Hotaru Imai

今井 蛍


Imai Hotaru


Waka Murasaki (Mauve)
Cool Blue Sky
Hotaru-hime (Princess Hotaru)




Female.png Female


10 (Debut)[1]
12 (Current Arc)
16 (Final Chapter)


139 cm [1]
150 cm (Final Chapter)


33 kg[1]
43 kg (Final Chapter)


October 25[1]



Hair Color


Eye Color


Blood Type



Invention Alice
Stealing Alice (Temporary)

Alice Type

Technical Ability

Alice Stone Color


Alice Academy

Alice Academy-Elementary School

School Positions

Assistant Class Representative
Executive Trainee

Star Rank

Triple Star


B Class
Technical Ability

Previous Schools

Satsuki Elementary School

Personal Status



Mr. Imai (Father)
Mrs. Imai (Mother)
Subaru Imai (Older Brother)
Shizuka Imai (Relative)


Chapter 001


Episode 01

Voice Actor

Rie Kugimiya
Miyuki Sawashiro

Hotaru Imai (今井 蛍 Imai Hotaru) is Mikan Sakura's best friend whose transfer to Alice Academy was the catalyst for Mikan's transfer.

Hotaru is an elementary student and possesses the Invention Alice. She is a three-star and considered to be an elite student of the school along with Yuu Tobita. She belongs to the Technical Class. Hotaru is considered to be the blackmailing queen; her hobby is to take embarassing pictures of Ruka Nogi and make money out of it from his fanclub. Her older brother is Subaru Imai, who is also a student in the Academy.

Hotaru is voiced by Rie Kugimiya in the anime and Miyuki Sawashiro in the Drama CD.



Hotaru has short black hair that gives her a more mature look than her fellow classmates. Hotaru has purple eyes, which she's known for. Her elementary branch uniform has a black shirt, tied red bow, black knee-high boots, a red plaid skirt, and a white collar with three stars. She is commonly seen using her inventions mostly to Mikan. Examples: Baka Gun, Baka Cannon, Filming Glasses, Infrared Ray Goggles, Watch-shaped Camera, Recorder Ring, Communication Ear Mufflers, Fragrant Pig Nose, Tip Toe Socks, Horse Hoof Glove, Deer Hoof Glove, etc. Also, Hotaru is seen breaking the wall and explaining her inventions to the audience; though her classmates see her explaining her inventions to nobody.


Hotaru is intelligent, logical, extremely rational, and has a foul mouth and she's also quiet when everyone in her class is so noisy. She naturally comes off as emotionally detached and serious

Nonoko and Anna next to Hotaru.

, and her inclination is to have little to no attachments with people in case it will slow down her from her goals. She initially succeeded with this by focusing on her inventions and exploring ways to exploit her Alice by selling her inventions to the highest bidder of foreign companies. When faced with a potential conflict, she tends to respond with irritation and dismay but will carefully analyze the situation and decide the most rational solution.

Although Hotaru, by her own admission, has tried communicating with people directly and prefers to stay out of other people’s personal affairs, she has strong morals and dedication to those precious to her, which earns her the respect of her classmates and teachers. This quality is what won her Mikan’s unwavering friendship, as Hotaru is able to look past Mikan’s childish antics and naivety whereas Mikan is able to look past Hotaru’s coldness and unemotional exterior. This also allows Hotaru to diminish her calm and cool persona, as she finds herself volunteering to help with class activities, offering advice to her friends facing conflicts, and willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of bringing happiness to someone who truly deserves it. Such selflessness was demonstrated when she willingly took a bullet meant for Mikan during the Z Arc; in the Current arc, when told Natsume was dead and Mikan had no choice but to accept it, Hotaru adamantly opposed this and offered to alter Natsume’s fate by going to the past for the sole purpose of saving Mikan from a mental breakdown. She also stated she truly believed Mikan and Natsume, based in the previous history of their parents’ friendship, were destined to be together. Hotaru has a complicated relationship with her older brother, Subaru, whom she first meets after arriving in the Academy. The two tend to insult each other and try to avoid contact, however, Hotaru actually truly cares about her brother and desires to get to know him more; she faked drowning so that she would see if Subaru would save her and she later expressed deep sadness when Subaru became a victim of Luna Koizumi’s Soil-Sucking Alice. Subaru reciprocates these feelings, and when Hotaru was about to change Natsume’s fate, Subaru intervened and did so instead because he didn’t want her to bear the consequences alone. Hotaru admits the person she would want to be with her while trapped in time traveling is Subaru.

Despite her maturity, Hotaru retains a comical side, which, when shown, makes those around her uncomfortable. Hotaru’s favorite methods of amusement are to tease Mikan by criticizing her, as she states she finds a crying Mikan more cute, and teasing Mikan’s admirers, Natsume and Ruka, although both boys refer to this treatment as torture. Hotaru often finds amusement in making fun of Ruka more, as she finds his shy reaction to Mikan more entertaining as opposed to Natsume’s calm reactions, and often blackmails him for favors by taking pictures of him in embarrassing situations, particularly in feminine cosplay outfits. She is also a notorious glutton, as she spends most her free time eating large amounts of food when not working on her inventions. She has a habit of collecting financial gain whether through allowance, selling her inventions, or bribes but she also has a generous side, as she has lent Mikan money when the former had none.

By the time of the Current arc, Hotaru’s one desire was to protect her friends and was willing to face any sort of punishment for her help of a cause she felt was right and justified. After saving Natsume, Hotaru had no fear about being trapped in different time loops as a consequence of changing his fate. The only thing that saddened her was she may never get to see Mikan again. She was still able to give Mikan an emotional farewell before disappearing, and by their next meeting six years later, the two girls had not only understood Hotaru’s actions but they retained their friendly relationship and never gave up their promise to be friends forever.



Hotaru in 3rd Grade.

Hotaru is ten years old when the series begins. Her older brother, Subaru, was five years old when she was born and already living in the academy. Like many Alice children wanted by the academy, Hotaru moved several times with her parents to avoid being taken by the academy. Her parents deeply regretted sending Subaru to the school and didn't want it to come claim Hotaru.

By third grade, Hotaru enrolled into Mikan's school in a small village. At first, they did not like each other due to their different personalities. However, the two became friends when Hotaru asked Mikan if they could enter in a singing and dancing contest together, which they won. From then onwards, they became best friends and they started doing everything together, despite that they fought constantly. However, Hotaru had to leave because her former school was shutting down and by going to Alice Academy, she could get money to help keep the school open. Also, Hotaru's mother said they have been fleeing from the government lately, so letting Hotaru go to the academy wasn't really a choice. Hotaru gave one of her inventions to Mikan (which was Turtle Mail that sent the letter explaining Hotaru's departure) before she left. Before leaving, she was confronted by Mikan, who was the last person to learn of her departure. She touches Mikan's sad face and asks her not to cry. In a special chapter, Hotaru's life in the academy before Mikan came was revealed. Hotaru came to the academy with a Double Star rank and distanced herself from others with the help of her inventions (she kept an invention over her head). Because of this, many of her classmates disliked her and bullied her. Hotaru stopped wearing the invention over her head when Iinchou told her that if she gets the Best Student Award, she was allowed to go home. This made Hotaru try hard so she could see Mikan and her parents. She sent a letter to Mikan after a few months, explaining she was fine and that Mikan should be expecting Hotaru to come to the village. This made Mikan worried and she ran away to the academy just to be with Hotaru.

Welcome to Alice Academy

When Hotaru and Inchou are the class representatives, so with the decision of Mikan's transfer, they had to show her around the school. Obviously shocked, Hotaru didn't know that the new student would be Mikan, wonders why she is here, and tells her to stay for a while, because Mikan was crying. She then tells Mikan to stop crying and hugs her but not after calling her “Nose-Drip Girl”and dummy. She and Iinchou then take her to their class and this makes Mikan excited and not listen to Hotaru saying her name. Hotaru then uses her Horse Hoof Glove to hit her and get her to listen. She tells her that she wants to get the Best Student Award. She tells Mikan they should act like they're complete strangers. Hotaru then watches Mikan making a fool of herself by criticizing Natsume and saves her by hitting Mochiage when he tried to punch Mikan. Hotaru told Sumire that she was the only one who could make Mikan cry, and told Mikan that she just lost the chance for the Best Student Award.

Northern Woods Arc

Hotaru goes into the Northern Woods with Mikan and Iinchou, so that their classmates would accept Mikan. Hotaru supplies the ride through the woods with her duck flying scooter invention when Mikan and Inchou were stuck in quicksand and they noticed a sign that had a button saying "Save Me!"; causing one of them to push the button. While in the Northern Woods, they see Mr. Bear and Hotaru hides in her Caterpillar 1 invention to protect her when Mr. Bear starts punching, kicking and throwing Mikan into the air. Iinchou asks Hotaru to help Mikan, so she remote-controlled her giraffe car to pour a bucket full of water on Mr. Bear. The group then leaves before Mr. Bear comes to life. Iinchou explains Hotaru's Alice, which is Invention Alice and how it lets her make inventions, leading Mikan to realize Hotaru was using her Alice while at Mikan's former school. She then tells Mikan that she should learn to take care of herself before coming to the academy, but also says that she and Iinchou will help Mikan so she can get into the academy.

Hotaru then answers Mikan's questions about Natsume and then a hungry Piyo appears. This surprises them and this causes Mikan, Iinchou, and Hotaru to run away. They come across a bush and Hotaru told Iinchou to use his Alice since it has been a while. Iinchou's Alice is Illusion Alice. Inchou uses his Alice to trick Ruka into coming to the Northern Woods so that Ruka could take care of Piyo. When Ruka refuses, she convinces him by telling him that Hotaru would hit Piyo with a sleeping dart. Hotaru then takes pictures and sells them to girls from the elementary branch when Ruka used his Alice on Piyo. When Natsume arrives and threatens Mikan for disobeying the rules, Hotaru saves Mikan, but gets surrounded by Natsume's flames. She is saved by Mikan's Nullification Alice and says that Mikan's Alice is a selfish one that fits her perfectly. But Hotaru is somehow happy that Mikan is now in the academy with her.

After the Northern Woods Arc

She tells Mikan that she is the Technical class with Nonoko and is at the tea party when Mikan was introducing Tsubasa and explains the Mark of Punishment to Mikan. Hotaru is on Mikan's team at the dodgeball match and wears her eggshell mask to protect her face. When Mikan goes in a crazy frenzy, she accidentally hits Hotaru's face since she took her mask off making her get out of the game. This does not stop Hotaru from helping by using her inventions to punish those who broke the rules to not use their Alice. Although in the anime, Hotaru doesn't wear an eggshell mask, but gets out of the game because she said she was bored.

Days later, Hotaru tells Mikan that everyone has to endure with not seeing their love ones, but gives in and helps her. She then attaches an eye sticker to Mikan's letter to hear if Narumi-sensei really did send the letter. Later, she and Iinchou try to give a punished Mikan food, but are unable to do that, so they make Ruka do it. Hotaru then gives Mikan supplies to escape and unfortunately for Mikan, it did not work well. Afterwards, Hotaru starts selling pictures of Ruka dressed as a girl to his fan girls. She had gotten them from using her spy bug invention.

Reo Arc

Hotaru, along with Mikan, Koko, Kitsuneme, and Iinchou, go on a mission to meet Reoby using her inventions. However, Hotaru is caught by one of the doctors at the hospital who thinks she's cute. While Reo is leaving the academy, Mikan reveals that Reo has kidnapped Natsume. Hotaru reacts by throwing a flashbomb to the ground, which gives time for Mikan and Sumire time to run out of the school through the gate of the school. When the teachers doubt Reo's crime, Hotaru shows them the Recorder Ring that Mikan used to record Natsume's kidnapping. Hotaru's Panda Ears become estensial in communcation between Mikan, Natsume, and Sumire who were captured by Reo. At the end, Hotaru later congratulates Mikan for becoming a One Star.

Alice Festival

Hotaru drops a blackmailed picture in front of Ruka and he chases after her. Hotaru and Ruka come across Narumi and Misaki having a conversation about Mikan visiting her grandfather. Hotaru doesn't know Sumire's brother, who admires her, and has a hard time selling her blackmailed pictures. This makes Sumire's brother sad and he leaves. She comforts Mikan who is unhappy that her class is unpopular at the festival and tells her to leave when she she starts struggling and crying under her arm. She helps Mikan beg Natsume to take Mikan to Central Town. Hotaru then hits Mikan with one of her inventions when she got to excited and goes to sell it. She then helps Mikan earn money to buy some Howalon.

Days later, Hotaru is having an auction and one of her items is Pigula Number 3. She demonstrates it and impresses her buyers who look like billionaires from around the world. Sumire explains how Hotaru gained the Technical class' two sponsors and more from the auction, which makes her very impressive. She later hangs around with Mikan at the festival, until an accident occurs. Hotaru approaches the person who took charge of the situation and it turns out to be her brother, Subaru Imai. This surprises everyone who didn’t know Hotaru had a brother and the two go to talk alone (though Mikan and Iinchou were hiding, listening to their conversion and Mikan feels betrayed since Hotaru never told her). It turns out this is the first time they meet, because Subaru was brought to the academy before she was born. The conversation ends when Hotaru asks why he didn't want to see their parents. Subaru states that it was unnecessary to meet them and Hotaru wonders if she will become as cold-hearted as Subaru. She tells Mikan that her parents regretted sending Subaru at the academy before they could teach him the important things in life. Hotaru also says that by meeting Mikan she probably won't become like that.

Hotaru during the Last Dance

Hotaru, at the dance, wears a crown, because she won a individual award. Hotaru has many admirers who wish to dance with her, but she ignores them. After Mikan and Ruka dance, Hotaru grabs Ruka's hand and tells Ruka that Mikan is so slow, which he doesn't understand. She then chooses Mikan to be her partner for the last dance.

Z Arc

Hotaru and Mikan go against the rules and go outside to see the people who stole Iinchou's Alice. Hotaru isn't worried about this, because she heard that the intruders were captured from her Communication Ear Mufflers. Hotaru and Mikan's mission is to put a tracker on a Z member, as she was working hard on this, because Iinchou is an important part of their class and he was the first to approach her when she came to the academy. They hear a loud sound and come across Z members who are unknown to them. Hotaru is hit by a poison bullet that was aimed at security, but was going to hit Mikan. She is severely injured and taken to the hospital for surgery. They are able to take the bullet out without any harm to her, but a new poison was found spreading quickly through her body. Her brother is then put in charge of stabilizing the spread of the poison. While asleep, her first word is "Mother." When she finally wakes up, she calls Mikan a pig for crying and tells her not to cry and that she will be fine. Hotaru's sickness, along with linchou's alice being stolen, causes Mikan, Natsume, Ruka, and Tsubasa to travel to the Z Organization to get a cure for Hotaru's sickness and to get linchou's stolen Alice. To the group's surprise, she lets an invention of hers, Penguin, to tag along. Penguin stays throughout the journey, but it sacrifices itself to get Hotaru's cure. Hotaru is then seen commenting that Penguin is an idiot in her hospital bed. As she wakes up she imagines Penguin at her beside. When she is given the cure from her brother, he tells her that it was from a friend and that everyone spent a lot of effort to get it. Upon being reunited with Mikan, Hotaru tells Mikan she knows everything that has happened (including Penguin's death). She then calls Mikan a crybaby, while wiping away a tear and smiles at her. The two then hug and the rest of Class B (minus Natsume) share a group hug.

Chrismas Ball

Hotaru at the Christmas Ball.

Hotaru, at the ball, meets her brother; which starts a sibling fight. Later, she gives Ruka an unappealing cake, knowing he was the cause for Mikan's odd behavior. Hotaru then hides in an ugly mask to hide from her fans and meets her brother who is doing the same. The two are seen dancing with each other, but both were trying to step on each other's feet.

Hana Hime Arc

Hotaru as she appears in the Hana Hime Arc

Hotaru arranges a surprise party for Mikan’s birthday on New Year’s Day and instructs everyone to pretend they forgot because she finds Mikan more cute when she cries, which makes everyone call Hotaru weird. Tsubasa Andō pulls a prank that causes Hotaru to get stuck to Ruka and Yoichi and they don’t separate after an hour as they were supposed to. Hotaru gets invited into the Hana Hime, with Ruka, Natsume and Youichi tagging along, and also Mikan who won the chance to come. The group arrives and meet Hi-sama, who drools when she meets her. This makes Hotaru ask if Hi-sama is a 'freak', but is told that she is a 'weirdo' who is the protector of the school. Hotaru is separated from Ruka and Yoichi and she is invited by the Hana Hime members and plays games with them.

While Hotaru and everyone were trying to find Natsume, they run into Hayate, who she fought with her fan; which could also produce air attacks. Hayate, who is angry at this, breaks her egg mask with his Alice and gains a huge crush on her. Hayate then follows her asking her questions and she ignores him. As Rui appears, Hotaru hits him with her Baka Gun when Rui tries to attack the group. She then speaks to Rui that her Baka Gun hit him by itself and threatens to hit her Baka Gun at Hayate when he tries to warn her about Rui. Ruka, Mikan, and Hotaru then leave while Tsubasa and Youichi fight to find Natsume.

After hearing Ruka and Natsume's past story, the three split up. Hotaru calls Mikan via Communication Ear Mufflers to inform her they had found Natsume. She is behind Natsume with Ruka telling Mikan to come behind Natsume, because his Alice would protect them from Nobara's Ice Alice. Hotaru, like Mikan and Ruka, gets her neck stung by a bug controlled by Yakumo. After Persona inflicts his Alice on Mikan, Hotaru attempts to use her Baka Gun on him, but Mikan pushes him away, seeing that he could inflict Hotaru, too. She and everyone then go to the hospital to convince her brother, Subaru, to heal Mikan, who was slowly dying from the effects of Persona’s Alice but he says her injuries are too severe. Hotaru rejects this and unsuccessfully tries to blackmail her brother to cure Mikan. She then helped spread the news about Aoi not having an Alice at the academy. Hotaru witnesses Mikan use her second Alice to remove Persona’s alice Stone from inside her. Hotaru stays by Mikan’s side throughout her stay in the hospital until she is discharged. Hotaru and everyone else said goodbye to Aoi at the front gate.

Hotaru was dressed as a codfish

Sports Festival Arc

For the Sports Festival, Hotaru is put on the White Team. She is a participant in the obstacle race and is able to pass through the giant plant stage by using her light bumblebee back to fly over it. At the next stage, the cosplay stage, Hotaru is dressed as a codfish, much to her admirers’ disappointment but they get over it quickly. She makes it in time and weakly throws the baton to Natsume. After the cheerleading competition, Hotaru tries to befriend Luna because she is suspicious of her. She almost gets controlled by Luna's Alice, but is saved by Ruka who interferes, though she is getting out her Baka Gun to hit Luna. During the horseback race, Hotaru is a general for her team and builta robot to carry her teammates. She later grabs Mikan with her robot's arm near Luna, thus encouraging Mikan to fight Luna.

Hotaru was in Mikan's body for a while.

Escape Arc

During the soul shuffle chapters, Hotaru, while in Mikan's body, is confronted by Luna who says that Mikan has the Stealing Alice and it will cause her to lose those precious to her. Hotaru decides to keep this a secret from Mikan

Hotaru is later sent to the principal's office; which is what happened in Mikan's dream the other night. When Mikan is taken to the Elementary Principal's office, she and her classmates secretly follow her, as Hotaru suspects the Elementary Principal plans to transfer her to the Dangerous Ability Class so he can try to use her Stealing Alice for his benefit.

Hotaru is reunited with Mikan when Mikan and Natsume escape from the Elementary Principal and they promise that they will meet up again as Hotaru stays behind to fight the academy police. Sometime later, she gets captured and gets taken to the Hana Hime dungeon but gets saved by Hayate. She and Mikan then are reunited once again and hug. Himemiya reveals that the Elementary Principal plans to punish Hotaru by transferring her to a foreign country. She and her brother, Subaru have an emotional talk that he had never forgotten about their parents and wants to be true siblings with her when she returns.

Time Travel Arc

She later joins in traveling into the past with everyone else. With Mikan's choice to leave the academy to be with her mother, she and Mikan hug, promising that their friendship will last and that they will meet again. Like everyone else, she creates and gives Mikan an Invention Alice stone to help aide her while outside with her mother.

High School Division Arc

In the present time, Hotaru is worried from the news from Megane that her brother is under the control of Luna. When this is confrimed by Subaru standing in the middle of Fuukitai, she tells Mikan to move forward and leave her behind. She remembers their promise theat they would become true siblings when they meet again. Hotaru and Mikan share one last hug and Hotaru shortly kisses Mikan, as a sign of true friendship. Hotaru confesses to Mikan before she teleports, that she loves Mikan as a best friend, thanks Mikan for changing her, and tells her to continue to always smile. However, Mikan is unable to hear Hotaru's words. Jinno says to Hotaru that she will only be hurt for her chose to stay behind. Hotaru says that she wants to know and to feel the hardships Subaru have faced, as a way of bonding as brother and sister. She also says she has no regrets. Hotaru goes to Subaru's side who had been attacked by Jinno. She realizes that he is subconsciously trying to fight Luna's Alice inside him, which causes her to cry. Both of them are saved by Hayate and Youichi, who come to the rescue. After that, she finds out that she is holding Luna's Alice Stone, and realizes that she had the Stealing Alice that belongs to Yuka. When Subaru asks her why she is crying, she says it was a secret and holds his hand as she talks herself that Mikan's Stealing Alice is the most wonderful Alice of all.

Days later, Hotaru attends Yuka’s funeral and asks Mikan where the Elementary Principal is taking her. Instead, Mikan bids farewell to Hotaru and their friends as she leaves with the principal.

Current Arc

Three months later, Hotaru is noticeably sad about Mikan’s absence. She often looks off in the distance, hoping to see Mikan's smiling face. Hotaru comes up with an idea to hide gifts to Mikan in fariy tale books, since letters or gifts will not reach her. She chooses to give Mikan a fairy tale book called "Rose Princess". She makes fun of Natsume for being illogical by creating Alice stones to send to Mikan, that she won't get in the process. Hotaru gives Natsume a book called "Rapunzel" that she feels fits his and Mikan's situation.

Hotaru is at the Christmas dance and is waiting for someone. That person is Mikan who can't come to the party. She sends a Christmas card to her brother who also couldn't go because he was caring for Nobara. Sakurano tells Hotaru that Subaru being who he is didn't react much, but Sakurano could tell that Subaru apperciated and loved her card. When Mikan reads Hotaru's message, it says, "Don't keep on sleeping there."

On New Year’s Day, Hotaru is shocked when she learns Reo has been invited to the academy to host the New Year’s concert but she remains calm, in order not to cause chaos among her fellow classmates. She is able to put her friends at ease and remind them of Mikan's situation that can be further damaged with their rash actions. She gives them an invention she has been working on called Mushroom Earplugs that would be able to somewhat resist Reo's Voice Pheromone Alice. The mushroom earplugs also act as transmittors (so everyone could keep in constant contact) and can only be removed with the remote she has. On the day of the concert, she and the rest of Class B spread out in the theatre to listen on Reo. Hotaru even listens on Natsume, Ruka, Tsubasa, and Tono's conversation. She is surprised at their plan to assasinate the Elementary Principal themselves. This makes her more worried that it will put Mikan in an even deeper situation. She takes part in the fight against the Elementary Principal and his men, which temorarly ends when the injured Elementary Principal escapes. The teachers ask Nodacchi to teleport the students away for their own safety. Hotaru grabs Natsume and asks him to promise her that he will survive the fight and not break what bounds him and Mikan together. Hotaru tells him that if he doesn't promise this to her, she will never entrust him with Mikan. She switches places with him and Ruka, leaving them with the teachers while she leaves with the others. After hearing him promise her, she asks him to take good care of Mikan. She delivers her Baka Canon to Mikan so Mikan can defend herself. She also delivers a jar of medicine pills to Natsume, Ruka, Tsubasa, Tono and the teachers to heal their injuries, as well as tell them where the Elementary Principal is hiding. She telepathically tells them to save their school and save Mikan. After the Elementary Principal is killed by a redeemed Luna, Hotaru and her classmates teleport back to the building, and rush to aid an injured Mikan and Natsume who is dying. Hotaru finds her spider invention in Natsume's collar, and reveals that it was not only a tranqulizer but was to prevent Natsume from overusing his Alice. She hoped it could save his life but is unsure because his body is so severely damaged. When Mikan is unable to revive Natsume by sacrificing her Alices, Natsume is confirmed dead. Feeling that she is partly in fault for using the tranquilizer on Natsume, Hotaru pleads with Nodacchi to travel back in time and save Natsume. She explains Mikan will lose the will to live if Natsume dies after having lost her parents, and she assures Mikan that nothing can destroy the bond between her and Natsume. Before travyto the past with Subaru and Nodacchi, she promises to bring Natsume back to Mikan.

Two weeks later, the day before Mikan is scheduled to have her memories erased and leave the academy, Hotaru finally returns. They share a happy reunion and Hotaru reveals to Mikan that her favorite memory of her is when Mikan came to the academy looking for her. She then knocks Mikan out so that Subaru and Nodacchi can return with Natsume. In a flashback, Hotaru, Subaru, and Nodacchi return to the moment Natsume lost consciousness. Hotaru asks Subaru to heal Natsume while he's still alive, but Nodacchi protests because it is Natsume's fate to die and changing the past will have serious consequences. Hotaru refuses to listen to Nodacchi and tries to give the past Natsume an antidote to heal him. Nodacchi tried to stop her but Hotaru lashes out that Natsume is destined to be with Mikan and no one has any right to say it is Natsume’s fate to die. Subaru stops her and offers to heal Natsume because he doesn't want Hotaru to endure the consequences of changing the past. Natsume is successfully revived, and the two are switched: the alive Natsume is taken by the three and the deceased Natsume is left in the past. As they return to the future, they see Mikan's meeting with the academy council, and learn that she will lose her memories once she leaves the academy. This leaves Hotaru devastated but determined to see Mikan and Natsume reunited and is willing to face the consequences if it means seeing the two together again. Nodacchi permits her to see Mikan, but this causes a disruption in the time realm. Nodacchi warns Hotaru that the effects of alternating history will cause those who know Hotaru and Subaru to lose their own memories of them. Hotaru uses her Mushroom Transmitter to record her voice and sends it to Ruka, whom she instructs to give it to Mikan one day. In midst of it, Hotaru discovers the Alice stone fragment Mikan gave to Natsume a year ago. This overcomes Hotaru, finally understanding just how much Natsume truly loves Mikan. She uses the tiny stone to nullify Nodacchi and Natsume from harm and returns them to the present, while she and Subaru remain trapped. Hotaru apologizes to her parents for her actions but she contends she accepts her fate because her brother will always be with her.

Four years later, Mikan regains her memories but not those of Hotaru, although she still remembers Hotaru’s voice and the feelings she had for Hotaru. Narumi tells her about Hotaru’s disappearance and Ruka gives Mikan the Mushroom Transmitter. Through it, Hotaru wishes Mikan a happy 17th birthday. Wanting to remember more about her, Mikan decides to find Hotaru.

A year later, Hotaru sends some of her inventions to her relative, Shizuka, who is in the Academy. Shizuka has no recollection of Hotaru but had been having dreams about her and enrolls in the Academy go find information about Hotaru. When she doesn’t find any information about her in the academy’s data, she enters into and wins the general election to find information from the upper representatives of the Academy.


Hotaru and Subaru remain trapped in time traveling and often travel to time periods where they are worshipped as deities due to their Alices. At eighteen-years-old, Hotaru manages to briefly return to the present with Subaru and shares an emotional reunion with Mikan, which includes Hotaru posing for a picture with her friends before she has to leave again. Hotaru and Mikan promise once more to meet again.


Mikan Sakura

Mikan and Hotaru share a hug.

Mikan and Hotaru are best friends. They met in third grade and at first, Mikan didn't like her. But, when Hotaru told her that they should be partners in a singing contest, which they got first place in, they became famous in their town. Hotaru is the complete opposite of Mikan, who is cheerful and always smiling while Hotaru is serious and poker-faced. She is the reason why Mikan came to the academy. She gets annoyed with Mikan's constant clinging and tends to insult her or hit her with one of her inventions. However, despite how she treats Mikan, Hotaru truly cares for Mikan and loves her like a sister. She likes seeing Mikan's smile and even says that making Mikan cry while she smiles makes her cuter. In the anime, when Hotaru went to the academy, she made a robot of Mikan so that she wouldn't be lonely. She also tried to get the Best Student Award so that she could go back home to see her parents and Mikan. They are always together, but they fight frequently due to their opposing personalities. Hotaru does not think twice in hitting Mikan with her inventions or insult her, but to her this is tough love for Mikan. Despite this, they truly care about each other and are as close as sisters. In chapter 132 when they say their goodbyes, Hotaru tells Mikan that she loves her, and that it was her, not Mikan, who was helpless and that Mikan has the best Alice among everyone. Mikan's happiness means so much to Hotaru that she is willing to sacrifice anything to see that her best friend is always smiling.

Subaru Imai

He is Hotaru's elder brother, the Representative of the Latent Ability Class, and Shuichi Sakurano's best friend. Both he and Hotaru seemed not to get along together very well although they were siblings.This was shown several times during the Christmas Ball, Valentine's Day, as an education trainee, Sports Festival and during swimming class. It was revealed that before Hotaru was born, Subaru was taken by the academy at the age of 5.When Hotaru was about to go for time-trip, he said that he never forgot about his family, and hugged her as he said that they'll spend more time as siblings.


Hotaru's parents appear to have an affectionate relationship with their daughter. Her mother shed tears as she spoke to Mikan about Hotaru choosing to go Gakuen Alice, so that Mikan's school would stay open. Hotaru's parent's felt guilty for letting her older brother, Subaru go to Gakuen Alice at such a young age before they could teach him about life and love. They decided to hide Hotaru from the academy for as long as they could, so that they could teach her everything they couldn't teach Subaru.

Ruka Nogi

One of Hotaru's hobbies is blackmailing him, such as taking pictures of him in awkward and embarassing situations and sellin

Hotaru taking pictures of Ruka as Snow White.

g them to his animal friends and fans (members of the Natsume-Ruka Fan Club) to get money and food. Ruka does not like her because of her blackmailing him and teasing him, but his resistance only pleases her more to tease him. She is also very aware of Ruka's feelings for Mikan and enjoys to tease him (more accurately torture him) about it.

Funny trick she did with Natsume and Mikan

Natsume Hyuuga

Hotaru is indifferent towards Natsume, who acts the same way. Mikan points out that they have similar personalities: both are poker-faced, blunt, and cold. She is aware of his feelings for Mikan and enjoys teasing him about them. She also knows that he is the one Mikan is falling for, and while she seems to approve of him, she battles with him over Mikan's attention (seen in chapter 142). In chapter 154, she has him promise that he will survive the battle with the ESP and not die, or else she will never entrust him with Mikan. When he promises, she tells him to take good care of Mikan and that only he can protect her. Hotaru expresses sadness when Natsume dies in chapter 167. She convinces Nodacchi to take her to the past in order to change Natsume's fate, and decides to risk being trapped in time in order to see Mikan and Natsume be together forever.


Hotaru has the Invention Alice (発明のアリス Hatsumei no Alice), which gives her the ability to invent many unusual and/or helpful things. Hotaru makes good use of this alice because although she shares her alice with others, her inventions are more popular. Some of her inventions include: Penguin; the Baka Gun; the Horse/Deer Hoof; Wormies; the Flying Swan Scooter; the Giraffe Car; Pigula Number 3; the Egg Mask and the Spy Bug. {C Later on in Chapter 133, it is revealed that Mikan inserted her with a Stealing Alice stone belonging to Yuka Azumi, Mikan's mother. Hotaru used it to steal Luna Koizumi's Soul-Sucking Alice from inside Subaru.

Side Note: It was joked, when they found out had horrible Hotaru's swimming was, that she must have the Non-Swimmng Alice because no one could actually be that bad.


Main article: Hotaru Imai/Inventions


  • The name Hotaru means "firefly" (蛍).
  • Hotaru's surname Imai means "now" (今) (ima) and "well, mine shaft, pit" (井) (i).


Hotaru as a 15 year-old

  • Tachibana Higuchi drew a 15 year version of Hotaru as a part of the 15 year old series during the Z arc.
    • She is Higuchi's favorite character in the series. However, as seen in an author's corner in the manga, while Higuchi was playing the Gakuen Alice video game, she was devastated by Hotaru's cruel behavior.
      • She also likes crabs, fish, peaches and shrimp just like the author does.
  • Hotaru is unable to swim and is so bad at it that she was commented to have a Non-Swimming Alice (it turns out that she actually is able to swim. It seems like she just wanted to spend a little more time with her older brother, who was tutoring her) [2].
  • When Hotaru is angry, such as when she first met Rui Amane and Hayate Matsudaira, Hotaru is described to speak with an Kansai accent.
    • Because of this, it is possible that she is originally from the Kansai region.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Higuchi's Room Profile 2: Hotaru Imai
  2. Chapter 94
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