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The cover of Strawberry 100% volume 1
|Written by||Mizuki Kawashita|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||February 2002 – August 2005|
|Strawberry 100% Strawberry Diary|
|Released||February 10, 2005|
|Original video animation|
|Ichigo 100%: Love Begins!?|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Osamu Sekita|
|Network||Animax, TV Asahi|
|Original run||5 April 2005 – 21 June 2005|
|Episodes||12 + 1 Special|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Tomoki Kobayashi|
|Released||June 20, 2005 – October 31, 2005|
|Runtime||30 minutes each|
Strawberry 100% (Japanese: いちご100% Hepburn: Ichigo 100%?) is a Japanese harem manga series written and illustrated by Mizuki Kawashita. The manga was first serialized in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2002 to August 2005 and collected in nineteen tankōbon volumes by publisher Shueisha between August 2002 and December 2005. The series' licensing rights were later acquired by Viz Media, first publishing the series in Germany after partnering with publishing house Tokyopop. The series was later released in North America, with the latest English release being the fourteenth volume on October 5, 2010.
Strawberry 100% chronicles the school years of Junpei Manaka, a student and aspiring movie director, and his relationships with the girls that enter his life. At the start of the series, he encounters a mysterious and beautiful girl on the roof of his middle school, but does not remember anything about her other than that she wears strawberry-print panties. She leaves before he can talk to her, but he finds a notebook nearby, belonging to Aya Toujou, an ordinary-looking glasses-wearing girl who is a gifted writer. The two become friends with the common ambition of turning great stories into movies. Thinking that Tsukasa Nishino, the most popular girl in his school, might be the mystery girl, he asks her out in a bold confession at the chin-up bar, and is surprised when she accepts. He later realizes Tsukasa is not the mystery girl but chooses to continue their relationship anyway. He places into Izumizaka High, but learns that Aya has given up an offer to the prestigious Oumi Academy to attend Izumizaka with him and that she is the mystery girl.
At Izumizaka, Junpei encounters a feisty girl named Satsuki Kitaoji. The two become friends because of common interests, but Satsuki falls in love with him. Junpei tries to join the film club but learns it has been disbanded. He revives the club thanks to Aya, Satsuki, and his high school friends as members. Junpei also discovers that his childhood friend Yu Minamoto is moving into his family's home, but she ends up attending Oumi Academy. The film club make one film each year, each written by Aya and directed by Junpei, which is screened at the school festival. Satsuki stars in their first film, Tsukasa is the heroine of their second film, and Aya is the heroine of the third movie.
Over the course of his high school life Junpei experiences many awkward moments involving the four girls in his life. Even though he is seeing Tsukasa, he also has feelings for Aya and remains indecisive about whom he really loves. Eventually, Tsukasa grows impatient and breaks up with him. During this time Junpei and Aya's mutual feelings start to grow, but when Junpei finds out that Tsukasa still thinks about him, he becomes confused again. Things get more complicated as the students enter their third year and face education and career choices. Tsukasa plans to become a patissier in Paris and Aya decides to go to the same college Junpei has chosen. She even goes to the same cram school as him even though their friends disagree with her decision to give up better schools just to help Junpei make films. Aya eventually tells Junpei she also wishes to try for the university her parents recommend, much to Junpei's disappointment.
Matters come to a head when Junpei sees Aya with her brother and mistakes him for a new boyfriend. Having attended the same high school and made films together, he thought that Aya will always be with him and is unable to accept her supposed new relationship. When Tsukasa confesses that she wants to be Junpei's girlfriend again, he seeks comfort from her, but later denies that it was because of Aya. He later finds out the truth and that Aya has always been in love with him, but Junpei doesn't want to be unfair to Tsukasa and stays with her. Later, even at the risk of Tsukasa finding someone else, Junpei decides to break with her as he feels that he hasn't matured enough to be with her and needs to continue developing as both a film-maker and as a person. After graduation, the friends part company, each of them chasing after their own goals and ambitions.
Four years later, Satsuki has become the owner of a relative's restaurant and the gang chooses her restaurant as the location for their reunion. Aya went to the prestigious university her academic achievements warranted and has become a successful writer and a more assertive person, even winning the Naoki prize, the Japanese equivalent of the Pulitzer prize. Junpei has won an award and has been accepted into a film studio after years of personal development. He is able to congratulate Aya on her accomplishments without jealousy now and hopes to make her notebook novel into film. In the end, Junpei reunites with Tsukasa, who has returned after several years in Paris, and the two rekindle their relationship.
- Junpei Manaka (真中 淳平 Manaka Junpei?) is a teenage school student, and the protagonist to the series. Junpei is constantly getting strung up in numerous embarrassing but endearing romantic situations throughout middle and then high school. Although his thoughts on girls can get quite perverted on occasion, his gentleness and kindness is what attracts them to him. His indecisiveness between the girls he loves—Aya, Satsuki, and Tsukasa—and inability to decipher their feelings is the focal point of the story. His dream is to make films as a director. While not academically gifted, he has great talent with cinematography that gradually develops as the story progresses. Junpei also grows more responsible in relationships. He has been seeing other girls while Tsukasa was still his girlfriend, and later while Aya is about to give up better universities. By the end of the series Junpei remained with Tsukasa and refused Aya clearly. He is more considerate about Aya after hearing himself hugging Aya unconsciously. After graduation, with the risk of Tsukasa finding someone else in Paris, Junpei worked hard alone in Japan until they reunite. These experiences help make him a more determined and confident person. Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura
- Aya Toujou (東城 綾 Tōjō Aya?) is a shy, affectionate teenage student. Aya is the mystery girl with the ichigo pantsu (strawberry panties—underwear with strawberry patterns) that Junpei seeks at the beginning of the series. Aya starts as a nerdy top student who wears large glasses and unattractive hairstyle. She is secretly writing a fantasy novel on her math notebook but lacks confidence of showing it. Junpei discovers the novel and encourages her to become a writer by sharing his dream of becoming a film maker, which he is also afraid to tell anyone. Aya falls in love with Junpei at the moment. She wonders about the ending of her novel, whether the hero will choose the beautiful princess or the ordinary girl who shares his dream, which coincide with their love triangle. She starts wearing contact lenses and lets her hair down, surprising the boys with her beauty. Aya attends Izumizaka High with Junpei and writes scripts for his three films. She expresses her affection for him gently. Although Junpei is attracted to Aya, he seldom senses the depth of her feelings. According to the afterwords, the author thinks Aya grows the most among the main characters. Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
- Tsukasa Nishino (西野つかさ Nishino Tsukasa?) is the most popular student in Junpei's middle school. She becomes Junpei's girlfriend early on in the manga, only to break up with him soon after entering high school. Supportive, understanding, and optimistic, she does her best to encourage Junpei in everything he does, yet is also straightforward and flirtatious enough to let him know exactly what she wants. Of the four lead female characters, Tsukasa's personality changes the most: flighty and somewhat hot-tempered during her middle school days, she develops a far more mature attitude soon after entering Oumi Academy. Tsukasa has a passion for cooking and baking, and works part-time at a French pastry shop. Her dream to study pastry-making further in France after graduation from high school forces her and Junpei to break up again several months after getting back together, but the two reunite once more upon her return to Japan. Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi
- Satsuki Kitaoji (北大路 さつき Kitaōji Satsuki?) is a student of Izumizaka High. Satsuki is very popular among the boys in the school, mainly with the sports clubs and teams. Of all the girls after Junpei, Satsuki is the most confident in her love—having been the first to ever confess to him—and is constantly seen in his company. Unlike the others, Satsuki is very aggressive, often physical, with her feelings. Coupled with her attractive figure, mainly her large bust size, she constantly tries to push herself onto Junpei. Despite her total devotion towards him, Satsuki's feelings are rarely returned. Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi
- Yui Minamito (南戸 唯 Minamito Yui?) Once a neighbor and childhood friend of Junpei before moving away, Yui acts more like a sister than a friend despite being only a year younger. She isn't at all shy around Junpei and is often found sleeping in his bed naked. Though considered one of the four main heroines in the series, Yui is never considered a love interest nor does she ever show Junpei any affection outside of their sibling-type relationship, although she acts at times like an overprotective big sister (especially when Satsuki gets unusually clingy), because Junpei was a crybaby in their childhood days. Voiced by: Nana Mizuki
Written and illustrated by Mizuki Kawashita, Strawberry 100% was first serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from February 2002 to August 2005. The 167 chapters were then compiled into nineteen tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. The first volume was released on August 2, 2002, with the final volume released December 2, 2005. Strawberry 100% was later licensed for English language release by Viz Media. The first volume was released on July 3, 2007, with the volumes continually being released every few months. The newest volume, number 14, was released in October 2010. Viz also partnered with fellow publishing house Tokyopop for release in Germany under the name 100% Strawberry.
The Strawberry 100% manga consists of 19 volumes, with a total of 167 chapters including one bonus chapter revolving around Misuzu Sotomura as the focal character. As opposed to the anime (which emphasizes the comedic events in the storyline), the manga focuses more on the romance and drama developing among the main characters.
The first Kanji on the last names of the four lead female characters represents a specific cardinal direction. Tō in Aya Tojo refers to the East; Nishi in Tsukasa Nishino refers to the West; Kita in Satsuki Kitaoji means North; and Minami in Yui Minamito means South. Also, Naka in Junpei Manaka's name means center. The author used this as a figurative diagram indicating the direction—or girl—the compass of Manaka's heart points to at any given time. In the first OVA, Manaka has a nightmare where all four girls stand around him at their respective cardinal directions.
Strawberry 100% was adapted into a 13 episode anime TV series by Madhouse, and directed by Osamu Sekita. It aired across Japan on Animax and TV Asahi. Each episode consisted of two short stories. The last pair of stories were not broadcast in the original run; lately this episode has become known as episode 10.5. The opening theme was "Shine of Voice" by Dream, with the ending theme being "Ike Ike" by HINOI TEAM.
The OVAs of Strawberry 100% were all released at different times compared to the TV series.
The first OVA was released in October 2004 before the TV series aired (and was made solely by Madhouse). Chronologically the first OVA story is direct continuation of the TV series. The second OVA series (four episodes) are not a continuation of the TV series, but are rather separate episodes based on certain chapters from the Strawberry 100% manga.
The opening theme of all five Strawberry 100% OVAs was "Kimiiro 100%" (君色100％), sung by the voice actresses of the four lead characters, Mamiko Noto, Megumi Toyoguchi, Nana Mizuki, and Sanae Kobayashi. The ending theme is different in each episode.
- OVA-2004 - Peppermint (ペパーミント) by Miyuki Hashimoto
- OVA-2005. Episode 1 - Jink White (ジンク・ホワイト) by Mamiko Noto
- OVA-2005. Episode 2 - Daigyakuten Kiss (大逆転Kiss) by Megumi Toyoguchi
- OVA-2005. Episode 3 - Kokoro Capsule (ココロカプセル) by Nana Mizuki
- OVA-2005. Episode 4 - Platonic Scandal (プラトニック・スキャンダル) by Sanae Kobayashi
A PlayStation 2 video game was later released, titled Strawberry 100%: Strawberry Diary (いちご100%ストロベリーダイアリー Ichigo 100%: Sutoroberi Daiari?). The game was published and developed by Takara Tomy, and released on February 10, 2005 in Japan. The game was re-released under the Tomy Best Collection on March 30, 2006.
Initially critics expressed concern that Strawberry 100% would be a traditional harem comedy. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network (ANN) complained that Volume 1 quickly descended into "typical boy's romance fodder." Response to the characters was more enthusiastic. Robert Harris of Mania.com praised Volume 1 for developing "several effective, organic characters and relationships, along with a believable story and setting." Praise for the characters continued with the release of subsequent volumes, and worries that Strawberry 100% would be a traditional harem comedy abated. In his review of Volume 6, A.E. Sparrow of IGN Comics remarked "Strawberry 100% is a harem manga of the highest caliber, and it has all the trappings of a good harem manga: Plenty of fan service, excellent artwork, and in those rarest of cases, a compelling storyline." Comic Book Bin's Leroy Douresseaux, discussing Volume 8, enjoyed the excellent characters, and commented: "Strawberry 100% is a high school comedy/drama for everyone who loves the drama of high school love."
Most critics have praised the artwork. Harris noted: "The visual style remains firmly rooted in reality." While crediting Strawberry 100% with "some of the finest artwork available," Sparrow warned that Strawberry 100% has a great deal of fan service, "which will either repulse people or draw them in, depending on their predilection toward that kind of thing."
- "Strawberry 100% Germany release : Viz Media & Tokyopop". Anime News Network.
- "Strawberry 100%, Vol. 14 : VIZ Media Products". Viz Media.
- "TOMY / いちご100% ストロベリーダイアリー" (in Japanese). Viz Media.
- Harris, Robert. "Strawberry 100% Vol. #01 — Review". Mania.com. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Santos, Carlo. "Strawberry 100% Vol. 1 — Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Sparrow, A.E. "Strawberry 100% Vol. 6 — Review". IGN Comics. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Douresseaux, Leroy. "Strawberry 100%: Volume 8 — Review". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Sparrow, A.E. "Strawberry 100% Vol. 4 — Review". IGN Comics. Retrieved February 15, 2010.