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Tomodachi (トモダチ?) is a Japanese shōjo manga by Hara Asumi. The story is about Sakura Yamato, a girl trying to revive a friendship with her childhood friend. After being overseas for five years, 16-year-old Yamato comes back to Japan to find that her geeky best friend, Ai, has turned into a delinquent, and wants nothing to do with her! Yamato tries to revive her relationship with Ai while finding out about her troubled past without Yamato, and why she changed.

Characters

Yamato Sakura (佐倉 やまと Sakura Yamato?)
The series' main character. She was born on July 7. Her zodiac sign is Cancer. Yamato is a cheerful and energetic girl. When she was in elementary school, she was often alone and being bullied by her classmates and was called "man girl". After becoming friends with Ai, she became much more cheerful. Before moving to Switzerland, Ai gave her a doll which looked liked her so that whenever she felt lonely, she can always talk to the doll. Five years later, she comes back to see that her geeky best friend Ai has become a delinquent. Now she tries to revive her friendship with Ai and find out what has changed her during her living in Switzerland.
Ai Kirishima (桐島 藍 Kirishima Ai?)
She was Yamato's best friend in elementary school. She gave a doll to Yamato which looked like her while she kept a doll which looked like Yamato before Yamato moved to Switzerland. When Yamato was gone, she was being bullied in school because she looked geeky. Ai changed her geeky look to become a prettier girl in high school and became a delinquent. Because of her cool and tough nature, she is one of the most popular girls in high school and frequently bullies others. Her romantic relationship with Retsu is fake; Retsu acts as her boyfriend in order to protect her from being bullied. Previously, Ai had been dating Mizuki and desite having broken up with him, she still has feelings for him. She and Yamato reconcile in chapter 8.
Retsu Igarashi (五十嵐 烈 Igarashi Retsu?)
One of the most popular boys in school. He is also known as a playboy, but puts Ai as his first priority. He acts as Ai's boyfriend for the sake of protecting her from being bullied, while their actual relationship is more akin to a brother and sister. After Yamato slaps him, he develops a crush for Yamato and becomes annoyed that Yamato spends more time around Manabe. While Yamato is initially obvious to his true feelings, Ai notices his feeling for Yamato and "breaks up" with him so he can pursue his true feelings.
Mizuki Manabe (真鍋 水樹 Manabe Mizuki?)
Known as the prince of his class, Mizuki's status means that few people approach him. Yamato calls him "Ghost-san" because of his ability to disappear very fast. He was once Ai's boyfriend and seems to have lingering feelings for her, previously helping her when she was bullied. The reason behind their break up is unknown, though it is suggested that it was because Ai was unaware that Mizuki was having surgery when she had been bullied and she believed that he did not care about her enough to defend her. Mizuki chose not to reveal the truth, believing that Ai would blame herself for the incident.
Nanako Mizutani (水谷 奈々子 Mizutani Nanako?)
A shy girl who Yamato becomes friends with and resembles Ai when she was younger. She gradually becomes more outspoken and able to stand up for herself and confronts Kurumi when she catches her sabotaging Ai and Yamato's friendship. However, because of Kurumi, Yamato loses trust in her. Kurumi tries to blame Nanako for a plot to bully Ai, which had been foiled by Yamato and Retsu. When Yamato tries to save Kurumi from a group of boys, Nanako overhears Mizuki and Retsu talking about it and goes to find Ai to tell her about it. Ai refuses to go until Nanako tells Ai about how she changed because of what she said.
Kurumi Morita (森田 来実 Morita Kurumi?)
While Kurumi appears gentle and sweet, she tries to sabotage both Yamato and Ai out of jealousy that they are both more popular with boys. When Nanako becomes a threat to her plans, Kurumi makes Yamato believe that Nanako is the dishonest one. When the plan to use a group of boys to bully Ai is unsuccessful, she blames the incident on Nanako and is later confronted by the boys she tried to use against Ai. At the same time Yamato is trying to find Ai, Kurumi desperately calls out for Yamato to help her.

References

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