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This is a listing of characters who appear in the anime and manga series Special A. Names are in Western order (ie. First name first). Beware of unmarked spoilers!

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     Special A Students 

Hikari Hanazono
Voiced by: Yuko Goto (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)

Hikari knows what it feels to always be second to someone else. After all, she's still ranked second in the school, meaning she's still failed to beat Kei Takishima at something: something she's been trying to do since they were six years old. She even followed Kei to Hakusenkan just to beat him, which costs her family a lot of money. It's not that she's incompetent, however: Hikari is still incredibly strong, incredibly smart, and incredibly pretty. She's just that oblivious to Kei's feelings for her.

  • Academic Athlete
  • Action Dress Rip: Chapter 10/Episode 6.
  • Action Girl: Hikari is frequently shown training, and it shows — the only times she's collapsed involved injury/illness combined with a rather large amount of exertion (after competing in several matches). Moreover, the only time she's lost any of those are, of course, when up against Kei. Further, she's yet to lose any physical fights she's been in, though you'd think she was made of cracked glass the way Kei reacts to the prospect of her fighting.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Always Second Best: To Kei. She's very athletic and smart but has never beaten Kei at anything. Not matter how much she tries, she will always rank second after him.
  • Badass Adorable
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Berserk Button: Anyone claiming that she's second-best. Kei intentionally invokes her ire most often by constantly calling her "Miss Second Place," but Yahiro isn't above teasing her with this. Taken Up to Eleven in the final competition between Kei and Hikari in the series - Kei has to find the real Hikari amongst a host of impostors, and Kei gets creeped out when they all respond appropriately to "Miss Second Place" in unison.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You don't want her mad at you. Really.
  • Big Eater: Oh, dear.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Mere minutes after realizing that she's fallen for Kei, she hears someone say that "the first one to fall in love loses." As she continues her obsession with defeating Kei in something, she absolutely refuses to be the first to confess.
    • Chapter 53/54 in the manga, she does spit it out. MUCH EARLIER THAN THE ANIME.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: A slightly justified given that she's still underage, but when Hikari accidentally drinks half a bottle of alcohol (suggested to be on the lower end of the proof scale), she almost instantly gets drunk, becoming a cross between a Love Freak, a Cuddle Bug, and a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Kei.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Whenever she's sick or drunk.
  • Cute Bruiser
  • Ditzy Genius: Extremely smart but lacks common sense.
  • Genki Girl
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Anytime anyone assumes Kei and Hikari are dating, her response is a cheery "He and I are rivals," with her laughing merrily and Kei looking like he just ate a lemon.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Humble Hero: She has no problem asking for help or admitting she's wrong. She is also the only one who regularly attends her classes. A lot of this is due in part to the fact that a) she comes from a working class family and must do her best to pay back her father and b) her constantly losing to Kei makes her root for any underdog that the rest of SA might write off as unimportant/annoying.
  • Lethal Chef: The area in which she is least talented in, and only because she's so strong. It's also shown that she doesn't really bother to season her food. So not only is it a dense, homogenized mess, it takes like dishwater (unless you're named Kei Takishima).
  • Naïve Everygirl
  • Nice Girl: All the SA members are nice in their own way, but she is the only one who tries to get along with and help everyone, including people who go out of their way to insult her.
  • Noodle People: Considering how strong she is - she's able to casually make and lift rice balls that can crack the ground when dropped from around 4 or 5 feet in the air.
  • Oblivious to Love: Oh, so much. She's so focused on her and Kei's rivalry that she can't even take a hint. Note that this continues even after she and Kei get together - Aoi outright says that he plans on seducing her, and she thinks he's just joking.
  • Plucky Girl: Hikari will not give up, no matter how many times she's been defeated, at beating Kei. She won't give up on anything else, either, though her intelligence and strength result in her not needing to continue for too long generally.
  • Penny Among Diamonds: Granted, Hikari's family isn't poor, but the Hanazonos have several orders of magnitude less money than the families of Hikari's friends and associates. It's regularly brought up that Hikari participates in much of Special A's shenanigans due to gifts from the others (most frequently, Kei and Akira are the givers).
  • Rapunzel Hair
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The impulsive, dense Red to Kei cool, aware Blue oni.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: With Kei.
  • Scholarship Student: Well, not really, as the Hanazono family is shown to scrimp so that Hikari can go to the same school as everyone else, but the effect's the same.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Only towards her, though. She quickly perceives someone's attraction to someone else - more than one Face Palm ensues after people realize she sees everyone's romantic intentions except Kei's.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kei.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor
  • Serious Business: Beating Kei.
  • Super Strength
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: She sees herself as this towards Kei; which is why Yahiro pisses her off when he declares he's beaten Kei once. Of course, the game of tag was rigged.
  • Unknown Rival: Hikari gets a bunch of these, as several people wishing to become the center of attention for Kei try to get rid of her. She completely misses the point.
  • You Are Number 6: Kei often calls her "Number Two" to provoke her. It works.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

Kei Takishima
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama (Japanese), Blake Shepard (English)

So you're the handsome elder son of the filthy rich CEO of the Takishima Corporation. You're ranked first in your school and have a natural talent for everything you do. You excel in every single subject, from athletics to mathematics. Everything just comes easy for you, doesn't it? Oh, wait. That's not you. That's Kei. And it's true: the only problem poor Kei has is that Hikari just doesn't get his feelings for her.

  • The Ace: Textbook example.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Sui.
  • Always Someone Better: To Hikari. Not matter how much she tries, she can't beat him and will always rank second after him.
  • Arranged Marriage: To Sakura. Later, to Alisa.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Every time Kei and Hikari get into a physical fight with anyone else, expect this to occur in the middle of the Curb-Stomp Battle they're about to give out.
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: It's suggested that part of the reason that he loves Hikari's cooking so much is because she's the first person that ever tried to make him a homecooked meal.
  • Berserk Button: Do not try to hurt Hikari in his presence. Ever. Also, don't insult her cooking to his face - your best-case scenario is receiving a Death Glare.
  • Big Fancy House: Lives in one.
  • Bridal Carry: To Hikari.
  • The Bully: How Akira sees him.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: You know, for being as smart as he is, you'd think Kei would have the brains to just explain how he feels if he was really interested in dating Hikari (particularly given how distressed he gets at times by her cluelessness).
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Hikari.
  • The Comically Serious
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dungeon Bypass: Yahiro tries to beat Hikari in a game of tag in the same way he beat Kei years ago - locking the door to the exit. Kei, now older, stronger, and in no mood for Yahiro's tricks ( which include, at the time, doing anything he can to keep anyone else from getting close to Kei), simply kicks the door down for Hikari.
  • Everyone Can See It: His feelings for Hikari.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Kei + Anything that might come between him and Hikari = This.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: He cites this as his excuse every time he rescues Hikari from whatever sort of trouble she gets herself into. Of course, nobody but Hikari believes a word of it.
  • Keigo: He uses very polite language that contrasts his boastful pronoun "ore".
  • Love Epiphany: The manga's finale shows a flashback of it, which also answers a question that floated around at various points - if Kei has issues with Hikari's constant challenges, why doesn't he just sandbag it and let her win? Shortly after meeting her, he did, throwing a foot race to her. Hikari saw right through it; and, in begging Kei to try his best and be a real rival, she inadvertently revealed that she knew just what Kei was really like under it all. That was the moment that he fell in love with her, and the challenges became fun for him.
  • Love Hurts: In the first half of the series, about the only thing that can make Kei suffer in any way are the headaches and ulcers he receives from dealing with Hikari's obliviousness or seeing Hikari in a situation that might be dangerous (even if he rationally knows that she'd be fine).
  • Non Chalant Dodge: The only way Kei gets hit is if he wants to be hit.
  • Noodle People: The most extreme case in the series. He's able to shrug off blows from Hikari, who's shown randomly doing property damage from when she goes all-out, and yet he's got the same build as Jun (who is completely a Non-Action Guy).
  • Not So Stoic: When Hikari gets in trouble or whenever Hikari misinterprets him.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: VERY patient.
  • Photographic Memory: He has one.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The cool, aware Blue to Hikari impulsive, dense Red.
  • The Rival: Hikari views him as this. He plays it up to spend time with her, and occasionally to manipulate her into doing what he wants.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: With Hikari.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Kei is Hikari-sexual.
  • The Stoic: Until Hikari gets in trouble.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Anything Hikari makes. At first, it seems like he just appreciates that the person he loves made food just for him, and that he's talking it up to her because he likes her. Later, however, he reveals that he's utterly baffled at how everyone else could describe the not-currently-present Hikari as a Lethal Chef - he insists that she's a Supreme Chef. Everyone looks at him like he's insane.

Jun Yamamoto
Voiced by: Tsubasa Yonaga (Japanese), Kirby Brister (English)

The son of two famous musicians and Megumi's younger twin brother, Jun is ranked third in school. Because of his upbringing he loves music more than anything else: it's just that he has little to no talent for it. Jun, like Megumi, is fiercely protective of Ryuu because he's been kind to them since they were children and is always looking out for the two of them. Generally quiet and unassuming, whenever he's kissed by a girl, his Split Personality ("Dark Jun") comes out, giving him the ability to charm all women effortlessly. This was the result of a TV program he watched as a child. Jun is terrified of this because it caused the girl he was dating to dump him in disgust. And the reason he falls for Sakura is because she's willing to accept him despite this.

Megumi Yamamoto
Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)

Jun's older twin sister, Megumi is ranked fourth in school. Like Jun, she values music more than anything else, and is a singer. She rarely speaks to preserve her voice (and her singing is ''quite'' powerful as a result. However, her voice is gorgeous when she sings in an open area.. Also like Jun, she's very protective of Ryuu for the same reasons her brother is (ie. during tests he's making sure they don't fall asleep, etc.) Later in the anime she develops a crush on Yahiro. In the manga, this is after pretending to like him to make sure he doesn't mess up Akira and Tadashi's relationship.

Tadashi Karino
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono (Japanese), Andrew Love (English)

The cheerful son of the school's director, Tadashi is ranked fifth in school and is always goofing around. He has a tendency to just wander around and do what he wants to do. He has a penchant for sweet things and Akira's cooking. Because of his personality, he ends up being the character most comically attacked by Akira.

  • Adorkable
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Akira.
  • Beta Couple: With Akira.
  • Big Eater: And he especially loves Akira's cooking. Although Akira's cooking being what it is, nobody takes this as a sign of affection.
  • Bishōnen
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Butt-Monkey: Although by the way he reacts you'd think he actually enjoys being the Butt-Monkey.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Akira.
  • Cool Bike
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As part of his wanderlust, he is often spacey and says whatever comes to his mind without wait.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Ironically, as the SA member least worried about social conventions, he is the least worried in expressing his feelings and occasisonally prevents conflict by expressing himself freely. For instance:
    • When Aoi was sent to take Kei home and all the SA members tried over complicated methods to make him stay, Tadashi was the only one who made their intentions clear to Kei: They were his friends and they wanted him to stay.
    • When Akira was forced into an arranged relationship he genuinely wished her well, but when she accidentally let it slip she liked him, he had no problem reciprocating those feelings. Akira even lampshades the fact that she is causing more problems than him.
  • Curtains Match the Window
  • Ditzy Genius: On the other hand, he's apparently rather competent: he's ranked fifth in school and it's hinted he could be higher, he's quite athletic, and knows his way out of awkward situations. On the flipside, he has little to no tact, common sense, or wit. Most of the time.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Tadashi is honest and blunt to a fault, and his lack of common sense results in him saying things that only he would think of as complimentary. That said, for all that he's probably the most prone towards being offensive, he's never malicious, and he's never pleased when he finds out he's offended someone.
  • Nice Guy: Underneath it all.
  • Official Couple: With Akira.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: With Akira.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: With Akira.

Akira Toudou
Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)

Akira is ranked sixth in school and is the daughter of the owner of a famous airline company. She has a talent for cooking and is the one who whips up the group's afternoon snacks. She is very fond of Hikari and usually won't do anything unless Hikari agrees to it. She was good friends with Kei and Yahiro as a child, except that after Yahiro drove her only friend Sayo away she began hating him for it. She enjoys beating Tadashi up and they end up as the series' first Official Couple.

Ryuu Tsuji
Voiced by: Kazuma Horie (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)

Seventh in their grade, Ryuu is the son of a sports car company's CEO. He is very good at handling children, animals, and plants. The twins adore him, primarily because the three of them have been together since childhood and since meeting them he's always been looking out for them.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He had reddish-blond hair in the manga and green hair in the anime.
  • Bishōnen
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is a lot smarter than seventh place. The only reason he's seventh is because he keeps worrying about the twins, who tend to get bored and sleep while studying.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Anime only.
  • Friend to All Children: Let's face it, Ryuu is the ultimate babysitter.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Goes both ways - not only does Ryu instantly befriend pretty much any animal instantly, he prefers to spend his free time with them, to the extent that it makes Megumi and Jun jealous at times.
    • The Beast Master: Especially in the anime's finale, in which his taming skills help get rid of the guard dogs to the mansion.
  • Greek Chorus: With the twins.
  • Only Sane Man: The go-to character for bewildered reaction shots.
  • Parental Substitute: Serves as this for the twins. Lampshaded by Sakura, when she notes how weird it is that Jun asks Ryuu for permission to go on a date, which Ryuu admits is true.
  • Super-Speed Reading: Pulls this one off in a test battle which is part of The Plan aimed to kick him out of the SA. He reads all the 1000 questions by casually flipping the pages really fast, and then answers all of them in 10 minutes. He got all of them right!
    • In the manga, taken Up to Eleven - he also takes the time to give the guys who made the test corrections on their grammar.
  • You Gotta Have Green Hair: Anime only.


     Other Hakusenkan Characters 

Finn Coupe Shuzette

Iori Tokiwa

Hajime Kakei

Voiced by: Yoshinori Fujita (Japanese), Clint Bickham (English)

  • Megane
  • Out of Focus: First appears to be set up as a major antagonist for the Special A kids, but then gets sent to the hospital and doesn't reappear until near the end of the series.
  • Student Council President: Although the student council is weak and ineffectual as compared to the influence the Special A class has.

Sumire Karino

Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese), Shelley Calene-Black (English)

     Other Characters 

Yahiro Saiga
Voiced by: Kissho Taniyama (Japanese), Clint Bickham (English)

An old friend of Akira and Kei's, they haven't seen much of him after a mutual falling out that no one likes to talk about. A seemingly affable young man with a sinister streak and a love of screwing with people's heads, Yahiro serves as the main antagonist for the first part of the series. A master manipulator, Yahiro does his utmost to conceal his real agenda from everyone, all while doing his best to look like an unsympathetic jackass.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His hair is brown in the manga, pink in the anime.
  • Almost Kiss: In the anime he almost kisses Megumi but is interrupted by Tadashi. He actually yells at him for spoiling the mood.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's pretty hard to tell how we're supposed to view Yahiro for much of the series.
  • Anti-Villain: He's very defensive of his first two friends, Akira and Kei. There are no ends to which he's willing to go to keep anyone from taking advantage of them - which tends to make him act like a Knight Templar and isolate off anyone that even could be in a position to hurt them, only backing off when it becomes clear that the people in question (for example, Tadashi and Hikari) wouldn't dream of it.
  • The Beard: In one arc in the manga, Megumi has told her mother that she will bring her boyfriend to a concert that the family will be attending. Only thing is, she doesn't have a boyfriend. Guess who gets roped into filling this role?
  • Becoming the Mask: He won't admit it, but it's pretty obvious by the end that he's not just pretending to like Megumi anymore.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the anime finale. Twice.
  • Broken Ace: He's a toned down Kei with a side of self-loathing.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: He actually managed to beat Kei in a game of tag when they were younger by locking the door while Kei was counting. Slippery.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted for some time, to the point where when Jun and Ryu catch him with Megumi violence nearly ensues. Also completely averted with Akira, as it's hinted that she's refused to speak with him for seven or eight years due to her anger.
  • Evil Former Friend: How Akira and Kei see him anyway.
  • Evil Genius: He's at least as smart as the members of the Special A.
  • For the Evulz: Acts like this is his motivation for screwing with Akira and Kei.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After Akira gets together with Tadashi and Megumi takes an interest in him.
  • Hidden Depths: He really does value both Kei and Akira and is willing to appear the villain to both of them to keep them from getting hurt.
  • * Hidden Heart of Gold
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: His entire motivation. He drives off anyone who poses a threat to Akira while taking the blame so she'll never know she was betrayed. After she gets together with Tadashi he promptly drops out of the picture.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: He mentally remembers doing it to multiple people in regards to Akira in the past, and he does it in-series to Tadashi, who isn't threatened at all by it (Yahiro assumes, initially, that it's because Tadashi is an idiot).
  • It Amused Me: In the manga, he claims this is why he hangs out with Megumi and helps her with her singing. Right...

Sakura Ushikubo

Voiced by: Natsuko Kuwatani (Japanese), Hilary Haag (English)

Alisa Appleton


Voiced by: Noriko Shitaya (Japanese), Shannon Emerick (English)

Aoi Ogata

Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese), David Matranga (English)

  • Hero-Worshipper: He adores Kei.
  • Ill Boy: He's rather prone to stomach ailments, which exacerbates his lack of appetite.
  • Picky Eater: Aoi apparently has an extremely dull sense of taste, and thus everything tastes remarkably bland to him. As such, he tends to not eat.
  • Poisonous Friend: In Kei's eyes; since Aoi is loyal to Kaname (Kei's grandfather) and instrumental in executing many of his plots, Kei resents Aoi's presence.

     Family Members 

Sui Takishima

Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu (Japanese), Clint Bickham (English)

Nagi Takishima

Satoru Takishima

Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese), Clint Bickham (English)

  • Cross-Dressing Voices
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's competent enough (though not nearly as much as his wife or son), but he acts about as old as he looks.
  • Older Than They Look: He looks like an extra-tall version of Sui, although he's in his late thirties.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: He's a huge fan of pro wrestling, and attempts to wrestle with Hikari whenever they meet as a greeting. Stretching back, the entire plot is set in motion because of his wrestling fandom. He's a part of the same wrestling fan club as Hikari's father, who invited Satoru and Kei over to visit... which resulted in Hikari challenging Kei, losing to him for the first time, and starting her obsession.

Midori Takishima

  • Berserk Button: Anything to do with Kaname.
  • Tsundere: Unusually, as a reaction, not as a default. She's more tsuntsun towards people who act stoic towards her (like Kei), but she has no problems opening up if people are acting warm towards her (she positively adores Hikari).
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Kei looks like a male version of Midori with shorter hair. It gets more uncanny when Midori takes Kei and Hikari out for a day; she also reacts to Hikari in the same way as Kei.

Kaname Takishima

Voiced by: Kazuya Ichijo (Japanese)

  • Anti-Villain: Eventually revealed to have tried pushing Kei and Hikari apart because he didn't want to see Kei go through the heartbreak of losing someone dear to him, like he did.
  • The Atoner: Towards Midori, as he blames himself just as much for his wife's death as Midori does.
  • Big Bad: Drives much of the "keep Kei and Hikari apart" plot once they get their Relationship Upgrade halfway through the manga.

Chitose Saiga

Voiced by: Ami Koshimizu (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)

Atsushi Hanazono

Voiced by: Mitsuhiro Ichiki (Japanese)

Jiro Hanazono

Voiced by: Atsushi Imaruoka (Japanese), Jason Grundy (English)


Example of: