Stepping on Roses (裸足でバラを踏め Hadashi de Bara wo Fume?, lit. Stepping on Roses Barefoot) is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Rinko Ueda. The series began serialization in Margaret magazine in 2007 and is ongoing. The individual chapters have been collected into five tankōbon volumes by Shueisha as of March 2010; the first on April 25, 2008 and the most recent on March 25, 2010. The series has been licensed by Viz Media for an English-language North American release as part of their Shojo Beat imprint.
Sumi Kitamura is incredibly down on her luck and her brother keeps bringing even more children home to feed. Just when she thinks there's no more hope, a man named Soichiro Ashida says that he'll pay for anything she could possibly want. The one catch is that she has to marry him and not fall for him.
- Sumi Kitamura (北村 純 Kitamura Sumi?)
- The series' protagonist. Sumi is a young woman in the lowest levels of poverty until she marries Soichiro. Although she is married to Soichiro, she had feelings for Nozomu. Sumi is generally headstrong and rather dense, but is a master of shogi.
- Soichiro Ashida (芦田 蒼一郎 Ashida Sōichirō?)
- Sumi's husband. He marries Sumi to get his inheritance and is a childhood friend of Nozomu. Soichiro is quick to assume and selfish, but seems to be learning to genuinely care for Sumi.
- Nozomu Ijuin (伊集院 望 Ijūin Nozomu?)
- Soichiro's childhood friend. He gives Sumi money within a handkerchief, when she was still just a peasant, in order to get medicine for her adopted sister Tomi. When he next meets her as Soichiro's wife, he recognizes her, but is easily led to believe that she is a completely different person. He later become enamored with Sumi.
- Soichiro's butler. Komai has been Soichiro's butler ever since he was little. Komai quit because Soichiro didn't believe him when he told Soichiro that Keiko had put poison in his food. Afraid to face his parents, Komai lives with Sumi's family, taking care of the young children.
- Eisuke Kitamura
- Sumi's older brother. Eisuke has a problem with gambling. Any money he maks, he ends up wasting it rather than than using it for his siblings or for paying rent.
Written and drawn by Rinko Ueda, the Stepping on Roses manga began serialization in the shōjo manga magazine Margaret in 2007. The series is still running in the same magazine as of March 2010. At their panel at Anime Expo 2009, Viz Media announced they had licensed the series for North America as part of their Shojo Beat imprint.