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~ MARMALADE BOY ~
"A tangled teen romance for the new millenium". That's what it says everywhere. It's pretty accurate but it doesn't even begin to cover it. Miki Koishikawa's parents go for a vacation in Hawaii and come back with shocking news. They're going to swap spouses with the Matsuura's! They all get together and live under one roof, but that means that Miki must put up with her bittersweet step-brother, Yuu. Soon she has more problems to deal with though. She has to cope with her feelings for Yuu and her friend Ginta, get through a surprise visit from Yuu's ex, and on top of that, both Miki's best friend Meiko and Yuu could be hiding something from her! A story of love, tennis, and a really whacked out family!
Marmalade Boy, it's characters, images, yada yada, all belong to Wataru Yoshizumi. These images don't belong to me either. They belong to http://www.aisho.net/mm/ Thank you to whoever owns this site! ^^
~ CHARACTERS ~
Miki Koishikawa is an energetic highschool girl. She's in the girls tennis club. She isn't very happy about the swapping spouses thing, but after a while she gets used to it and begins to enjoy it. At first she doesn't like Yuu, but soon she realizes that he's really a sweet guy who likes to tease her. She also has to deal with her middle school crush, Ginta, who suddenly confesses that he loved her too! On top of that, Miki is also in love with Yuu!
Yuu Matsuura loves to tease Miki. He is the same age as her and her step-brother. He teases Miki so much that at one point Miki hated him. After she'd gotten used to him though, she starts to like him. She once compared him to marmalade. Bitter at first taste, but sweet all the same. This is what inspired the title. Yuu is also a really good tennis player. Though it takes a while for Miki to fall in love with Yuu, I suspect Yuu was in love with Miki from the start. For one thing, he did sneak a kiss on her while he thought she was sleeping in the nurses office. All things set aside, Yuu and Miki make a perfect couple. Yuu also has his secrets, which will give both of them the shock of a lifetime
Meiko Akizuki is Miki's best friend since middle school. She's a mysterious sort of person, who has a lot of things going on that Miki doesn't know about. She is part of a lit magazine and actually got a book published at one point. Her biggest secret is her relationship with their teacher, Mr. Namura.
Ginta Suou is Miki's best guy friend and he rocks at tennis. He's also Miki's middle school crush. When they were in middle school Miki wrote Ginta a love note, but Ginta's friends saw it and Miki found out. This upsetted Miki, so she stopped talking to him for a while. Now they're friends again, and things seem to be going well. That is, until Ginta confesses that he really had liked her back in middle school but wasn't able to tell her, and that he still likes her. Miki's feelings have changed though, so that gives her more to deal with.
Arimi Suzuki is Yuu's ex-girlfriend. She says that she and Yuu were meant for eachother, but Yuu seems to think otherwise. When she comes to visit she notices how close Miki is to Yuu and pretends to go out with Ginta in order to make Miki jealous and get her away from Yuu. This plan doesn't work though, but it may leave another couple behind. ^_T
Mr. Namura, called Na-chan by his students, is Miki, Yuu, Ginta, and Meiko's homeroom teacher. He's also the tennis coach. He has a secret relationship with Meiko.
Sorry I couldn't get a picture of Satoshi by himself, but just so you know, he's the one on the left. Satoshi Miwa is a funny guy and one of Yuu's best friends. At first when everybody saw Yuu and Satoshi together, they thought the were gay. It was really funny! *laughs* Then Yuu thought that Satoshi was his brother (don't ask why, because it will spoil the story). In the end, they just ended up being really good friends. Satoshi also has a crush on Meiko, and went to desperate measures like stealing a kiss! She keeps rejecting him, though, because she has a secret love. ~_T
Suzu Sakuma is a popular model who is obsessed with pretty things. She carries around a camera just in case she finds something pretty to take a picture of. Since Yuu is good-looking, she thought Yuu should have a pretty girlfriend. Therefore, she was disappointed when she saw Miki, because she thought Miki was "average". When she saw Meiko, though, she got really excited and thought she was perfect for Yuu. After a few misconceptions take place, Suzu gets the wrong idea that Meiko is in love with Yuu. With this idea in her head, she goes through all means to seperate Yuu and Miki and get Yuu with Meiko!
Kei is a highschool drop-out and a gifted pianist who works at the same place as Miki. They meet in an awkward way, when he accidentally looks up her skirt, and they end up on top of eachother (lol). After that they seem to become friends, and Kei developes a crush on Miki. He's not very happy when he realizes that Miki has a boyfriend. He'll do anything to make them break up, even lie to Yuu and Miki and create a bunch of misunderstandings. In the end, Miki gives him a wake up call, and he goes back to school and starts playing the piano again after quitting for a while.
.::* The Relationships *::.
SPOILER ALERT! There might be a few... okay A LOT of spoilers in this area. If you'd rather not read spoilers... then don't read this portion.
MIKI AND YUU
Yep, you guessed it! Miki and Yuu are THE COUPLE of this story. Iti's pretty obvious, but this story isn't without it's twists. Yuu likes to tease Miki and they go through some difficult times in their relationship because of some interference (*cough* SUZU AND KEI! *cough*) *clears throat* but all in all, they are a match made in heaven and will stay together no matter what. (and you'll really see what I mean by that when you read it!)
MEIKO AND NATCHAN
Yes, strange as it is with their 8-year age difference, since a little before Meiko entered high school, she and Natchan have been having a studen-teacher affair. This is without Miki's knowledge, although she finds out later, and is first discovered by Yuu.
GINTA AND ARIMI
These two originally got together to make Miki jealous of Arimi so she would possibly want to go out with Ginta and then later Yuu with Arimi, but that didn't exactly go as planned. In the end Ginta kind of blew it by telling Miki. Still, even though it didn't work as they wanted, in the end it resulted in these two getting together, making them one of the most stable couples in the whole manga.
SUZU AND KEI
I don't have an image for this one, but these two sort of get together in the end. He and Suzu start seeing eachother a bit after both of their plans to break up Yuu and Miki fail. Although Kei says Suzu's just an annoying girl who follows him around, his actions prove otherwise! ^_T
Yuu's Real Father and True Relationship With Miki:
Well, here we go. All his life, Yuu thought that his father wasn't his real father. So, in efforts of searching for his real father, he thought that Satoshi Miwa's father was his father, therefore making he and Satoshi half brothers. It turns out though, that even though a lot of people were under the impression that Mr. Miwa and Yuu's mother were having an affair they really weren't, because Mrs. Matsuura had rejected him. Then, after seeing some college photos, it had turned out that the last person dating Yuu's mother before she got married was Miki's father! This caused a state of panic for Yuu because it would mean that he and Miki were related by blood which meant that they obviously couldn't be together. Therefore, without telling Miki why, he suddenly broke up with her. This shocked and hurt Miki a great deal, but Yuu moved to go to college in Kyoto and they both went on with their lives. When Yuu came home to visit, though, Miki couldn't stand it and broke down crying and telling him that she still loved him. Not being able to see her in pain, Yuu also admitted that he still loved her too and told her the real reason why they broke up. Then, they decided that they would go on one last vacation together, and then go on being step-brother and step-sister and nothing more. During the vacation, though, they both decided they couldn't live without eachother and went to confront their parents about marrige, knowing that they couldn't have any children. That's when their parents told them that it was true that Yuu's mother carried Miki's father's baby before her marrige with Yuu's father, but there was a miscarrage and the baby died. So that would mean that Yuu was his father's real son and Miki wasn't his sister by blood. And so, they lived happily ever after *snifff sniff*.
Meiko and Natchan's Relationship:
Like I said in the relationships section, these two had been having an affair since just before Meiko entered highschool. Obviously, it was forbidden because it was a student-teacher affair, but they continued to see eachother in secret. Eventually, someone from school saw them together, and Meiko was suspended and Natchan resigned from his job. Natchan left to go live elsewhere and carry on his family's business. Meiko, not being able to be away from Natchan, went to see him with Miki. Then, after patching things up, Meiko got engaged to Natchan and lived happily ever after * sniff tear... SOB* (This was my first manga and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about the end!)