Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Mizuki Kawashita
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Advanced)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
The choices are getting harder but does Junpei already know who he really likes?
We all know that Junpei Manaka’s romantic life is a most unusual one for an average-looking kid who isn’t exactly experienced with dealing with girls but somehow he has a number of them interested in him. In Volume 11 of Strawberry 100% it takes a stranger to tell Junpei the truth about himself and the fact that he might already know who he really likes the most. Then again, this is Junpei we’re talking about, right?
With the school’s festival over and done with and Junpei and the film club’s movie a success, Junpei’s friend and classmate thinks that his website filled with pictures of the girls needs another boost. So he convinces Junpei to work on Christmas eve outside the theater where he works in an effort to “save” the theater from closing. Really, this is just another ploy to see Satsuki, Aya, Chinami and even Yui in sexy Santa outfits.
Of course, the girls are a big draw as Junpei and Hiroshi sell cakes to make some extra cash. Unfortunately, Tsukasa finds out that the commotion outside and the fact that the boys are selling cakes is ruining the pastry shop where she works. Now not only is Tsukasa looking to stop the boys but the crowd of guys surrounding the girls are starting to get downright rowdy.
In another chapter, Junpei runs into Aya during the New Years but the trouble is that he spots her with Amachi. The two boys have always been at odds and secret rivals for Aya’s affection and this meeting has both boys steamed. When they’re invited to Aya’s house, the two boys meet Aya’s older and far more voluptuous cousin who calls it like she sees it. Haruka also makes a very interesting observation that sums up Junpei. Actually, she accurately guesses why Junpei doesn’t take the initiative and pick a girl already.
However, Junpei does have an idea of who he really likes and it’s no big surprise if you’ve been following the series closely. He admits his preference when he meets up with Aya again as he hands her a birthday present. Again that darn Amachi has tired to trump Junpei but Aya seems to be more content with Junpei’s gift. She also comes to a decision of what she wants to do after graduation and it involves Junpei.
Meanwhile, Satsuki makes an announcement that her parents are divorcing and she plans on leaving the city to live with her mother. This means she won’t be around anymore and this forces Junpei to think about what it would be like if Satsuki was out of the picture. It’s actually not a very pleasant thought since Satsuki not only brings a big dose of sexy into Junpei’s life but she’s also fun to have around. It’s no wonder that every boy in the school is devastated. Of course, at the end of the chapter, things don’t end the way one might expect.
As I mentioned, Junpei might have somebody in mind as the girl he wants to be with and it’s been obvious since she came back into his life. Tsukasa might feel the same way seeing as she shows how jealous she is when she catches Junpei getting cozy with a girl at a karaoke dive that Hiroshi took him along to along with the boys from the soccer team. Unfortunately for Junpei, Tsukasa has some plans for after they graduate and it might take her away from Junpei.
In the final chapter, Junpei and Tsukasa double dates with Yui and Okusa from the soccer team. Yui is madly in love with the hunky soccer player but just doesn’t relate to his choice of entertainment. Meanwhile, Junpei and Tsukasa end up together as they hop on the Ferris wheel that gets stuck. Could this be the opportunity he needs to finally close the deal with her? That might be a question the Volume 12 might answer.
If Volume 11 of Strawberry 100% sounds like it’s bursting at the seams with story that’s because it is and yes it’s wonderfully exhausting. We learn a little more about Junpei and why he’s having trouble deciding on a girl and yes there’s still loads of fan service that only ends up confusing him more but that’s what we love about him and this series.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Junpei is convinced to work on Christmas with the girls warming things up by dressing as sexy Santas but the more memorable moment comes when Satsuki announces that she might have to move away because of her parents upcoming divorce and Tsukasa makes a career decision that might affect their relationship. Meanwhile, Aya makes a decision that surprises (and confuses) Junpei.
Mizuki Kawashita offers up another heavy dose of panty flashing so if you’re into that sort of thing you’re going to love this volume. Everyone else can appreciate the cute characters, the lovely backgrounds and the hilarious visual gags.
A lot happens to Junpei in Volume 11 of Strawberry 100% and despite the continued confusion it becomes clear that Tsukasa is the girl that dominates his mind. Still, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have room for Satsuki, Aya and a few girls that take an interest in him as well. Things are never easy for Junpei, are they?
Review copy provided by VIZ Media