After Dark Characters
by Haruki Murakami

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List of Characters

Mari Asai—the main female character of the story, Eri’s sister and Takahashi’s friend. Eri Asai—Mari’s sister, a beautiful model who has been sleeping for a couple months. Tetsuya Takahashi—the main male character of the story, Mari’s friend, and a trombone player. Kaoru—the manager at Alphaville, a big woman who was once a wrestler. Komugi—a worker at Alphaville. Korogi—a worker at Alphaville, a runaway who is afraid to use her real name. Guo Dongh—a Chinese prostitute, nineteen years old, and an illegal alien controlled by a gangster. Shirakawa—a married man who works all night and beats up the Chinese prostitute.

Character Analysis

After Dark is less like a novel and more like a collection of very short, short stories or vignettes. Readers know little about most of the characters and only enough to guess at the rest. Eri is beautiful and troubled. She is praised, pampered, and preferred by her parents over Mari, or at least that is how Mari sees it. Mari, on the other hand, must muster enough confidence to make it on her own. She loses herself in books and studies. She has learned to be aloof, such as when Takahashi takes an interest in her. She is the type of person who is more than she realizes. She puts on no airs because she doesn’t believe she has the right to.

Takahashi is similar to Mari in many ways except that, whereas Mari is quiet, Takahashi cannot seem to stop talking. Mari keeps her thoughts to herself for the most part, but Takahashi appears to have to vocalize his thoughts to better understand them. Takahashi often talks around his topics when they become too personal. For example, he keeps referencing Eri’s beauty and attractiveness to keep Mari’s interest. Strangely enough, this doesn’t seem to bother Mari, as she exhibits no signs of jealousy. Finally Takahashi admits that his real interest is in Mari, which comes as a surprise to Mari. She is a bit self-deprecating and asks Takahashi why he would want to see more of her.

Neither Takahashi nor Mari has much support from...

(The entire section is 550 words.)