Susumu Makino (牧野 進,Makino Susumu) was the son of Chieko and Haruo, and the younger brother of Tsukushi. He was a middle school student while Tsukushi attended Eitoku Academy. Susumu's family went through several economic troubles, resulting in them moving often. He and Tsukushi lived apart from their parents at one point.
Susumu was born into a humble, lower-class family. He was the only son of Chieko and Haruo, and the younger brother of Tsukushi. When he and Tsukushi were children, their mother saved money by having them play outside instead of buying them toys. During their childhood, they often visited their grandmother who lived near the sea. They fished there and also went clamming.
Susumu attended a normal middle school, while his sister was going to the elite Eitoku Academy.
Susumu: "How can four of us live in a one-bedroom apartment? Even the two-bedroom place we had was too small. You better hurry up and get married to that Domyoji guy!!"
Chieko: "Susumu's right! That's our only ray of hope! Domyoji or Hanazawa, it doesn't matter which."
During Tsukushi's second year, Susumu and his parents became slightly concerned about her. She started acting strange during the mornings before school. Susumu commented "The stress is gonna make her snap." During dinner a few days later, he noticed Tsukushi was not feeling well and asked her "What's the matter?" She replied "Nothing." Their mother then got on to Susumu about not finishing his dinner. Several days later, the Makinos were visited by Tsukasa Domyoji, who stopped by to see a sick Tsukushi. Their parents fawned over him after learning he was the heir to Domyoji Group. The following fall, Tsukushi returned home in considerable disarray. When their mother asked if she had been attacked, she burst into tears. Her concerned family then gathered around her.
A month later, Susumu's father lost his job when the company restructured. The family was forced to move out of company housing and into a new apartment. Susumu complained about its small size. He then told Tsukushi to hurry and marry Tsukasa for the family's future. A few days later, Susumu grumbled about having to eat Thai rice again and not having any meat. His father then fell over and presented them with money from donating blood. They were touched briefly but called him an "idiot" for not finding a better way to support them. A couple mornings later, Susumu turned on the television to find their home on the news. The Makinos' watched the report, which talked of Tsukasa and Seinosuke Amakusa fighting over Tsukushi. They were shocked by the exaggerations made about the family.
The following night, it came to light that his father had borrowed one million yen from a loanshark and then lost it all at the race track. Susumu was particularly distressed when his mother said she wanted a divorce. Tsukushi left suddenly after announcing she would take care of things. She returned with the money, surprising the family. A couple weeks later, Susumu was thinking of Tsukushi, whom was staying at the Domyojis'. The Teen of Japan contest then came on television. The family screamed when Tsukushi's name was announced. That night, they excitedly greeted her saying "Welcome home, Miss Runnerup!" Susumu then wondered if Tsukushi would be scouted by an agent. A couple days later, their father obtained a new job. The family encouraged Tsukushi to take the trip to Canada with the F4.
"I hate this place! Let's hurry up and give them the money and return to our apartment."
—Susumu distressed after the villagers confront the family[src]
That February, the family was frequently joined at dinner by Tsukushi's new friend Shigeru Okawahara. The next day, Susumu learned his father had been fired again. He was upset since he needed money for his school trip. Tsukushi assured him that they could pay for it with her wages. Susumu's parents later decided that they would move to a fishing village, where a friend of the family lived. He helped his parents pack while Tsukushi was at a friend's house. When she came home, they revealed that they were moving and leaving her behind to remain at school. Since Susumu was still in middle school, his parents thought it was okay to bring him with them. After they finished packing, he and his parents said goodbye to Tsukushi. Susumu told her "See you, Sis. I swear I'll be back to enter high school."
Life in the fishing village was difficult for the Makino family. Susumu's father became known as a "good-for-nothing" because he was unable to fish. Their meals became sparse, usually consisting of seaweed. When Tsukushi joined them there, their landlady began treating them much better due to the village thinking she was engaged to Tsukasa. Susumu was cheerful about their better meals. A few days later, their landlady and the other villagers had grown irate. They demanded for Tsukasa to be brought there. Susumu's mother agreed and asked for one more day. Once the family was alone, Susumu declared "I hate this place!" and that he wanted to return to home. They all asked Tsukushi to call Tsukasa. She revealed that they broke up, she left school, and their apartment's floor had fallen through.
In the end, Tsukasa came to the village and paid off the Makinos' debt. The family decided to return to Tokyo the very next day. Susumu and Tsukushi rode home in Tsukasa's car. He was excited since he had never rode in a limousine before. During the drive, Tsukushi fell asleep which surprised Susumu, who asked Tsukasa "Were you two really serious about each other?" Tsukasa confirmed that he was at least. Back in Tokyo, Tsukushi's friend Shigeru lent the family her condo to live in. The following morning, they ate breakfast together. Susumu's mother told him that they were going to register him at school later that day. Before leaving, he asked Tsukushi if he would be able to attend high school, considering their current situation. She assured him that everything would be okay.
On their own
After some time in the condo, Haruo obtained a job as live-in help at a supermarket. Their new place was deemed too small for the whole family, leading Chieko to find a new apartment for Susumu and Tsukushi. While they were moving in, Susumu questioned if he should obtain a part-time job. Tsukushi told him not to worry. That night, a burglar broke in. The police were called, but Susumu remained incredibly frightened. They then heard a bang at the door. Susumu and Tsukushi threw pans at who turned out to be Tsukasa, whom Tsukushi had called by accident. When things calmed down, the two revealed to Susumu that they were dating. He was happy and promised not to tell their parents. The next day, the siblings learned that Tsukasa had moved in next door. They all went to the bath house together that night.
The following morning, Susumu noticed that Tsukushi was still asleep and hurriedly woke her up. Once she had made breakfast, he suggested that she bring some food over to Tsukasa. Some nights later, Susumu mentioned that Tsukasa had not been by at all. Sad, he said to Tsukushi "Maybe you're just a novelty to him?" She insisted "He's not like that!" The next morning, Tsukasa had breakfast with Susumu and his sister. Susumu went over to his parents' place that afternoon. He fell asleep so he ended up spending the night.
Susumu had an average, unassuming presence. In his early teens, he was short and had a small build. His brown hair was generally kept short. He was shown wearing his school uniform, a gakuran, or simple casual clothing at home.
Personality and traits
He was a typical teenage boy, happy and mostly easy-going. Despite his family being from a lower income, Susumu was never completely use to their lifestyle and sacrifices they had to make. He occasionally complained about their small apartment or having to eat Thai rice instead of Japanese rice. The complaints were few and far between though. Like his parents, Susumu pinned their financial hopes all on Tsukushi marrying rich someday.
Susumu is voiced by Takayuki Inoue in the 1996 Boys Over Flowers anime adaptation. He appears throughout the series though sparsely. Like the manga, Susumu is given little characterization besides being nice and occasionally petulant. When the family moves into a new apartment, he is apt to complain about their circumstances. In "Open Up Your Heart," Susumu is opposed to go with his parents to the country. A photo in the finale reveals that he actually ends up happy there, unlike in the manga.
He is played by Tsukasa Aoki in the Takarazuka production, Hana Yori Dango (2019). In the musical, Susumu is shown at home in the company of his parents. He joins his parents in speculating about Tsukushi marrying rich someday.