|Birthdate||October 7, 2007|
|Birthplace||Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture|
|Relationships||Takashi Hinatsuru (father)|
Akina Hinatsuru (mother)
Yaichi Kuzuryuu (master)
|Light Novel||Chapter 1|
Ai Hinatsuru (雛鶴 あい Hinatsuru Ai) is the main character of the series. She is a 9-year old grade schooler and the daughter of the “Hinatsuru” hot spring resort’s owner who ran away from her home just so she could learn more about shogi (she is a prodigy) and become disciple of Yaichi Kuzuryuu.
Ai is a young girl of 9 years of age. She has a very low appearance, but being a good size for her age group. She possesses details somewhat common in her physique, such as her pale skin and her large eyes that have a navy blue color, however, on certain occasions, more specifically during the moments in which she is playing a game of shogi, her pupils change to a slightly lilac tint, as it uses it's talent to predict moves capable of winning. In addition, Ai has long, dark brown hair that fades to purple (with an ahoge), contributing a lot to its elegant and cute appearance. Her bangs are cut straight across her forehead, just above her navy blue eyes. Ai is usually seen wearing her third-grade school robes, made up of a short sleeveless dress with bluish and pale shades, as well as having a few details on its edges and buttons at its center. She also wears a pair of blue-colored shoes over white socks. In addition, her hair is separated into two low pigtails being fastened by bow-like ties with different shades. Ai is a little girl with a very beautiful face and is always displaying a happy expression, especially when she stands beside Yaichi Kuzuryuu (Ai's master), but this expression can change when she is jealous of him or near Ginko Sora, a person for whom he did not create a strong friendly tie to her.
Ai is a cheerful young girl whose love for shōgi developed after seeing Yaichi Kuzuryuu's great determination not to give up and to become the best shōgi player in the world. Ai often exhibits a happy personality, especially when she is close to her master, but tends to show a more jealous and possessive side when Yaichi interacts with other girls who tend to request shaking his hand or getting his autograph. Since her first encounter with Yaichi she went on to train at shōgi and it was discovered that she possessed incredible talent as a shōgi player, could play quite aggressively and is able to read many moves in advance, a fact which greatly interested Yaichi after he witnessed them. Ai's huge passion for shōgi has been shown on many occasions. One such occasion was when her parents would not allow her to continue playing shōgi as they claimed they had concerns about the stability of the life of a female professional player. Another example is during her match against Ginko Sora, where she did not give up even while under great pressure, showing how great her passion for shōgi is.
Ai was actually a beginner who just started shogi after seeing Yaichi Kuzuryuu's Ryuo match. In other words, she had only played shogi for three months. Ai learned shōgi through memorizing numerous tsumi shōgi puzzles at once and solving them inside her head.
One day, Ai saw a young man named Yaichi Kuzuryuu playing a shōgi match in his family's dojo. He had great determination, and refused to give up, something that left Ai completely astonished. After a short pause Yaichi had to return to the contest but was exhausted, Ai however saw this and gave him a glass of water, which helped rejuvenate him. This led to him being able to continue his intense battle towards his goal of becoming the best player in the world, where at the end he received the title of Ryūō. Yaichi who was grateful for when Ai helped him during his match, said he would grant her any one wish if he won.
Three months after this, on returning to his apartment, he discovers Ai inside where she begins to call him master and begs him to train her in shōgi because she wanted to become a professional shōgi player. Yaichi agreed after being reminded of the promise three months earlier. Initially, Yaichi considered beating Ai in a match and sending her home after defeating her because he didn't have the time to look after her. He changed his mind however, after facing Ai in a match and discovering how much talent she had, and decided to accept her as his disciple. Later on more complications occur with the arrival of Ginko Sora, Yaichi's childhood friend and a senior disciple of his master. In need of help figuring out how to solve these complications Yaichi ask Kousuke Kiyotaki (Yaichi's master) for advice. In the end, Yaichi accompanies Ai to the location where she would begin her training.
On her first day as a disciple of Yaichi, Ai was placed on a shogi course at Kansai school, wherein she could become a professional if she had a great effort. There, Ai said that she would cheer for her master to overcome the confrontation she would have on the day, the one that would be against one of the best players of the association and also a friend of Kuzuryuu is Ayumu Kannabe, besides marveling at the fact that her coach is quite popular. Soon, she confronted one of her classmates, defeating her and leaving all the children impressed. Later, Ai and Yaichi went to lunch together, having a meal prepared by the Ai herself, and then Yaichi was to end his match against Ayumu, as it was paused, but this time Ai was in place to see her master play. The following day, Ai asked Yaichi's permission to take her friends to their residence for the purpose of shogi training, however, she began to feel jealous of the approach they were having with Yaichi. In the end, they all played until dawn. Later, Ai's parents went to her to reconsider her decision to let her become a pro, because it was difficult enough and they did not want her to lose time, however, Yaichi said that Ai had a talent formidable, which could make her win the title. In the middle of the dialogue, her mother imposed the condition that she should beat all the opponents in the test, even though it was not something necessary to pass, thus, would prove that she really was able to become a professional shogi player.
The night before the exam, Ai and Yaichi trained a little to help Ai during the match. Ai asked Yaichi to give her something to give her luck and to keep her strong at all times, and Yaichi gave Ai a fan. At the time of the exam, Ai confronted Ayano, beating her quickly and easily, which left everyone in the area impressed by the act, including his parents, who were present in the locality to witness the talent of their daughter. Then, Yoshitsune Kuruno himself asked to face it, since Kuruno was a professional shogi player, however, Ai managed to corner him in the game, getting the win. After two incredible achievements, the girl had to win only one more, so her parents agreed to continue training with Yaichi, however, her opponent was Ginko Sora. Even though she was not an pro, she was considered the strongest female player of the last 1400 years, as well as having the title of The Snow White of Naniwa, since all her victories were cold. During the confrontation, Ai got a big advantage over the opponent, however, over time, the game began to turn, leaving it tense to the point of hyperventilating, something that happened quite among the players that underwent great pressure, being thus, he ended up losing the match. Even with Ai's defeat, his mother allowed him to continue training, but under the condition that if he did not win a title until his graduation from elementary school, Yaichi would have to marry Ai.
Ai has a great admiration for Yaichi, desiring very much to become his disciple, besides learning the way to play shogi that Yaichi uses, wanting to be equal to him. Initially, Yaichi thought that the Ai would be a burden in his life, thinking of easily defeating her in a match so as to send her back to her house, however, after a confrontation with the Ai, he realized the gigantic talent that he possessed, leaving even distressed during the clash, something that could be considered rare for Ai of her age, since Yaichi was the best shogi player in the world. Over time, their relationship becomes even more intimate and strong, reaching to the point of Yaichi begging Ai's parents not to take her away and let her be trained by him, promising to make her a pro in the game, in addition to making her win multiple titles. Hinatsuru is constantly seen demonstrating jealousy of her master, because he is a very famous person among shogi practitioners, he lives surrounded by fans, and Ai ends up being very annoyed at times when her master is usually kind with other girls. In addition, at one point, Ai's mother talked about a marriage proposal that would happen Ai and Yaichi if they didn't meet her goal to at least win a title before graduating from elementary school, leaving the little girl very excited.
- "As promised, please have me as your disciple!"
- Ai's surname Hinatsuru means "chick, squab, duckling, doll" (雛) (hina) and "crane, stork" (鶴) (tsuru).
- For this subject's image gallery, see Ai Hinatsuru/Gallery
|Main Characters||Ai Hinatsuru • Ai Yashajin • Ginko Sora • Keika Kiyotaki • Yaichi Kuzuryuu|
|JS Research Club||Ayano Sadatou • Charlotte Izoard • Mio Mizukoshi|
|Minor Characters||Akina Hinatsuru • Ayumu Kannabe • Kousuke Kiyotaki • Takashi Hinatsuru|