Toru Watanbe
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Toru Watanbe

Norwegian Wood

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About Him

Grew Up... under the specter of death. In his childhood, Toru formed a trio with Kizuki and Kizuki's girlfriend, the beautiful Naoko. The three were the closest of friends, but that all changed when Kizuki, at age seventeen, unexpectedly committed suicide.

Living... in Tokyo, at the height of the 60s. As a college student, Toru is especially affected by the spirit of the times, with Western music and student unrest saturating the atmosphere of his campus.

Profession... college student, currently majoring in drama. It's not necessarily something Toru is dying to study, but then again, as he puts it, "I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do."

Interests... music, drama, and literature. Like many of his peers, Toru is a fan of Western music, with a special fondness for the Beatles. His love of Western literature is less common, but in both music and literature, Toru's tastes are the same: he prefers melancholic, reflective, and deeply nostalgic works.

Relationship Status... tangled. On the one hand, Toru's involved with Midori, a cheerful and lively classmate. On the other, he's drawn to Naoko, who – like Toru – has not recovered from the shock of Kizuki's death.

Challenge... dealing with the effects of Kizuki's suicide. Although it's been years since he died, Kizuki still haunts Toru, both in his relationship with Naoko and his attitude towards the world. While Naoko eventually enters a sanitarium, Toru struggles to trust others after Kizuki's suicide, feeling that forging friendships "just leads to disappointment."

Personality... quiet, pensive, and melancholic. Though he's already been in college for several years, Toru still has little idea of who he is or what he wants to do. Stuck between school and the real world, Midori and Naoko, mourning and moving on, Toru often feels as if he's drifting through a dream: "The people, the scene: they just don't seem real to me."

Toru Watanbe's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #4158 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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