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Tina was born in the United States, possibly Texas, but spent the majority of her life in Hakata, a ward in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. She attends Meiritsu University with Kaoru, and was the one who convinced him to join the photography club, of which she's also a member. She moves into the servant house that Kaoru is staying in because she had no place to stay after returning to Japan from a year-long trip around the world. She has a habit of greeting females by groping and fondling their breasts from behind, which most people find very uncouth (and frustrates Kaoru to no end). She's loud and outspoken and very protective of Kaoru when it comes to Mayu. She's also very fond of drinking and has an enormous capacity for alcohol...but still pays the inevitable price in hangovers. She has a white pet ferret, named Uzume, which most of the cast finds very cute, except, initially, for Miyabi.
Tina is also an experienced swimmer, and coaches Chika's swim team for a time during the second series.
In many respects, Tina is one of the more deeply developed — and somewhat tragic — characters of the show, despite her ditzy behavior. Being an American, and yet having been raised in Japan, she's constantly haunted by the fact that she can never truly fit in either country. When she left Japan to attend high school in America, she explained that she was unable to fit in there because she was culturally Japanese. But she also realizes that she can never truly fit in Japan either, because of her appearance. Tina wishes that she'd been born Japanese, so that perhaps she'd have a better chance at winning Kaoru's heart.
Tina is very deeply in love with Kaoru, but pains her heart with efforts to hide her feelings, because she thinks that he could never feel the same way about her. Towards the end of Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi she realizes that Kaoru loves Aoi, and that her own opportunity to win his heart has passed.
In the final chapter, which happens four years after she has returned to the US, she returns to Japan to visit the rest of the cast. Notably, she has cut her hair short. She closes out the series by showing Kaoru and Aoi through the viewfinder of her camera.