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Hinata Shintani (深谷 陽向, Shintani Hinata) is a childhood friend of Misaki and Suzuna who came to Seika High in search of his one-sided first love - Misaki. His love interest is Suzuna Ayuzawa and he is married to her
Hinata is a tall and slim boy who has a brown wide-eyed, innocent look and short brown hair. He has a small scar on his cheek that he gained when he was younger. He usually seen wearing the Seika High male uniform. As a child he was quite overweight with a round face and eyes that were closed slit. Minako and Suzuna both note that he physically resembles Misaki's father Sakuya. He is quite handsome as at his previous school he was very popular among the girls. Also, Hinata has an extraordinary nose.
Hinata is cheerful, naive, sociable and childish and is always happy around Misaki. Hinata has a friendly personality, making friends easily when he transfers into Seika High. He is always optimistic. Hinata has a big appetite, always seen eating bread crusts. He also loves the food and can eat almost anything, anytime, without getting replete or fat. Hinata can sense the smell of any food and can say what it is just by its smell. He is very wishful and you can't eat something around him without him to want from it. Despite his glutton nature he is not lazy in fact he is very athletic.
Hinata also seems very emotive and sensitive since he would do everything for the girl he loves and also is seen crying. He is also very ambitious and determined as he claimed the fact that he wouldn't give up on Misaki even when she became Takumi's girlfriend, revealing how much he loves her. Even when Misaki became Takumi's girlfriend, Hinata wasn't jealous of Takumi. Hinata is also sportive and energetic and has a very bright personality. He is careless and carefree as talks very outspoken about his sad past. Hinata has an innocent aura around him, being in good terms with everyone.
Hinata and Misaki know each other ever since they were in Elementary School. Hinata, at time, was an overweight boy who was often bullied, but Misaki was always there to protect him. One time, he fell out of a cherry tree when reaching for some cherries. Misaki was there to take care of him and consequently he promised to follow her for the rest of his life. Soon after this incident, Hinata's parents died in a car accident. He didn't talk for months and relatives would only come and cry because they couldn't do anything. When his grandfather came to take him to the countryside to live with him he refused. Misaki later encouraged him to go. At the train station she gave him a piece of candy and he still keeps the wrapper in his wallet.
At the new school Hinata was a popular boy as the girls considered him handsome. Due to growing up on a farm in a place with no candy, he gradually lost weight. One day he decided to return in his hometown in searching for his childhood love, Misaki.
While Misaki and Takumi are talking to one another outside, Misaki comments on how people don't appear from the sky, at which point Hinata jumps down from a tree to the ground, talking to himself about how careless he was dropping his food. Later on, he is introduced to class 2-1 as a new student. As the teacher explains his history, Hinata begins smelling lemon candy and approaches the source.
Once he begins drooling over the confectionery, and earning the pity of other boys, the student allows him to have it. Though the teacher tries to stop him from eating it, Hinata's sad face and the pity of the other boys convinces him otherwise. However, Misaki steps in, reprimanding the teacher for treating Hinata differently, stating he should not be allowed to eat in class and turns to Hinata, telling him that he should save it for later.
Later on, Hinata is given a tour of the school by Misaki, during which he continues to eat bread crusts along the way despite her consistently telling him not to, with him claiming he is hungry. As the secretary of the student council comes along, Hinata's bread crusts are taken away as she leaves to work, much to his disappointment. Suddenly, he is approached by someone from behind. Soon after, Hinata is surrounded by boys who offer him food if he can correctly guess what it is, which he does with his sense of smell.
As everyone wonder how Hinata is able to eat so much, he explains that he was once a fat boy but when his parents died, he moved away. Due to growing up on a farm in a place with no candy, he gradually lost weight. Currently living along and paying school fees with money from his late parents, Hinata is pitied by the boys until he explains that he returned to the city to find his childhood love, much to everyone's surprise. Though Misaki asks how he intends to find her without information, Hinata explains that they made a promise to stick with one another and he will stick to "Misaki-chan" as he leaves to explore the school. It is only then that Misaki remembers who Hinata is from their childhood.
In order to find the girl, Hinata climbs a tree and takes a look at the school, surprising the bystanders as well as Misaki, who comes to see him while he calls her name. Though he believes he can't be hurt by Misaki while he is in the tree, Misaki's threat to take away his bread crusts surprises him, causing him to lose his balance and fall. Misaki calls out alarm, blurting his old nickname, "You-kun", and he lands safely after hearing her. Surprised, Hinata asks who she is, to which she tells him her full name and that she doesn't look the same as she once was. However, Hinata doesn't care and gleefully hugs her, telling her how much he missed her.
During the Seika High School outdoor camp, Hinata fails to take the training seriously, instead being more interested in confessing to Misaki. However, Misaki stops him, claiming it is the time to play around, causing him to be taken away by other boys, but not before watching Misaki talk to Takumi. Later, Hinata confronts Takumi, commenting on his coolness and toned body, much to the surprise of the other boys, who warn him against behaving in such a manner with Takumi.
Later that night, Hinata quickly finishes his dinner and requests more, but is denied by the monks. Despite his complaining, Hinata receives nothing and is forced to go clean the outdoors as punishment for his behavior. Rather than clean, Hinata finds and breaks into a storage shed, searching for food. Before he can do anything however, he is caught by Misaki, who reprimands him for his behavior. Soon after, the two are nearly found by a monk. Rather than reveal their location, Misaki hides, causing the monk to think the door was left open accidentally and lock it, trapping the two inside.
Hinata instantly begins panicking, suggesting various safety measures they need to take. However, he soon realizes that he and Misaki are alone in the room. Stating that he wants Misaki to see him as a proper man, though he's not sure if she does, he attempts to talk to her but fails, blushing furiously in embarrassment. As Misaki asks Hinata what he really wants, Takumi arrives and opens the door. Before Hinata's eyes, Takumi takes Misaki and puts her over his shoulders, at the same time asking Hinata if he wants him show him how to be a man.
The next morning, Hinata begins the day by fighting Takumi. Upon being scolded by Misaki, Hinata states they weren't fighting, but merely engaging in conversation. As Takumi insults him, calling him an underling, Hinata begins arguing and fighting, causing Misaki to shut them outside. While being pestered by mosquitoes, Hinata asks Takumi if he really does like Misaki and if they're dating, to which Takumi's replies that he wouldn't involve himself in something so troublesome.
After the students get inside after a rainstorm, Hinata takes the opportunity to attack Takumi once again. However, Takumi is not surprised and successfully evades, hitting Hinata afterwards and mockingly calling him a mosquito in response. Suddenly, the two of them hear Misaki telling a crowd of boys to stay away from the girls. When she manages to do so, Takumi goes back to hitting Hinata. Soon after, the rain continues and forces the teachers to cancel the barbecue, resulting in a hungry Hinata asking for food, which he receives in the form of Takumi's towel.
During the storm, Misaki goes out to confront the boys and Hinata is found among them. Explaining why he's there, Hinata says he went so they could have fun and games with the girls. Misaki immediately tells him they had no intention of fun and games, which they claim she is right about as the boys attack. Misaki fights them off mostly by herself while Hinata attacks one and berates the rest for attacking Misaki. After Takumi joins the fight, the three teens scare off the boys, mostly with Takumi's presence alone. For this, Hinata calls him an impressive man and is subsequently teased for his vocabulary.
Erika asks Misaki for help when she accidentally promised a customer a date—which is against Maid Latte policy—should he win the all you can eat sweets eating contest at Maid Latte. Misaki decides to join the contest in disguise to try and win it. However, Hinata finds out about the contest and, despite opposition from the Moron Trio, joins. Once the contest starts, Hinata eagerly eats all the sweets, which were prepared by Takumi. Despite other contestants dropping out and eating slowly, Hinata eagerly eats more and anxiously awaits each dish.
Eventually, Misaki in disguise and Hinata are the only contestants left. Before deciding how to settle the draw, Satsuki explains the prizes, one of which is a picture with a maid. As Hinata looks over the list, he chooses "Misa-chan", shocking Misaki and forcing her to win. However, despite her efforts, Hinata wins and receives his prizes and is asked for his opinions on the sweets of the day. At school, Hinata asks Misaki questions, believing that a contestant yesterday was her. As she denies it, Hinata asks if she knows what a Maid café is and, upon hearing she doesn't, invites her to come with him to Maid Latte.
Days later, Hinata goes to Maid Latte with Misaki as well as Takumi, which he is initially upset about. While inside, Hinata eagerly looks over the menu and soon begins arguing with Takumi, which Misaki tells him to top doing. Hinata laughs at the warning, at which point he is asked about his appearance, which he explains by stating that he works at a gas station part time, surprising Misaki. Hinata asks Misaki if she would come see him working, though she tells him she already knows he has changed, remarking on his new personality.
Suddenly, Hinata asks Misaki about her part time job, having heard she has one. She is hesitant to answer outright, causing him to ask if Takumi already knows. As Misaki leaves, Hinata wonders if she is alright. Recounting how she was there for him when his parents died, though his relatives were sad, he wasn't, until Misaki showed him how, making her the girl he's liked for a long time. Soon after, Misaki claims to be ill and leaves, flustering Hinata.
After helping to settle down a crying baby at another table, Hinata is called out to by someone. Turning around, he is surprised to see Misaki in a maid uniform, making him realize "Misa-chan" was Misaki. Though initially in disbelief, Hinata soon starts asking questions until Takumi intervenes. Takumi shoves a lollipop in Hinata's mouth and as he wonders what is going on, the other two step out the rear entrance. Hinata follows out from around the front and is confirmed about his suspicions. Takumi tells him if he messes with Misaki, he will mess with him (openly recognizing Hinata as his rival), causing Hinata to angrily stare back.
With the rivalry between Hinata and Takumi getting more tense than ever, Misaki throws both of them out for fighting in the student council room. On her way home, Misaki’s mother meets Hinata who the latter helps her carry her groceries and accompany her home where he explains to Misaki that he’s trying to find the cherry tree they both used to play at. The next day, the “Maid Witches” cosplay proceeds as plan but with the tension between Hinata and Usui, Satsuki tries to defuse the situation until Usui decides to leave. Hinata leaves as well but not before he ask Misaki to “cast a spell” to help him find the cherry tree. Hinata finally finds the cherry tree and convinces himself his meeting with Misaki was fated.
Hinata reminiscences about his past since he began living with his grandparents. Despite being popular in middle school and getting the attention of the girls, Hinata's heart still belongs to Misaki. At Maid Latte, the café hosts a Fortune Telling Day, with Erika as the fortune teller. Erika reads Hinata’s and Usui's relationship with Misaki with the former “flat as a paper balloon” and the latter “incompatible like fire and water unless he tries harder”. After Misaki finishes her shift, she finds Takumi waiting outside the back exit.
Feeling down about his fortune and continuously making depressing comments about it, she angrily asks him if he’s going to give up on her because of that and blushes upon realizing what she said—which Hinata overhears. The next day, Hinata decides to help Misaki clean the school entrance but ends up getting them both wet. With her clothes wet and revealing, Takumi covers her with his shirt and accompanies her to get change. Hinata silently cries as he finally realizes what his friends were warning him about—that no matter how much he hopes, Misaki may already be in love with someone else.
Hinata still vowed to win Misaki’s heart from Usui. In the final chapter, Hinata eventually weds Suzuna, who revealed her inner feelings for him. It is also shown that since Usui married Misaki and he married Suzuna, this makes the two of them brother-in-laws.
- Main article: Misaki Ayuzawa
Hinata and Misaki were childhood friends, and Misaki regularly defended him from neighborhood bullies who would tease him because of his weight. As such Shintani developed a long-standing crush on her, even coming back from his grandparents' farm to the city to search for her. When he admits his feelings for Misaki, he pushes her to come to terms with her feelings for Takumi. He is accepting of her feelings, saying that he will wait for her, and even after she begins to date Takumi, he tells her that he will not give up, because there is still the chance that she will change her mind and decide that he is better for her.
Hinata deeply loved Misaki, and remembers most of the memories of the times they spent together as kids. He respects her decisions and tries his best to help her. Hinata often says that he wants Misaki to see him as a proper man, and how he has changed in the past few years. He enjoys Misaki's company and usually praises her smile and cuteness. They remain close friends and help each other.
- Main article: Takumi Usui
He admires Takumi's strength and talent. Although Takumi seems indifferent to Hinata at times, he actually respects Hinata as his biggest and most serious rival for Misaki's affections. He has no fear of Takumi and doesn't care that Takumi is better than him at practically everything, both of which Takumi is keenly aware of. When the two boys realize the others' significance to Misaki (that Hinata was a childhood friend, and Takumi and Misaki have real feelings for each other), both immediately consider the other as true rivals. This is illustrated as two angry dogs about to face off against each other. He refuses to give up on Misaki, despite being fully aware of her and Usui's feelings for each other, having resolved prior to moving that he would not let Misaki having a boyfriend deter him. However, in the manga, their friendship improves a lot as Hinata accepts Takum's relationship with Misaki.
- Main article: Suzuna Ayuzawa
In the final chapter, he and Suzuna are married.
- "She was so cute that I thought I'd die!"
- "I'll follow Misaki-chan for life."
- “Anyway, she is still Misaki-chan. My feelings for her won't change. I realized a long time ago she has to be the one for me.”
- "I came back to this city to meet my first love."
- "But I want you to see me as a man."
- "If I ended up in the same situation as Takumi, what will you do, Misaki-chan?"
- "Don't leave the side of someone important to you that easily!"
- I'll definitely protect Suzuna-chan. So you have to protect Misaki-chan too! Takumi!!"
- "You'd better not be philandering around when I'm not here." 
- "I was prepared, but it still hurts"
- " To be honest, I'm falling deeper and deeper for you. Charging forward like this. Doing your best for those who matters to you. I really like that side of Misaki-chan. Let me help you with all I can do. I want you to let me know, if there's anything I can do for you. That's my greatest wish as your childhood friend."
- His first name Hinata means facing the sun.
- He is in class 3-5.
- According to the character profile in the manga:
- His favorite dish is fried bean curd covered in sugar.
- He can eat anything edible. (even grass)
- He likes food and Misaki.
|Misaki Ayuzawa • Sōtarō Kanō • Shōichirō Yukimura • Takashi Hagimoto • Kenji Sawa • Kiyomasa Katada • Hayase Kōta • Yūta Utsumi • Bunta Kosugi|
|Naoya Shirokawa • Ryūnosuke Kurosaki • Ikuto Sarashina|
|Takumi Usui • Hinata Shintani • Shizuko Kaga • Sakura Hanazono • Suzuna Ayuzawa • Yumeyama Brothers • Takezawa • Gonda • Masaru Gōda • Hideki Suzuki|