Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Mizuki Kawashita
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Advanced)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Now available
An old flame is about to be rekindled again.
It’s quite easy to look past the constant panty flashing and light nudity when a manga series is just as amusing and as sweet as Strawberry 100%. Somehow the series manages to continue making the story of a young boy surrounded by beautiful girls that are interested in him seem so refreshingly fun to read. With Volume 10 of Strawberry 100%, it’s good to see that Junpei continues to have his hands full as his crazy love life is about to get more interesting still.
Having made three separate dates with the three main girls in his life, Junpei finds himself spending the late evening with Tsukasa who leads him to their old Junior high school. It’s clear to Junpei that the girl he once dated is interested in being intimate with him and the boy isn’t exactly opposed to the idea considering the fact that his growing interest in Aya is still strong. Just while things are about to get steamy, Tsukasa’s mother calls and demands that she come home quickly.
As awkward as the moment together was it’s no wonder that Junpei doesn’t call Tsukasa the next day as the school festival begins. Excited about the fact that they’re about to debut their feature film like they did at last year’s festival, Junpei and his friends begin preparations to lure boys into their booth with the promise of seeing Tsukasa, Aya and Satsuki in their tight and revealing leather costumes. As it turns out, though, boys from other clubs kidnap Satsuki and Amachi takes Aya away in fear that she would humiliate herself. On top of that, Tsukasa is lost on the school grounds as boys begin to pester her.
Speaking of being pestered, a cute sophomore student named Chinami Hashimoto crashes into Junpei who finds out that the girl is running from her ex-boyfriend so Chinami clings to poor Junpei for support. Unfortunately, she tells her ex that Junpei is her new boyfriend that the he will be more than happy to reimburse the ex the 200,000 yen he spent on her. Junpei accepts but he doesn’t do it for Chinami who he sees as a pest. As a result, Chinami sticks around to annoy Junpei and I have to say she’s actually a nice addition to the cast because our boy finds her annoying.
Luckily enough, Chinami does lend a hand in helping sell their movie to the male students on campus and the film actually does move a lot of people to the point that the movie wins them a very prominent place in the festival. On top of that, the club hears another bit of interesting news … the movie itself has won a prize in a local student film festival. The prize isn’t exactly what Junpei wanted for his movie and more so when he finds out that their fiction-based movie was up against nonfiction entries.
In the meantime, Junpei runs into Aya who feels that maybe she let them all down with a script that wasn’t strong enough to make it to first place in the film contest. She takes comfort in his words of encouragement and it’s becoming clearer that Aya is indeed falling for Junpei in a big way to the point that she is happy knowing they will probably run into each another in their upcoming school trip to Kyoto. Aya’s friend insists that school trips are the perfect opportunity for romance as well as the perfect chance for her to reveal her feeling to Junpei.
During the trip, Junpei’s friends manage to sneak Chinami (in a bag, no less) to Kyoto on their school trip. As fate would have it, though, Tsukasa and her all-girl’s school also travels to Kyoto. I won’t spoil things but there’s a moment when Junpei and Aya do get some alone time and it’s Tsukasa who sees them in a most surprising manner. Yet the real surprise is that Junpei doesn’t let this go and makes an effort to find Tsukasa and he gets to spend the following day with her as Tsukasa risks expulsion from her school to be with him. It’s also looking like Junpei is leaning towards Tsukasa as he even ignores Satsuki in an awkward moment in a bath.
An interesting twist in the story and the introduction of a new girl makes Volume 10 of Strawberry 100% a considerably amusing entry in the series. Chinami is certainly a fun new character and the fact that Junpei doesn’t go crazy for her makes their relationship all the more comical. Here’s hoping the next ten volumes keep up the fun momentum.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The school festival is here and that means Junpei and the film club can finally debut their movie they worked so hard on but a number of mishaps nearly spoil the film’s viewing if it wasn’t for a new cutie that lends a hand. Meanwhile, Junpei finds himself growing closer to Tsukasa and more so during a school trip.
The fan service that has been diminishing in the last two volume is nearly doubled in Volume 10 but the art is still quite lovely throughout.
While still confused in the romance department, Junpei seems to be leaning towards picking Tsukasa in Volume 10 of Strawberry 100%. A lot happens in this packed volume and yes there’s plenty of the usual girl crazy fun but the thought of Junpei and Tsukasa rekindling the romance that fizzled makes this all the more interesting.