Before starting this post, I’ve something to declare. If you haven’t read the Manga before, please don’t read this article, try something else on TheAkiba; if you have watched the Anime but haven’t read the Manga, stop reading; if you have read the manga, well, come with me and I’d like to show you what and how I feel about this story. (Check out Wikipedia to find out more about Ichigo 100%)
Seriously I don’t like Harem Anime and Manga. The protagonists in these Animes are always, say, have nothing to be appraised and are always surrounded by lots of beautiful girls. The most disappointed thing is that they don’t make choices. This is normal when you like all those different girls and don’t want to hurt them. But it does not change the status and the relationship with all the characters. The first time I noticed about Ichigo 100% dated back to about six or seven years ago when I was still a high school boy. And the first time I noticed about the Manga Ichigo 100%, I didn’t take it very seriously and read a few chapters and said goodbye to this story forever. Nothing is special to me, a useless protagonist and lots of beautiful girls. The only thing I can find in these Animes and Mangas is the happiness of watching those beautiful girls, nothing more.
It costs me seven years to realize that I was wrong. I should keep on reading Ichigo 100%, may be I should just read it as a normal Harem Mange which will give me interests of beautiful girls to keep on reading. But I didn’t, though I watched a few episodes of the Anime, I still didn’t get any interests.
Later, or rather three days ago when I accidentally decided to continue reading this Manga I found out this is not a Harem, but one that deserve much more attention, at least of myself.
To my readers who have already read the Manga, not sure who among the four heroines you like most, as you can see from the topic of the article, my favorite one is Tsukasa. I guess lots of people have the same feeling as I do. What makes Tsukasa distinguished from the rest? What makes Junpei makes his decision to love Tsukasa only? There’re lots of questions to ask and lots of answers we can find.
Right started from the Kokuhaku, I kept on thinking why Tsukasa accept Junpei and being his girl friend. A normal looking boy who filled his head with Ichigo Pantsu (Strawberry-print panties) (this is how Tsukasa say to Junpei in the first chapter of the story). May be it’s the special way Junpei Kokuhaku that moved Tsukasa but think deeper, Tsukasa is not that silly, Tsukasa has her own way of thinking. Being the most popular girl in the middle school (later in high school), Tsukasa has lots of fans and why she chose Junpei, we have answer in the coming episodes. Tsukasa knew about Junpei a year ago before the Kokuhaku. To me, Tsukasa’s feeling towards Junpei is based on appreciation in the first place, like something that will move her heart. May be some part of their characteristics are identical but most of them are not. Unlike Aya, Tsukasa has different dreams from Junpei. Unlike Satsuki, Tsukasa will not stick together with Junpei and unlike Yui, Tsukasa doesn’t know what Junpei looks like and how he lived in his younger age. Tsukasa, to me, is always the fartest one from Junpei, but the most delicated one.
Tsukasa doesn’t have the same dream as Junpei, so she gave up the chance of staying with Junpei in the same high school but gave it to Junpei himself, and gave Aya the chance to being with Junpei since they have the same dream, of one being a novelist and one a director. Tsukasa chose to stay away from Junpei, tried to forget him since she had already know that the one Junpei liked is Aya. In the last day of the middle school, when Tsukasa took the second button of the coat of Junpei and at that time, we all knew that Junpei’s heart fell towards Aya, so did Tsukasa. So she gave up, in a way to try to search for her own dream, just as she said. At that moment, most of us might think that Tsukasa is say goodbye to Junpei, and to me in the first place, it’s the same. What I felt at that moment is that Tsukasa would not being an important character of the series in the following chapter and Aya would become the heroine.
So when the first time Junpei met Tsukasa in the high school time, I was a little puzzled. Tsukasa was totally but not entirely different. She was in a longer hair and at that moment a lover in cooking. I suddenly noticed that what Tsukasa said is true, she’s not giving up Junpei though she had decided to. Just as Tsukasa said in the later chapters, when the first time they met in the high school period which is about four months without any contact, she was trying to break up with Junpei. But when they actually met, when Junpei saved her from the bother of a few young men, she thought she still liked him.
Tsukasa is always covering herself, tries to hide the true feeling. On September 16th, the first birthday of Tsukasa in high school period, Tsukasa was waiting for Junpei’s phone call for a whole day. At that time, Junpei was just coming back from the camp (this is a little bit different from the Anime). Upon receiving Junpei’s call, Tsukasa said she wanted to meet him. It was ten in the evening, Junpei rushed towards Tsukasa’s home since he felt the sorrow in Tsukasa’s voice on the phone. Tsukasa was waiting for him, holding two cakes in the hand. Junpei didn’t know it was Tsukasa’s birthday until then and Tsukasa only asked for shaking hand as the birthday present. And when the next time they met in Tsukasa’s room, Tsukasa was ready to give everything to Junpei, but at that time, Junpei didn’t know who he love the most and cannot reply Tsukasa. Just as Tsukasa said later, this time, they officially broke up.
Though breaking up, we all know Tsukasa was still in love with Junpei. Tsukasa’s feeling towards Junpei is different from the rest of three, and upon the breaking up, it was Junpei that broke the relationship. The first time I read the Manga, I thought that this is the end of the relationship and Tsukasa will no longer be the important character the second time. But later proved to be wrong.
Upon that period, Junpei had no connection with Tsukasa, they are not couples anymore, they went to different high school, and there’s no way that they can be together. In the first Valentine’s Day in high school, Junpei received the chocolate from Tsukasa but thought that the present was presented by Satsuki. Tsukasa then had no connection with Junpei, but with the help of Yui, Junpei finally knew the chocolate was given from Tsukasa. But it didn’t seem to matter any more, may it was like what Tsukasa put it that the chocolate was only a form of thanks towards Junpei, nothing more. They were no longer couples. Though later Tsukasa helped Junpei from getting out of Oumi Academy, their relation no longer exists.
If it was not the movie that Junpei wanted to make, the two won’t come back together again. Though Junpei had a part time in the theater right beside the bread house where Tsukasa had her part time job. If it was not the misunderstand of Junpei that Tsukasa liked the owner of bread house, they probably won’t come back together. The hug made them understood each other. They spent the second birthday of Tsukasa together in the middle school that they both attended.
Maybe there are lots of fans who haven’t read the Manga think that Tsukasa is using some strategies to attract Junpei. But this is definitely not the truth, the readers of the post should know that Tsukasa’s true character. Supportive, understanding and optimistic. Though the four heroines have different characteristics, Tsukasa has the one that I love.
I was sad when Tsukasa seeing Junpei and Aya was about to kiss in the high school trip. Tsukasa, though optimistic and always tells what she feels, she does always hide some true feeling in her heart. May be she doesn’t want Junpei to feel sorry, but she is the one that really suffers. There was a period that Junpei felt down when Tsukasa works well with the owner of bread house. It was at the last birthday in the high school when Junpei and Tsukasa went to date together that Tsukasa said she wanted to be together again with Junpei. Later Junpei was moved by Tsukasa’s kind and understanding and the two finally be a couple again.
In the high school period, the triangle love among Junpei, Tsukasa and Aya is the main line of the story. Aya is the girl that Junpei should love. The two matches the best among all the heroines, even fans of Tsukasa will admit that. Junpei and Aya have the same dream and they work well together, supporting each other. If Junpei said he love Aya or Aya said she love Junpei some time before Tsukasa and Junpei being together again, Junpei and Aya would sure be couple and it’s the best couple that I can find in the Ichigo 100% series even I’m a fans of Tsukasa.The two were bounded by destiny and fate, and I think the author may some how make them couple in his early line of story. But Aya was not descisive enough and so was Junpei. There are lots of events that they stayed with each other alone, lots of situation that they can be the best couple. But they didn’t. Aya was shy, she always thought Junpei was still Tsukasa’s boyfriend. Even she knew that Junpei and Tsukasa broke up in the first year of high school, she didn’t make any forward. May be she’s waiting, and may be Junpei was also waiting, and upon these waitings chances slipped away from each other. And when finally Aya said she love Junpei, it was too late. I still remember of the tears on both faces when Aya walked away from Junpei in the snow. Don’t turned back, don’t turned back, all the memories flashed by…
The ending of Junpei and Aya makes me feel sad, or rather if the ending changed, I won’t be so sad. But this is strange. I love Tsukasa, and want Tsukasa to be together with Junpei. May be lots of fans feel the way as I do and maybe this is the way the author feels too.
Still much to talk about but writing in English really preventing me from sharing more. Though shame but I have to admit that I was in tears from time to time and when finish reading the whole story. Can’t find better love story than Ichigo 100%.