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
Some things were just bound to change.
You can always count on certain things in your favorite manga whether it is the main character gobbling down bowl after bowl of ramen or – in the case of Strawberry 100% – a cute girl flashing her panties. Still, a manga series is able to surprise you with something slightly different and in Volume 13 we find Junpei Manaka still getting an eyeful of panty flashes but also watching his relationship with the girls who like him change.
In the first chapter, Junpei finds that the girls in his school are devastated by a bit of news concerning school heartthrob, Amachi. It seems that the handsome devil has forsake all other girls and they all think it’s because he is serious about his education. However, as Junpei and Aya find out, he not only joined their cram school but he has decided to do devote himself to winning Aya’s heart. While Junpei is clearly annoyed and confused by the young man’s confession of love, Amachi has always been chivalrous and kind enough that he might actually succeed in winning Aya.
For a long time, Junpei has been flirting with the idea of choosing Aya over Tsukasa and their relationship has since changed enough that Aya does seem to have feelings for Junpei. Yet since he joined the cram school, Aya found herself a bit taken aback by Junpei’s friendship with the shy-yet-boy-crazy girl named Kozue Mukai. Now Amachi has taken it upon himself to be by her side at the cram school and her feeling quickly becomes conflicted. Does she really have genuine romantic feelings for Junpei or – more importantly – does he have romantic feeling for her?
In the meantime, Amachi considers himself the right choice to be Aya’s boyfriend despite the fact that he has a feeling that Aya might actually have feelings for Junpei. Amachi actually even wonders how is it that a guy like Junpei would have so many girls so interested him whether it’s Tsukasa, Satsuki and now even Kozue. Speaking of Kozue, their female classmate decides to play matchmaker thinking that Aya now has a guy so why should Kozue and Junpei hook up? When said friend asks Aya to help push Kozue to Junpei, Aya hesitates.
You can’t blame the girls for thinking that Aya has found a boyfriend in Amachi since an incident involving a bad hair day has Aya dressing and wearing her hair just like she did back in Junior high. It is Amachi who immediately recognizes her while everyone else thinks she’s somebody else. Back in Junpei’s home, however, Tsukasa has baked a cake for Junpei and decides to wait for him but a since our boy has been hanging out with Kozue he comes home late. Imagine his surprise when he finds Tsukasa sleeping in his bed.
Back in school, Satsuki heard the rumors that Aya has grown closer to Amachi and drags the guy to the men’s room where she demands to know what he did to pull off such a thing. Amachi tells her and is determined to do the same so she sets up a date with Junpei. It is on this date that Satsuki finally comes to a sudden realization and her decision changes the relationship between her and Junpei. It’s actually a very surprising decision and I’m curious to see where it goes in future volumes.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa gets a most unusual request from her boss at the bakery where she works. In fact, it actually takes her completely by surprise to the point that she doesn’t know quite how to answer. It isn’t until a magazine article – featuring a picture of Tsukasa – comes out that Tsukasa finds herself in quite a pickle. You see, the article also mentions that she is engaged to her boss’ grandson, the pastry chef we met a few volumes back. On top of that, men who have seen the picture have fallen in love with her and have flocked in masses to profess their love to her. It gets so bad that Tsukasa gives them quite a scolding.
Suddenly, Tsukasa and Aya, in their own way, want Junpei to come to their rescue. Will Junpei confront Tsukasa about the rumor that she is engaged to the handsome pastry chef? Will Junpei kindly tell Amachi to back off and tell Aya he is in love with her? The answer to both questions is no and when two male admirers begin to harass Tsukasa, will Junpei arrive in time to come to her aid or will somebody else save her?
While the volume focuses more on Aya, Tsukasa and Satsuki’s relationship with Junpei changing, it doesn’t lose sight of its great sense of humor and, um, panty flashing. However, it is not coming to the point where Junpei will have to make a choice and pick a girl he wants to be with in the end. Even with one girl somewhat out of the picture, it is still too hard to select the right girl.
If anything, Volume 13 of Strawberry 100% will best be remembered as the volume where things might change for our young male lead. As one girls seems to be slipping out sight of his romance radar, could it be that he might lose the two other girls in his life? We are so looking forward to the next volume as Strawberry 100% is starting to get deliciously interesting.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Amachi finally decides to actually do something about winning Aya’s heart by making quite a commitment that might steal her away from a still undecided Junpei. Meanwhile, inspired by Amachi’s decision, Satsuki goes for the kill as well that changes her relationship with Junpei … in a way. In the final chapter, Tsukasa gains a large number of male admirers after being featured in a magazine that also mentions she is engaged.
Kawashita-sensei gives his readers a light dose of fan service and visual gags in this volume and concentrates more on the wonderful character design and the emotions they display in this volume.
A lot happens in Volume 13 of Strawberry 100% as the relationship between Junpei and the girls in his life slowly begins to change. Starting with Amachi’s declaration of love to Satsuki’s final attempt at winning Junpei, this volume still manages to have fun while reminding us that in life all things do change.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media