Warning!! The examples below may include spoilers for the manga, as well as the anime. Both storylines started widely differing around the appearance of Kanone (episode 18/volume 5).
"The melody of logic will always play out the truth."
A sixteen year old apathetic high-schooler and the reluctant hero and designated Savior of the Blade Children. He is looking for his older brother Kiyotaka, who disappeared two years ago. He lives with his sister-in-law Madoka and apparently is in charge of all the cooking (and an excellent cook) ; he is often shown thinking about what to make for dinner. His main weapon is his brains, preferring to resolve conflict through reasoning than violence... and he is startlingly good at it; however, his huge self-deprecation issues severely impede him.
- Angst? What Angst?: Invoked near the end of the manga. He has three years to live, has been psychologically crippled from a young age by his brother and so lost out on the many opportunities his latent genius could have afforded him, betrayed by his closest friend and love interest, and is almost certain to live most of his life sick in a hospital. He puts on a brave front: the point is to show everyone else that no matter what happens, they mustn't give in to despair. It's even double-subverted - Madoka mentions that she saw him cry once, but only once, and he's still holding on and staying positive.
- Always Second Best: No thanks, Kiyotaka.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Less so than others, perhaps, but he has excellent deductive skills, and tends to calculate angles and outcomes on the fly, ALL THE TIME.
- Badass Bookworm: Once he starts playing with guns in the manga.
- Batman Gambit: Many, but the notable one is that he willingly allows himself to lose out on any source of happiness without showing pain, so that the rest of the Blade Children have someone to essentially remind them that things could be worse, and convince them to try and Screw Destiny.
- Bishounen: Well, duh.
- Brilliant, but Lazy
- Character Development
- Chick Magnet: Even forgetting the Ship Tease with Hiyono, Rio, Madoka, and Kirie, in the Hizumi arc of the manga lots of random girls start confessing to him, to Hiyono's horror.
- Cloning Blues : He's a clone of his brother .
- The Chessmaster: He's generally able to out-think anything in his way.
- Child Prodigy: Toned down compared to the Blade Children, mostly due to a crippling inferiority complex.
- Consummate Liar: Very good at putting on a brave front.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Despair Event Horizon: Refuses to cross this. However, by the end of the manga, he's sacrificed everything and puts on a brave front in order to act as a symbol of hope for the rest of the Blade Children. The psychological toll is heavy, and he's fallen into a state of depression, without letting himself have any respite, but he refuses to give in or let it show.
- The Hero
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He tends to be extremely well disposed towards strangers, but he's also painfully reserved and abrasive towards his friends due to an inferiority complex.
- Likes Older Women: It is hinted in the anime and outright stated in the manga that he's been in love with Madoka since he first met her and he has some mild Ship Tease with Kirie. Hiyono is older, by the way, although he initially claims she's not his type. Later on, he tells Kirie that he's changing his woman preferences to "someone he can always rely on," implying Hiyono.
- Messianic Archetype: Actually, a second Eve, and far from being a Messianic Archetype.
- Although, to be fair, he's generally extremely kind to strangers and casual acquaintances. Anyone who might actually have any bearing on his life doesn't get that kind of treatment.
- The Paragon: This climaxes in the way he "saves" the Blade Children: making them realize only they can decide their fate.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy guy to Hiyono's energetic girl.
- Ship Tease: With lots of people, but Hiyono most of all, yet they never quite make it to Official Couple status. Though it's heavily implied that by the end, she's become quite important to him and that his happiness is linked to her. Unfortunately, due to their circumstances they end up in a situation where they can rarely see each other.
- The Spock: Goes with his criminally reserved nature. He's almost never flustered, and always extremely cool even under fire, and is the most reliably logical character in the series.
- Supreme Chef: Pointed out very often.
- Team Mom: Elements of this by the end of the manga, when he fusses over Eyes Rutherford's eating habits.
- Teen Genius
- Tsurime Eyes
- Unable to Cry: Offhandedly remarks that he can't remember the last time he cried. Blames Kiyotaka, probably with good reason.
"Love is something that doesn't seek anything in return."
The 17 year old president (and only member) of the Newspaper Club at Tsukiomi High who instates herself as Ayumu's sidekick after helping him resolve a murder case (in the anime, just an attempt) in their school. Though not an Action Girl and far from being on equal grounds with Ayumu or the Blade Children's intelligence, she is still precious help to Ayumu as an informant - she is absurdly good at gathering information; though she claims regular school gossip is her primary source, she also blackmails Wataya for information on police cases, and is in fact rumored to have blackmail material on everyone. More importantly, she has unconditional trust in Ayumu's abilities and knows his weakness is his own self-confidence; she will thus go to great lengths to push him to fulfill his potential. Not that that'll stop him from declaring her annoying. She often declares her love for Ayumu in grandiloquent ways, though as it tends to be related to his delicious cooking, it's hard to know just how serious she is about it. Alternately, she routinely calls Ayumu cruel and heartless and, in the anime, punches him with animal puppets (also tends to be related to his cooking).
It's later revealed that she is in fact, not actually a 17 year old high school student, and was hired by Kiyotaka to play the role of 'Hiyono Yuizaki', a character whom he fabricated for the sake of getting close to and manipulating Ayumu in hopes that when he eventually finds out that this girl who seemingly supported him through everything turns out to not be real, his resolve will break and he'll kill Kiyotaka. Despite this, she grows to care about Ayumu.
- Becoming the Mask: Although it never actually interferes with her mission, by the end of the story it's shown that despite that these traits were initially only in her job description for playing 'Hiyono', she did genuinely grow to care about Ayumu and hold a lot of faith in his abilities.
- Big Eater: Understandable, as it's Ayumu's food.
- Catchphrase: "It's a trade secret ! ♥"
- Clingy Jealous Girl: At times, especially once Hizumi shows up.
- Crutch Character: Kiyotaka's goal in hiring her for the job was to make her one of these to Ayumu so that he could promptly kick away the crutch in their final meeting. However, Ayumu realized she would probably be used in such a way, and manages to foil Kiyotaka despite it.
- Genki Girl: Mostly in the anime.
- The Mole: Manga only.
- Neutral Female: Usually, but will occasionally and beautifully subvert it.
- The Power of Love: She invokes it quite a few times.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic girl to Ayumu's Savvy guy.
- Ship Tease: With Ayumu. It certainly does not help that Ayumu is stated to like older woman, which she is, regardless of the fact that he initially claims she's not his type. Note that he gradually revises his "type" toward the end of the manga to "someone he can always rely on," implicating Hiyono. When she's revealed to be the mole, it appears any shipping hints from her end were a total farce, considering she was ordered by Kiyotaka to give Ayumu unconditional support. Then the heartfelt goodbye occurs, topped off with a shot of her crying after they go their separate ways, and you realize she really did care about him.
"People sure rely on my little brother a lot."
Kiyotaka's wife; they had been married for a year when he disappeared, which felt like abandonment and hit her very badly. She is however a very strong woman. A police detective, they met while she worked under him (which apparently consisted mainly of kicking him and forcing him out of various ridiculous costumes). Ayumu does everything he can to keep her uninvolved in his trouble with the Blade Children, but they've caught on, and more importantly, she'll have none of it. She tries to do the same and keep him out of her own police cases, even when they're related to the Blade Children and he tries to nose his way in.
"Kiyotaka... Is this the result... of my belief ?"
A world-renowned pianist and child prodigy, the youngest of the Blade Children seems to have assumed a leader position amongst the main group. He angsts a lot yet is practically devoid of emotion. This is because, in order to bear the weight of the curse, he decided at a young age to freeze his heart and become "a demon without blood or tears". At the beginning, he strongly believes Kiyotaka's words but doubts Ayumu's power; however he is arguably the most idealistic and hopeful one of the Blade Children. He is not as directly violent as his fellow Blade Children (probably because of the trouble this would bring him due to his super-star status) but does not hesitate to order Kousuke or Rio to murder people, and will get in the action when required to in the manga.
His mother died when he was young, possibly in a car crash. Kanone is his childhood best friend and Eyes wishes to save him, or at least stop him without killing him. Ryouko resents him for being the reason Kousuke became a killer, but still sympathizes about the whole Kanone deal.
- A Father to His Men: Half-brother, in fact.
- But Not Too Foreign: a quarter English, at least half Japanese.
- Cain and Abel: With Kanone.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Initially; discards them once he decides to start believing in Ayumu.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality
- The Stoic
- The Trickster: His initial characterization in the manga.
- Unable to Cry: As a young child at his mother's funeral, decided that feeling miserable is useless when you're one of the Blade Children. He sheds exactly one Single Tear in each verse.
"I forgot to tell you but... while I may not lie, I don't keep promises."
One of the most violent of the Blade Children, he is utterly convinced that the Blade Children have no hope and actively tried to kill Ayumu during his "test". Yet he'll let the others believe what they want (and eventually joins them in Ayumu's fanclub anyway). He transfers into Tsukiomi High after it's been established the Blade Children are not going to try to gut Ayumu quite so much anymore.
He is one of the most important protagonists of the prequel, Spiral: Alive.
According to Hiyono's research, his mother died when he was three and he has no other living relative. He was taught to fight by Kanone in England. He seems slightly scared of Rio, who calls him an idiot, but they have a sort of squabbling-siblings dynamic. He'll deny it, but he has a long history of Will They or Won't They? with Ryouko, the biggest issue being their curse and, in the manga, the fact that they're half-siblings. It's never clear whether they know of their own and the other's feelings, but the fact is that they're shown to live together once he transfers and Ryouko is introduced.
- Ascended Extra: In the prequel Spiral: Alive.
- Badass Bookworm/Genius Bruiser
- Book Dumb: Subverted, he dropped out of school at 14 but easily transferred into Ayumu's elite school. Everyone else still calls him an idiot.
- Demoted to Extra: Along with Rio and Ryouko, barely seen again in the manga once the Hizumi arc starts. Complains about it in the last volume omake.)
- I Lied: After Ayumu outwits him.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Claims to Ryouko that's why he'd never like her. She's the only one fooled.
- Nerd Glasses: His school pair - he has a cooler one for streetwear. Notably averts or subverts all the glasses trope - they're regular specs, he does not discard them when fighting, and when they get broken, he is NOT Blind Without 'Em (but does need them), and ends up putting them back on anyway because everyone thinks he looks weird without them.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Asazuki, Asadzuki
- The Trickster
"Please trust in your own power, Narumi-otouto..."
Rio looks like a sweet, cute little girl, and plays it for all it's worth; she is actually one of the most violent and slyest of the main group. She is also a student at Tsukiomi, and an explosives expert. She tends to be very extreme in everything she does: she believes in her own strength fully and doesn't not hesitate to put her life on the line... or Ayumu's, but once he has convinced her, she trusts and relies on him completely.
She lives alone in an apartment; nothing is mentioned of her family, but she is clearly quite able to take care of herself. She adores Kiyotaka, who seems to act like her uncle and spoil her a lot, and is hinted to have a crush on Eyes and/or Ayumu.
- Action Girl
- Badass Adorable
- Cheerful Child: Only in looks.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A Cute Clumsy Girl who loves melons and cute things and happens to be one of the most ruthless of the Blade Children.
- Deliberately Cute Child: "Hauuuuuh..."
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Played with, in that she's 17, but looks like a little girl who puts bombs in cute stuffed animals.)
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Exploding Loli", for instance. Seems Kiyotaka came up with those.
- Enfante Terrible
- Ill Girl: Spends most of the time in hospital from injuries gotten in the series.
- Little Miss Badass
- Knife Nut: In the manga. In the anime she uses a gambit instead.
- Mad Bomber: A very twisted and genderbent example, yet you know she's this when you're told her head is the only place you can shoot her and be reasonably sure she won't explode to your face. Hopefully.
- Older Than They Look
- Token Mini-Moe
girlfriend, also a student at Tsukiomi. She tries to live a normal life, but is aware that her curse makes that probably impossible. Still, she refuses to give in to her murderous impulses and kill anyone, though she will resort to violence when needed (or anytime Kousuke opens his mouth). She is an athlete and is apparently mildly famous for her near-Olympics level in the running track field. In Spiral: Alive, there are all sorts of weird legends about her exploits, like fighting a bear and an anteater (and they're apparently sort of true).
She lives with her perpetually absent and unseen aunt; her parents are assumed dead. Kousuke moves in with her at some point during the series, though they had apparently not been in contact beforehand. The same happens in Spiral: Alive. She's jealous of Rio's closeness with Kousuke and resents Eyes for being the reason he became a murderer. Overall, whether or not Kousuke and she ever actually hook up, they're still pretty much an Official Couple.
- Action Girl
- Ascended Extra: A main protagonist in the prequel, Spiral: Alive.
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Demoted to Extra: Towards the end of both the anime and the manga.
- Even the Girls Want Her: To her dismay.
- Lesbian Jock: Subverted, though that doesn't stop many girls from trying.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Thinks that's why Kousuke will never like her.
- Tsundere: Towards Kousuke, oh so much.
- Victorious Childhood Friend
"I'll tell you something useful. The overwhelming power of violence beats logic any day."
Cheerful, polite, charismatic, good-looking, intelligent, can kill all the people in the cafeteria in under twenty seconds. Known even amongst the Blade Children as a particularly dangerous one, called the "Gun With Wings" by the Hunters, woos the ladies with one smile. In the manga, he has "battle reflexes" which mean he's more likely to kill you if you take him by surprise, but has vowed not to kill anyone else than Blade Children, whether out of his own decision or as a requisite for being a Hunter.
He is Eyes' best friend since childhood and probably taught him to fight. Those two have an odd relationship in that they'll still always see each other as brothers, no matter what they do to each other - and in fact that's the exact reason they're doing it. He was himself taught in the way of violence since birth by his Action Mom, Evangeline Hilbert, herself an infamous member of the Special Forces. Evangeline is never seen but theorized to still be alive.
- Affably Evil
- Broken Ace: Among the Blade Children, Kanone is the deadliest combatant. He's the one who taught Eyes, Kousuke, and Ryoko everything they know about combat and was the group's biggest defense against the Hunters until he gave into despair and decided to become a Hunter himself.
- But Not Too Foreign: Claims to be half English; is theorized to be American in the anime and at least part German due to his name.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- Curb-Stomp Battle: After what seems to be a see-saw battle, in Volume 8, Kanone decides to get serious and totally wastes Kousuke, Rio and Ryoko in less than thirty seconds.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crossed before the manga started.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Fond of this; greets Kousuke and Ryouko in the street, sits down for lunch with Ayumu and Hiyono, has tea with Eyes...
- Dying as Yourself: His objective... for himself and his friends.
- FaceHeel Turn: In the anime, it's a shock for his friends; in the manga, he calls Eyes to tell him he's coming to kill them all... and Eyes comes to pick him up at the airport.
- He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: He promised Eyes this at the latter's mother's funeral, though he's never shown to do it.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover
- Knife Nut: His preferred weapons are throwing knives. This is especially apparent in the anime, but not so much in the manga where he arms himself with a small arsenal of guns.
- Meaningful Name: "Kanone" is the German word for cannon.
- Oh, Crap!: He comes to Japan to exterminate all of the other Blade Children, starting with his friends, and if he can get Ayumu as well, all the better.
- The Red Baron: He's known by the Hunters as "The Winged Gun" because of how deadly he is.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Kanon in the Yen Press publication, which is the phonetic spelling
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
A soft-spoken, delicate girl, also a student at Tsukiomi, involved in a murder case Madoka is in charge of. In the anime, she was also the victim of an assassination attempt in the previous case. She is partly amnesiac; she initially wishes to remember her past, but eventually decides to take the opportunity to lead a normal, happy life, unaware of her nature. No one is quite sure whether this will enable her to evade the curse.
Her mother eloped, then came back to her father to beg him to take care of a young Sayoko, and died shortly thereafter. Sayoko now lives with her grandfather and cousin, Kei, who studies music in college and is a big Eyes Rutherford Fangirl.
"Tsuchiya Kirie, a twenty-seven year old lady with good looks and brains."
A member of the Watcher faction, who claim to be entirely neutral and simply watch over the Blade Children. She is sent to watch over the battle with Kanone and mediate between him and the police, and generally be intentionally unhelpful and disclose as little information as possible. She is usually an even-tempered, mellow, unflappable and straightforward woman, but easily loses her cool when things go an unexpected way. She believes nothing anyone can do can go against Kiyotaka's plans - the problem is, no one knows what that bastard is planning exactly.
Spiral: Alive shows that she has been working for Kiyotaka since a little before his disappearing act, and she's one of the few to still have contact with him. Not that she's happy about it. Hizumi calls her "Kirie-chan" and enjoys teasing her/driving her up the wall.
- Hot Scientist: It's unclear exactly what she does, but she is capable of doing scientific tests
- Spell My Name with an "S": Kirie
The Devil. Also unbearably cute. With slightly violent tendencies. And suicidal tendencies. And overly friendly tendencies. Is supposed to bring about the end of humanity and will make you feel sorry for him about it.
- Anti Anti Christ: More like a second (or third?) Adam.
- The Call Knows Where You Live
- Cloning Blues : He's a clone of his father.
- Death Seeker: wants Ayumu Narumi to kill him as he's the only one that can.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crossed it long before the manga started.
- Driven to Suicide: Except the worst part is that he fails. Every single time.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate
- Inelegant Blubbering: Becomes a mess during the face-off with Ayumu in the tower. Twice.
- Mood Whiplash: A master of this.
- Moral Event Horizon: Invoked: he murders Kanone for the exact reason that Ayumu will not forgive him for it. It's also hard to stomach for some fans, but is strangely averted in that though it hits Eyes very badly, he does not seem to resent Hizumi for it.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A
- Tragic Villain
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: But he can't help the "destroyer of worlds" part.
The Chessmaster behind it all.
- Aloof Big Brother
- Always Someone Better: He's regarded as God and no one is even kidding.
- Big Brother Bully
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Butt-Monkey: When he does get kicked around, it is gratuitous and so satisfying.
- Death Seeker: The whole reason he tries to push his brother/clone to the Despair Event Horizon is that his brother will get over his Actual Pacifist and kill him.
- The Chessmaster
- Omniscient Morality License: Though many, if not most, characters in the series agree that he definitely shouldn't have one.
Characters who are exclusive to the prequel manga Spiral: Alive. Other appearing characters are listed above.
A very high-spirited high school girl whose goal in life is to catch Sawamura's heart ever since she met him. Very honest and brutal, she scares lots of people but she's really nice. As long as you don't step in-between she and Sawamura. Because of her ties both with Sawamura and her love rival Amanae, she gets entangled in a case of serial murder of Blade Children and ends up helping Kousuke in his investigating. Well. "Helping"...
- Ax-Crazy: Careful with those nunchuks!!
- Chaotic Stupid
- Genki Girl
- Idiot Hair
- Love Freak
- Stalker with a Crush
Yukine Amanae a.k.a. Charlotte
A beautiful, even-tempered girl and Sawamura's girlfriend. At the beginning of the manga, she murders a string of unregistered Blade Children to attract Kiyotaka's attention. Her motives are unknown.
Her parents were scientists affiliated to the Blade Children project, but her entire family died in a fire 9 years prior to the manga. Her parents were apparently killed by her younger adopted sister, Charlotte, one of the Blade Children, who was five at the time. Amanae seems to believe doctor Sheffield intentionally had her "switch" pressed and seek revenge for her family and little sister.
But... the Amanae we know is actually Charlotte, seeking revenge for Yukine.
A high-school boy with a cute face, sunny personality and very strong sense of justice. He seems to admire Kiyotaka and wants to "catch up to his level".
He and Amanae are dating, but when he discovers her crimes he hands her over to the police - but still tries to "save her" from herself.
When he was younger, he was taken hostage by a criminal woman (probably a Hunter who had just killed a handful of very young Blade Children) and suffered a mild version of Stockholm Syndrome. Kiyotaka waltzed in and told the woman that everything was alright and she could die now - whereupon she thanked him and committed suicide. Sawamura was shocked and believes she could have been saved; he wants to understand Kiyotaka to know if that was really the best course of action even for the woman herself, as Kiyotaka later told him. Since she looked a lot similar to Amanae, Sawamura now wants to make up for not having been able to save that woman by saving Amanae.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- My Greatest Failure: His backstory.
- Parental Abandonment: They're conveniently off to work overseas for a couple years or something. He drops out of school and takes up a day job as a result.
- The Pollyanna
- Save the Villain
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Might be a subversion.
The detective in charge of the Music Box Murders case, Madoka's colleague, used by Kiyotaka as a cab driver.