Arai went to the same middle school as Haruhi. He is bright but shy, rather normal, and is on the soccer team. He used to have a crush on Haruhi. He even confessed to her and asked her out, but she mistook his words for something else. He took the fact that she didn't recognize what he was saying as a sign of rejection. He has since gotten over her (kinda), but he is glad to see and talk to her again. He works at Arai Grocery (his uncle's shop) in Karuizawa as a summer job. He is rather forgiving, since he doesn't let Hikaru's rude behavior phase him.