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Hajime Owari (尾張 ハジメ, Owari Hajime) is a live in part-time worker at Shikada Dagashi. She previously worked at Towns Mart, but was fired because of her repeated lateness. Before that, she was studying at a famous university but dropped out[2] (it's possible she was kicked out due to her tendency to be tardy).

Appearance[]

Dagashi Kashi S2 Character Design - Hajime

Hajime's full body and facial expressions

Hajime a young bespectacled woman in her early twenties who has messy middle length hair with a distinct cowlick and slightly larger pupils than Kokonotsu Shikada and Saya Endō. She has an average height and a shapely build. According to Kokonotsu, Hajime's glasses stand out.[2]

Her clothing consists of a white blouse under a navy blue blazer, a matching pencil skirt and black high heels.

Personality[]

Hajime is a very laid-back person to the point of her being constantly late. She has a habit of saying what's on her mind without thinking about how it'll effect other people. She seems to be inquisitive about Kokonotsu's love life as she asked him if he had a girlfriend or not.[2] She appears to be artistically inclined as she noted the cubism design of Chocoball's mascot Kyoro-chan.[2]

Background[]

Hajime, before she began to work and live at Shikada Dagashi, was a university student who dropped out for personal reasons. She then began to work at a newly opened Towns Mart but was shortly fired. She applied to many other jobs but was turned down and applied at Shikada Dagashi as a last resort. During her time at Towns Mart, she was nicknamed 'glasses' while other employee got unique nicknames, much to her chagrin.

Despite having no deep historical knowledge of dagashi, Hajime often times infers relationships to history, art, and culture. Such moments are often misinterpreted by Kokonotsu and Hotaru as Hajime having a similar passion for dagashi or the latter two holding an inner monologue noting neither actually knew such things.

Though Hajime dropped out of university, she has a breadth of technical knowledge the others don't; such as working knowledge of web programming where Hajime stands up a Shikada Dagashi website fairly quickly while also including functionally useless addons like scrolling comments and cursor aftereffects. Another notable skill of Hajime's is her creation of DIY super balls when local children came looking for them causing Hajime to recall she'd forgotten to place the order for the product. To avoid getting in trouble with Kokonotsu (she did anyway), Hajime produced handmade super balls with a variety of household commodities. While Hajime's area of study is never mentioned, it can be inferred she is a relatively intelligent person.

It is unclear how Hajime ended up in the rural town Dagashi Kashi takes place in, but she apparently has a driver's license as she drives around the area for order deliveries (it's implied the truck is probably You's). When Kokonotsu enters into a crunch to submit his first manga, Hajime shows the sudden and surprising ability to work as a competent assistant taking on tasks like toning. Hajime's working knowledge of the manga industry is mysterious as she seems to know common pitfalls like time management and the very low likelihood of gaining publication. How Hajime came to know these workings is never explained.

While Hajime is initially characterized as a laid-back if not lazy person, she does appear to take her role as shopkeep and delivery runner seriously. However, it can be observed Hajime has some sense of personal insecurity. Initially when she first (anonymously) appears in the convenience store job advertisement shown to Kokonotsu by Beniyutaka, Hajime can be seen in the background photo awkwardly posing. When You returns from his hospitalization, Hajime works fewer shifts causing her to question briefly if the Shikada's will think it still necessary to keep her.

Ultimately, Hajime becomes a normalized fixture of Shikada household as something of a laid-back elder sister to Kokonotsu. During Christmas, Hajime worries that she shouldn't spend the day with Kokonotsu and You who have prepared a Christmas dinner since it's a holiday for family (relative to the Western world's interpretation, not the Japanese popular intepretation Christmas is a holiday for couples). She is compelled to stay by Kokonotsu and told she has a place in their home as part of the family. After this Hajime seems to stop questioning where her place is.

Published after Dagashi Kashi, the oneshot Itookashi provides more background on Hajime. We see that she dropped out of university because she didn't really make new friends and didn't find something she wanted to do there, instead drawing manga and claiming that was all she had. She was successful and was a promising newcomer (which explains her competence as an assistant and knowledge of the manga industry), but her failure to take care of herself (skipping meals and sleep, and living in a messy apartment with the bare minimum) led her editor to stop the serialization in the interest of her wellbeing but offered to stay in touch if she found that drawing manga was what she really wanted to do instead of all she had. She is seen in the audience next to the editor several years later in a heartwarming reunion attending the award ceremony for Kokonotsu, who coincidentally has the same editor.

Relationships[]

Kokonotsu Shikada[]

Kokonotsu, at first, considers the possibility that hiring Hajime was a mistake, but he is partially reassured that it wasn't when he's impressed with her knowledge of Chocoball. Even though Hajime is several years Kokonotsu's senior, she refers to him as "Manager" after starting her live in job at Shikada Dagashi.

While the day-to-day relationship between Hajime and Kokonotsu is friendly and laid back, there are a handful of instances where both become aware of each other as members of the opposite sex. Such instances include Kokonotsu becoming flustered when he can see partially down Hajime's blouse or up her skirt. In Hajime's case notably, there is an instance where she and Kokonotsu end up stuck in the snow during a delivery. Kokonotsu pulls out a blanket in the truck for such situations offering it to Hajime who becomes visibly flustered at the thought of sharing the blanket. The awkwardness is pushed aside as the two affirm their relationship to be that of family spreading the blanket across themselves.

You Shikada[]

Though You is the actual owner and manager of Shikada Dagashi, Kokonotsu "interviewed" and hired Hajime as the interim manager while You was hospitalized. This breaking of chain of command in the normal order of things caused Hajime to never particularly recognize You's position as evidenced by You retorting that Kokonotsu is the "Interim Manager." While the proper working social order is lost, You and Hajime's similarly laid-back personalities generally do not result in particularly interesting interactions or conflicts.

Etymology[]

  • The name Hajime is written in katakana (ハジメ), which has no special meaning. However, when written in kanji (肇, 一 or 元), it could possibly mean:
    • 肇 - "beginning".
    • 一 - "one".
    • 元 - "beginning, former time, origin".
  • Hajime's surname Owari means "tail, ridge" (尾) (o) and "lengthen, counter for bows & stringed instruments, stretch, spread, put up (tent)" (張) (wari).

References[]

  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Anime: Episode 19


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