List of Ashita no Nadja characters
Nadja Applefield is a Franco-Austrian sunny, charming girl, with a talent for dancing and making friends wherever she goes. Even though she is very young, she shoulders responsibility quite well, often taking care of the children younger than her at the orphanage. On the other hand she is impulsive to the point of foolhardiness and extremely trusting, which leads others to take easy advantage of her and even abuse her thoroughly, if the right buttons are pressed. Her biggest dream is to someday be reunited with her mother.
Halfway through the series she departs for England leaving Dandelion Troupe to look for witnesses, after finding out that the imposter was Rosemary. Early in the series, she meets the Harcourt twins, Francis and Keith. She initially feels attached to Francis and once mistook Keith as Francis. Halfway through the series, she seems to be falling in love with Keith, as Francis tells him, even though she doesn't confess or seems aware of her true feelings. She is ultimately forced to choose between them romantically.Almost towards the end of the series, she chooses Francis over Kieth because she thought that he is the person that first helped her. It is Keith. Since she is confuse about these feelings, she choose Francis, but later came to realize the one that she loves is kieth. Francis is the one that make her realize it. At the end, she did not choose either one and join back the Dandelion Troupe. It is hinted that she will make another decision.
Nadja was given to Miss Applefield to raise when she was a baby, her only possession at the time being an elaborated heart-shaped brooch. Nadja grew up at the orphanage believing her parents were dead; in the days before her 13th birthday, Nadja received a surprising gift in the mail: a trunk containing a party dress and a diary, both keepsakes belonging to Nadja's true mother. The gown was worn by Nadja's mother at her first ball, and the diary was her mother's colorful description of all the people she met and danced with at that ball. Nadja is amazed by this gift, and stunned to discover that her mother might actually be alive out there somewhere. When bad men arrive to steal the brooch away from Nadja, she leaves the Applefield orphanage and begins a career as a dancer with the travelling Dandelion Troupe. Her true date of birth is unknown, even by Nadja herself, but she claims it to be on March 25.
George is vigorous and trusting; his co-workers often call him 'Dancho' ("master") due to his leadership skills. He is the unofficial head of the Dandelion Troupe and a good friend to Raphael, the free-spirited troubador. George is the "gentle strongman" and leader of the Dandelion Troupe; the car they all travel in appears to belong to him, and he is the one who decides where they will travel to next.
George is gruff and macho, but he has his weaknesses as well. He is extremely superstitious and addicted to treasure hunting, and cannot turn down maps offered to him. His treasure hunting passion has dragged the Troupe off course in their travels several times. It is unclear if his treasure hunting exploits have actually yielded treasure, but George is always keen on going after the next treasure on the horizon.
A mysterious, kindly Russian old lady who makes extravagant hats or hair ornaments for dukes and nobles. She knitted a dress for Nadja as soon as she tried to join the troupe (as well as other dancing outfits for her and Kennosuke), and it is likely that she is the primary source of income for the Dandelion Troupe, along with donations.
Anna is a very mysterious character: she is sort of a grandmotherly figure for everyone in the Troupe, yet none of them are really sure just how old she is. Anna sews all the costumes for the Troupe (though it seems that Nadja and Kennosuke are the only ones who occasionally change costume) and she operates the phonograph mounted on the top of the car. She's also very good at handling money, always getting discounts and lower prices.
Anna has a side business of making fashionable hats for noblewomen, and occasionally the Dandelion car must detour so Anna can deliver a hat to a buyer. In fact, Nadja and Francis are able to really meet each other thanks to Anna delivering a hat for Francis' aunt, Emma. Anna is a fortune teller; she know right away after she first sees Nadja that fate has adventures in store for her, and throughout the series she always seems to know when important things will happen to Nadja. She is an unexpectedly good fighter, due to her small size and skill with her deadly iron pan. Although celebrated in one of the episodes, Anna's birthday is never mentioned, but it's supposedly at the same day as Nadja's unknown yet true birthday, as her mother celebrates it at that same day.
The French singer for the Dandelion Troupe. Somewhat of a skeptical and exigent lady when it comes to performing abilities, she takes kindly to Nadja when she proves her worth as a performer, and takes her under her wing openly in France. Sylvie is the "songbird" of the Dandelion Troupe; her beautiful voice and sexy looks captivate her audience wherever she goes. Sylvie is sort of an older sister figure for Nadja while they are on the road, good at giving Nadja advice, and is someone Nadja can turn to with her emotional problems.
Sylvie can be frivolous at times; she's vain about her looks, likes going shopping, like other girls her age, and at one point she is seen dating Antonio Fabiani, a very shady character. But she also has romantic problems of her own; she suffers an unrequited love for Raphael, a traveling musician and friend of the Dandelion Troupe, who currently cannot correspond her feelings due to his past. Sylvie is also a good fighter, thanks to her ability to use her umbrella as a weapon.
Abel is German and works as the Pierrot of the Troupe, in charge of comedy and laughter. He wears clown make-up while on stage, and performs all kinds of amusing antics such as juggling, acrobatics and standing on a large ball. Even though he is the Pierrot, Abel can be very serious and wise at times. He is a very well educated man, somewhat of a scholar and mentor figure; he helps Nadja to look for books in libraries and reads her mother's diary, which is written in German, a language Nadja does not know since she has been raised in England.
Behind Abel's Pierrot make-up lies a sad past and a family he had to leave behind; he was the doctor of an impoverished village, but spent a time in jail after stealing medicine from an hospital to save his patients from an epidemy and had to abandon his family after his release, since his son Stefan had the illness and was left in a wheelchair.
A gentle Irish musician, Thomas plays the violin for the Dandelion Troupe. He is a very quiet sort of guy, and very talented and dedicated to his music; one of the times Thomas really gets angry is when someone insults his music and his playing, like genius pianist John Whittard does. Thomas gives Nadja her first dancing prop: a baton of sorts that has a matching castagnet that attaches to one end, and a belled piece that attaches to the other end.
Another thing about Thomas is his practicality; he is gentle and quiet, but he is very down to earth when it comes to day-to-day life, becoming concerned about how the Troupe earns money and the success of their performances. He is rather cowardly when faced with violence and physical danger, and at those times Abel and Sylvie give him alcohol to make him overcome his fear.
Descendant of samurais, Kennosuke set off to Europe from Japan after being orphaned, determined to get money for himself and his sister Hanako. His dream is to become either a good samurai or an aviator, since one of his first bosses in Japan was a dreamy inventor who wanted to fly. In England, he sneaks into the Dandelion Troupe's car and accidentally sets a whole disaster, but is forgiven and joins the company.
On stage, he usually performs dance and/or fighting sequences with his bokken (wooden sword), and occasionally joins Nadja in her own dance acts. He has a crush on Nadja, usually portrayed as a running gag more than a serious issue; whatever the source of those feelings is, he always acts as her best friend. He is a very skilled mechanic who maintains the Dandelion Troupe's car.
A very young Italian girl, who is a mute (the term was not considered offensive in the time period; it is much more likely she would be referred to as a girl with a speech disorder today). She communicates with Nadja and Kennosuke quite easily, regardless.
Rita is an orphan like Nadja, since her parents (lion tamers, who raised her in the circus life) died in a fire that consumed their circus two years before Nadja's arrival; that tragic incident robbed her of the ability to speak for years and left her with an absolute fear of fire. After the death of her parents, Rita was adopted by the Dandelion Troupe (who witnessed the whole tragedy), and performs on stage with the twin lions Creme (the white-coloured one) and Chocolat (the black-coloured one; he is white like his sibling, but George uses painting on him to make him look black), both of which seem that they never age into adult lions. With Nadja's help, Rita gets over her trauma and starts talking again.
A childhood friend of Nadja in the Applefield Orphanage. While Nadja is the type to always run around climbing trees with the boys, Rosemary is more dreamy and would rather watch from afar. Secretly, Rosemary is very unhappy about her status as an orphan, and always likes to fantasize that she is really a beautiful princess who was lost by her family, and who will be rescued any day now (in fact, she at times refers to herself as 'Princess Rosemary'). Nadja played along with Rosemary's dreams by calling Rosemary 'princess' and pretending to be her faithful knight.
When Rosemary turns 13, she, like all Applefield children, has to leave the orphanage and get a job. She works first as the maid of a wealthy family in Spain, and later as a lady-in-waiting for the scheming Herman Preminger, who disguises her as Nadja for his own purposes. Rosemary sees her second job as a way to make her own princess dreams finally come true at any costs even if it hurts Nadja, whom she sees as a traitor after a tragic misunderstanding that happens when they re-meet in Spain, months after they parted.
Rosemary originally is a good-hearted girl with hidden self-worth issues, but she soon develop an extremely nasty and cruel personality after her trust with Nadja shatters, resorting to practically anything to get what she sees as revenge. Believing that Nadja had betrayed her and seeing that her dream is at the grasp of her fingers, Rosemary becomes active and manipulative and at times even reaches levels of madness and scheming that are scary for a 13-year-old girl. Even Herman starts to fear her at one point, since he knows Rosemary is perfectly able and willing to use his weaknesses against him if needed.
In the end, Rosemary recovers her dignity and becomes tired of all the lies and manipulations, realizing that even in achieving victory through them that she is empty and unsatisfied. After speaking to Nadja one last time, she leaves the Preminger manor to "build her own princess castle", in her own words.
Preminger and Colorado clans
- Duke Preminger
- Voiced by: Eiji Maruyama
A well-respected Austrian nobleman, father of Collette and Herman and grandfather to Nadja. He is a powerful and proud man, very cold and obsessed with family honor. The only people he seems to have soft-of soft spots are Oscar and Collette.
The Duke first fired Raymond Colbert, Nadja's father, when Collette asked for permission to marry him; as a result, the two eloped. When Raymond died in an accident and both Collette and Nadja were very sick, he forced his retainers to give baby Nadja away to a friend of them, Miss Applefield, and tell Collette that her child had perished, tricking her into coming back home.
Duke Preminger also hires two corrupt private investigators, Rosso and Bianco, to gather information about Nadja's life to see if she is worthy or not to join the Preminger clan; it's hinted that he is, in fact, the one who sends the gown and the diary to Nadja when she is still in the Appefield Orphanage. Unbenkowest to him, Rosso and Bianco are actually working with his son Herman to eliminate Nadja, making Herman the family heir.
- Collette Preminger
- Voiced by: Reiko Yasuhara
Nadja's birth mother, the one who originally wore the pink gown and wrote the diary that were sent to Nadja. Collette was the eldest daughter of the rich Austrian nobleman Duke Preminger and eloped with Raymond, a French musician and her piano teacher, since her father fired him after learning they were involved. They lived in poverty but happily in Paris until Raymond died in an accident and both Nadja and Collette were very close to die due to sickness. Believing that Nadja was dead, the grief-stricken Collette was easily convinced to return home by her family's retainers, and has lived her life quietly with her father, second husband (her old friend Count Waltmüller, a good man who takes care of her very well) and younger brother Herman.
Collette is remarkably similar to Nadja: trustful, good-hearted, stubborn when she wants to, slightly klutzy at times. They cross paths several times not knowing that they're mother and daughter until almost the end.
- Herman Preminger
- Voiced by: Issei Futamata
Nadja's uncle and son of Duke Preminger, who scorns him openly after he failed to meet his expectations and almost caused the clan to lose its wealth with bad monetary inversions. He became a cynical, scheming, money-and-power hungry man who only wants to disprove Nadja's worth as the possible future heiress of the Premingers, first by sending the private detectives Rosso and Bianco to steal Nadja's brooch, and later hiring Rosemary to pose as Nadja. A move he would later regret, as Rosemary is not so easy to manipulate as he thought and whenever he threatens to expose her as a fraud she reminds him he cannot do it without getting himself into bigger trouble for being responsible for this hoax.
Near the end of the series, it's revealed that, as a result of being forced to train in order to one day succeed his father, Herman never had a chance to make friends during his whole childhood and that he resents Nadja because she was chosen over him despite having a happy childhood.
Eventually, Rosso and Bianco start taking advantage of Herman, forcing him to buy stuff for them as he cannot let his father find them. As a revenge, when they lock Nadja in Herman's mansion catacombs, Herman locks them with her. Rosso and Bianco betray Herman and let Nadja escape so she can expose Herman's plans. In the end, Herman is arrested and, despite his pleas, his father refuses to pay for his release, leaving him imprisoned.
- Oscar Colorado
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki
Herman's stepson, son of his wife Hilda. Oscar does not get along with his stepfather, but Collette and the Duke like him. In fact, Oscar's lack of real Preminger blood is the only thing keeping him from having chances of becoming the Duke's heir but he does not seem to care about it. He is there for Collette (in fact, the viewer learns of Nadja's true past when Collette is shown telling Oscar her story), and is very protective of his mother Hilda, a sweet and still-young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage with Herman, who abuses her psychologically and once even physically.
Oscar is nice and gentle, but can have a devious side as well. When he attends a ball where he was expected by Herman to find a rich girl to marry, he instead meets people who tell him that, in order to finance his search for Nadja, Herman borrowed money from Antonio Fabiani and avoids meeting his creditor since he missed the deadline to pay the debt and still does not have enough money to do it. Oscar then arranged a meeting for Antonio, to whom Herman says he will be able to repay his debt as soon as he inherits his father's fortune. Antonio then talks about meeting Duke Preminger about that and Herman asks him not to do so. Oscar tells Antonio he hates guys like him and only arranged the meeting because he intends to use "poison against poison".
Oscar is an heir of the Colorado clan, who owns the mansion where Herman lives, and has enough money to pay Herman's debt but Oscar will not do it unless Herman agrees to leave Hilda and the Colorado mansion forever.
- Francis Harcourt
- Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga
He is the son of a wealthy English nobleman, raised by his kind aunt Emma Queensbury after his mother died. Unlike other nobles, he does not believe in social classes and differences, so under the 'noblesse oblige' motto he becomes an active advocate for charity and a sort of kind, sweet guardian angel for the poor. He is extremely focused in this work to the point of being somewhat workaholic, therefore ignoring the affections of girls like his close friend Marianne Hamilton.
Francis and Nadja meet in a charity ball, bonding through their common memories and crossing paths many times as they separately travel through Europe. While still good-hearted, Francis is not as ultra-perfect as he seems, especially since he has serious self-worth problems regarding both his own persona and someone he dearly loves, as well as heavy guilt trips that arise when he sees that his good intentions aren't enough to make the poor happier. He and Keith fall in love with Nadja, but he is aware that Nadja's affections are for Keith and accepts it. By the end of the series, however, Nadja comes to return Francis' feelings, ultimately choosing him over Keith.
- Keith Harcourt (a.k.a. the Black Rose)
- Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga
The Black Rose is a dashing, handsome and mysterious thief who steals from the rich and gives the stolen wealth to the poor, since he believes that all the wealthy people are frivolous and self-centered. He is very well loved by the crowd, and famous among the journalists. His trademarks are his black costume with cape, mask, and calling card that he uses to taunt his future victims. He crosses paths with Nadja several times during her travels with the Dandelion Troupe; she is at first enraged by his dry wit and exploits, but later learns his motives and starts to empathize more with him.
The Black Rose's true identity is revealed mid-way in the series. His true name is Keith Harcourt, and he is the older twin brother of Francis, who walked away from his family after he finished his schooling at age 15. He shares his twin's desire to help the poor, but is far more cynical and disenchanted, since he thinks that 'noblesse oblige' is insufficient. The death of their mother had an influence; while the more innocent Francis saw only Countess Harcourt's kinder side, Keith saw her secret unhappiness upon being a bird in a gilded cage. Nadja's love of freedom touches him so much that he appoints himself as her protector after he rescues her from Rosso and Bianco. Like his brother, he falls in love with Nadja as he protects her and is drawn to her personality.
In the manga Keith doesn't exist.
- Harvey Livingston
- Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda
A friendly, lanky and talented American journalist who works for a French newspaper, and due to his work he travels through Europe searching for the most outrageous news. He is one of the first persons to give serious tips to Nadja about her true origins, examining her brooch during their meeting in Italy and deducing that she is of a very noble origin, warning her seriously about what this means.
Despite his lazy outlook, Harvey is extremely serious when it comes to his work. He also has a very strong sense of justice and greatly admires the thief Black Rose; one of his most cherished dreams is to interview him. He has raised his little brother T.J. ever since they were orphaned.
- Marianne Hamilton
- Voiced by: Fuuko Misaki
Marianne is the daughter of another English noble clan, who has known Francis Harcourt since childhood and has loved him since then. In fact, the Hamilton and Harcourt families were planning to engage Marianne and Francis, but Nadja's appearance disrupts these plans.
While she makes clear to Nadja that she will not give Francis up to her and says that Nadja is better off with Keith, upon hearing her family plea Marianne accepts to help Nadja and Francis to prove Nadja's bond to the Premingers, wanting to see if she really is who she claims to be, and even saying that if Nadja truly is a Preminger, she will cancel her engagement to Francis.
Marianne is painted as a morally ambiguous character with both good (focused, honest and straightforward) and bad (manipulative and very possessive of Francis) sides, less malicious than Rosemary or Herman, but still not completely good. Despite her selfishness, she seems to truly care for Francis, as seen in a scene with Nadja where Marianne blurbs out that Nadja has Keith and the Dandelion Troupe while she only has Francis to hold on, and runs away from Nadja almost in tears.
- Antonio Fabiani
- Voiced by: Ryo Horikawa
Cynical and greedy, Antonio was raised by his widowed mother Irma in the slums of Venice. He left home at age 16 and gradually grew up into a disenchanted, selfish, cold businessman, who apparently won his wealth through extremely shady deals, which may or may not include even scams.
Antonio and Nadja butt heads several times, since Nadja met him when he was courting a rich girl who rejected him and he tried to silence her with money, which Nadja refused angrily. She remained thinking not too highly of Antonio until she learnt of his past thanks to Irma herself. It's later revealed that Herman Preminger owes him a large quantity of money (Herman borrowed the money so he could bribe his father's detectives). Duke Preminger paid the debt and, while telling Herman about this, he disowns his son.
Antonio seems to be somewhat of a ladies man, going out with Sylvie once in a while (it's hinted that he occasionally helps the Dandelion Troupe with the finances) and courting the heiress Julietta openly, yet failing in his attempts to woo her.
- Fernando Gonzales
- Voiced by: Naozumi Takahashi
Fernando Gonzales is the son of a wealthy Spanish noble family, and all his life he has been pampered and spoiled. This resulted in Fernando's petty, malicious personality. Fernando finds Nadja very attractive (in a snotty rich kid way) but instead of being nice to her, he bosses her around and publicly humilliates her by forcing her to attend a masked ball as an entertainer, and later blackmailing her into attending another ball ayt his own house. His family also happens to be the one that employs Rosemary after she leaves the orphanage. Rosemary has a huge crush on Fernando, but his mean attitude towards her and his "niceness" towards Nadja is one of the things that causes Rosemary's betrayal.
A kind-hearted and wise man, he's a traveling musician and a long-time friend of the Dandelion Troupe. Once he and a young noblewoman eloped, but she was deathly ill and died; since then, Raphael sings beautiful love songs but doesn't allow himself to be loved by any woman, thinking it's his fault his wife died and not wishing to inflict such pain on anybody else. Sylvie knows his sad backstory, yet she's already deeply in love with him despite her lack of hope on having him love her back. He gives Nadja counseling at some parts of her life, telling her that she has beautiful wings.
- Christian Strand
Christian is a kind and klutzy Egyptologist who keeps bumping into Nadja. He soon develops feelings for Nadja throughout the story, despite Nadja's convoluted feelings for the Harcourt twins, so he never really gets to tell her. Christian was a street child with a great love of knowledge; a kind professor saw him in the Museum he worked and took him in as his pupil and heir. Several years ago, Christian's landlady worked for Duke Preminger, and was one of the peersons who had to give baby Nadja away to Miss Applefield, and she also helps the Duke send the trunk containing Collette's stuff to the orphanage.