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Ryuuji Takasu (高須 竜児, Takasu Ryūji) is the series' main male protagonist. He is a 16-17 year-old high school student in his second year, in class 2-C. Due to biological inheritance, his sanpaku eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and cause many misunderstandings. He lives in a fatherless family with just his mother and, due to this, Ryuuji has learned to be self-sufficient. He is good at cooking and keeps everything in his house clean (to the point of obsession), and also excels at sewing.


Ryuuji is a young man of average height with short, blue hair that extends just below his neck, with bangs covering most of his forehead alongside thin and sharp eyebrows. Due to heredity, his sanpaku eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and causes many misunderstandings[1] because people find him scary. He is usually seen wearing the school uniform.


Ryuuji often helps Taiga Aisaka with domestic chores which she is otherwise unable to perform. At school, he is known as "the only person able to stop the palmtop tiger", referring to Taiga's nickname.[1] Due to the misunderstandings due to his looks, as well as how he grew up, he tends to look down on himself, but he's actually kind and selfless even to a fault. Despite his troubles, Ryuuji is rather calm in most situations and is responsible, smart and has great grades, even when compared to Yusaku Kitamura (Ryuuji's best friend).

In the light novels, he sees a tender side of Taiga that she hides from everyone. In the anime, he is dense when it comes to girls' feelings, especially about things between him, Taiga, Minori Kushieda and Ami Kawashima.

While initially seen as intimidating by most others, he makes more friends. His feelings and relationship to Taiga begin to change as he spends more time with her throughout the series. Eventually, he and Taiga become a couple and they got married (which now makes her Taiga Takasu) so in that way they can both be adults.


Ryuuji's father, who was apparently a delinquent, abandoned the two of them, which left Ryuuji's mother, Yasuko Takasu, to raise him by herself.[2] However, during his childhood, Yasuko lied to Ryuuji, telling him that his father had died.

According to Yasuko, Ryuuji inherited his dad's physical features (especially his eyes and expressions). Because of that, he was misunderstood very often, and people started labeling him as a delinquent.


Love Letter Arc

The story all begins when Taiga Aisaka accidentally gives Ryuuji an envelope for a love letter that was meant for Yusaku Kitamura and breaks into his home in an attempt to reclaim the letter and wipe out Ryuuji's memory of ever having seen it, but when Ryuuji tells her that the envelope was empty, she stops and collapses from exhaustion and hunger. After feeding Taiga, Ryuuji shows Taiga his collection of love letters, music, and other ideas of how his first date is going to be like, but since he can't manage to let his feelings out, he can only simulate what he's going to do. After reading one of his love letters in one of his notebooks, Taiga finds out that Ryuuji has a crush on her best friend, Minori Kushieda. After noticing how late it is, Ryuuji promises Taiga that he will help her win Yusaku's heart so long as she goes home straight away so that they both get enough sleep for school in the morning.

Ryuuji and Taiga's Plan Arc

Since she comes from a privileged household, Taiga does not know how to do any domestic chores. After learning of Ryuuji's domestic talents, she relies on Ryuuji to clean up after her. 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 Ryuuji's mother considers her a member of the family. At the beginning of the story, Taiga is infatuated with Yusaku and gets nervous every time he comes near her. Due to this, Taiga and Ryuuji team up to help each other get into a relationship with each other's best friend. To get closer to Yusaku, Ryuuji and Taiga formulate several plans that end in failure.

During basketball shooting practice, Taiga and Ryuuji plan to knock out Yusaku's partner with a basketball so that Taiga can be Yusaku's partner. However, Taiga ends up being knocked out instead. She makes some cookies and plans to give them to Yusaku; unfortunately, she falls off the stairs, throwing them out of the window in the process. Ryuuji breaks her fall. Calling herself clumsy and feeling depressed, Ryuuji eats her cookies and says they are great (despite tasting horrible), encouraging her to try making cookies again. Since Ryuuji and Taiga are often together, a misunderstanding begins among their classmates that Ryuuji and Taiga are going out. This causes Taiga to rage and wreak havoc in the classroom. Taiga sets the record straight the next day, and confesses her love to Yusaku. However, he wants only to continue being friends.

Meeting Ami Arc

After accidentally spilling Ryuuji's drink on herself, Ryuuji offers to clean her dress if they go to the restaurant where Minori works. But when they get there they find out that she had her day off that day. As they are looking at fashion magazine, Taiga notices that a girl coming into the restaurant is pictured in the magazine, a model named Ami Kawashima. To their surprise Yusaku is also there with her and tells them that they are childhood friends and she has come to visit for a while. Ami seems innocent, kind, polite, and a self-proclaimed airhead; but Taiga learns she only acts that way to get what she wants. Ami begins taunting Taiga to the point that Taiga slaps her. Seeing Yusaku and Ryuuji coming back she starts crying. Yusaku apologizes for what happens and takes Ami home. The next day they find out that Ami will be in their school, even in their very class.

Christmas Party Arc

After Ryuuji tells Taiga that his relationship with Minori has not progressed, Taiga declares the need to play Cupid for him, since she wants to be good for Santa. At school the next morning, Yusaku announces that the student council will organize a Christmas Eve Party to boost romantic feelings among students and Taiga and Ryuuji ask Minori to go to the party with them, but she vehemently declines. This causes Taiga and Ryuuji to worry about Minori.

As Christmas approaches, the whole class helps in preparing for the Christmas party, including setting up a large artificial Christmas tree, Taiga contributes a heavy glass star for the top, which she says is her favorite Christmas ornament. Everyone is pleased with their efforts and awed by the sight of the tree lit up. However, a stray softball crashes through the gym window and knocks over the tree, smashing the star. The baseball club apologizes and Minori blames herself for losing control of the ball. She leaves, still declining Ryuuji's offer of going to the party as she feels she would not be welcome after the accident. Despite hearing that, Ryuuji promises her that he will wait for her.

On the night of the party, Taiga brings over a suit for Ryuuji to wear while he still attempts to convince Minori to come. The party begins with a special Christmas song performed by Ami and Taiga. Following the song, Taiga leaves the party to go home in order to wait for Santa Claus, stopping by Minori's house on the way to convince her to attend the party. Ryuuji goes to Taiga's apartment dressed up as a 'Bear Santa Claus', cheering her up so that she realizes she is not alone. Afterwards, she tells Ryuuji to go back and wait for Minori and after some resistance-- for apparently he would rather spend the evening with Taiga-- he leaves. Taiga begins crying uncontrollably, thinking that with Ryuuji together with Minori, Ryuuji and herself can no longer be such close friends. Taiga rushes after Ryuuji, calling for him, but he is already gone. Minori, who was heading to the party, witnesses this.

Ski Trip Arc

The school is supposed to have a field trip in Okinawa but the hotel where they were going to stay burned down; so the trip is reorganized at a ski resort. Ryuuji blames himself for this because earlier he had wished everything would burn just to make his worries disappear. One night, Ryuuji, Yusaku, Koji Haruta and Hisamitsu Noto go to the girls' room to check on them but find the girls are not there. When they hear the door opening, they all dive into the closet to hide. After finding out that it was Taiga who came in, they snatch her into the closet before the other girls come in.

From the closet all four boys and Taiga overhear an argument between Minori and Ami about Minori rejecting Ryuuji. The next day, Ami tries to apologize to Ryuuji about what happened last night (unaware that Ryuuji heard everything). Then, Minori and Taiga, in a sled, accidentally hit Ami; as Minori and Ami fight over the blame for it, Minori's hair clip goes flying. Taiga leaves to search for it and when the fight has been broken up the others realize she is missing. Ryuuji, Yusaku and Minori decide to find her themselves. A snow storm has begun but near the place where the fight took place Minori discovers an opening in the fence. Ryuuji descends the hill to look for her, spying the hair clip sparkling in one of the trees. Not far below he discovers Taiga lying inert in the snow with a head wound. As he carries her back uphill, Taiga mumbles that she wants Ryuuji and Minori to be together but admits she cannot stop loving Ryuuji. Ryuuji realizes she believes Yusaku is carrying her; and once Taiga recovers he makes Yusaku promise to deny the truth and, to spare Taiga the embarrassment, to allow her to believe Yusaku had indeed been the one to save her.

Yasuko collapses from exhaustion while working a second job at a bakery. To help Yasuko, Taiga agrees to take her shift at the bakery, with Ryuuji agreeing to work there as well. Taiga and Ryuuji were selling chocolates for the bakery for Valentine's Day. Taiga gets the idea to call Ami to the bakery and have her help sales by providing testimonials how much she loves the chocolates there. Ami argues with her about it but eventually takes the box of chocolates and advertises how much she and her model friends love the chocolates. Taiga and Ryuuji meet their quota and Taiga buys the rest of the chocolates.

Valentine's Day Arc

As Valentine's Day approaches, Taiga decides to make everyone some chocolate as thanks for the things they have done for her. However, when Minori notices that she believes Yusaku rescued her from the ski trip instead of Ryuuji, she becomes angry. Minori confronts her with Ami and Yusaku blocking the exits, trying to get her to show her true feelings. After violently denying the likelihood that Minori is telling her the truth, Taiga admits she only wanted Minori to be happy. Minori tells her that happiness is something only she can decide for herself. Taiga runs off and Minori decides to go after her, asking Ryuuji if he will go after her too.

On her way out of the building, Taiga hears Minori shouting that she has always liked Ryuuji but held back because she felt Taiga's friendship with him was based on a stronger emotional need. She also says that she has to obtain her own happiness as well. Later, at work, she finds Ryuuji is waiting for her and agrees to talk to him after the shift. However, after work, Ryuuji's and Taiga's mothers confront their children and Ryuuji and Taiga, each seeing that their mothers are acting out of immature selfishness, decide to run away together. At a bridge they stop to talk. After Taiga told Ryuuji that he has to live on, she accidentally pushes him into the river. Standing in the freezing water Ryuuji yells up to Taiga to admit his plan of running away and marrying her in two months. She also jumps into the river; but just as they agree to say 'I love you' to each other, Yūsaku calls and asks them to meet at Ami's house. Minori, Ami and Yusaku do not agree with their plans but decide to support them. Minori and Yusaku lend them some cash, and Ami lends them the key to her family's chalet.

Ryuuji and Taiga pack for a long trip; but when Ryuuji spies Yasuko's note he realizes she had run away, like a child, and he convinces Taiga that they should visit his grandparents. Taiga leaves a dramatic message on Yasuko's phone, tricking her into believing Ryuuji is in danger, and Yasuko shows up at her parents' door for the first time in ten years. Taiga is impressed to see Ryuuji's family so swiftly healed.

When she arrives back at her apartment and hears her mother's emotional voice mail messages, Taiga decides to break the promise to Ryuuji and to change her ways, preferring to mend the breach with her own mother rather than to go on fleeing and avoiding all her problems. She leaves Ryuuji a note on the table, sends him two text messages reminding him that he never did state 'I love you' to her, and disappears from school, but she sends everyone a mail with a picture of the night sky and a single star, representing Minori's belief that one's future belongs entirely to one's self. Minori feels that this is supposed to encourage them to do their best. Everyone gets together to send a group picture to her with the artificial star that she left for the Christmas Eve party.

Graduation Day Arc

Over a year later on Ryuuji's graduation day, Ryuuji sees Taiga in the windows of the homeroom classroom they shared and runs upstairs to discover her hiding in a cupboard, dressed in her new school's uniform. She claims she had wanted to surprise him. He admits she appears taller-- probably because he had not seen her in more than a year. She replies she has not grown even a single millimeter. Finally he says the three words 'I love you' to her, without the slightest hesitation. But, true to character, she claims that he has terrible timing and should've picked a better place to say "such embarrassing things", giving him a headbutt that sends him flying to the floor.

Ryuuji is 18 by this time so one can assume he will endeavor to fulfill his promise to marry and support her.

This section appears in the anime during the last half of the credit sequence; it's easily missed if one tunes out at the start of the end title.


Taiga Aisaka

According to the anime series, Ryuuji met her after they bumped into each other, making Taiga punch him because of her bad mood[1] and attitude. They eventually became good friends because of the controversial love letter that made Ryuuji know that Taiga was planning on confessing her love for Yusaku which made him show Taiga everything about his crush from love letters, music and others since he can't let his feelings out. After understanding everything that Ryuuji had said, Taiga accidentally read one of his love letter making her know that Ryuuji has a crush on Minori.

Ryuuji suggests that they cooperate to win the objects of their affections[1] and Taiga exploits the fact that Ryuuji will do anything to get closer to Minori. Taiga makes him her personal servant, getting him to do all her household chores (cooking and cleaning)[3]. Taiga spends a lot of her time over at his house, so much that she could almost be considered a member of his family.

Since Ryuuji spends a lot of time with Taiga, he has opened up to her world and to a side of her that most people do not see. The two also try to help each other improve the way people view them. However, people they know from school start to become curious about their strange relationship and rumors begin to spread about them behind their backs. Ryuuji and Taiga start getting along more as things progress with the relationships between the characters and eventually confess their true feelings of love towards each other. They also married some time in the future.

Minori Kushieda

It is known that Ryuuji holds a crush on Minori at the start of the series. Ryuuji always blushes when he sees Minori and he admires her [1]. Ryuuji also finally had the guts to confess to Minori as the series progressed, but was turned down by Minori. After a while, Ryuuji and Minori talk again. Minori stated that she always liked Ryuuji back too, but held back because she wanted Taiga to be happy first. Ryuuji was slightly shocked by Minori's statement but then left to chase after Taiga. Eventually, his feelings turned out to be stronger for Taiga [4], stronger than the ones he had for Minori.

Ami Kawashima

When they first meet, Ami pretends to be kind to Ryuuji but later she shows him her true personality [5]. Ami liked to tease Ryuuji every time she had the chance because she found Ryuuji interesting. Ami's intrigue to Ryuuji begins to develop romantic feelings towards him.

Ami always drops her façade when she sees Ryuuji and feels like she could be her true self when she's around him. Ryuuji and her always talk on Ami's "usual spot"[6], the spot between the two vending machines. Ryuuji accepts Ami's true nature so Ami once stated to him, "As long as one person understands me, I'll be fine. Even if it's not the romantic way."

She clearly understands Taiga's and Minori's feelings though and chooses not to get romantically involved. She also often drops hints for Ryuuji to not play "House" or not play "Daddy" as Minori often acts out as Taiga's mother and Ryuuji as Taiga's father. Ami is well aware that by continuing this, someone would be bound to get hurt. Ami is the first person Ryuuji confessed to when he realized he loves Taiga.

Ryuuji became fond of Ami and appreciates what Ami does for him. By the end of the series, Ryuuji remained good friends with Ami. Ami also supported his relationship with Taiga.

Yusaku Kitamura

Yusaku Kitamura is Ryuuji's best friend. Because of his appearance, most other students at Ohashi High School are scared of Ryuuji, but Yusaku knows his true nature and that he is a good person. Because of their closeness, Kitamura stayed at Ryuuji's house[7] when he ran away from home and dyed his hair blonde.


  • "Every morning there's mold, moldiness, heaps of mold!"
  • "Since ancient times, the dragon has been the only beast to equal the tiger. Even if you're not by my side right now, I will leap through space and time and always be by your side. These feelings will never change."
  • "I left her alone again. She has always been by my side, but I never noticed...That clumsy girl, I'll never let go of you when I catch you this time!"
  • "Who's the one who didn't concentrate on her studies?!? The one who couldn't do what they wanted and failed is you!! Quit forcing your failure's on me!!"
  • "Marry me! That way, we'll both be adults! My life will be yours until I die!"