Hayato Honda (本田 速人, Honda Hayato) is a male character from the long-running Japanese manga and anime series Kochikame by Osamu Akimoto. He is best known in the series for possessing a split-personality.
Honda appears to be a rather young man of tall and slightly skinny build. He sports a black pompadour that is said to have been kept since his days as leader in his biker gang. He carries with him a signature posture which is most apparent in the anime; he keeps both of his clenched fists beneath his chin with elbows outward, knees together with feet pointed inward further apart from each other , and seems to lean or crouch forward slightly. All of these traits combine to give an impression of somebody with a shy or timid demeanor.
He wears the uniform assigned for officers riding motorcycles in the series; long blue pants with a red line running down on either side, a blue long-sleeved protective coat (with his sleeves kept rolled up above the forearm similar in fashion to Ryotsu), a white undershirt, a pair of gloves (kept in a white utility belt around his waist, but almost never worn), his signature yellow neckerchief (tie ends either kept to the side or behind his neck) and a pair of long black motorcycle boots (which are shortened in size in the anime). On occasion, he wears his helmet while in the Police Box.
For the majority of the time, Honda is portrayed as a person who is as normal as any other regular character. The only main observation is in his body language which can tend to be interpreted as effeminate, matching his normal personality.
When he climbs atop a motorcycle, however, his appearance changes to that of a more intimidating man, especially recognisable in his face. His voice becomes significantly deeper, and his speaking style switches to one which is more vulgar and rough.
Honda is a very modest, sensitive and somewhat shy young man whose feelings are easy to hurt. He can turn into a crybaby over any emotionally-moving or traumatising experience, which sometimes puts Ryotsu off, but earns the empathy of other characters. The fact that he has had to endure over 180 failed attempts at winning a girlfriend may be one of the reasons behind his insecure and apparent low self-esteem, resulting in him having to depend on others in pushing him forward regardless. This chain of failure has stopped, however, since meeting current girlfriend Nana Otohime, or Nana-chan. He has a rather girlish personality in terms of the way he sometimes talks and reacts, alongside his personal interests. He has a notable fear of the dark, dogs, snakes and ghostly figures.
During his free time, Honda shows interest in reading shojo (girls')manga, J-pop/K-pop idols, cosplaying and bike-riding. He is also said to be skilled in cooking and drawing. There are times outside work hours when Ryotsu pulls him in to act as a sort of sidekick for his many moneygrubbing schemes; no matter how much restraint he would show against his requests, Honda is always forced into helping Ryotsu despite any pleas to opt out, and consequently ends up having to accept part of the blame at the end in numerous occasions. Despite the difficult times that occur, the two are always seen in good company with each other and appear to be best friends.
When he switches to his more intimidating masculine motorcycle alter-ego, on the other hand, Honda becomes absolutely fearless and ruthless toward criminals on the road, and doesn't hesitate to jump onto cars in traffic jams when deemed necessary to catching crooks on the run. His amazing expertise in motorbike-riding since the days in his biker gang some time ago before entering the police force is what helps him make plenty of arrests in his job. His whole family are also victim to this split-personality disorder, transforming their own personality when in contact with some object which is of their interest (see 'Relationships' below).
The member least seen in Honda's family, save for a cameo appearance in an anime episode. Ryotsu guesses that she too would transform upon grabbing hold of a kitchen knife, but Honda intends that no such thing happens, and that she's completely normal.
Father (Kaizou Honda)
Honda is in a way at odds with his father, who specialises in and shows preference for Kawasaki motorbikes over Honda motorbikes (Honda's preferred brand) at his motorbike maintenance workshop (Honda Ringyo). Although the two have argued about this issue before, it does not otherwise seem to hinder their father-son relationship on the whole. Upon donning a mechanic's uniform, Kaizou will transform into a much more aggressive and driven individual. This trait is most likely source of Hayato's, Eve's and Kadoki's split-personality.
Honda is hyperprotective of his younger sister Eve, chiefly because of the way in which she is very fragile and shy as a person in the presence of others. He stops at nothing to make sure she is kept content and safe from potential harm, which she appreciates in him, but also worries about. His extreme protective instinct over her is most apparent where he learns that she is going to get married, and desperately attempts to call it off with the help of Ryotsu to ensure that he could presumably keep close to her. When his sister transforms upon climbing atop an elephant, he immediately runs away due to the damage she always causes while riding it in her violent persona.
Honda and his younger brother Kadoki (often addressed as 'Monkey' due to an alternative reading of his name in kanji) are in disagreement over the ideal mode of transport; Honda's favour for motorbikes collides with Kadoki's love for bicycles, something which also earns the disappointment and bitter disapproval of their father. Honda always has to deal with their quarrels over which is best, sometimes receiving injuries inflicted onto him, possibly as a result from intervention. Even when Kadoki 'transforms' after climbing onto a bicycle, Honda is better adept at traveling fast speeds whilst Kadoki complains, eventually tiring from pedalling fast, although refusing to stop.
Police Box Colleagues
Honda appears to keep a cordial friendship with his colleague Ryotsu, and oftentimes the two can be seen together, both on and off duty, talking and participating in various activities.
In his normal temperament, Honda is supportive and kind in Ryotsu's presence, although his tenacity towards following suit to his dangerous schemes out of weak will result in him claiming partial responsibility for damages in the end of several episodes. Honda most often calls Ryotsu senpai in his normal state, but whilst in his intimidating state, he refers to him as Ryotsu no Danna instead.
Ryotsu sometimes depends on Honda to transport him via his motorbike in situations where he is available or time is short.
Katsushika Police HQ colleagues
Honda had developed a crush on Nana after she was appointed to be his subordinate at the Transport Division in the Katsushika HQ. She later became his first true girlfriend following the extra help from Ryotsu in helping him confess his love for her, and remains being her boyfriend in the manga series. The two share mutual interests in shojo manga, especially since taking into account the fact that Nana herself is a manga author under her own pen name. He is always happy in her presence and continues to supervise her as his subordinate while on work duty.
- His birthday is marked to fall on 29th February, meaning that he was born in a leap year. Although there have been episodes dedicated to celebrating his birthday, it is unclear whether or not it is celebrated on either 28th February or 1st March in normal years, or solely 29th February every four years.
- Honda seems to be treated almost as one of the main characters in the anime series, although he is not as prominent in the manga series. Nonetheless, he has been featured since his manga debut in Volume 14 and anime debut in Episode 10.
- His last name 'Honda' is very much an explicit reference to the popular Japanese brand of vehicles with the same name. The motorbikes that he rides are all Honda-branded, including the signature white police bike he is always seen riding in the series.