Shinobu is incredibly skilled in the kitchen, having learned how to cook from her mother while working at their family's restaurant and over time she became naturally adept to the skill. Though she normally has a habit of putting down her own abilities to cook and do anything else, she is quite pleased to know that the other residents of Hinata enjoy her cooking and praise her for doing such a good job at preparing a delicious meal. She also enjoys cleaning as well, for she does the laundry around the girls dorm, which gives off the appearance of her being the perfect housewife. When she's not doing that, she's around the other tenants, helping them with anything they might need an extra hand for. She's still somewhat shy but she can and has been making more of an effort to get out there and make more friends, especially with some of the newer tenants, which are probably more like herself when she was younger. She has a lot more confidence in herself as well her abilities to do more things and tries to encourage some of the younger female tenants to do the same by giving them helpful life advice as best she can.
Shinobu handles alcohol very badly as she becomes immediately drunk by drinking only a half a glass, thus she stays away from it knowing that she can't hold her liquor. Initially, she was always jealous of the original female tenants like Kitsune, Naru and Motoko because their appearances were more appealing than her own. Mainly in the breast area as she later developed an crush on Keitaro and felt that she wasn't attractive or smart enough to be with someone like him, however, this changed as she got older and her body as well as her personality matured a little more. It is obvious that she dislikes being lied to for it took her awhile to get used to Keitaro all over again after he lied about being a student at Todai when she first met him when he wasn't. She becomes weary of someone who doesn't tell the truth about themselves and makes it hard for her to trust them. They would have to prove to her that they're not all that bad of a person before they can regain her trust. Shinobu also has a great dislike for scary movies and becomes very frightened at the special effects in them despite the fact that's all they are and none of it is real. She would have nightmares about the villains in the movie coming to get her and wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Shinobu is still shy around guys and tries her hardest not to be put into awkward situations with them, whether they are accidental or unintentional.
Shinobu was originally the height of 5'2 with short shoulder length black hair but as she got older, she'd let it grow past her shoulders and wears it up in a ponytail along with having dark blue eyes. She wears a lot of casual clothing that involves dresses and skirts but does like the occasional capri pants and regular jeans and shorts from time to time.
Shinobu Maehara is the daughter and only child to Yashuhara and Juliet Maehara who had gone to stay at the Hinata Sou Inn at the age of twelve due to the fact that her parents were going through a difficult time with their marriage due to them getting a divorce. Her parents originally had owned their own restaurant to make ends meet to take care of themselves and their daughter but due to the divorce, most of their money had been poured into the attorney fees and custody battles. Shinobu had been put in the middle of her parents bickering relationship since they were the type of people who couldn't agree on anything, fighting all the time to a point where there has been some physical activity between them. She was scared that her father might hurt her next and ran away from home because she couldn't take all the constant fighting anymore and took up residence at Hinata, a dormitory for girls but has expanded over the years to where there's a boys dorm adjacent next door.
Being young at the time and didn't really know how to live on her own, she had a little help from the residents of the girls dorm. She resides in room three where she almost always hid out most of the time unless she came out of her room to cook or do chores. She was a very quiet and reserved child, staying to herself all the time for she was very shy around others, especially males. She's quite skilled in both cooking and household chores as she became the inn's resident cook and everyone enjoys the food that she prepares. She is overly caring of the feelings of others and this contributes to her own emotional frailty. After only a few months of staying there, she eventually warms up to the other female tenants and becomes friends with them. Out of all of them, she is the most friendliest, no one against or disliking her for any particular reason. Though she would always keep her distance from the boys dorm since some of the old male tenants who lived there at the time had a tendency to flirt with her only to back away when either Naru or Motoko came to her aide.
As for how her parents felt on her living situation, neither of them liked it. They were disappointed in the fact that she ran away from home without telling them where she had gone. Her mother Juliet greatly disapproved of her daughter staying at the inn because she thought of the girls that already lived there to be 'immoral'. And while her father didn't like the idea of her living around a bunch of strangers, he decided to let it go, believing it to be the best place for Shinobu as long as she felt safe and was well taken care of and had no qualms about sending her money to be able to help with the rent for her to continue to stay there until she becomes old enough to find a job of her own and foot the bill herself. Besides, he didn't want her to see him and her mother fighting anymore or hims striking her mother out of anger. Though Juliet was still against the idea because she didn't like the idea that the girls dorm was right next to a boys dorm where she assumed a bunch of potential sex offenders to strike at any moment. But no matter how much her mother pleaded with her to come home, Shinobu wouldn't do so. She refused to do so.
So her mother eventually gave up and once the divorce was final with her ex-husband, they went their separate ways but would check up on her from time to time without her awareness. Shinobu was just glad to be somewhere that she enjoyed staying and was actually wanted. She'd gotten used to her comfortable non-rowdy life at the girls dorm until an unexpected visitor and new landlord by the name of Keitaro Urashima came popping up into her life as well as the lives of the other tenants. At first, she becomes frightened by him and the fact that he was at the time temporarily going to be staying in the girls dorm but soon that fright had disappeared when she believed him to already be a Todai University student and it'd made her want to strive harder in school to do the same even though her graders were unfortunately at the time very poor and there was no hope for her at all to make it into such a difficult university with poor grades and a poor GPA. But despite that, she was given the confidence that she could succeed in doing anything. However, after finding out that Keitaro had lied about being a Todai student, she immediately didn't trust him anymore, reverting back to her reserved and quiet nature.
And no matter what Keitaro did to try and make up for it, she wouldn't talk to him. That is until he was the only one who remembered her birthday and apologized to her for lying about being a Todai student but that doesn't mean he's going to give up and will do his best on the entrance exam and get in. He also told her not to give up on her own dreams and that she can do what she wanted and be the person she wanted to be. But more importantly, he wanted her to be happy and smile. Such a thing was so heart warming that it was something she'd always remember. The first time that a guy had been so honest and kind to her to remember such a special day. After this, she immediately develops something of a crush on Keitaro after that which develops into a full-fledged infatuation the longer he stayed around as he'd became the girls dorm new landlord thanks to his grandmother handing it over to him to take care of while she traveled around the world. Her confidence level starts to increase more bit by bit to where she becomes openly jealous of his relationship with the other girls that she starts taking notice in her own appearance and body, believing that she wasn't good enough to be with someone as kind and great like Keitaro.
As she got older, she slowly came more and more out of her shell but steady retains some of her shyness around other guys until she gets to know them. She'd graduated about a year ago from T-A Private Girls Academy along with Koalla Su and thanks to Keitaro helping her with her studies, she graduated with better grades and a high GPA. She even gathered up the courage to take the Todai University entrance exam and while she tried to get into the school last year, she failed the exam but this time around, she'd managed to pass it and will be taking classes there this upcoming fall. Now, being nineteen years old, Shinobu has grown out her hair, become more mature and she still persists to crush on Keitaro despite knowing that her feelings for him are completely inappropriate because of their difference in age. But she hasn't forgotten those kind words he spoke to her when she was twelve and takes them to heart as she is striving to become a professional cook in hopes of starting her own business someday. She had began to start contacting her parents who surprisingly are on good terms with one another after all these years. They seem to get along better as friends than being married to one another and Shinobu couldn't be more happy for them, especially now since they had been gotten remarried to other people.
- In the Manga (chapter 1), Naru says that Shinobu is 13 years old (despite she was only 12 at that time), but in Chapter 4, Keitaro says that Shinobu is in 9th grade, despite 9th graders are generally 14-15, so Shinobu should actually be in 7th grade at that time since she goes from 12 to 13 years old during that school year.
- As noted in chapter 5, Shinobu’s height is 147cm, her BWH measurements are 68.52.72
- A hair strand on the right of her face was added in later manga volume.
- Her birthday year was changed from 1985 to 1993 to make her appear the age that she was at the end of volume 14.