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    Ryuuji Takasu
Voiced by: Junji Majima (Japanese), Erik Kimerer (English)note 

Ryuuji is a seventeen-year-old high school student in Class 2-C. Due to biological inheritance, his face makes him look like an intimidating delinquent and causes many misunderstandings. Since he lives in a fatherless family with just his mother Yasuko and their pet parakeet "Inko-chan" (''inko'' literally means parakeet in Japanese), Ryuuji learned to be a good cook, tailor and overall house husband. He holds a crush on Minori, a girl his age in his class, and has made a pact with his neighbor, Minori's best friend Taiga, to help him win her over, even as he also helps Taiga with domestic chores.

  • Adaptational Badass: As Taiga, Ryuuji also appears in the crossover Fighting Game Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, but as an Assist Character.
  • All-Loving Hero: Despite his appearance and his not very happy past, he's very kind and selfless, almost to a fault: in fact, he's not able to understand the intentions Taiga's Jerkass father has.
  • Animal Motifs: He represents the "dragon" to Taiga's "tiger" in their Tiger Versus Dragon theme.
  • Animal Theme Naming: He's the protagonist and his name contains the character "Ryu" that means "dragon" in Japanese. This contrasts him with "Palmtop Tiger" Taiga.
  • Berserk Button: Do not compare him to his father.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: During the School Race during the Cultural Festival you will experience how scary Ryuji can be when he fully leans into his Face of a Thug.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Inverted between him and Taiga. He's a Gentle Giant who's very sweet and caring towards others, while Taiga is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as she's brash, rude, standoffish and socially inept, yet she genuinely does have a good heart.
  • Butt-Monkey: Taiga punches him, pushes him and/or kicks him in almost every conversation they have; she even headbutts him after they're officially engaged in the epilogue. It's a good thing that Ryuuji's an angel.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: In one of his harsher moments, Ryuuji calls his mom out on getting pregnant at a young age and giving her education up, and trying to control Ryuuji's life to make him her idea of successful without caring what he wants to do with his own life. He instantly regrets it upon seeing her cry but doesn't apologise. Justified in that living vicariously through a loved one without taking their true desires into account is a mistake Ryuuji himself makes earlier in the series, pressuring Taiga into giving into her father's begging for another chance without knowing the whole story, because he wants to meet his father more than almost anything in the world, and wishes Taiga will re-establish her relationship with her father, a mistake which will wound up with her buying fully into her father's manipulations, becoming consumed with her relationship with him and being completely heartbroken to realise yet again that her father doesn't care for her.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings for Minori. He has to ask Taiga's help to get close to her.
  • Character Tics: Hair twirling. It's supposed to style his hair and soften his appearance.
  • Children Do the Housework: Since his father died when he was young (actually he abandoned Ryuuji's mother while she was pregnant) and his mother works late at night at a hostess club and sleeps most of the day, Ryuuji does all the household chores.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: After all, he's still a Stock Light-Novel Everyman. He's always willing to help others.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Has shades of this as he lacks self-confidence, but at his core he's a noble and heroic young man, who always takes care of others.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: By the end of the series, Taiga, Minori, and Ami all develop feelings for him. However, he doesn't notice Taiga's and Minori's feelings until they admit them, and remains unaware of Ami's feelings.
  • The Confidant: He becomes this with Taiga. One of the reasons Minori admittedly avoids his romantic advances is because she steadily started to realize that Taiga trusts Ryuuji more than she trusts her, making Minori jealous.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He tells Taiga that she should reconcile with her parents. Immediately after they return home, she leaves to do precisely that without telling Ryuuji, which catches him with his guard down. Though saddened and shocked, Ryuuji is confident that she will come back to him, which she does in the end.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father died when he was young. Or so he was led to believe. His mother reveals in the finale he left them for another woman.
  • Ditzy Genius: While he's very smart and has very good grades, he's quite dense and naive when it comes to judge some people's intentions.
  • The Dreaded: He's feared as a delinquent at school because of his Face of a Thug, but he grows out of his bad reputation, and his schoolmates finally understand how he really is.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Despite his overall naive nature, Ryuuji has all the main girls in love with him.
  • Extreme Doormat: Towards Taiga. He accepts to be her dog. Downplayed, considering he often calls Taiga out for her actions and tries to keep her in check.
  • Face of a Thug: He is a really Nice Guy, but inherited his Yakuza father's looks. His classmates soon realize that he is a whole lot nicer than he looks.
  • Fatal Flaw: Downplayed, but he's very selfless, often to a fault: he never wants to burden others, and doesn't think going to university would be a good idea, as his mother would have to work hard for him.
  • First Kiss: He kisses Taiga near the end of the series. It even turns into The Big Damn Kiss after the first few tries.
  • First-Name Basis: With Taiga once she makes a failed attempt to declare her affections towards Kitamura, mainly as a sign of how much he respects her.
  • Foil: To Taiga. Ryuuji has the Face of a Thug, but he's actually a misunderstood Nice Guy. Contrast with Taiga, who's a short, very cute girl known around school as the "Palmtop Tiger" for her angry demeanor and occasional violent outbursts.
  • Foreshadowing: When he's removing the crocheted tag inside the coat from the suit that Taiga gives him (as it spells the name of her father), she tells him that he was born to fix little things like that. They end up falling in love, as he spent the entire series "fixing" little Taiga for her to be able to function as a person and bombards her with kindness to boot.
  • Gentle Giant: While not a real giant, he's still quite tall (and huge compared to Taiga), and looks like an intimidating delinquent, but he's a very kind and altruistic person.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's obviously a good person, and normally soft-spoken and polite... But he doesn't react well when the other ones piss him off and kick him during the school run. Well, and don't compare him to his father!
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Once he's all dressed up and groomed at the Christmas Party, everyone notices how good he looks in a suit.
  • Heroic Bastard: He is the illegitimate son of a bar hostess and a Yakuza.
  • The Hero: While this is not an action series, Ryuuji is still a really kind-hearted and heroic guy, and as a Stock Light-Novel Everyman he's always ready to help others.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He's a very selfless and kind guy with a heroic personality, but he's believed to be a delinquent.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He can be extremely dense when it comes to relationships, considering how he trusted Taiga's father regardless of what everyone (including his mother) thinks. The fact he's not good at reading people is due to his social issues and essentially Friendless Background because of his Face of a Thug, but he still manages to be very kind and compassionate.
  • Hot-Blooded: Normally he's fairly mellow, but he gets fired up over bizarre things like cleaning and bento making. And he doesn't hesitate when he has to run to help his friends: just look at the scene in which he goes saving Taiga.
  • Househusband: He's already one in the making for Taiga. She can't clean nor cook to save her life even though she lives alone, so Ryuuji does the chores for her because he can't let her live in such bad conditions after just taking one look at her apartment.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Huge Guy to Taiga's Tiny Girl. He may not be a giant but he's still quite tall, while Taiga is very short.
  • I Am Not My Father: Even though he looks like him, he pledged to never be like his father.
  • I Will Wait for You: Invoked. He tells Taiga that she should reconcile with her parents because they should be part of the happiness he and Taiga found, to which she responds that it could take some time to accomplish. Ryuuji is then caught off-guard when this is the very first thing Taiga does when they return home, as she goes away precisely to accomplish that without telling him. Though shaken by her absence, Ryuuji trusts that she will come back for him, which she does in the epilogue.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Ryuuji is an angel, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He's an All-Loving Hero, who hardly ever sees bad intentions in others. While he can be Hot-Blooded, he's always kind and helpful, and takes care of others. What he wants to be is a loving House Husband.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Delinquent Takasu" at the beginning because of his face.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Subverted. He's feared as delinquent because of his Face of a Thug and because he's the son of a Yakuza, but in truth he is everything a good guy should be: selfless, responsible and polite.
  • Just Friends: He is the first guy, and presumably only one, who approaches Taiga without any romantic intentions towards her. He endears himself to her because of his genuine efforts at being her friend and striving for her to be happy.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: He and Taiga are neighbors, with her living in an apartment next door to his house. They start becoming close when Ryuuji basically becomes her housemaid after seeing the clear troubles she has living on her own and they slowly fall in love over time.
  • Love at First Punch: His first meeting with Taiga concludes with her punching out Ryuuji when he accidentally bumps into her. Although, he started to like her after they spend time together and bond with each other.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: He doesn't begin to realize he has feelings for Taiga until she accidentally confesses to him.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Taiga's Masculine Girl. Not that he's really feminine, but Ryuuji is generally gentle, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking), while Taiga has a brash, loud and angry personality.
  • Matchmaker Crush: At first, he tries to hook up Taiga and Kitamura. Eventually, he develops feelings for Taiga without even realizing it.
  • Meaningful Name: "Ryuu" means dragon in Japanese. "Ryuuji" can mean "dragon child", appropriate for the fierce-looking son of a fierce-looking Yakuza.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Invoked, as Ryuuji had no idea that Taiga was his neighbor because their morning routines never coincided, as she's not a morning person like he is. Taiga and Ryuuji had been neighbors for some time before they even contacted each other, as in the first episode, Yasuko remembered the newly constructed apartment building next door blocking their sunlight; it's fair to point out that Taiga did know where Ryuuji lived and easily broke into his home.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: How Taiga sees their relationship because Ryuji volunteered to clean her house. More exactly, she says Ryuuji's her dog.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The only people that know the true kind and selfless Ryuuji from before the school year started are the guys he shared classes with the previous year, namely Kitamura, Noto, and Minori through Kitamura (as they're both on the softball team), though she only knows Ryuuji tangentially to start with. The rest of the school thinks he's a delinquent just based on his looks. Though he endears himself to the people in his classroom, the attitudes coming from the school at large don't change. Also, people that don't know him have the same tendencies when they first see him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: He takes cleaning very, very seriously.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he pushes Taiga to try to make amends with her father at the culture festival, she goes to a great extent to try to do so even though she doesn't like any of it. So when her father never shows up just as several people predicted, Ryuuji realizes in the end that his Horrible Judge of Character caused Taiga no small amount of misery because she was doing everything for his sake rather than her father's.
  • Neat Freak: His cleaning habits hit absurd extremes in the last novel when his punishment for leaving school is commuted from expulsion to cleaning the faculty restroom every day and writing weekly reports about it. Teachers start to freak out when he begins indexing the hairs he finds on the floor.
  • Nice Guy: Don't let his mean looks fool you. The guy's an angel.
  • Oblivious to Love: Naturally. He never really figures out that Ami also likes him, because he thinks she only plays with him without knowing Ami is really in love with him. Taiga and Minori have to spell it out for him.
  • Official Couple: He gets together with Taiga.
  • Opposites Attract: He's a guy with a Face of a Thug but generally kind, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking) who falls in love with a cute, small girl with a brash, loud and angry personality and unable to properly take care of herself.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Cooks, sews, cleans, etc. This especially helps Taiga, who recently moved away from home with nary a knowledge of basic home skills. He also has a rather romantic way of conducting his life and his fantasizing.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He is the Blue to Taiga's Red, because he is so much calmer and less prone to violence.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Minori's Energetic Girl because he is far more rational and capable with domestic skills while she is running across town holding down as many jobs as she has fingers.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Yuusaku's manly man because of his wide array of domestic skills and empathy. Not that Yuusaku isn't sensitive, but while Ryuuji is smart yet quite naive and shy when it comes to girls and relationships, Yuusaku is more assertive, sporty and rides a bike.
  • Slasher Smile: His default smile is creepy but this is subverted in that it's his bone structure that give him this type of smile, not his intent. He is able to pull a non-Slasher Smile when he does a non-toothy half-smile though.
  • Son of a Whore: Subverted. His mother is not a whore, just a late-night bar hostess, but, in some aspects, it's perceived as pretty much the same in Japan. The fact that his parents never married doesn't help.
  • Stock Light-Novel Everyman: A Slice of Life protagonist, and definitely of the heroic variety. Chronic Hero Syndrome? Check. Altruistic even to a fault? Yes. Rather shy and/or introverted? Check. And of course he's calm, a very Nice Guy, and actually a Chick Magnet.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: To his disliked father, to his dismay, which his mother loves to remind him of.
  • Supreme Chef: There's no doubt by anyone that he's an excellent cook.
  • Tearful Smile: After Taiga finally returns following the incident at the mountains, weeks after the fact and having gone completely incommunicado, Ryuuji realizes just how much he missed her, and how happy and full of joy he is when she's at his side. He can barely contain his tears before Taiga realizes that he's staring at her.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: In the case of Ryuuji, he has trouble realizing what true romance is and tends to lean in the more unrealistic and idealized side of things when it comes to Minori, who he puts on a pedestal he has to reach. Thing is, Minori is not waaay up there as he thinks; he's the one that is in a romance knowledge nadir. As such, he measures his interactions with her a little too much, spoiling his own attempts.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: He is the dragon and Taiga is the tiger. He himself remarks on this in the first story arc.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Has a low self-esteem and looks like a delinquent, but if you know him you would tell he's a saint, and he manages to attract all three main girls.
  • Tsurime Eyes: An extreme example. To much of his torment, Ryuuji's eyes are not his best feature because they make him look like a criminal. The guy just exudes intense aggressiveness without actually intending to do so.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Besides his friendship with Yūsaku, at first he's feared and misunderstood, and his neighbour and classmate treats him like a dog.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Taiga, long before they become romantic towards one another. It might have been Yasuko who said it, but Taiga is Ryuuji's family through and through. Their frequent bickering only reinforces this view.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: With his mother, who is notoriously childish and laid back, so Ryuuji had to become the responsible party in their home for everything to run smoothly.

    Taiga Aisaka
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese), Cassandra Lee Morris (English)note 

Taiga is a childlike 17-year-old schoolgirl who has trouble engaging with others. Due to her ridiculously short stature at 145cm (4'9") and her tendency to snap at others brutally, she is given the nickname "Palmtop Tiger", giving her a Napoleon complex and a frequently sour face. Essentially, Taiga gets upset easily and is considerably clumsy. She also hails from a rich family, but due to its recent troubles, she has taken to living on her own. However, being a child of privilege barely prepared her for dealing with domestic chores. When she meets Ryuuji and learns of his talents, she begins to depend on him for them. Aside from sleeping in her own house and going to school, she spends most of her time at Ryuuji's house; so much so that she is almost considered a member of his family, and many classmates think they are dating.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Invoked. In spite of her confrontational attitude and unapproachable tendencies, everyone in class genuinely like her and are fond of her. Even Ami ends up being her friend. They are all markedly distraught when she transfers schools.
  • A-Cup Angst: As you would expect, she has quite a complex about her flat chest. The focus of the Beach Episode is her not wanting to put on a swimsuit because then everyone will see her lack of assets. Ryuuji offers to help her by making breast pads to fill up her swimsuit.
  • Accidental Pervert: In a very memorable funny scene, she happens to walk in on Ami taking a shower. Taiga then returns with a red slap mark on her cheek and stunned at Ami's well-developed physique.
  • Action Girl: It doesn't show often because this isn't an action-oriented series, but her fight with Sumire shows what she's made of.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Taiga's apology letter to Sumire only contains a single word written in bold marker; FOOL! She bursts out laughing at Taiga's boldness.
  • Adaptational Badass: Appears as a playable character in the crossover Fighting Game Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, where she can really go all out.
  • Adaptational Distillation: It's subtle, but there are aspects that are downplayed regarding Taiga's character from the books, such as her previous study of martial arts and her love for MMA. This latter one is the main catalyst for her suggestion of a wrestling match as the class festival activity.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: While she is semi-conscious due to falling off a cliff in the snow during the Class Trip, Taiga accidentally confesses to Ryuuji (thinking he is Kitamura) that she is in love with him and trying to give up on him to let him be with Minori is breaking her up from the inside.
  • Animal Motifs: Due to her name and her aggressive personality, everyone compares her to a tiger and give her the nickname "Palmtop Tiger".
  • Badass Adorable: She's a short, cute doll-like girl and she can beat the crap out of you if you mess with her.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: She falls in love with Ryuuji because of the sheer amount of effort he invested in her happiness alone, and in a way that no one ever did. Ryuuji is the first person for whom Taiga became a top priority, where even her loved ones were left at a loss at how to make her happy (like it happened with Minori).
  • Berserk Button:
    • Any reference to her small stature or her nickname will likely result in her punching you in the face.
    • She absolutely hates people making assumptions about her and her feelings; this happens to be the main reason she rejects all love proposals from boys that approach her.
  • Big Ball of Violence: When she attacks the Student Council President, she catches him in one of these. This is later referenced in Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, for her "Tiger & Dragon Beatdown!" Ranbu move, which is a recreation of this scene.
  • But Now I Must Go: After returning home with Ryuuji in the final episode, she leaves again to try and reconcile with her family as part of her new resolve not to run away from her problems. She and Ryuuji are reunited in the epilogue.
  • Byronic Heroine: While a good person, she's still moody, troubled, sad inside and tends to be abrasive, angry and violent.
  • Character Development: She learns to tone down her wrath as the series goes on, be more upfront with her love for Ryuuji, and try to mend her broken family (which is the reason she initially comes off as unpleasant in the first place). She also learns to be more social, since at first she wasn't interested in having any friends besides Minori, but starting in the school festival arc she becomes more and more proactive in school activities.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She hates to see Kitamura getting too friendly with other girls, mainly Sumire and Kihara.
  • Classical Antihero: A more brash and violent example, going into Byronic Hero territory, but she still fits since she is clumsy, insecure, lacks self-confidence and has a kind heart despite her many shortcomings.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Taiga decides to take action, she'll use any advantage she can think of. A light-hearted example would be the swim race against Ami. Certainly no reason she couldn't bring practically every flotation device that she could carry with her to help her stay afloat. Or even better, to throw at Ami to distract her while Taiga uses a boogie board to build a lead.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Tawny-brown hair and eyes.
  • Cute Bruiser: She's small and cute like a doll, and she can knock you out with a single punch.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: She's such a klutz that when she attempts to give her crush a Love Letter she forgets to put it into the envelope! She also falls from a bike she's merely pushing around.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: She deconstructs the Shana Clone archetype of the small, flat-chested and childlike Tsundere. Part of the roots of her short temper stems from lack of social skills and having to deal with a broken family instead of mere immaturity towards romance. Not to mention that to get and keep Ryuuji's affection, Taiga has to tone down her attitude. Also, her body issues due to her looks are portrayed in a more realistic way (i.e. she uses her temper as a cover for deep-seated insecurities over her lack of height and curves).
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: The way she eventually warms up to Ryuuji after their frosty first meeting counts.
  • The Dreaded: Called the Palmtop Tiger... And feared at school due to her rude and violent attitude, but her schoolmates finally understand how kind she is deep down.
  • Dude Magnet: She's said to be popular with boys and gets a lot of love confessions often.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Taiga's parents do not get along with either each other or with Taiga; their efforts to move on have only served to hurt Taiga, who is in the middle of it all. All in all, Taiga can't stand them either, but she loves them nevertheless and her arc closes with her admitting that she wants at the very least to mend her relationship with them so that she can share the happiness that she found with Ryuuji.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: She does NOT like being called the "Palmtop Tiger".
  • Fake Boobs: Ryuuji creates padded inserts for her swimsuit, which would otherwise make her lack way too obvious.
  • First-Name Basis: She unequivocally calls Ryuuji by his name from the very start. He then starts calling her Taiga as a sign of mutual respect and friendship.
  • Foil: To Ryuuji. Taiga is a short, very cute girl known around school as the "Palmtop Tiger" for her angry demeanor and occasional violent outbursts. Contrast with Ryuuji, who has the Face of a Thug, but he's actually a misunderstood Nice Guy.
  • Friend to All Children: She has remarked that she absolutely loves working with children and goes out her way to buy and ship presents for the kids at an orphanage she used to volunteer for. The Christmas episodes serve to show just how kind Taiga really is.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: On Christmas Eve, after sending Ryuuji off to see Minori, she tearfully realizes that she has been in love with Ryuuji for a long time, but with him getting a good chance to finally win Minori's heart, she runs outside her house for Ryuuji, and upon not finding him anywhere, she breaks down crying, calling out for Ryuuji.
  • Groin Attack: She kicks her Jerkass father in the crotch.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She goes from calm to extremely angry with minimal provocation, and usually deals with it by resorting to using some students as a punching bag.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: She keeps insisting Ryuuji isn't her boyfriend, going as far as to crash a class to stop their classmates from spreading rumors about them. While it's initially true, they eventually end up falling for each other and become a couple.
  • Height Angst: She has a huge complex about her short stature.
  • Her Own Worst Enemy: Taiga does not like herself very much and she tends to angrily vent on anyone around her. She also sabotages her own happiness because she assumes that because she doesn't like herself, no one does either.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With her long-time friend Minori she is willing to share anything even trying to hook her up with Ryuji despite her own feelings for the boy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Tiny Girl to Ryuuji's Huge Guy. She's very short, While Ryuuji is quite tall.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, she attacks with swords, baseball bats, chairs, trash cans, and is even able to pummel her opponent against a lamp post.
  • Hypocrite: During her fight with Sumire, she calls the latter a coward who can't face her own feelings.
  • I Gave My Word: One of Taiga's defining traits is her unwaivingly dutiful personality, and this is one of the first things that Ryuuji notices about her. If she commits to something, she will absolutely not let it go, regardless of the results. If she makes a promise, even to herself, she will make every effort she can muster to keep it. This, however, works to both her benefit and her detriment: she is indeed proving herself reliable to her peers by doing so, but she also uses it to try to convince herself that she is not worthy of love, which is something that makes Ryuuji fume the first time he hears it from her, as she says it as nonchalantly as possible.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: After finally realizing she loves Ryuuji, Taiga tries to suppress her feelings so he can get together with Minori, even if she's clearly breaking up from the inside. At the end however, Minori doesn't let her do this.
  • Ignored Confession: After her Anguished Declaration of Love, Ryuuji tries to pretend nothing happened and tells her Kitamura saved her and she didn't say anything. Minori is not happy when she learns about this.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Palmtop Tiger".
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: She's very aggressive, bossy and haughty, but she actually has a really low self-esteem from her childlike body and broken family.
  • Instant Expert: Goes from having Super Drowning Skills to swimming amazingly fast (though with the aid of a boogie board) in the course of one practice session.
  • Insult of Endearment: Towards Ami. She calls her "Stupid Chihuahua" because of the yappy, condescending personality that she portrays in school. In time, it ceases to be a malicious statement because Taiga and Ami start looking after each other for favors and mutual support. The funny thing is that a chihuahua is literally a palm-top dog, which is rather close to what Taiga herself is nicknamed. Go figure.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • She's ill-tempered, rude and violent, but she's a good person at heart and is shown to be very caring and loyal to people she trusts such as Ryuuji and Minori.
    • Her heart of gold manifests prominently during Christmas, as she makes a very honest effort to behave as sweet as possible. She even sends gifts to orphans and pretends to be Santa Claus to cheer them up. She's also willing to send gifts to her parents, despite the fact her father let her down.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: She lives in an apartment next door to Ryuuji's house. After seeing the clear troubles she has living on her own, Ryuuji basically becomes her housemaid, which allows them to become close and slowly fall in love.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's small, cute and doll-like. She's also known by the nickname "Palmtop Tiger", a name that means "Small, but vicious". Like Ryuuji says, it fits her perfectly.
  • Living Legend: At the end of the anime, when the class graduates, several underclassmen point out that they think that the Palmtop Tiger is just a tale and not an actual girl that used to come to school, and later express surprise when Kitamura tells them that she's real... and are even more surprised to know that she's Ryuuji's girlfriend.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She's the daughter of a wealthy family, but due to some serious family issues she has to live alone and her parents never bother to check on her, only sending her the money she needs to feed herself. Before Ryuuji started helping her, she was pretty much on her own and her only friend was Minori.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: The story basically kicks in when Taiga mistakenly places a love letter intended for Kitamura into Ryuuji's bag. The manner on which Taiga tries to correct this, and the fact that the envelope is empty in the first place, clues Ryuuji into the fact that Taiga is astoundingly out of her element in this respect.
  • Love Redeems: One of the reasons Kitamura and Minori proceed to avoid Taiga and Ryuuji's affections respectively is because they come to realize early on just how much Taiga is benefiting from Ryuuji. She is just plain better with him at her side.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: Only started developing feelings for Kitamura after he confessed to her. Too bad he had already lost interest in her by then.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to Ryuuji's Feminine Boy. Taiga has a brash, loud and angry personality. Ryuuji, on the other hand, is generally gentle, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking).
  • Matchmaker Crush: She starts out helping Ryuuji get together with Minori, but ends up falling for him.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: If Taiga had a little less common sense, or was in the capacity of cooking for herself, she'd eat nothing but beef given the choice. On her own devices, she ate nothing but take-out or instant noodles; it's not until she meets Ryuuji that she begins eating more healthily.
  • Minor Living Alone: Deconstructed. Taiga's parents never taught her any domestic skills before she left home. Until she meets Ryuuji, she's living in filth and squalor, subsisting on a diet of convenience store food and suffering from chronic allergies due to her terrible living conditions. She's completely dependent on Ryuuji's care and the monthly cash deposits she gets from her father. She eventually has to admit she's unable to take care of herself.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Like Louise, she says Ryuuji isn't just her servant; he's her dog.
  • The Napoleon: Her shortness and temperament has earned her the nickname of "Palmtop Tiger". Do not speak this nickname in front of her.
  • Never My Fault: A problem she had for the first two thirds of the series was her refusal to accept responsibility for wrongdoings. She finally improves toward the end.
  • No Social Skills: Not quite none but she is abrasive and aggressive and rarely tries to ingratiate herself.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Taiga and Sumire beat the crap out of each other following the latter's humiliation of Kitamura..
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: When Ryuuji starts verbally unloading on Yasuko to the point of making her cry, Taiga has to take his hand to make him stop. Then they start taking a run for it, leaving Yasuko emotionally destroyed and helpless.
  • Official Couple: She gets together with Ryuuji.
  • Oh, Crap!: Given her extreme clumsiness, both poor social skills and anger management, and her tendency to overreact, about half of Taiga's character focus in the story consists of this trope alone, with multiple examples shown in almost every single episode in the anime by itself; it would warrant a whole page of her own.
  • Ojou: Played with. She comes from a well-off family, but she doesn't have any of the personality traits related to the trope other than her prim clothes style. She also lives in a very nice apartment, but she has no one to take care of her, which results in her living in filth and squalor and only eating convenience store food with the money her parents give her.
  • Older Than She Looks: She's a 17-year-old high school student with a preteen body. Her childlike appearance is one of the many issues behind her bad attitude.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • A number of characters point out that Taiga basically opened her world when she met Ryuuji (this is pointed out pretty early in the series by Kitamura); while she remained her old reactionary self, she became more sociable and steadily ceased to be as confrontational and unapproachable as she used to be with her classmates.
    • To elaborate on the previous point, there is a stark contrast between Taiga as a whole (violent, rude, confrontational), and Taiga after she and Ryuuji fall in love. The girl just melts into a ball of tenderness.
  • Opposites Attract: She's a cute small girl with a brash, loud and angry personality and unable to properly take care of herself who falls in love with a guy with a Face of a Thug but who is generally kind, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking).
  • Parental Neglect: Her dad only wants to be her father in a way that's convenient for him, as demonstrated when he skips her performance at the culture festival even after making a big show of trying to make amends. According to Minori, this isn't the first time he's done something like this.
  • Parent with New Paramour: She doesn't get along with her mother because she already remarried and is pregnant with her new husband's child.
  • Perpetual Frowner: At first, she always has the same angry look on her face. She mellows out later.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: She emerges more unscathed from the fight with Sumire and claims victory afterwards, but as consequence for starting that fight, she gets a two week suspension from school.
  • Pretty in Mink: Though Taiga is an immaculate dresser, she looks particularly stunning in her evening gown and in Winter garb.
  • Property of Love: Taiga claims Ryuuji is hers in front of her entire class after she saves him from drowning in the pool. She then says she only meant it as if he is her dog and she is his owner.
  • Punny Name: The characters in her given name actually translate as "great river", but her name still sounds an awful lot like the English word "tiger", hence her tiger motif.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: She is the Red for several Blues, including Ryuuji, Ami and Sumire, because she is so much more expressively emotional and violent.
  • Required Secondary Powers: She lacks some. She's very strong but her tiny frame makes it easy for people to negate that, such as when Ami picks her up in the swimming episode, leaving her squirming helplessly.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: With Minori. The two are forever cuddling and saying how much they care about each other. The first OP even focuses on Taiga flinging herself into Minori's arms, apparently just because they're that close.
  • Say My Name: Kanou... SUMIRE!!
  • Shana Clone: She's a childlike Tsundere who's older than she looks, has long hair and Grade A Zettai Ryouiki, comes from a wealthy family, is voiced by Rie Kugimiya, and pretty much quotes Shana and Louise by shouting "Urusai!" or referring to Ryuuji as a dog.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She is already cute but everyone commented on how stunning she can be when she made the effort to dress up at the Pageant and the Christmas Party.
  • Shorttank: While not too tomboyish, Taiga is very loud and brash. She also packs one hell of a punch.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She's generally attracted to nice men. First, she has a crush on the nice and friendly Kitamura and later she falls for Ryuuji who, despite his appearance, is really kind and always takes care of her.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: She slides between Imperfect (IV), Common (III) and World Class beauty (II). She is a coveted item at school with several pursuants after her. The only points against her come from her small frame (which makes her look cutesy, which is something she's not fond of) and her untidiness. In the manga, though she is not his main focus, Ryuuji finds her to be breathtaking at first glance, and later remarks that she looks almost unreal; this is, of course, well before they become lovey-dovey.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Invoked. Taiga is very pretty (as a matter of fact, she's hands-down one of the prettiest girls in Ohashi High School), but the boys that try to pursue her tend to base their angle on her looks (particularly her cuteness), overlook the deeper part of her personality and approach her due to her headstrong demeanor, so she defaults to turning every suitor down. She's still an item of admiration regardless.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: She's estranged from both her parents, has to live on her own despite not knowing how take care of herself and to top it off, her underdeveloped body screws over her self-esteem. She takes a short-tempered and violent approach as a way to vent out her frustrations and defend herself.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Taiga's tongue-tied love "confession" to Kitamura ends up convincing him that, while she likes Kitamura, she wants to be with Ryuuji; that means, the exact opposite of what she was trying to convey. The subsequent events in the story do very little to convince Kitamura otherwise, as it turns out.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: She has a savage duel with Sumire because Sumire cruelly broke Kitamura's heart with seemingly no qualms in front of the whole school. Besides the fact that Taiga has been pursuing him, Kitamura is altogether an excellent person and a dear friend to not only Taiga, but to everyone around him, and he didn't deserve such a heartless treatment. Turns out, Sumire does reciprocate his feelings, but is unwilling to let him sabotage his own bright future just to pursue her.
  • Through Her Stomach: Taiga is at her most content when she eats good food. Ryuuji is an excellent cook. Do the math.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: She is the tiger and Ryuuji is the dragon. Ryuuji remarking on this trope is how they started working together.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: A deconstruction of the trope. The fact that she's tiny screws up badly with her self-worth, therefore a good part of her aggression is an attempt to compensate and defend herself from others.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She's the youngest-looking girl in the cast. It's deconstructed since her childlike appearance screws up her self-esteem, and being small and cute makes her overcompensate with aggression.
  • Town Girls: The Butch to Ami's Femme and Minori's Neither. Taiga is brash, loud and quick to punch you if you annoy her, in contrast with the friendly, but athletic Minori and the fashionable and vain Ami.
  • Trash of the Titans: Her apartment is an astonishing mess, including a sickening stench emanating from the kitchen sink which was polluted so heavily that its contents were censored on screen. Ryuuji's first reaction to seeing said apartment is to beg her to be allowed to clean it.
  • Troubled, but Cute: She has a troubled past because of which she has an angry and rude demeanor, but she's considered as one of the cutest girls in her school, and is really kind-hearted.
  • Tsundere: Harsh type. She acts short-tempered and very violent in an attempt to hide her vulnerability, only feeling comfortable to show her softer and caring side to those she deeply trusts like Ryuuji and Minori.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Her eyes have the sharp and strong look typical from a Tsundere.
  • Unknowingly in Love: At the end of episode 19, she finally comes to realize that she's in love with Ryuuji, after going to some effort to help set him up with her good friend, Minori.
  • Unknown Rival: To Sumire Kano. Taiga sees the Student Council President as her nemesis for being both tyrannical and the girl whom Kitamura, who she has feelings for, has a crush on. Sumire, on the other hand, barely pays Taiga any thought, and even after getting beaten down by her in a fight before leaving school she doesn't take her very seriously.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Actually, with Ryuuji. They spend so much time together and looking after each other that everyone except themselves think that they are a couple. Minori might be her best friend, but Ryuuji is conjoined to Taiga by the waist. Of course, this is well before they both realize that they love each other.
    • With Ami as well, heavy on vitriol at the start but more like best buds toward the end. Taiga even likens Ami to a dog ("stupid chihauhaua") the same way she does with Ryuuji.
  • Waif-Fu: See the short, cute doll-like girl beating the crap out of the much taller Student Council President!
  • When She Smiles: Given her default scowl, her smile is really something to behold.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: She is sometimes seen wielding something similar to a wooden katana. She doesn't actually use it much over the course of the anime, though. She's much more effective with her fists.
  • Written by the Winners: Following her two-week suspension due to her fight with Sumire, Taiga arrives to school to find most of the male alumni waiting for her, expecting to hear about her "victory"; Taiga plays into their narrative and brags that as the last one standing, she is the winner indeed, which causes the crowd to cheer for her. This of course ignores that Sumire was set to leave school for America anyway even if Taiga hadn't chosen to pick that fight with her, so by Taiga's defining of victory (being "the last one standing" due to still being there at school), Taiga was never at any risk of losing to start with. Pyrrhic Victory indeed.

    Yuusaku Kitamura
Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English)note 

Yuusaku is Ryuuji's best friend and the Student Council Vice-President, Class Representative to Ryuuji, Taiga, and Minori, and captain of the men's softball team. Yuusaku wears glasses, and has a diligent personality. He thinks he is poor at talking to girls, though Ryuuji observes otherwise; Yuusaku likes the student council president Sumire Kanou. Despite being on the Student Council, he is in violation of riding a motorcycle to school.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Most of the girls in class (especially Kihara) are fond of calling him "Maruo" because he's a dead ringer for the character Maruo from the manga Chibi Maruko-chan, for who he is an Expy.
  • Amazon Chaser: Both of his love interests are confident and kick-ass girls. When he made his declaration to Taiga pre-series, he specifically mentions her tiger-like ferocity as appealing to him. After Taiga rejected him, he was quickly won over by Sumire, who is less violent but equally strong-minded and capable in a fight.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Gives one to Sumire right in front of the whole school, only for her to coldly reject him (although she has her reasons).
  • Bad Liar: Ami points out that him dyeing his hair is absolutely the bare minimum that he could have done to assert his "rebel" statement against becoming the Student Council President, basically rendering the effort as lazy, rushed and insincere. The guy is too much of a straight arrow to come up with something more convincing.
  • Chick Magnet: He is an item for the girls in class, and is by far the most popular boy in the classroom and one of the most popular guys in the school at large. He tends to pay them no mind because he has higher expectations with Sumire.
  • Childhood Friends: He has been friends with Ami since childhood and this is why he is aware of the real her behind the cutesy mask.
  • Class Representative: He's the representative of 2-C class.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • Taiga's extremely awkward wording during her declaration of affection leads Kitamura to conclude that even though Taiga likes him, she wants to be with Ryuuji, which is exactly the opposite point she was trying to make at the time. Kitamura then proceeds to take her word for it and never once waivers from believing that she meant every word she said. This is further exacerbated by the fact that Taiga had already rejected him once, and that he moved on.
    • Invoked by Sumire. She argues to Ryuuji that she had encouraged Kitamura to run for president, not to declare his love for her. After she and Taiga beat the crap out of each other, she admits under considerable duress that she does love him back, but that she was trying to cut him cold-turkey so that he didn't ruin his own future chasing after her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he first says hi to Ryuuji, Kitamura reassures him that he is there for him and knows full well that Ryuuji is no thug.
  • First-Name Basis: With Ami, on account of knowing each other since childhood.
  • Just Friends: Though he previously had a crush on Taiga, he is way past her by the time she starts paying attention to him. He lets her know that he's there for her as a friend, but nothing more.
  • Large Ham: Possesses a very jolly and energetic personality, tending to get really fired up about whatever he's doing and make larger-than-life statements.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone calls him by his last name. Only his Childhood Friend Ami calls him Yuusaku.
  • Look Over There: In the last episode's epilogue, in not so many words, he tells Ryuuji to look at their classroom floor, where Taiga's rather voluminous hair can be seen. Ryuuji then runs up to the classroom, eventually finding Taiga inside the locker trying to hide from him in an effort to make her appearance a surprise.
  • Lovable Jock: He's a good-looking, athletic and popular boy. He's also a very Nice Guy and a loyal friend.
  • Manly Tears: He breaks down crying when Sumire nonchalantly ignores his declaration of affection, and later out of joy to find out that she does reciprocate his feelings.
  • Nice Guy: Kind, polite and friendly.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He knows how Taiga feels about him, but pretends to be oblivious because he doesn't want to reject her and hurt her feelings.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Briefly played for laughs. After being rejected by Sumire, Kitamura dyes his hair blonde to rebel. One smack from his father (off screen) he's dyed it black again and is back to being a model student.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The whole premise of his arc; his friends are quick to realize that something bad is happening to him when he begins to act morosely and dismissively, which is very unlike him. It stems from the fact that the girl that he holds affections for (Sumire) is going away forever way sooner than he had accounted for.
  • Out of Focus: After Taiga learns that he loves Sumire and made her realize that it would be impossible for her to get him, he got noticeably less prominent in the last act of the series.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He joins the Student Council after Taiga rejects him, but there, he comes to find out that he has a knack for leadership.
  • Romantic False Lead: He's the guy Taiga has a crush on at first, when it's obvious she will end up with Ryuuji.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Ryuuji's Sensitive Guy, which is not to say he isn't sensitive but with Ryuji's efforts to negate his Face of a Thug and Kitamura's student-council work, he appears more manly.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: A rather mild version, but one episode had him nonchalantly walk into a room in full view of the three main girls with nothing covering him except a hand towel held in front of his naughty bits. Though in his defense, he wasn't wearing his glasses at the time and probably didn't realize they were all there until it was too late.
  • Shirtless Scene: Four of them. The guy is rather unashamed of his shirtlessness, much to the admiration of the girls in class, and much to the torment of his male classmates who think that he's just showing off. In reality, Kitamura doesn't quite care.
  • Student Council President: Starts as the class president and the vice president of the Student Council. Gets promoted later on.
  • Subordinate Excuse: He's in love with the Student Council President Sumire and it's implied he joined the student council to get close to her.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: How Taiga described him in one of the next episode previews because she's crushing on him.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: He had a crush on Taiga one year prior to the series, but she turned him down. By the time she realized she did like him, Kitamura had already moved on and fallen for Sumire.
  • Yes-Man: To Sumire, when he's still the Student Council Vice President. Justified that he's also in love with her.

    Minori Kushieda
Voiced by: Yui Horie (Japanese), Christine Marie Cabanos (English)note 

"Just as much as I'll want to doubt them, thinking 'Do they really see ghosts?', I'll end up thinking 'Are they really in love?'. I just don't see it. As much as I believe, it continuously eludes me. I've never experienced any of it for myself, y'know. These things that other people speak of as simply natural, they've never happened to me. And so that's why, I just can't believe in such things. I'm left on the outside... I want to believe, but I've kind of given up. The most I can do is enviously watch 'the ones who can see' with my finger in my mouth, cheering them on from the sidelines. Just that, is a connection, I guess... What a bunch of lies! It's all a delusion! A figment of your imagination! is what I want to shout because I still can't shake my doubt."

Minori is Taiga's best friend as well as her, Ryuuji and Yuusaku's classmate. In contrast to the negative Taiga, Minori is always smiling and cheerful, but is also a natural airhead. She is very athletic and is the captain of the girl's softball club at school, though at the same time she holds many part time jobs. She is a glutton when it comes to food, but is also constantly combating with dieting.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Taiga calls her "Minorin".
  • Ambiguously Bi: She's definitely in love with Ryuuji, but her affection for Taiga is so suspect that Minori herself isn't quite sure if it's platonic or not. She even makes an off-handed comment during the cultural festival wondering if she's more into girls. Additionally, while Played for Laughs, she clearly enjoyed seeing Kitamura's body fresh from the shower.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: The plot revolves around Minori's acceptance of Ryuuji's affections because she avoids the subject as much as she can. She rejects Ryuuji on Christmas Eve with wording that leaves the situation way too open for interpretation. Taiga then tells Ryuuji that she knows Minori likes him and that he should persevere, only that Minori makes a point of avoiding both Ryuuji and Taiga from that point on. During the trip to the mountains, Ami even berates Minori for pussyfooting around Ryuuji instead of being more direct.
  • Always Second Best: She is Taiga's best friend, but they're nowhere as close to each other as Ryuuji and Taiga are. Most of her avoidance of the subject stems from her mixed feelings about this liaison, as she herself likes Ryuuji, but she wants Taiga to be happy just as much.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Only in the beach episode.
  • Berserk Button:
    • She absolutely hates to be thrown into situations she cannot control or to be brought into conversation topics she does not want to engage into, as shown when Taiga and Ami do it to her. The latter puts her in conflict with Ryuuji, as she lets her rage overcome her when he brings up the subject of Taiga's dad.
    • She will never abide to Taiga being hurt.
    • She cannot withstand people lying.
    • She also despises being speculated upon, as Ami finds out.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Her oddness does not keep her from performing admirably at her jobs or being an excellent softball player. She also gets very good grades.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Her hilarious antics are known to admirably steal the scene.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Minori is the class oddball, and it's generally hard to tell what she's even thinking on a given occasion. Though she is shown to be unusually perceptive at times, being able to deduce that Taiga was wearing pads under her swimsuit, among other things (like Ami being two-faced). Then this gets averted when she eventually reveals she's being weird on purpose to keep Ryuji from getting any closer romantically, like Minori getting them to play baseball in the locked storage room (which could have led to a confession on either of their parts without her deflection), or her rambling about ghosts to stop Ryuji saying anything when they're alone (because they're once again alone, and she can't stand the idea of getting in Taiga's way).
  • Club President: The captain of the girl's softball club.
  • The Confidant: Invoked. One of the main plot points in the story is how she and Taiga are progressively drifting away as confidants, as Minori starts realizing that Taiga seems to trust Ryuuji more than she trusts her. This, as Minori argues, is one of the reasons she resolved in rejecting Ryuuji's affections, as she comes to understand that Ryuuji was able to lift Taiga's barriers where Minori herself couldn't. Ryuuji is just that good for Taiga.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Red-violet hair and eyes.
  • Expy: Looks and acts in a way that is reminiscent of Tsukihime's Kohaku, likewise, Minori also has some issues she covers up with her energetic attitude.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's a Hot-Blooded and very energetic redhead.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Her erratic way of proceeding regarding Ryuuji's affections and her interactions with him make an awful lot more sense when it's revealed that she likes him back just as much, making her a nervous wreck around him, all while trying to ship him and Taiga.
    • Just as she's Taiga's only friend at the beginning, it turns out that Minori's only true friend is Taiga too. This is further explored during the series, as it is revealed that Minori is not nearly as sociable as she portrays herself, and makes a conscious effort to keep people at arm's length.
  • Genki Girl: She has so much energy and is so consistently bright that she's compared to the sun.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Though she's remarkably good at hiding it, the story progressively shows that Minori, like Taiga, doesn't like herself that much either.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: She is a long-time friend to Taiga and cares so much about her that she sabotages any chance of a relationship between herself and Ryuuji so Taiga can hook up with him instead.
  • Hidden Depths: She is more serious, perceptive and sensitive than she lets on. She is also more belligerent and markedly less patient than what she shows to others.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: She made a point to put some distance between herself and Taiga when the first trouble with Taiga's dad arose -prior to meeting Ryuuji-, but by doing so, Ryuuji crept in to the hole she left without her realizing it. She never did stop caring and supporting Taiga, yet, she engineered her own unhappiness by doing so.
  • Hot-Blooded: If anything can be said about Minori, it's that she throws herself body and soul into everything she does, and does so with enthusiasm and shouting.
  • Hypocrite: At the end of Episode 23, she calls out Taiga for trying to push her and Ryuuji together despite her own feelings so that she can be happy, and tells her that no one else but her should decide what makes her happy. The thing is, she's doing the exact same thing; she's putting aside her own feelings for Ryuuji for the sake of Taiga's happiness and tries to push them together by denying Ryuuji. She does tell Taiga that she can choose herself whether she wants to be with Ryuuji or not, but considering she is hurt just as much as Taiga was when the two finally get together, it's clear that she was sacrificing her own desires just like Taiga.
  • Humanizing Tears: Though she portrays herself as a pillar of self-determination, Minori is very much affected by the stuff happening around her, so the sporadic instances where she cries mark the seriousness of the situation. Her breaking down in front of Ami in the end is what endears Minori to her as confidants.
  • Irony: Just two episodes in, she realizes that Taiga and Ryuuji are quicker and closer friends to each other than anything Minori had been able to achieve with Taiga herself. One of the first things she does with this admittance is to beg Ryuuji to take care of Taiga (though she's doing it at the time under the impression that they already are a couple).
  • It's Not You, It's Me: While chasing after Taiga, she declares to her (within Ryuuji's earshot) that even though she does like Ryuuji, he is not a part of the plans she made for her own future, and while it pains her to admit so, she relents to the fact that she doesn't need him as much as Taiga does regardless of how much she likes him. She later lets him go to be with Taiga.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She does like Ryuuji, but realizes Taiga needs him more than she does and decides to let the two of them be happy together, even if it breaks her heart.
  • Large Ham: Very outgoing and rather hammy, with an energetic and flamboyant personality.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: The plot is fueled by, and revolves around her ambiguous way of dealing with Ryuuji's attraction towards her, which basically produces a Love Dodecahedron standstill for all the parties, almost to the point of making it a Mexican Standoff without guns. Thing is, she'd love to be with Ryuuji indeed, but after witnessing how much goodness and positivity he provides to Taiga comparatively, she decides to relinquish her own wishes.
  • The Millstone: The plot revolves around her indecision towards Ryuuji's affections. This directly affects Taiga, Ryuuji, Ami, Kitamura, Kihara and Noto.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She hits a ball through a gymnasium window and accidentally destroyed Taiga’s crystal Christmas star. As she’s trying to glue the pieces back together, she’s convinced the Star won’t be the same.
  • Nervous Wreck: Though she generally behaves like a Genki Girl, she is especially off the wall when Ryuuji interacts with her. This is because she likes him indeed, but is trying to avoid him romantically for Taiga's sake while trying to not alienate him; predictably, it goes from bad to worse since that is a very delicate balancing act.
  • Nice Girl: Very kind and supportive towards her friends, and rarely gets mad at anyone. She also doesn't mind Ryuuji and Taiga being together as long both of them are happy together.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: She is fascinated by ghosts and hopes to meet one someday.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There's a proverbial disturbance in the force whenever she drops her Genki Girl facade; this usually means that the situation is an awful lot more serious than what's being presented.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: She wants to get into a sports university and aim for the national softball league.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: She stays at Kawashima's apartment when Taiga and Ryuuji elope because she cannot handle the sadness of losing them both by herself and she needs someone at her side. Later, she is shown in the company of Kawashima in a more friendly exchange than they've shared before.
  • Plucky Girl: Energetic, optimistic and headstrong. However, we are later shown she can't keep up her cheerfulness for very long.
  • The Pollyanna: She never gets sad, nor cries until when she accidentally broke the Christmas star the rest of her classmates set up for their Christmas tree, and continued having a period of depression up until after Taiga and Ryuuji got together.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: With Taiga. The two are forever cuddling and saying how much they care about each other. The first OP even focuses on Taiga flinging herself into Minori's arms, apparently just because they're that close. That said, Minori herself wonders if her feelings towards Taiga are entirely platonic.
  • The Reveal: Minori gave up on Ryuuji way earlier than anyone had realized, but she admits that she did an awful job in letting both him and Taiga know because she does like him.
  • Running Gag: Her getting a nosebleed by either dropping a big box on her face, nervously standing up in class, or just plain face-planting on the floor. She better not consider boxing...
  • Romantic False Lead: She's set up as Ryuuji's love interest and he spends most of the series trying to get together with her with Taiga's help. However, from the title alone you know the series is about Ryuuji and Taiga's relationship.
  • Romantic Runner-Up:
    • Ryuuji has a crush on her at the start of the story and she has plenty of chances to get together with him. She also likes him back, but she's hesitant to confess her feelings because she can see how close he and Taiga are. At the end, pretty much the only reason she lost was that she didn't make her move before Ryuuji got closer to Taiga, and she willingly gave up on Ryuuji to let Taiga have him.
    • This also applies to Taiga too, in a (probably) more platonic way. She considers herself Taiga's best friend, but she realizes that she's nowhere as good a friend to Taiga, nor as intimate to her as Ryuuji is. The guy just drove past Minori in this respect without realizing it and left her on the curb; as it happened, Ryuuji opened doors to Taiga that not even Minori was aware of.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Ryuuji's Savvy Guy because she is constantly at full steam with all her jobs and her softball games while he is taking care of domestic stuff and trying to figure our her ghost analogy. .
  • Stepford Smiler: There's a lot of issues hidden behind her genki-ness.
  • Tender Tears: In Episode 24. After sending Ryuuji and Taiga off, the normally cheerful Minori finally breaks down in front of Ami, wondering if she lost Ryuuji to Taiga, Taiga to Ryuuji, or both Taiga and Ryuuji to each other.
    "Crying is a nosebleed of the heart... If you trip while running down a hallway, you'll get a nosebleed. If you trip in life, you'll cry."
  • Town Girls: The Neither to Taiga's Butch and Ami's Femme. While Taiga is brash and violent and Ami is fashionable and vain, Minori is nice, cheerful and cute, but also very athletic and is the captain of the girl's softball club.
  • Tsundere: A type B, as she's one of the nicest characters in the series, but making her angry is a bad idea.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ami. They evolve into True Companions after their arguments and problems they must confront.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Calls Ryuuji out after she discovers he lied to Taiga about her rescue at the Class Trip and ignored her confession. She also gets angry with Taiga for repressing her feelings so she and Ryuuji could be together, saying that her happiness is something she must choose and gain herself.
    • She slaps Ryuuji across the face for not returning with Taiga after they "eloped", assuming he did something to alienate Taiga.
  • What You Are in the Dark: She feels guilty for liking Ryuuji because she thinks that whatever step forward she makes towards him is going to hurt Taiga, so she tries to avoid him. The problem is that she is unable to turn him down in clear and sincere words because she does like him a lot, and doesn't want to hurt him either; this only serves to prolong the uncertainty of the whole situation. Eventually Ami calls her out on this, because she's only making everything worse.
  • You Are Not Alone: Invoked. Minori has a tendency of keeping even her closest friends at arm's length, as she burdens herself as the support. During the later arcs, her mixed feelings and the burden are starting to bear down on her, during which Ryuuji and Ami come to support her, though Ami is not particularly kind about it because of her own annoyance to how Minori is handling her business, hurting herself and by extension, hurting her friends.

    Ami Kawashima
Voiced by: Eri Kitamura (Japanese), Erika Harlacher (English)note 
"I'm not the Palmtop Tiger who's always sticking around with you; neither am I Minori-chan, who's your sparkling sun. I, Kawashima Ami, am standing in the same land as you, walking on the same path as you. It's just that I'm a few steps ahead of you."

Ami is Yuusaku's childhood friend who transfers into his class midway through their second year of high school. She is very beautiful and even works as a model, and although she has temporarily stopped upon her transfer, she still tries to maintain her figure. She is always kind and generous towards others, though this is merely a deception. In truth, she is arrogant and sometimes doesn't hesitate to manipulate others for her own benefit. However, she gets better with her character development, and despite being a bit self-centered, spoiled and vain, she's actually a good person who really cares for her friends, and wants them to front the truth of the things.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Minori takes to calling her "Amin" later in the story, especially when Ami is making an effort to ignore her; Taiga's nickname for her, "Stupid Chihuahua", starts to have a more endearing tone the further the story goes.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Well, not exactly aloof, but the appearance fits: she's tall, beautiful and has blue hair.
  • Animal Motifs: The chihuahua (Taiga calls her "stupid chihuahua"). It's rather ironic, because a chihuahua is a palm-top dog, and Ami is tall, but Taiga sees her as cute outside and brash inside.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Happens in some episodes; besides the episode where she wears a bikini at school and the beach episode, she sometimes wears a belly shirt.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she's introduced, she's a mean and arrogant Alpha Bitch who pretends to be an air-headed ditz to manipulate others. She gets better thanks to Character Development.
  • Broken Bird: As a School Idol she faced many unpleasant experiences, which no doubt hardened her into the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing she has become when she was introduced.
  • Cassandra Truth: As her Character Development takes off she begins to genuinely care about and try to give sound advice to Ryuuji, Minori & Taiga. Unfortunately, her initial impression as a Manipulative Bitch mean all of them are suspicious and reluctant to listen to her if they don't just ignore her outright.
  • Character Development: Possibly the best example in the show. She goes from an arrogant and manipulative Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to a sympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Gold who really cares about her friends and is ready to do anything she can to help them.
  • Childhood Friends: She has been friends with Yuusaku since childhood which is why she doesn't bother hiding her true self from him. He already knows it.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: She picks on her friends because she wants them to be sincere with their own feelings, though her approach is markedly confrontational and leads them to assume either too much or too little of what she means by her statements. This earns her the trust of the main group in the end.
  • Didn't See That Coming.
    • When she is having the swimming competition with Taiga, she is surprised by her bringing all sorts of floating equipment to the poolside, caught completely off-guard when Taiga pelts her with the equipment and makes her fall in the pool, and then completely flabbergasted when Taiga removes her swimsuit top to distract her.
    • By the time the Christmas party comes along, she and Taiga are already friends. This is foreseen by exactly no one.
  • Disappointed in You: Several times, considering how clumsy everyone is with their desires; it leads her to resort to What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When Kitamura goes "rogue", she assumes the very same disposition as Sumire does towards him and is altogether not very supportive of him during this time. She is right in telling that he's just doing it to show off, as she argues that he did it very flimsily.
    • She is about as annoyed with Ryuuji not paying attention to either Taiga or Minori, as she is to the fact that he just doesn't listen or pay attention to her advice. In time, she just stops altogether.
    • She gets confrontational with Minori because of her beating around the bush when it came to Ryuuji.
    • She tries it several times with Taiga, but it never works for her due to Taiga's personal issues feeding her insecurities and making her problems far more insurmountable than anyone Ami's encountered in the past.
  • Expy: She bears a passing resemblance to Kaname Chidori.
  • Fashion Model: She works as a fashion model and is very famous. We see her featured in magazines.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She ultimately is a nice person, but after her Character Development, she's also become Brutally Honest towards the ones she cares about. Even though she drops the Kawaiiko attitude, Ami tends to proceed with a caring interest and earnest desire to make good for her friends, only that she doesn't sugarcoat a damn thing. This confrontational attitude rubs them off wrong, making them not heed to her advice even when it's sound. Whereas any other person would try to approach the subject in hand with an utmost care, Ami would rather directly force her friends to confront their problems.
  • Hidden Depths: She is more loving and caring of her friends that she lets on, only that she's as blunt as an anvil.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: A really Lovable Alpha Bitch: snarky, vain and very blunt, but a good person who really cares for others and wishes the best for her friends.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard:
    • Thanks to Yuusaku, Ryuuji sees past Ami's facade early on (when she was in full Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/Alpha Bitch mode), when Ami tries to taunt Taiga by saying that Ami will take Ryuuji from Taiga, even though she thinks very little of him. This convinces Ryuuji that Ami just likes to play around about liking him... which bites Ami in the ass later when she does grow to like him for real, but Ryuuji won't take her seriously.
    • Because of the initial impression that she gives to Taiga, Ryuuji and Minori, they don't listen to her even when she's giving sound advice because they think that she's mocking them.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Unlike Taiga and Minori, Ami clearly never had a chance to win Ryuuji's affections. It's partly her own fault for her character as initial Manipulative Bitch and The Tease, which convinced Ryuuji she just wanted to play around with him.
  • Humanizing Tears: In the final volume of the light novels, she breaks down crying after she realizes that Taiga has gone with her mother. Ami confesses that she wanted to keep her friends close to her. This served as the climax of her Character Development in the novel.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Kitamura ends up being right regarding Ami having to drop her facade in order to actually get real friends, as she remains true and reliable to the people she hounded the most (Ryuuji, Taiga and Minori).
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Basically the reason why Ami has a crush on Ryuuji. At first, she was trying to manipulate him as she did with everyone else, but later fell for him for real when he discovered her true self.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She gives up on pursuing Ryuuji so he can be happy with Taiga and also so her new friend Taiga can be happy with Ryuji.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Taiga tells Ryuuji that she didn't like Ami when they were first introduced because Ami openly called herself an "air-head" from the start, which is not something to brag about. Turns out, Ami is everything but.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Ami tends to use this when she assumes her kawaiiko personnae, though an unintended example happens when she's talking to Kihara and Nanako about being unable to handle someone "bigger" than she had handled before; Kitamura absentmindedly misconstrues this as a well-endowed man, while Ami points out that she's talking about a big dog she had to work with at a photo shoot.
  • I Warned You: Out of all the people that she tried to approach, Minori (the person that tried to avoid her the most) is the one that fully admits that Ami was right and ultimately seeks her for consolation because they're basically left to each other.
  • Jerkass at Your Discretion: She seems to be sweet and clumsy at first, but she's actually arrogant and only shows this towards people who know of her true personality. That said, she gradually becomes less arrogant and genuinely does care about others.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Post-Character Development. She never stops acting proud and vain and can still be harsh at times, but she has grown to truly care about her friends and gives them advice in their love lives, not that any of them trust her enough to actually listen.
  • Kawaiiko: Tries to pass herself off as this as a cutesy airhead to get others to fawn over her. She grows out of it eventually in order to gain real friends, who would know the real her.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: She starts out as a mean and arrogant girl who pretends to be ditzy and innocent to become popular. After some Character Development, she becomes a lot nicer and more sympathetic.
  • Magic Skirt: She sits between the campus' two vending machines in a manner that would normally shows her panties.
  • Manipulative Bitch: When she's introduced, she puts up a ditzy act to manipulate those around her into liking her and become popular. She grows out of it thanks to Character Development.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She usually fills the role of the sexy and/or glamorous one aside from Ryuuji's own mom, Yasuko. She's a fashion model, after all, so she knows how to play the role.
  • Mutual Disadvantage: With Taiga. Ami feels that she has to compete with her because Taiga is very well liked by everyone regardless of what she does, though she doesn't let anyone near her; Ami in turn has to make an effort to put up a facade for people to like her because she thinks that her true personality is detrimental to her having a firm footing. Funny thing is, they end up being fond of each other in the end once they tear down their walls.
  • New Transfer Student: She transfers into 2-C class in the middle of the second year of high school to evade a stalker. He followed her.
  • Not so Above It All: Sure, she likes to be admired, but when the whole school tells her that she's the most beautiful girl in the world in unison, she blushes and laughs nervously in embarrassment.
  • Only Sane Woman: Yes, she may not care about other people's feelings, but when you get past her tactless, unpleasant self, you realize that her words are much more down-to-earth and sensible than she is given credit for.
  • Pet the Dog: Several of these occur as her character develops. For example, she expresses a deep admiration for Taiga because she is liked even with her penchant for confrontation and violence. Ami, in turn, has to work to earn it. She eventually comes to realize that she likes Taiga when she's happy, which is something that she doesn't see too often.
  • Proud Beauty: She knows she's very attractive and likes to use her looks to get others' attention.
  • The Reliable One: She bitches and moans an awful lot, but she is unequivocal and earnest to lending help to her friends if they ask for it, even if she thinks that the favor is detrimental (like when Taiga told her to stick to their agreed script at the pageant). In the end, she even offers her summer house for Taiga and Ryuuji when they decide to elope.
  • Repeat What You Just Said: In the final arc, Ami pries on Ryuuji to make him say out loud that he loves Taiga. He initially thinks that she's mocking him as always, but her serious look tells him otherwise; he unabashedly tells her that he indeed loves Taiga, to which she makes a satisfied expression, realizing he is finally and freely telling her the truth. She then, in a joyful display of relief, pushes him with a kick while calling him a braggart.
  • Respected by the Respected: She sincerely likes to be praised by Taiga, the very person that does it the least and makes a conscious effort not to.
  • The Rival: She feels that she has to compete with Taiga because she exudes confidence, though she comes to realize that this is not the case. Turns out, Taiga is indeed hurt by her insecurities, but Ami sees that when she tells her stuff, it has no effect on Taiga. She eventually gives up on trying to pick on Taiga.
  • School Idol: She quickly becomes popular at school thanks to her beauty and successful modeling career.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Very much so in the novels, where she's described as being the same height as Ryuuji, but in the anime too she's still quite tall.
  • She's Got Legs: A number of characters point out that her long legs are among the best of her features.
  • Shipping Torpedo: About Taiga and Ryuuji's relationship early on, mostly because she doesn't like Taiga and wants Ryuuji for herself. This eventually changes and she plays an active part in helping Taiga and Ryuuji get together.
  • Smug Snake: Despite her claims of maturity and her belief that she knows what's best for her friends, when she tries to actually apply this early on in the second half, most of her efforts and condescension just end up failing or making things worse for everyone.
  • The Tease: She enjoys putting Ryuuji in situations where she can get him aroused, such as making him think she was taking a shower and asking him to join her when she was just cleaning the bathroom.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She is shown to be making a conscious effort to help Minori, especially since she realizes that Minori is the one that is causing everyone's headache with her vagueness. The problem is that, as she finds out, Minori is as stubborn as a mule (even more so than Taiga), and also, that they're not particularly patient girls to begin with. Their tension eventually escalates to a full-on confrontation, though eventually Minori seeks her as a confidant after all the trouble they go through.
  • Third-Person Person: Sometimes refers to herself in third person as part of her Kawaiiko act.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: She eventually grows out of being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and actually becomes a valuable and helpful member to the group, giving her friends advice in their romantic problems.
  • Town Girls: The Femme to Taiga's Butch and Minori's Neither. Ami is flirty, vain and works as a Fashion Model, in contrast with the friendly, but athletic Minori and the brash and violent Taiga.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Her insecurity at the beginning and her behaviour that was swinging from Kawaiiko to Alpha Bitch hid the troubled experience she had because of a stalker while she was working as a model. However, from the beginning, every guy and girl she didn't already know found her very beautiful, and she's actually a good person at heart.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Moves firmly into this territory with Taiga as the two spend more time together, as no insulting from either one of them can disguise the fact that they're really friends.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • She tells Ryuuji that he has to stop playing "daddy" with Taiga or treating her like a doll, and that just as he is being serious with Minori, he owes the same treatment to Taiga. He annoys Ami even more during the Christmas party, as she realizes that she didn't get her point across because Ryuuji doesn't take her seriously either.
    • She also calls out Minori for beating around the bush when it came to Ryuuji.
    • She tries this on Taiga a few times, but it quickly becomes apparent that her personal insecurities and emotional scars run too deep for her words to take hold.
  • Woman Scorned: The last few stories after the Christmas party show Ami behaving antagonistically towards Ryuuji, especially because she's annoyed at the fact that he's too dense to realize that she likes him, even when she's spent a considerable amount of time throwing hints at him. This is subverted later when she is also annoyed at Ryuuji's inaction towards both Taiga and Minori, and that he has done exactly bupkis with the advice she has given him. She eventually finds solace with the knowledge that Ryuuji finally and freely admits that he loves Taiga.
  • Worthy Opponent: She picks on Taiga because she finds her beautiful and entirely willing to stand up to her. Ami happens to like people that know the real her, which is something that Taiga saw from the moment they met.


Ryuuji's Family

    Yasuko Takasu
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)note 
"It's going to be OK!"

Yasuko is Ryuuji's 33-year-old single mother, though she refers to herself as eternally 23. Soon after Ryuuji was born, her husband died, leaving her to raise him by herself. She works at the "Bishamonten Kuni" bar, where she goes by the name "Mirano" and singlehandily supports her family financially. However, she is also childish and, due to her job, entrusts household chores to Ryuuji. She instantly takes a liking to Taiga and already regards her as a member of her family.

  • Age Insecurity: She refers to herself as eternally 23.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She still swoons at the thought of Ryuuji's absent father, an implied Yakuza, and unlike most people finds her son's steely glare and hard, sharp expression quite charming.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Subverted. Her line of work might not be very kid-friendly, and she slacks off during the day, but she offers nothing less than love and kindness towards Ryuuji. The only thing that makes Ryuuji raise in protest is when she talks fondly about his dad when comparing the two. As it turns out, Ryuuji's late father does fit the trope even when it's revealed in the end that the guy is alive and just left Yasuko for another woman.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Although she's very sweet and friendly, don't wake her up, as Kitamura and Taiga find out.
    • She will not abide to Ryuuji lying to her or even hinting that he will abandon his education to work.
  • Cuddle Bug: She likes to hug Taiga and Ryuuji at every opportunity she has.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Subverted. She is somewhat air-headed, but Yasuko is not clumsy... she's just sleepy almost every time she is shown.
  • Gag Boobs: Taiga even picks them!
  • Good Parents: Surprisingly, and amusingly, with Ryuuji, as she basically turned him into a paragon of household maintenance. She is also willing to sacrifice her own health to provide for him and is always affectionate and kind towards him and his friends, which rubbed off on him in droves; as a result Ryuuji grew into a very kind and loving person because of her. According to her own mom, she did an excellent job with Ryuuji, considering she did it entirely on her own.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: A beautiful, blonde young woman with a caring and kind-hearted personality.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: She doesn't consider herself a smart person, and strives for Ryuuji to receive the education that she wasn't able to finish. Ryuuji takes offense at her living vicariously through him, especially when her expectations turn out to be too unrealistic for her capabilities, as she is willing to work herself sick for him.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Acts to the trope quite well but she's no hooker, just a late-night bar hostess, which, in some aspects, is perceived as pretty much the same in Japan.
  • Lady Drunk: Justified with her job as a late-night bar hostess. She is expected to drink with the customers.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Another trope justified by her job. Eye-candy is part of the reason customers come in.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Because of her youthful appearance, she looks like she could pass as Ryuuji’s older sister rather than his mother.
  • Nice Girl: A gorgeous person in all respects. It's no surprise Ryuuji has grown into such a kind-hearted guy.
  • Not a Morning Person: Again, justified due to her job. Kitamura and Taiga waking her up in one episode prompts her first on-screen example of genuine aggravation.
  • Older Than She Looks: She's 33, but still looks like she's in her twenties.
  • Parental Substitute: She absolutely loves having Taiga around and cuddling her, as she's the very person that let her in her home in the first place. She even makes a point in telling Taiga that she's a part of their family from early on. Considering how Taiga's parents behave around their daughter, it's not surprising that Taiga looked somewhere else for parental love.
  • The Pollyanna: Seriously. The only time she breaks down in tears is when Ryuuji got mad at her near the end of the series on a sensitive issue. Otherwise, she is always cheerful and says things will work out.
  • Single Mom Stripper: Again, not exactly a stripper, but close enough according to Japanese standards and raising her son alone.
  • Smarter Than You Look: She acts childish most of the time, but she can also be highly perceptive at times (almost superhumanly so). For example, she could accurately guess that Taiga's father was pretty much a self-centered jerk from what Ryuuji told her (note that Ryuuji was, at that point, still under the impression that he was decent), when she had never even met the guy before.
  • Teen Pregnancy: She was about 16 or 17 when she had Ryuuji. Comes heavily into play near the climax of the series.
  • Tender Tears: She starts bawling very hard when her mother praises her efforts at raising Ryuuji. Then she reverts into a crybaby again in a later talk with Ryuuji.
  • The Runaway: In the series finale, it's revealed that she fled her parents' home because she wanted neither to get an abortion nor to give away the baby. It's also revealed that Ryuuji's father left her for another woman.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: She is a Womanchild who is basically taken care by her son, Ryuuji, because he's the one who cooks and cleans and looks after her when she is drunk and/or sleep deprived. However, she is a lot more responsible and serious than what the audience initially sees.
  • Womanchild: She acts childish most of the time. However, she can be very perceptive at times. Her father even swats her hand for having the nerve to reach for a cookie like she's still a little girl during a serious conversation after Ryuuji ran away from home.

Voiced by: Saori Goto (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)

Inko-chan is Ryūji and Yasuko's parakeet.

  • A Dog Named "Dog": His (or her) name is Inko-chan and "inko" literally means "parakeet" in Japanese.
  • Gender Flip: In the light novel, Inko is female. In the manga and in the anime, Inko is male.


Ohashi High School

    Yuri Koigakubo
Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Japanese), Carrie Keranen (English; credited as Elizabeth Thomas)note 

Yuri is the 29-year-old homeroom teacher of Ryuuji's class. She likes to do things at her own pace and is timid towards Taiga's way of speaking out.

  • Adaptational Comic Relief: In the light novels, she can act as a Reasonable Authority Figure and while her Christmas Cake is referred to, it isn't played up as her main character trait. In the anime, she's a complete Butt-Monkey who gets little to no respect from her students and she talks about being a Christmas Cake to herself constantly.
  • Butt-Monkey: Her students have little respect for her and enjoy mocking her Christmas Cake status to no end. They even go so far as to write a play in which her Red String of Fate was to be cut, causing her to go berserk.
  • Character Exaggeration: In the anime, her status as a Reasonable Authority Figure got toned way down and her status as a Butt-Monkey and Christmas Cake way up. Consider some of the things in the novels that were changed or dropped outright:
    • Her freakout during the wrestling show is scripted. The students are so impressed by her performance that they vote her MVP and invite her to the after-party.
    • When Kitamura announces he's quitting the Student Council and storms out the class, she cancels a date and spends the night trying to contact his family. When he tries to leave school the next day, she physically restrains him and has a substitute teacher cover for her so she can spend the day talking to him.
    • In the last volume, she tells off Taiga's mother for expecting her daughter to abandon the people who've taken care of her for the last year in favor of a mother who abandoned her. Then when Ryuuji returns to school, she puts her career on the line to prevent him from getting expelled.
  • Christmas Cake: Since her twenties are almost over, Yuri is in a hurry to get married soon and she even tries to dress well so as to be able to get into a relationship quicker. After she becomes thirty without getting married, she develops a twisted and depressed personality, which does not help that when Taiga talks about her, she emphases her single status (and single home and single possession etc.
  • Growing Up Sucks: In the anime, she outright enjoys tormenting her students when their life expectations get thrown out the window that she lost it when their wrestling match gig actually became a very popular attraction (whereas the freakout was scripted in the manga). When they later complain their trip to a hotel in Okinawa got cancelled because it burned down and was changed to a skiing trip, she angrily shuts them all up by writing on the chalkboard, "Not everything goes smoothly in life."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: More so in the novels, as she's subjected to the aforementioned Character Exaggeration in the anime. Even so, she still gets moments of this in the anime, as when she helps Taiga and Ryuji try to convince Kitamura to run for student council president and has a brief heart-to-heart talk about Ryuji's plans after high school. It's clear that when she's not worrying about being perpetually unmarried, she's a responsible teacher who cares about her students.
  • Sensei-chan: Frequently referred to by her students as "Yuri-chan" and she often laments about her lack of success in love and her age.
  • Slasher Smile: When wrestling is approved as the theme of the festival, she gets excited.
  • Stern Teacher: She's more stern in the light novels than in the anime, such as when she sits Kitamura down so they can have a talk when he "rebels". In the anime she is more likely to cower when threatened.

    Sumire Kanou
Voiced by: Yuko Kaida (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)note 

Sumire is the Student Council President and always manages to get the top grades in school; she is in fact a Scholarship Student and has horrible eyesight. She has a strong-minded personality which she depends on to be a figure those will follow. Her younger sister is Sakura and her parents own a supermarket. Sumire likes Yuusaku and as a result is the object of an one-sided hostility from Taiga.

  • Action Girl: Just watch her fight with Taiga! She quickly disarms her opponent and then matches her in hand-to-hand.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In a post-credits scene in episode 16, Sumire is unpacking her books in America and she stumbles upon Taiga's "apology" letter, which reads in thick marker "FOOL!"; Sumire cannot help but burst out laughing at Taiga's boldness.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She has black hair in the light novels, but has blue hair in the anime. There was some fan complaints regarding the adaptation, especially considering that she looks too much like Ami.
  • All for Nothing: All that fighting and rejection ends up amounting to zilch when Kitamura intends to travel to the USA after graduation. The guy just won't give up on her.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is tall, attractive, aloof, imposing and has long dark blue hair.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Taiga quite literally beats one out of her.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: She's the Student Council President and her fight with Taiga shows she can kick major ass.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Sumire's whole reason for coldly rejecting Yuusaku when he confessed to her. She was going to America to become an astronaut, and she didn't want him to throw away his own future to follow her.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Oh, boy! She gambled big with her ruse and she lost in the most humiliating way possible. On the plus side, though, she does achieve her dreams.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: One can of fruit wine and she goes completely nuts.
  • Captain Obvious: She angrily tells Taiga that of course she loves Yuusaku back, but that it's more important to her that he doesn't sabotage himself by pursuing her.
  • Come to Gawk: She dismisses Kitamura's heartfelt love confession towards her as a joke in front of the whole school, and says that he's just the ideal candidate for the council presidency because he's a fun guy like that. The whole ordeal leaves Kitamura sobbing in dejection.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair and eyes.
  • Didn't Think This Through: She was bound to piss off Kitamura's friends with what she did to him, especially those who don't handle their anger very well. The cherry on top of the cake comes from the fact that it didn't deter Kitamura at all, as in the end he follows her to America.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: She uses rather liberal language to make the volunteer students do their cleaning rounds around town.
  • Foreshadowing: Occurring at a couple of points in the story. Sumire and Kitamura presumably had some trouble before the trip to Ami's beach home, warranting him to go on the trip in the first place. As early as the School Festival, Sumire is already reminiscing on the good times she's had at school, signaling to Kitamura that something might be happening. During The Palmtop Tiger Of Happiness, it's implied that she finally tells him that she's leaving, prompting his reaction and turmoil on the following episodes.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Acts pretty nasty to Yuusaku because she doesn't want him to risk his future chasing after her.
  • Irony: For a person that prides herself in her maturity and determination, Sumire handled Kitamura's affections in the most childish and cruel way she could muster.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She acts mean to Kitamura, but is a good person and does it because she doesn't want him to drop his dreams.
  • Mark of Shame: She spends her last day at school battered, bruised and humiliated before finally leaving for America the next day. So much for trying to leave cold-turkey. On the other hand it's because she didn't start that fight with Taiga that she gets to attend school that day at all, whereas Taiga got suspended for two whole weeks as consequence for assaulting Sumire.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Taiga and Sumire beat the crap out of each other following the latter's humiliation of Kitamura. Taiga wins the discussion when Sumire finally admits to why she did what she did.
  • Sempai/Kōhai: She's Yuusaku's superior.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sumire is intelligent and determined, while her younger sister Sakura is book-dumb and shy.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Especially small in the anime, since her role is more downplayed, but her conflict with Taiga provides one of the most remembered moments in the story when the tension and hostility finally reach their apex and explode.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's quite tall and an attractive Aloof Dark-Haired Girl.
  • Student Council President: She's the strong-willed student council president who inspires fellow students to follow her.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Taiga is OK at the fact that Kitamura won't return her affections... but that is because she is livid at how Sumire, the girl that he likes instead, treated his affections towards her like a joke in front of the entire student body. This is enough to warrant Taiga going to Sumire's classroom with the firm intention of beating an explanation out of her, though Sumire gives as good as she gets.
  • Victorious Loser: In a sense. She comes out looking like the loser in her and Taiga's fight and loses the reverence of many students as a result, but her spirit is far from broken by this and she still gets to where she wanted to be in her life afterwards, even finding Taiga's version of an "apology letter" to her to be hilarious.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Taiga attacks Sumire for hurting and humiliating Kitamura in front of the whole school when he'd confessed his feelings to her and asked her if she felt anything towards him at all, which Sumire's response seemed to indicate she didn't.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She is terrified of snakes.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Subverted. She is described as having the looks and elegance, and is the Student Council President. However, don't judge a book by its cover. She is far too course in her speech and is not as mature as she appears.

    Hisamitsu Noto
Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese), Max Mittelman (English; credited as Jason Baker)note 

A male student in Ryuuji's class who wears glasses. He was also in Ryuuji's class the previous year and is on good terms with him.

  • Cryptic Background Reference: If the graduation shows us something is that Noto was not able to approach or reconcile with Kihara for a whole year, where he's shown to be pushed towards her by Haruta.
  • The Love Slap of Epiphany: He begins to develop feelings for Kihara following an argument they had during the class winter ski trip. Before that, he tended to sabotage her advances to Kitamura, which caused the fight in the first place when he did it one too many times.
  • Maybe Ever After: With Maya, as he's shown trying to reconcile with her during the graduation.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he realizes that he went too far with his rudeness towards Kihara.
  • Shipper on Deck: Towards Taiga and Kitamura, mainly because all the girls in class tend to swoon over Kitamura.
  • The Starscream: Though he is friends with Kitamura, he repeatedly expresses that he's jealous of how he hogs all the attention from the girls in class without even trying.
  • Those Two Guys: Always seen hanging out with Haruta.

    Kouji Haruta
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese), Brian Beacock (English)note 

A male student in Ryuuji's class who is on good terms with him. A bona-fide airhead.

  • Book Dumb: His grades are quite bad. However, he's Brilliant, but Lazy.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's extremely happy-go-lucky and lazy, but he's actually much smarter than he looks and talented as a writer.
  • Class Clown: He is regarded as the 'class idiot' and that opinion is deepened by his poor school marks and overly energetic behavior.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He tends to be doing the entirely wrong thing at the worse possible time, most of the time. Though he is academically dim, he is kind, cheery and insightful in his own warped way.
  • Hidden Depths: He is an uncharacteristically good writer. He also gets a girlfriend before anyone else.
  • Keet: He is (sometimes obnoxiously) jolly and overeager most of the time.
  • Large Ham: He acts very bombastic and pretentious.
  • Likes Older Women: Prefers girls who are a few years older than him. When he presented his girlfriend to Ryuji and Taiga, they both initially mistook said girlfriend for his older sister before correcting them.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his hamminess, he's a kind and friendly guy.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: When he behaves silly and talks about his perverted dreams.
  • The Slacker: He has a rather uncomplicated way to approach his everyday life, which leads him to have notoriously bad notes. Because of his tendency not to overthink things, funnily enough, he is the first of his classmates who actually gets a girlfriend, whereas the rest of them are dwelling in self-doubt.
  • Smarter Than You Look: While he behaves silly and is Book Dumb, he's in truth not stupid at all.
  • Those Two Guys: He is always seen with his friend Hisamitsu.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Ryuuji and Taiga's reaction when they find out he has a girlfriend.

    Maya Kihara
Voiced by: Ai Nonaka (Japanese), Mela Lee (English)note 

A female student in Ryuuji's class who often hangs out with Nanako. She is a kogal and has a crush on Kitamura.

  • Cryptic Background Reference: As pointed out in Noto's entry, him and Kihara basically spent a whole year without talking to each other after their fight up until their graduation day.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: To Yuusaku, whom she is pursuing. She has two points to contend against: first, Yuusaku likes Sumire (which she doesn't know); second, Noto is actively sabotaging her advances.
  • Fiery Redhead: She has light red/orange hair and is quite Hot-Blooded.
  • Gyaru Girl: She's a kogal.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Despite being a Shipper with an Agenda, she cares about other ones, and suddenly cries when Taiga disappears from school.
  • Hopeless Suitor: She likes Kitamura, but he's completely oblivious to her feelings and he is already in love with Sumire.
  • Nice Girl: She's an outgoing girl who is normally kind, helpful and friendly.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: She wants Ryuuji and Taiga to get together because it means less competition for Kitamura.
  • Spanner in the Works: She is the first person who hints to Ryuuji that he actually might not be OK with Taiga and Kitamura becoming an item. Without knowing it, she basically threw the wrench for the rest of the series henceforth.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: She spends the rest of the series after the school trip avoiding Noto because of their fight.
  • Those Two Girls: She is often seen with Nanako.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Whether she and Noto end up together is left very ambiguous by the end of the series, though considering the positive note the series ends on with the characters, it's possible They Do.

    Nanako Kashii
Voiced by: Momoko Ishikawa (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)note 

A female student in Ryuuji's class who often hangs out with Maya.

  • Nice Girl: She never has anything bad to say about anyone.

    Sakura Kanou
Voiced by: Kana Asumi (Japanese), Carrie Keranen (English)

Sumire's younger sister who attends the same high school as Sumire though her grades are horrible. She later starts going to out with Kouta.

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: She first appears in episode 14 of the anime (Palm-top Tiger of Happiness), while on a meeting of the Student Council; in there, she runs to Kouta's aid when she glimpses Taiga chasing after him. She also attends the Christmas party, where at first glance Ryuuji mixes her up with Minori.
  • Book Dumb: Her grades are horrible.
  • Identical Stranger: Invoked. At first glance, she looks just like Minori Kushieda.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Whereas her sister Sumire is intelligent and determined, Sakura is book-dumb and shy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Like her sister, she hates snakes.

    Kouta Tomiie
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Japanese), Ben Giroux (English)

A first-year student who is the main character to Toradora Spin-off!. He works on the student council in general affairs, and gets good grades. He always had a crush on Sakura, and later he succeeds in starting a romantic relationship with her.

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: He also appears in Palm-top Tiger of Happiness, where he hounds Taiga in order to gain her fabled happiness. He gets beat up by her, but his wish comes true when Sakura runs to his aid and holds him, just like he wanted.