Yui Hirasawa is the main protagonist from the K-On! anime and manga.
Yui is the lead guitarist as well as the main vocalist. A kind-hearted but air-headed girl who initially joins the club for the snacks and has no musical talent to speak of. That said, she does catch on fairly quickly when she puts her mind to it, even if she's a bit clueless on the details.
In the AWA fics, Yui is a student at the AWA Academy.
In the XP4 fics, Yui debuted in the XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries.
Yui is a teenager of slightly below average height of 5'1", with brown eyes and thick medium brown hair at shoulder length, often accessorized with two yellow pins. Pants over skirts. Yui is relatively fashion-conscious and prefers styles featured in teen magazines. She also wears casual clothes such as shorts and t-shirts at home.
She wears her Sakuragaoka uniform consists of a navy blue blazer, a solid white buttoned shirt (under the blazer), a colored ribbon (different colors for different student years, Yui's year is light blue), a light steel blue skirt, stockings or socks (Yui's are black), and maroon shoes.
Always looking for fun, Yui is fearless; anxiety and stage fright are unknown to her. She likes everything cute and makes a lot of physical contact with others like holding hands or hugging. She also loves everything sweet, so she's energized by the sweets that Mugi brings, and her physical constitution is such that she does not gain weight no matter how much she eats. She can't stand being hot or cold, so she spends the winter under the kotatsu and rolls around on the floor in the summer in front of the fan, to keep cool. Yui is rather lazy, so her grades are always on the verge of failing except for fine arts, in which she is exceeding; sometimes she is the only person in her class who needs to retake a test, other times she manages to avoid failing all of her subjects by a one point margin. She has an average figure. Yui lives in a family of four with her younger sister Ui and both parents. Her parents are a "lovey-dovey" couple and often go on trips together, leaving both daughters behind.
Having misunderstood that "light music" equals to "easy music" (like whistling), Yui joined the Light Music Club and picked up the guitar with absolutely no prior experience. She cannot do more than one thing at a time, but to make up for that she can be highly focused on a particular subject and once started, can advance quite substantially. However, whenever she learns something, she forgets something else. Yui is the type of person who doesn't read manuals and relies on her own intuition and self-taught approaches. She also does not remember any musical terminology. She possesses perfect pitch and is musically gifted, being able to tune her guitar without a tuner, but she does not appear to make the best of her ability. Yui is relatively determined and competitive, but at the same time she feels comfortable depending on the help of a few good friends like Ui, Nodoka, Mio and Azusa.
Yui is a member of the Heroes Coalitions as a trainee. She also attends at Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries
In Chapter 11, Yui, alongside Luna Loud, are seen being interviewed by Amelia Sainthearts and Duke Armstrong about the recent results of the Unification Ceremony. She later got into an argument with Robin Rose, much to everyone's bewilderment.
Yui has the ability to manipulate sound energy by tuning and strumming her guitar which often leads to disastrous results. According to Ritsu Tainaka, Yui has no control of her abilities.
- In the XP4 fics, Yui is currently Robin Rose's girlfriend.
- Her guitar is a Gibson Pre-'08 Les Paul Standard in Heritage Cherry Sunburst. She names it Giita, which quite literally means "guitar". In 2008, Gibson gave the "Standard" name to a new design of Les Paul, while the old Standard was renamed the Traditional; worth noting is that the manga started in 2007. She uses D'Addario EXL145 strings on it, oddly heavy strings for her and the music she plays. Of course, being Yui, she likely has no idea there are different sizes of strings, as she didn't even know they had to be changed. In the manga, its pickup selector switch is always set to the "Treble" position, which means only the Bridge Pickup is being used, which is usually well suited for lead guitar. In the anime, it's always set to the middle position, which uses both pickups, giving a more full sound, well suited for the low, Power Chord-heavy riffs Yui tends to play. Gibson's page for the Les Paul Traditional, the same guitar with a new name.
- Her surname is taken from Japanese electropop-artist and P-Model founder Susumu Hirasawa.
- The kanji of her given name has the reading "tada", which is a word meaning "only; merely; just; simply"; as in "She is the only one who can do that".
- Yui has a habit of naming and talking to inanimate objects as if they were people, a trend that gradually includes her bandmates and their instruments. She is especially fond of her guitar, which she calls "Giita". Yui later names Mio's bass "Elizabeth" (a pun on the Japanese pronunciation of that name and the word "bass") without permission, which annoys Mio (at first). She also inspires Azusa to name her own guitar "Muttan" (which sounds like Mustang, the name of her guitar). Finally, Yui gives the name "Bukuro-chan" to the gloves Ui gave her for Christmas.
- Yui is apparently allergic to air conditioning, though she can't stand overly hot or cold temperatures in general. Yui also easily gets carsick, but is immune to heat strokes.
- Yui, who is unable to write proper lyrics at first, is the one who writes Ho-Kago Tea Time's last song to be officially performed, U&I. The song is dedicated to her sister, Ui, when she realized how precious Ui is to her; Ui had caught a cold and this inspired Yui to write the lyrics. Yui also wrote Gohan wa Okazu with Ui's help.
- Yui can't resist cute dogs. Every time she sees one, she holds its head and calls it cute. Her favorite breed is pugs.
- Yui couldn't properly sing and play music simultaneously. Sawa-chan (Yui calls her) teaches her. Unfortunately, Yui loses her voice.
- Yui has the second largest hands out of Ho-Kago Tea Time, after Mio.
- Yui can be regarded as the female counterpart to John Lennon of The Beatles. Much like Lennon, Yui is a musical prodigy despite never learning how to read sheet-music, and shares the eccentrically unorthodox yet sensitive kind and idealistic personality of his later years; not to mention the fact she, like Lennon learned how to play the guitar properly from the resident left-hander of her band, Mio (Ho-kago TeaTime's answer to Paul McCartney, whom also shares lead-vocal duties with Lennon, the idiot savant of HIS band.) Yui also openly showers Azusa, K-On!'s answer to Yoko Ono, with constant love and intimate affection. Thankfully, much unlike Lennon, she does not share the openly sarcastic, mean spirited and cynical personality of his earlier years, nor his broken and traumatic childhood, and her love for Azusa actually brought the sisterhood of Ho-kago Tea Time closer together rather than tear it apart into pieces of bitter hate the way Lennon's love for Ono did to the Beatles.
- Yui could also be based on Pete Townshend of the Who (just as Ritsu bears many similarities to drummer Keith Moon 'The Loon', whom Ritsu admires). Like Townshend, Yui is a highly talented guitar player despite being almost completely self-taught and having virtually no formal training whatsoever, and she even performs Townshend's trademark 'windmill strum' on numerous occasions. Also similar is their use of Gibson guitars (although Townshend switched to Fenders in subsequent years).