An amiable person whose forte is communication. Currently serving as Yumenosaki Academy's Student Council President. Mao is cheerful and sociable, but has a tendency to involve himself in the troubles of others. With an encouraging, easy-going singing voice, his performances are energetic and full of flair.
Mao stands at a slightly shorter than average height and has light green eyes. He has red-violet hair that is tied back from the bangs in a small ponytail, fastened with a yellow clip. His hair reaches down to his chin and is styled somewhat messily.
On stage, Mao wears Trickstar's uniform, which includes a red plaid jacket worn over a white shirt and black pants. The jacket’s sleeves are rolled up to three-quarter length, revealing black cuffs with a golden stripe. The lapels as well as the collar and shoulders of the jacket are black, detailed with golden trimming on the edges. Golden tassels fall from his left shoulder. On his right, golden bands connect his shoulder to a four-pointed star on his lapel. He wears a magenta belt, with the end of it falling over as it has not been properly tucked into a belt loop. A red bandana hangs from his belt and drapes down at his right side. It has a black stripe along the bottom and is dotted with tiny silver sparkles. Over that, a golden beaded chain rests on his hips. An outlined star design is attached to the chain as it hangs on his right side. A thick red stripe runs along the sides of his pant legs, with the ends being tucked into his high-top sneakers. The sneakers are black and grey with red detailing, including a Velcro strap over his magenta laces. Mao wears a black fingerless glove on his right hand and magenta and white bangles on his right. He also wears a gold necklace of a four-pointed star— a reference to the four members of Trickstar.
On warmer days, his casual outfit consists of a grey short-sleeved button-down over a white T-shirt with black skinny jeans. The over-shirt has black buttons left undone to reveal the shirt beneath it, which has a yellow rectangle over the chest and white text inside that says “DUNK!” The over-shirt also has navy blue pockets with white buttons over the chest, as well as a navy collar and a thick navy stripe along the end of his sleeves. Mao wears a necklace, but it is tucked underneath his T-shirt. He also wears a bracelet that has two black bands and a red wristwatch on his left hand. His sneakers are black with red accents and laces.
On colder days, his casual outfit consists of a grey high-neck sweater over a tri-colored jacket. The jacket is black on the top, white in the middle, and red at the bottom. A thin bright chartreuse stripe divides the black and white segments across the chest. Under this stripe on the left side is a smaller, thicker red stripe with a silver ring attached to it. The sleeves of the jacket are all black aside from small red detailing at the cuffs. The jacket’s pockets are cut horizontally on the red segment of the jacket; they are black with a silver zipper. The zipper for the jacket is chartreuse. On the collar of Mao’s sweater is a small vertical chartreuse rectangle, while the bottom of the sweater has small black and white rectangles on both the central left and right sides. He wears this with dark grey jeans and white sneakers.
He is usually very friendly and outgoing to anyone he talks to, although he also acts as the rational mediator when things are getting too out of hand. Mao also readily accepts most work, even if it goes beyond what he's physically capable of doing alone. Although this passionate, hard-working attitude is one of his strong suits, many of his faults lie in it as well.
Due to this behavior, Mao tends to let himself get walked over, as he never wants to let people down or fail to meet their expectations. His feeling of wanting to be good enough for everyone heavily affects his self-esteem, and when his abilities are challenged or seen as replaceable, it leaves him in a rough state of insecurity, sadness, and/or makes him feel that he is not the "strong" child everyone expects him to be. Growing up, his parents spoiled his sister much more than him, as they believed Mao to be reliable and would be fine even without their attention.
For this reason, he often keeps his own feelings locked away out of fear of burdening people or making them worry, though he truly is thankful when people worry for him. However, this also causes him to be sensitive to others when they're feeling the same way, and if he can, will attempt to lighten their burden by holding it on his own shoulders. He has a habit of being quite a pessimist, having low self esteem. According to Ritsu, he was a crybaby when he was younger.
In contrast to his nice and reliable persona, Mao can also be blunt and quite rude, often seen in his interactions with Izumi, and his early conversations with Anzu. He describes himself as someone who works behind the scenes and takes on the dirty work, but has mentioned there are times that he loves being in the spotlight, and that being an idol and receiving everyone's attention makes him very happy.
He is very self-sufficient and often helps gather information for Trickstar and helps them out from behind the scenes, to the point that he acted much like a producer to his own unit prior to Anzu's arrival. He has commented on himself being much alike the "bass in a band"—difficult to notice, but the pillars that hold things together. He is easily embarrassed, and can quickly feel awkward with Ritsu's over-affectionate behavior, and gets overly concerned with how he behaves around Anzu. Overall, Mao is naturally a mood-lifting and supportive kind of person, and will always do his best to help and watch his friends succeed. Mao really admires manga protagonists, and has mentioned several times that he's always wanted to be like them.
Mao actually wasn't interested in idols until middle school. He tried the Yumenosaki Academy entrance test just because his middle school friend made a comment about how Mao seems suited to be an idol, and Mao also thought it'd be nice to see Ritsu again in Yumenosaki Academy. Half jokingly, Mao took the test, and passed. Passing the Yumenosaki Academy entrance test with higher score than his normal high schools entrance tests' drove Mao into thinking that maybe he was a genius. Afterwards, Mao began to take the idea of being an idol more seriously. He described himself to have been the one giving "slightly smarter answers during the interview" as he enrolled in Yumenosaki Academy. However, he quickly retracted all his thoughts of being a genius once his attendance at Yumenosaki began, as he eventually met a lot of people who are more skilled in being an idol than him. He stated that he had been mistaking himself as a genius while truthfully he was just your run-of-the-mill average guy.
Mao's name means cat in Chinese (猫), which Ritsu once joked with him over. Subaru’s nickname for him, Sally (Sarii), is a reference to Sally the Witch, as Mao is often praised as a magician who can do anything. The title of Mao’s solo song, "MAGICIAN’S PLAY!", also relates to this theme. Tsumugi commented that during the main storyline, Mao uses the same magic as Switch does. When fine fought Trickstar in DDD, Mao was pit against Wataru for both being "magicians".
- For more information, see: Mao Isara/Family
- Mao's autograph consists of only his first name, rendered in Roman letters. The style is carelessly whimsical.
- According to Ritsu, he was a crybaby when he was younger.
- He is allergic to pollen.
- Ritsu is the root cause of Mao's fear of sharp objects (aichmophobia).
- When Mao feels uncomfortable, he will touch his neck.
- He is the youngest and shortest member of Trickstar.
- He is also both the youngest and shortest third year in Ensemble Stars!! (excluding Anzu)
- Mao is the only one in Trickstar who has a sibling (younger sister).
- In Rockin' Star, it's revealed that he can play the guitar, and in Koga's idol story, Wolf Will Rock You 2, it's revealed that he can also play the bass.
- He has a tendency to prostrate himself in order to resolve a situation.
- Mao was originally a "gender-swapped" version of Mai Anjo from Ensemble Girls!
- Growing up, his parents spoiled his sister much more than him, as they believed Mao to be reliable and would be fine even without their attention.
- He can play soccer and used to be quite good when he was younger.
- Ritsu is able to successfully hypnotize Mao and put him to sleep using the sound of his singing voice.
- Mao really admires manga protagonists, and has mentioned several times that he's always wanted to be like them.
- He is one of the few character who hasn't called Ritsu's sweets disgusting, the other being Rei. He describes them as "novel".
- He is one of the few characters who knows that Keito is Mizuhanome-sensei.
- He has been helping the Student Council since his 1st year, but it took him a while to join.
- During his 1st year, he was one of the top students in his class.
- Mao's name means cat in Chinese (猫), which Ritsu once joked with him over.
- Subaru’s nickname for him, Sally (Sarii), is a reference to Sally the Witch and Mao is often praised as a magician who can do anything. The title of Mao’s solo song, "MAGICIAN’S PLAY!", also relates to this theme. Tsumugi has commented that Mao uses the same magic as Switch does in Revenge Match - in (!) main story, when fine fought trickstar in DDD, Mao was pit against Wataru for both being "magicians".
- Mao always gets a lot of chocolate during Valentine's.
- Mao sits next to Subaru in the 3-A classroom. It is said that he is used to sharing his textbook with Subaru, who forgets to bring his own more often than not.
- According to Natsume, Mao is a type of person who is not easily fall for magic.
Voice Actor Comment
"Isara Mao-kun, the character I was in charge of, is a second year student and a member of the Basketball Club. He's the kind of character who, just when you thought he was being a little blunt and unsociable, turns out to be surprisingly friendly and attentive. I guess that's why he seems to have a lot of lines which suggest a worrywart tendency (laugh)." (Enstars!)
"" * (Enstars!!)
|Trickstar||Hokuto Hidaka • Subaru Akehoshi • Makoto Yuuki • Mao Isara|