|“||Don’t forget that kindness can hurt people too.||”|
Himeko Inaba (稲葉 姫子 Inaba Himeko) is one of the main characters of Kokoro Connect series. During the first four volumes, she is the vice president of the Student Cultural Society and a classmate of Taichi Yaegashi and Iori Nagase. She is exceptionally skilled at gathering and analyzing information, and, as a result, knows many private details about her fellow club members. Although she is calm and logical, Inaba has a difficult time handling awkward situations and does not like things to get out of her control.
Inaba is a very pretty girl with shoulder-length black hair that has one strand falling in the middle and brown eyes. Unlike most of the other girls whose uniform sweaters are colored yellow, her uniform sweater is brown. In her casual attire, she is usually described as wearing something mature or plain. Inaba has been noted to have good posture with a slim, yet long figure and her eyes are described as being piercing, yet captivating.
With a short-temper and an intolerance for disorder, Inaba is easily the most volatile member of the Cultural Club. She tends to use vulgar language and speaks with masculine expressions in order to maintain a powerful appearance. She dislikes her given name (Himeko) because it means "princess child" in Japanese, which makes her sound weak like a child who needs to be looked after.
Despite her rough edges, Inaba is very considerate of her fellow club members; always looking out for everyone's best interests, and, though she doesn't like to show it, Inaba greatly treasures her friends and would be willing to sacrifice her own happiness to keep the group together. When dealing with a problem, Inaba typically chooses to take a very direct approach to solve it, making it a challenge for her to deal with delicate situations. Inaba is also a naturally distrustful person and worries constantly about the detrimental effects of each phenomenon.
Behind her front of arrogance and self-assurance, Inaba has proven to have very low self-esteem. This is largely attributed to her distrustful nature and social awkwardness, imperfections that she acknowledges she has but cannot accept. Due to her cold personality, it seems that Inaba does not socialize with others outside of the StuCS. She is very secretive and is even described by her fellow club members as someone mysterious because she does not like to share things about herself. However, after dating Taichi Yaegashi, she becomes slightly more open, but she is also prone to becoming jealous when other girls interact with him.
Because she is interested in data analysis and logistics, Inaba plans to specialize in science courses and, in the future, attend a university to better understand Heartseed. By her third year, Inaba decides to major in engineering at a university, and specialize in electronics and information technology.
Inaba has great difficulty trusting others, and, because they hold the power to potentially betray and hurt her, this includes her friends. Rather than coming from some sort of trauma or childhood tragedy, Inaba claims to have been born with this problem and has not been able to trust others her whole life. Despite hating this part of herself, Inaba cannot help but think of others as potential enemies, regardless. This has lead to Inaba having a very poor image of herself and has contributed to her former isolation before joining the StuCS. Over the course of the series, Inaba gradually removes her defensive walls and slowly learns to love and trust her friends unconditionally.
Later, Inaba starts to realize opening up to her friends has slowly made her weaker than she used to be and that she has begun overly relying on the strength of others rather than her own.
Skilled in computer use, even knowing how to build computers and use macro programming, Inaba originally joined the Computer Club, but left due to an argument with the club's president. As a result, Inaba wound up helping establish the Student Cultural Society, becoming its vice president only due to winning a rock-paper-scissors game against Iori Nagase.
Before high school, Inaba never had any true friendships and claims the StuCS were her first genuine friends. As mentioned in a drama CD included with the Kako Random blu-ray, as a child, Inaba used to play with her supposed "friends" in the abandoned building the StuCS were staying in. During that time, they buried a time capsule that contained their wishes and Inaba wrote that she wanted real friends when she grew up. Upon retrieving her wish, Inaba decided to tear up the paper, too embarrassed to share it with the rest of the StuCS.
- Older Brother: Inaba and her brother do not get along very well that she prefers to avoid speaking with him. Despite this, he does get worried if he notices something is wrong with his sister. Before leaving for the Isolation Dimension in Asu Random I, Inaba asked her brother what he would do if she went missing or became someone she's not. He replied that he would cry. Although creeped out, Inaba admitted she would do the same for him.
- Parents: Unlike the other members of the StuCS, Inaba's parents were not worried about her behavior throughout Asu Random and made no attempts to talk to her when she began going to school very early and coming home very late.
- Taichi Yaegashi: A male classmate and fellow member of the StuCS whom Inaba dubs a "Selfless Freak." Inaba did not care much for Taichi at first, but over the course of the series, she forms a strong bond of trust with him and eventually develops feelings for Taichi. During the Kizu Random arc, Inaba confesses to him but is turned down due to Taichi being in love with Iori Nagase. Undeterred, Inaba refuses to give up on him and at the end of the Michi Random arc, the two begin dating. Inaba's love for Taichi later develops to the point where she claims she can't imagine life without him. Additionally, Inaba is willing to do anything Taichi says, even stripping down to her underwear, which was tested by Chihiro pretending to be Taichi using Illusion Projection. Although Inaba is in love with Taichi, she does not allow her feelings to blind her and breaks up with him after he lies to her and irresponsibly uses Dream Perception in Yume Random. By the end of their trip to Hokkaido, Taichi realizes how important Inaba is to him and reaffirms his love for her, and the two get back together. Throughout the series, Inaba has been shown to have thoughts about doing perverted things with Taichi. Taichi finally calls Inaba by her first name, "Himeko," during the opening ceremony of their third year and promises to continue referring to her as such. He occasionally forgets, however, and Inaba often corrects him with forehead flicks. In Precious Time, Inaba and Taichi team up for the Couples Battle Royale. They later decide to attend the same university after graduating.
- Iori Nagase: A female classmate and the president of the StuCS. Inaba became good friends with Iori after helping her deal with a stalker during the Spring of their first year. Despite being total opposites of each other, Inaba considers Iori one of her closest friends and knows a lot about Iori's personal issues. When Iori discovers that Inaba is in love with Taichi, she encourages Inaba to admit her feelings and the two become rivals for Taichi's affections. After Inaba and Taichi begin dating, Iori gives her full support to the couple.
- Aoki Yoshifumi: A male StuCS club member. Inaba often punishes Aoki for his silly antics and has little patience for his pervertedness. Even though she gives him a hard time, at the end of the day, Inaba considers Aoki a good friend.
- Yui Kiriyama: A female StuCS club member. The two have been shown to get along well and Yui even helped Inaba prepare chocolates for Valentine's Day. Inaba also knows a lot about Yui's personal information such as her androphobia and body measurements, which Inaba has used against her on occassion.
- Maiko Fujishima: Inaba’s class representative. The two will sometimes conspire together to reach their own devious ends.
- Yaegashi Rina: In Asu Random, Rina considers Inaba a rival, afraid she will take Taichi away from her. The two tend to bicker anytime they are together, most often over Taichi.
- Gotou Ryuuzen: Inaba's club advisor and teacher. Despite being her teacher, Inaba is very rude towards Gotou and lacks any particular respect for him, often criticizing his laziness. She is however, willing to do favors for him, if only to put him in debt to her in the future.
- Katori Jouji: The Student Council President of Yamaboshi High School. From the start, Inaba does not trust Katori but got along with him for the sake of the other students. After Katori's actions become morally questionable, such as using violence on other students and turning the student body against the StuCS, they become enemies.
- The name Himeko means "princess" (姫) (hime) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Himeko's surname Inaba means "rice plant" (稲) (ina) and "leaf" (葉) (ha), which means "leaves of the rice plant" altogether.
- Iori Nagase affectionately nicknames Inaba "Inaban" and later coins the name "Dereban". In the English Dub of the anime, she was called "Sukiban" instead. In the official English translation of the novel, she is called "Ina-bashful".
- Inaba has a habit of chewing her nails and biting her lips when she's frustrated.
- Inaba tends to use very vulgar and masculine speech and only abstains from doing so when speaking to a stranger.
- Of all the characters, Inaba is the only one shown to own a smartphone, which appears to be an Android phone due to the similar pattern lock system.
- In the novels, Inaba is shown to have more perverted tendencies which includes and is not limited to: briefly contemplating S&M with Taichi Yaegashi, looking for pornography in her brother's room, and posing in front of her mirror in her underwear.
- Inaba owns a desktop PC, which she apparently built herself. In "Kizu Random", her desire was unleashed and she bought some PC parts that she was intending to buy later.
- She uses a notebook that resembles the SONY VAIO series.
- Compared to the other StuCS members, Inaba's family is apparently very well-off and their house is described as quite big and luxurious.
- Inaba is frequently shown to not be athletically fit. She is often outpaced by her friends and was the only one in the club who did not run the marathon and instead rode a bike to the finish line, and even then she complained it was hard work.
- Inaba is not very good at cooking, but insists on preparing bentos for Taichi. After Yume Random, Inaba begins preparing a bento for Taichi about once per week and her skills graudually improve as a result. Apparently, her bentos are largely composed of frozen foods, but Inaba defends herself by stating that "it doesn't matter as long as it tastes good".
- Inaba is quite frugal and does not like to waste money. In Kizu Random, one of Inaba's unleashed desires was to shoplift some pencil lead simply because the price did not make it worth paying for.