- "I thought I'd have the world at my feet once I became beautiful. But now I have nothing. Nothing but this beautiful face. Not even friends..."
- —Sakurako Sanjo[src]
Sakurako Sanjo (
In kindergarten at Eitoku Academy, Sakurako revealed that she had a crush on Tsukasa Domyoji to two friends. They then immediately told him. Sakurako was left traumatized when he called her "ugly." A year later, Sakurako left Eitoku after her father received a job transfer to Germany, where she met her childhood friend Thomas. Her parents passed away in a plane crash when she was a preteen. From then on, she was raised by her grandparents and they lived off her inheritance. She used part of the money for plastic surgery. Her looks were changed drastically to fit with her ideal of beauty.
She returned to Japan, where she re-enrolled as a first year at Eitoku's high school. Sakurako swore to get revenge on the F4. However, after seeing Tsukasa again, she realized that she still loved him. She became jealous of Tsukushi Makino, whom was getting close to Tsukasa and the F4 despite her "average looks." Sakurako decided to take advantage of her.
- "I'm beautiful! And men eat it up with a spoon. Ugly women shouldn't be allowed to live. The world doesn't want them. I can't possibly let someone with your average looks get fawned over by the F4. Friends? With you? Don't make me laugh. I don't need friends!"
- —Sakurako to Tsukushi after being found out[src]
Sakurako first talked to Tsukushi at Shizuka Todo's birthday party. There she was being hounded by a drunk producer. When he touched Sakurako, she ran over to Tsukushi and asked for her help. She obliged, hitting and kicking several times. Sakurako thanked her, before running off once the F4 arrived. Several days later, she approached Tsukushi after school. She thanked for again and congratulated her on dating Tsukasa. Yuriko Asai and her friends walked up at that moment. They took an instant dislike to Sakurako and dragged Tsukushi away. The following day, Sakurako approached Tsukushi again after school. She then invited her over to her house. Sakurako briefly lost her cool, when Tsukushi attempted to look at her photo album. She was able to cover her overreaction thanks to Thomas' arrival.
Once Thomas left, Sakurako asked Tsukushi if she would help her with her "boy phobia." Tsukushi's solution was to introduce her to the F4. Sojiro Nishikado and Akira Mimasaka were taken in by her cuteness. The next day, she went clubbing. There she was confronted by a group of girls about stealing one of their boyfriends. Sakurako was ruthless with the girls. The next day, Sakurako told Tsukushi that she loved Tsukasa. Tsukushi then admited that she was not dating Tsukasa. The next day, Sakurako posted photos of Tsukushi and Thomas around school. Tsukushi visited her house that night and learned Sakurako was the perpetrator. A heated confrontation followed, ending in Tsukushi calling her "twisted and deformed." Sakurako cried, declaring "I'll never forgive her or the F4!"
The next day, the school launched an attack on Tsukushi. When Tsukasa tried to stop them, Sakurako showed him the photos of Tsukushi and Thomas. Shocked, he walked away and Sakurako followed. She then brought him to her house, where she opened up to him about her parents. Sakurako confessed that she loved him and embraced him. He rejected her advances and left to go help Tsukushi. Later, Sakurako cried and told her grandmother that she felt that she had "nothing." The next day, a photo album was brought to school by Yuriko, exposing Sakurako's old face. She was mercilessly gossiped about. A day later, Yuriko and her friends were harassing Sakurako, when Tsukushi took up for her. She then told her that she had not forgiven her yet. Sakurako apologized several times to her while crying.
- "I hadn't thanked you yet. I really appreciate it a lot. You backed me up, even though I did such a terrible thing to you. I was so happy. I guess it's a little late for this, but it's true that I looked up to you. You and your never-say-die attitude though it also made me feel inferior. But I'm not giving up on Domyoji. I may have been ugly in the past, but look how cute I am now."
- —Sakurako reveals her intentions to continue pursuing Tsukasa[src]
Later, Sakurako thanked Tsukushi for standing up for her. She admitted that she admired Tsukushi's attitude though it made her feel "inferior." Sakurako then declared that she had not given up on Tsukasa and felt he would pick her due to her looks. As she walked away, she said "You were just with Hanazawa, right?" Tsukushi blushed, confirming her statement. The next day, Sakurako went sailing on Kazuya Aoike's boat after learning that Tsukushi and the F4 went to Tsukasa's island. The journey took two whole days. She hugged Tsukasa as soon as they arrived on the beach. The next morning, Sakurako went back to Tokyo on Tsukasa's jet. When Tsukushi returned to school a couple days later, she confronted her about betraying Tsukasa for Rui Hanazawa. Sakurako then told her "Stay out of my way."
That weekend, Sakurako followed Tsukasa around for all day. He was annoyed and criticized her for acting so "girly." Sakurako then told him that she would start acting like Tsukushi, which made him angry. A couple hours later, she was still following him when he told her to "Go home." Sakurako confessed her feelings to him, also revealing their shared past. Tsukasa said "When I look at you, I feel like I'm looking at myself." He then told her that she should be her "natural" self and laughed at her response. Sakurako happily accepted when Tsukasa invited her to his house. She then noticed Tsukushi staring nearby and smirked at her. Shortly later, his sister Tsubaki Domyoji arrived. Sakurako introduced herself with a bright attitude. After having tea together, Tsukasa and his sister saw her off at the door.
A couple days later, Sakurako heard about Tsukasa deciding to expel Tsukushi and Rui. She said with a smile to Tsukushi "I'll be so lonely without you!" The next day, a basketball match was held to determine their fates. Sakurako formed a cheerleading team with Yuriko, Erika Ayuhara, and Minako Yamano. With just a few seconds left, Tsukasa declared "I quit" leaving everyone confused. A few days later, Sakurako heard about Tsukasa lending Tsukushi money if she came to Canada to get him. Sakurako invited herself along on the trip as did Yuriko and her friends. Yuriko later tricked Tsukushi into going outside during a blizzard. When Tsukasa returned with her the next morning, Sakurako punished the girls by making them cook breakfast. She also suggested a harsher punishment which Tsukushi was against.
- "Miss Okawahara, I won't let you have Domyoji. I've loved him since kindergarten. That's why I've done everything in my power to make him turn my way. But when Makino came on the scene, I thought I had lost. I could never beat her. That's why I gave up on Domyoji. But that was only because it was Makino. I cannot let you have Domyoji! Never!"
- —Sakurako confronts Shigeru[src]
After returning from Canada, Sakurako went to the hospital with Kazuya to see Tsukushi and Tsukasa. There they met Junpei Oribe, the cause of their friends' injuries. Sakurako declared "He's handsomer in person!" Kazuya called her "unfaithful" about acting that way towards someone who hurt Tsukushi. Some weeks later, Tsukasa's fiancée Shigeru Okawahara transferred to Eitoku. Sakurako asked her to meet on the roof. She also wrote a note to Tsukushi to come as well. Once Tsukushi arrived, Sakurako declared to Shigeru "I won't let you have Domyoji." She then went to say that she gave up Tsukasa for Tsukushi, but refused to back down for Shigeru. Shigeru was not intimidate by Sakurako's words. She hugged her and declared "I love people like you!" Sakurako was unsure how to react.
Later, Sakurako and the others went over to Tsukushi's apartment to have a party the night before the exchange student exam. When Shigeru tried to stop Tsukushi from studying, Sakurako encouraged her to do so since she would have one less rival. Sometime later, they viewed the results at the notice board. Kazuya took up for Tsukushi when Yuriko accused her of cheating. Sakurako stopped him, saying "You'll catch their rottenness." They later all congratulated Tsukushi. Over the next three months, Sakurako grew closer to Kazuya by helping him with his self-confidence. She and Kazuya were involved Shigeru's plan to bring Tsukushi and Tsukasa together on the day of his supposed wedding. Sakurako waved to the couple and wished them happiness, though she still speculated "Makino might try jumping off the ship."
She was known for being cute, quickly gaining recognition around the school for it. Sakurako attained her looks through plastic surgery, after being described as ugly when she was a child. Tsukasa later said "I think her original face had more character." Sakurako's hair was auburn and curly. She frequently wore it with a partial amount tied back with a bow. Sakurako later had it straightened, giving her a more mature look.
Personality and traits
Sakurako was described as "cheerful and energetic" when she was a child. She was later deeply affected by the F4 calling her ugly, giving her a warped view of the world. She set out to become beautiful, believing the world would be at her feet then. After betraying Tsukushi, Sakurako realized that she was wrong and confided in her grandmother that she now had nothing. She gradually changed because of Tsukushi, becoming a nicer person and a good friend.
Behind the scenes
- See also: Category:Sakurako Sanjo portrayals
- Rumi Shishido voices her in the 1996 anime. She was credited as Mikako Sakurada, a tribute to her first voice role in Gokinjo Monogatari.
- Sakurako is voiced again by Shishido in Hana Yori Dango: The Movie (1997). In it she is a dancer and leading actress in her troupe's next performance. She likes Tsukasa, who she is starring opposite. Sakurako's leg is injured by a broken spotlight, forcing her part to be recast.
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