|Start - end:||1996 - 1998|
|Official site:||Kodocha official site||Rate:|
Sana is an 11-year-old child star at the beginning of the series. She is an exuberant and cheerful girl. She just began 6th grade and is having a hard time at school, because a boy named Akito Hayama is causing chaos in her classroom, and she sets out to stop him and bring peace to her world. However, she soon learns that there is more to Akito than it seems. As she begins to feel compassion for Akito, the boy she used to hate, her mother Misako sweetly says to Sana, "You've grown up just as I had idealized."
Sana began her acting career at the Komawari Theater Troupe, and now stars in a popular variety program called Child's Toy, as well as television commercials. During the course of the series, her career flourishes, and she stars in TV dramas and a feature film among other projects. Sana also deals with many ups-and-downs of show business, such as competitive co-stars, rabid fans, zealous paparazzi, false rumors in tabloids, ruthless talent managers who try to poach her, and in the anime, even an imposter. During the course of the story, it is revealed that Sana was a foundling who was adopted by Misako. Later on in the story she meets her natural parents.
Akito Hayama (羽山秋人 ,Hayama Akito?)Voiced by: Tatsuya Nakazaki (Japanese), Jerry Jewell (English)
Akito is the troublemaker who is causing chaos in Sana's 6th grade class. A sullen boy of few words, he is physically strong, and has a powerful karate chop. He is known as Sana's first kiss, her lover, her worst enemy, her son, and her best friend. At the beginning of the series, it is shown that Akito has acrophobia. Akito's mother died when giving birth to him, which leads to his older sister Natsumi resenting him, frequently becoming angry with Akito and calling him "devil boy." In addition, Akito has a distant relationship with his father, who works long hours. As a result, Akito is not home often and usually eats junk food for dinner. These factors contribute to his delinquent behavior. Akito is disrespectful towards most adults in general, but upon meeting Sana's formidable mother, he speaks to her with deference. Despite his troublemaking ways, Akito is smart and gets good grades.
After he butts heads with Sana several times, Sana succeeds in subduing Akito after blackmailing him, the same way he was blackmailing their teacher. But once the initial blackmailing passes, Akito comes to regret his misbehavior, and his friendship with Sana continues to open his heart. Sana also helps him have a better relationship with his family, after which they become even closer. Although he has his childish moments (he has a very funny habit of kicking stuff when he's frustrated), he has had to grow up fast due to his tough home life. Smiling rarely, and laughing almost never, several characters note that Akito's eyes are not that of a child. Although capable of cruelty, Akito has his own code of honor: even the teacher who he terrorizes will admit that Akito will never lie, and Akito refuses to pretend to be nice to anyone he doesn't like or respect. Akito's most effusive expression of love is "I don't hate it", which he reserves for his beloved sushi (as his father discovered), dinosaurs, skiing, and Sana. As the story progresses Akito's love for Sana grows. But at first his feelings don't reach Sana, so it is repeated often in the story that Sana is the densest person.
Inspired in part by Sana's devotion to her acting career, Akito begins to take karate classes. In the manga, towards the end of the story, Akito suffers an injury and is unable to move his hand. Then he moves to America due to his father's job, and the resulting shock triggers Sana's illness. When he returns to Japan two years later in the final issue, Akito has become a champion child karate fighter, as well as being able to speak flawless English.
Tsuyoshi Ohki (大木剛 ,Ōki Tsuyoshi?), later Tsuyoshi Sasaki (佐々木剛 ,Sasaki Tsuyoshi?)Voiced by: Mayumi Misawa (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
Tsuyoshi is Akito's best friend at school. He is a soft-spoken child and quite intelligent. (Miho Obana revealed that originally she was going to make him a psychic.) Although usually gentle, when Tsuyoshi gets extremely angry, he flies into a rage and begins to attack everything - and usually only Akito can subdue him. Tsuyoshi plays a very background role in the manga, but at the beginning he is Akito's rival for Sana's love. Later, his parents divorce, and he has to cope with being a father figure as well as a big brother to his little sister. If you notice he has vegetation growing on his head.
Aya Sugita (杉田亜矢 ,Sugita Aya?)Voiced by: Akiko Kikuchi (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
Aya is one of Sana's friends, and later Tsuyoshi's girlfriend. She is a quiet and sweet girl, with a good deal of common sense, but when angry or jealous she can become very dangerous. Aya and Tsuyoshi become a sickeningly sweet "love-love" couple.
Fuka Matsui (松井風花 ,Matsui Fūka?)Voiced by: Harumi Ikoma
Fuka is not in the earlier books, but is introduced later in the series when everyone begins junior high school. Fuka just moved back to Tokyo after living in Osaka, and she and Sana become best friends. They start to meet at the bathroom, where Fuka complains about cutting her hair too short. Fuka explains that some people thinks she looks like Sana. It is revealed that Akito went to kindergarten with Fuka, and kissed her when they were five years old. Although Fuka initially hates Akito for stealing her first kiss, after getting to know him better, she is impressed by his blunt honesty and logical point-of-view. Fuka's personality is slightly similar to Sana, which is why Tsuyoshi probably thinks that she is Akito's type. Fuka dates Akito when Sana goes to shoot a movie. Eventually, Fuka realizes that Akito really loves Sana, so she breaks up with him. Asides from the fact that they dated, Fuka was also the other girl besides Sana to whom Akito has said "I don't hate you" to. Although their relationship did not work out, Akito and Fuka genuinely appreciated and respected each other. She was in love boy named Takaishi, but they broke up because Akitos kissed Fuka. When they meet again after while she said that she won't want to start relationship with him, but later Sana and Akito found out Takaishis phonumber and called him and get his phonenumber and address up and gaved it to Fuka. First she was angry and embarrased, then when she was home she thinks that she could call him someday and wonders what was that fuzzy and warm feeling that she felt, and also that she would thank Sana for this someday.
Naozumi Kamura (加村直澄 ,Kamura Naozumi?)Voiced by: Omi Minami (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)
Naozumi is also a child actor, and another competitor for Sana's love. Naozumi has a history with Sana: when they were babies, they both spent time together at the Kamura orphanage. In the manga, when Sana's illness was triggered at a young age, Naozumi is the one who helped her recover (although at the time, Sana thought Naozumi was a girl due to his long hair). At the end of the series, Naozumi makes the painful decision to give up his love for Sana, but remains her loyal friend. In the final book of the manga, Naozumi leaves the country to film another movie and advance his career.
In the anime, Naozumi is central to a major story arc in which he and Sana travel to New York City to be featured in a Broadway musical. During this trip, Naozumi unexpectedly encounters both of his birth parents. The trauma of these events bring him and Sana closer.
Misako Kurata (倉田美紗子 ,Kurata Misako?)Voiced by: Hana Kino (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
Misako is Sana's "Mama" and Sana's adoptive mother. Misako is a beautiful, intelligent, and indomitable woman. She married a no-good gambling addict at age 18, and divorced him at 20. After her divorce, she decided that being normal just wasn't "her", and began wearing kimonos, wearing her hair in odd ways, and felt liberated by being eccentric. She found Sana on a park bench and took her to the Kamura orphanage until she officially adopted her. When Sana was only five, Misako vows to be a famous author, and asks Sana to become better known than the average girl by becoming a small-time actress, so that they could find Sana's real mother one day. Misako and Sana are successful in their efforts beyond their original goals: Misako becomes an award-winning novelist, and Sana becomes one of the most popular child stars of her day. Misako then writes a controversial book named "My Daughter and I", hoping to find Sana's real mother. (Misprinted as "Mariko" in English translation of the manga.)
Misako loves Sana deeply, and raises Sana with a balance between discipline and letting her be independent, thereby teaching her not to be a spoiled child. While Misako lets Sana make much of her own decisions, she will also not let Sana avoid the consequences of her actions. And when it comes time for Sana to realize that Rei is not her boyfriend, Misako holds nothing back, despite knowing that Sana will be hurt and humiliated. Misako also takes a liking to Akito: after learning that Akito kissed Sana, Misako tells him (to Rei's great shock), "Do it as much as possible. It's fun!"
Although Misako is a wise woman, she has a very goofy side to her, and loves to torture her editor, the much-abused Mr. Onda (close to how the character Shigure from the manga Fruits Basket tortures his editor). Misako has a much larger part in the anime, due to her crazy ways being very amusing when animated.
Rei Sagami (相模玲 ,Sagami Rei?)Voiced by: Ryo Naito (Japanese), John Burgmeier (English)
Rei is Sana's manager. After being dumped by his girlfriend, dropping out of college, and his parents' death, he hits bottom and becomes a homeless person. While begging on the streets, Sana finds him and brings him home much like she does with stray dogs (in the manga, they own three). Misako decided to keep him around the house, and he has lived there ever since, working as Sana's manager. Sana declares him as her "pimp" after reading a book which included the word, although she does not understand what it really means. In addition, Sana thinks of Rei as her boyfriend. Later, Akito tells Sana that Rei is playing with her, and sees her simply as a little girl wanting to play. Misako also tells Sana that Rei cannot be her boyfriend. This leaves Sana devastated. But after she gets over her heartbreak, Rei remains her manager and her friend.
Asako Kurumi (来海麻子 ,Kurumi Asako?)Voiced by: Azusa Nakao (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Asako is a popular actress. She was also Rei's girlfriend who dumped him to concentrate on her acting career, which partly triggered his downward spiral to homeless bum. She did not know that Rei would end up homeless. When she finds Rei again, she wants to get back together, but Rei says that he belongs to Sana now, and can't be with Asako until Sana grows up. When Sana realizes (with Akito's help) that Rei is not her "pimp" nor her boyfriend, Asako and Rei reunite. Asako continues to recur until the end of the series.
Babbit (anime only)Voiced by: Tomoko Hikita (Japanese), Chris Cason (English)
Babbit is a little white bat who also looks like a rabbit (bat + rabbit = Babbit). He is the often sarcastic narrator, and normally invisible to the characters. His purpose is to break the fourth wall by explaining the show to the viewers, but the characters sometimes see him, resulting in comic moments (usually getting hit by one of the characters). Babbit's image also appears as a brand image on many items in the show.
Kurata family and staff
Maro is Misako's pet chipmunk that lives in her hair. Although Sana often asks why Mama has a chipmunk in her hair, what Misako doesn't tell her is that it was actually Sana's idea for him to live there.
Voiced by: Keiko Amano (Japanese), Melanie Mason (English)
The Kurata family's maid. She enjoys her work, and is very close to the Kuratas. She doesn't let Sana cook, since she accidentally used baking soda instead of flour when making cookies.
Shizuka Kurata (anime only)
Misako's mother and Sana's grandmother. She runs the Kurata family's hot spring spa in Kusatsu which she regularly attempts to pass on to Misako or Sana (normally by trying to get one of them to marry someone from Kusatsu) because she has no other heirs.
Katagiri (anime only)
Shizuka's right-hand man. Rei often tries to compete with him so if Sana gets ownership of the spa, Rei could take Katagiri's job.
Misako's ex-husband. Ryosuke is a gambling addict who shows up from time to time asking Misako and Sana for money.
Ruma, Gonta and Choco
Sana and Misako's three dogs, who were once strays. Ruma is a small pup with a brown patch over his right eye, and two large spots on his back. Gonta is a large, long-haired white dog. Choco is a pug. They play almost no part in either the anime or the manga.
Natsumi HayamaVoiced by: (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
Akito's older sister. Natsumi is an avid Sana-fan. As a result of grief and stress from growing up without a mother and having to take care of a younger brother, Natsumi is pretty mean to Akito and accuses him of causing their mother's death. She often yells at him and calls him a "devil." (She calls him "Monster" in the American version of the anime.) After Sana scolds her and her father, and Natsumi watches a TV drama that Sana filmed, Natsumi realizes that they are mistreating Akito, and starts being nicer to him. Also showing the fact that she becomes overprotective of him which shows in the last episode when she freaks out when she sees him in bandages. Like her brother, she has a difficult personality but she's also very intelligent.
Fuyuki HayamaVoiced by: Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese), Randy Tallman (English)
Akito's father is a business executive who works long hours and is seldom home. Although it seems in the beginning that he is a bad father, Mr. Hayama turns out to be a good father who was simply unaware of the bad relationship between his children because he was working too hard. After realizing Akito's suffering, and also becoming ill due to working too hard, he begins to spend more time at home. When Akito gets into various scrapes during the series, Mr. Hayama always believes in his son and supports him, even when no one else does. This could partially be attributed to the fact that he and Akito's mother were troublemakers in their younger years.
Mr. Hayama is very mellow and soft-spoken, but the few moments he breaks out of his quiet mode are very funny. He takes a great liking to Sana and develops a goofy habit of talking to the TV whenever she appears.
Akito's mother. Koharu died giving birth to Akito, an event which had a serious negative effect on the relationship between Akito, Natsumi, and Fuyuki. Although she has been dead for more than 10 years by the beginning of the series: she "appears" sporadically throughout the manga in memories, photos, and flashbacks. Her most important appearance is in Volume Eight when Akito has a near-death experience; Koharu appears to him as a stranger and tells him that he is too young to die and that he can be strong. When Akito realizes that she is his mother, Koharu repeats Sana's words from Volume One, telling Akito that she loves him and that he must live for both of them.
Koharu was apparently a troublemaker (or at least "wild") in her younger years, along with Fuyuki.
Shinichi GomiVoiced by: Masanobu Hirota (Japanese), Kent Williams (English)
A boy in Sana's 6th grade class. He had long hair, but his father makes him shave it all off when he starts middle school. When Akito decides not to terrorize the teachers anymore, Gomi decides he will be the leader, but gets beat down by Akito (with Sana's one-time permission). In a story arc that showcases Akito's integrity, Gomi rebels against his parents who pressure him to attend a prestigious middle school. Gomi beats Akito up with the help of older delinquents, and shoplifts, letting Akito take the blame. He later confesses and apologizes to Akito. Gomi is often paired with Hisae.
Hisae KamayaiVoiced by: Yumiko Kikuchi (Japanese), Cynthia Cranz (English)
Hisae is one of Sana and Aya's school friends who stays throughout the series. When Sana forgets to attend her birthday party, she becomes very angry and tries to ostracize Sana, but forgives her later. She is linked with Gomi because they fight a lot but they are close friends. They might have an intimate relationship despite of their arguments.
Rumi is one of Sana's friends, who she wrote on her upper-school friends list. It is interesting to note that in the manga, although she makes her first appearance in volume one and appears sparodically throughout the ensuing volumes as Sana's classmate and friend, she is not actually named until volume seven, in which Sana refers to her by her name and "Rumi" is written in parenthesis with an arrow pointing to her.
MamiVoiced by: Azusa Nakao (Japanese), Kate Borneman (English)
Mami is one of Sana's friends. She is a quiet girl, with short black hair kept back by a hairband. During Akito's troublemaker days, she calls Akito a "monster" or "devil" (depends on the language), which is a particularly hurtful word for Akito to hear since it's what his sister calls him. Akito gets revenge by getting the other boys to throw Mami into a pond, which causes Sana to become angrier than she's ever been. Mami remains traumatized by this incident for quite a while afterwards. She remains so afraid of Akito that when he tries to talk to her, she screams and cries. But when she sees that Akito regrets the way he's acted in the past, they reach an understanding.
One of the boys in Sana's class at lower school. He has spiked brown hair. He leads the boys in episode 33, alongside Gomi and Kojima.
Yasuda is the cap-wearing boy in Sana's lower school class. He appears irregularly, normally part as a gang led by Hayama or Gomi.
Kojima is a boy in Sana's class at lower school, he has short black hair.
In lower school, Sana's friends include Derumi, who is the one with a large forehead and a side-spit in her almost-black hair (similar to Gomi's), with two short pigtails (which are almost circular) held back with blue baubles, Maika, who has a fringe which hangs down in four thick strands, she has a hair-clip in the left of her brown hair and has two short pig-tails held back by bands, Miko, who keeps her brown hair in two plaits, she has a fringe in the same style as Sana and has thick eyelashes and Erika Has most of her fringe pulled back, but four strands fall down. Her hair is just beyond shoulder length, and is also brown.
IshidaVoiced by: Akemi Okamura
An obsessive fan of Sana who goes to the same middle school, noted for his long eye-lashes, large eyebrows and big nostrils, and his tendency to nose-bleed every time he sees Sana. When he asks Sana to date him, Sana lies and says that she is already going out with Naozumi (as was falsely reported in celebrity magazines). Ishida tells the rest of Sana's friends this lie, which eventually leads to Akito giving up on Sana and dating Fuka while Sana is away to shoot her movie.
Kazuyuki Komori (manga only)
Kazuyuki is a miserable child. He believes himself to be Akito's friend, and walks with him in the corridor, but later discovers Akito doesn't even know who he is (not even Aya does, and she knows everyone's name). A combination of stress, loneliness and his mother's over-protective nature causes him to attempt suicide. He tries to kill Akito, so they can die together, but finds that he cannot do it. He manages to stab Akito in the arm, making Akito a cripple (who cannot use his arm at all), then collapses in tears. Kazuyuki is mentioned again later: after confronting his mother, he moved away. He is in counseling, is a nicer person as a result, and is Hayama's pen-pal. Kazuyuki does not appear in the anime.
Shota Nakao (anime only)Voiced by: Hiroko Konishi
The dramatic counterpart to Kazuyuki Komori in the anime. He is a delicate, soft-spoken boy who takes care of his younger brothers to help out his busy parents. He joins Akito's karate club at school because he wants to become strong and cool like Akito. But after their first training session which was too tough for him, Shota becomes sick and misses a day of school, breaking his never-absent record. Akito mistakenly believes that Shota wants to quit the karate club, but is afraid to say so. So Akito tells Shota to quit, which makes Shota feels like he's been kicked out of the club, and it depresses him. He becomes further depressed when Mr. Sengoku, his homeroom teacher, doesn't even remember that Shota is in his class.
Despairing at feeling rejected by the two people he admires the most, Shota starts believing that he's invisible. So Shota writes a 2-page letter to Mr. Sengoku and locks himself up in an old storage shed on campus which was the karate club's meeting place. After going missing for a whole day, he is discovered by Sana and Akito, who, while trying to rescue him get their heads stuck in the window, but all three are eventually found and rescued. After they are rescued, Akito tells Shota that they are alike, because Akito also felt invisible and wanted to die when he was having a tough time with his family.
The first page of Shota's letter mentions Akito, which Mr. Sengoku tries to use to get Akito expelled from school, blaming Akito for making Shota suicidal. But Fuka finds the second page of the letter Mr. Sengoku deliberately hid, which blames Mr. Sengoku for ignoring him. Mr. Sengoku is shamed by this revelation and eventually resigns from school.
Principal NarunaruVoiced by: Christopher Sabat
The principal of Jinbo Elementary School. Narunaru is popular, easy-going, and always says "Everything will be all right." It was Principal Narunaru who suggests that Akito study karate. His near-identical older twin brother is the principal of Jinbo Middle School.
Miss MitsuyaVoiced by: Ashley Gonzales
Mitsuya sensei is a teacher at Sana's elementary school. She is in love with Mr. Tanaka, a fact that Akito Hayama uses to blackmail them. She is a timid person and at times hides behind Mr. Tanaka.
Sumirei AndoVoiced by: Ai Sato
She wears contemporary horn-rimmed glasses, and a considerable amount of makeup. She is considered the school's bossiest teacher and frequently gets angry at the children. When she gets mad (like if some one calls her old) her makeup cracks off her face prompting her to reapply it quickly, usually after a child comments that her "real face is showing." She also has a crush on Zenjiro, and is quite fond of the limbo.
Akito's homeroom teacher in middle school. Sengoku despises Akito and picks on him relentlessly. He believes Akito is a violent and dangerous boy by nature and cannot be changed. Akito, on the other hand, pegs Sengoku as the unfair and spiteful person he is, and refuses to curry Sengoku's favor. Sengoku hits Akito, but will not admit it, and tries on several occasions to get Akito expelled. Thus, making Sengoku the main antagonist in Kodocha's second season.
Mr. Suzuki is Akito, Tsuyoshi, Aya, Kazuyuki and Gomi (to name a few)'s tutor. He's an all around good guy, and anti-Sengoku.
Zenjiro (anime only)Voiced by: Zenjiro (Japanese), Sonny Strait (English)
Zenjiro is the teacher in the TV program Child's Toy, which also stars Sana. Although Child's Toy is mentioned in the books, the teacher is a very different secondary character called Mr. Yonma. Zenjiro is hyper and loud, with large buck teeth; he is apparently based on a real-life TV personality, most likely Sanma Akashiya. Both Mr. Yonma and Zenjiro are from Osaka, just like Sana's best friend Fuuka Matsui.
Hiroshi Uchiyamada (anime only)Voiced by: Naoko Ishii (Japanese), Troy Baker (English)
Uchiyamada-kun is an overweight child actor who is also in Child's Toy. Hiroshi is normally there when Zenjiro appears.
Mayu TomitaVoiced by: Kaori Asoh (Japanese), Leah Clark (English)
A young singer, about the same age as Sana herself. She appears only briefly in both the manga and the anime, but is often considered an important character regardless (she even appears in the intro of the second series of the anime, despite not even being in it). Tomita is a strict actress who takes her work very seriously, and is a bit stuck-up as a result. She regards Sana as a rival and finds Sana's laid-back attitude extremely irritating.
Ayano Hanamaru Koji Tomomi-chan
She appears alongside Tomita, also having a part in the intro of the second series despite not being in it. Tomomi is a very quiet girl, but can be persuasive if she wishes to be. She, Tomita, and Sana together form the singing group Sho-Roku-Tai.
Takeshi Gojo (anime only)
English: John Gremillion
Sana's birth father, but he does not know it. Sana is briefly blackballed in the entertainment industry, due to a ruthless talent agency who tries to take Sana away from Rei. During her dry period, she takes the only job she can get, a small role in a low-profile drama. Mr. Gojo is the small-time actor who plays her father in the movie, and Sana feels an instant connection to him, and begins calling him "Take-chan." They become very close during the filming of the drama without being aware of their true relationship to each other. He eventually finds out his true relationship with Sana, but by that time, he was stricken down by a chronic disease and was dying. However, he still managed to get back to the set and completed the climax scene of the drama. But, his disease overtook him, and he died holding Sana in his arms, promising that he will always be with her.
Throwing away all other loves,
I'm going to jump right into you.
such a bad thing?
It's getting close to sunset.
About time for children to go home.
The news of the day is "burning love."
We should report it on time.
7 O'Clock News (7 O'Clock News)
Please announce our relationship. (Ah, It's on the air)
Ah (Ah!) Don't blame our honest kiss.
In this city without fire (In this city without fire)
let's make some smoke with our love (Ah... Our love )
Ah (Ah!) We can't live without any compromise
That's asking the impossible!
Girls can come
on nights I can't predict,
I always want to be quick to
embrace your heart
until your lipstick fades.
on the big screen in the city,
looking up at us.
I have to move
to get myself in the spotlight.
Tomorrow's news will be "burning love."
I think it will support us from now on.
7 O'Clock Newscaster, (7 O'Clock Newscaster)
don't be quiet any more. (Ah... Hurry and...)
Ah (Ah!) If we're together, we can overcome anything
As if responding to each other (As if responding to each other)
Joining heart to heart (Ah... With the heart)
Ah (Ah!) Nothing's going to mess up this happiness.
Crying and laughing
Now we are chasing after
the day that this fate has given us
7 O'Clock News
Please announce our relationship. (Any more...)
Ah - Don't blame our honest kiss. (Don't stop it)
In this city without fire (In this city without fire)
let's make some smoke with our love (Ah... Our love)
Ah (Ah!) We can't live without any compromise
That's asking the impossible!
7 O'Clock Newscaster, (7 O'Clock Newscaster)
Announce it to the other side of the world (Ah Right now...)
Ah (Ah!) If we're together, we can overcome anything
Crying and laughing