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I want to die, so I'm going home.
~ Ishigami's catchphrase.

Yu Ishigami is the tritagonist of the 2015 romantic comedy manga series Kaguya-sama: Love Is War and its 2019 anime television series adaptation of the same name. He also appears in various spin-off manga, and is one of the main characters of the 2019 live action film Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

He is a fifteen year-old Japanese boy who is the son of a toy company owner and a freshman at the prestigious Shuchi'in senior high school, a school typically only attended by the upper class. Yu acts as the Treasurer of the school's Student Council, having been hand-picked by the President Miyuki Shirogane.

Ishigami is hated by most of the school due to rumors that surfaced during middle school. As such, Yu suffers from self-esteem issues and only has a handful of friends. He spends most of his time playing video games, reading manga, and watching anime.

Yu Ishigami is voiced by Ryōta Suzuki in the Japanese version of the anime adaption and by Austin Tindle in the English version. In the live action film series, he is portrayed by Hayato Sano.

Appearance

He is a handsome teenage boy with chin-length black hair that has bangs covering the left side of his face and black eyes. He also has a rather gloomy but, dull expression on his face.

Personality

Yu is a reserved and somewhat gloomy student who would doesn’t often show up to the student council meetings, preferring to do most of his work on his own at home.

As he is not very talkative, he usually spends most of his time playing video games by himself, as he is generally disliked by the other students mainly due to an incident that occurred in his past.

Background

Shuchi'in student

Yu Ishigami was the second son of the president of a small toy company. Thanks to his father's position, Ishigami was able to gain admittance into Shuchi'in Academy, a prestigious Japanese school that welcomed the elite and the gifted. The school educated students from pre-school to university, and, although he wasn't academically gifted, Yu possessed impressive observational and analytical abilities. Unfortunately, Ishigami's observational talents occasionally caused him trouble, as he tended to notice the insecurities and secrets of others and bring them to the light. He didn't make friends easily, and struggled to look most people in the eye. Despite being lonely, Ishigami had a lot of self-confidence and a strong sense of justice.

In middle school, Ishigami became acquainted with a girl named Miko Iino. Similarly to Yu, Iino upheld a strong sense of justice, however, their ideologies on the concept differed. Unlike Ishigami, who was chivalrous but also broke rules and got into trouble, Iino spent a majority of her time cracking down on fellow students who disobeyed school rules. Naturally, Miko faced opposition from most students, including Ishigami, for her harsh personality. Although they annoyed each other, Ishigami, due to his own sense of justice, disagreed with the students who acted malicious towards Iino, as he believed she was merely trying to improve student life, even if her methods were nonsensical to him. For this reason, Yu often supported Miko behind the scenes, such as when he removed a hurtful note that had been attached to her back and when he sent an anonymous letter of encouragement alongside a flower to Iino when the bullying she received began overwhelming her. Unbeknown to Ishigami, Iino was doing the same thing for him, as she often worked to reduce the punishments he received for his bad behavior behind the scenes.

At some point in middle school, Ishigami noticed that his classmate Kobachi Osaragi was being ridiculed by other female classmates. Ishigami knew that the girls were only speaking out due to jealousy, as Osaragi had incredible beauty. Yu pointed out to the girls that they were clearly jealous of Osaragi, causing them to turn their malicious attention on Ishigami, who wasn't well liked in the class. Ishigami eventually became fond of a classmate named Kyoko Ootomo, who always acted friendly to him. Yu viewed her as a good person who always lightened up his lonely life, although his feelings for her were completely platonic. Eventually, Ootomo began dating Ko Ogino, the president of the drama club, whose personality and social standing was the complete opposite of Ishigami's. Usually, Ishigami would silently curse the relationships he encountered in the school, however, considering Ootomo's kindness, Yu wished for her happiness.

Beating Ogino

One day, Ishigami was playing a portable game console atop a flight of stairs when he overheard Ogino having a conversation on his phone. Ogino told the person that he was easy and had already reserved a room. Ishigami called out to Ogino, asking his classmate if he was talking to Ootomo. Surprised by Ishigami's sudden appearance, Ogino assured Yu that he was talking to his girlfriend. As Ogino walked off, Ishigami thought to himself that his classmate was clearly lying through his teeth. Suspicious of Ogino, Yu planted a listening device which affirmed his theory, Ogino was cheating on Ootomo. Due to his excessive sense of justice, Ishigami refused to see a good person like Ootomo hurt, regardless of how little he knew her. Eventually Ogino discovered the device and smashed it in front of Ishigami in their classroom, demanding to know what Yu wanted from him. Ishigami casually asked Ogino to stop cheating on his girlfriend, however, the drama club president refused, stating that as long as there were girls willing he wouldn't stop. Hoping to earn Ishigami's silence, Ogino told Yu to come round his house later, subsequently showing nude images of Ootomo to Ishigami.

Sickened that Ogino would try to use Ootomo as a bargaining chip, Ishigami struck his classmate on the face, causing him to topple onto the floor. Ishigami stood over Ogino and began relentlessly beating him in the face. Although his exact thoughts during this moment were unclear to him, Ishigami remembered thinking that he wanted to beat Ogino so bad that no girl would want to approach his face again. The students gathered in the classroom gazed on in horror, unaware of the context of the beating. Fearful that his face would be ruined, Ogino whispered to Ishigami that if he continued he would take out his frustrations on Ootomo by distributing a revenge porno of her. Believing that Ishigami was in love with Ootomo, Ogino told the whole class that Yu had been stalking Kyoko, making it seem as though Ishigami was beating him in a fit of jealousy. He proclaimed to the class that he wouldn't break up with Kyoko, regardless of how bad Ishigami beat him, and that love couldn't be earned with violence. Due to his theatrics, everyone present including Kyoko shunned Yu, viewing him as a creepy stalker who beat up the boyfriend of the girl he liked.

Relationships

  • Miko Iino: Yu and Miko have known each other since middle school. Considering that Iino is a member of the Discipline Committee and Ishigami has a penchant for breaking school rules, the pair are natural enemies of one another. Most people equate their usual behavior towards each other as being akin to an old married couple. Despite their animosity for one another, both Ishigami and Iino are prone to helping each other out occasionally without the other knowing. It is strongly hinted that Ishigami was the person who sent Miko an anonymous letter of encouragement alongside a flower in middle school when she was having hard time which greatly impacted her.

During the election campaign Ishigami altered the presidential speeches into a debate, believing it would help Iino with her stage fright. During the bonfire, Ishigami decided to take pictures of everyone having fun so Iino could see that her solitude wasn't being wasted, and went out of his way to check on her whilst everyone were enjoying themselves. He often worries about her future believing that her desperate crave for affection could lead to her being trapped in an abusive relationship later in life. During Tsubame's party Ishigami was annoyed when a guy was flirting with Iino, implying that he felt jealous on some level.

Furthermore, he spent a fair amount of the party paying attention to what Miko was doing despite his crush Tsubame being present, something the latter took note of. After Miko broke her arm saving his life, Ishigami began to spend time with her and dote on her due to feelings of guilt. When observing Iino's handwriting, Ishigami notes that it is delicate and cute like her.

  • Karen Kino: Initially, Ishigami and Karen Kino didn't take note of one another, although the latter respected the former as a member of the Student Council. However, after Ishigami discovered Karen's fanfiction depicting Shirogane and Shinomiya and gave constructive feedback to her, Kino asked Yu to be an editor of sorts for her project. Ishigami seemed dejected when Karen said that they only upheld a business relationship and weren't actually friends. After that, the pair would occasionally meet up during breaks so Ishigami could read Karen's work and give her criticism and suggestions.

Yu didn't want to be seen with Karen, as he knew that if rumors would emerge then Kino's social standing would be ruined for hanging out with him. When Karen was considering ending her project, Ishigami was able to convince her otherwise, which led to Karen inflating her opinion of Yu. After that, Kino openly asked Ishigami for life advice rather then advice pertaining to the project, indicating that Karen had begun to respect his opinion a great deal and trust his words. Furthermore, she openly showed interest in Ishigami's personal life for the first time. Ishigami often makes snarky remarks about Karen's personality and project, although Kino is never bothered by the mild insults. During the sports festival, Karen was happy to see Ishigami smiling amongst friends in comparison to his usual downtrodden aura.

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