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Is

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Details
Shy Ichitaka has a crush on his high school classmate Iori, but ever since she posed for semi-provocative swimsuit photos in a magazine, she`s had a lot of sleazy guys hitting on her. Ichitaka`s afraid to make his feelings known for fear Iori will think he`s just another creep.

By Masakazu Katsura(Is)

Characters
Main Characters
Ichitaka Seto
Ichitaka Seto has a generally shy and reserved nature, and, due to misfortunes with girls when he was younger, he has acquired a reflexively defensive posture when dealing with women. Thus, he's prone to rude comments when it seems some people are just trying to help, and can place an emotional wall in front of himself when people ask about his feelings. Many complications get in the way of Ichitaka's goal of being with Iori, such as amorous pursuits made towards him by other girls (notably Izumi, who can be seen as being the most assertive in showing her feelings). Regardless, he constantly thinks about Iori and it would seem he'd want nothing more than for her to be his girlfriend. Throughout the series he finds himself lost in daydreaming or imagination, and several times, he even drifts off right in front of Iori.

Iori Yoshizuki
Iori Yoshizuki was born March 21, 1981 (she is 16 years old as the series begins). Iori is prim, proper, and friendly, not to mention gorgeous. She's a young lady who's easy to like and get along with. This generally positive outlook is put to the test from the beginning of the series, which opens on a magazine article featuring Iori in a swimsuit spread. Suddenly, Iori's the center of attention, and she finds it difficult to differentiate whether people (particularly men) like her for herself or her beauty.

Itsuki Akiba
Itsuki Akiba is loud, reckless, and shameless, and seems to be a complete opposite of Iori, including her affinity towards wearing boyish clothing and having a short haircut. Itsuki and Ichitaka had been friends since grade school, with Itsuki often being an emotional coach to Ichitaka, particularly with women. The two seemed to become closer than friends in their young life, a relationship that was suddenly interrupted when Itsuki moved away to America years before the series begins. Itsuki just as abruptly returns to Ichitaka's life soon after the series starts, now a fully grown young lady, but still with real feelings for Ichitaka. But later in the series, she goes back to America to work with a world-renowned sculptor, and is further unseen. She occasionally appears in Ichitaka's mind to scold him during his bouts of self-pity, though these manifestations are really Ichitaka's subconscious trying to tell him something important.

Izumi Isozaki
Izumi Isozaki is two years younger than the other characters and is very much like Itsuki Akiba. However, she isn't as shy in expressing her emotions, especially her love for Ichitaka Seto. In fact, she announces her love to pretty much everyone she knows. Also, she's more daring and is quite superstitious when it comes to love. She constantly tails Seto, and on more than one occasion, had tried to seduce Seto to go to bed with her in order to prove her love. Izumi persists in attempting to obtain Seto's love and says that she will try whatever it takes to get him to be with her. She is introduced half-way through the manga, where she meets Seto on the beach on their summer vacation, and after that, she discovers that they go to the same school. She falls for Seto after he defends her from her overly-aggressive boyfriend, and tricks him into going on dates throughout the series. She is determined that he is her soulmate, and she wants him to be her boyfriend.

Aiko Asou
Although her name does not begin with an "I," the "Ai" from "Aiko" represents an "i" sound in Japanese, indirectly marking her as an "i." She is quite ditzy, scatterbrained and is prone to losing or misplacing her possessions, but she's also very nice, kind, and unbelievably cheerful, even in bad situations. Also, she looks almost exactly like Iori Yoshizuki, save for a mole under her left eye. Her uncanny resemblance to Iori causes Seto some complications when she is introduced three-quarters of a way through the manga. She, as well as Seto, falls in love with one another at a later point once they meet. Asou realizes this is a potential problem for Seto and decides to move away in order to keep Seto's and Iori's love intact.

Yasumasa Teratani
Yasumasa Teratani is Ichitaka's best friend who seems to think himself a pro with the opposite gender despite his somewhat nerdy appearance and lack of success with girls. He is often found giving Seto encouragement and good advice. Though sometimes his help is unwarranted and sometimes ends up in a bad situation, it seem's that he means well with his actions and is bummed when Seto doesn't succeed. Ichitaka spends a considerable amount of time through the story continuing to ask for advice, but as the story progresses he learns to not rely so heavily on him. He is generally interpreted as well-meaning but also a jerk, a pervert, and not exactly the smartest person in the series.

Jun Koshinae
Jun Koshinae is a friend from Ichitaka's class. He is first introduced in Volume 4, during a school trip to Kyoto, when he is paired with Iori. He first seems a threat to Ichitaka, for he seems to be in love with Iori, but eventually, he turns out to be homosexual and is in love with Higemi-sensei, their teacher. Because Higemi-sensei is paired with Ichitaka, Koshinae requests for a trade, bringing the happy Ichitaka back to his crush. From that point on, Jun becomes one of Ichitaka's best friends, and an important listener when he isn't comforted with the advice he got from Teratani. Though he hates physical aggression, he is a very adept martial artist when need be.

Nami Tachiba
Nami is a classmate of Ichitaka, Iori, Teratani, and others, and is generally the mood-maker of the group whenever they are all together on a trip, school project, etc. She is very energetic and cheerful and loves to express herself, though her tomboyish and carefree attitude can make others feel awkward at times. She comes from a very rich family, as it is evident halfway through the manga when the group comes over to her house to organize a group project. Some interpret her as a slut and female pervert, since she has tried to get people to sleep together and has shown off her body numerous times.

Yuka Morisaki
Yuka is another classmate of Ichitaka/Iori's, and along with Nami, is one of Iori's closest friends. Though she doesn't stand out too much among the rest of the group, she seems to be the only one that Iori can talk deeply to about her issues in life. She (to everyone's surprise) develops a crush on Teratani halfway through the manga, though when he ends up rejecting her those feelings turns into that of contempt. She doesn't exactly hate Ichitaka, but is put off by his timidness. In the end, she supports him all the way.

"Marionette King"
A former senior in Ichitaka's high school, he is the main recurring villain of the manga. A sexual deviant, he tries to take advantage of Iori no less than three times throughout the manga with various schemes, but is foiled by Ichitaka every single time. After his unsuccessful first attempt he is expelled from the school, after his second attempt he becomes a drug addict on the verge of insanity, and plays a major role in the manga's final story arc. "Marionette King" is his Internet handle, and his real name is never mentioned in the manga (although in the Is Pure OVA, his real name is finally mentioned - Samejima).

Kida Mokichi
A classmate of Ichitaka and Iori, and he looks very much like a frog. He is totally perverted and when he sees Iori in the Fuwarin commercial, he becomes what can best be described as a "total psycho", believing that he and Iori are destined to be together. He has tried numerous times to sleep with Iori. After high school, he plays a minor part in the entire plot. He appears once or twice afterwards, but beyond that, he could be considered a minor character.

Myoko
Ichitaka's first crush. When she found out about his feelings back in sixth grade, she promptly told him to leave her alone, and she thought he was gross. This started Ichitaka's "bad-luck-with-the-ladies-itis", and made him promise with Itsuki that they would get married someday. Myoko often comes back to haunt Ichitaka in the first half of the series through wild daydreams and hallucinations, but this has stopped as Ichitaka's confidence grew.

* An interesting note: there is a girl in Ichitaka's graduating class named Myoko, though whether she is the Myoko referred to here is highly questionable.


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