Characters in Sweetness & Lightning.
A widower and math teacher who has raised his daughter alone since the untimely passing of his wife.
- Anger Born of Worry: Towards Tsumugi in episode 7/chapter 10. Understandable, since she left their apartment by herself without telling him, and Kouhei was scared that something bad could have happened to her in the meantime.
- Character Development: Betters himself at both cooking and parenting as the series progresses.
- Childhood Friends: With Yagi.
- Does Not Like Spam: Disliked green peppers back in his childhood.
- Good Parents: He strives to make Tsumugi's life as fulfilling as possible.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has been friends with Yagi ever since they were young.
- Lethal Chef: When he cooks alone at first, which caused Tsumugi to make a "face he had never seen her make before". He gradually becomes a better cook over the course of the story.
Kouhei's daughter. A cheerful kindergarten child who Kouhei tries to cook for with the help of Kotori.
- Break the Cutie: Is normally a cheerful and loveable child in the whole series, but once she faces things that makes her hugely uncomfortable or when reality hits her hard, she suffers as a real child would react to those situations.
- After being accused of being a "thief" by one of her classmates in an earlier episode/chapter, she is downcast for much of it.
- Although nothing happened to her when she was on her own, in episode 7, and even tells Kotori that she didn't cry, one harsh rebuke from Kouhei when he finally finds her with Kotori, breaks her as a whole.
- After she realizes that her mom isn't going to come back, Tsumugi acts very emotional with that thought on her mind for a while.
- Cheerful Child: Is this for the most part. However, she's more realistic than most examples, since she does have moments when she's unhappy and she isn't above sulking, crying, or throwing tantrums when that happens.
- Death Is a Sad Thing: Doesn't seem to understand that her mother is dead at first, most notably when she asks Kouhei to write her mother a letter so she can cook for them again. Eventually, she realizes that her mother is never coming back, and it's not only heartbreaking for her, but it weighs on her mind for a while afterwards. In chapter 33 of the manga, she even wonders about heaven and hell.
- Does Not Like Spam: Like Kouhei in his childhood, Tsumugi dislikes green peppers.
- First-Name Basis: As a young child, she has no room for formalities or honorifics; at first, she doesn't even recognize Kotori by her last name when her dad refers to her as so.
- Funny Background Event: In episode 8, she briefly stops rolling her okra to taste it while Kouhei and Kotori are having a conversation.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: Had one when Kouhei accidentally cut his finger once.
- Shipper on Deck: In the epilogue and bonus chapters she has apparently become quite approving of the idea of Kouhei getting together with Kotori.
- Tagalong Kid: Oh, yes! She always accompanies her father every time they visit Kotori.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She loves cherry tomatoes.
One of Kouhei's homeroom students. The daughter of a TV-famous restaurateur, Kotori invites Kouhei and Tsumugi regularly to make use of her mother's restaurant in-absentia to learn how to cook together.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Is mostly like this in school. She doesn't have too many friends besides Shinobu (who is helping her to be more friendly), and she can be first seen as distant at first (this being the reason of why Kouhei, at first, didn't recognize her in the park or at her house/restaurant, the first time he went to eat there).
- Always in Class One: Is a student in Class 1-A.
- Big Eater: She usually thinks about food, eating during class, and once ate a picnic box meant for two people.
- Cool Big Sis: Tsumugi thinks of her as such.
- Eating Lunch Alone: Downplayed; while Kotori tends to eat lunch by herself in school, she is usually seen conversing with Kouhei, who is standing near one of the windows of a corridor, over food.
- Everyone Can See It: A more subtle example as it's not outright said, but Shinobu sometimes shoots knowing looks at her whenever Kotori's crush on Kouhei makes itself evident.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Chapter 41 has Kotori initially mistake Kouhei's sister for a new girlfriend due to the familiar way she acted with him, and she is clearly disheartened by the prospect. Her relief when it's cleared up is so obvious Kouhei's sister immediately catches on. The chapter title is even "Cannelloni of Jealousy and Making Up."
- Idiot Hair: Her messy hair is sometimes depicted sporting one of these.
- Ironic Fear: Kotori is afraid of knives. Considering her love of food, it's significant given that this fear prevents her from cooking.
- Lethal Chef: Despite not having cooked in her life before, she subverts this in the first chapter/episode since the rice she makes actually turns out well. The only thing that holds her back from cooking is her fear of knives.
- Messy Hair: Occasionally seen with unkempt hair.
- Obsessed with Food: Not only is Kotori a Big Eater, but it's often mentioned that one of her true loves is eating. She's definitely shown to be thinking about food a lot.
- Parental Abandonment: Is mostly alone at home, since her mother is usually not around due to working for a TV show for supplemental income. Kotori's parents are also divorced, and she barely sees her dad.
- Plain Jane: When she's not in school mode, she looks rather unkempt and tends to wear unflattering clothes.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She hints in chapter 7 that, while her schoolmates might go for the flashy rough-around-the-edges types, Kotori prefers someone ordinary and nice. (Through a candy metaphor, of course.)
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: In her introduction, she claims that she isn't crying because her mother bailed on their cherry blossom viewing at the last minute.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Has a crush on Kouhei, though it's one-sided on her part. The Ship Tease in the Time Skip at the epilogue and the post-end bonus chapters do strongly imply that Kouhei has started to return those feelings now that she's no longer his student.
- Through His Stomach: Is trying to battle her loneliness through Kouhei's stomach.
- Trauma Button: Knives, to the point that they stop her from cooking.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Has a fear of knives, which has stuck onto her since childhood.
Kotori's energetic best friend and schoolmate from another classroom. Her family runs a vegetable shop and she supplies Megumi and Yagi's restaurants. She sometimes frequents the restaurant with Kouhei and Kotori.
A high school friend of Kouhei and a professional chef. He sometimes babysits Tsumugi and frequents Megumi's restaurant to cook with Kouhei and Kotori.
- Alliterative Name: Yuusuke Yagi.
- Childhood Friends: With Kouhei.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Don't address him as "Yagi-chin".
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has been friends with Kouhei ever since they were young.
- Insistent Terminology: Shinobu has a penchant for referring to Yagi as "Yagi-chin", though he doesn't quite appreciate it because he happens to be older than her and expects a more appropriate honorific.
- Like an Old Married Couple: He has this type of dynamic with Shinobu, who tends to treat him like an equal and as if they've known each other for a long time.
- Mistaken for Terrorist: A variant and played for laughs; Kotori mistakes Yagi for a kidnapper when she first encounters him looking after Tsumugi, in part due to him having the Face of a Thug and offering Tsumugi a thin, cylindrical-shaped piece of chocolate in a white wrapper, which she mistook for a cigarette.
- Supreme Chef: Although he doesn't think he is as good as Megumi (but lots better than his friend, Kouhei), Yagi is an excellent cook, and he even works in a restaurant.
- Third Wheel: It's been suggested that he was once the "third wheel" when Kouhei and Tae were dating in their youth. It's also his non-romantic interpretation of his "role as a friend" when he finds out that Kouhei is learning to cook with Kotori, and he is obliged to watch them (with Shinobu) every time he is dragged to cook with them.
Kotori's single mother and the owner of the restaurant. She's a celebrity chef who frequently appears on TV, making her largely absent from her business. She provides many of the recipes that Kouhei and Kotori follow.
- Age-Inappropriate Dress: She's seen wearing a Sailor Fuku and school blazer during a TV variety show she appears in as a guest. Kotori is mortified when she finds out at first, and when Megumi rushes home in episode 12/chapter 19, she realizes that she didn't change out her uniform, either. Everyone is not amused by it.
- Supreme Chef: Is a well-known chef with a rather famous restaurant and is often invited to variety shows as a way to supplement her family's income.
Kouhei's late wife and Tsumugi's mother who died six months prior to the start of the series.
One of Tsumugi's kindergarten classmates.
One of Tsumugi's kindergarten classmates.
One of Tsumugi's kindergarten classmates.
- Loving Bully: He picks on Tsumugi quite a lot, but it's mainly because he secretly likes her and has no idea how to properly express his feelings.