- "If I looked it square in the face, I know I'd learn something important. But I'm stubborn, and I want to pretend I don't notice it."
- —Tsukushi Makino[src]
Tsukushi Makino (
Tsukushi was the first child born to Chieko and Yasukichi, a normal, middle class couple. She had a younger brother named Susumu. Tsukushi was friends with Kazuya Aoike during elementary school. The two lost contact for a few years after moving on to different schools. In junior high, she became best friends with Yuki Matsuoka, with whom she later got a part-time job.
She was pressured by her mother into enrolling Eitoku Academy, a school typically attended by wealthy students. Tsukushi later regretted not going to a regular high school. At Eitoku, Tsukushi felt like a fish out of water and gradually began to dislike the school's environment, namely the F4's control over her classmates. She resolved to "keep a low profile" in order to avoid being bullied and began counting the days to graduation. Tsukushi made one friend, Makiko Endo, who was in the same class as her.
Meeting the F4
Tsukushi first interacted with the F4, when Makiko slipped down the stairs and landed on Tsukasa Domyoji. She asked him to forgive Makiko. He then insulted their friendship, which angered Tsukushi. She yelled at the F4, accusing them of acting like "big shots." Tsukushi regretted her outburst, but later realized she hated her own passive behavior. The next day, she received a red card in her locker. Her classmates quickly began bullying her. Tsukushi took out her frustrations by yelling at the emergency exit, where she met Rui Hanazawa and talked with him. He seemed kind of callous at first. Later that afternoon, a group of guys attempted to assault Tsukushi. Rui happened to pass by and forced them to leave her alone. The next morning, Tsukushi confronted Tsukasa by kicking him. She then declared war.
The following day, Tsukushi was perplexed by the others students saying "good morning" to her before learning it was a sort-of game. Tsukushi found Rui in the courtyard. She thanked him for saving her and hoped to see him at the emergency exit. He told her he would not go there again. After school, Tsukushi was kidnapped by Tsukasa's men. She was brought to his house and given a makeover. He made her an offer for her to "hang out" with him. She rejected his offer and stormed out. The next day, a rumor about Tsukushi being a delinquent in middle school and having a child was written on her classroom's chalkboard. She suspected Tsukasa and confronted him. Upon returning, Yuriko Asai, Minako Yamano, and Erika Ayuhara were wiping the board. The girls invited her to a party.
At the party, the three girls embarrassed Tsukushi and revealed that they were behind the rumors. Tsukushi got her revenge by outing the girls as gold diggers to the whole party. The next day, she found Rui at the emergency exit again. He was a lot nicer than usual. Later, the three girls confronted Tsukushi. They told her about Rui's first love Shizuka Todo, causing her great distress. Tsukasa then interrupted and forced the girls to leave her alone. He reached his hand towards her, but she refused it. She ran off and happened by Sojiro Nishikado and Akira Mimasaka, whom told her more about Shizuka. That night, Tsukushi ran into Rui kissing a poster of Shizuka. He asked her whether she liked him and then kissed her on the cheek. Tsukushi was left annoyed, realizing he was "playing with [her]."
- Tsukushi: "I never thought of you as a decent human being! But I see you're no better than vermin! Just what do you think you're doing, you jerk? How dare you hurt my dear friend! Say something!"
- Tsukasa: "It's because... Because you don't understand a thing!"
- — Tsukushi confronts Tsukasa about giving Kazuya a red card[src]
The next day, Tsukushi watched Rui greet Shizuka from a distance. After seeing her in person, Tsukushi was convinced that Shizuka was "way out of [her] league." She resolved to stay away from the F4 and return to her old life to avoid being hurt further. The next morning, Tsukushi braided her hair into pigtails without thinking. When she arrived at school, she ignored Tsukasa's teasing. She then ran into Kazuya Aoike, an old friend from elementary school. Tsukushi was reluctant at first to continue the friendship since she was still a pariah at Eitoku. However, she was unable to say no to his pleadings. Kazuya later received a red card from Tsukasa. Tsukushi confronted him and he claimed it was her fault. When he slapped her, Tsukushi punched him in response. She then set off to protect Kazuya from the bullies.
Tsukushi and Kazuya were chased into the university cafeteria, where she was picked up Rui. He demanded that they leave her alone. His interference angered Tsukasa, who ended their friendship. Once they left, Shizuka took Tsukushi into the girls room and helped her clean up. Shizuka speculated if Rui liked Tsukushi, whom strongly denied it. Afterwards, Tsukushi thanked Rui before being approached by Kazuya. He asked her to go to Atami with him for summer vacation. She then passed out. The next day, Tsukushi was allowed to stay home due to her high fever. Later the same day, she was visited by Tsukasa. Her parents allowed him to stay for dinner after hearing his name. Her mother forced Tsukushi to walk him partway home, during which she informed him about going to Atami with Kazuya.
Some days later, Tsukushi headed to Atami accompanied by Kazuya and her parents. They went sightseeing before heading to the beach, where they saw Tsukasa approaching on his family's yacht. The F4, Shizuka, and a number of others came onto shore. Shizuka invited Tsukushi to that night's party. She was hesitant to accept, but was forced to go by her parents. Shizuka gave Tsukushi a full makeover and lent her a dress as well. She felt as if she was "Cinderella for a night." Shizuka then escorted her into the party, earning compliments from many of the attendees. Once the party kicked off, Tsukushi began to feel out of place and dejected at seeing Rui dancing with Shizuka. The lights then suddenly turned off for a game. In the ensuing chaos, Tsukushi tripped and accidentally kissed Tsukasa.
Start of fall term
- Tsukushi: "I thought you hated me, so I'm really happy. This was the one ray of hope in my life."
- Rui: "You're exaggerating."
- Tsukushi: "No, it's true! Okay, maybe a little... but the time I spend here is like my life's greatest treasure."
- — Tsukushi is happy to see Rui at the emergency exit again[src]
Upset, Tsukushi promptly ran away after kissing Tsukasa. That night, Tsukushi tried to assure herself that it was "no big deal" before falling asleep. Her mother dragged her to the beach the following day. There she came face-to-face with Tsukasa. Sojiro told everyone about seeing the pair kiss the night before. Tsukushi rushed over to Rui to explain that it was an accident. He responded "I don't care who you kiss." Later that day, Tsukushi went to return Shizuka's dress to her. She ended up eavesdropping on Rui confessing his feelings to Shizuka. Tsukushi was feeling sad when Tsukasa and Kazuya came by and distracted her by starting a cookout. When Rui joined them, she accidentally let him know that she saw him and Shizuka. She told him "Don't hate me," to which he said "If I hated you, would I have helped you?"
On the first day of the new term, Tsukushi had a dream about Rui which turned into a nightmare about Tsukasa. Upon waking, she realized she was "going back to the real nightmare." She met Kazuya by the school's gate. He was convinced that they would no longer be bullied after the last night of the Atami trip. Kazuya was quickly proved wrong. Tsukushi comforted him by saying "I'm with you! We won't give up!" She then ran into Tsukasa, who startled her by waving a fake caterpillar in her face. Tsukushi briefly mourned losing her first kiss to "that idiot," before running off to the emergency exit. She was joined there by Rui, who was slightly rude at first. He then invited her to sit next him, allowing for the mood to become lighter. While chatting, Tsukushi admitted to Rui "This was the one ray of hope in my life."
Tsukushi was still at the emergency exit, when Shizuka arrived to ask Rui to accompany her to a photo shoot. She then invited Tsukushi to her birthday party and assured her that she would not invite any of her classmates. Later, she heard a commotion in the hallway and feared Kazuya was being bullied. She instead found Tsukasa hurting another student. After school, Tsukushi returned to the emergency exit to retrieve her things. She found Tsukasa there. He then pinned her to the wall. She managed to run away, but Tsukasa caught up with her when she tripped. He then kissed her, only stopping when she cried and begged him to stop. Some days later, Tsukushi relayed the ordeal to Yuki who was the only person she told. She then changed the subject by asking Yuki to go to Shizuka's party with her.
She and Yuki were escorted to Shizuka's party by Kazuya. Tsukushi was nervous about seeing Tsukasa there. He ignored her for the most part, except for a smirk when she stared at him while he was surrounded by models. Tsukushi began shoveling food into her mouth to hide her annoyance. Shizuka got on stage to announce her decision to return to France. Rui left soon after and asked Tsukushi to tell the others. She wondered over to Tsukasa. After bickering for a bit, Tsukushi started to feel sick. She ended up throwing up on his suit. He brought her home that night, which she only had a vague recollection of in the morning. The next day, Shizuka's decision was the talk of the school. Tsukushi found Rui at the emergency exit. To herself, she wondered whether it was bad for her to want him all to herself.
Later the same day, she overheard a group of girls scheming to get Rui for themselves. It shocked Tsukushi, forcing her to realize she had been doing the same thing. She then bumped into Shizuka and begged her to stay in Japan for Rui. Shizuka calmly expressed why she was leaving. Once Shizuka left, Rui confronted Tsukushi for interfering. She told him "You might never see her again," to which Rui replied that it was not her business. Tsukushi then ran off in tears. Some days later at the airport, Tsukushi asked Tsukasa if it was "healthy to repress your feelings." She was surprised when he simply answered "It's like there wasn't a relationship to begin with." Rui arrived after Shizuka left. Tsukushi yelled at him to go after her. He then showed his ticket and kissed Tsukushi on the forehead, before departing.
The following day, Tsukasa walked up to Tsukushi at school and told her "Sunday. One o'clock. The Hanae Mori Building at Omotesando." She was left perplexed, but completely dismissed the idea that he was asking her on a date. That Sunday, she went out shopping with her mother for several hours. Tsukushi became anxious about whether Tsukasa was really waiting. When she found him waiting in the snow, she asked him "Have you lost your mind?" He eventually admitted "I thought you were in an accident or something," which made Tsukushi feel guilty. She offered to treat to tea and brought him to cheap place, where they became stuck in the elevator. Tsukushi was nervous about being alone with Tsukasa, before learning he had a fever. She then took care of him until the elevator was opened in the morning.
- "Stop right there, or I'll beat your cute face to a pulp. You have no right to speak about her! Shizuka was like an angel with a beautiful heart to match her beautiful face. I thought you were like that, too! You might've called me an "ugly waste" but take a good look at yourself in the mirror and you'll see how twisted and deformed you are!"
- —Tsukushi stands up to Sakurako[src]
When Tsukushi arrived at school, the other students, including Yuriko and her friends, were suddenly being nice to her. She and Kazuya later found the school bulletin board, which announced that she and Tsukasa were a couple. Tsukushi made some weak attempts to clear up the mistake, while Tsukasa did not try at all. That afternoon, Tsukushi ran into Sakurako Sanjo who she had previously helped at Shizuka's party. Yuriko and her friends then dragged her away to go clubbing. Tsukushi met Thomas, who reminded her of Rui, there. The next morning, she woke up alone in a hotel room. The last thing she remembered was Thomas giving her a drink. Tsukushi became worried that she might have slept with Thomas. She decided to keep it a secret, realizing she would be bullied again if anyone found out at school.
The same day, Tsukushi went to Sakurako's house where she met Thomas again. He agreed to keep the previous night a secret, if she went out with him again. After Thomas left, Sakurako confided in Tsukushi her fear of boys and asked for help. Tsukushi's solution was to introduce her to the F4. Later, Yuriko and her friends revealed that they saw Sakurako at a club. Tsukushi did not believe them. That afternoon, Sakurako handed her a note from Thomas which asked her to meet him. She brought along Kazuya, annoying Thomas. The next day, Tsukushi found Sakurako with the F4. She became jealous, seeing Sakurako with Tsukasa. After school, she went to see Yuki whose sister suggested they go clubbing. There, to Tsukushi's surprise, she saw Sakurako not acting so innocent.
At first, Tsukushi was confused about this new side of Sakurako. She eventually decided "If I'm her friend, maybe I should just try to be more understanding." Later, she took up for Sakurako when Tsukasa made her cry. She yelled at Tsukushi for calling Tsukasa names. In the restroom, Sakurako admitted to having a crush on Tsukasa and Tsukushi revealed that they were not dating. The next day, her classmates began bullying her again. Tsukushi learned that it was because of a photo of her and Thomas being posted on the school's bulletin board. That night, she went to Sakurako's house to confront him. There she learned Sakurako was the one who took and posted the photo. Tsukushi defended herself to Sakurako, saying "You might've called me an "ugly waste" but take a good look at yourself in the mirror."
Saved by Tsukasa
- ""If you say it didn't happen, I believe you. I believe in you." I couldn't stop my tears when he said that. It felt like I was being protected from all the evils of the world and my knees went weak. To think that he'd rush to my aid like that. Everyone thought I was Domyoji's girlfriend, and I took advantage of it. I guess you could say I used Domyoji."
- —Tsukushi reflects after Tsukasa saves her[src]
After leaving Sakurako's house, Tsukushi wondered whether Tsukasa had seen the photo yet. She felt that she did not "want to disappoint him," despite thinking that she had hated him. The next day, Tsukushi headed to school nervous but resolved. She was first met with a strangely quiet campus. At her locker, Tsukushi was hit in the stomach with a bat by a male student. She managed to fight back and run away, but was eventually caught outside. Tsukasa then arrived and ordered them to stop. Sakurako interrupted to show him the photo, explaining "She deserves what she's getting." Tsukushi pleaded with him, "I don't care if no one else believes me as long as you do!" He ultimately walked away, leaving her with the bullies. Next, she was tied to a car. Kazuya tried to help her but was immediately subdued.
Tsukasa eventually came back to save Tsukushi. He held her in his arms, saying "If you say it didn't happen, I believe you." Tsukasa then picked her up and brought her to his house. There Tsukushi took a bath, during which she thought "It felt like I was being protected from all the evils of the world." She then started to feel bad for pretending to date him. Afterwards, Tsukushi was brought to Tsukasa's room where he cleaned her wounds. He asked about Thomas, leading her to joke "Don't tell me you're jealous." He admitted that he was jealous and that he loved her. Tsukasa then kissed her. Once she left the room, Tsukushi wondered what to do about Tsukasa's feelings. The next morning, she discovered that Tsukasa had left early. She rushed to school to stop him from torturing her attackers too much.
When Rui returned, Tsukasa told him that he was dating Tsukushi. She was unable to correct him. That afternoon, she ran into Thomas on her way home. He told her all about Sakurako. The next day, news of Sakurako's plastic surgery was spread around school. Tsukushi stubbornly thought "Serves her right," though she still appeared bothered. Later, Tsukasa gave her a pager and told her to come whenever he paged. Tsukushi was further annoyed by him when she discovered furniture crowding her home. He then paged her, asking her to meet him at a club. Tsukushi went only to tell him to take back the furniture. She was distracted by seeing Rui kissing a girl. The next day, Tsukushi stepped in when she saw Yuriko and her friends berating Sakurako. She told her "Don't think that I've forgiven you yet."
- Tsukushi: "I can't leave you alone! Even if I try, I can't get you out of my mind. I can't, I just can't! Why won't you just be happy? I can't stop thinking about things I shouldn't."
- Rui: "Why didn't I fall for a woman like you?"
- — Tsukushi to Rui[src]
Tsukushi later met Rui at the emergency exit. He surprised her by suggesting she date him instead of Tsukasa, which he then laughed off as a joke. After school, Tsukasa informed her that they were going to his family's villa. Tsukushi was annoyed and refused to go since her parents would be mad. He then informed her that he already received permission from them. They boarded his plane, joining the F3 and their dates. A scared Tsukushi clung to Tsukasa's neck during take-off. Once on the island, Tsukasa showed her their room, revealing they would be sharing it. Tsukushi was nervous about the implications. Later, she felt down after learning Rui was sharing a room with one of the girls Sojiro brought. Tsukushi went to bed early. Tsukasa followed shortly and told her that he would sleep on the couch.
Unable to sleep, Tsukushi went for a walk on the beach. She found Rui, who asked her to hold him. After a while, he told her about his time with Shizuka. Her pager interrupted their conversation. She returned to the villa, where she lied to Tsukasa saying she was alone. Tsukushi felt guilty after hearing how worried he was from Sojiro and Akira. The next morning, she joined the F4's volleyball game. She hit Tsukasa with the ball by accident. Tsukushi sat next to him while he recovered. A few minutes later, they were surprised by the arrival of Kazuya and Sakurako on his boat. Later, Kazuya informed everyone about Shizuka's betrothal. Tsukushi immediately knew that was the reason for Rui's strange behavior. That night, she returned to the beach. She cried as she told him "I can't leave you alone." He then kissed her.
After kissing Rui, Tsukushi felt very calm in his arms for a moment. Tsukasa then discovered the pair and punched Rui. Tsukushi went after him, saying "Wait! Please listen to me." He stopped to tell her that she broke his heart. Now crying, Tsukushi reached towards him but he yelled "Don't touch me!" Once he left, she stood in the ocean for a long time thinking of Tsukasa. In the morning, Tsukushi and the others returned home on Kazuya's boat since Tsukasa took his jet. She resolved to apologize to Tsukasa when she arrived at school a couple days later. He, however, ignored her when she attempted to speak to him. Later, Tsukushi met Rui at the emergency exit. Their conversation turned to Tsukasa, which made her cry as she remembered his hurt face. Rui then asked her on a date to cheer her up.
- "We walked together that morning, down the snowy Omotesando. He had waited four hours for me, in the snow. Since then, 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 about Tsukasa during her date with Rui[src]
That weekend, Tsukushi got ready for her date. Her mother asked if she was going out with Tsukasa. She told her that her date was with Rui, saying "Do you have a problem with that?" Her parents were ecstatic, much to her annoyance. Her date with Rui was slow going. The two mostly spent their time together walking around town. At one point, Tsukushi ran into a door which Rui did not even notice. She imagined how Tsukasa would have handled the situation instead. Memories of how she hurt Tsukasa surfaced while she and Rui were eating at a fast food restaurant. She excused herself and calmed down in the restroom. To her horror, Rui opened the door by mistake. He later invited her to his house, where he quickly fell asleep after showing Tsukushi a photo album.
On her way from Rui's, Tsukushi happened to see Tsukasa with Sakurako, who noticed her and smirked. Despite thinking "I have no right to be depressed," Tsukushi could not help being annoyed by Sakurako's "smug" look. A woman then walked up and forced a man, who had been trying to flirt with Tsukushi, to leave her alone. She insisted that Tsukushi come to her house, where she introduced herself as Tsubaki Domyoji. Tsukushi quickly hid but became lost. Tsukasa found her and was incensed. Tsubaki stopped him. During dinner, a drunk Tsukushi revealed that she knew Tsukasa to Tsubaki before falling asleep. She was carried to bed by Tsukasa. Later that night, Tsubaki expressed hopes that she would "try to understand [Tsukasa]." Tsukushi felt "I have no right to hang on to him."
The next morning, Tsukasa declared that he would have Tsukushi and Rui expelled. She attempted to question him, but froze when he looked at her. Rui seemed to accept it, telling her that it was inevitable if Tsukasa threatened to pull his family's money. That night, Tsukushi found herself unable to tell her parents about the news since they put so much stake in her attending Eitoku. The following day, Tsubaki visited the school and dragged her to the principal's office, where Tsukasa was. Tsukushi interrupted Tsubaki's argument with Tsukasa to say "I'll leave this school." Rui arrived and declared "I won't allow for Makino to be expelled." More arguing followed until Tsubaki suggested they decide the expulsion with sports. A basketball game was determined. After school, Tsukushi practiced alongside Rui and Kazuya.
- "Some part of me always knew that Rui Hanazawa couldn't forget Shizuka. I still like Rui Hanazawa, but... Thank you, Rui Hanazawa for telling me the truth. Shizuka, it looks like I can't win against you. It hurts a little, but it's okay. I'm Tsukushi, the weed, after all!"
- —Tsukushi after Rui reveals he is not over Shizuka[src]
On her way home, Tsukasa met Tsukasa who surprised her by hugging her. He promised to call off the match if she said she loved him. Tsukushi remained silent and resisted his attempt to kiss her. She felt that she could not forgive herself if she allowed him to kiss her. He left after giving her a small smile. Tsukushi wondered if she would regret rejecting him someday, but decided to continue believing in Rui. During the game, Tsukushi was hopelessly outmatched by Tsukasa's team. Rui asked her "Will you do whatever it takes to win?" and then kissed her on the forehead. They gained several points due to Tsukasa's fouls. Rui threw the ball to Tsukushi. She missed, but Kazuya scored one point. Then, surprising everyone, Tsukasa quit the game and told Tsukushi "It's over. Do what you like."
After the match, everyone, except Tsukasa, went over to the Domyojis' house to celebrate. Over dinner, Tsukushi stared at Rui and wondered how he felt about her. She felt assured when her heart fluttered, though it did so again once Sojiro mentioned Tsukasa's name. Later that night, Akira and Sojiro were curious about Tsukushi's and Rui's experience. They were surprised to learn that they had only kissed. Tsubaki ordered the guys lock them in a guest bedroom. There Rui admitted "I'm not sure how I feel about you" and that he was still not over Shizuka. He apologized, but Tsukushi told him "You don't have to apologize." She then told him "I have no regrets." Once Rui fell asleep, Tsukushi quietly snuck out of the house. She was grateful that Rui was truthful with her, thought still felt a little hurt.
After Tsukushi's father was laid-off, the family was forced to move into a cheaper apartment. Her mother put renewed pressure on her to marry rich. Tsukushi later learned that Tsukasa was moving to New York. She was upset and confronted him, though he told her "This has nothing to do with you." The next day, Rui asked her "Is this what you want?," to which she answered "I have no right to stop him." Rui then compared the situation to the time she yelled at him to follow Shizuka. Tsukushi responded "The situation is different. I don't feel anything for Domyoji." She, however, thought about Tsukasa a lot over the next couple days while looking for a job. Tsukushi later found out that her father borrowed a million yen from loan sharks and then lost it all gambling, putting the family's future in jeopardy.
- Tsukushi: "You're a nice guy, aren't you?"
- Tsukasa: "Being called a "nice guy" doesn't even make me happy. I'd rather you called me a gentleman."
- Tsukushi: "You're far from a gentlemen, but you're so nice and warm."
- — Tsukushi falls asleep in Tsukasa's arms[src]
Tsukasa promised to lend one million yen to Tsukushi if she came to Vancouver to get him. She told Sojiro and Akira about it and they agreed to take her there. Tsukushi also brought Yuki along. On the plane, she was annoyed to see Yuriko, Minako, and Erika there and accused Sojiro of inviting them. The girls lied to Sojiro saying that Tsukushi had invited them. By the time they arrived at Tsukasa's villa, she was in a very bad mood. When she spoke to Tsukasa, their conversation quickly dissolved into an argument. Everyone later went snowboarding. Tsukushi and Tsukasa had fun together on the slopes. That night, Tsukushi was unable to find Yuki. She was asking Rui about Yuki, when Yuriko told her that she saw her go outside. Tsukushi was suspicious but ran outside anyway. She soon became lost in a blizzard.
After spraining her ankle, Tsukushi passed out while lying in the snow. She wondered if she was going to die, which brought about a vivid fantasy of her dreams for the future. Tsukushi eventually woke up to find Tsukasa in front of her. He carried her to an empty cabin, where he ordered her to strip. Despite her nearly frostbitten feet, Tsukushi was nervous and said "Don't get any ideas, okay?," leading him to shout "Is this really the time for that?!" For the rest of the night, she laid in his arms and eventually fell asleep after calling him a "nice guy." The next morning, Tsukasa carried her on his back to the villa. He told Yuriko and her friends to leave, but Tsukushi said "It's okay." That night, Tsukasa said "Let's settle things" to Tsukushi. She thought he was speaking of the loan and promised to pay him back someday.
Tsukushi returned to school feeling awkward about seeing Tsukasa again. They were teased by Sojiro and Akira about what had happened. She yelled "Stop! I don't even want to think about it!" which resulted in a fight that had to be broken up by the other guys. Later, Yuriko and her friends revealed that they were not sorry about their actions. She then tripped Tsukushi, causing her fall down some stairs. A student, Junpei Oribe, dropped some books on the girls, leading them to leave Tsukushi alone. Throughout the day, Tsukushi met Junpei a couple times seemingly by chance. He asked her if she wanted to be friends. Her first thought was "This weird kid?" Junpei then offered to show her his "deepest secret" and brought her to a photo shoot, where it was revealed that he was a model. He roped her into taking photos with him.
- "I had a dream that you died. I was so scared. I thought you died. After what I said, I was sure you wouldn't come. But you came anyway, like a fool. You were punched and kicked by those thugs. I was sure you were dead. Then you went and played that trick on me..."
- —Tsukushi to Tsukasa at the hospital[src]
Despite Junpei assuring the photos would not be published, one was chosen for the magazine's cover. Tsukasa confronted her and Junpei, who asked "Do you like this guy?" Tsukushi eventually declared "I don't like anybody!" She started to cry as she confessed to Tsukasa "You've done a lot for me, but I want to find a more private, quiet happiness." Before leaving, Tsukasa told her "I love you so much, it's messing with my mind." Tsukushi was surprised that he still loved her. The next day, someone attempted to drop a potted plant on her. Junpei speculated that Tsukasa was behind it. She did not consider it until learning about his disappearance from Sojiro and Akira. Tsukushi later received another red card, resulting in her becoming a target again. Junpei protected her from a group of male students.
Junpei left Tsukushi alone for a second, during which time she was kidnapped and taken to the old gymnasium. One of the strangers cut off a piece of her hair. Junpei then walked in. Once they were alone, he revealed that he was using her to lure Tsukasa there and explained his reasons for wanting revenge on him. Tsukushi called Junpei a "coward" and told him "Domyoji won't come." When Tsukasa arrived, Tsukushi shouted at him "Why are you here, you idiot?!" The guys began beating him up as she watched. Junpei tried to hit Tsukasa with a chair, but Tsukushi threw herself in front of him and took the blow. After Junpei left with his accomplices, she asked Tsukasa "Why didn't you fight them back?" He told her "If I fought back, I would have lost" and then fell unconscious.
Tsukushi woke up in the hospital after having a nightmare of Tsukasa dying. She went to Tsukasa's room, where Sojiro told her "You're too late." It turned out to be a joke, which angered Tsukushi. After the F4 left, Tsukushi was still mad with Tsukasa. He eventually got her to talk back to him. She started crying and admitted to being scared of him actually dying, adding "After what I said, I was sure you wouldn't come." Tsukasa comforted her with a pat on the head. Junpei then came into the room. Tsukushi was on guard, fearing that he was there to "finish the job." He instead apologized to her. She told him it was "too late," but thought that she could forgive him someday. Later, the F4 put pressure on Tsukushi to start dating Tsukasa. She became nervous and said "Domyoji's sort of like a dog" in order to leave.
- Tsukushi: "Listen here, aren't you fooling yourself here? 'Cause I've been wondering... What makes you think I love you?"
- Tsukasa: "It just hit me. Am I wrong? Let's settle this, once and for all. How do you feel about me?"
- Tsukushi: "How do I feel? I'm not sure."
- — Tsukushi is still unsure of her feelings for Tsukasa[src]
After being released from the hospital, Tsukushi started to think "I may not be able to run from [Tsukasa] anymore." Her mother, meanwhile, attempted to cut her hair which turned out "awful." Rui fixed it for her when she returned to school. Tsukasa later invited her to his birthday. Tsukushi sought gift advice from Yuki and settled on baking something. That Sunday, she arrived at the party. She was taken to Tsubaki by the F3, who insisted on her putting on a different dress. Sojiro revealed that they were acting this way because of Tsukasa's mother, whom would "appraise [her] as a potential fiancée." Tsukushi then tried to leave. Sojiro asked her to stay for "Tsukasa's sake" and explained that they could "never be together anyway" since his mother would arrange his marriage in the future.
Tsukushi was caught off guard after Tsukasa told his mother that she was the "most important woman in [his] life." She found herself wishing she had not come and attempted to speak up, when Sojiro and Akira told Kaede that she was a good friend of theirs. Rui then lied about her father being a company president and told Tsukushi to go along with it. Kaede asked her to play the piano for them. Irritated, Tsukushi ended up just banging on it instead. A confrontation occurred between Tsukasa and his mother, leading Tsubaki to tell him to go. She told Tsukushi "I'm on your side," just before they left. After falling asleep in the taxi, Tsukasa woke her up once he had carried her onto his family's yacht. He told her "I'll decide my own life," which she tried not to take seriously. She wondered to herself "I have nothing to do with his life, do I?"
Tsukasa announced that he was hungry, but refused to go home when Tsukushi suggested it. He decided to try fishing which Tsukushi was also excited about. She became nervous while she was sitting close to him. He called her "weird" since he claimed that it came "naturally" to be close for those in love. She shouted "What makes you think I love you?" He felt confident that she did, but asked "How do you feel about me?" She answered "I'm not sure," before going on to ask "Why me?" Tsukasa did not have an answer, telling her "[Love] is something you just can't reason out." Shortly, she gave Tsukasa his birthday present though she was still hesitant about it. He kissed her, saying "I'm so happy!" Seeing his smile, she was unable to be mad at him for kissing her. He dropped her off at home the next morning.
- "I'll make it clear to him. There's no hope. It's no use. Besides, it's probably just a crush for him. He'll come to his senses soon."
- —Tsukushi decides to end things with Tsukasa[src]
Tsukushi was awaken by her parents, revealing Kaede was there. She offered the family fifty million yen for Tsukushi to stop seeing Tsukasa. Tsukushi felt insulted by Kaede comparing her to a "pebble" in Tsukasa's path. Her mother rejected Kaede's offer, which made Tsukushi happy. However, she revealed that she actually wanted to "snag the entire fortune." Tsukushi shouted "Are you really my mother?!" Later that day, Tsukushi talked with Yuki. She told her "You'll probably run into a lot of problems if you keep seeing Domyoji." Tsukushi then made up her mind to break off things with Tsukasa. Kaede's secretary then entered the store and asked her to accompany him. He brought her to Kaede's hotel, where she found Tsukasa being restrained by two men. Kaede then announced his fiancée, Shigeru Okawahara.
After being shown Tsukasa's fiancée, Tsukushi was frozen. Kaede addressed her, saying "Do you see, now, how things stand?" She answered "yes," but stood there for several moments until Tsukasa ran out holding Shigeru's hand. Later, Tsukushi went to a fast food restaurant with Yuki. She was incensed about what happened, believing that Tsukasa had already been dating Shigeru. Yuki was unable to persuade her that it was an accident. The next day, Tsukushi confronted Tsukasa about it. He tried to tell her it was all planned by his mother and that running out with Shigeru was a mistake. Tsukushi did not believe him and kicked him when he tried to stop her from leaving. In the courtyard, she happened to meet Shigeru. From their conversation, Tsukushi learned that she had actually just met Tsukasa.
Tsukushi was still talking to Shigeru, when Tsukasa walked up. Shigeru punched him and declared that she liked him. Restraining an angry Tsukasa, Akira and Sojiro asked Tsukushi to take Shigeru away. She ignored them both, but the girl followed her anyway. Tsukushi was then dragged by Shigeru to a tea shop. She asked questions about Tsukasa and talked about love. Tsukushi became a little annoyed with her, but felt guilty when she said some harsh words to her. She ended up agreeing to help Shigeru pursue Tsukasa. Tsukushi slowly realized that she had involved herself in a "love triangle from hell." Later, she met Rui at the emergency exit and gave him a head massage. Tsukushi found herself blushing while thinking of old memories of Rui. She then thought "Something's wrong with me."
Later that afternoon, Tsukushi met Shigeru again and she dragged her to go shopping. Tsukushi's opinion on Shigeru gradually began to change as she started to appreciate her straightforwardness. On her way home, she found Tsukasa waiting for her. She was still mad about him leaving her behind at the hotel, which he tried to explain as a mistake. Tsukushi told him "I think Shigeru, someone like her, is a better match for you." Tsukasa slapped her, before walking away. Tsukushi later reflected "I should feel better after saying that, but I don't." The next day, she saw Shigeru with Sojiro and Akira, who were trying to get her to give up Tsukasa. Once she left, Tsukushi told the guys that she "broke it off" with Tsukasa. They were upset with her until she pointed out that they had not considered her feelings.
That night, Shigeru visited Tsukushi and revealed that Tsukasa had asked her out. She congratulated her, promising herself "I won't have any regrets." The next day, Tsukushi told Sojiro and Akira about it during lunch. They were soon joined by Tsukasa, whom Tsukushi also congratulated. Later, she felt that "something ended" when she said that. Some days later, Tsukushi was visited by Shigeru who had been coming by often. She complained about her date with Tsukasa. Tsukushi thought "Why do I have to listen to this?" but still offered her words of reassurance. The next day, she talked to Rui about Shigeru visiting her. She asked him to speak to Tsukasa about being nicer to Shigeru but he refused. His reaction made Tsukushi wonder how things were between him and Shizuka.
Tsukushi and Rui were still talking, when they overheard Shigeru and Tsukasa arguing and witnessed them kiss. Tsukushi was shocked, but denied being so when Rui asked her. That afternoon, Tsukushi was in a bad mood when she confided in Kazuya "I always find out too late that I've been fooled." He told her that her trusting personality made her "wonderful." She felt better and thanked Kazuya for helping her. At home, Tsukushi declared "I will determine my own destiny!" and decided to work harder to earn more money. Sometime later, she was walking home from her job when she ran into Rui. They went to get some tea together. Coincidentally, Shigeru and Tsukasa came to the same place and joined the pair. Shigeru invited them to her family's villa. Tsukushi wanted to decline, but Rui accepted.
At Shigeru's villa
- "It wasn't like this before. It's hard to believe we used to fight and yell at each other. I miss that... It's probably because I'm so intensely aware of him. Because, well... I couldn't possibly sleep holding hands with Domyoji."
- —Tsukushi feels awkward around Tsukasa[src]
At Shigeru's villa, Tsukushi felt extremely awkward. Rui left to go soak in the hot springs. Shigeru suggested Tsukushi accompany him, guessing that he was the guy she had spoke to her about. Tsukushi was unsure how to respond. Tsukasa then said "You had a crush on him, didn't you?" She was still thinking of what he said while she was taking a bath with Shigeru. Tsukushi told her "It's great about you and Domyoji." In her thoughts, she called herself a liar and remembered Tsukasa confessing his feelings to her. She passed out and woke up later after being saved by Rui. Tsukushi became embarrassed, realizing that Rui had to have seen her naked. He then informed her that they had to share a room. She wanted to talk to Shigeru about it, but Rui stopped her saying "They could be busy right now."
Tsukushi laid awake next to Rui. She asked him if he was asleep, before requesting to hold his hand. When he obliged her, Tsukushi thanked him for saving her though she actually meant "For being here." Their conversation turned to Shigeru, whose personality Rui compared to Tsukasa's. Tsukushi laughed which made him smile. She thought "Even if my feelings for him aren't romantic anymore, I think I'll always love Rui Hanazawa." A few minutes later, they heard a crash. Tsukushi left to go check on Shigeru, only to find her on top of Tsukasa. She quickly ran away. The next morning, she had an awkward encounter with Tsukasa before heading home with Rui. She talked him about seeing them together. He told her "You feel bad because it was Tsukasa," but she insisted she would be bothered no matter who it was.
Upon arriving home, Tsukushi found her family packing. Her mother revealed that they were moving to take a live-in job in the country. She then promised to send her money for her tuition. Tsukushi was momentarily struck silent until realizing that they planned to leave her behind. She was upset at first, but gradually feelings of hope mixed with her trepidation about the future. The next day, Tsukushi said goodbye to her parents and brother. She then headed to school, where she tried to hide from Tsukasa to no avail. Sojiro and Akira began teasing her about what happened at Shigeru's villa. She thought Tsukasa told them until Sojiro revealed it was actually Rui. Later, she confronted Rui who criticized her for hiding her feelings. She then said something hurtful about him running from Shizuka.
- "Things are changing. Even Rui Hanazawa is... And I want to change, too!"
- —Tsukushi enters the exchange program[src]
The following morning, Rui's words remained on Tsukushi's mind, causing her to burn her french toast. She went to the emergency exit at school, but he was not there. Later, Sojiro and Akira asked her about Tsukasa and Rui acting "weird" since the trip. Agitated, Tsukushi said it had "nothing to do with [her]." That afternoon, Tsukasa attempted to talk to her and grabbed her arm. Tsukushi shook him off, telling herself "That arm belongs to Shigeru now." The next day, she found Rui playing his violin. When he told her he could not hear the "violin's voice," Tsukushi asked if it was because of Shizuka. He instead blamed himself. That night, Tsukushi was thinking over his words when Kazuya, Yuki, and Makiko made a surprise visit. They helped her redecorate her apartment. Tsukushi later thought "I'm lucky to have friends."
The next morning, Tsukushi learned about Shigeru's transfer to Eitoku. She watched her clinging to Tsukasa and found herself annoyed, thinking "Now, every time I go to school, I get to see them acting all lovey-dovey." Later, Yuriko and her friends attempted to bully Tsukushi again, saying mean things and calling her things like "pauper." She was going to defend herself until Shigeru showed up. Tsukushi felt awkward about Shigeru taking up for her. She later received a letter from Sakurako, asking her to come to the roof. There she discovered Sakurako confronting Shigeru, who shocked her by hugging her. Tsukushi was amazed that Shigeru left "Asai and Sakurako at a loss for words." At the emergency exit, she was talking to Rui when Shigeru interrupted. They were met minutes later by another surprise, Shizuka.
Once Shizuka appeared, Tsukushi quickly dragged Shigeru away. Tsukushi dropped something and ended up eavesdropping on their conversation. She left and met back up with Shigeru. When Tsukasa walked up shortly, Tsukushi had an argument with him. That afternoon, she saw a notice about the student exchange program. She was unsure about entering it until the following afternoon, when she spoke to Rui who seemed to have changed so much. Tsukushi promptly signed up for the exam, wanting to change too. However, when she spoke to Rui about it, he questioned whether she really wanted to go. The night before the exam, Tsukushi was prevented from studying due to Shigeru holding an impromptu party. The next morning, Tsukasa asked her if she really was leaving. She declared "Of course!"
- "I found myself in a completely different world at Eitoku. Domyoji and I did nothing but fight. But in the end, he always came to my rescue. And yet, I did my best not to accept him because he was not of my world. Last night, he told me that the stewed potatoes my mother made were delicious."
- —Tsukushi talks to Kaede about Tsukasa[src]
At first, Tsukushi had a hard time believing that she had passed and returned to confirm her name was still on the list. Shigeru asked her "Are you really going?" Her mind still made up, Tsukushi told her "Take good care of Domyoji." She then ran into Tsukasa, whom she was able to joke with again. He embraced her, but Tsukushi pushed him away saying "Bye-bye, Domyoji." That night, after getting off the phone with Yuki, Tsukasa came to her apartment. He revealed that his mother had orchestrated her passing the exam. Shocked at first, Tsukushi decided to go anyway. Tsukasa pleaded with her not to go and told her that there was "nothing" between him and Shigeru. Tsukushi then said "I don't have the confidence to live in your world," to which Tsukasa promised to "leap" into hers. Tsukasa kissed her, which she accepted.
The following day, Tsukushi walked to school happily. She spent most of the morning looking for Tsukasa and even asked the F3 if they had seen him. Shigeru later revealed that she was turned away when she went to pick up Tsukasa. After school, Tsukushi decided to go over to Tsukasa's house. She was joined by the F3 and Shigeru along the way. Once there, they were allowed inside and brought to Kaede whom Tsukushi calmly confronted. Kaede told her that Tsukasa's feelings for her were "temporary." Tsukushi countered that he should be able to realize that for himself. Then suddenly Tsukasa jumped through a window to get to Tsukushi. Shaken, she went to him and sat him down. Tsukushi told him "If things like this continue, neither you nor I, will last," before ending their relationship. She then walked away.
For three months, Tsukushi saw nothing of Tsukasa or Shigeru who stopped attending school. Her life seemingly returned to how it was before. Tsukushi later received photos of her family. She was happy to see that they had adjusted well to the country. Later, Tsukushi learned that Tsukasa and Shigeru were getting married. She and the rest of the school were there to see the couple off on their honeymoon cruise. Her teacher handed her letter, in which Tsukasa said he was going to abandon Shigeru. Angry, Tsukushi made her way on the ship and kicked Tsukasa. Shigeru then revealed that everything was an act to fool Tsukasa's mother. She jumped off the ship and was helped onto another boat by their friends. Tsukushi herself tried to jump, but Tsukasa stopped her. The couple then departed together.
She was typically characterized as a plain, normal girl with average looks. Tsukushi was said to "clean up pretty good," when her hair and makeup were done. During her day-to-day life, she opted for no-makeup and usually left her long hair down. She used to wear her hair in pigtails everyday, before her first confrontation with Tsukasa. Her hair was later cut in an incident with Junpei and his accomplices. Tsukushi wore it in a bob style from then on.
Personality and traits
Tsukushi was a simple girl who wished to live a normal life. Her wish was continually thwarted after she began attending Eitoku Academy, which she did not want to attend in the first place. She often thought to herself that it was a mistake that she still attended Eitoku. Tsukushi's strong sense of justice was hampered by the politics of the school, causing her to gradually despise herself. After she stood up to the F4 for her friend Makiko, Tsukushi regained herself and was able to show the real her at school.
A large part of Tsukushi was her naivete about matters of love and relationships. She had a hard time grappling with her feelings, especially those she had for Tsukasa.
Behind the scenes
- See also: Category:Tsukushi Makino portrayals
- Tsukushi is voiced by Maki Mochida in the anime adaptation of Boys Over Flowers, which aired from 1996 to 1997.
- Mochida voices her again in Hana Yori Dango: The Movie (1997). In the film, Tsukushi is an aspiring dancer living in New York City. She has several friends whom all support her dream to appear on stage someday. Tsukushi eventually proves herself to the arrogant Tsukasa, who chooses her to dance in the next show.
|Boys Over Flowers (anime)|
|Boys Over Flowers (anime) characters|