"There's no reason to pretend to be cool. Let's show our lame sides. That's who we really are, after all."
Hidenori Tabata is a student in Sanada North High’s Class 2-A and is the bespectacled member of the main trio. He is the one that usually gets the group involved in various hare-brained schemes and crazy simulations. He is also the center of Yassan’s affections. In the past, he used to be bullied until he was saved by Rubber Shooter.
About eight years in the past, Hidenori used to be picked on by a set of bullies, who would demand money from him and beat him up. These encounters took place near an old shrine. After one such encounter, he was approached by Rubber Shooter, who gave him a whistle to blow on for help. The next time he was getting picked on, Rubber Shooter came to his aid and scared the bullies away without him even blowing the whistle. Hidenori never saw the hero again, but was inspired to become like him.
Hidenori is a lean adolescent boy with brown hair and grey eyes. He wears large frame-less glasses.
As a Sanada North High student, he is most commonly seen wearing his school's standard uniform: a collared white button-up (often depicted untucked when he is not at school), a striped red-and-blue tie, and a dark blue blazer and pants. Even in the summer, he regularly wears the uniform (much like the other guys), only occasionally shown wearing casual clothes.
Hidenori’s hairstyle varies quite significantly between manga chapters. In the earlier chapters, he is depicted with a messy hairstyle that is spiky in uneven places. Later, this changes to a style resembling a mop top. The anime sticks with the former appearance. As a child, he sported a similar messy hairstyle but did not wear glasses.
When he was a child, Hidenori appeared to be of a timid sort who couldn’t stand up for himself.
In high school, Hidenori is an extrovert. He does most of the talking in the main trio and generally drives their activities forward. In this regard, he is very creative, improvising their routines and often coming up with the loudest and/or most bizarre characters when role-playing. Hidenori is self-righteous to a fair degree, but has shown that he doesn’t just care about himself. Except in extraordinary circumstances, his natural instinct is always to help out and he often worries about others’ situations and perspectives. He has a tendency to overthink during a lot of situations, and is often the first to read the atmosphere. He becomes frustrated when others are unable to do the same, similar to Yoshitake.
Hidenori values his friendships a great deal, becoming emotional when his friends go out of their way for his benefit. He also takes it to heart when they ignore him or deliberately avoid his company.
Hidenori’s defining character trait is his earnest wish to have an extraordinary life. This ties in with his rather unconventional ambition of wanting to ‘go overseas and help people’. Fittingly, he is very adept at recognizing situations that are fantastical or out-of-touch with the mundanities of daily life. He tries to incorporate them as much as possible into his own life through role-playing, trying to make real a manga scene etc. so as to make it more interesting (a trait he seems to share with Yassan). Being saved by Rubber Shooter was one such experience, as a result of which Hidenori looks up to and tries to be like him.
Hidenori’s most famous role. Jack is a warrior who is unafraid of combat and likes leading from the front. He also is loud-spoken, has a short temper and resorts to violence easily. His most notable habit is to introduce himself with the phrase “My name’s JACK” (ore no na wa JACK) with extra emphasis.
Jack first enlists the ‘swordsman Tadakuni’ as a candidate to become the ‘third demon lord’ and vanquish the other two. After this adventure, he tries to sneak into the white knight’s (Tadakuni’s) crew but is called out by him for being absent at the beginning, following which Jack attacks him.
Depp is a relatively inept warrior. He seems loyal to the Captain of the white knight’s crew and is the sort to plunge head-first into battle. He regards the white knight as a good friend and is hurt when he doesn’t recognize him.
The bath-house owner is a man with a stoic, grim expression and a very deep voice. He is very particular about money, standing threateningly across the path of the white knight’s crew until they pay him the entrance fee. Later, he tags along with the crew and discusses battle plans with the Captain, much to the white knight’s disapproval.
Hopper has a slightly nasal voice with an exaggerated accent. He seems to be adept at strategy, taking it upon himself to explain the goals of the crew to the confused white knight (somehow losing his accent when doing so). He usually speaks in pairs with Markovich, and agrees with him that the thrill of an RPG is in the detours.
Hidenori plays a radio DJ going by his own name and hosting “Hidenori Tabata’s Talking FS”. Unlike his usually extravagant characters, the RJ comes off as a normal, friendly and talkative host. He maintains the flow of conversation well, thanks listeners for their participation and tries to discuss their complaints on air with his guest Yoshī, but is ultimately let down by Yoshī failing to play his part well.
Hidenori’s other roles include a damsel in distress, a menacing figure who expresses triumph at having located the white knight’s crew (who turns out to be a mother looking for her child) and a port official who agrees to give the crew tickets in exchange for defeating a dragon. In the adventure of ‘Tadakuni the swordsman’, he also acts as Tadakuni’s first opponent and a passer-by who begs him to equip his weapon properly.
Zipper Magic: Hidenori is shown to be able to control the zipper of his pants, seemingly without making any contact with it whatsoever. Doing this trick appears to take him a lot of effort.
Other abilities: He is very athletic, being able to convert a fall into a somersault using just one hand. He also managed to complete a 5-meter horizontal jump without a significant run-up.
- While his eyes are grey in the anime, they have variously been shown as brown and black in the color spreads of the manga.
- Hidenori (like Yoshitake) is a Virgo, which roughly places his birthday between Aug 23 and Sep 22. Also, Episode 8 of the anime indicates that it may be in August.
- Hidenori placed 6th in the character popularity poll with 6,309 votes, coming in second among the members of the main trio (behind Tadakuni). His childhood self, titled ‘Young Hidenori’, also appeared in the poll at position 79 with 2 votes. Some of Hidenori’s role-playing characters made it to the following places:
- Jack: 55 (16 votes)
- Bath-house owner: 57 (10 votes)
- Depp: 73 (3 votes)
- Hidenori fools around with his glasses to confuse others (mainly Tadakuni), such as by wearing a pair on his head and using another pair to read. It was later revealed that despite him wearing glasses, he has 2.0 (extra-sharp) vision without them.
- He makes an appearance in almost 50% of the chapters, with 68 appearances in 139 chapters (107 if extras are excluded), making him the most featured character by far.
- Volume 1 pg 4 Ch 1 - Hidenori makes his manga debut
- Episode 1, timestamp 00:29 - Hidenori makes his anime debut
- Manga colour spreads in which Hidenori's eyes are brown: Volume 4 cover, Volume 7 cover, Chapter 91 cover
- Manga colour spreads in which Hidenori's eyes are black: Volume 1 cover
- Volume 4 page 5 Chapter 52 - Hidenori is a Virgo.
- Volume 7 pg 24 Chapter 97 - Hidenori is revealed to have 2.0 vision.