|“||Hello, I'm the basketball team's manager, Ayako. Pleased to meet you||”|
—Ayako, to Shohoku High
Grace Cornel (GMA Dub) |
|Japanese Voice||Eriko Hara|
|English Voice||Caitriona Murphy|
Grace Cornel (GMA Dub)
|Italian Voice||Dania Cericola|
|[v · t · e]|
Ayako (彩子) is the manager of the team and object of Ryota Miyagi's affections. Strong-willed, somewhat tomboyish and good-natured, at first Ayako does not seem to reciprocate Ryota's feelings for her, which she knows of, and will not until the end of the series. She is directly responsible for sharpening Sakuragi's abilities for real matches by training him in the basics, such as ball possession and dribbling.
During the Nationals Tournament, the relationship between Ayako and Ryota developed to the point where he could confide in her about his uncertainties about the upcoming Sannoh match when he was alone with her, and during the match Ayako motivated him by writing the words "Number 1 Guard" on his hand to keep him focused and determined.
Her disciplinary style is midway between Akagi and Anzai: while not as soft as the latter, she is also not as hard as the former. Her last name is unknown. Curiously, Sakuragi treats her almost as respectfully as Anzai, even though she is in a lower position in the team. Miyagi refers to her as "Aya-chan" because of his attraction to her, and she responds by calling him "Ryota" rather than by his surname. She always calls Sakuragi by his full name. Academically, her grades are good enough to tutor academically poor members . Her best subjects are Japanese and English.
She was the first one to notice Sakuragi's back injury during the game against Sannoh, and also warned him that his injury concerns his life as a Basketball player; meaning he may never be able to play basketball again. When Sakuragi collapsed from his injury, Ayako showed a compassionate side towards him, she believes that no one was able to improve so fast like him in only 4 months. She also believed if his treatment goes for a long time, he might have already lost what he learned so far; thus these 4 months would turned out to be merely a dream for him, which greatly shocked and touched Ayako.
- "His injury shouldn't be that much serious if he was able to last that much longer. However, his fast improvement during these 4 months... Learned various skills. If he undergoes medical treatment, and it takes a long time for him to participate in a real match... By that time, he might have already lost what he learned so far. These 4 months... It's just like having a dream." - to herself (about Hanamichi Sakuragi's injury)
- The name Ayako means "color" (彩) (aya) and "child" (子) (ko).