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Scene: The School Rooftop The hero (me, Junpei Manaka!) sneaks up to the roof to see the sunset. When he opens the door, he startles a mysterious beauty. She panics and runs away, but not before Junpei has caught sight of her adorable strawberry print panties...in EXTREME close-up. With that vision forever burned into his memory, Junpei embarks on a quest to find the girl, and the panties, of his dreams!
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Better than Expected!
The beginning kind of turned me off... it made it feel like the plot would be ecchi-reliant throughout the entire series. Thank goodness this wasn't true.
The mixture of three different girls with contrasting traits/characteristics really worked well (I don't think this is really spoiler-ish, but I'll leave out the names just in case):
- Girl #1: Outgoing, aggressive, similar likes/dislikes, willing to go "all the way" (i.e. sex) - Girl #2: Quiet/Shy, passive, shared dreams, love at first sight - Girl #3: Outgoing, aggressive/passive, supports dreams over love, loyal, understanding
I had a feeling in my gut through the whole story that it should end with Girl #2, but I thought about it more and that wouldn't make sense.
Girl #1 is like the "best friend" out of the three. One that shares similar likes and dislikes that allows you to talk for hours, but she only uses her body as her means to get/seduce Manaka.
Girl #2 is the one you share your dreams with, so a close connection is imminent. It's the silent love that never works out because neither party has the confidence to confess their true feelings until it's too late. "Love at first sight" kind of dominated this relationship.
Girl #3 is the girlfriend type. Not overly aggressive or too passive/shy. Although love is important, it shouldn't get in the way of their dreams even if it is part of their dream. Trust and loyalty plays a huge role in the relationship, and thankfully...
Spoiler (highlight to view)
it worked out in the end with Tsukasa (i.e. Girl #3). She was the only one that worked hard to get the relationship going without relying on Manaka's drive for sexual interactions or shared dreams. This series really split the line that separates love from friendship. One that shares the same likes/dislikes or dreams is more of a best friend. Someone you can talk too no matter what. Tsukasa was separated from that, in fact, they were both almost opposites excluding the dedication to one's dreams. Their differences is what seemed to bond them, and in the end, I'm really happy Tsukasa won. Although I was really hoping Aya and Manaka would get together at least once, it just didn't feel like it would work out in the end.
Although I'm not that big of a fan of Ecchi, this series seemed to put it too good use. Instead of just "fan service," Ecchi was used to develop the relations between characters and also their overall selves... which is a first.
Honestly, if this series had a stronger hold on the reader's emotions, it would easily be a 10/10. I feel that the Ecchi and Comedy of the series kind of made it where the dramatic parts weren't too dramatic. Then again, it's hard to mix comedy and drama, and I admit I had moments were I thought I was going to tear up... but didn't.
But... this is a fantastic read! It's a little long, but the character development is pulled off quite splendidly! Give it a shot!
If you were an 80s or 90s boy... this was the manga you hid under your bed, praying your parents would never find it. Some say that Love Hina is the best shounen romance manga, but I think Kawashita Mizuki-sensei topped it with Ichigo 100%.
Like most romance mangas, the girls are lovable and the readers can pick their favorites depending on their preferences. What really separates this manga from the rest is the amazing character development of the four main characters, Toujo, Nishino, Satsuki and Makana. You actually understand why each of these amazing girls have fallen for our goofy protagonist; something that is often missing in other romance mangas. Most importantly, readers, male or female can relate to the protagonist. Manaka sn't some overly innocent character that you can't connect to, and his struggles in choosing the right girl is perfectly understandable.
This is Kawashita Mizuki-sensei's best work, and in my opinion, the greatest shounen romance manga ever. The ending may be disappointing depending on which girl you were rooting for, but nevertheless strongly recommended.
If you are a guy that has even 0.001% interest in reading a romance manga, read it. If you are a girl that wants to try out a shounen romance (and don't mind ecchi), read it.
Ichigo 100% is THE harem masterpiece. The love triangle is done extremely well and all of the girls like him sincerely and not due to other confining reasons. The situations are realistic as in there are no supernatural or impossible factors in the story... if you know what I mean.
Ichigo 100% is one of THE best shounen romance out there. Harem aside, you won't find much completed shounen romance at this level, and don't even bother comparing with ongoing ones. It is superior to I''s and can compare with Video Girl Ai.
People usually complain about two things in this manga: Manaka and the ending.
Manaka is labelled as weak and pathetic, the typical shounen wuss. Which is probably true. But this just enhances the harem aspect of the manga so much more. A mature audience may despise this indecisive kind of character, but hey, they started off as middle schoolers. Manaka is an accurate portrayal of a real life kid who never had a girl love him before. Enough said.
The ending. People complain how the ending was unsatisfying and stupid in general. To me, the ending is mediocore, but that depends on how you look at it. The ending is very open, and if you think abou it, it ends when
Spoiler (highlight to view)
he is reunited with Nishino, but he would work with Toujo in the future on their dream film. So it could've went either way if continued, and it's up to you to decide.
In other words, the ending beautifully kept the harem, or, all the characters grew up and moved on. Your take.
Ichigo 100% is good because it's real. It is like looking into the memory of a boy's high school romance. It practically shouts out ROMANCE, SCHOOL LIFE, and YOUTH.
... Last updated on February 15th, 2011, 8:09pm
one of most in detpth harems ive ever read or watched
ichigo 100% is no run of the mill harem the characters have good depth and the story is a great growing up story. After having read it it can be a bit dry at some points and the man protagonists indecisiveness can drive you nuts, ill be honest after 12 volmues or so i gave up on ichigo, but a month later i felt like reading it again so picked up again. when it is all said and done, you might scratch your head and go what happened? well you wont be alone im still confused with it but it is a great growing up story and i recommend it, just watch for the dry parts 1 WEEK LATER ah yes the ending, some ppl dont like it or are confused by it well this is my take on it. The girl he ends up with is perfect for him, he doesn't fell akward around her, the have a good history together, she is not afriad to straighten his ass out and there feeling for one another is on a romantic level. let me leave you with this "you never know you'll miss somthing till its gone" with that quote in mind the main character and the girl do sepearte for some time and because of that their feelings went to the next level.
... Last updated on October 25th, 2008, 10:29pm
Kawashita Mizuki truly is amazing on how she delivered such a story. It would seem that you could anticipate how it would all conclude as main character are shown to have grown as the story went yet, even though such initial expectations didn't manifest, it wrung my heart in a pleasing way.
This would probably one of the best one's I have read.
Please, Mods, make some of my comment only viewable when highlighted. Thank you.
Though the mangaka shared her thoughts on why she decided to conclude it in an unexpected way, I still find it difficult since I wasn't in favor on the girl that Manaka chose.
My own biase about the matter though could also be explained on how I've grown accustomed on other shounen mangas that have pairings that were predictable and even though that those pairings were expected, I still kept on reading them due to the interest on how they would end up together.
With Ichigo 100%, it totally caught me off guard and got me hit severely. I was like stacking my anticipation for the ending that I was expecting yet, it all fell down on me when the very last piece didn't stack properly. Wishing that Manaka and Aya didn't have that romantic misunderstanding, that Manaka wasn't so indecisive on such matters while Aya didn't hesitate and kept all her feelings when it wasn't yet too late. Even though that I have also felt this way for other characters in other mangas with similar genres, the ending just took me by surprise since the other mangas would be concluded with the expected pairings yet, this one simply didn't. (>_< )
However, we have to accept that with Aya's talent on being a writer, she should not be tied to Manaka or else, her talent would not progress and develop. It was bittersweet at the part when Aya declares to Manaka that even though her feelings for him didn't bloom, as much as I wanted them to as well (T_T ), she was happy to have felt those emotions for Manaka who gave her the confidence and motivation to pursue her own dreams.
Oh yeah, obviously, I'm pro-Aya yet, for Nishino, she too should be recognized for her own merits. At first, I only took her lightly as a character that Manaka mistakenly confessed to in the beginning but, as the story went on, she too shared her hardships that we should acknowledge. Manaka's hesitation surely affected Nishino and their relationship, add the fact that she's studying in another high school while being aware that Manaka and her dormant competition are both studying in the same high school. If anyone be put into that same situation, that would probably really stressing as well.
Satsuki on the other hand was honest to her feelings the whole time when she finally realized them yet, Manaka as being kind, both a good trait and a flaw in him, did not want to hurt anyone. Aside from his dreams, she shared a lot of interest with Manaka. The feeling of happiness to have someone with similar interest as well as someone being fond of you surely isn't something easy to let go. I'm not saying that Satsuki shouldn't have fell for Manaka, after all as it is often said, people who trully are in love just fell for those that they grow to love but, the relationship they had obviously contributed to Manaka's indecisions and hesitations.
None the less, aside from the romance, comedy or the ecchi content, it was a good 'coming of age' manga. I mean, they all have their own dreams and everything isn't always as convenient as we'd want them to be.
Well, as always, that's just what I think and others may have different opinions on the matter. In fact there's still some left in me but, I really appreciate being able to let out some of my thoughts on the series. I'm glad that I was able to post them. (^_^ )
... Last updated on October 10th, 2008, 4:24pm
Almost a Masterpiece
I've found the comments made on this manga to be very interesting. It seems the community either really hated it or really loved it. If I had to make a choice, then I would belong to the later group. The manga itself begins like a generic harem manga in the first two volumes. However, the manga begins to move in a different direction from volume 2 onwards that gives a unique story experience for some people.
The story is quite long compared to many mangas with 19 volumes, but I found that to be a positive aspect because the manga makes use of its long volumes to tell and develop a strong story regarding relationships and about the future. Character development could be seen throughout the story till the end for most characters. However, some characters could be developed a lot more compared to the three main characters.
Comedy is present for most of the story, which helps to create an easy atmosphere. Ecchi scenes are also ever present, but I believe it was done quite tastefully compared to other ecchi mangas. The ecchi scenes seems to be regarded with humor for the most part. The last component is the drama, which I found to be rare for this type of genre. The mangaka did a good job with the drawings and dialogue to convey the feelings of the characters as they deal with love, hopes and dreams for the future. The artwork is quite nice although I'm probably biased for being a Mizuki Kawashita fan. So the plot, character, and art is very good. The following part is going to be my review using spoilers:
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Well first let me talk about the ending because it seems to be the most important part of the manga for the people who gave the manga a really low rating. Through all of the character development, Junpei's choice at the end was either Aya or Tsukasa. Pretty much everyone who read the first two volumes would probably believe that Junpei was going to end up with Aya because of the whole strawberry panties thing, first heroine met, and the fact that Aya was the girl he fell in love with in the beginning. So because of all those reasons, many people probably thought that Junpei ending up with Tsukasa was BS. I didn't really think the same because I was a Tsukasa fan, but I do understand what the others are saying. If I was an Aya fan, I would probably think the same. However, the reason why the manga was so long, was to develop the characters. The three primary characters changed as the story advances including the characters feelings. While Junpei did like Aya a lot in the beginning, it seemed to have toned down as Tsukasa continues to interact with Junpei on a personal basis. It just eventually became that Tsukasa's existence becomes more important to Junpei than Aya's. As for the main heroine and strawberry panties thing, it can be argued that Tsukasa was the actual main heroine. Her character gets developed the most and the strawberry panties concept becomes a reference to Tsukasa later. So it was not like Junpei ended up with a side character, but a very important heroine if not the main heroine.
So if you are a Tsukasa fan, you would definetly like this manga. If you were an Aya fan, you would probably curse the existence of this manga or at least found the manga to be good until the ending when Junpei makes his decision. It was somewhat disastisfying when Satsuki's character wasn't as developed so she had no chance at all. There was actually a lot of characters in the story, which I found to be pointless at times. There were also some chapters that I found pretty pointless as well. While the manga's length is a turn off for most people, if you like it then I"m pretty sure you can finish it real fast. In my case, the chapters flew by quickly and I finished the manga in three days. In my opinion, it is the best manga I have ever read. I would give it a perfect score if not for the points I noted. It is very unique in my opinion and I haven't found anything that is comparable.
i guess it was my first harem manga. needless to say i was pretty absorbed in it at the time. artwork is fantastic, it couldnt be stressed enough. if you don't like the story then at least read for the art. it does get loopy but since it was my first at that time, it left an impression on me. i don't feel i liked it enough to look back at it, but i found it to be a pretty good series.
A drawnout harem manga but one of the best endings ever
I personally consider this ending to be the best of all times. The decision the protagonist took show a lot of maturity. Instead of simply blindly following his idiotic pursual of his "panty girl" actually stops and consider his girlfriend and his own feelings and stood by them.
A deviation from the normal boy-meets-girl boy-get-girl harem ending splendidly told
What the HELL did I just read!?
For a harem manga, IHP really surprised me. There's a lot of depth I wasn't expecting, and the story and characters are really well composed. The ending sure hit me like a ton of bricks though. Everything builds up over the first 16 volumes, and then it just feels like everything comes crashing down starting with volume 17. Not that "crashing down" implies anything bad, but all the emotion and excitement built up over all those pages really hits hard when you realize it's all coming to an end, and there's nothing to do about it.
Without spoiling too much, I would like to get my $0.02 in about the ending. As a harem, the plot focuses around 4 girls who fall in love with the central character, Manaka. Generic and overused as this may be, all the characters are really well developed, and I ended up being able to sympathize with all of the girls' positions. I think in this manner, it's possible the author wrote herself into a corner. But her handling of the ending was pretty good -- in fact, I'm not sure it could be handled any better, given the circumstances in the story. But my problem with the ending has nothing to do with what girl he ends up with. It's that it's actually "the end". In the sense that, after high school, people end up going their separate ways, and life really just changes fundamentally. It's a tough turning point to deal with in real life, so it's tough reading about it with well-developed characters that you can actually feel attached to, provided you can get into the story.
Speaking of getting into the story, for a title with such a simple, childish initial premise, IHP actually delivers quite a lot of depth. It's a "coming of age" type of story, so there's a lot of exploration of developing emotions, and the meaning of love, and friendship. It's tough sorting out conflicting feelings when you're experiencing them for the first time; What is love? What makes it different than having a great friendship? Where is the line dividing the two? How do you deal with a one-sided romance, when your feelings are strong enough to make you willing to hold out for the chance no matter the odds? These questions, and more, are explored, and except for the ending (hey, the author had to end it sometime), they're mostly left for the reader to think about -- things are presented, characters react differently depending on their personality, and then you're left to think about it all.
I also enjoyed -- as I realized about 6 or 8 volumes in -- that the characters change over time. Manaka's a naive, bumbling, indecisive idiot at the start, but he actually grows and learns from his mistakes (even if he doesn't end up always acting on what he learns, he still realizes he's making a mistake). In the same manner, each of the characters deals with their own problems and feelings, and there is some growth, which I really appreciated. Otherwise this title would have been so repetitive and boring by a few volumes in, I'd certainly have dropped it.
The one overarching message I got from IHP, though, is to not let yourself be too indecisive. It's important to know what you want, and make decisions based on that - not leave things hanging and unanswered. Manaka has a real problem with his indecisiveness, and it ends up hurting every single one of the characters in this story - tremendously. In the end, he does learn to deal with it, but it is difficult watching him continually leave things without making any choice. The one refreshing thing about Manaka's indecisiveness is that he never allows himself to actually take advantage of any of the girls in a way that they may later regret (or that may hurt the others). While that's also an extremely frustrating aspect of Manaka's behavior, it's one that I respect, and am grateful the author went that direction with him.
I hate to sound like I'm gushing over what, on the surface, seems like a cheap ecchi title whose sole purpose in existing is to satisfy the carnal desires of pubescent teen-age boys, but Ichigo 100% was seriously one helluva ride, and although I found myself frustrated at a lot of points, it was, in the end, quite a fun ride indeed. Get past the never-gonna-happen dramatic buildups with no climax (grrr, Manaka), and it's likely you'll thoroughly enjoy this. Don't, and you probably won't make it past the first couple of volumes.
... Last updated on September 23rd, 2008, 10:38pm
This is probably one of the best harem series out there. It still suffers from silly fan service, but it has a large amount of interesting plot and character development. The relationships change quite a bit, which drives the story forwards. The ending, although not what I wanted, was very enjoyable and naturally followed the development of the story.
Of course, there is room improvement. The series is too long, so there's a lot of boring filler material. Also, the relationships weren't dynamic enough. Some serious events, like a harem girl falling in love with someone else, that forced Junpei to make up his mind faster would have made the story more exciting and realistic.