Ichigo Amano (天野いちご Amano Ichigo) is the fourteen year old main character of Yumeiro Patissiere who acquired her love of sweets from her late grandmother's desserts and has no other particular talent than eating sweets and pastries. One day, after meeting the talented Henri Lucas at a local sweets festival, Ichigo convinces her parents to let her attend the St. Marie Academy, a culinary school dedicated to honing the cooking skills of future pâtissières and Ichigo's dream of making sweets that are able to make others smile finally seems to be coming true.
However, as she’s only armed with a positive attitude and no real cooking skills, Ichigo quickly finds herself at the bottom of the class. Luckily, she soon meets Vanilla, a sweets spirit who’s here to help Ichigo reach her full potential. Alongside good friend, Rumi Kato three gorgeous Princes of Sweets, she gains the confidence and skill to work towards becoming a professional pâtissière.
AppearanceIchigo is a 14 year old girl with brown eyes and hair, usually appearing with her hair tied in pigtails and a bit curled at the ends. In a picture, Henri Lucas had that was shown in Episode 50, it is discovered that Ichigo and her grandmother show a striking resemblance to each other. In Season 2, Ichigo is 16 years old and seems to be letting her hair down more often. It is more wavy and has grown longer than it was before in the last season. On her return from Paris, her friends remarked that Ichigo looks more mature and much like a mademoiselle from Paris.
Since Ichigo was little, she had loved sweets more than anything which is why she became determined to become a patissiere. In the first episode, Ichigo explains that unlike her little sister, she was good at nothing other than eating sweets, and thought that there was nothing that she was particularly good at. Even though she's a bit clumsy, bad at academics, and a bit of a crybaby, Ichigo is hard-working and doesn't give up easily. She is determined to make a strawberry tart like her grandmother's. She carries an amazing sense of taste that only a handful of pâtissiers/pâtissières have. She also cares about everyone around her because she often says that she wanted to become a pâtissière to make everyone around her happy. According to Ichigo's dad, she falls down the stairs at least three times a month. She's also quite clumsy in the kitchen at St. Marie. Throughout the series, you get the feeling that Ichigo is a little bit jealous towards her sister's talent in playing the piano and the attention that she lacks from her mother. However, her jealously is not shown often, and she still loves her little sister a lot. Because her mother and sister were always going away to piano concours and leaving Ichigo at home, it was shown that she doesn't want to bother her parents too much. Also, when Ichigo goes back home to run away from the troubles she was facing at school, she told her parents that their break started early, in order to stop them from being worried about her. This also shows that she has a very caring personality. Another example would be the time that Ichigo went through all the trouble of spying on Ringo-chan, in order to find out the perfect design for her birthday cake.
At the beginning of the series, Ichigo is a 14-year-old junior high student who has no particular talent other than eating sweets. Like a lot of typical heroines, she is clumsy, naive, dense, and overly trustworthy. She does, however, have a determined spirit and unique gift in discovering the recipe of sweets by tasting them. When she is first introduced, she has some trouble relating with her family. Her mother ignores her for having no significant talent, unlike her younger sister, Natsume, who plays the piano very well. She has a passionate love for sweets that shocks everyone regarding how she can eat so many, to the point where her mother asks Natsume to pretend they don't know her. She is terrible at making them but loves them regardless. Her dream is to become a pâtissière and to make lots of dream-like cakes to spread many smiles with shops she'll open. When she first meets Henri Lucas, he praises her for being able to see the image of his newest confection "First Love". He then invites Ichigo to come to St. Marie Academy, because of her talent. It is an academy Marie Lucas, his grandmother, made to raise pâtissièrs and pâtissières.
While attending St. Marie Academy, she rarely sees Henri Lucas, but writes letters to him about her life there. Her beginning at the Academy is rough due to her lack of talent and the fact she is placed in Group A with the Sweets Princes. She is bullied by her classmates and they even steal her recipe to humiliate her. But with the help of Vanilla, her Sweets Spirit, and the Sweets Princes, she discovers what it is she wants to do and begins the long road of becoming a pâtissière.
Later in the Manga, after the Grand Prix a new student comes named Julie who is later revealed to be the Sweets Prince, the queen's son. He seems to get Kashino jealous from time to time when he flirts with Ichigo. Afterwards, when the restaurant is having their competition, the chairman of France, who is really from the Sweets Kingdom, is disappointed at the students and takes away their Sweets Spirits for training, leaving behind their magical spoons, forks, etc.
Ichigo and the team prays for their Sweets Spirits to come back. Their prayer was accepted in a few days, and they ended up in the Spirits World in their normal form, instead of chibi. The queen and Julian said they would return the spirits only if they beat one of the best teams of the Sweets Kingdom, which came from the main branch of St. Marie Academy. After they had won, the team returned to Salon de Marie with their partners, and Henri-sensei appeared with a letter for team Ichigo, inviting them to study at the main branch of St. Academy in Paris, specially recommended from the queen itself.
Team Ichigo accepted, but before their trip Ichigo and Kashino made a special cake for the queen, sharing their first kiss as well. The manga then ends with a timeskip, showing a now older Kashino and Ichigo opening their very own shop in Paris together.
In the 1st episode, when there was a flashback of Ichigo as a child crying, her grandmother approached her with her homemade strawberry tart. She said "Have Granny's special magic sweets. You'll smile just after one bite." After one bite, Ichigo smiled just as what her grandmother said. Now Ichigo is determined to make her own sweets that will make everyone smile after having one bite. During Natsume's piano recital she couldn't move her fingers due to nervousness. Right away, Ichigo acted like a fool in front of the entire audience to make Natsume feel more comfortable. Later on in the episode, Ichigo's father tells Natsume what her older sister did for her.
After she joined St. Marie Academy, she was in high hopes of learning how to make top class sweets. But later on during their cooking lesson, she failed at making "Mille Crepes." One of her group mates (Group A) or one of the Sweets Princes, Makoto, yells at her for her failure. Ichigo became terribly hurt and runs off to the bus stop. She then realizes that she shouldn't be depressed over another person's comment after all she's been through to get into St. Marie Academy. Ichigo then practices to make a better Mille Crepe in the kitchen. Thus, she meets her Sweets Spirit, Vanilla. Together, after making many tries, Ichigo finally succeeds on making Mille Crepes and shares their success together with Vanilla. Throughout the anime, Ichigo tends to have lot of mood-swings from being all excited to being terribly depressed. But, she is constantly smiling and laughing, and acts like the typical happy-to-go girl. Although she was initially viewed as a failure and was disliked for receiving a lot of attention from the Sweet Princes, she gradually gains many friends. She also gains many rivals when her skills making sweets improves and her group makes their way to the Grand Prix. Despite the hardships of training and dealing with jealous rivals, she successfully helps her team win the Grand Prix and proves her potential to be a pâtissière. In episode 13, her name was disguised to be Fraise, which is French for Strawberry.
She has an innocent crush on Henri Lucas because of his princely appearance and his kind nature. By the second season, however, it is clear that she simply admires him as her teacher. Throughout the first season, there are hints that she is developing feelings for Kashino. When she first met him, she thought of as anything but a prince. Due to his cold and anti-social attitude, she thought of him as a devil with a serious temper. On her first day at the Academy, he insulted her and said she was a failure and didn't belong in the Academy. She soon resolved to make a sweet that would blow him away and make him accept her. During their time as teammates, they learned to trust each other and help each other. Being naive, she is oblivious of his growing concern for her well-being and begins to see him as a good friend. However, when she gets too close to him or he does or says something unexpected to her, she is shy and embarrassed, but never fully realizes her feelings for him. However, at the last scene of last episode of the first season, she is seen affectionately holding hands with him and saying she won't tell him her feelings until they fulfill their dreams. In the second season, their relationship is confirmed to be that of a romantic type, although they have yet to confess to each other. When she catches the eye of another teammate, she rejects him and everyone admits that they knew of their relationship. Even Vanilla and Chocolate try to push them into kissing in the last episode. In the last two episodes, they accept a challenge from their respective rivals (Koshiro Miya and Johnny McBeal) that if they lose the competition, they must break up. In the last episode, they win and she embraces him. Later in the final scene of the last episode, Kashino tells her that he loves her in his own unique way (he asks her to stay with him forever so they can continue making sweets together) and they attempt to kiss for the first time. But, the kiss is interrupted by Miya and Johnny and they fall on the ground, and accidentally kissing. Then, they decide to go to London to open a new shop together and are last seen running and holding hands.
In Season II, after two years training in Paris, Ichigo has returned to Japan ready to continue on the path of becoming a world-class pâtissière. She excitedly enrolls in the first year high school class of the St. Marie Academy, only to discover that Team Ichigo is breaking up and two of the Sweets Princes are following their own separate goals, leaving only Ichigo and Makoto but even he is no longer in the same class with Ichigo because he received the top grades in the St. Marie's Paris Academy and was allowed to skip a grade. Though upset that things cannot stay the same forever, Ichigo is nonetheless determined to ensure that her old pals and rivals don’t forget each other or what they can accomplish together. Now, alongside her friends and Sweet Spirit, Vanilla, she and a new team that Henri Lucas created, consisting of Lemon Yamagishi, Johnny McBeal, Makoto Kashino, and herself, must brave the challenge of opening their own sweet shop
- Main article: Vanilla
Ichigo states to Natsume (in season 1, episode 28) once that Vanilla, her Sweets Spirit, is her best friend and Vanilla says the same thing to the other Sweets Spirits (in season 1, episode 27).
- Main article: Rumi Kato
One of Ichigo's best girlfriends is her roommate, Rumi. Through the season, they both express caring for each other, such as when Rumi tells Ichigo to take a coat with her because its cold, and hands her a white coat. Ichigo is seen with her when she is not practicing or with the Sweets Princes. Rumi is always cheering on for Ichigo in the Grand Prix and is one of the few people who isn't jealous of Ichigo's relationship with the Sweets Princes since she already has a boyfriend.
- Main article: Kana Koizumi
Kana is also one of Ichigo's friends. She is grateful to Ichigo for helping her younger sister make friends. Rumi-san helps get their friendship going saying, "Enough with the formalities! From now on, you're Ichigo and you're Kana". Kana always goes to support Team Ichigo in the Grand Prix as well with Rumi.
- Main article: Lemon Yamagishi
Lemon is a member of Team Lemon and a transfer student from Paris. Team Lemon was going to compete against Team Ichigo and they are friendly to them, trying to fool them so they win in the match. Lemon tricks Ichigo and the match is a tie. When they compete in a rematch, Team Ichigo wins and Lemon is blamed for the loss by her teammates. She runs out crying and Ichigo chases her. Lemon confesses to transferring to meet Ichigo, since Henri talked about her and she wanted to see what Ichigo is like. Lemon says that she will try harder next time and will not lose to Ichigo and is seen with a Sweets Spirit following her after she says goodbye because she will be going back to Paris.
- Main article: Mari Tennouji
Mari is Ichigo's biggest rival in order for her to win the Cake Grand Prix. They first meet when Mari helped Ichigo out of a forest after being tricked by Team B. Though they are rivals, Mari has helped Ichigo many times giving her tips, but she has also been a bit hostile towards her because of the favors she gets from Henri. After Mari gave up on being with Henri and lost the World Cake Grand Prix, she cheered on Ichigo and was able to make her feel relieved when she panicked in the final round. In Season 2, Ichigo became the one to help Mari in many situations.
- Main article: Group F
Hayami first resents Ichigo because she is in Group A with the Sweets Prince while she is still a beginner. Hayami is in Group F because she failed her final exam since she had a cold she had while taking it. When Ichigo found out that Hayami will quit school, she challenged her to a sweets battle to make friends with her and convince her to stay in St. Marie Academy. She convinced the Sweets Princes to be the judges, but they decide the battle is a tie. Hayami apologizes to Ichigo saying that she knows Ichigo is trying her hardest. Ichigo then sees her taking charge and trying harder in Group F with the rest of her members.
- Main article: Amélie
Amélie is a French, 7 years old girl who works in the circus. Ichigo enjoyed her performance and thought that she was cute. She didn't have friends in a long time on account to always traveling. She meets and befriends Ichigo and Ichita when they were lost. Because Amelie and Ichita hates carrots and spinach respectively, Ichigo tried her best to make a cake that used both carrots and spinach so they could eat it. Even though she failed at first, she managed to successfully make a carrot and spinach cake in time for her to eat it without smelling the carrots.
- Main article: Makoto Kashino
Makoto is the third, and last, Sweets Prince. Makoto is in love with Ichigo but acts like he doesn't like her in Season 1. Makoto and Ichigo hold hands in season one episode fifty, saying that he will not tell her his feeling until both of their dreams are accomplished. Ichigo replies that she will not say her feeling either. Ichigo falls in love with him, but she cannot get the courage to bring up the subject again. In episode thirteen of season two, Vanilla and Chocolat pushes Ichigo and Makoto together, making them kiss, but unfortunately, Lemon came into the room and spoiled their moment. So on and so on, Makoto and Ichigo won against the Heiress and Johnny. Makoto hugs Ichigo tightly and says, "Stay with me forever!". They are about to kiss when the Heiress and Johnny appear. They are both accidentally thrown on top of each other when Johnny and the Heiress try to pull them away. Their lips accidentally touch, and they just go with it and kiss, then run away from Johnny and the Heiress, in the direction of the city, and the episode ends.
There is a major variation in the manga.
After Team Ichigo lost to Team Tennouji, he and Ichigo separated, since Ichigo went to work at Salon de Marie and the Sweet Princes went to the high school division to train. However, the next school year revealed Kashino permanently in the high school division instead of returning back to Year 3 in the Middle School division like Hanabusa and Andou. When Ichigo had asked him if he would like to form the team once more for the next grand prix, he replied, "I don't know yet." Ichigo was visibly stunned and hurt, and spent her days deeply thinking about his intentions, for he had told her that he wanted each and everyone to improve themselves separately.
It is also seen in the manga that Vanilla updates Kashino on Ichigo daily by sending texts to Chocolat via their spoons.
Ichigo was very bothered by Kashino's unsure statement, and often can not sleep because he is on her mind. She would visit the kitchen in the morning to see if Kashino was tempering there, and to her dissapointment, he was not. She would think over and over about how to improve herself, but was always astounded by the improvements of the Princes, seeing she was still in sales at Salon de Marie while the others were making beautiful things beyond her reach.
The times at Salon de Marie was one of the biggest changes in Kashino and Ichigo's relationship. During the first few days there, Ichigo was bullied by the high schoolers and scolded by the manager, each seeing Ichigo as a stuck up girl who doesn't know her place. The seniors would purposely taunt her, and one of them tripped her on purpose, but appeared innocent in front of the manager. Ichigo was at her limits at that time, and ran out of the doors of Salon de Marie, crying in herself. Kashino appears, and offered her some chocolate he had made, shaped like a four-leaf clover. As Ichigo eats the chocolate, she tastes in each petal the flavor of Team Ichigo, and that, "I thought it was time for us to become individually stronger...but I, I like that[our] team." Full of mixed emotions, she throws herself upon Kashino, who was ready to embrace her back, until Hanabusa and Andou sneaks behind and pricks his hand with a rose thorn, saying that they won't let him "steal a march on us." Hanabusa then enbraces Ichigo, telling her to cry on him instead, in which Ichigo replies that he reeks of roses, Kashino smirking behind.
As Ichigo began practice in the kitchen, she was determined to catch up to the princes. However, she was very dissapointed at herself, seeing that they can make beautiful sculptures while she is stuck on the basics of custard making, which she couldn't even make without making it "taste like seaweed." The princes then come to aid her in practice. Kashino, seeing that she wasn't whisking properly, held her hand and instructed her to whisk all the way to the bottom.The next day during the trial, she suddenly infected tendonitis and was unable to whisk the custard. However, the memory of Kashino appeared in her head of his guidance, and she was successful. Kashino later looked for her and help wrap up her wrist, wanting to say something after that, but ended up rejecting his thought and walked away, leaving Ichigo in confusion.
After being admitted to the kitchen, Ichigo was making Mille Feuille for the team when she meets Julian. She took a particular interest in Julian as he gives her advice, and finds that he and Kashino were going to work together. However, she took notice that the two do not like each other (or rather, Kashino doesn't like Julian), and was afraid that he would be kicked out. Ichigo was determined to show Julian how hard-working Kashino is, by showing him to the kitchen in hope of finding Kashino tempering. However, Kashino takes this as Ichigo advancing towards Julian, especially when she asked him to help make a welcome cake for Julian. Kashino asks angrily if she is planning on "chasing after that bob-hairstyle bastard", to which Ichigo says she just doesn't want Kashino to be kicked out of Salon de Marie. He blushes deeply and agrees to help out, while Chocolat on the sidelines says to herself, "boys are so simple!"
When Julian does not participate solely for the purpose of encouraging and advising Ichigo, Kashino's jealously reaches its height. While Ichigo made a pile of sweets and had Julian tasted it for her, Kashino got extremely angry, to the point when he rejected Ichigo's sweets and declared her as a rival in the competition. This had hurt Ichigo, who thought of Kashino as a dear friend and now someone who deserted her, especially when he invited Sakuragi Ayu, Ichigo's sempai and part of the cream team in Salon de Marie, to especially taste test each of their sweets in spite of rejecting Ichigo. Ichigo became visibly heartbroken and ran away from the kitchen in tears, resulting in falling down a hill. Crying, she asks Vanilla why she feels this way, and Vanilla tells her that she had finally realized her true feelings for Kashino. Ichigo then reflects on Kashino, and found that he is actually a very kind person who was always there when she felt troubled. Vanilla then says that, since Ichigo calling Kashino a rival actually meant that he was someone she cared deeply, it must had been the same way for Kashino as well. Making her resolve, she attempts to climb up the hill, only to fall down again, this time with Kashino, who tried to grab her. They made up, and Ichigo returned to the kitchen wholeheartedly, this time making a cake, not for the competition, but "for Vanilla."</p>
During the sweets competition, the Sweets Kingdom's cabinet minister arrives and takes away the sweets spirits. He joins Ichigo in travelling to the sweets kingdom to save the spirits. Team Ichigo had to compete against the Court Patissieres for Julian's inaguration of Prince. As Ichigo stirs nervousness as she sees the Court Patissieres' crown cake, Kashino held her hand, which gave Ichigo confidence and assurance.
After the spirits had been rescued, Team Ichigo returns to find out that the queen had recommended them to enroll in the French branch of St. Marie Academy. The night before departure, Ichigo wakes up restless and decides to visit the practice room one more time, finding Kashino tempering. Seeing each other, they both plan on making a cake for the queen to thank her. As they make the cake, Kashino reminiscing how Ichigo couldn't even crack an egg, but now she can make cakes that are not only delicious, but make people smile and go "ah!". Ichigo replies that she is also grateful to Kashino, who is actually a very kind person who had helped her whenever she had trouble at Salon de Marie, despite being hot tempered and sadistic. She cuts off there as she realizes she was almost going to confess her feelings. As both cakes are finished, Ichigo suggests to stack the two cakes together, making a "perfect" creation, until both had realized that the cake looked just like a wedding cake. Blushing hotly, Ichigo turns away, saying that she always wanted a wedding cake as a patissiere. Kashino then holds her hand and says," I would make your birthday cake, and wedding cake, even the person you like's cake", to which Ichigo replies,"me too", and the two of them share their very first kiss.
At the end, a timeskip is present, now showing a grown up Kashino and Ichigo (who has grown her hair out long) with their very own shop named "Le Reve Couler" in Paris.
- Main article: Satsuki Hanabusa
Satsuki is the ultimate flirt. He gives Ichigo a bouquet of candy roses the first time they meet. Ichigo thinks at that time, "He's pretty... like a girl!" Satsuki is part of the very good-looking, very talented Sweets Princes. He is Ichigo's friend in St. Marie Academy. He starts to fall in love with Ichigo over the season, even though Ichigo is oblivious to his flirting. Satsuki's most noticeable flirting is when he says that a red rose is a sign of love and then gives the rose to Ichigo. Another time, he kissed Ichigo on the cheek and Ichigo took it as a friendly greeting. Later, when Ichigo says her trust in Makoto completely to win the match for them, Sastuki smiles gently and says "I'm jealous", a comment that Ichigo responds to with a "huh?". Satsuki admits to being in love with Ichigo in season two, and tells Makoto that if Ichigo dumps him he will "attack for real" meaning to do what ever it takes to win her heart.
- Main article: Sennosuke Andou
Sennosuke is one of the Sweets Prince. He is one of Ichigo's friends, and is also revealed to be in love with her. He does not let his crush on her show, not even reacting at all when Ichigo expresses her worry and care for Makoto.
- Main article: Henri Lucas
After meeting Henri Lucas in a sweets buffet where he was working, Ichigo develops a crush on him. Later, her crush disappears, mostly because she just looks up to Henri as a teacher and mentor.
- Main article: Ricardo Benigi
Ricardo meets Ichigo when she and the Sweets Princes are in France. Ricardo is always flirting with Ichigo. When both teams find out that they will be competing against each other, Ricardo says that if Team Ichigo loses, Ichigo will become his girlfriend.
- Main article: Miya Koshiro
Miya is Ichigo's main rival. She is madly in love with Makoto, therefore she is a pretty jealous of Ichigo being able to hang out with the Sweets Princes. She challenges Ichigo to many showdowns, but Ichigo always manages to not lose to any of them. When Miya started to get frustrated due to Ichigo's many wins, she decides to cheat a little in the Cake Grand Prix by using Ichigo's design and wins. However, Miya also seems to get along with Ichigo really well especially when they both agreed that love is necessary to make good sweets. Miya also admits to having Ichigo grow on her after Miya and Ichigo go on a quest to find Ichigo's grandmother's strawberries.
- Main article: Team B
All of Team B didn't like Ichigo because they believed it wasn't fair for Ichigo to be in Group A despite her lack of ability. They would go through many lengths to make a fool out of her, though Ichigo is oblivious to their true nature. An example would be when Ichigo creates a "croquembouche" and one member drops a banana peel on the floor to make Ichigo fall (they didn't expect this to work). Though Team B never really accepted Ichigo, they still had the feeling of wanting to support her when a Team B member teaches Ichigo how to make their custard cream and later goes cheer her on in the finals with the rest of Team B.
- Main article: Youko Ayukawa
Ayukawa was originally a member of Team B, but became a member and a spy for Team Miya. She didn't accept Ichigo for being so carefree and being lucky enough to be with the Sweets Princes. She also often takes photographs of Ichigo's sweets for her and her team to be able to recreate it. It also seems that she takes photographs of other competitors, since she had a scrapbook with Team Tennouji's sweets and gave it to Ichigo in order for her to know what they are up against for the finals.
Character Observation and Similar CharactersIchigo is a typical main character in a Shoujo manga: she bares clumsiness, immaturity and a innocent heart, which are qualities found most preadolescent and young adolescent main female characters in anime and mangas for young girl audiences. Her boyfriend Makoto Kashino is also a 'Tsundere' character type. 'Tsundere' is a Japanese word which defines a person (male or female) in Japanese anime, manga, novels and mass media as being coldhearted and hostile (and maybe even stoic) usually towards the main character, but with time reveals it kinder, warmer (and in some cases more romantic) side to the other character. This is much like Makoto Kashino who at first is rather harsh and frank with Ichigo (especially with the fact that Ichigo is exceptionally clumsy and has no real understanding of bakery) but eventually comes to like and later love Ichigo no matter her flaws. This is a common male stereotype which has been found in several characters such as Natsume Hyuuga from Gakuen Alice, Takuto from Full Moon Wo Sagashite and Inuyasha from Inuyasha.
Ichigo's voice actress is Aoi Yuuki, a young women who is known for her roles as innocent girls. One example includes the protagonist from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Madoka Kaname who is a 14-year old second year student like Ichigo, the two also share similar qualities for their sweet, girly nature in typical shoujo heroines.
Ichigo's name in Japanese literally means "strawberry"♥, she shares her name with Ichigo Momomiya, the main character of Tokyo Mew Mew. Who also bares great clumsiness and cuteness like Ichigo.
Other characters similar to Ichigo include Mikan Sakura from Gakuen Alice, both go to a new school out of their comfort zone, have big aspirations and at first treated quite harshly in their new surroundings.As mentioned above her boyfriend (in the manga) Natsume Hyuuga is a Tsundere male character like Makoto, making the plot of Gakuen Alice and Yumeiro Patissiere quite similiar
Mitsuki Koyama from Full Moon Wo Sagashite is also another similar character, because both Ichigo and Mitsuki have striking similar hairstyles. Mitsuki also like Ichigo has a heartful dream to pursue with support from another deceased character. Mitsuki's dream to become a pop idol was encouraged by her late childhood sweetheart Eichi Sakurai and Ichigo's dream to become a pâtissière was inspired by her late grandmother, who also encouraged her to follow in her footsteps. Her later love interest Takuto treats Mitsuki a little similiar to the way Makoto treats Ichigo.