“I... I knew already... But... It`s just like I thought... I... I`m really... I... I... I really am in love with Mari... So much that I can`t bear it...”
—Akko realizing how she felt about Mariko Kumakura all along
Akiko Oohashi (大橋 亜希子 Ōhashi Akiko) is a main character and one of the two main love interests in the series who first starts off as Mariko Kumakura's friend, but she later evolves into her lover.
Akko is a beautiful and cute teenage pale-skinned girl with a slim build and brown eyes. The color of her hair is debatable, because in color illustrations, it is depicted as either a brown/auburn color, yet in the actual manga panels it is depicted as blonde.
Akko is very conscious of her appearance and the clothes she wears, always wearing some form of makeup, straightening her naturally wavy hair, and carefully selecting her outfits from her massive collection of clothing, as well as going on crash diets when she believes she is fat (though she often fails to maintain those diets for very long). Her typical school uniform, which is her standard outfit throughout the series, consists of a "sera fuku" or sailor clothing styled white shirt and grey white stripe lined collar, with a long red tie and black cloth piece at the base of the tie, holding the fabric together. In the very beginning of the story, Akko's hair is completely straight and adorned with two hair clips on the right side of her head. Later on in the series, her hair becomes much wavier and complex in appearance that she does not wear any hair accessories.
Akko is a very outgoing, charismatic and independent teenager who loves fashion, makeup and shopping that her hobbies are often noted as stereotypical of any teenage girl. She is also very confident and prideful of both her body and personality, but she is very loyal to her friends and loved ones (especially Mariko Kumakura). Her outgoing and independent attitude and behavior however, is a result of her relationship with her estranged mother, who often left Akko alone with no father in their apartment as a young child, due to her job sending her away on business trips. This can also be assumed to be the reason why Akko is very loyal and loving to those around her, because she fears losing them and being alone the way she was in her childhood. However, despite the sadness of being alone at a young age, she loves the sense of being independent and doing whatever she pleases, free from the inhibitions of parenting.
Role in the Story
At the beginning of the story, in Chapter 1, Akko approaches a exhausted Mariko Kumakura after she has taken a English retest and asks her which train stop she gets off at to go home, while also addressing her with the very personal sounding nickname "Mari-Chan", as though they are already friends. This prompts a confused Mari to utter out the train stop Ichigaya, after which Akko suggests they both ride the train home together and insists that Mari call her "Akko". On the way to the train, Akko interrogates Mari with a large number of questions in an effort to get to know her and become friendly. After asking Mari how she did on the English test, Mari replies saying that she believes she answered most of the questions correctly, to which Akko is stunned, having thought that Mari was just as bad at English class as she was. This could be considered the moment when Akko first gains respect for Mari's abilities. She then asks Mari why she was absent from school the other day, and Mari's explanation causes her to begin laughing uncontrollably, she then suggests that the two of them go to McDonalds because laughing makes her hungry. Upon arriving and eating at McDonalds, Akko makes comments about Mari's long, straight hair, asking if it is naturally straight. Mari jumps in surprise at both the question and Akko's close approach to her face, and answers yes. Mari then points out that Akko's hair is also straight, to which Akko replies that it is actually naturally wavy and as such she must straighten it out everyday using hair products and a flat iron, thus she is envious of Mari's naturally straight hair. She also says that it's a pity Mari never tries any styles with her hair and asks where she gets her hair cut. Mari replies that she goes to the same place as her mother to get it trimmed, awkward silence ensues, and Mari gets up to leave before Akko stops her and suggests they should both get their hair cut the next day. Mari meets Akko in a mall the next day, wearing very plain and unfashionable clothes that she feels embarrassed in around Akko, due to her trendy fashion sense. Akko instead proclaims that Mari looks cute and that she is glad Mari came, since she assumed she only hung out with other smart girls, they then go off to the salon. When Mari is asked by the barber what hairstyle she wants, she allows Akko to decide for her, since she is not knowledgeable about fashion. Akko gets excited and tells the barber her suggestion, during which Mari questions Akko's motives for bringing her here and assumes Akko means to play a cruel trick on her. After Mari's hair is cut shorter into a bob style, Akko exclaims that Mari looks beautiful and expresses her liking for short hairstyles. She also says that short hairstyles only look good on cute girls like Mari, after which Mari becomes flustered. They then go to McDonalds again, which is not shown but implied through Akko's suggestion. The next morning, when they see each other at school, Mari feels that she has finally found a friend in Akko. Following this interaction, Akko begins to include Mari in as many of her own activities as possible and becomes glad that she and Mari are friends at all, given that she doubted Mari would even care for a "loud girl". Once she hears that Mari is dating Harada-Kun, she feins happiness while secretly developing an intense jealousy over the relationship. At first she holds this in, and does not understand that she is in fact jealous until Tamamin points it out to her (though Tamamin does not know of Akko's growing love for Mari, which was the true reason for her jealousy, not the fact that Mari had gotten a boyfriend before her.) Once she realizes what she is feeling, Akko begins to dislike Harada-Kun very much, finally breaking down when he stood Mari up after requesting to see her. After Mari officially tells Harada she never loved him (due to her being deeply in love with Akko), and breaks up with him, Akko takes Mari to a karaoke bar to cheer her up, as she believes Mari is feeling sad. When Mari confesses her feelings in the karaoke room, Akko kisses her, thinking to herself that after all the planning she had done in her mind to punish Harada, she never prepared for this. With this kiss, Akko then assumes that she and Mari are now dating, which was a complete misinterpretation of Mari asking Akko if they could still be friends after she confessed her love. Akko's assumption leads to a small falling out between the two after fighting over Mari's refusal to see Akko as the person she loves because she thinks Akko does not love her back, which then leaves Akko confused as she believed Mari knew she did in fact love her.
When they first met Akko befriended her quickly and began taking her out to do many things with her such as getting her hair cut short, going shopping and eating McDonalds often. As the story progresses the two become close and Mariko also gets some friends of her own thanks to Akko helping her come out of her shell, at one point Mariko kisses Akko while she was asleep which due to Mariko being too nervous and at the time confused of her feelings to distance herself a bit from Akko but eventually Mariko tells her what happened and Akko does not realize until later that it meant much more. By the end of the end of the series Akko and Mariko have both realized their feelings for each other and both spend much time together, Mariko wants to work with food and diets and says that she will be making Akko`s meals from now on while Akko aspires to work in her long time dream fashion.
She has been close friends with Akko for a very long time and later befriends Mariko once Akko introduced them. Satoko becomes aware of Mariko and Akko`s feelings for each other and acts as support for the two to try and bring them together and realize their feelings fully due to them for a time distancing themselves from one another especially in Akko`s case since Satoko was the first and only person she spoke to about it. She on occasion teases the two of them such as one instance when she asked the two had they gone to the next level in their relationship yet much to both Akko and Mariko's embarrassment.
Although Yuko is rarely present due to being away most of the time for work, Akko is on very good terms with Yuko and she will stop by and ask if Akko is doing okay or not once in a while.
- The name Akiko means "second, Asia" (亜) (a), "hope" (希) (ki) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Although her given name is Akiko, all of the characters in the story call her by the nickname "Akko", with the exception of Yuko Oohashi (Akko's mother).
- Akiko's surname Oohashi means "big, great" (大) (o) and "bridge" (橋) (hashi).