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Suzuka

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Details
Yamato is ready for a fresh start. So when his aunt invites him to stay rent-free in her big-city boarding house in hustling, bustling Tokyo, Yamato jumps at the chance. There`s just one teensy-weensy catch: It`s an all-girl housing complex and spa! Things get even more nerve-racking when Yamato meets his neighbor Suzuka, a beautiful track-and-field star. She`s not just the cutest girl Yamato`s ever met, she`s also the coolest, the smartest, and the most intimidating. Can an ordinary guy like Yamato ever hope to win over a girl like Suzuka?

By Kouji Seo (Suzuka)

Characters
Main Characters

Yamato Akitsuki
Voiced by: Daisuke Nakamura (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English)
The main protagonist of the story. He moved from his home in rural Hiroshima to his aunt’s dormitory in Tokyo to change himself. While checking out his new high school, he sees a beautiful high jumper practicing and falls in love at first sight. By chance she happens to be his next door neighbor, Suzuka Asahina. Yamato is clumsy and has a carefree attitude, which often gets him into comprising situations. He has an almost spineless attitude when it comes to defending his position on a subject when confronted and his need to apologize constantly when he thinks he did something wrong makes him a generally weak willed character. When the need arises, he can become focused and determined. He is exceedingly clueless when it comes to girls and their feelings except for the fact the Suzuka is not your typical girl and would be hard for anyone to read. Although not the best in academics, he discovered a natural gift as a sprinter, and joined the track and field team. During his senior year of high school, he became a well-liked and respected track captain. Even though he did not achieve his goal of becoming first nationally during high school in the 100 meters, he was scouted and recommended to attend two universities: Touto University and Seijo University. After being released from his promise with Saki and realizing that he was still in love with Asahina, he decided to try for acceptance to Seijo University. When he confessed to Suzuka that he wanted to restart their relationship, she stated that she did not because of the fear of getting hurt. Through patience, understanding, and persistence, they made up. During Seijo University's track tryouts, Yamato performed poorly at the start of his race, but showed enough potential at the end for the Selection Committee to unanimously choose him for the scholarship. Pressured by Yasunobu, Yamato decided to take his relationship to the next level. Suzuka initially was against it, but Yamato sets her at ease and they take a step forward in the relationship. Three months later, he learns that Suzuka is pregnant. He is troubled by the decision of her having an abortion and going to the University or keeping the baby and skipping school to work. He admitted to Suzuka that he wants her to keep the baby. After much discussion between the two they both decided to keep the baby and get married, and decided to drop out of the university. It was recently revealed that they had a daughter named Fūka ("Breezy Summer" or alternately, "Summer Breeze").

Suzuka Asahina
Voiced by: Kanako Mitsuhashi (Japanese), Leah Clark (English)
A talented female high jumper from Yokohama that was scouted by many famous high schools because of her skill. While in Tokyo, she lives in Ayano’s dormitory, next door to Yamato. She is a serious athlete that puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform so she does not disappoint others. At first, she has a very cold attitude toward Yamato, but according to her sister, Suzuka only shows her arrogant and somewhat moody attitude to someone she likes. Because of her past with Kazuki, she was reluctant to express her feelings toward Yamato and ended up trying to push him away for a very long time. Her reaction in the manga and anime was to slap him repeatedly the first time he kissed her. Later in the manga after they had gone out a short while he tried to kiss her again and was met with another slap. Then after a misunderstanding Suzuka threatened to slap him again and when he closed his eyes she kissed him followed up with yet another slap to the face. After a while, she finally admits to herself and to Yamato that she has liked him since the first time they met, and they begin dating. Their relationship was rocky from the start because of Yamato’s carelessness and Suzuka's guarded attitude to her thoughts and feelings. She decides to take the offer to study abroad from Sasoka, claiming the training standards are higher and she will benefit more, but it was really because Yamato complimented her on how cool she looked during her high-jump. After the time-skip, Suzuka moved back into her room next door to Yamato. She, like Yamato, was recommended to Seijo University, which she plans on attending. After Yamato told her he wanted to rekindle their relationship, she was against the idea because she was afraid that if they date again, they will begin to hate each other and drift apart. When Yamato shows his devotion to her, they get back together. Things once again became unsettled after Yamato tries to further their relationship to a physical one. She reacted by slapping him when he groped her. After he apologies, she stated that she was simply nervous of the idea, but that if he wanted to, she would take that step forward. After being caught on their secret trip by her father, she is forced to move back home. During this time she feels ill. After Yamato works out the problems with her father, he convinces her to go get the illness checked out. When she comes out, she reveals that the illness was actually morning sickness, as she is three months pregnant. After much discussion between the two they both decided to keep the baby and get married, and decided to drop out of the university. Even though Yamato has to get employed to support his new family, Suzuka wants him to get a job in a company which has a track team. Just recently, their child was revealed to be a girl named Fūka.

Honoka Sakurai
Voiced by: Yumiko Hosono (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Met Yamato from an incident that happened in their childhood at her family’s shrine that he often went to when visiting his aunt. Ever since, Honoka has had a crush on him, but was too shy to talk to him. Much to her shock, Yamato entered her high school and was even part of her class. Seeing her opportunity, she begins to talk with him and they become friends. When Yamato joins the track team, she decides to become the manager so they do not grow apart. After a little while, she finally confesses her feelings to Yamato and they begin dating. The relationship lasts less than a month because of Yamato’s carelessness and Honoka’s own insecurities. After realizing her mistake, she claims that she wants to confess again when she gains more confidence. When she learns that Yamato and Suzuka are dating, she decides to quit being the track manager and take up an offer made by the modeling agency of her best friend, Nana. After a modeling shoot, she happens to run into Yamato again after he has broken up with Suzuka. She clearly still harbors feelings for him but being a popular model, she has become more confident and now can openly talk with him. While at the beach, she surprised Yamato by asking if they should be a couple again. In shock, Yamato accidentally took it as a joke. Because of this incident, she decided to no longer wait for Yamato and began dating a coworker who confessed to her. In order to be fair to her new boyfriend, she decided it would not be a good idea for them to hang out together anymore.

Yasunobu Hattori
Voiced by: Takanori Ohyama (Japanese), Robert McCollum (English)
Has been friends with Yamato since they were kids. They often met whenever Yamato came to stay with his aunt Ayano; however, Hattori would frequently get Yamato in trouble, since Hattori would take advantage of the fact that Ayano's dormitory also contained a women's bath. He is a ladies' man that, according to Yamato, prefers perverted stuff over eating. He dreams of dating all the girls in the world and the legalization of polygyny in Japan. Yasunobu is often giving relationship advice to Yamato, with rather amusing results, due to the latter's being clueless and tendency to screw up. Even though he sometimes gets Yamato in bad situations, he usually has Yamato’s best interests in mind. Much to Yamato and Miki's surprise, Yasunobu has been a straight "A" student during high school.

Miki Hashiba
Voiced by: Seika Hosokawa (Japanese), Jamie Marchi (English)
Miki is a first year high school student and member of the school field and track team as a sprinter. She is best friends with Suzuka Asahina and later Yamato. Before they began attending the same high school, Miki had often encountered Suzuka during track meets and disliked her because Suzuka came off as cold and aloof. However, once she realized that Suzuka's distant nature resulted from her perfectionist tendencies and dedication to her sport, Miki came to respect Suzuka and they became friends. Although initially attracted to Yamato Akitsuki, upon realizing he was infatuated with her best friend Suzuka, she immediately puts a hold on her own feelings. Miki is extremely loyal to her friends and will do anything to help them. She meddles constantly in their affairs and can be quite incessant in forcing them to confront their feelings. When asked what is most important to her in life, her answer was simply, "Friends!"

Girls' dormitory

Ayano Fujikawa
Voiced by: Yuki Kaida (Japanese), Gwendolyn Lau (English)
Yamato's aunt, who is the landlady of the women’s dormitory and public bathhouse. She lets Yamato stay rent-free and pays him for cleaning. She seems to be close with her tenants and is even proud of their accomplishments. She often cooks meals for her nephew and Suzuka. Yamato's mother revealed that her marriage was an elopement. Even though her husband is deceased, she continues to wear her wedding band.

Miho Fujikawa
Voiced by: Satomi Akesaka (Japanese), Kate Bristol (English)
Ayano's daughter and Yamato’s younger cousin by two years. She is very attached and protective of Yamato to the point of being jealous of Suzuka. Occasionally, she reminds Yamato of his childhood promise to marry her to cheer him up or as a joke. During the time skip, she became a high school student, moved into Suzuka's old room, and became the track manager. When Suzuka moved back to the apartments, she was forced to give up her room and move back in with her mother.

Yuka Saotome
Voiced by: Masami Suzuki (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
A boisterous busybody college student from rural Akita that lives in Ayano’s dormitory. She likes to drink and usually ends up in Yamato’s room with her best friend Megumi. She has been known to take pictures of Yamato in compromising positions so she can blackmail him later. Even though she considers her relationship with Yamato to be “master and slave”, she often tries to help him with his relationship problems and has admitted that she worries about him. He also seems to be one of the few people she can be vulnerable with. In fact, Yamato is the only one that she has told about her one sided love for Sasaoka, who she has liked since high school. She had confessed to him fifteen times, but Sasaoka took it as a joke because she never seriously followed through. These rejections had a profound impact on her life, driving her to change her appearance and her dating behavior. Before Sasaoka left for the United States, Yamato took her to the airport so she could finally convince him of her feelings. Even though she finally got through to him, he revealed he is already engaged to be married next year. She took this rejection well, claiming that she felt refreshed and not as devastated as she originally thought. After thanking Yamato, she proclaimed she will become a better woman and find an even better man. She has since returned her appearance to the way it was when Yamato first met her.

Megumi Matsumoto
Voiced by: Hatsumi Miura (Japanese), Carrie Savage (English)
A soft-spoken, bespectacled college student who also lives in Ayano’s dormitory. She is often seen trying to reign in Yuka when she is drunk. Ironically, Megumi gets drunk easily, and in that state is even wilder than Yuka, often berating Yamato on how all men are perverts, accusing Yamato of staring at her chest, flashing him, and then slapping him for looking. She has expressed the desire to become married.

Kazuki Tsuda
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano
When Suzuka and Soichi were in middle school, Kazuki was their track captain, and was ranked first in the 100 meter. The similarities between him and Yamato are a striking resemblance in terms of looks, personality, and running talent. During track practices, he and Suzuka would often fight because she wanted practices to be serious and he wanted them to be fun. Before the national tournament, he confessed to her and told her not to answer until he had won. On the day of the tournament, when running home to get his spikes that he forgot, he was hit and killed by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

Tetsuhito Kinugasa
Voiced by: Yoshihisa Kawahara (Japanese), Vic Mignogna (English)
The track captain when Yamato first joined the team. He competes in shot put and is often seen putting Yamato in a headlock or making him do extra training. He has high expectations for Yamato, so much that during actual tournaments he will not watch Yamato run and often resorts to hiding behind a tree. Even though he has graduated and is now attending Seijo University, he still comes to check on the high school track team. After learning that Yamato and Suzuka got recommendations for Seijo, he offered to show Yamato and Suzuka around the campus. He was personally training Yamato before the the start of the academic term, until Yamato decided enter the workforce instead of attending the University. Tetsuhito expressed his disappointment that Yamato did not confide his problems with him. He also made sure that Yamato understood the consequence of his and Suzuka's decision to drop out, since that would mean that Seijo University would probably no longer take members of their high school any more for selections. After seeing Yamato and Suzuka apologizing to the high school track club, he expresses support for their choice.

Soichi Miyamoto
Voiced by: Takeshi Maeda (Japanese), Kevin M. Connolly (English)
One of the members of the track team and captain after Kinugasa graduates. A classmate of Suzuka's from junior high school. After hearing about Yamato's performance in physical tests, he actively persuades Yamato to join the track team. When Yamato came to him to help with making better times, he analyzed that data, found that Yamato was reaching his top speed too early, and made a training regimen for him. He believes Yamato has the potential to surpass Kazuki's skill. Before graduating, he chose Yamato to become the next track captain. He is currently is part of Toto University's track team and was influential in Yamato getting his recommendation. Even though Yamato eventually chose to attend Seijo, he still wanted him to perform his best.

Arima Emerson (Emeruson Arima)
Voiced by: Takahiro Hirano (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
He is Yamato's main track rival, who is ranked first nationally in the 100 meter sprint. He initially went to Toto University High School. During junior high school, he was always beaten by Kazuki, which is still a touchy subject for him. Like Suzuka, he took up the offer to study abroad in United States, during which he stayed informed about Yamato's running times back in Japan. Afterward, he decided to go Toto University and run for their track team. He indirectly helped Yamato realize that Suzuka and their unborn child was more important to him then track which lead to Yamato's decision to not attend University and become employed to support his family. Near the end of the series, he still expresses hopes that he will have a chance to compete with Yamato in the Olympics. He when on to represent Japan in the 100m.

Kenji Kobayakawa
Voiced by: Ryou Naito (Japanese), David Trosko (English)
A hard working sprinter of the track team who was on an athletic scholarship. Even though he is a talented sprinter, he is not as fast as Yamato in the 100 meters. He dislikes Yamato because he outperforms him in track and Honoka, the girl he liked, had only had eyes for Yamato. Like Yamato, he was scouted by the universities in his senior year at high school. When Yamato and Suzuka told the high school track club that they dropped out of Seijo University, he was the only member that was upset about their decision. A running joke through the series is the is often forgotten about by the other characters. He went on to represent Japan in the 200m.

Tsuyoshi Kusakabe
He is a of classmates of Miho's. He has liked Miho for a long time, but has had little success with winning her affections. During his first year in high school, he joined the track team and it's implied that he hung around Miho, who's usually with Yamato, as much as possible. On the track team, he became arrogant when he was not under Yamato's supervision. This caused Yamato to treat Tsuyoshi in a similar fashion as Kinugasa treated Yamato. With support from Miho and Suzuka and with Yamato's guidance, he was able to take first place at the rookie track meet.


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