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"It hurts a little, but it's okay. I'm sturdy as a weed after all!"
—Tsukushi Makino[src]

Tsukushi Makino (牧野 つくし (まきの つくし) Makino Tsukushi) was a student at Eitoku Academy. She was the daughter of Chieko and Haruo, and the older sister of Susumu. During high school, Tsukushi met F4 leader, Tsukasa Domyoji, whom she hated at first. They later became friends and eventually entered into a romantic relationship.

Biography

Early life

"She was always happy and popular, and nice to everybody! She always had friends around her. At snack time, when I couldn't finish my milk and I thought the teacher was going to yell at me, she'd drink it up for me, even if it meant a tummy-ache later."
Kazuya describes Tsukushi during primary school[src]

Tsukushi was born on December 28[6] to middle class parents, Haruo and Chieko. Her parents named her after a weed, because "it always grows back stronger than ever." She became an older sister when her brother Susumu was born about two years later.[15] During their childhood, the siblings did not have many toys due to their family finances. Her mother had Tsukushi play outside instead in order to save money.[16]

In elementary school, Tsukushi gained popularity through her upbeat and nice personality.[17] She became friends with Kazuya Aoike during this time, thought they lost contact after moving on to middle school.[18] At her middle school, Tsukushi was a class officer. She also met her best friend, Yuki Matsuoka, back then.[19][10] Her friend, Shingo Oribe confessed romantic feelings toward her near the end of middle school. She did not reply to him at the time since she valued his friendship.[20]

High school

Tsukushi's mother forced her to enroll at Eitoku Academy, despite her wanting to go to the public high school with Yuki and her other friends. She was confident at the time that she would be able to make new friends.[21] There she was unable to relate to her rich classmates though she did meet Makiko Endo, who was of a similar background. Tsukushi became disgusted with the school after witnessing the F4's antics. She decided to go "quiet and unnoticed," while counting down the days to graduation. After school, Tsukushi worked part-time at Sengoku Sweets with Yuki.[19]

Meeting the F4

Tsukushi-stands-up-F4

Tsukushi stands up to the F4

"I'm not letting you get away with this anymore! This is my declaration of war!"
—Tsukushi refuses to back down to the F4[src]

By her second year, Tsukushi was extremely downhearted about her life at Eitoku. She was disappointed with her own cowardice, though she also felt she had no power to fight the F4. Tsukushi talked about it with Yuki, who remarked how she had changed from someone who was "always ready to jump in and help." Later, she and Makiko were walking together when the latter slipped down a flight of stairs. She landed on Tsukasa Domyoji, leader of the F4, who refused to forgive Makiko's mistake. Tsukushi yelled at Tsukasa, insulting him by saying "You've never had to work for anything you've got! So shut your beaks!" His ire was redirected to Tsukushi. The next day, she received the F4's red card, a "declaration of war", in her locker. Instead of leaving school, Tsukushi decided to fight back against the F4 and declared her own war on them.[19]

The following day, Makiko started avoiding Tsukushi when their classmates began to bully her. Frustrated, she ran to an emergency stairwell where she spoke to Rui Hanazawa for the first time. He acted cold towards her, saying "I'm not interested in other people's problems." Later, four students tried to assault Tsukushi acting on Tsukasa's orders. Rui happened to walk by and ordered them to stop. Tsukushi thanked him, to which he replied "Don't misunderstand. I just don't like this kind of stuff."[15] The next day, Tsukushi was prepared to fight against the bullies, blocking all of their old tricks. She then confronted Tsukasa by kicking him in the face, telling him "You call yourself a man?! You aren't even worth contempt!" She promptly fled the scene. Later, Tsukushi thanked Rui again for his help. He responded with harsh words again, though did not feel angry at him.[22]

Later on her way to school, Tsukushi was kidnapped Tsukasa, who had her brought to his home. There he had his servants give her a full makeover, which Tsukushi did not resist due to shock. Afterwards, Tsukasa made her an offer to "let [her] hang around him." Tsukushi felt insulted and rejected him, saying "I'm not for sale." Outside, she ran into Rui and asked him "Is there anything money can't buy?" He answered "air" though she considered his smiles the real answer.[23] The next day, a rumor about Tsukushi was written on her classroom's blackboard. She confronted Tsukasa first, thinking he was the culprit. Upon returning to her classroom, she found Yuriko Asai, Minako Yamano, and Erika Ayuhara wiping away the words. They acted friendly towards her and even invited her to a party. Tsukushi was hesitant to accept at first, but decided to go after speaking to Yuki about it.[24]

Shizuka's return

Shizuka-and-Rui

Tsukushi watches Shizuka greet Rui with a kiss

Tsukushi: "I just wanted to thank you... You and Tsukasa had a falling out because–"
Rui: "Not your fault. It's been brewing."
Tsukushi: "But why–? N-Nevermind, It's nothing."
— Tsukushi stops herself from asking why Rui saved her[src]

At the party, Yuriko and her friends humiliated Tsukushi and revealed that they started the rumor. She was able to get back at them, before leaving the party. The following day, Tsukushi visited Rui at the emergency stairwell. Unbeknownst to them, Yuriko and her friends were watching and later confronted Tsukushi. They then told her about Shizuka Todo, whom Rui was in love with.[25] Tsukasa arrived and, seeing Tsukushi in distress, forced them to leave her alone. She refused his help and pushed him away. Shortly later, she joined F4's Akira Mimasaka and Sojiro Nishikado for lunch. They told her a story about Rui and Shizuka from their childhood. That night, Tsukushi saw Rui kissing a poster of Shizuka. He mockingly asked her if she was in love with him and then kissed her cheek. Tsukushi watched Rui and Shizuka greet each other the next day.[26]

After seeing Shizuka in person, Tsukushi made the decision to avoid the F4 and "become [her] old self." The next day, she was greeted by Kazuya, whom had transferred to Eitoku after his family struck it rich. Tsukushi was happy to see her old friend, though she became afraid that the F4 would target him next. Her fears were proved true when Kazuya found a red card in his locker.[18] Tsukushi confronted Tsukasa about his reasons for going after Kazuya. Argued back and forth for several minutes, until he slapped her. She punched him in retaliation, before leaving when she heard Kazuya yelling for help. Tsukushi fended off the bullies, allowing her and Kazuya to escape briefly. The two ended up being chased into the university's cafeteria, where the F4 and Shizuka were eating lunch. Rui picked Tsukushi up and yelled at the others to stop, calling them "animals."[27]

Angry at Rui, Tsukasa cut off their friendship before storming off. Shizuka brought Tsukushi to the girls' room to help her clean up. She was quickly enamored by Shizuka due to her kindness and beauty. Later, Tsukushi developed a fever and had to stay home the next day. Tsukasa visited her in the evening. Her parents insisted that he stay for dinner and later forced Tsukushi to walk him to his car. He offered to pay for her to go on the school trip. She refused, deciding to go to Atami with Kazuya instead.[28] Several days later, Tsukushi arrived in Atami with Kazuya and her parents. After sightseeing, they went to the beach where they saw Tsukasa approach on his yacht. Shizuka invited her to that night's party. Tsukushi hesitated to accept, but was prompted by her parents and seeing Rui. Shizuka helped Tsukushi with her outfit and make-up.[29]

Start of fall term

Tsukushi-upset-Tsukasa

Tsukushi upset at losing her first kiss to Tsukasa

Tsukushi: "Please don't hate me... You and I we're "emergency exit friends" At least, that's what I call us."
Rui: "If I hated you, I wouldn't have gone through the pain of carrying you."
— Tsukushi and Rui on the last night of the Atami trip[src]

At the party, Tsukushi accidentally kissed Tsukasa when the lights turned off. She was distraught about losing her first kiss. The next morning, Sojiro teased the two about the kiss. She tried to defend herself to Rui, though he only replied "It's none of my business who you kiss." Tsukushi chastised herself for hoping he would rescue her. That night, she went to return Shizuka's dress. She then witnessed Rui confess his feelings to Shizuka, before taking her into a room.[30] In shock, Tsukushi starting thinking about all of her memories of Rui, realizing how much she liked him. Tsukasa and Kazuya returned from their fishing trip. They started a cook-out, which she helped them with. She shared some fish with Rui and revealed that she overhead him and Shizuka by accident. Tsukushi then said "Please don't hate me," to which Rui assured her that he did not.[17]

The first day of the fall term, Tsukushi felt depressed about returning to Eitoku. Everything was the same at school, including her classmates badmouthing her and her slippers were stolen again. It turned out Tsukasa had stolen them. Tsukushi was annoyed but did not pursue the matter further. She then headed to the emergency exit, where she met Rui. Tsukushi was happy to see him there, confessing that "Coming here was my one moment of solace."[31] Shizuka walked up shortly to ask a favor of Rui. She then invited Tsukushi to birthday party. Back inside, Tsukushi saw Tsukasa on a rampage. She wondered what had happened for him to be so angry. After school, she was walking home with Kazuya when she realized she forgot her notes. She went back to the emergency exit, where she found Tsukasa seemingly waiting for her.[32]

Tsukasa pinned Tsukushi against a wall and threatened her. She argued with him until he punched a window next to her. Tsukushi then threw her books at him and ran away. She tripped, leading Tsukasa to pin her to the ground and start kissing her. Crying, she asked him to stop which he finally did. Several days later, Yuki and Kazuya accompanied her to Shizuka's party.[33] There Tsukushi saw Tsukasa for the first time in days. Feeling that he was not showing remorse, she became annoyed with him. Later that night, Shizuka announced that she was returning to France to pursue her dreams.[34] Tsukushi looked to Rui, who then asked her to tell the others he was leaving. Apparently drunk, Tsukushi wandered to where Tsukasa was. She laid her head on his chest, before throwing up on his suit. He took her home that night, which she was unaware of until her mother told her in the morning.[35]

Getting close to Tsukasa

Tsukasa-Tsukushi-elevator

Tsukasa almost kisses Tsukushi in the elevator

Tsukushi: "Go after her. If you love her, you should go after her. Were you satisfied, just watching from behind a pillar? Are you a man, or what? You're always hanging out with these three. That's why you don't understand anything!"
Rui: "I'm taking the next flight."
— Tsukushi yells at Rui to go after Shizuka[src]

The next morning, she went to the emergency exit and asked Rui about Shizuka. He answered "It's [her] decision." Tsukushi later met Tsukasa, who hinted that she was "happy that Shizuka was going away." They then overheard some girls scheming to get Rui. Tsukushi realized that she had been acting just like those girls. She rushed off and ran into Shizuka. Tsukushi proceeded to beg her to stay for Rui's sake.[36] Shizuka calmly explained her reasons for leaving, which Tsukushi accepted. She then apologized to her. A few minutes later, Rui yelled at Tsukushi for interfering. At the airport days later, she and the F4, except Rui, said goodbye to Shizuka. When Rui finally arrived, Tsukushi yelled at him to "Go after her." He revealed that he had already decided to do so. Rui thanked her with a kiss on the forehead, before leaving.[37]

While they watched Rui's plane take off, Tsukasa said something to her which she did not hear. The following day, he came up to he in her classroom and gave her a time and place. Kazuya said "It sounds like he was asking you for a date," which she quickly dismissed. That Sunday, Tsukushi went shopping with her mother. She eventually decided to go check to see if Tsukasa was waiting. Seeing him there, she felt guilty and offered to treat him.[38] Stuck in an elevator, Tsukushi became nervous when Tsukasa approached her. She hit and kicked him until realizing he was not fighting back. Discovering his fever, she took precautions to bring it down. By the morning, she promised to "make it up to [him]." Tsukasa leaned in to kiss her, just as a construction crew opened the elevator. After helping Tsukasa to a taxi, she wondered whether he liked her before deeming it impossible.[3]

Later at school, Tsukushi's classmates suddenly began acting nice to her. She discovered that it was because they believed she was dating Tsukasa, after a photo was taken of them together. Despite knowing they were not "true friends," she enjoyed having friends again and was happy that Tsukasa did not correct the rumor yet. That night, her new friends took her to a club, where she met a handsome foreigner who reminded her of Rui.[39] Tsukushi woke up alone in a hotel room the next morning. The last thing she remembered was being offered a drink by the guy. She resolved to keep it a secret, thinking of the repercussions if anyone found out. Later, Sakurako Sanjo, whom she had met at Shizuka's party, asked to be friends and invited her to her house. There she ran into the same foreigner, who Sakurako introduced as her childhood friend, Thomas.[40]

Sakurako incident

Sakurako-glare

Tsukushi notices Sakurako glaring at her but dismisses it

"Say one more word and I will beat that pretty face of yours into a pulp. No one like you has the right to talk about her. Shizuka is like an angel with a beautiful heart to match her beautiful face. I actually thought you were light that, too! You called me an "ugly bitch"?! Look at yourself in a mirror! Then you'll see what ugly is!"
—Tsukushi to Sakurako[src]

Thomas hinted to Tsukushi that they had slept together. She begged him to "Forget about it!" He agreed once she promised to see him again. Later, Sakurako confided in her about her fear of boys. To help her, she decided to introduce her to the F4. Sakurako later handed Tsukushi a note from Thomas, asking her to meet him by the school's gate. She reluctantly went.[41] A few minutes later, Tsukasa found them talking. Tsukushi managed to distract him so Thomas could get away. Before leaving, Thomas told her to meet him later. Tsukasa yelled at her for letting him escape and called her "boy-crazy." Tsukushi reminded him that they were not really dating, causing a sad look to cross his face. Afterwards, she asked Kazuya to accompany her to meet Thomas. Seeing Thomas' bad table manners, made Tsukushi wonder why Sakurako would have "anything to do with him."[42]

The following night, Tsukushi went out to a club with Yuki and her sister. There she was left speechless, when she saw Sakurako dancing on the platform. Tsukushi eventually thought "There's got to be reason," deciding to be understanding. Later, she defended Sakurako when Tsukasa yelled at her. However, Sakurako got upset with her for insulting Tsukasa. She later admitted to Tsukushi that she loved Tsukasa.[43] The next day, her classmates began bullying her again without warning. Feeling something was off, she raced to the bulletin board where she saw a photo of her and Thomas in bed. During the process of confronting him, Tsukushi realized that someone else had to have taken the photo and that he put something in her drink. She then said "We didn't do anything, did we?" He admitted that Sakurako forced him to do it. Sakurako then entered the room.[44]

Sakurako insulted Tsukushi and called her an "ugly bitch," but she refused to listen to her snide remarks on Shizuka. She then said "Look at yourself in a mirror!" While walking home, Tsukushi resolved herself not to run from her troubles. In the morning, she went to school where she immediately attacked by her classmates. She passed out when one hit her with a bat. Tsukushi woke up tied to a car, which they proceeded to drag her with.[45] Tsukasa showed up and yelled at them to stop. Sakurako then showed him the photo. Tsukushi pleaded with him to not to listen to her, saying "I just want you to believe me." He walked away as Tsukushi yelled after him, calling him an "idiot." Not one to back down, she challenged her attackers and continued trying to fight them for several hours. Finally, Tsukasa came back, apologized, and said "I believe you."[46]

Rui's return

Tsukasa-confesses-to-Tsukushi

Tsukasa confesses his feelings to Tsukushi

"I can't leave you alone! Even when I try, I can't get you out of my mind. I can't, I just can't. Why can't you be happy? Thoughts of you fill my mind..."
—Tsukushi to Rui[src]

Tsukasa brought Tsukushi to his home, where she took a bath first. He told her that her said yes to her spending the night, before treating her wounds. Tsukasa apologized to her again. When he brought up Thomas, she said "What's with you? You're acting almost jealous." He surprised her by saying he was and then confessed, "I love you." Tsukasa kissed Tsukushi and she realized that part of her was "hoping for [that]." The next morning, she rushed to school when a maid informed her Tsukasa was "shouting about revenge." She stopped him from torturing the students too much.[47] Rui then showed up, surprising everyone. Tsukasa told him that he and Tsukushi were dating. That night, Thomas visited her to tell her about Sakurako's past. Unable to fully forgive her, Tsukushi still took up for her when the other students made fun of her for having plastic surgery.[48]

Later, Tsukasa gave Tsukushi a pager, ordering her to come whenever he paged. After school, Tsukushi came home to find the apartment full of furniture sent by Tsukasa. He then paged her and asked her to come to a club. She went only to yell at him to take back the furniture. Tsukushi became distracted when she saw Rui kissing a girl. The next day, he flirted with her at the emergency exit.[49] Tsukushi was taken aback by him, though he laughed it off. Tsukasa later took her shopping, before taking her in a plane to his family's island with the rest of the F4. There he revealed that they were sharing a room together.[50] Tsukushi ended up going to bed early, partly upset that Rui was staying in a room with some random girl. Tsukasa followed shortly and told her that he was sleeping on sofa since she not given him an answer yet. Once he fell asleep, Tsukushi went for a walk.[51]

Finding Rui on the beach, he asked her to hold him before telling her about his time with Shizuka. Tsukushi returned to the villa, where she told Tsukasa "I went for a walk alone." She felt guilty for lying to him.[52] The next morning, Kazuya suddenly arrived on his boat with Sakurako and Thomas. Kazuya brought news of Shizuka's engagement. Tsukushi realized that was the reason for Rui's strange behavior. That night, she met him again at the beach, telling him "I can't get you out of my mind." He then kissed her.[53] Looking up, they saw Tsukasa watching. He punched Rui. Tsukushi began crying when Tsukasa told her that she "sliced [his heart] into ribbons." He refused her apology, saying "Don't ever talk to me again." Tsukushi then broke down. The next morning, Tsukushi and the others had to return home on Kazuya's boat since Tsukasa had left on his jet.[54]

Choosing Rui

Tsukasa-ignores-Tsukushi

Tsukasa ignores Tsukushi

"We walked together in Aoyama that snowy winter morning. He waited four hours for me in the snow. He had snow on his head. From that day on, I began to notice his feelings for me. But I pretended not to see. Now I know just how much he felt for me. And just how much I hurt him."
—Tsukushi thinks of Tsukasa during her date with Rui[src]

When she returned home, Tsukushi resolved to apologize to Tsukasa "with all [her] heart and soul." The next day, she saw Tsukasa kicking Rui out of the F4. He then ignored her as he passed by. Later, she had lunch with Rui and began crying, thinking about Tsukasa. Rui then asked her on a date.[55] During it, Tsukushi found herself thinking about Tsukasa constantly though she had told herself to "forget everything" earlier. She went to bathroom to gather her thoughts and was mortified when Rui accidentally walked in seconds later. Tsukushi continued crying about it on the way out. Rui, however, laughed and invited her to his house.[13] In Rui's bedroom, Tsukushi was nervous about being alone with him. He showed her a photo album and then fell asleep. She waited for two hours, before leaving. On her way home, she saw Sakurako and Tsukasa laughing together.[56]

Tsukushi stood still for several moments while a car honked at her until a woman scratched it. She then insisted on taking Tsukushi to her house, before introducing herself as Tsubaki Domyoji. Just as she realized she was Tsukasa's sister, Tsukushi was trapped in the house but managed to hide before he saw her. She became lost and Tsukasa found her later.[57] He was angry and grabbed her arm, just before Tsubaki knocked him out. Tsukushi made an attempt to tell her that she knew Tsukasa, but could not get a word in. She finally confessed it when she was drunk over dinner. Later, Tsubaki told her about Tsukasa's childhood and asked her to "try and understand him." Tsukushi felt "I have no right to be with him anymore."[58] The next day, Tsukasa announced that Kazuya was replacing Rui in the F4. He then told Rui and Tsukushi that he was going to have them expelled.[59]

Tsukushi questioned the expulsion at first, but resigned herself to it after seeing Rui's complacent attitude about it. She, however, could not bring herself to tell her parents about it.[60] The next day, Tsukasa's sister came to Eitoku and dragged Tsukushi into the principal's office. Tsukushi promised to leave school if that would "satisfy" Tsukasa. Rui then offered to be expelled instead. Tsubaki interrupted and proposed they settle the matter with sports. A three-on-three basketball match was decided upon. Tsukushi, Rui, and Kazuya practiced late into the night. On her way home, she ran into Tsukasa who promised to cancel the match if she said she loved him.[61] Tsukushi resisted his advances, having chosen to follow Rui. Though devastated, Tsukasa accepted it and left with a smile. She wondered whether she would come to regret her decision to reject Tsukasa.[62]

Hard times

Tsukushi-upset

Tsukushi upset at Tsukasa when she learns he is leaving Japan

"What do I do? Everything's fallen onto my shoulders. They're all depending on me. If I tell them that Rui Hanazawa doesn't want me, and Tsukasa never wants to speak to me again, it'll kill them. I've got to work. I've got to work like mad!"
—Tsukushi feels pressure from her family[src]

The next day, the match was held at Eitoku. Tsukushi was intimidated by the crowd, but vowed to herself that she would not leave "without a fight." Tsukushi's team did not fare well for most of the match. Rui managed to score six points in three minutes. He then had Tsukushi attempt a two-pointer in order to win.[63] She missed it, though Kazuya scored one point. Tsukasa then suddenly quit the game, telling Tsukushi "Do whatever you want" on the way out.[21] Afterwards, they went to celebrate at the Domyojis' mansion. Akira and Sojiro asked her and Rui whether they had had sex. Learning they had not, the two proceeded to lock them in a room.[64] There a drunk Rui admitted that he had used her to forget Shizuka. He tried to apologize for getting between her and Tsukasa. She insisted she had "no regrets," though she admitted to herself "It hurts a little."[65]

The next morning, Tsukushi learned that her father had lost his job and they had to move into a smaller, shabbier apartment. They put pressure on Tsukushi to marry rich. She instead set out to find a better paying part-time job. Tsukushi was enticed by a man's offer to take photos of her uniform for 100,000 yen. She quickly became uncomfortable and tried to leave, but was restrained by the men.[66] A delivery guy arrived at that moment. Seeing Tsukushi's predicament, he beat up the men and helped her escape. He scolded her for following those guys, leading her to yell out her frustrations at him.[67] He promised to help her find at job, taking her to a fast food restaurant where she could earn a decent wage. His helpfulness later led her to nickname him "Kinsan." That night, Tsukushi resolved to keep herself busy in order to forget Rui.[7]

Kazuya informed Tsukushi the next day about Tsukasa leaving for New York. She promptly rushed off to go talk to him. Tsukushi was shocked to hear that he was leaving the following day and asked why he had not told her. His reply hurt her feelings, leading to her slapping him and bursting into tears. She then claimed it would be a "relief" to see him go and ran off. At work, Tsukasa came to say goodbye to her. He got into an argument with Kinsan. Tsukushi took Kinsan's side and Tsukasa left in a huff.[68] Later, she was sad that they did not say goodbye but considered it a "fitting end." The next day, Sakurako asked her why she did not go to see him off. She declared that Tsukushi was "the only one who [could] make him stay." Tsukushi, however, did not seem convinced. She later watched a plane go by and wondered if Tsukasa was on it.[69]

Help from Seinosuke

Tsukushi-and-Seinosuke

Tsukushi and Seinosuke on their date

"Your dad lost his job, your family was in trouble, and you were working so hard for them. I couldn't leave you alone. Seeing how positive you were, even though you had no one to support you. You were so different from the girls around me who spend their fathers' money like water. I thought I had met the perfect girl."
Seinosuke confesses his feelings to Tsukushi[src]

The next day, Kinsan asked her if she wanted to go somewhere on her day-off. Her mother mistakenly thought she was going on a date and forced Tsukushi to dress up. She then met up with Kinsan near her workplace.[70] They first visited a shrine in Asakusa, followed by a soba restaurant. There Tsukushi started to think Kinsan came from a poor family like hers. Kinsan later walked her part-way home. Near her house, she ran into Tsukasa just as Kinsan came walking up. Tsukasa revealed that Kinsan was actually Seinosuke Amakusa, a parliament member's son.[71] Tsukushi told Tsukasa he was mistaken, but believed him once she saw the magazine. She became upset, questioning "Did you feel sorry for me?" Her mother then showed up and insisted that Tsukasa come to their house. There her parents had her sleep alone with Tsukasa in a separate room from them.[72]

In the morning, Tsukasa asked Tsukushi to choose an outfit for him at a store. Annoyed by the prices, she rejected every outfit before approving the first one. Later at school, Tsukushi met Seinosuke, who cleared up the misunderstanding about his family. He then called her the "perfect girl," confessing his feelings, and invited her to his party.[73] After he left, Tsukasa walked up behind Tsukushi. He sensed that she was hiding something, which she denied. Later, Tsukushi asked Rui to attend Seinosuke's party with her that night. There she was shocked to see Tsukasa.[74] On stage, Seinosuke made an announcement about not wanting to follow in his father's footsteps. He then approached Tsukushi and asked her to be his girlfriend. Tsukasa punched him before she could answer. Rui helped Tsukushi escape the ensuing fight, which made national news the following day.[75]

On her way to work, she was stopped by a group of Eirin Academy students. She stood up to the girls, before Seinosuke forced them to leave her alone. He then apologized to her for the news coverage and asked her to think about becoming his girlfriend. At work, Tsukasa asked her some questions for a recommendation letter. He refused to tell her what it was for, promising "You'll find out tomorrow."[10] At home, Tsukushi learned that her father had borrowed one million yen from a loanshark and then lost it at the racetrack. To save her family from falling apart, Tsukushi decided to ask Tsukasa for a loan. She readily agreed to his terms, which were that she enter the Teen of Japan contest.[76] The next day, Tsubaki asked Tsukushi to come over to her house. She talked in length about the contest. Tsukushi was daunted by the unpredictable nature of it, though she decided to carry on.[77]

Teen of Japan

Tsukushi-TeenofJapan

Tsukushi passes to the final round of TOJ

"In my heart, this is no longer just a matter of money. I can't let down the people who've spent so much effort on me. If I'm an embarrassment, it will only reflect on me. I have to show them that this "pauper" has pride and will-power."
—Tsukushi to Seinosuke before the contest[src]

Tsukushi initially struggled with her lessons in such things as etiquette, English, and tea ceremony. After meeting Seinosuke's childhood friend Ayano Kurimaki, Tsukushi became more discouraged as she was shoo-in to win the contest. That night, she attempted to sneak out of Tsukasa's house but he caught her. He convinced her to stay and "be [her]self."[78] Tsukushi spent the rest of the night with Tsukasa, falling asleep next to him. She later began showing considerable improvement in her lessons. The day before TOJ, Seinosuke offered to help her repay Tsukasa's loan. She declined, saying "I can't let down the people who've spent so much effort on me."[79] In the first round, Tsukushi froze until Tsukasa yelled at her in the audience. She then chose an outfit that especially impressed one judge, despite jeering from the crowd. Tsukushi was passed to the next round.[80]

Backstage, Tsukushi learned that Ayano was engaged to Seinosuke. Ayano then revealed that she came to Japan to compete against Tsukushi. She was taken aback by the look in Ayano's eyes.[81] During the second round, she struggled to keep up with the judge whom was testing her English. Noticing she was faint, Tsukushi caught her before she fell and shouted "Pale." The judge was impressed with her "thoughtfulness." She then passed Tsukushi and Ayano on to the third and final round.[82] Seinosuke caught up with the two girls backstage. Ayano tearfully asked him if he remembered promising to marry her. Stunned, he looked at Tsukushi who then promised to give him her answer after the contest. As she walked onto the stage, she realized that she was not in love with Seinosuke and that Ayano was a "better match" for him.[83]

In the final round, she and Ayano were tasked with entertaining a group of children to determine the winner. Tsukushi met Ryusuke Hayama and his friends, whose cocky attitudes reminded her of Tsukasa and the F4. Despite a rocky start, she eventually befriended Ryusuke and then the other children. Tsukushi invited Ayano to join them for the rest of the round.[16] In the end, Ryusuke refused to pick either girl since he felt it was unfair. The judges crowned Ayano the winner based on overall points. They awarded Tsukushi a prize of 300,000 yen for her "heroic efforts." She then left briefly to go see Seinosuke, whom she told "I like you a lot but there's something that's not quite right." He asked her if she liked Tsukasa, but she did not have an answer. Once Seinosuke left, Tsukasa showed up and offered to cancel the remaining loan if she spent Christmas with him.[84]

Canada trip

Tsukushi-Tsukasa-cabin

Tsukasa tells Tsukushi to undress to stop frostbite

"Why do you do so much for me? One minute you're bullying me. The next you loan me a million yen and act so sweet. Even though I betrayed you terribly once. Why did you invite me out on Christmas?"
—Tsukushi's question ends up causing a fight with Tsukasa[src]

The F4 took Tsukushi out to celebrate afterwards. Noticing Tsukasa was staring at her, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. She was nervous thinking that try to take advantage of her later. The following morning, Tsukushi was greeted by Ryusuke whom wanted to spend Christmas with her.[85] She ended up bringing him along to meet Tsukasa. Though Tsukasa was annoyed, Tsukushi was relieved as it meant she would not be alone with him. He and Ryusuke bickered until they reached the zoo, where Tsukasa began being nicer.[86] Later, Tsukushi asked Tsukasa "Why do you bother with me?" He became irritated and refused to answer her. The two then had an explosive fight, leading to them both storming off. The next day at work, Sojiro and Akira helped sell out the store. She offered them her commission, but they asked her to come with them to Canada instead.[87]

At first, Tsukushi was reluctant to accept their invitation to Canada. She explained her reasons to Yuki, whom was also invited. Later that day, her family encouraged her to go since her father now had a new job. She then received a call from Tsukasa, whom yelled "If you go, I'm not going!" Tsukushi stubbornly decided she would go after all.[88] On the plane, she was annoyed to see several Eitoku girls, including Yuriko. At Tsukasa's villa, Tsukushi yelled at him for coming on the trip. The two finally stopped fighting the next day, when Tsukasa showed her how to snowboard. That night, Yuriko informed Tsukushi that she saw Yuki go outside.[89] Tsukushi went to go look for her, but tripped in the snow and twisted her ankle. She then realized she was lost. Tsukushi was passed-out when Tsukasa found her. He carried her to a nearby ranger's cabin.[90]

Once in the cabin, Tsukasa told her to take off her clothes to stop frostbite. Tsukushi was hesitant, being worried about whether Tsukasa would try something. He told her "You've got to think about surviving." Tsukushi realized she was being "stupid" and listened him. She laid in his arms for the rest of the night. The next morning, he carried back to the house.[91] Yuriko and her friends apologized to Tsukushi and she told them that they could stay. However, they later revealed they were not sorry. She decided to get revenge on them by playing a ghost prank.[92] It did not go as plan, when Shizuka made a surprise appearance. After talking to her for a while, Tsukasa invited Tsukushi on a walk. He told her "I think it's time we settled things." She assumed he was talking of her 700,000 yen debt to him and promised to start paying it back.[93]

Problems with Tsukasa

Tsukushi-and-Junpei

Tsukushi at a photo shoot with Junpei

"I don't like anybody! Tsukasa, when I'm with you, I feel like I'm suffocating! This school, your gang, your power... I feel like I'm being crushed! I just want I little happiness. I want to get away from you and the F4"
—Tsukushi starts to overwhelmed by Tsukasa[src]

A few days after the trip, Tsukushi and Yuki went to a shrine together. They met a fortuneteller, who warned her about a boy close to her and advised her to "cut ties." Tsukushi felt that she was talking about Tsukasa. The next day, she and Yuki went to a middle school reunion. It ended abruptly when Tsukasa, out of nowhere, attacked her friend Shingo. After everyone had ran off, Tsukushi slapped him.[94] He then reminded her of how he saved her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In response, she started to rub her lips hard. He then pushed her against a wall. Tsukushi cried and told him "You'd never be able to understand how much I looked forward to this day," before running off. The next day, she went to visit Shingo at his house. They reminisced about middle school. Junpei Oribe, whom Shingo introduced as his brother, entered the room shortly.[20]

After saying goodbye to Shingo, Junpei offered to walk her to the station. The next day, she walked by Tsukasa without saying anything, only saying "Happy New Year" to Kazuya. Some girls bullied Tsukushi by tripping her, but a guy in glasses helped her when he dropped his books on them by accident. It took her a moment to realize that he was Junpei.[95] Tsukushi was surprised by his simple disguise as well as by his nonchalant attitude about the F4. He reminded her of herself from when she first started attending Eitoku. Junpei asked her to be friends and she accepted, despite thinking him odd.[96] He then invited her to his job, which turned out to be a photo shoot. Junpei roped her into taking a few photos, assuring her that they would not make it to print. As such, she was angry when one actually made the cover. She threatened to end their friendship until Junpei cried.[97]

Tsukasa confronted Tsukushi about the magazine. Junpei goaded him into fighting him, saying things like "Do you love this guy?" to Tsukushi. She eventually shouted "I don't like anybody!" Tsukasa then told her that he loved her. Tsukushi was taken aback by his confession and allowed Junpei to steer her away from him.[98] Days later, she was still thinking of his words. She was confused that he loved her even after her betrayal. On her way out of school with Junpei, someone threw a potted plant at her. He suspected Tsukasa was behind it. She did not consider it until Sojiro and Akira revealed Tsukasa had been missing for a few days.[99] The next day, she was targeted again after receiving another red card. Kazuya and Sakurako helped her hide. Sakurako did not think Tsukasa sent it, suspecting Junpei instead. They then allowed Tsukushi to escape via a window.[100]

Junpei incident

Tsukushi-tied-up

Tsukushi tied up by Junpei's accomplices

"It's just that I had a dream. I saw you die. I was so scared. I thought you would die. After what I said, I was sure you wouldn't come. But, like a fool, you came and you were punched, kicked by those rotten punks. I was sure you were dead. Then you went and played that trick on me."
—Tsukushi to Tsukasa at the hospital[src]

Tsukushi was hit by a bully, which caused her to pass out. She woke up in the school's courtyard with Junpei nearby. Tsukushi was upset about fainting, saying "I should have killed those guys!" Junpei then left to get her a drink. Four guys kidnapped her suddenly and tied her up in an old storage room. They cut off a chunk of hair as well.[101] Their ringleader, Junpei, arrived shortly. He revealed to her that he used her to get revenge on Tsukasa. She was upset, believing their whole friendship was a lie. Tsukushi yelled at him "You're nothing like the kind Junpei I knew!" She then told him "Tsukasa won't come."[102] Tsukasa arrived several minutes later. The guys proceeded to severely beat him up. When Junpei tried to hit Tsukasa with a chair, Tsukushi threw herself in front of him. She asked him "Why didn't you fight back?!," to which he said "This was the only way to protect you."[103]

Later, Tsukushi had a nightmare of Tsukasa dying. She woke up with a start in the hospital. Her first thought was to see Tsukasa. She then went to his room, where Sojiro told her "You're too late." Tsukushi cried over his body, while she said things like "Maybe lots of people wanted to see you dead, but not me." He was only faking, upsetting Tsukushi. Once the others left, she cried and admitted that she was scared that he really died.[104] Junpei then entered the room, which worried Tsukushi who thought he was there to "finish off [Tsukasa]." He was actually there to apologize to her. She told him "It's too late to be sorry," though she secretly thought they would laugh together again. The next day, Sojiro and Akira pressured Tsukushi into dating Tsukasa already. In order to get away, she said "Tsukasa's sort of like a dog" and the ran off.[105]

After being released from the hospital, Tsukushi started to think "Maybe I can't run away from him anymore." Her mother cut her hair before she returned to school. Tsukushi thought it was "awful." Rui later improved her hair by layering it. Tsukasa then showed up and invited her to his birthday party.[106] At his party, Sojiro, Akira, and Rui immediately brought Tsukushi to Tsubaki to have her dress changed. They were concerned about Tsukasa's mother, Kaede Domyoji, who would consider her a potential fiancée. She became nervous at the prospect of meeting her and unintentionally caused a scene.[107] Rui lied to Tsukasa's mother about Tsukushi's father being a company president. Kaede prompted Tsukushi to play the piano. She recognized this as a test and banged on the keys. A fight occurred between Tsukasa and his mother, leading to him fleeing with Tsukushi.[108]

Tsukasa's birthday

Kaede-offers-Tsukushi

Kaede tries to bribe Tsukushi and her family

Tsukushi: "I haven't got status, or money, or beauty. There are lots of girls at Eitoku who have all three. I just can't figure out why it's me. The only explanation I can think of is that you're crazy."
Tsukasa: "Maybe you're right. I wonder the same thing myself, but love can't be figured out. I've got the status, money, and beauty so you can stay as you are."
— Tsukushi and Tsukasa on his family's yacht[src]

In the car, Tsukushi yelled at Tsukasa to tell her where he was going. He became annoyed and almost caused them to crash. Tsukushi bumped her head and passed out. She awoke to find herself on Tsukasa's family's yacht. Their conversation turned to Tsukasa's family. He assured her "I run my own life." Tsukushi, however, thought to herself "I have nothing to do with his life."[109] While Tsukasa was trying to fish, Tsukushi asked "What exactly makes you think that I love you?!" He felt confident that she did, but then asked her "How do you feel about me?" Tsukushi replied "I don't know." She then asked "Why me?" and began listing everything she lacked. Tsukasa "I've got the status, money, and beauty so you can stay as you are." When his fishing attempts failed, Tsukushi remembered her birthday present to him. He was so happy that he kissed her.[11]

After Tsukasa dropped her off, Tsukushi thought "What am I going to do?" regarding his feelings for her. She then decided to go to sleep. Some hours later, she was awaken by her parents yelling about Tsukasa's mother being there. Kaede told her and her parents "I want Tsukushi to give Tsukasa up" and presented fifty million yen. Tsukushi felt insulted, especially be Kaede comparing her to a "stone" in Tsukasa's path.[110] She was surprised and happy when her mother rejected the money. However, her joy did not last for long. Her mother revealed that she wanted her to marry Tsukasa to get all of their money. At work, Tsukushi was talking with Yuki when she decided to end things with Tsukasa. Kaede's secretary then arrived and asked her to come with him. He brought her Kaede's hotel, where she had gathered Tsukasa and his new fiancée Shigeru Okawahara.[111]

Kaede asked Tsukushi "Do you understand now, how matters stand?" She answered "Yes" but her feet remained stuck to the floor. Tsukasa then suddenly ran out, grabbing Shigeru. Tsukushi was still fuming, when she and Yuki went out to a fast food restaurant. She believed that Tsukasa was already seeing Shigeru, though Yuki told her it was probably a "mistake."[112] The next day, Tsukushi confronted Tsukasa at school. She refused to believe his explanation, feeling he treated her like a "premarital plaything." Tsukushi stormed off after kicking him in the stomach. Later, she coincidentally ran into Shigeru. Tsukasa walked up shortly.[113] After Shigeru declared her decision to fall in love with Tsukasa, Tsukushi walked away in annoyance. Shigeru followed her and ended up dragging her to a cafe. There Tsukushi agreed to help her with Tsukasa by accident.[114]

Friends with Shigeru

Tsukushi-congratulates-Shigeru

Tsukushi congratulates Shigeru

"I'm hurt. Ever since I saw them kiss. I've got a scar, somewhere in my body. His feelings for me were too heavy. It was too painful, so I used his family as a reason to run away. Why should I feel hurt now? I'm such a selfish person."
—Tsukushi acknowledges her feelings about Tsukasa and Shigeru[src]

That afternoon, Shigeru dragged Tsukushi on a shopping trip. She felt Shigeru was being "pushy" at first, but thought differently of her after she gifted Tsukushi an outfit that she saw her admire. Near her home, Tsukasa was waiting for Tsukushi. He tried to explain everything to her. She revealed that she was just with Shigeru and started saying nice things about her. Finally, she told him "I think someone like her is what you need." He then slapped her.[115] The next day, Tsukushi saw Shigeru with Sojiro and Akira, whom were trying to get her away from Tsukasa. The two guys were later upset when Tsukushi revealed that she "broke it off with Tsukasa." She broke down about the situation with his mother, leading the guys to sympathize with her. That night, a crying Shigeru told her that Tsukasa had asked her out. Tsukushi congratulated and hugged her.[116]

Later, Tsukushi pretended that she was okay with Tsukasa and Shigeru being together and decided that this was a new "beginning." However, Shigeru kept visiting her often to talk about Tsukasa. Tsukushi always reassured her, despite not wanting to talk about him at all.[117] Later at school, Tsukushi and Rui witnessed Tsukasa kissing Shigeru. She had a harder time acting like that did not bother her. To forget about it, Tsukushi threw herself into her job. That night, she met Rui. They went to a cafe together, where they ran into Shigeru and Tsukasa. Shigeru then invited them to her family's villa. Tsukushi was forced to go when Rui said yes.[118] At the villa, she ended up passing out in the baths after telling Shigeru that she was "happy" for her, though she actually felt hurt. Rui saved Tsukushi and carried her to their room. She soon woke up and was flustered about sharing a room with Rui.[119]

Rui held Tsukushi's hand when they laid done to go to sleep. She reflected "Even if my feelings for him can no longer be called love, I think I'll like Rui Hanazawa." They shortly heard noises coming from Shigeru and Tsukasa's room. Tsukushi was worried that Tsukasa was "forcing her" and went to look. Once she saw Shigeru on top of him, Tsukushi quickly ran away.[120] Early the next morning, Tsukasa sat next to Tsukushi near the koi pond. She felt awkward and went back in after he told her that he was going home. Later, Tsukushi said goodbye to Shigeru who insinuated that she had slept with Tsukasa. On the way home, Tsukushi talked to Rui, who said "The fact that it was Tsukasa is what bugs you." At home, her parents revealed that they were moving to a fishing village and leaving her behind. Upset at first, Tsukushi decided that "this could be good."[121]

Being on her own

Tsukasa-Tsukushi-maid

Tsukushi comes to live at Tsukasa's house as a maid

Tsukushi: "If your son is so precious to you, why don't you put a rope around his neck and tie him to a post!"
Kaede: "Who do you think you are talking to me like that?"
Tsukushi: "I'm a nobody. Maybe I'm just a weed to someone like you, but I don't live a life that anyone can scorn. I scorn you from the bottom of my heart. You're sick for treating people like this, especially your own son. Please leave. I will not allow you into my world."
— Tsukushi stands up to Kaede[src]

After saying goodbye to her family, Tsukushi repainted the apartment with Kazuya and Yuki. That night, she was visited by Shigeru who revealed her lies as well as the engagement being called off. She then told her "I want to stay friends with you." Tsukushi responded "If you don't mind me, you can remain my friend forever."[122] The next day, Tsukushi ran into Sojiro and Akira at school. They learned about her living alone and invited themselves to her place, along with Rui. Tsukushi was surprised by another guest, Kaede, who accused her of interfering with the Domyoji family. Insulted, Tsukushi stood up to Kaede, forcing her to leave.[123] Tsukushi declared to guys that she was going to "fight" Kaede, though she did not have plan. The three offered her their support. Sometime later, she received furniture from the guys. The weight of it all caused her apartment's floor to collapse.[124]

Homeless and without any money, Tsukushi coincidentally met Seinosuke. He brought her to his place, where they caught up with each other. She admitted to him that she "[could not] make up [her] mind" about Tsukasa, just before falling asleep. When she woke up, Tsukushi found herself at the Domyojis' house.[125] Tsubaki invited her to stay there, which Tsukushi was against. Then Tsubaki explained her own arranged marriage, admitting to Tsukushi "I don't want Tsukasa to have to go through what I did." The next morning, Tsukushi got the idea to work there if she was to stay.[126] Tsubaki did not like the idea, but head maid Tama agreed to train her. Later, Tsukushi delivered tea to Tsukasa who said "You said you would fight my old lady for our sake?" She tried to correct him to no avail. Tama then burst in and suddenly decided to make Tsukushi Tsukasa's "personal maid."[8]

Tsukushi began to worry that Tsukasa had the "wrong idea," which caused her to be frightened when he grabbed her while she was trying to wake him. Walking to school, she met Rui and Sojiro along the way and told them of her circumstances. Despite promising not to tell, the whole school knew everything by the end of the day.[127] On the way home, Tsukasa informed Tsukushi that he wanted her to come to his room around midnight. She spent the rest of the day worrying about the implications of his request. Over dinner, Tsukushi tried to explain herself to Tsukasa, only to realize he had left already.[128] Back in her room, she ignored Tsukasa's calls until eventually opening her door to leave. He then set up a telescope on her balcony to show her Saturn. Tsukushi felt like a "fool" for worrying so much. Tsukasa gave her a necklace, which she was hesitant to accept.[129]

Dating Tsukasa

Tsukushi-and-Tsukasa-kissing

Tsukushi and Tsukasa kissing

"About what we talked about last night. I'll try and go out with you for a while. For two months, I'll try it face to face. You and me. I'll be at your mercy."
—Tsukushi agrees to date Tsukasa[src]

Tsukushi allowed Tsukasa to kiss her, but stopped him when he tried to take it further than that. He asked her how she felt about him and Shigeru dating, leading her to respond "I was a little shocked." Tsukasa then asked her to date him. Tsukushi admitted to him that her feelings for him were likely only "one-tenth" of his feelings for her. He told her that they should date anyway and split up in two months if it did not work out. Tsukushi thought to herself that she could be happy if she was able to fall for him.[130] In the morning, Tsukushi went to Tsukasa's room and agreed to date him. She wanted to keep their relationship "low profile" but it soon got around the school. Feeling pressured by the attention, Tsukushi started to worry she would not have an answer for Tsukasa in two months time. After school, she went over to Yuki's house for advice. She suggested a double date.[131]

Returning to Tsukasa's, Tsukushi asked him to go on the double date with Yuki and her boyfriend, Nakatsuka. She added it would be a "poor man's date." He refused, making her mad about his inability to compromise. Later, she met with Yuki and Nakatsuka and intended to leave after explaining everything. However, Tsukasa actually showed up which made Tsukushi happy.[132] The date became strained due to Nakatsuka's constant rude comments to Tsukasa. The two couples split up at the amusement park. Tsukushi and Tsukasa were able to enjoy themselves, but the tenseness returned upon meeting up with the others later.[133] Later, when Tsukasa punched Nakatsuka, he refused to explain why. Tsukushi became angry with him and instead believed Nakatsuka's version of the events. She ended up slapping Tsukasa, despite telling him violence was never right.[134]

The next day, Tsukushi was talking to Yuki when they saw Nakatsuka with another girl. Yuki ran away when he pretended not to know her, but Tsukushi stayed behind to confront him. He revealed the real reason Tsukasa hit him. Tsukushi ended up punching Nakatsuka twice, before running off to find Yuki.[135] After some time, she called Tsukasa to see if Yuki had called his home. He told Tsukushi to stay put. While waiting for him, she realized that she was hypocrite for hitting both him and Nakatsuka. She tried to leave, but Tsukasa found her first.[136] They later found Yuki and Sojiro confronting Nakatsuka. Tsukushi was confused, but Sojiro refused to say calling it a "secret." While she and Tsukasa bickered, Yuki and Sojiro slipped away. He started talking about their relationship, admitting his insecurities. Tsukushi then hugged him and said "I wanted to thank you for today."[137]

Tsukasa's mother returns

The following morning, Tsukushi was hyper-focused on hugging Tsukasa. She realized it was the first time she was "actively" involved. However, all thoughts of Tsukasa was pushed from her mind when she learned that Sojiro and Yuki were going on a date. She decided that she was going to follow them.[138] The next day, she enlisted Tsukasa's help though he was reluctant to help until she said "Please" sweetly. They followed Sojiro and Yuki to a nice restaurant near the sea. Tsukasa eventually told Tsukushi to "leave them alone," which she nearly went along with until seeing them go into a hotel.[139] By herself, Tsukushi attempted to get a room next to theirs. She was unable to acquire one until Tsukasa arrived soaking wet. Tsukushi was unaware that she pushed him into the sea by mistake. Now relaxing in the room, she completely forgot about Yuki until Tsukasa reminded her.[140]

After learning of Kaede's return to Japan, Tsukushi could not stop herself from worrying over what to do. Listening to the F4 talk about it, she felt that she could not rely on any of them. Yuki then suggested for her to come to her house. Tsukushi took her up on the offer and went back to Tsukasa's house to pack her things.[141] Kaede, however, discovered Tsukushi. Tama stepped in to stop her from kicking Tsukushi out of the house. After the confrontation, Tama brought Tsukushi back to her room. There she told Tsukushi about Tsukasa's trouble early life and credited her for "chang[ing] him."[142] The next morning, she was greeted by Kazuya and Sakurako before Tsukasa dragged her away. He brought her to a cafe she mentioned to him before. She skated around telling him about what happened with his mother. Then Tsukasa suddenly announced that he was "leaving home."[143]

The couple left the cafe and then went to a game center at Tsukushi's suggestion. He eventually broke down and asked her "Am I so unreliable?" Not answering the question directly, Tsukushi told him "Forget about leaving home." She explained that she "[did not] want to be protected" by him, but was happy with him nonetheless. Tsukushi then kissed him before running off.[144] Back at school, she went to the emergency exit to think about her kissing Tsukasa. She tried to convince herself that it was just a "thank you gift," which Rui teased her about. He eventually asked about Tsukasa's mother and voiced his suspicions about her targeting Tsukushi's friends. Worried, Tsukushi rushed over to Yuki's house and discovered her father was receiving a transfer. She ran off, telling Yuki "It's all right." She then ran into Kazuya and learned his family's business was going bankrupt.[145]

Fishing village

At Tsukasa's house, Tsukushi confronted Kaede and immediately accepted her conditions to stay away from the Domyoji family. Kaede then put everything right with a couple phone calls. Tsukushi told her that "there are more important things [than money]," which Kaede scoffed at. She threw her drink at Kaede and threatened her to never hurt her friends again.[146] Afterwards, Tsukushi packed her things and wrote a note to Tama. She waited outside in the rain to break up with Tsukasa. She revealed what happened and told him that she "made up [her] mind" to stay away from him. He asked "Have you ever seen me as just a guy?" She lied saying "If I loved you, I wouldn't be leaving like this." A short distance away, tears were streaming down her face when met Tama. To herself, she finally admitted "The truth is I've thought many times that I loved Tsukasa."[147]

College

Meeting Oto and Haruto

Tsukushi-meets-Haruto-Oto

Tsukushi meets Oto and Haruto in Los Angeles

Tsukushi: "I'm not saying this lightly, but if you two need to be together then I don't think you should separate."
Oto: "But we don't have that option."
Tsukushi: "There's only one choice for you. It'll be fine. Just leave it up to him. If you give it a try, Oto, he'll exceed your expectations."
— Tsukushi advises Oto and Haruto while thinking of her own situation[src]

Tsukushi went to Los Angeles for "bridal training." She had to master five languages, and study ballroom dancing, international affairs, economics, and business management.[148] One day, Tsukushi went to the boardwalk to yell her frustrations about the training and was seen by Haruto Kaguragi and Oto Edogawa.[149] She was surprised that Haruto recognized her until he called her Tsukasa's girlfriend. He then asked about where Tsukasa was, to which Tsukushi answered "I wonder where he is too." She had rush off after looking at the time.[150] That night, Haruto and Oto came to Tsubaki's house, where Tsukushi was staying, with their friends. She formally introduced herself to them, having not caught their names earlier. Oto asked Tsukushi about her reasons for being in LA. She told her about her training and then said "I've been trying my best but I'm tired." Tsukushi left to go to bed.[148]

That night, Tsukushi snuck onto Haruto's plane using a special VIP pass. She was found by the others, but then fell asleep for the rest of the flight. Once it landed, Tsukushi apologized and thanked Haruto. Oto then invited her to her home. There an annoyed Haruto told Tsukushi he was "super disappointed," expecting Tsukasa's girlfriend to not run away from her problems. She was not offended and explained her situation, saying "Sometimes I want to give up." Rui then walked in since Tsukushi had texted him her location.[151] Oto's parents arrived shortly. Tsukushi introduced herself and Rui to them. Oto and Haruto walked her and Rui outside, after her parents revealed they were moving to Kyushu. Tsukushi told Haruto and Oto "If you two need to be together then I don't think you should separate." Once they left, she admitted to Rui that she really wanted to see Tsukasa.[152]

After Oto and Haruto talked to her parents, they met up with Tsukushi at a cafe. They both thanked her for her help. Tsukushi then revealed that she decided to give the bridal training another try. The next day, Oto and the Correct 5, except Haruto, went to see her off.[153] Before she board the plane with Tama, Kaito Taira explained to Tsukushi how important Tsukasa was to Haruto. A few seconds later, Oto dragged her off the plane. Tsukasa then arrived and embraced her.[154] He said "I told you not to go to L.A.," leading to argument. She told him that she wanted to understand his life better, but admitted "Once I tried it, it was really hard. I was so lonely." Tsukasa then hugged her and asked her to call him if she needed him. Feeling better, Tsukushi decided to go back still. She introduced Tsukasa to Haruto, before leaving. Back in Law, Tsukushi continued her lessons, surprising Kaede.[155]

Physical appearance

Tsukushi had copper colored hair and her eyes were a similar shade. During her first year of high school, she often styled her hair in braids. Tsukushi mostly wore it down after she challenged the F4. Her hair was shoulder-length until part of it was cut by Junpei. Tsukushi's hair was then styled as a short bob-cut for the rest of high school. When not wearing her school uniform, she wore modest but cute clothing.

Personality and traits

Due to her upbringing, Tsukushi developed into a strong-willed, tough person. She often referenced her name in this regard, saying things like "You can pull a weed and mow it down, but it always grows back stronger than ever." Tsukushi felt out of place at Eitoku, not being able to relate to her rich classmates. She gradually became withdrawn due to the environment, ignoring her strong sense of justice. After standing up to Tsukasa, Tsukushi changed from a "scared little girl" back to her strong self.

Tsukushi was generally a well-liked and popular person, particularly in elementary and middle school. In high school, she was disliked by her rich classmates who were jealous of her friendship with the F4. However, Tsukushi was still able to gain several loyal friends. She was also inexperienced with love and relationships.

Etymology

Tsukushi's given name means "weed," a plant usually considered undesirable. More specifically, it is likely a reference to the field horsetail.[156] Her parents named her Tsukushi since weeds are supposed to "grow back stronger" even after being pulled. It is written in Hiragana as つくし. Her surname, Makino (牧野 () ), is a not uncommon Japanese name. It utilizes the kun'yomi pronunciation of both kanji; written as まきの in Hiragana.[157] Together the kanji can mean either pasture or ranch.[158]

Behind the scenes

See also: Category:Tsukushi Makino portrayals
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Boys Over Flowers Wiki has 754 images related to Tsukushi Makino.
Yuki-as-Tsukushi

Yuki Uchida as Tsukushi

  • In Hana Yori Dango (1995), she is portrayed by Yuki Uchida.[160] Uchida was an extremely popular Japanese idol at the time. The film plays it relatively close to the original, except changing Tsukushi to a university student. She angers Tsukasa by insulting him, which results in her being bullied. Tsukushi first falls for Rui and slowly becomes friends with Tsukasa. She later agrees to date Tsukasa and betrays him by kissing Rui. In the end, Tsukushi realizes she is love with Tsukasa.
Tsukushi-anime2

Tsukushi in the anime

ShanCai

Barbie Hsu as Shan Cai

Ririka-as-Tsukushi

Ririka Kato as Tsukushi

Appearances

References

  1. Tsukki (ツッキー) in the Japanese version
  2. Jeanne d'Arc (ジャンヌ・ダルク) in the Japanese version
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chapter 22, Boys Over Flowers
  4. Despite Tsukushi's age being cited as 17 several times, she is most likely 16 at the beginning of the series and 17 after the TOJ arc. The reason for this discrepancy is likely from the author not choosing her birthday until much later.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Hana Yori Dango: Yoko Kamio Illustrations
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Hana Yori Dango FF
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chapter 54, Boys Over Flowers
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chapter 118, Boys Over Flowers
  9. Chapter 240, Boys Over Flowers
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Chapter 63, Boys Over Flowers
  11. 11.0 11.1 Chapter 100, Boys Over Flowers
  12. "Shall I Talk About Myself? Part 2", Boys Over Flowers: Jewelry Box
  13. 13.0 13.1 Chapter 40, Boys Over Flowers
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Boys Over Flowers volume 2, side-columns
  15. 15.0 15.1 Chapter 2, Boys Over Flowers
  16. 16.0 16.1 Chapter 72, Boys Over Flowers
  17. 17.0 17.1 Chapter 13, Boys Over Flowers
  18. 18.0 18.1 Chapter 8, Boys Over Flowers
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Chapter 1, Boys Over Flowers
  20. 20.0 20.1 Chapter 84, Boys Over Flowers
  21. 21.0 21.1 Chapter 49, Boys Over Flowers
  22. Chapter 3, Boys Over Flowers
  23. Chapter 4, Boys Over Flowers
  24. Chapter 5, Boys Over Flowers
  25. Chapter 6, Boys Over Flowers
  26. Chapter 7, Boys Over Flowers
  27. Chapter 9, Boys Over Flowers
  28. Chapter 10, Boys Over Flowers
  29. Chapter 11, Boys Over Flowers
  30. Chapter 12, Boys Over Flowers
  31. Chapter 14, Boys Over Flowers
  32. Chapter 15, Boys Over Flowers
  33. Chapter 16, Boys Over Flowers
  34. Chapter 17, Boys Over Flowers
  35. Chapter 18, Boys Over Flowers
  36. Chapter 19, Boys Over Flowers
  37. Chapter 20, Boys Over Flowers
  38. Chapter 21, Boys Over Flowers
  39. Chapter 23, Boys Over Flowers
  40. Chapter 24, Boys Over Flowers
  41. Chapter 25, Boys Over Flowers
  42. Chapter 26, Boys Over Flowers
  43. Chapter 27, Boys Over Flowers
  44. Chapter 28, Boys Over Flowers
  45. Chapter 29, Boys Over Flowers
  46. Chapter 30, Boys Over Flowers
  47. Chapter 31, Boys Over Flowers
  48. Chapter 32, Boys Over Flowers
  49. Chapter 33, Boys Over Flowers
  50. Chapter 34, Boys Over Flowers
  51. Chapter 35, Boys Over Flowers
  52. Chapter 36, Boys Over Flowers
  53. Chapter 37, Boys Over Flowers
  54. Chapter 38, Boys Over Flowers
  55. Chapter 39, Boys Over Flowers
  56. Chapter 41, Boys Over Flowers
  57. Chapter 42, Boys Over Flowers
  58. Chapter 43, Boys Over Flowers
  59. Chapter 44, Boys Over Flowers
  60. Chapter 45, Boys Over Flowers
  61. Chapter 46, Boys Over Flowers
  62. Chapter 47, Boys Over Flowers
  63. Chapter 48, Boys Over Flowers
  64. Chapter 50, Boys Over Flowers
  65. Chapter 51, Boys Over Flowers
  66. Chapter 52, Boys Over Flowers
  67. Chapter 53, Boys Over Flowers
  68. Chapter 55, Boys Over Flowers
  69. Chapter 56, Boys Over Flowers
  70. Chapter 57, Boys Over Flowers
  71. Chapter 58, Boys Over Flowers
  72. Chapter 59, Boys Over Flowers
  73. Chapter 60, Boys Over Flowers
  74. Chapter 61, Boys Over Flowers
  75. Chapter 62, Boys Over Flowers
  76. Chapter 64, Boys Over Flowers
  77. Chapter 65, Boys Over Flowers
  78. Chapter 66, Boys Over Flowers
  79. Chapter 67, Boys Over Flowers
  80. Chapter 68, Boys Over Flowers
  81. Chapter 69, Boys Over Flowers
  82. Chapter 70, Boys Over Flowers
  83. Chapter 71, Boys Over Flowers
  84. Chapter 73, Boys Over Flowers
  85. Chapter 74, Boys Over Flowers
  86. Chapter 75, Boys Over Flowers
  87. Chapter 76, Boys Over Flowers
  88. Chapter 77, Boys Over Flowers
  89. Chapter 78, Boys Over Flowers
  90. Chapter 79, Boys Over Flowers
  91. Chapter 80, Boys Over Flowers
  92. Chapter 81, Boys Over Flowers
  93. Chapter 82, Boys Over Flowers
  94. Chapter 83, Boys Over Flowers
  95. Chapter 85, Boys Over Flowers
  96. Chapter 86, Boys Over Flowers
  97. Chapter 87, Boys Over Flowers
  98. Chapter 88, Boys Over Flowers
  99. Chapter 89, Boys Over Flowers
  100. Chapter 90, Boys Over Flowers
  101. Chapter 91, Boys Over Flowers
  102. Chapter 92, Boys Over Flowers
  103. Chapter 93, Boys Over Flowers
  104. Chapter 94, Boys Over Flowers
  105. Chapter 95, Boys Over Flowers
  106. Chapter 96, Boys Over Flowers
  107. Chapter 97, Boys Over Flowers
  108. Chapter 98, Boys Over Flowers
  109. Chapter 99, Boys Over Flowers
  110. Chapter 101, Boys Over Flowers
  111. Chapter 102, Boys Over Flowers
  112. Chapter 103, Boys Over Flowers
  113. Chapter 104, Boys Over Flowers
  114. Chapter 105, Boys Over Flowers
  115. Chapter 106, Boys Over Flowers
  116. Chapter 107, Boys Over Flowers
  117. Chapter 108, Boys Over Flowers
  118. Chapter 109, Boys Over Flowers
  119. Chapter 110, Boys Over Flowers
  120. Chapter 111, Boys Over Flowers
  121. Chapter 112, Boys Over Flowers
  122. Chapter 113, Boys Over Flowers
  123. Chapter 114, Boys Over Flowers
  124. Chapter 115, Boys Over Flowers
  125. Chapter 116, Boys Over Flowers
  126. Chapter 117, Boys Over Flowers
  127. Chapter 119, Boys Over Flowers
  128. Chapter 120, Boys Over Flowers
  129. Chapter 121, Boys Over Flowers
  130. Chapter 122, Boys Over Flowers
  131. Chapter 123, Boys Over Flowers
  132. Chapter 124, Boys Over Flowers
  133. Chapter 125, Boys Over Flowers
  134. Chapter 126, Boys Over Flowers
  135. Chapter 127, Boys Over Flowers
  136. Chapter 128, Boys Over Flowers
  137. Chapter 129, Boys Over Flowers
  138. Chapter 130, Boys Over Flowers
  139. Chapter 131, Boys Over Flowers
  140. Chapter 132, Boys Over Flowers
  141. Chapter 133, Boys Over Flowers
  142. Chapter 134, Boys Over Flowers
  143. Chapter 135, Boys Over Flowers
  144. Chapter 136, Boys Over Flowers
  145. Chapter 137, Boys Over Flowers
  146. Chapter 138, Boys Over Flowers
  147. Chapter 139, Boys Over Flowers
  148. 148.0 148.1 Chapter 102, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  149. Chapter 100, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  150. Chapter 101, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  151. Chapter 103, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  152. Chapter 104, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  153. Chapter 105, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  154. Chapter 106, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  155. Chapter 107, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  156. https://jisho.org/word/土筆
  157. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/牧野
  158. https://jisho.org/word/牧野
  159. Boys Over Flowers volume 4, side-columns
  160. http://www.allcinema.net/prog/show_c.php?num_c=152613 (Japanese)
  161. http://lineup.toei-anim.co.jp/ja/tv/hanadan/character/ (Japanese)
  162. https://movie.walkerplus.com/mv45881/ (Japanese)
  163. Boys Over Flowers volume 17, "Voiceover Report"
  164. http://www.tbs.co.jp/hanayoridango/cast.html (Japanese)
  165. https://web.archive.org/web/20080519021913/http://www.tbs.co.jp/hanadan2/cast/ (Japanese)
  166. http://www.sanspo.com/geino/top/gt200708/gt2007081800.html (Japanese)
  167. http://www.konami.jp/hanadan/chara_makino.html (Japanese)
  168. http://www.mydaily.co.kr/news/read.html?newsid=200810060837081112&ext=na (Korean)
  169. http://www.theaterguide.co.jp/theater_news/2015/08/20.php (Japanese)
  170. http://ameblo.jp/hanadan-musical/entry-12237166997.html (Japanese)
  171. https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/meet-the-new-shancai-and-f4-in-the-2018-meteor-garden-tv-reboot
  172. https://spice.eplus.jp/articles/227737 (Japanese)
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