—Kouichi Sakakibara, after killing Reiko Mikami in Episode 12
|Family|| Yousuke Sakakibara (Father)|
Ritsuko Sakakibara (Mother) †
Reiko Mikami (Aunt) †
Tamie Mikami (Grandmother)
Ryouhei Mikami (Grandfather)
|Affiliation||One Who Does Not Exist (former)|
Kouichi Sakakibara is the male protagonist of Another. He is a new transfer student to Yomiyama North Middle School's 9th Grade Class 3 (in May 1998). He is 15 years old and is the only son in the Sakakibara family. His mother supposedly passed away 15 years ago after giving birth to him.
Kouichi is a 15-year-old boy who is a transfer student from Tokyo. In Yomiyama, he lives with his grandparents and his aunt, Reiko, as his father works in India. He no longer has a mother as she died shortly after giving birth to Kouichi. Kouichi has a great curiosity to the events 26 years ago that made the class such as beset the fear of death.
In the anime, Kouichi has a younger face, and had short brown hair and brown eyes. In the manga, he had black hair and black eyes and slightly looked older. He wears Yomiyama Middle's school uniform most of the time. For his casual clothes, he always wears two layers of clothing, consisting of a long sleeve shirt and t-shirt.
Kouichi is shown frequently to have a very curious personality, being determined to find out what happened 26 years before the main storyline, despite repeated warnings from Izumi and the other students of Class 3-3 to not go "looking for things that don't exist". He also initially believes Mei to be a ghost due to nobody acknowledging her presence, Ultimately, his curiosity proves to be his undoing when the students decide to treat him like he doesn't exist as well. His feelings about this are ultimately mixed; while he doesn't particularly like "not existing", it is also a weight off his chest, as he now knows for sure that Mei exists, and the two bond over their mutual situation.
Generally, Kouichi is very calm, friendly and sociable, making new friends since his first day at Yomiyama North Middle School and getting along fairly well with everyone. However, he can also be a bit of a blockhead, being unaware of the feelings some girls have for him like Izumi and Yukari or not responding to conversations in ways people want like him describing Izumi in her perspective as "macho". Kouichi can also be rather naive, as he can't understand why Mei and her mother (actually her aunt) treat one another like they are complete strangers, almost as though he can't comprehend family members not getting along with each other.
In his spare time, Kouichi enjoys reading, which is what causes him to form a friendship with the nurse Sanae Mizuno. He seems to favour American horror works, including Stephen King, Howard Philip Lovecraft, and John Saul. Because of this, Sanae nicknames him Mr. Horror Lover. He has also been given other nicknames such as Sakaki by Naoya Teshigawara and Kou-chan by Aya Ayano.
Although sociable, Kouichi is also a rather timid boy for the most part (in the novel, this is revealed to be the result of him being bullied in his previous school, due to sharing his last name with a serial killer) and easily horrified by the actions of the Curse. Overtime, however, he gains a significant resolve to put an end to the Curse and protect Mei; the latter is proven when he willingly stands against the entirety of Class 3-3 in order to protect her, due to them believing she is the Extra student. Even after learning that Reiko is the Extra student, he insists on killing her himself instead of letting Mei do it, albeit not without great hesitation and remorse.
Kouichi also has a rather cold side to his personality; when Izumi ends up fatally wounded by the Curse and asks him if he remembers the first time they met, he tells her honestly that he doesn't instead of lying to let her die happy, though the fact that she had just tried to kill Mei likely influenced this to some degree. The sheer bluntness of this statement is noted by Izumi as she dies, who tells Kouichi that he should have at least pretended to remember her.
Kouichi is first seen in the hospital when his lungs collapsed. He is visited by Yukari, Izumi and Kazami, each of whom introduces themselves to Kouichi. They begin to ask him strange questions, like if he ever lived in Yomiyama, something he says he hasn't done.Izumi shakes his hand and Episode 12 shows that Izumi met Kouichi when she hit him with a can due to her anger in her brother's death. Kouichi helps her get up. At the hospital, he also meets Mei in the hospital's elevator and she tells him that her poor 'other self' is waiting for her in the morgue. When he is discharged, he finally gets to go to school and meets the rest of the class. Later at P.E, Kouichi first meets Takabayashi who he tells to stay strong and to not let his heart conditions hold him back, and that he'll be able to run again. After he asks Yukari where Misaki was, she acts as if she doesn't know what he's talking about, but he sees her on top of the roof and runs up to meet her. He asks her some questions, but she rejects them saying that she hates being questioned. She turns around and tells him good-bye. In later episodes, Kouichi asks around the class for info about the class' curse, but no one was willing to tell him. Episode 4, he talks to Sanae on the phone, she tells him about what happened the moment she asked her brother about the curse, but while they are still conversing, he hears the sound of the elevator, which Sanae got on, crash, resulting in the nurse's death.In Episode 5, Kouichi insists to know about the curse and so, while walking on the way home with Yuuya and Takabayashi, he asks again about Misaki Mei and when Takabayashi was about to answer, he had a heart attack and dies later on. This incident caused Kouichi to be completely ignored as if he doesn't exist. As he tries to understand what's going on and receives no answer until Yuuya leaves the class roster in his desk and leaving a note telling him to let Mei explain everything. This leads him to visit Studio M (Mei's house) and she explains why they were being ignored by the rest of the class. Their relationship develops after that, even leading Kouichi to fantasize about dancing in front of the class with Mei. Later on, they go to the library to look at the class year book, when they encounter Chibiki, who tells them more about the class' curse. At home, Kouichi tries to ask his family for info on the curse, but ends up empty handed. The next day, their homeroom teacher ends up coming to school with a knife and ends up stabbing himself in front of everyone. He is shown to get a small stream of blood down his face and was among the last of the students to leave the classroom. After the incident, him and Mei were back to being existent again. Later on, Teshigawara tells the others to meet up at the restaurant to discuss something. There, they meet Mochizuki's sister, Tomoka, who tells them that it had a man named Matsunaga, who stopped the calamity before, however he can't remember anything. Afterwards, Kouichi tells Mei about what they found out and Mei tells him that he shouldn't worry, because he isn't the one that is dead. They go to the beach to find Matsunaga, anddecide to relax until he returns. He meets Mei and they talk about her family, and their hands touch. After, they go for different ingredients to eat. Mei asks Kouichi about the different sea foods she picks up, most of which aren't edible. She then finds an octopus, which latches onto her, and she tells Kouichi to take it off, afraid that it might eat her. After, they meet with Matsunaga, who tells them that though he can't remember much, he thinks someone died on the mountain when they went to the shrine. Suddenly, a strong wind blew the ball they were playing volley ball with out into the ocean. Nakao says that he'll go and get it, but drowns. Kouichi and Matsunaga try go to save him, but can't because a speedboat comes out from behind the mountain. Kouichi watches in uttter horror as the boat hits Nakao, cutting him up and sending him flying. Kouichi, still horrorfied, looks at Matsunaga, who remembers where he hid it, in the classroom. Kouichi went in the class trip. He took Mei's side when Izumi blamed her for the deaths along with Teshigawara and Mochizuki. Mei invites him in her room to show her the graduation photo of 1972, which it faintly shows Yomiyama Misaki. Kouichi said that he found that photo in a room Reiko usually used. After Kouichi recognized the dead guy, Mei tells him about her cousin who is actually her twin sister, Misaki Fujioka, and all the story behind this and her doll's eye, that can see the color of the death in all the deceased people, Kouichi asks Mei who is the dead person, and when Mei was about to say the name, suddenly Teshigawara opens the door with a terrified look, saying that he had done something terrible. In Episode 11, Kouichi and Mei learned from Teshigawara that he had accidentally pushed Kazami off the building and they went to look for his body. When they reached the hall, Kouichi notice the dining room door is open and he went to check, He found Manabu when Manabu grabbed him on his leg. Manabu is stabbed from behind the back and he told Kouichi that the dining room is on fire and the manager is inside. Kouichi went to open the door and found that the room is on fire, and the manager sitting dead in the room. Kouichi went to assist Manabu to look for help when Izumi came to check on the ruckus. They later heard Takako's scream and they went to check on it when they found the room is stained with blood and Takako is missing. Afterward, Takako appeared from behind holding a blade and tried to kill Mei. Kouichi defended Mei and brushes Takako off by removing her weapon. Takako escaped and Izumi told them that they had listened to the tape and Takako thinks that Mei is the dead person. After a second, Takako broadcasted the tape and telling everyone that Mei is the dead person and to send the "dead back to death." Many students came out of their room holding a weapon in attempt to kill Mei. Mikami-Sensei rushes over to the scene in order to defend Mei. Mikami is then hit, and Kouichi and Mei make a run for it. Kouichi protects Mei, but is later caught by surprise when Takako stabs him in the arm. She swings at Mei, but misses, and gets tangled in a few metal cords. The ceiling falls, causing the cords go upward, choking Takako to death. Izumi arrives shortly after and finds Kouichi and Mei standing underneath Takako's dead body. Izumi becomes horrified and enraged, thinking Mei killed her. Izumi vows to kill Mei. Mei runs up the stairs, and the ceiling falls behind her blocking the path. Kouichi is left behind, but is still able to move. In Episode 12, Kazami tries to kill him, but Izumi arrives in time to stop that. Later, Kouichi protects Mei from Izumi who tries to kill her. When Izumi finally gets a hold of Mei and Kouichi, she attempts to kill them both, but at that moment, lightning strikes. The glass shards are sent flying towards them. Izumi ends up being skewered against the wall by the glass shards. Kouichi is shocked and removes her from the wall. While lying on the floor bleeding, Izumi tells Kouichi that they had actually met before, one and a half years ago, Kouichi doesn't remember and says that he doesn't, Izumi smirks and tells him that he should have at least pretend to remember and she dies. Mei then disappears. Kouichi called her and asked her where she is, she told him and also said that he doesn't want to come there. Kouichi realized Mei is trying to kill the dead one and goes there only to find out that, his aunt, Reiko as Mikami-Sensei is the dead one. At first, he didn't believe it, but Mei comes with strong reasons, claiming that she witnessed Reiko's murder, Koichi comes to the realization that Reiko is actually dead and offers himself to kill her. Before killing her, his memory flashes back to when he visted Yomiyama a year and half ago, the main purpose of his visit was Reiko's funeral (his memory has been altered). They are later seen at Reiko's grave and talking about the incident with Chibiki. Afterward, Kouichi and Mei then walk together, talking about what happened and that only they can see Reiko in the photo taken in the class trip. And also telling Mei that he tried to call her when he was in the hospital but he couldn't connect, with her saying that she threw her phone because she hates those devices but would probably get a new one. He then asks her if he could sometimes call her by the time she gets a new one and she said "Sure, sometimes".
Then they talk about how they're the only ones to see Reiko in the class trip picture and claiming that they're the only ones to remember her but Kouichi suddenly was sad about the fact that maybe later forgetting everything that's happened. And he later asks: "It's over now, isn't it?", but Mei only replies with a smile.
He feels very strange about her because of the class treating her as though she "doesn't exist". He met her in the elevator in the hospital during his last day hospitalized. When he finally enters school, he sees Mei sitting alone with no one to talk with, and her desk is far older than the others. Every time he sees her, he goes to her place and asks questions. Even though Mei and his other classmates warned him to stay away from Mei Misaki, he still hesitates and decides to visit her everytime he sees her. He also seems to be very concerned about her. In chapter 10, he slightly blushed when he saw Mei, which confuses her. In episode 6, Kouichi daydreamed about dancing in the classroom with Mei, and seemed embarrassed when he snapped out of the daydream, even telling himself that he had to stop doing that, perhaps indicating that he is developing some kind of feelings for her. At the beach in episode 8, he is the first one to notice Mei is there, and he goes over her and helps her to re-build what seems to be a sand-castle and while doing so, their hands touch within the mound of sand. It is this scene which seems to show that they have a good friendship. He also helped her when her hand was covered by an octopus. In episode 10, he also stood up for Mei when Izumi told Mei to apologize for all the bad luck and mishap that has happened to their class. In episode 11, Mei was accused of being the dead one by Takako. In the same episode, right after Yukito hit Ms. Mikami in the head with a broom, knocking her out with Kouichi punching him as a result, he was just about to go up against Kenzou before Mei showed him not to go through it. As he and her were being hunted down by the others, he and Mei agreed to hold hands, showing she trusted him enough and that he wanted to make sure she wouldn't get killed. Kouichi protected Mei and helped both of them escape the situation, as Takako along with their fellow classmates tried to kill Mei. In the end of the series, he and Mei are seen walking home together.
Kouichi and Naoya are in good terms. Naoya was one of the first to talk with Kouichi on his first day at Yomiyama Middle School being part of the group that directly welcomed him. Later on, Teshigawara apologies for the fact that he is obligated to ignore him when he became a non-existent person. Kouichi thinks that Naoya's casual flowerish t-shirt is too attractive and embarrassing. Evidence of them being on good terms too is when Naoya nicknames and calls Kouichi "Sakaki". Due to Naoya's laid-back attitude and not going with the rest of Class 3-3 most of the time, he's the person Kouichi would ask to help him in solving the curse.
Yuuya was the closest person to Kouichi early in the series, when he was a newcomer at Yomiyama North Middle School. He was among the group of students that welcomed Kouichi directly to Class 3. Also, Yuuya was the one who left Kouichi a message in which he says to talk with Mei about the class mystery, as he was obligated to keep quiet about this. They are on good terms. Kouichi and Yuuya also were on the same team when at the beach with Mei. Kouichi also is one who is interested in Yuuya's art talents and says he's talented in it. In the manga, they are still friends but Kouichi's thoughts on Yuuya were a little judgemental like him taking some anger out on him and one to state his slight feminine appearance stating if Yuuya would most likely get picked up on the streets by accident.
Kouichi is very close to his aunt, Reiko. She gives Kouichi lots of advice on how to get by living in Yomiyama. Also, Kouichi is often seen talking to her. In episode 12, Kouichi was shocked when he finds out Reiko is the extra one. Before killing her, Kouichi said "Goodbye, mom". This fact claims that their relationship was very close and Kouichi consider her the mother he never had. In the manga, Kouichi often refers to Reiko as "Reiko-nee" (as in nee-san, Japanese for "big sister"); he was more affected by her death as he was seen crying. In the manga they seem to have a stronger bond, and often she makes him blush.
In episode 12 it is hinted why Kouichi does not remember going to Yomiyama a year and a half ago. The reason for his coming is Reiko's funeral and thus his memory of going there and meeting Izumi Akazawa is altered. It is also revealed that he knew about Reiko's double life as his aunt and assistant homeroom teacher to his class Reiko told him this when she was stating the rules on the class to him and the last one was to refer to her as Ms. Mikami, never Reiko. This also explains why Kouichi was embarrassed and unwilling to go with the others on Reiko being hot and Yuuya asking him on her was very minimal.
Yukari first met Kouichi at the hospital in Episode 1, she gave him a bundle of flowers that the whole class put together. She was among the students who directly welcomed Kouichi to Class 3. She also sat with Kouichi during PE class when he was recovering and she had a sprained ankle. Kouichi probably saw her as a good friend, oblivious to the points Yukari flirts with him. The two also share a bonding scene where they walk home together and them discussing the classes trips. She also was a main person that started giving Kouichi clues the past on Class 3. He is very guilty over her death, showing he cared for her as well as everyone else.
Kouichi first met Tomohiko at the hospital with Izumi and Yukari in Episode 1 of the anime, as the group spoke, he gave Kouichi notes from the school year so far to help him. He was among the students who welcomed him to Class 3 directly and the two seemed to be on good terms with each other, with Tomohiko even calling Kouichi by his first name, either for they were real friends or he did it because Izumi did). All that changed however at the inn when Tomohiko started to kill their classmates, then when they encountered each other, he attacks Kouichi, despite his speaking the truth, it's shown that Kouichi mostly defends than fights as not wanting to hurt Tomohiko, after Tomohiko screams at Kouichi in causing Yukari's death, Kouichi says her name while telling Tomohiko to stop. Right before Tomohiko strikes Kouichi with him pinned on the floor, he's hit in the head by Izumi, with Kouichi startled and letting her rant on Tomohiko's foolish thoughts and her helping him die for his actions, after Izumi runs off after an encounter and discussion with Chibiki, both bring Tomohiko's dead body outside where it's shown Kouichi is among those who was saddened by his death.
Kouichi was shown to be on good terms with Ikuo during the series as shown as when Ikuo called Kouichi by his first name. Ikuo was shown to be among the students who welcomed Kouichi to Class 3. The two talk to each other during PE when both were sitting out, Kouichi learned on Ikuo's heart condition and knows he can't run, with Kouichi trying to convince Ikuo that he might be able to run one day with true sympathy. As Ikuo suddenly felt ill, Kouichi offered to help him to the nurse's office but he states he could get there. Later on after a whole class meeting without Kouichi, he is about to head home with Yuuya, until Kouichi asks to walk home with them in order to try and get more information on the past. While walking and talking, Ikuo decided to try and help Kouichi despite Yuuya's concerns, as Ikuo disliked the ways Izumi and the others were handling the situation. Right after Kouichi asks about Mei Misaki, Ikuo suffered a heart attack while Kouichi and Yuuya were in shock. Later on, it's shown Kouichi felt guilty over his death as seen when Ikuo appeared in his nightmares.
Kouichi was shown to be on good terms with Aya as seen in the series. She was among the students who directly welcomed Kouichi to Class 3 in Episode 1, she also questioned his taste in women and called him by his first name showing she considered him a close friend (In the Japanse version, she calls him Kou-chan with the "chan" meaning endearment and reserved for close friends). In Episode 4, the two talked after Kouichi came from the hospital and Aya was skipping class. While they talked, a gust of wind blew a window pane on a nearby truck over, Kouichi thought quickly and saved himself and Aya. After Aya screamed she didn't want to die, this was helpful in Kouichi learning and questioning about the curse and current events. Later on in Episode 9, while Kouichi and Teshigawara were going to the old school building to meet Yuuya and search the old Class 3 for Matsunaga's clue, Aya spotted them along with Yumi. The girls discuss their looking for Chibiki whose revealed to be the drama club teacher, much to Kouichi and Teshigawara's shock, she asked Kouichi directly why the boys are here and he explains to them, with both hopeful in them looking for a solution. After denying Teshigawara's offer to help them, Aya's reason because she was moving that day, she says goodbye to Kouichi, this being the last he'd ever see her. It's probable Kouichi found out on Aya's death and was saddened by it offscreen.
Kouichi is shown to have respect for Chibiki for his role in the school. Chibiki is shown to be very useful in providing Kouichi with information on the past with the Curse and the Class, especially since he was its homeroom teacher. He's shown to have known Kouichi's mother and aunt when they were students and he was a teacher back in the past. He is know by Reiko in dressing in black and Master of the library when talking to Kouichi. He is also the one to explain the methods behind the deaths of Shoji Kubodera and Junta Nakako to Kouichi and Mei. He also is shown to care on the safety of the students to the best of his abilities as saving Kouichi, Naoya, Yuuya, Tomohiko, and Daisuke.
Kouichi's interactions between the rest of the students in his class is very limited to none whatsoever except in a few that interacted with him fully like Makoto, Noboru, Takako, Junta, and Yumi. In the anime, Kouichi had a few interactions with them, but due to the curse and the new rule put out, all ignored Kouichi all together. At the inn, Kouichi has most of the longest interactions with them. Kouichi helps Manabu when he was stabbed and wounded, confronted Yukito after he hit Ms. Mikami, went through multiple groups to get Mei to safety when she was going to be killed by them, tried to help Aki when she was chased by Tomohiko, and was with the small group at the hospital to visit Manabu in the series finale.
Koichi freely admits to Reiko Yousuke isn't a very good dad, and is often frustrated with his apparent lack of parental interest, among other things having learned to cook as a result of his father's frequent absences.
In the anime, Yousuke seems to be a bit better of a father, explaining he'd never mentioned his own lungs problems to Kouichi for fear of someone telling him it was a hereditary problem, suggesting he didn't want Kouichi to develop a complex over it. Throughout the series, Kouichi is shown to be uninterested in his father explaining India's hot weather. Kouichi also gets some facts about his mother in school from his father and even asked once if there were any pictures he could look at for clues.
Yousuke is only indirectly mentioned in the live action film.
They were quite close, having met while Koichi was in the hospital. The two met outside the hospital a few times, like at a restaurant and the Hospital lounge and Sanae had his phone number, which she used to help him research the Curse. She often called him nicknames, such as "Mr. Horror Lover", as she would recommend certain books for him like Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft and wanted to know about the mystery of class 3. While interacting, it is shown she thinks of Kouichi as much as a younger sibling as her own as she is seem happy Kouichi is focused on reading than her brother is. While talking at the restaurant, she teases him at one point when she suspects kouichi may have had feelings for Mei Misaki, although Kouichi tries desperately to get her not to think that. San was probably the best person that gave Kouichi information on the curse like finding the file of Mei's Sister, Misaki before her death. Her death devastated him, especially in the manga, as he can be seen crying.
Their relationship differs very differently from the manga. In the anime they appear to be somewhat close and in someway in good terms, as with Yukari, Kouichi didn't fully see that Izumi had feelings for him as throughout the series he was very preoccupied with Mei. It is shown that he might have better understood after Takako spared him as she said Izumi was fond of him. As Izumi fought, he tried to stop her but not harm and at first it looked like she understood him when they stared into each other's eyes, under she kicked him back and threatened him and Mei. As she died, she made amends and called him terrible, saying that even if he didn't remember meeting her, he ought to pretend. It is revealed that she was fond of him. She remembers Kouichi being in Yomiyama a year and a half ago because this memory has not been altered. This is because even though this memory is connected to Reiko Mikami's death, her name is not mentioned. The reason Kouichi does not remember his meeting with Izumi is because, he knew before that the reason he was in Yomiyama before was because of Reiko's death (this memory was altered by the phenomenon making him forget this encounter).
- His first name, Kouichi, means "permanent one" while his last name, Sakakibara, can be translated as "the truth of the sacred Shinto tree field". His surname refers to Reiko as being the assistant homeroom teacher of the 9th grade class 3 and also being the death one as her last name, Mikami, means "three gods".
- He is ranked A+ in Another characters ranking.
- In the manga, when Reiko asked him about the club he was joining in his previous school, he replied by saying 'Cooking Club'. Because of his father who can't cook, he has to cook for his family.
- His home address is 5-1 Furuikecho Yomiyama City.
- In the original novel, Kouichi was a target of bullying at his previous school in Tokyo due to his last name "Sakakibara" being the same as a real life middle school murderer from Kobe. On the other hand, he shows a slight cruelness to Mochizuki.
- In the manga Chapter 16 (In the Anime = Episode 10 - Glass Eye), it wasn't Daisuke who suddenly fell sick, but him. When Izumi was arguing with Mei, blaming her and Kouichi for all that had happened, Kouichi tried to protect Mei, putting all the blame on himself, but he suddenly collapsed. Chibiki tried to call an ambulance, but his phone was out of range. The anime follows the original novel on this point.
- In the manga, Kouichi was more affected by Sanae's and also Reiko's death than in the anime.
- The nicknames Sanae gives Kouichi regards to him reading Mystery/Horror novels. Interestingly, the genre of the original Another novel is Horror/Mystery.
- "You don't have to hide it. I think it's beautiful, Misaki."
- "Will you kill your own classmate?"
- "Goodbye, Reiko. Goodbye, mom."
- Main article: Kouichi Sakakibara/Image Gallery