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Najika Kazami

Najika is the main heroine of the story. She's an orphan that came from Hokkaido after losing both her parents in an accident at a very young age. During her orphan childhood, a mysterious boy gave her a treat along with a special spoon. Straight after that Najika called him her "Flan Prince" and her new goal was to find him again. Najika is led to the Seika Academy when she discovers that the spoon the boy left her turned out to be from there. As she is about to enter 7th grade and arrives at her new school, Seika Academy, she is rejected by almost all her classmates, as they think she is untalented and doesn't deserve to be part of the special class. However, she winds up meeting Sora and Daichi Kitazawa, the Seika director's sons, who become her first friends, and even though she gradually earns the respect of the students, she is strongly rejected by Akane Kishida. Even though Najika continuously attempts to befriend Akane by giving her food, Akane keeps refusing. Akane also purposely mislead Najika to a run down a restaurant called Fujita's diner, which became Najika's second home to the heart because she decided to bring the business back up with her own cooking skills with Daichi and Sora at her side. Almost eternally optimistic and cheerful, Najika is a caring and hard-working individual. She is somewhat naive and easily manipulated by others, however she is also very forgiving, even of Akane, who makes her life somewhat difficult. To bystanders, she seems to be a glutton but in reality, is just appreciative of all kinds of food and flavors, as well as the nourishing value of food. As a cook, she is quite talented and resourceful. Part of her talent is in her prodigious sense of taste: she never forgets a taste and can accurately analyze the components of almost any dish. Najika manages to earn a bit of respect from Akane when she manages to re-create Akane's grandmother's peach pie, whom Akane sorely misses. Even so, Najika still ends up being a victim of Akane's schemes later on; though Akane no longer seems to dislike Najika, she is jealous of her due to her relationship with Daichi. When Daichi buys Najika a watch after Najika accidentally breaks her current, rather shabby one, Akane steals the watch before Najika finds it, and tells Daichi that Najika didn't want it. Right after hearing about the theft from Sora, Najika confronts Akane and the girls end up having a fight, culminating in Najika telling Akane that she is a horrible person. Despite this, Najika defends Akane afterwards when an onlooker calls Akane pathetic. They soon make amends after that, with Akane coming to Fujita Diner for the first time and says that she is going to eat there from then on. Najika also enters a cooking contest, and when the theme for the first round is "Sweets For a Friend", Najika chooses to make a strawberry-flavored desert for Akane that has no calories, so that Akane could eat if every day it she desired to do so. Najika was initially reluctant to enter the cooking contest, but decided that she must do so in order to be a match for Sora, whom she was in love with, mostly because she was under the impression Sora was her "Flan Prince", Sora having told her he was himself, though Najika had appeared to have a crush on him even before then. When she was talking and eating scones with Akane, Najika resolved to tell Sora how she felt about him after the contest. However, Daichi, who had overheard their conversation, became jealous upon hearing this. When Sora presents Najika with a bouquet of flowers and kissed her on the forehead at the Fujita Diner, in congratulations for passing the first round of the cooking contest, Daichi, who had seen this and had probably came to the diner to congratulate Najika as well, turns around and left. Najika saw him leave and followed him. After she'd caught up with him, Daichi told Najika she was dumb, and that entering a competition as a way to express her love was stupid. He also told her that Sora was a bad person and was going to let her down. When Najika objected, saying that Sora was a nice person and that Daichi hadn't even bothered to congratulate her, Daichi suddenly kissed her. When Najika asks him why he did this the following day at school, Daichi, rather than admit his true feelings, tells Najika the only reason he kissed her was because he wanted to outdo Sora's congratulations for passing the first round, and that the kiss meant nothing. Najika becomes very sad upon hearing this and cries, though Daichi later earns her forgiveness after apologizing and helping her hands to hurt less during the cooking competition. Before the final round of the contest, Sora was hit by a truck when he's about to deliver Najika's vanilla beans ingredients. This plot continued to the next volume when Najika finds out Sora was injured and in critical condition. His death was blamed solely on Najika herself, for the time in which he was hit was when he was delivering some ingredients to Najika. Her classmates said it was all her fault and the director of the school even refused to let her to continue living at the school. To further add insult to injury, Najika loses her sense of taste due to the psychological trauma. In spite of this, she musters up the resolve to finish the contest for Sora's sake, though she loses. After Sora's death, Daichi became the only one who could protect Najika, even though Najika still isn't conscious about his feelings toward her, Daichi still loves her even refused Akane's confession. And as time goes by Najika gradually falls in love with Daichi. What complicates matters is the arrival of Seiya, a talented chef who eerily resembles Sora but has none of Sora's manners or gentleness. Najika's name means rainbow and there are many references to rainbows throughout the manga.

Daichi Kitazawa

The younger brother of Sora Kitazawa who has a little passion for basketball. He is in Najika's class and is popular with the girls at Seika Academy, though not quite to the extent that Sora is. Daichi's first encounter with Najika was when Najika fell on him from a tree in Seika Academy's school grounds. This caused Daichi to refer to Najika as "monkey", but underneath the teasing Daichi has affectionate feelings for Najika and, like Sora, made her feel accepted at her new school. Daichi's feelings for Najika gradually become stronger, and he comes to the realization that he has a crush on her. In the following chapter of the manga, he overhears a conversation between Najika and Akane Kishida where Najika tells Akane that she has feelings for Sora, and that she intends to tell him how she feels after the cooking competition she is currently competing in ends. This causes Daichi to become jealous. He has 'low sense' of love, and it takes Sora asking him why he was so upset by the idea of Najika giving the watch Daichi gave her to Akane to make him realize his feelings for Najika were romantic. Seeing Sora with a bouquet of flowers and a kiss on a forehead to congratulate Najika, Daichi, in his jealousy, kisses Najika - but when Najika confronts Daichi about it the next day, he tells her the kiss meant nothing. Akane has a crush on Daichi, but he does not return her feelings, or even appear to have much interest in her, though he does become concerned upon hearing from Najika that Akane has an eating disorder. Daichi does not think highly of his brother, Sora, due to Sora's acceptance of their parents' remarriage, and referred to him as a "traitor" and a "two-faced jerk" to Najika. He is also much less close to his father than Sora and seems to harbor resentment beyond the remarriage, particularly when he discovers his father's intentions for Najika. After Sora's death, Daichi is to be the student council president. Only because he agrees to his father if he becomes the student council then Najika can stay at the school. Daichi's name means earth.

Sora Kitazawa

A talented pianist and the older brother of Daichi Kitazawa. He is the president of the student council and substitute director of the school. He is very composed, never letting sadness or anger show on his face. He is adored by all the girls at Seika Academy, and Najika's close relationship with him often invokes much jealousy. Ever since Najika began to work at Fujita's Diner he began to help her. It is clear that Sora must be very fond of Najika, since he is always kind to her and devotes much of his time to helping her with her life, though it is never revealed whether his feelings for her were romantic, like Daichi's. When Sora overheard Najika tell Daichi about the boy who saved her from drowning and gave her the flan, he tells her that the boy who gave her the flan was him, and she believes him. During his childhood, Daichi and he were pretty close but ever since their father remarried, Daichi was angered by Sora's approval of the marriage, causing Sora to be thought of as a traitor by Daichi. The problem is hinted at being much deeper as well, when the school director professes interest in using Najika as a spokesperson for a new culinary school, to Daichi's fury and Sora's dismay. Sora, though loyal to his father as well as very close, starts to show signs of shifting away from his ambitious father's machinations. While things are never great between them, Najika did manage to bring Sora and Daichi a little bit closer together. On the day of Najika's contest Sora was getting her the ingredients she needed. But after talking to her on his cell phone, he gets hit by a truck and is rushed to the hospital. And before he dies he tells Najika that he is not the Flan Prince. Sora's name means sky.

Akane Kishida

A girl with a goal to become a super model like her mother was. To achieve this goal, she decides to starve herself but claims it's just an extreme level of dieting. She despises Najika and refuses to eat any of her food earlier in the first few volumes. But later her heart softens after Najika manages to help her learn to eat properly again by re-creating Akane's grandmother's peach pie. After that, her close friends kept on picking on Najika, but Akane just told them that she was tired of picking on her and would stay out of the topic. Still, Akane continued to pick on Najika herself, despite Najika's kind attitude towards her (and, later, despite knowing that Najika is not actually romantically interested in Daichi). She did this because she was jealous of Najika's close relationship with Daichi. Akane has feelings for Daichi, and seeing Daichi be affectionate towards Najika, or even be in her company, makes her feel devastated, which is why she hatches schemes to drive Daichi and Najika away from each other and, in the first two volumes, Najika away from Seika Academy. Still, eventually a friendship developes between the two girls, and Akane can be seen showing Najika and her culinary aspirations support; in volume five of the manga, Akane wishes Najika luck with the competition and attends a party celebrating her having passed to the next round with Najika, Fujita and the Kitazawa brothers. Their relationship is far from perfect, as Akane continues to interfere between Daichi and Najika, even going as far as to steal a watch Daichi had bought for Najika to wear after her old one started breaking. Clever and manipulative, Akane is the queen of her clique and quite easily manipulates them to harass Najika. Despite her popularity, she seems to have few, if any, real friends, save for Sora and Daichi. Her home life is also somewhat lonely and lacking affection, with her parents often traveling. In her childhood, she was raised by her very affectionate grandmother, to counter her somewhat critical mother. A lonely homelife does explain somewhat why Akane is so fiercely protective of Daichi. Akane's name means "Scarlet".

Seiya Mizuno

A new transfer student, he replaces Najika as the culinary representative. Seiya looks a lot like Sora, causing Najika and Daichi to mistake him as Sora. He egotistical and He flirts with Najika in the public, causing girls to envy her and makes Daichi, jealous. Although she's rather annoyed with him, she respects his cooking ability. Like Najika, he hails from Hokkaido and is fond of lavender. Before his flirtations, he is openly disdainful of Najika's informal and simple cooking style, going as far as to order from the diner just to insult her cooking. Their rivalry soon winds to a battle of madeleines, upon which a high tech kitchen is offered as the stakes. With the cooking battle's conclusion, he realizes that while she has none of the special training and education he had, she is much more sincere in her cooking (she goes as far as to research the student judges' favorite tastes and modifies each madeleine to suit each judge), and more importantly, has fun while cooking. He further softens to her when she offers him a special madeleine just for him, infused with lavender. He had told Najika that in the past, he had given her flan, causing Najika to think that Seiya was her Flan Prince for a short time. It wasn't until Najika confronted him and said that she liked someone else, and started talking about how he saved her that one day. Seiya had no clue what she was talking about, causing Najika to wonder again.

Hagio

Najika's caregiver. She supports all of the children at the orphanage and gave Najika the picture of her parents. She is a small, old woman with round glasses who enjoys cooking, and she and Najika care for each other very deeply, Najika thinking of the orphanage Hagio manages as her home. In the third volume, Hagio becomes ill, so Najika flies from the Seika Academy back to the orphanage to take care of her with Sora and Daichi. Upon hearing from some of the children at the orphanage that Hagio has not been managing very well since Najika left and that her condition is more serious than it appears to be, Najika wants to stay at the orphange to take care of her, rather than go back to the Seika Academy. Hagio, however, convinces her not to stay, as the Seika Academy is where she belongs.

Fujita

Fujita is the owner of Fujita Diner, which was originally run-down and unpopulated, but, with the help of Najika, became a popular place for the students of Seika Academy to eat at. He is very lazy, and is often seen doing things such as making Najika go out grocery shopping in the summer heat or having Najika, Sora and Daichi move tables not because he can't do so himself, but because he doesn't feel like working. Still, he also can be seen occasionally giving Najika small bits of advice that help her out when she is in a tough situation. Fujita used to be a chef to a three star restaurant in Paris and is actually a very talented cook, when he can be bothered to do so. In the fifth volume of the manga it is revealed that Fujita used to know Najika's mother, Kaori, before she got married. Kaori taught Fujita to make ice-cream, and Fujita states that it was seeing Kaori that made him aspire to be a chef. Fujita also says that Kaori used to stop by the bakery owned by his family, Fujita Bakery. He usually wears a headband, low-cut shirt and pants. He usually has a cigarette in his mouth and is generally unshaven. In a "side story" published at the end of volume five of the manga, Fujita offers Najika a part-time job at Fujita Bakery, where his father works at. Fujita and his father are not on good terms in the side story, Fujita explaining that his father doesn't like him taking over the business. When Fujita and his father encounter each other at the bakery, they both become embarrassed upon Najika, Sora and Daichi telling the father that Fujita sent Najika to work at the bakery because they were worried that Fujita's father couldn't manage business by himself.

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