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Ayase

Takako Ayase is a major character in Midori Days, and the Deutagonist. She is a high school girl who attends classes with Seiji Sawamura, and becomes smitten with him after being saved. Out of all the other characters in both the anime and manga, Takako gets a large amount of stories dedicated to her, or garners lots of screen time and development.

History (up to falling for Seiji)Edit

Takako appears to have been attending the same school and classroom as Seiji, and sits next to him on his right. She moved her desk (as did everyone else) to alienate Seiji due to his thuggish behavior. She held Seiji in extremely low regard, and treated him like nothing. She has gotten in Seiji's face despite his thuggish nature, and felt no fear of being retaliated against.

During the earlier chapters of the manga/first episode of the anime, Seiji saves Takako's life. After getting in the faces of a gang that had come to the school to hurt Seiji, she was slapped and then grabbed by the arm to be taken away by the gang (implications are that she will be sexually abused). With nobody willing to save her, Takako began to panic. Without warning, Seiji showed up, and beat the gang up, which forced them to retreat. Takako demanded a reason why Seiji saved her despite her chastising him, however Seiji played it off as that he simply wanted the gang gone.

Takako wanted to ignore the situation, but found she couldn't. After the incident, she felt Seiji may be different from the thugs. She found Seiji running off to a fight shortly after. This caused her some mental conflict and wondered why he would save her but then run off to yet another fight. After moments of thinking; Takako decided she would give Seiji a piece of her mind. When she arrived to the fight she found Seiji wounded. As she had heard he was invincible, she stood there for several moments wondering why he was losing. After the fight ended; Takako, who was eavesdropping, listened to Miyahara (whom had been taken hostage before the fight to lure Seiji) who demanded an answer from Seiji as to why he didn't throw a single punch in retaliation and simply sat there and got beaten severely until the gang gave up out of boredom. Seiji admitted to Miyahara that Miyahara had been kidnapped to get to him. If Seiji had retaliated; there is a good chance another person would have gotten dragged in as a hostage to lure Seiji out. Seiji didn't like that idea and thus let himself get beaten to make the gang give up due to lack of a challenge. Unbeknownst to Seiji, Takako had been listening the entire time. At this moment she had fallen for him.

DescriptionEdit

Seiji described Takako at one point as being the kind of girl who would have reference books and bland material. She is very serious in her attitude, and thus as a result comes off as incredibly intimidating. The biggest personality trait that Seiji seems to think of is her extremely powerful and extroverted opinions. Overall, she is the kind of person to tell an individual every detail of what she thinks no matter what.

In truth, Seiji finds that Takako owns a large amount of shojo and stuffed animals. The author states in the epiloqgue of Volume 8 of the manga that Takako is a "romantic at heart". Takako is very girly at her heart, and is actually very easy to get embarrassed. She blushes very easily and has very vivid fantasies of how her and Seiji will be together, although most of these fantasies are comedically over the top and extremely ridiculous. Despite some rather risque options, she seems to be willing to go above and beyond just to get Seiji to notice her as more than a friend. This has led her to perform some rather comedic feats, such as toning her body up fervently, read and study modelling magazines, and even taking notes while viewing an adult film (which she obtained by total accident). Most of the time she tries to get Seiji to come with her to places such as a movie, a pool, or even her house while the family isn't home. Usually her ploy is that she "has an extra ticket", "made to much to eat", etc. In other words, she pretends she's inviting Seiji because she has nobody else to take, but uses said encounters to try and win his attention. Every time this fails, and this is mainly Seiji's fault (he is extremely oblivious).

Midori doesn't dislike Takako, however she does recognize her as a threat. Seiji is usually oblivious, but it takes nearly no time for Midori to discover Takako's intent behind a situation. She is usually very relieved when Seiji can't recognize Takako's affection, but does legimitately feel bad for the girl due to her over-the-top effort with no gain. Most stories involving Seiji and Takako have Midori trying to covertly keep the two from having an intense romantic moment or to keep anything fron happening between the two. Midori also has her first bout of jealousy in the manga when Takako begins tutoring Seiji, which leads her to prick Seiji's finger with a pen to relieve the moment.

Takako never finds out about Midori. She stays the whole series under the assumption Seiji's hand is bandaged and injured.

Involvement in the Manga/AnimeEdit

In the anime, Takako is never referenced by her full name by any cast members, but is instead addressed in proper Japanese fashion by her last name. As such, she is "Ayase" in the manga. In comparison, the anime repeatedly uses "Ms. Ayase, Takako, and 'Taka' by her close friends". Midori tends to refer to Takako by her last name during the anime. During the episode Day 5: The Power of Love, Takako has a dream sequence between her and Seiji where Seiji's voice actor mispronounces Takako's first name as "Tuh-kahko" rather than "Tah-kah-ko", something only done during this sequence and not done anywhere else. Midori's voice actor also pronounces Takako's last name as "Ayah-see" rather than "Ah-yah-say" a few times. 

Takako's main involvement in Seiji's life is due to an intense attraction she has to Seiji. She appears to find him both physically attractice, and attractive in his personality. She never outright states what it is in particular she loves about Seiji, however it may be his willingness to sacrifice himself for others, and his selflessness in helping people. The two strike up a friendship and Seiji begins to spend decent amounts of time hanging out with Takako, however he never is made aware of her feelings until the last volume of the Midori Days manga or the second-to-last episode of the Midori Days anime.

Due to the length of the manga, a larger number of incidents between her and Seiji occur, with other characters such as Nao Makinoha or Yukari getting involved somehow in the chapter, which either complicates or confuses things. With the eventual inclusion of Lucy Winladd, Takako takes it upon herself to somehow 'defeat' Lucy, despite Lucy harboring no ill will towards Takako and seeing everything much moreso as friendly competition. There are only a few members of the cast that Takako does not interact with at least once during the manga, mainly Shuichi TakamizawaKota Shingyoji, and Shiori Tsukishima. She briefly meets Rin in the manga, but does not meet Rin in the anime, although she does run into Shiori twice despite never actually learning who she is.

Her role in the anime is essentially the same, however due to episodes combining manga chapters into one single plot, certain schemes end up combined together, such as Day 8: A Pitiful Man and  Day 42: A World of Their Own being mixed into one single episode (Day 7: First Date). Her role in most episodes stays intact, however certain details were either added or altered. In the case of Day 7 in the anime, the plot does not end the same way as in Day 42 of the manga. In Day 42, Takako accidentally burns part of her house down, but the fire department manages to put the flames out. In Day 7, Takako passes out after getting out of the bathtub too quickly, and wakes up clothed in her bed, the house completely intact but embarrassed beyond reason. Additionally, Day 7 also contains an additional scene not originally seen in the manga Day 8, which is where she falls onto a statue of Colonel Sanders while attempting to enact a plan she did not use in the manga, the idea of falling onto Seiji in a crowd to stir up emotional feelings. Others, such as Day 6: Shiori's Love-Love Battle!, is a combination of chapters that Takako never originally made an appearance in, however in the anime she makes a brief appearance in which she gets jealous of Shiori when she spots Seiji and her together, and comes to the conclusion that Seiji is into lolita girls, but quickly realizes how irrational she is being. Another factor that changes her dynamic in the anime is the lack of manga-only characters like Nao Makinoha, Lucy Winladd, and Yukari, characters that were essential plot points to certain Takako-centered chapters.

Confession and EpilogueEdit

Takako does eventually confess to Seiji about her feelings, but is rejected. The anime and manga handle the scene differently.

In the manga, she confesses towards the end of Day 81: The Confession while crying in embarrassment over how bad she is at this, and is turned down by Seiji at the beginning of Day 82: True Feelings, who feels very bad over the situation. Takako brushes it off and runs home, smiling and laughing while leaving Seiji behind. She does not make it all the way home, however, and stops under a street lamp far away from Seiji, where she proceeds to cry.

In the anime, she confesses to a torn Seiji at the playground at the end of Day 12: Sudden Parting. She is rejected at the beginning of Day 13: Our Days, however Seiji states it is because he lost someone and can't get her "out of {his} head". She tells him he's in love, but can't see it, and that he should get the girl he loves. She does not cry, and accepts Seiji's decision to find Midori.

In the manga, an epilogue states Takako found a guy very reminiscent of Seiji in college, and the two hit it off and got into a relationship. She remained good friends with Nao, who went to the same college she did. The end of Day 13: Our Days implies that she harbored no ill-will to Seiji for his decision, and ultimately accepted that the two were just friends.