|Birth Date||July 24|
|Age||16 (as of Vol. 5)|
|Eye Color||Light Grey|
|Height||162 cm (5'4")|
|First Appearance||Episode 1|
|Voice Actor||Rie Kugimiya (Japanese) |
Jad Saxton (English)
Masako Hara is a TV medium with a gift for seeing and channeling spirits, although it is questionable whether her powers come from possession or psychometry. Although she is only 16 when the series begins, she has a thoughtful, mature personality, possibly due to the fact that she can sense and feel spirits everywhere she goes. She has shown tremendous compassion and empathy for the spirits she senses. Throughout the series she had developed a crush on Naru.
She will be portrayed by Mizuki Yamamoto in the live action.
Masako is one of the mediums hired by the principal of Mai's school to investigate the old building. She correctly states that there are no spirits present, although this view is not supported by any of the other mediums. Masako is injured during this case when she leans against a damaged wall; despite her protest, this is taken as evidence of spirits in the building.
In the second volume, Masako's psychic ability is shown more, as she describes the spirits of children and a woman inhabiting the house. She also brings the case of "The Spirit in the Park" to Naru (in the anime, Mai is the one who first asks Naru to take the case, but he refuses to do so until Masako makes the same request). During this case, Masako is possessed by the spirit. Later, she takes Naru out to dinner, and mentions that they have gone out together several times. This causes Mai, Ayako, Monk, and John to speculate about their relationship. They conclude that either Masako has some information on Naru that he wants her to keep secret, or that someone in her family is funding his research. In the novels and the final volume of the manga (which has not yet been published outside of Japan), it is revealed that the former is the correct assumption; Masako is the only member of the group besides Lin who knows that Naru is Oliver Davis, having seen a video of his PK demonstration.
During the "Bloodstained Labyrinth" case, Masako admits that she is jealous of Mai, because Mai is the only one whom Naru will refer to by her first name. Mai and Masako have an honest discussion about their feelings towards Naru and each other. When Masako asks for a moment alone following this conversation, she is kidnapped by Urado. Masako is comforted by Gene's spirit, although she believes, like Mai, that he is Naru. Her inability to recognize him as a spirit is unexplained. However, fans have speculated that the stress of the situation may have confused her, as Masako can see spirits more clearly than any other character, and would be the most likely to consider them people. Later, Mai also visits Masako in a dream. She gives her a "charm"--the key to the house Mai lived in with her parents. Masako returns the key when she is rescued.
Masako is a petite Japanese girl with dark grey eyes and a bob haircut with blunt bangs. She is the shortest person in the group, standing at 5' 4". She is usually seen wearing a type of kimono called a kimon with patterns varying throughout the series, During the colder seasons, she wears an overcoat on top of it.
In the Akumu no Sumo Ie series, her hair has grown out to her shoulders but still has her blunt bangs and ends.
Masako's beauty has been acknowledged by others, albeit there are times when it's meant to be an insult. Her polite and gentle manner adds to her doll-like appearance. This is something she is aware of and she tends to rub it in Mai's face to rile her up.
Masako is a very calm, composed individual who does not often show her feelings. This composure is shown in Volume 2 to be partly because of shyness; Masako is mortified at the suggestion that she might have kissed Naru, despite her crush on him. During the Bloodstained Labyrinth case, Masako begins to open up to Mai about her feelings. She is jealous that Naru calls Mai by her first name, and is worried that they might have a secret relationship. When Mai reassures her that this is false, Masako relaxes, and starts to act more friendly towards Mai--although, at the time, she tells Mai that she hates her. In later cases, Mai and Masako joke together a little bit; Masako teases Mai for being "hot-blooded," and giggles when Mai misinterprets her and, in fact, hot-bloodedly defends herself.
Masako is a very capable medium. However, out of all the SPR characters, her powers are perhaps the hardest to pin down. She can see the spirits and sense their shape, but sometimes the spirits fool her, or what she sees doesn't make sense in the context of the investigation. For instance, in the "After-School Hexer", Masako maintained that there were no spirits involved despite the spiritual phenomena that kept happening. She was unable to see anything because the spirits were created by hitogatas. Later, she incorrectly identified the spirits in "The Cursed House" as "empty" spirits, despite the fact that many of them held a grudge against the family, because they were being used as servants by Okobu-sama.
There is some discussion between the characters about the exact nature of Masako's powers, as well. By Oliver Davis' classification, Masako would be an "imperfect medium"; when she channels the spirits, she will only speak in Japanese, no matter what language the spirit spoke. Therefore, it is unclear whether she is truly channeling them, or merely using some form of ESP or psychometry to sense their motivations.
Masako is one of the few characters who knows Naru's true identity throughout the series. In the very first volume, she asks Naru if they had met before; this is dismissed by most of SPR as some kind of pick-up line. It is revealed in the novels and the last volume of the manga that Masako actually recognized Naru from a video of his (Oliver Davis') PK demonstration, which she had seen at a conference held by the American SPR. Masako uses this information as leverage over Naru, persuading him to attend concerts and meals with her, and even to take on the case of "The Ghost in the Park," which he was not interested in.
Unfortunately for Masako, it appears that Naru resents this power that she has. Masako hints several times throughout the series that she has romantic feelings for him, which are never reciprocated. He refuses to address her by her first name, as he does Mai. However, he does appear to respect her abilities as a psychic, and he occasionally defends her to Monk and Ayako. (Naru, like Masako, is a psychometrist, although it's not certain if he sees spirits as clearly as she does.)
In the anime, Masako rarely speaks ill of Naru's personality. However, in the manga she acknowledges that his ego and stubbornness would make him a problematic significant other. She states that Naru's underlying kindness and his horrible personality makes it frustrating to have feelings for him. She even admits that liking someone nicer like Takegawa would be easier, but says that you sometimes can't help who you fall in love with.
At first, Masako and Mai do not get along due to their feelings for Naru. Her jealousy over Mai and Naru's closeness makes it hard for Masako to be nice to her. Even though their personalities clash, Masako and Mai share a strong sense of sympathy for the spirits involved in cases. However, after the seventh novel the girls work things out a bit, and pick up a more easy going friendship. It's usually Mai who sticks up for Masako, as demonstrated in the seventh novel when Naru asked her to channel the spirits in the Blood Stained Labyrinth, although Masako doesn't usually return the favor. After Mai's latent abilities come to light, Masako starts speaking to her in a less condescending manner.
Both girls constantly compete for Naru's affection, something that brings them together. They confide in each other about how frustrating it is to have feelings for someone as complicated as Naru. They even share a few laughs together. Despite bonding over this, they still acknowledge their competition for Naru's affection.
- The only time Masako doesn't wear a kimono was during the case with the Yoshimi House.
- In the manga, it's shown that Masako borrowed those clothes from Mai. Her reasoning was because they were entering a cave on the sea cliff so wearing a kimono wouldn't be ideal.
- In volume 8 of the manga, it's revealed that Masako goes to a special high school for celebrities. She states that she takes supplementary lessons due to her frequent absences. Her school has a regular uniform, much to Mai's surprise (who just assumed that Masako attended school in a kimono).