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 My Review of Ichigo 100% (Manga)
Posted: Mar 14 2007, 02:38 AM

Magister Magi

Group: Scanlation/Fansub Projects Team
Posts: 1,923
Member No.: 372
Joined: 6-March 05

Ichigo 100% Manga Review

Some parts of this review may contain Spoilers, so read at your own Risk.

When I first heard about Ichigo 100%, I didn’t know much about it. The only thing I knew about it was that there was an Anime coming out for it, and it was very interesting, so I decided to watch it, and I liked what I saw. When it finished however, I felt uneasy about the main character Manaka Junpei, because he couldn’t decide on which girl he wanted to be with. There was Toujou, Nishino, and Satsuki as the main love interests for him. I never read the manga, not once during this time, and everytime I kept thinking about Ichigo 100%, the only thing I would say was that Manaka should’ve just gone with Toujou instead. A few months ago, I finally got a chance to download all of the manga, but I never got around to reading it, that was, until this past Saturday when I finally decided to read it after all these months. Tonight, I finally finished reading the entire manga, and I take back what I said about him choosing Toujou (though I still believe she was the right choice), because if you read the manga, then you can understand why he had such a hard time choosing the girl he wanted to be with.

What I like best about the manga, is that the planning for the entire series is very well done. Nothing is really rushed throughout the manga, and everything is built up so well that it really adds to the Drama and Comedy of the Series. Most Volumes of the Manga sometimes end in a cliffhanger that gets continued into the next Volume, I thought this showed that the author planned everything out really well and wasn’t in a rush to just put that particular Story Arc into just 1 Volume. Because of this, the story came out really well and it made you want to read more just to know what would happen next.

Aside from the story, the main characters grow up and mature throughout the entire series. Near the beginning, you get to know what they’re dreams and aspirations are, and not once throughout the series do they stray from that path. Because of this, there are a lot of painful decisions that the characters have to make in order to achieve that dream, especially in the final 2 Volumes of the manga. If you’ve read from the beginning of the Series, you can actually feel for that character and understand why they had to make the decisions they had to make, and why they needed to sacrifice certain things to make their Dreams come true. It’s actually very touching, and it makes the characters become more important in your eyes. They’re all built up so well in the manga from the very beginning to the end, that you realize that the story wasn’t just about Manaka and his decision on which girl to be with, but also that the story was more about watching these people grow up and experience their school lives along with the experiences they’ve had outside of school and in life and love. It makes the whole Love Situation in the manga seem like it was just only a small part of what made the series what it is today. At least that’s how I feel about the manga and it’s characters.

While Ichigo 100% has a great story and characters, there are some drawbacks that I’ve noticed throughout the entire series that I feel needed to be addressed. For Example, there are many characters throughout Ichigo 100%, 7 Main Characters, and Several Side Characters. However, the Side Characters throughout the story are treated as Main Characters most of the time when they appear. But the problem is, they have short appearances throughout the entire manga, and at the end, you don’t know what happens to them. I’ll use some Examples: Yui Minamoto, who is a childhood friend of Manaka, and is one of the 4 Main Girls of Ichigo 100%. Okusa, who appears at the very beginning of the Manga as 1 of Manaka’s best friends. Amachi, who is in love with Aya Toujou and I suppose is a love Rival for Manaka to earn Toujou’s affection. And then there’s Kozue Mukai, who appears later on in the manga and becomes another girl that is attracted to Manaka Junpei.

Yui Minamoto is the 4th Main Female in the manga, however, she doesn’t become one of Manaka’s Love Interests, rather, she is treated more like a little sister, and doesn’t get that many major story arcs throughout the series. She gets many appearances throughout the manga, however, most of those appearances are very short, and most of the time, nothing major ever happens. Rather than being a Main Characters, it’s more like she’s a side character for the manga, however, it’s hinted by the author in one of the Omake’s that she’s actually the Mascot of the Series. However, I feel as if she could’ve been a very important person in the series had the Author decided to focus more storytime and development to her as well.

When it comes to Okusa, at the beginning of the Manga, he’s one of Manaka’s best friends, and is often the person Manaka goes to talk about his love troubles. At the beginning of the Manga, it seems like he’ll be the person to help guide Manaka on choosing which girl he should end up with, however, once they graduate Middle School and begin their High School Life, he just disappears and doesn’t show up again in the Series until several Volumes later. Hiroshi Sotomura, who then becomes another of Junpei’s good friends during his High School Life, seems to replace Okusa, however, unlike Okusa, he’s more of a pervert that does everything he can to get pictures of girls, and in various outfits. It’s more like Hiroshi Sotomura is a comedy character that replaces the serious Okusa. Okusa had the potential to be an important character in the manga to help guide Manaka, but gets shafted for the more comedic Hiroshi Sotomura. We don’t even get to see him in the final chapters of the manga, and we don’t even know what happens to him in the end.

Amachi becomes a love rival for Manaka when it comes to winning the heart of Aya Toujou, but again, he becomes another character that only gets a few appearances throughout the manga, and only gets a major appearance about Two Thirds of the way when he decides to go after Toujou more seriously. But even after that, he rarely gets any appearances in the manga. The last time you see Amachi is in one of the final chapters of the manga where he tries to kiss Toujou, but gets rejected. He’s another Side Character that gets the “Main Character Treatment” and we don’t know what happens to him in the very end.

Kozue Mukai is introduced in the 100th Chapter of Ichigo 100%. She has a vivid imagination, however, she’s afraid of men. After being with Manaka after a while, she begins to open herself up more, and eventually, she also falls for Manaka. Throughout the 2nd Half of the Series, she’s another “Side Character treated just like a Main Character”, because she becomes the 4th Girl to actually be interested in Manaka Junpei. Her Character is developed really well because you actually see her mature more in the later part of the series, becoming less afraid of men as time passes by. However, she becomes another character where we don’t know what happens to her in the very end. She had a lot of potential to keep the story going, however, nothing went anywhere with her really. After having a major arc in the story, she’s seen less and less throughout the manga only appearing in 1-3 pages in certain chapters. And we never find out what happens to her or what she does in the end.

Because of these characters, I feel as if Ichigo 100% isn’t really complete, because in the end, they were like Main Characters that never really got the Main Character Treatment, and we never even find out what happens to them at the end of the manga. Because of this, I feel as if the Series ended more in a Cliffhanger because there are still characters that we don’t know more about, and we don’t know what happened to them. Mizuki Kawashita, the Author of the manga, has a lot of potential to make a sequel manga based on these 4 characters in my opinion, and hopefully, she’ll reveal sometime what exactly happened to them to give this series closure. I really do feel that they have a lot of potential as characters to be the stars of their own Manga, but I guess it’s all up to the Author on how she’ll handle them, and if she even wants to do a sequel manga based on them.

Overall, Ichigo 100% is quite possibly one of the best Manga’s out there that I’ve ever read. It’s definitely worth the read because the story is very entertaining, and can even make you shed a tear every now and then. There’s a lot of comedy and it’s also very Dramatic at the end of the series. I look forward to Mizuki Kawashita’s next Manga, and as I said, I definitely would want a sequel manga based on the characters that I mentioned above, as I feel they had the potential to actually be Main Characters. As I said before, the only drawback is that there are characters that are rarely seen throughout the manga, but the manga itself is enough for a very enjoyable experience. Some might not like what I might’ve said about certain characters, or my opinion on the manga itself, but this is what I really feel about the Manga, and I believe it’s one of the best out there right now. So definitely pick this up when the volumes come out by Viz. (Of if you get the chance, download them…before Viz notices)

The Good:

-The Characters and Story are built up very well, and nothing is rushed throughout the entire series.

The Bad:

-Most Characters in the Manga are treated as Main Characters, but are still given the Side Character Treatment, and thus only appear now and then throughout the manga without even revealing what happened to them in the end.

Art Quality: A
Story Development: A
Character Development: A
Overall: A

This is definitely a manga to pick up in my opinion. Thanks for reading my review.
Posted: Mar 14 2007, 07:49 AM

The Ancient One

Group: Scanlation/Fansub Projects Team
Posts: 3,339
Member No.: 77
Joined: 12-January 05

There is a reccomendation/review section for this kind of stuff , mods please move this to the appropriate section.
Posted: Mar 14 2007, 02:31 PM

Magister Magi

Group: Moderator Team
Posts: 2,913
Member No.: 21
Joined: 6-January 05

ok *moves thread*
Posted: Mar 14 2007, 08:15 PM

Member #000001 of AQS Shana Fan Club

Group: Members
Posts: 2,206
Member No.: 6,523
Joined: 1-February 07

i agree with the review. it was one of the best planned out harem series ever in my opinion. it gave a little fanservice, but also utilized heavy drama with light-hearted romance into a tasty blend known as Ichigo 100%.

i read this about 2 years ago, and i still cant get enough of it. i am SO glad this series was licensed, and is finally going to be published in the States.

and as for the OVA, since i read the series first, it wasnt all that great for me....
Posted: Jan 5 2008, 11:24 PM

Powerful calmed Teacher

Group: Members
Posts: 66
Member No.: 1,900
Joined: 23-May 05

I think this is the best manga ever for me.

While I read Love Hina and finished it I was like: "Ohh my Gosh, this manga is the best for me ever", but it was until I read this one that I saw my mistake.cool.gif
The story is way too great, the first time I read it like 2 years ago or so(I have read it many times by now laugh.gif ) I still didn't know what was going to happen to the characters even in the last 2 or 3 volumes, which is an important point since I was trapped in that manga for a whole weekend and thats an extra for the author IMHO.

Also this manga is the first(I was gonna say book but...) story that has moved me almost to tears, it was great though, kinda of a new experience. In the end I was sad and happy and a bit confused and frustrated and well something I haven't had experienced 'til then.

Finally the last curious thing is that; above all the funny parts, the great artwork, the ecchi-ness of the whole thing, the ups-and-downs of the plot, the story was made by a woman. So I'm here by to show my respect as I have done it in other forums to Kawashita-sensei for her excellent work in this manga. cool.gif

Also for the ones who liked this story, you should look for lilim kiss and akane-chan overdrive, those are some weird stories but are Kawashita-sensei's work
Posted: Jan 6 2008, 07:32 AM

Magister Magi

Group: Scanlation/Fansub Projects Team
Posts: 6,310
Member No.: 4,689
Joined: 1-October 05

Yeah, Ichigo 100% owns. It goes on forever (what, 19 volumes?) so you get a lot of development. He sure as hell didn't end up with who I wanted though...and he didn't end up with who the Mangaka expected, iirc. That's what's great about this manga. It has a life of it's own. It is most definitely one of the best Harem mangas I've read.

As for Akane-chan OVERDRIVE....no. Don't touch the piece of crap. It was a great concept (A guy gets stuck in a girl's body because he "died?" Awesome), but very lame execution near the end. It was like the Mangaka thought "Hey! I don't want to do this anymore," and gave us 2 unrelated stories, one of which was Yaoi Fluff.
Posted: Jan 7 2008, 12:26 PM

The Ancient One

Group: Scanlation/Fansub Projects Team
Posts: 3,339
Member No.: 77
Joined: 12-January 05

If you liked the series then don't read the Shonen Jump English version, just buy it, leave it sealed and put it on a shelf somewhere.
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