Ranko Hata is a Second Year (later Third Year) student at Ousai Academy and the Head of the Ousai Academy Newspaper Club. She is notable for several reasons, among them the fact she is drawn slightly differently from other characters (most obviously her lack of a nose) and the fact she makes the most appearances outside of the Student Council members.
In contrast to the energetic and lively girls that make up the majority of characters in the series, Ranko has a quiet, deadpan personality. Her expression is generally neutral, though she occasionally smirks when something interesting happens she can use in her newspaper. When challenged by the Student Council members to demonstrate a smile for a photo session, she was forced to resort to using tape to pull the corners of her mouth up. Despite her default deadpan expression and her typically quiet impression, she acts to the contrary and is very animated, wacky, and comical.
She takes her position as Head of the Newspaper Club seriously and is almost never seen without her camera. A true professional journalist, she claims her camera is as vital as part of her body.
One of Hata's defining character traits is her complete lack of morals when it comes to getting scoops. While she will not outright make things up, she has no problems tweaking information or pictures to make a story more 'interesting'. There is also a suggestion she won't hesitate to sell pictures of people to interested parties (for example, she once joked that she could sell pictures of the sweaty judo club members. Takatoshi wasn't sure she was actually joking.)
Ranko also occasionally causes trouble for no other reason than she thinks it would be funny (or lead to a scoop). For example, she told Uomi that Kaede Igarashi was afraid of boys, leading Uomi to pretend to be a crossdressing boy as a joke. During the Squid and Takatoshi segment of the second anime series, she is aware Takatoshi is innocent of making a mess of the sex toy Aria Shichijō left in the Student Council room, but intends to use the pictures she took anyway.
More commonly, she'll deliberately mishear what someone tells her to make it sound perverted. Her most common target is Takatoshi, though Shino and Kaede are also common targets.
Because Shino is looked up to as the Student Council President, she is one of Ranko's main targets. Shino is well aware of Ranko's personality, and generally keeps her in line. However, there are occasions where Ranko is able to sweet-talk Shino into doing what she asks and return she occasionally does things like deliberately increase Shino's bust size in pictures as favours.
Shino has expressed irritation at Ranko's rumour-mongering of a relationship between her and Takatoshi, but overall the two work well together on things like the Student Council Newsletter.
Ranko and Aria work well together, which can be attributed to the fact they are generally on the same wavelength. Aria has been known to invite Ranko to her family properties and allowed herself to be interviewed.
Ranko is aware of Suzu's two main weak points (her height and her fear of the supernatural) and sometimes deliberately makes fun of her about them. For Suzu's part, she shows Ranko respect as her sempai, but has once or twice threatened violence when Ranko pokes fun at her.
As Takatoshi is the most famous male student in the school (due to his role as Vice President of the Student Council), he is one of Ranko's biggest targets. He treats her with the appropriate respect due a sempai, but doesn't hesitate to cut her off when her comments become too perverted (or when trying to shield Mutsumi from them). Ranko notes that Takatoshi and Shino seem to have a slight attraction to one another, and has deliberately tried to spread rumours in order to capitalise on this.
However, when Takatoshi was asked by the school principal if he had his eye on anyone in chapter 251, a spying Ranko was shocked when Takatoshi replied his eye was on her. He meant that he had to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't twist words or the like, but she was still embarrassed to be around him. Although still not confirmed, this scenario may have triggered Ranko to have a liking to Takatoshi. Takatoshi has also admitted that there are times where Ranko has a cute side, but he is nevertheless extremely wary around her.
Ranko has interviewed Mutsumi several times, but generally her snide comments and innuendos go over Mutsumi's head. Takatoshi also often intervenes, dragging Ranko off before she can finish her dirty jokes or comments. On a few occasions, Mutsumi will ask Takatoshi what Ranko means, but he always refuses.
Ranko enjoys teasing Kaede, often bringing up things which make Kaede nervous (for example, observing that boys might use her table during exams or noting boys watching her during the Ousai Beauty Pagent). On the other hand, Kaede will do her best to interfere with Ranko's attempts to get scandalous pictures or stories. Overall, the two have a boke-and-tsukkomi relationship (with Ranko as the boke and Kaede as the tsukkomi).
Ranko gets along fairly well with Naruko, often going along with requests such as taking pictures of the boy's P.E. classes.
- Hata is consistently drawn without a nose, helping her stand out among the other characters. Her nose is still visible from the side, however.
- Her catchphrases are "Shutter Chance!", "Negotiations have failed." and "This will sell!" (これが売れる！/ Kore ga ureru!)
- She cannot whistle. In fact, her attempts at innocent whistling only makes her look more suspicious.
- She was responsible for the troubles Takatoshi faced during the Squid and Takatoshi Max Power segments of the second anime.
- In the Japanese fandom, Ranko is the fourth most popular pairing with Takatoshi (after Shino, Suzu and Uomi), beating out other girls who are interested in Takatoshi like Mutsumi and Kaede.
- The kanji for her name translates to "Field" (畑)