Atsushi Ootani is one of the main characters. He is very short for a boy, standing 156 centimetres (5 ft 1 in). The average height for a male in Japan is 171 cm (5 ft 7 in). Like Koizumi, Ootani’s surname (roughly, “big valley”) is a pun on his diminutive stature, and he can be thoughtless and rude; at heart, however, he is kind and a little silly. Ootani is also the star player of the school basketball team. Some say he wears padded shoes so he can reach 162 cm (5’3”).
His ex-girlfriend is Mayu Kanzaki, the manager of his middle-school basketball team. She broke up with him for a much taller boyfriend, and this is one of the reasons Ootani is sensitive about his height, but he later finds out that wasn’t the reason she broke up with him, it was because she was in love with someone else already who just happened to be tall. He doesn’t know quite yet how he feels about Risa, and only responds that he can’t see her as a girlfriend (at the moment) when Risa confesses her feelings. But later, he realizes that he does care for her, and he eventually kisses her. Later on in the series, Ootani gets the wrong idea from Risa’s involvement with co-worker Kohori, and then breaks up with her. Despite this he finds that his worries about Risa do not subside and on recognising Risa’s still devoted feelings, Ootani reconsiders and they make up on Christmas Eve.