Kazuya Aoike (青池 和也,Aoike Kazuya) was a friend of Tsukushi, whom he had known since grade school. They were reunited when he transferred to Eitoku Academy during his second year. Only recently being rich, Kazuya often referred to his family as "nouveau riche".
Kazuya was born into a modest family of farmers. He became friends with Tsukushi Makino, when they were in the same class in grade school. They went on to different middle schools and lost contact.
During his second year of high school, Kazuya's family struck it rich after selling all of their land. They moved to Setagaya and had Kazuya transferred to Eitoku Academy.
First days at Eitoku
Tsukushi: "I'll be fine. I just have to get through two more years."
Kazuya: "I can take it too, as long as it's with you. Besides, how can I leave you to face this alone?"
Kazuya was "relieved" to hear that Tsukushi attended Eitoku. On his first day there, the two of them quickly became absorbed in talking about their childhoods together. After lunch, Kazuya found a red slip in his locker. Not knowing that this meant he had angered Tsukasa Domyoji of the F4, he thought it was a "welcome thing." The student body then began throwing eggs and natto at him, while the teachers turned a blind eye. Having left him briefly, Tsukushi returned to save him from a bully. She advised him to leave Eitoku, but Kazuya refused saying "How can I leave you to face this alone?" The bullies found them shortly later so they sought refuge in the university's cafeteria. The F4's Rui Hanazawa surprised the room by declaring "it [is] time to stop."
Tsukasa and Rui entered into an intense argument about Tsukushi, and accidentally dropped her on Kazuya. She said to him "You're still here?", having forgotten him among the commotion. Later, he had acquired a pot to use as a helmet and actually appeared happy about being a target. He then asked Tsukushi if she wanted to go to Atami with him for the summer. His family owned a vacation house there. Tsukushi became flush and soon passed out, while he was still talking. The next day, Kazuya had to brave the bullies alone since Tsukushi was out sick. He was happy to see her the day after and asked her if she was feeling well.
Kazuya and Tsukushi, along with her mother and father, later headed towards Atami on a bullet train. Upon arrival, they went sightseeing at several shrines, where Kazuya prayed that Tsukushi would figure out his feelings for her. At the beach, they were shocked to see Tsukasa approaching on his yacht. Later that night, Kazuya and Tsukushi attended his party.
Personality and traits
Behind the scenes
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