- "My favorite subject? Ah, most definitely history! It's always so interesting to see how the past can reflect our future!"
- —Neri Ryojin, Pulling the Strings
Neri Ryojin (旅人 寝理, Ryojin Neri) is a major character in the series.
Neri is the textbook example of a nerdy bookworm. More often than not, you will find him with his nose in a book, or perhaps even him constantly writing things down. He enjoys researching all sorts of things that pique his interest, and enjoys compiling all the research he conducts - it's his hope that one day he can obtain work in archival materials. Because he studies and reads for fun in his spare time (taking a special interest in ninjas), he is the top of his year in school. Despite mostly keeping to himself, he can be quite the chatterbox when it comes to things he gets excited about, and can rant and rave about it until he catches himself; apologizing profusely afterwards for wasting another person's time. He is a kind soul that hates violence, and will gladly try and settle fights he may witness through conversation and compromise. While it's plain to see what Neri likes, he never really speaks of himself to others. His family life, situation, and any other details about him are rather unknown, and he really feels no need to discuss it with anyone. He keeps to himself most of the time simply because he takes his studies seriously, even if he does consider them fun. To him, going to class is simply to do just that, and socializing with others isn't necessary. It's not done out of malice, and certainly doesn't hate social interactions - he just doesn't seem to deem them that important.
Neri also doesn't define himself based upon his sex, being more of an agender person rather than the male he is biologically or the female he appears to be. This coupled with an unintentionally aloof social life makes him a bit enigmatic, when the truth is there is no mystery at all behind him. He dresses like a girl simply because he likes to look cute and fashionable, and feels the clothes are more comfortable. He keeps his distance from people because growing up in such a large family, Neri really has no idea how to interact with people that aren't related to him by blood, and almost views others like a totally different species he doesn't know how to handle. Nor does he bother to correct anyone on any way to properly address him, not caring whether anyone uses -kun, -chan, -tan, or -san. Being the polite person that he is, however, he will almost always address others with their proper suffixes, and is a bit taken aback should anyone address without any suffix at all. Despite this, it wouldn't upset him, and might actually fluster him a bit to know anyone feels so comfortable with him. Upsetting Neri is actually fairly difficult to do, as he normally rolls with anything thrown at him. However, he doesn't forget things easily, and he will take note of any and all offenses against him. Should he feel the offenses are great enough and/or he's being taken advantage of, he will hold a grudge and will let his displeasure with the offender be known. Most of the time, however, Neri is completely harmless.
Neri was one of the older children of a very large family. Even though he had many brothers and sisters, his mother made sure to love and dote on each and every one of them, despite how busy she was, and Neri had very happy and loving home life, if not a crowded one. Because Neri was one of the older siblings of his family, he did grow up rather fast, serving as an additional "parental" figure to many of his younger siblings since he felt his stepfather was unreliable. He hoped to be a role-model to his younger siblings by example, and thus took his studies seriously in hopes that they would as well. For those that didn't, he made sure to help them as best he could. As such, Neri didn't have many friends outside of his family, nor did he really feel the need to obtain any. It was only when he was going into high school that his mother set him aside and told him that it was okay to be selfish and do his own thing.
It was a bit of a weird concept to Neri, but he took his mother's words to heart. Upon his acceptance into Gakushoku High School, Neri actually took the time to stay after school, tutoring other students and even doing homework and studying within the school itself. Eventually, he joined the Library Committee and AV Club, starting and maintaining a hard-copy newsletter that is distributed throughout the school. In between his committee and AV duties, he would often study hard. Going back and forth between constant studying and school duties, Neri never really opened up to anyone, not even others in the clubs, thus keeping his count of friends low. Even now in his third year and as president of the AV Club, Neri still has few solid friends to speak of. And because college entrance exams are coming up, he has retreated into his own world even moreso than before. It's not uncommon to find him staying at the school until closing, the exceptions to this usually being some family related matter.