nothing to do with that; his parents died and he left to live with his uncle, who put him into a private school.
  • Plucky Girl: Certainly has to be one, considering one of her jobs is training huge, slobbering beasts of dogs.
  • The Reveal: Her name is Chie Yamamoto. As in, "the girl who made Jiro's pre-school years a living hell" Chie Yamamoto.
  • Surprise Creepy: Is VERY good at pulling this off, as seen here and here. (Warning for spoilers!)
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Downplayed. Most of the time, she's a perfect balance between perky and levelheaded, and doesn't seem like the type to resort to outright violence... but something about her actions whenever she suspects that Jiro could be in danger tells you that she would be able to come up with a very solid alibi if she did.

    Angry Lady 

An accomplished florist should not chain-smoke around plants, but Moriko "Mori" Yamamoto makes a sport out of being willfully contrary. Chie's older sister, and a woman scorned after a nasty break-up with her ex-fiance.

  • Big Sister Instinct: Claims her protectiveness over Chie is due to this, but ends up revealing later on that it might go a bit deeper than that:
    Mori: Am I trying to protect my sister from the same shitty relationships I always fall for, or... do I envy her? Does her happiness make me realize how stupid I feel for being angry all the time?!?! *turns to Taro* And you're the same as me, right?! Why are you here?! What do you think?!
  • Death Glare: She's capable of throwing some pretty damn good ones. In fact, it's almost her default expression.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Subverted. She does work as a florist, but she's rather short-tempered and can hold one hell of a grudge.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Word of God, in contrast to her sister Chie's status as a former Enfant Terrible.
  • Woman Scorned: We're told that she's living with Chie after a particularly nasty fight with her cheating fiance, and it seems to be the reason for most of her anger issues.

Side Characters

    Genji Sakana 

"Favorite" (and only) cousin of the Sakana brothers, who's somehow even more socially inept than they are. Genji's brain seems to be constantly confusing "be nice" with "be a dipshit," and his financial situation certainly isn't helping.

    Ren Sakana 

A jolly old man, Mr. Sakana is the boss and owner of Sakana's Fish Stall, as well Jiro and Taro's uncle, and Genji's father.

  • Boisterous Bruiser: He hasn't used his strength for fighting but he's one of the largest members of the cast and friendly to almost everyone.
  • Cool Old Guy: Ren treats his nephews like favorite sons, and even gives them the afternoon off so Taro can keep an eye on Jiro while he goes on a date.
  • No Indoor Voice: Pretty much everything he says is bolded.
  • Parental Substitute: Took Jiro and Taro in after their parents' deaths.

    Shigeru Watanabe 

Shigeru only wants four things: Good friends, fun times, quiet evenings, and to keep the rest of his fingers. Was the former butcher until an unfortunate accident with a band saw cost him two of his fingers, and now works as the sushi chef.

  • The Ace: As close as one can come to being one in this comic, anyway. Cool-headed, responsible, reasonably attractive, and according to Taro, capable of bench pressing a 200kg tuna.
  • Mellow Fellow: His defining character trait.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Under that shirt, Shigeru has quite a nice body. Cue Spit Take from Yuudai.
  • Funetik Aksent: His dialogue is written with a Southern drawl to show his Osaka accent.
  • Perma-Stubble
  • Shirtless Scene: When he got soaked from an accident with the ice machine 2 years ago.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Averted, oh so very much. While Shigeru is from Osaka, and has his dialogue written with a Southern drawl as a result, he's got perhaps the most common sense among the cast.
  • The Stoic: Shigeru is a pretty calm and collected dude. He rarely seems to show emotion outside of dry but friendly sarcasm and/or well-meaning exasperation. Word of God states he has the patience of ten saints.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Yuudai - or, at least, as close as one can get to being friends with Yuudai. According to Taro, they were on good terms until last year. Interestingly, this is around the same time Yuudai got his characteristic scar.

    Jan P. Krieger 

Jan is a funny, intelligent, outgoing young man with smart opinions, but nobody knows this because he can't speak Japanese. Due to a slight miscalculation on his work-abroad program's behalf, Jan has found himself working as the assistant sushi chef to Shigeru.

  • Funetik Aksent: Aside from his Wingdinglish, when Shigeru suggests Jan speak like he's heard people speak around the stall he ends up with Shigeru's drawl mixed with Ren's volume.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Most of the humor surrounding Jan involves another character either completely missing the point of whatever he meant to say, or them desperately trying to understand one another.
  • Wingdinglish: Serves as a helpful reminder that a majority of the characters are indeed speaking Japanese.
    • Specifically, the fact that you can only make out parts of what he's saying is meant to convey that he's speaking in broken Japanese. The more clear the words the more correct his pronounciation.
    • Played more straight when Jan and Taisei say something in English: the result looks vaguely like Japanese characters.

    Sango Iijima 

Sango is 19 years old, making her the youngest person in the cast, but she's very mature and serious. She is especially serious about her passionate love for beautiful Shoujo romance. She takes shoujos and bishounens very seriously. She can also bench-press people twice her size.

  • The Baby of the Bunch: Downplayed since she's a supporting character, but she is the youngest of the cast, and most of her interactions with other characters are played for comic relief.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: She's first introduced fantasizing about Jiro and Chie having an extremely shoujo manga-esque reunion and subsequent date. This would not be the last time, either. There's also this exchange in Chapter 23:
    Sango: Isn't it obvious? Chie brought two dates for me, because she's my best friend!
    Chie: Uh, no I didn't.
    Shigeru: I ain't here t'date nobody. I'm jus' tryin' t'make shur everybody's gonna be okay.
    Sango: A chaperone?? How romantically old-fashioned!!

    Genkei Tachibana 

Taisei's older brother, and an avant-garde architect. Genkei is a man of few words, and very hard to read as a result.

    Hideo Mura 

A stock runner for Sakana's. Most of Mura's onscreen appearances are him butting heads with Yuudai.

  • Armor-Piercing Question: Early on he hits Yuudai's pride by pointing out that Jiro gets more sales than him.
  • Dissonant Laughter: Usually when Yuudai makes him get new stock he at least pretends to look at it. When Yuudai, in a rage, tells him to replace the stock without even opening the boxes, Mura starts laughing and doesn't stop until he's unloaded his (non-replaced) stock and driven off.
  • It Amused Me: Usually why he taunts Yuudai so often.
  • Last-Name Basis: Is only ever referred to by his surname, Mura, in canon.

     Michio and Kento Kusagawa 

A pair of conniving twins who work at a different stall. Usually show up to poke fun at at least one of the other characters, but can be convinced to carry out a favor for someone if it means causing general mischief.


    Ryoji Nishimura 

A shady Loan Shark that's been seen around the market lately, with whom Genji has had the misfortune of getting involved with. Ryoji is NOT someone who's business you want to get tangled up in... or lose yours to.

    Arata Tasaki 

A stranger who shows up at the stall one day. In actuality, he's Yuudai's abusive ex-boyfriend. Understandably, Yuudai himself would rather never have anything to do with him again, but Arata is a persistent one.

  • Bastard Boyfriend: Deconstructed. His treatment of Yuudai is presented as nothing more than abuse, whether it be physical or emotional. Their relationship left Yuudai with his trademark scar and a... different worldview, to say the least.
  • Break Them by Talking: His modus operandi - although it has no effect on Jiro, probably because he chose to focus on something Jiro was already aware of and had come to terms with.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Arata actually appeared a few times as a Recurring Extra in earlier strips. As it turns out, so did his hat.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: A particularly striking case, considering no other character is noted for having this. His pupils are shaped like diamonds.
  • Hate Sink: In his first real appearance alone, he is shown to be harassing Yuudai with text messages, shows up at his work unannounced acting insulting and manipulative, and outs him to Jiro when he won't leave work for a talk. If he has redeeming qualities, they haven't been shown yet.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Assuming he hadn't already crossed it by then, about a year ago he ended up taking a glass bottle to Yuudai's face during one of their arguments. This is what prompted Yuudai to leave him.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's pretty much impossible to talk about him without mentioning his relationship with Yuudai, and subsequently, the reason why Yuudai is the way he is today.