Kōichi Minamoto (皆本 光一 Minamoto Kōichi) is the main protagonist in the series despite having no esper powers, he has an outstanding intellect . He is the commander of a Special Esper team called The Children. He was the first commander that "The Children", Kaoru Akashi, Aoi Nogami and Shiho Sannomiya, liked. I-009 showed him a vision of the future in hopes that he can change it.
Usually seen with a suit and glasses. Minamoto is slim, in good shape, fairly tall, with medium dark hair, and light colored skin.
He is also considered to be rather handsome by many of the female characters.
Minamoto is a smart, homelike, responsible, and serious.
He is obsessed with hometasks like cleaning, ordering or doing laundry, but specially with cooking an ability in wich he stands out, to the point that his own mother has recognized him to be better than herself.
While good-natured and tolerant for the most part, he easilly gets grumpy, and if pushed over his limits, comically displays an enraged Fist of the North Star-esque demeanor (complete with quotes) an attitude that inspire fear to everyone around, even on his superiors or The Children themselves.
After the timeskip, Minamoto is assigned as supervisor to several other teams who act as support – "The Shadows of the Children", along with "The Explorer" and "The Sleeping Snow White".
He also starts developing romantic feelings for Kaoru, although he keeps repressing them out of his obligation to properly guide her and his will to prevent a tragic fate.
Just like The Children under his care, Minamoto as a child also experienced the sadness of being neglected for being more capable than those around him; during his school time, because he was too intelligent the other children lost interest in theirstudiess, so he had to attend special lessons in Comerica, away from his family and friends.
During his university days he befriended with Shūji Sakaki, a japanese esper who had the exact opposite personality than him, after a brief encounter they both develped a friendship so durable that on present days they ended up being colleagues at B.A.B.E.L.
At the start of the series, he was a 20 years old researcher who joined B.A.B.E.L. in order to investigate deeper about the ESP, but ended up being assigned as the field leader of "The Children" Special Esper Team, a problematic group formed by three 10 years old esper girls, in charged of giving them directions during missions, overseeing their well being between assignemets, and eventually their dailly care.
Even as they usually disobey, mistreat and play pranks to him, the girls highly esteem Minamoto, to the point of pulling strings to reside with him rather than their respective families soon after he is assigned to work with them.
Under the care of Minamoto the girls have shown to have grown positively, better than with other commanders, mostly because he's the only one who ever properly treated them as children, and the fact that he does look them as human beings and not powerful tools to the country.
Minamoto is good looking and usually more kind and responsible than his peers, he earns the affection of several females during the course of the series including The Children themselves who openly express their will to marry him once they become adults on several occasions, he has to stand their reationes whenever they get angry on him, specially when he gets too close to any other woman.
Beside leading and raising the girls, his main concern throughout the series is toward averting the precognition of a mortal showdown with Kaoru in a war-torn city during Hyōbu's esper-led war against normals a decade in the future.
Minamoto has no Esper ability, but he has a really prodigious mind, has an excellent memory, a great capacity for observation, quick reactions, is very cultured, and is capable of finding effective solutions in a short time.
Kaoru Akashi, Kōichi has mixed feelings towards Kaoru and tries to maintain a father-daughter relationship with her, since he has been taking care of her since she was a child. He strongly believes that developing romantic feelings toward Kaoru is unacceptable, but as the story progresses there is a conflict in his morals as he slowly falls in love with her.
Feather: Having a part of future Kaoru's personality, thoughts and desires, Feather shows romantic interest in Minamoto, and being an adult as him added to the knowledge of the future they shared, he became somehow attached to her.
Caroline Magi: Specifically her alter ego "Carrie", their relationship was a small preview of what would happen with Kaoru in the present (Koichi falling in love with a woman under his care). During his stay in Comerica for studies, due to an experiment Caroline got an alternate personality called Carrie who just after being born became attached to Minamoto, and having originated with the blank mind as if she was a child, was put in the care of Minamoto, both deeply fell in love, but the relationtship couldnt develop since Carrie in a very altruistic act decided to stop being the main personality in Caroline's body, to allow her alter ego to continue with her life.
- Kōichi is named after Hikaru Genji (光源氏), the protagonist of the The Tale of Genji, who received the surname "Minamoto" upon being stripped of his royal status.
- In one of the initial pilot chapters, Kōichi was a level 7 esper whose ability was the capacity to nullify other espers' powers, the idea was recicled and this ability was given to Andy Hinomiya, a main character in The Unlimited - Hyōbu Kyōsuke, and ZKC manga.
|Kaoru Akashi | Aoi Nogami | Shiho Sannomiya | Kōichi Minamoto|
|Taizō Kiritsubo | Oboro Kashiwagi | Shūji Sakaki | Fujiko Tsubomi | Ikyūgō|
|The Double Face|
|Natsuko Tokiwa | Hotaru Nowaki|
|Naomi Umegae | Ichirō Tanizaki|
|Keiko Kojika | Hatsune Inugami | Akira Yadorigi|
|The Shadow of The Children|
|Bullet Silver | Tim Toy|