For better or for worse, I've lived my life making sure to not stir anything up. Being a 'role model'. Being 'exemplary'. I believed that to be the right thing to do and never once questioned it. As a matter of fact, until I graduate, I had already given up on taking action. I had failed to make a friend I could say I trust from the bottom of my heart. I have yet to comprehend it.
— Volume 8, Prologue
Manabu is a well built young man of average height with short gray hair that is swept to the left, violet eyes and square-rimmed glasses.
He's usually seen wearing a standard school uniform and he has also been seen wearing swim trunks, like at the pool.
Manabu is a vastly intelligent and serious man who was very dedicated to his duty as student council president. He holds his role in high regard, displayed through his belief that his reputation could be tarnished if it was discovered that Suzune Horikita was in D-Class, the lowest class.
He does not tolerate excuses as he couldn't believe or accept his sister's words that her placement in D-class wasn't her fault. With no remorse, he almost went as far as attempting to assault Suzune, showcasing his violent side, before Kiyotaka Ayanokōji intervened. He quickly tried to take his fury out on him, but his strikes were easily brushed off by the latter. After the battle, rather than apologize to his sister, he reprimanded her anti-social nature and told her to work harder if she didn't want to be in the lower classes of the school.
He appears to enjoy complex social situations, as shown when he smirked at the complaint against Ken and when he informed Sae Chabashira why he was present at the hearing. Despite his serious outlook and reputation, he is not above giving praise to those who impress him, shown through his interactions with Arisu Sakayanagi and Kōhei Katsuragi about their success on the recent tests. This attitude appeared again when he complimented Kiyotaka after holding his own in a battle with him. He seems to have developed a degree of respect towards Kiyotaka as his actions have caught his eye, demonstrated when he hinted that Kiyotaka intentionally entered D-Class believing he is hiding what he is fully capable of and becomes disappointed when Kiyotaka does something that doesn't live up to his expectations, such as the events with Ken's hearing. However, he was willing to let Kiyotaka become part of the student council due to seemingly admiring his talents and although his offer was turned down initially, did not give up on trying to recruit Kiyotaka.
In the light novels, he was not above accepting a challenge from Kiyotaka, shown to be very competitive against him in the race. Despite this rivalry, he did not mind going to Kiyotaka for aid after he saw that his successor was unruly with his power. These events show how much he has come to believe in Kiyotaka and appeared to respect his decision to think about it and not pressing the issue as they civilly bid one another farewell.
Not much is known about Manabu, besides the fact that he entered Advanced Nurturing High School where he would rise through the ranks and become one of its most respected and well-known students.
At some point, he became the Student Council president, gaining him more respect from the student body.
Manabu was first seen giving a speech to the first years telling them to prepare for the new year in school where he was next seen observing D-Class from his office before talking with Arisu Sakayanagi and Kōhei Katsuragi, praising their recent test scores.
He later met with Suzune Horikita who he was quite annoyed to see, and Suzune attempted to plea to her brother about how she changed, but he didn't accept it as her placement in the lowest class at the school would ruin his stature. He demanded that she leave the school to avoid further disgrace to his name, although she refused and stated that she would make it to A-Class no matter what. Hearing this, Manabu pushed her to a wall berating her for her shameful actions and attempted to attack her when Kiyotaka Ayanokōji intervened, having witnessed everything and admonished Manabu for his actions as he told him to release her. Suzune begged Kiyotaka to stop as it wasn't his concern, but when he complied Manabu attacked him. However, Manabu was surprised when Kiyotaka nimbly avoided and dodged Manabu's other strikes. Impressed by this display, Manabu asked Kiyotaka if he studied martial arts as the latter gave him a vague answer. Manabu soon recognized him as the student of D-Class who scored fifties on all his entrance exams and a recent quiz. He inquired on this even hinting that Kiyotaka was hiding his intelligence on purpose, but the latter shrugged this off. Manabu left, though not before expressing surprise that his sister had made a friend, but she disregarded it as he chided her, telling her she needed to acknowledge her shortcomings.
Manabu then received a complaint from C-Class, regarding an attack by Ken Sudō. Manabu called the news exciting and held a hearing for the students. He presided over the meeting telling Sae Chabashira that his busy schedule caused him to attend. His presence caused Suzune to become nervous and scared until Kiyotaka brought her back to her senses and she gave a speech that doubted Class C's version of how the fight went down before having the only witness, Airi Sakura, come out. Sakura provided proof that she was present using a photo from her camera, which caused Manabu to point out to Kazuma Sakagami, the skeptical teacher of class 1-C of a unique photo which was one of Sudō and the boys from C-Class fighting in the background. The evidence was considered minor as it only proved Sakura was there but not who initiated the fight and this causes C-Class to suggest on a suitable punishment. Suzune rebuked this, leading to an argument between them that was silenced by Manabu, calling it a waste of time and telling them that he'd make a decision the next day and if nobody came forward there would be expulsion on the table.
Afterward, Manabu left the office with Akane Tachibana to find Sakura and Kiyotaka. He voiced his disappointment as he stated that when he saw Kiyotaka present he assumed there was a strategy involved but Kiyotaka disregarded this as it was Suzune's actions. Manabu then questioned whether Suzune did so by herself as Kiyotaka confirmed it, causing him to wonder. He turned his attention to Sakura about her presence in the hearing stating if she couldn't prove it, then it was a lie. He caused her to get nervous, but Kiyotaka defended her, while in response Manabu attempted to attack him again as the latter dodged his strike and Manabu questioned as to whether he has something planned but got another vague answer.
Sometime later, the students of C-Class withdrew their complaint, and he accepted though pondered why they did so, suspecting Kiyotaka was involved. While he and Tachibana were walking, they met Kiyotaka in the hallway. Manabu explained the recent events and asked if this proved Sakura was telling the truth before he congratulated him on his victory, but Kiyotaka once again gave Suzune all credit for the act. Glaring at Kiyotaka, Manabu had asked Tachibana if they had an opening for a secretary on the Student Council, to which she confirmed. Manabu offered the position to Kiyotaka, while Tachibana questioned his intentions only to be silenced by a gaze from him. He repeated this offer for Kiyotaka to join the council; however he rejected it in favor of living a regular school life. Manabu accepted the choice for now but told him not to disappoint him as he and Tachibana walked off.
At the pool, when students of classes 1-A and 1-C tried to get Ken Sudō to move and almost fight, Manabu arrived. After jumping off the top floor, he let everybody know that even though they are engaging in leisurely activities, they are still on school grounds. He soon bore witness to his sister's speech of how it's possible for D-Class to reach A-Class and his only reaction was a glare at his sister who responded in the same way.
Manabu notices Kiyotaka Ayanokōji and walks towards him with Akane Tachibana beside him. When Ayanokōji asks about him wearing the school uniform during the summer break, he replies that the Student Council was busy even during the summer vacation. Tachibana follows up by saying that the student council room was under some reorganization. Upon Ayanokōji's casual response and lack of respect towards the President, Secretary Tachibana gets very annoyed. Manabu, leaving Tachibana's complaints aside asked Ayanokōji to accompany him. Ayanokōji refuses his offer, telling him that he had a packed schedule. Manabu tells Ayanokōji that he was fine speaking with him when the next term begins, but finally, Kiyotaka agrees to listen to him right then. Manabu then asks Tachibana to leave him and Ayanokōji alone, but Tachibana denies his order telling him that she couldn't leave him with Ayanokōji alone.
He then talks with Kiyotaka about the Deserted Island Special Test and the Cruise Ship Special Test. He says that he knew about Class D's success in the Deserted Island Exam and that the VIP of Class D in the Rabbit Group was left undetected. Kiyo was surprised and asked Manabu how much information he had. Manabu replied that he knew that Ayanokōji outsmarted everyone on the deserted island. The info was that Horikita Suzune had led the class to victory, but in reality it was him. When Kiyotaka told him that Manabu was overestimating him, President Manabu then asked him to explain how he became the leader in the end. Kiyotaka was again surprised that Manabu had all this information, which even most teachers didn't possess.
As Student Council president, Manabu had great authority over the students, especially shown when he intimidated Kakeru Ryūen, a delinquent with strong influence. He is the only known person to able to bring out the fear in Suzune Horikita, who becomes apathetic towards most matters.
He is very proficient in fighting, as he holds a 5th-Dan in karate and a 4th-Dan in aikido, which are both high ranks for his age bracket. Some of his martial arts skills were shown in Episode 2 when he attacked Kiyotaka Ayanokōji, although the latter avoided being hit with relative ease, much to Manabu's surprise. Suzune even vouched for her brother's skill and was amazed Ayanokōji avoided his attacks let alone held his own against him. Knowing it won’t do him any good to continue the fight, he stopped short after acknowledging his opponents talents.
He has a perceptive side as he was able to recognize the talents of Kiyotaka from their brief skirmish and instantly identified him as the student who scored the same grades of 50 exactly throughout his entrance exams. This was seen again as he could tell that Kiyotaka had some role in the dismal of the complaint from C-Class. He correctly deduced that he did it purposefully to hide his true talents and even offered him a role in the student council despite him being a Class D student, showing an high amount of respect and expectation for him from their brief interaction.
In the light novels, he is an incredibly fast runner and seemingly excels in athleticism. He runs well enough to a relatively equal speed to Kiyotaka, who is incredibly fast in his own right. Although many do see that he is just slightly slower than him. However, he did win the race in the end as Kiyotaka was obstructed and couldn’t display his full speed.
- The name Manabu consists of kanji that mean "study" (学).
- Manabu's surname Horikita consists of kanjis that mean "moat" (堀) (hori) and "north" (北) (kita).
- He shares the same birthday with Masayoshi Hashimoto.
|Vice President||Ikuto Kiriyama|
|Members||Mizowaki • Tonokawa • Honami Ichinose|
|Former Members||Manabu Horikita • Akane Tachibana|