Akihiro Tsukuba (筑波明博 Tsukuba Akihiro) is a member of the Mizusawa High School Karuta Club. He was one of the twenty member-candidates along with Sumire Hanano.
Akihiro has sandy hair and narrow eyes. He likes to lick and showing a weird-scary face known as his Peko-chan face.
Akihiro is a nice guy but a prideful person. He thinks of himself as a rising star in the karuta world. He wanted to be a starter during Karuta matches. For his brothers, he's like their hero. Because of this he resorts to underhanded moves to show off his skills. He does show some ambition to be a great, well known player, but so far his skills can't match it.
He comes from a family that is attracted to beautiful people.
Though Taichi has a lower grade than Nishida, Tsukuba chose Taichi to teach him competitive karuta.
He seems to simply admire Chihaya because of her looks; so do his younger brothers.
He thinks Tsutomu is so cool, especially after how Tsutomu allowed him to be a starting member for the team tournament in his place.
He already joined Mizusawa High School Karuta Club since his first year with other member candidates. But little by little the other candidates quit. Finally, only he and Sumire are the ones left. So, Chihaya was brought him to the main room.
Tsukuba played Shimonoku (second verse) karuta back in Hokkaido. In that game, the reader skips staight to the second line of the poem instead of reading all of it. So despite being familiar with the Hyakunin Isshu, he only knows 20 of them when he entered Mizusawa. He also uses both hands in playing and slams his hands on the floor to intimidate his opponent. Both moves are prohibited in competitive karuta. By the high school tournament, Tsukuba has somewhat improved on the basics, and he wins the D-class individual tournament, becoming rank C.
He has strong fingers, which he uses to make quick forward thrusts to the cards.
- Although he is shown sitting next to Sumire in episode 26, he doesn't speak; it's only on episode 27 that he introduces himself.
- He likes to lick his lips and make a weird-scary face (Peko-chan face).
- His brothers call him as their hero because Akihiro always helps them when they're bullied.
- He is a Class B in second verse karuta. He's given it up, however, ever since he joined the karuta club.
- He comes from Hokkaido.
- His favorite Poem is Poem #13