Since I've posted previously on Akatsuki no Goei as a trilogy, I thought I would instead make a description of the setting and a list of characters and their roles in the story, with a personal assessment attached. I'm pretty sure I missed at least one of the Route C heroines, but there are so many of them...
The setting of the Akagoei series (several generations before the events in the Reminiscence series, incidentally) is in a fictional version of Japan. In this version of Japan, the difference in wealth between those at the top and those at the bottom has reached such a level that the lowest of the low have been essentially exiled for over a generation into abandoned parts of the great cities called Forbidden Zones. How it reached that point is rarely touched on in the story, but one of the primary reasons given is excessive interference of corporate/moneyed interests in government and social education, resulting in a society that rejects failures and the children of failures absolutely. Children born in the Forbidden Zones don't have family registries, so they can't get jobs or rent apartments, much less climb the social ladder. It is a society where it is easy to fall down the social pyramid but nearly impossible to rise, and the wealthy are raised to consider the poor to be garbage and those born in the Forbidden Zones as not being human (the latter also applies to the rest of society). Obviously, this is a society on the verge of collapse, but like many nations that experienced a long age of prosperity, most people don't realize it.
The degree to which wealthy people in this world retain their wealth is fairly ridiculous. Wealthy families tend to remain wealthy, and as a result, wealthy families have become a new aristocracy, with all the privileges such a class can receive (ranging from virtual immunity to prosecution to being able to break anyone below them on a whim).
The school Kaito attends is one for rich girls and young men training to be bodyguards. Bodyguard students who make it through the first year of training are assigned to a rich girl as a bodyguard.
In some ways, Akagoei can be considered an example of what a society that goes too far in holding onto a capitalism as an ideal might end up as. It is undeniably a dystopia, but the number of people who actually realize it is a dystopia is extremely low due to those most harmed by its social policies being marginalized and forced to flee into the Forbidden Zones in the generations immediately before Kaito's own.
Asagiri Kaito (Protagonist)
Kaito is probably the single strongest non-fantasy, non-sci-fi protagonist in all of the VN world. I say 'strong' in both the physical and psychological sense of the word. This is the kind of guy who can take apart an anti-terrorist squad with his bare hands. He is also capable of surviving torture with no real psychological after-effects, primarily because none of it is worse than what he experienced as a child. When we think of protagonists with horrid pasts, I think most VN-addicts who have played the Grisaia series will mention Yuuji... but Kaito's past is far more horrific, without any of the saving graces that transformed Yuuji into the character he was in the Grisaia series. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse (from both sexes), he's been through them all. What resulted is a young man who has absolutely no interest in how people see him and no hesitation about acting on a whim. Don't expect empathy from Kaito, because in his worldview, the world is made up of the strong and the weak and he is one of the strong. That said, he has a tendency to show a deep love for those few people he cares about, even to the point of ignoring his own physical well-being. The problem with that is that it is really, really hard to get that close to him in the first place, lol. That said, to call him amoral is a bit off the mark. While his basic moral compass was formed around paranoiac levels of suspicion of others and a belief in the value of strength above all other things, he is actually quite reminiscent of Shin Koihime Musou's Sun Ce at times, possessing a wide capability for accepting others - flaws and all - that you don't see in people bound by conventional morality. This atmosphere of generalized acceptance is what seems to attract so many of the characters in the Akagoei games to him, one way or the other.
Some extra comments on the differences between Kaito in the original and Kaito in Akagoei 3: Kinugasa, the writer of the Akagoei series, is well known for disliking giving his readers a sense of certainty about endings and characters. As a result, there are some slight differences in Kaito's attitude in the first and third games. This seems to be deliberate, as he used Anzu's path in 2 to create the base for understanding how Kaito acts in 3... particularly in Route C.
Nikaidou Reika (Heroine/1/2/3)
Though the Akagoei series doesn't have a true heroine, it does have a main heroine... and it is this girl. This red-headed, twin-tailed tsundere is the central heroine of the series. She has a full route in all three games (something no other heroine can brag of), and she is the center of Kaito's interest during much of the three games. She is extremely misanthropic (her active distaste for the presence of other people is real, not faked), considering only a very select group of people worthy of being at her side (her sister Aya, the maid Tsuki, and - sometimes - Kaito). She is also highly intelligent and generally capable... for a teenage rich girl. That said, she is no super-woman, and she isn't trained in martial arts, so your first meeting with her involves Kaito saving her from kidnappers, resulting in her choosing him as her bodyguard (threatening him with a stun-gun all the time). Since her father despises Kaito from the beginning (with reason, though that isn't explained until the end of her path in the first one), her romance is opposed extremely by him.
Nikaidou Aya (Heroine/1/2)
One of the heroines of Akagoei 1 with an after-story in 2. She is Reika's twin sister and the Principal (the person being guarded) of Miyakawa Takanori, one of Kaito's fellow bodyguard students. She isn't as openly strong-willed as her sister, primarily because she isn't accustomed to getting her way through raw force of will. However, she does have an iron core, albeit one wrapped in silk. Her role in the first game is as a 'jewel', the type of heroine the dark-natured Kaito sees as 'bright' and beautiful from the beginning. However, in comparison to the other paths in the original Akagoei, hers is somewhat weak. This is perhaps because she fell in love with Kaito at first sight (a cliche that tends to weaken any decent story). She is also a heavy gamer, though she believes she is hiding this from everyone else. She is also surprisingly sharp-tongued when she feels safe to be so.
Kurayashiki Tae (Heroine 1/2)
Tae is the first Akagoei's resident airhead. She is the daughter of Kurayashiki Akiko, a genius scientist who specializes in AI, cybenetics, and robotics. While she seems bright and cheerful on the surface, she actually is very lonely, not having any friends other than the android Yuuki. She is the type of person who only has two settings when it comes to relationships with others... 0% or 100%. As a result, you are either her friend/lover or you are a complete stranger. While she apparently has some degree of hidden talent inherited from her mother, her inherent dislike of studying in particular and thinking in general means that she can barely write her own name, lol. Her path in the original is fairly straightforward, due to a lack of familial opposition... but it is questionable whether Kaito considers her to be much more than an adorable but stupid pet.
One of the main heroines of the original Akagoei. She is the head maid of the Nikaidou Family, despite being the same age as Reika and Aya (there is a good reason for this). In the story, she frequently serves as an advisor to Reika, while fighting playfully with Kaito. Her loyalty lies entirely - and obsessively - with Reika and her family, with reasons that make perfect sense, though you won't find out about them except in her path. She is perhaps the frailest of the heroines, psychologically, with a seriously traumatic past that vies, in its own way, with Kaito's own, though it still loses out in the end. She is also the only one of the five main heroines of the original Akagoei not to be an ojousama. She is pretty much the only character that can keep up with Kaito's verbal antics.
Kanzaki Moe (Heroine/1/2)
Moe is the granddaughter of a powerful political and economic figure, Kanzaki Dengorou and a student of Kanzaki-style Kobujutsu. While she is intelligent, she is fundamentally innocent, politically naive, and more than a little detached from reality. Kaoru, Kaito's former roommate, is her bodyguard. Moe loves food and has an endless appetite, and she can be incredibly stubborn at times. Her heroine path is a split-off from the path in 1 that leads into Akagoei 3.
It is hard to explain Kaoru without spoiling Kaoru's secret, so I'm going to avoid any details. Kaoru was Kaito's roommate and fast friend during their first year at the school for bodyguards, and, after that first year, Kaoru became Moe's bodyguard. Kaoru's personality seems harsh on the surface, since Kaoru is always yelling at Kaito for various reasons. However, Kaoru is actually very kind-hearted and close friends with Kaito, despite his rude and crude nature. Kaoru's path leads directly into the events in Akagoei 3.
Anzu is the closest thing to family Kaito has... the only person living who knows most of his past. She also loves him with a single-minded devotion that is touching, despite him rejecting her repeatedly. Her path in the second game is the story of Kaito's past in detail, from his early childhood to the moment he met Satake. While she has a temper, she is fundamentally incapable of actually hating Kaito or remaining angry with him.
Kiyomi (Heroine 3)
Kiyomi is one of the Route B heroines from Akagoei 3. She is Takanori's older sister and a high-ranking detective assigned to deal with a certain case related to the Forbidden Zone. She, like her younger brother, is a class bigot, with a sense of her own social superiority and a belief in correctness of the 'chosen DNA' philosophy their increasingly oligarchic society is based on. That said, underneath all that, she is something close to fair-minded despite her prejudices. She is also a decent cook and a good person at heart. However, those prejudices are so strong that they blind her. This is actually a disease inherent in most people in the setting, a sort of enhanced version of the way Japanese regard social outcasts now.
Miyagawa Takanori (Minor Antagonist/Rival/Friend)
Takanori is Kiyomi's elitist younger brother and one of Kaito's fellow bodyguard students. He is very straight-laced and shares his sister's bigoted attitude toward the lower classes and belief in the system that he lives within. He is one-sidedly in love with Reika, but he frantically makes excuses whenever Kaito points this out. He dislikes Kaito intensely, feeling antagonized by Kaito even when he isn't. He is one of Kaito's favorite targets for practical jokes, precisely because of his attitude and straight-laced nature. He grows somewhat during the series, though he never does overcome his prejudices to any significant degree.
The principal of the school and the individual who dragged Kaito into entering the bodyguard training program. He is a balding man in black sunglasses who was apparently Kaito's father's friend at one point. His motives are opaque and he has a strong relationship with Reika's father.
Hiiragi Akemi (Heroine 3/Teacher/enemy?)
Akemi is Kaito's homeroom teacher and one of a number of teachers tasked with overseeing the bodyguard candidates. Kaito dislikes her on first sight, due to, in his words, the murderous intent she constantly directs at him. She is constantly smiling and apparently cheerful, never showing her true face to anyone at the school. She is one of the Route B heroines in Akagoei 3. While she can't be considered a good person, she isn't really an evil person either. Her feelings toward Kaito are personal and have good reason behind them, though you won't find out why until the third game.
Haku (Heroine 3/watcher/???)
A mysterious woman who has a disease that keeps her permanently in child form. While she looks like an eleven or twelve year old girl, she hasn't changed significantly in appearance since his early childhood, and from her own statements, she doesn't have long to live. Her first appearance is in Akagoei 2, during Anzu's path's retelling of Kaito's past. Her only interest in life is watching over Kaito. She is one of the Route C (Forbidden Zone) heroines.
Shouko (Heroine 3/Blind)
Ryou's younger sister. She is blind and apparently frail, with a fragile manner and a tendency to constantly flinch from the words and touch of others. She is one of the heroines in Route C of Akagoei 3.
Ryou (Antagonist/Old Friend/Bodyguard)
A professional bodyguard that appears on the scene near the beginning of Akagoei 3 to fill in for Kaito. He is something of a ladies' man, with no real inhibitions or hesitation about doing what he wants. He is a bit obsessed with Reika and believes the whole world is destined to fall at his feet. Definitely a narcissist.
Makoto (side-character/bodyguard student/kouhai)
A first-year bodyguard student from a commoner family. He has a poor attitude in general, and he frequently lashes out at others without cause. His role in the story is minor, with him only taking central stage briefly in Akemi's and Sayo's routes.
Sayo (sub-heroine, ntr target)
Sayo is Makoto's osananajimi and is half in love with him. Her path occurs as part of Path B and getting involved with her essentially means stealing her from Makoto, briefly. While her path doesn't add much to the game, her presence does help build the setting, since she is pretty much the only 'pure commoner' girl in the story.
Kokudou Kyouka (sub-heroine/2)
A sub-heroine only available during the fandisc, Akagoei 2. She is an arrogant young woman who shares Kaito's love of reading. She has two bodyguards, Anzu and Raita. She is generally foul-mouthed with them and more than a little testy.
Raita (bodyguard student/friend?)
A bodyguard student from the same year as Kaito, he is Kyouka's bodyguard. He is an otaku and morbidly obese. However, he is also the third-ranking student from his year in the bodyguard course. That said, he is perverted, foul-mouthed, and lazy. Not only that, but he is more than a little misogynistic... basically the stereotypical scum-otaku (the type that faps to figurines and puts down real women at every turn). He also stinks... a lot.
Kaede (swordswoman/loli/heroine route C 3)
Kaede is one of several heroines only available in route C of Akagoei 3. She is a loli, as well as being a master swordswoman (she makes Kaoru look like a wimp). She is reticent, preferring to talk with her sword, only saying precisely what is necessary to carry out her work. However, she attaches like a little silent koala to those few people she does care about.
Mai (sadistic serial killer/heroine route C 3)
A sadistic torturer and one of the heroines available in route C of Akagoei 3. She has a very Bonnie and Clyde attitude toward life, loving nothing more than demonstrating her superiority in combat over others... usually through bloody massacres. She is also a prolific torturer, drugging and destroying people on a whim, simply because she feels like it. She has never had a friend in her life, and she is an almost complete sociopath.
Shion (Chinese/cold/side-heroine 3)
Shion is a half-Chinese girl and the sister of Ryuu, a professional bodyguard who becomes Kaito's friend. She loathes Japanese people (she has good reason) and, outside of her own path, she is generally cold and distant in manner. Even in her own path, she is extremely thorny. The only person she cares about is her older brother Ryuu. Her path is short and she is basically a sub-heroine.
Ryuu (Chinese/Bodyguard/Friend 3)
A professional bodyguard from China who came to Japan in search of fame and fortune. Like his sister, Shion, he dislikes Japanese people, but he is far more practical and at ease in his own skin than Shion is. Generally speaking, he is easygoing in manner, but he is capable of a certain degree of cold calculation.
Naoto is one of Takanori's many siblings, a man in his late thirties who has found success as the bodyguard of a powerful politician. Like Takanori and Kiyomi, he is very class-conscious and elitist, but he has enough experience of the world to be able to get along with people from other classes to a degree. He is quite capable, but he is also very well-aware that a lot of his fame is due to good fortune rather than raw ability. This self-awareness is perhaps his most attractive quality as an individual, even as his elitism is the least.
Nikaidou Genzou (Parent/Wealthy)
Reika and Aya's father. He hates Kaito on first sight and only puts up with him because Reika is unwilling to tolerate any other bodyguard's presence. Like many of his class in the current age, he is excessively class-conscious and elitist. Whether he realizes it or not, he is a living representative of much of what is wrong with his society's upper levels, even as Kiyomi and Naoto are.