- "Hey, need a hand with anything?"
- —Kiyoshi Yamashita, in Pulling the Strings
Kiyoshi Yamashita is a character in the series.
Kiyoshi is a nice guy, through and through. In fact, his kindness hurtles right past 'polite', and sticks the landing right on 'doormat'. Nothing makes him as happy as making others happy, and he's willing to bend over backwards for people who would never extend the same courtesy. To him, friendships are made between just about anybody who will give him the time of day, and he doesn't really see when relationships are purely conditional. As such, he claims many people are his friends, while not actually having many people he's genuinely close to. He knows this, he knows that most of his 'friends' would drop him in an instant the moment he stopped being useful, but to Kiyoshi, that's normal. He assumes that everyone operates like this, and that its not just a result of him being absolutely spineless.
Indeed, Kiyoshi has no backbone whatsoever. He doesn't stand up to people when they tease him, often either just standing around and taking it, or actually laughing along with them and agreeing. He doesn't care for confrontation, and in fact, doesn't enjoy stepping out of his comfort zone whatsoever. Kiyoshi is the sort of boy to stand around and hold everyone else's coats while his companions go off on an adventure, while pacing back and forth and fretting about everyone else's safety. His mind tends to jump to the absolute worst case scenario in every situation, and he generally will not hesitate to inform others on why he thinks any mundane situation could potentially be life-threatening. However, there is one thing in his life that Kiyoshi enjoys almost as much as helping others: Reading. Kiyoshi is rarely seen without his nose in a book, with a preference for classic literature. Reading is how he copes with pretty much everything: When he needs to relax, he reads. When he's upset, he reads. When he's got a big important math test the next day he should be studying for? He ignores it and reads.
Kiyoshi grew up with a large family in a rural area. He spent most of his days either helping with chores around the house, or keeping an eye on his many younger siblings. His small town didn't have much to offer by way of entertainment, other than a tiny library--a library that was basically just one old man in a small room, surrounded by a pile of dusty books. Predictably, this is where Kiyoshi spent most of his time. From a young age he'd venture off to the library whenever he had free time, and would return home with as many books as he could possibly carry.
Every moment he wasn't doing a chore, or wrangling his younger siblings into order was spent reading. The librarian would often praise him for his reading ability, as Kiyoshi was reading things far beyond his age's normal level. The older he got, the more he branched out into translated works from other parts of the world, and reading became his escape. Kiyoshi could lose himself in a book after a stressful day at home, or school. It was his only real way to relax.
Eventually, his parents approached him about attending school elsewhere, far away from their small town. They insisted that he was a smart kid, and that he should try and get education somewhere nicer. With Kiyoshi's test scores, he could attend nearly anywhere, so the only thing was really stopping him was the worry that his family would fall apart without him there to take care of them.
Eventually, he was persuaded to leave. He began attending school at Gakushoku Academy, and through hard work and a lot of kissing up, eventually made his way onto the student council as well. Unfortunately, he has a bit of a reputation around the school for being a total doormat, and many students take full advantage of this. He's often loaded with other people's homework, and is constantly asked to use his position in the student council to get favors done.
Living in a large city is new to him, but he's determined to make as many friends as possible, so that moving here doesn't feel like such a waste.