Aiko Iwase was a classmate of Mashiro and Takagi during Jr. High. When she appeared with Miyoshi Kaya at Takagi's house after his suspension, she revealed that she liked him, but didn't want him to be a mangaka. She reappears in chapter 60 as a student at To-oh University along with Ko Aoki. She's currently competing against Ashirogi Muto with her manga, +Natural.
Iwase has short black hair with a small flip at the bottom. When she reappears later in the story, she has her hair cut slightly shorter, though it still has the same shape. She is considered to be very beautiful by many people, including Akira Hattori, herself and Goro Miura.
Personality & Characters
Iwase is an academic achiever in school. She's difficult to get along with anyone due to her strict and high-standard nature; she leads a rather lonely life. However, it doesn't bother her as she's always focused in studies. In her world, she only respects people that rivals her ranking in school. However, she would focus the latter of her life in attempts to out match Akito Takagi (Aiko's love interest).
She took notice of Takagi during their middle school days as the only person that managed to out-rank and out-score her in academic performance. For her, giving out a simple hand-shake was a huge deal, as it meant a physical sign of respect and even going out together. However, she was so subtle to Takagi that she entirely missed the chance to properly convey her feelings. Her occasional mouth of challenge to Takagi only suggested to him to maintain this one-sided rivalry, but in reality, she was encouraging him in her subtle romantic intentions.
Things started to change when she realized Takagi dropped in his school ranking and even stopped caring about his scores. In a unexpected confrontation between Takagi and Kaya Miyoshi, it was only then that he realized her feelings. When he was pressed to choose between her and Miyoshi, Takagi made it clear he's focused on being a mangaka more than romance. When Iwase wanted Takagi to not pursue his ambitions to continue their academic rivalry, to her surprise, he's happy with his life choice and intends to attend North Yakusa High (a less challenging school) for the sake of working close with Moritaka Mashiro. Disappointed and saddened, she left Takagi alone, but she never gave up on him.
Iwase worked in publishing to prove her literary works are superior to Takagi, unfortunately, it was another unofficial rivalry that he didn't realize until they were reunited again during their college years. Upon their first meet, she started a debate about literature superiority; between manga, literary ability, and success, she revealed a more competitive immature side of her. Because of her pride and ego, she's still affected by Takagi's choice as a manga artist and choosing Miyoshi over her. To prove her superiority, Iwase decided to venture into becoming a mangaka herself; she wrote +Natural and had Eiji Niizuma draw the art. This created a renewed one-sided rivalry with Takagi with her manga, but it was also her unusual attempt to convince Takagi she's the better woman to him in career and love. Unfortunately, her means to gain Takagi's attention failed as Takagi chose to marry Miyoshi. With her chances with Takagi gone, both Takagi and Iwase agreed to continue working hard with their mangas as colleagues in the field.
Most recently, she transferred her romantic feelings onto Akira Hattori (she claim to have fallen in love with his editing abilities). However, Hattori felt pressured and uncomfortable in the matter; he maintained a professional distance until he was later redirected to work with Ashirogi Muto again. Spurned by the fact that no romantic interest ever returned her affections, she stopped pursuing romance altogether and focused on her work/competitive nature to become the best manga author.
Although she started to have romantic feelings towards Eiji, who is doing the art for her manga. When Eiji acknowledged that she was talented, led Yujiro to worry and try tell him to take it easy. Eiji reassured Yujiro that he is a very talented boy that why he writes Shounen manga.
Iwase was born on May 8, 1993, in Saitama-ken, Japan. Her past is unknown, however, it seems there are elements within her past that motivated her to be a highly competitive person. Driven to be a superior student, she studied hard and worked hard to be the top student. While she became the top-ranking student in middle school, she was difficult to be approached by anyone as she often maintains a cold nature to everyone else. However, things changed when she encountered her greatest rival, Akito Takagi.
Middle School Days
Rival-Love for Takagi
One day, while checking her school-ranking, she was surprised that someone out-ranked her in academic performance. Upon learning it was Takagi, she took romantic interest in him as she saw him as the only one that can challenge her. Unfortunately, Iwase is a poor communicator and couldn't successfully convey her feelings to Takagi. In her own personal logic and methods, she went up to Takagi and congratulated him with a Let's do our best-handshake; she at best left Takagi feeling confused as he never understood her reasons for approaching him and the handshake as a romantic gesture. To her, it actually signified the beginning of their romance and even "seeing one another." However, things got complicated after a series of events between Miyoshi Kaya and Moritaka Mashiro (both classmates).
Takagi's Suspension & Love Confrontation
Iwase continued her egotistical and one-sided rivalry with Takagi, however, things began to change when he befriended fellow classmate Moritaka Mashiro. She noticed the two are together often and didn't think much of it until his grade-ranking dropped. At first, she thought she was just being on top, but realized it was something else after Takagi got suspended for punching out fellow classmate Hidemitsu Ishizawa.
After Takagi's suspension, she decided to go visit him to see if he's alright. Unfortunately, Iwase was surprised to see Miyoshi at his apartment as well. The two talked and was surprised to find out Takagi was two-timing them as both claimed to be involved with him. Shocked to know there's even a relationship with either two, the situation remained tense until Mashiro made his badly-timed appearance. Both Miyoshi and Iwase awaited for Takagi's decision on choosing one of them to date. However, Takagi responded by saying everything is a misunderstanding. Takagi explained he never made any real romantic intentions to either of them, especially from a mere handshake from Iwase. While he didn't turn down either girls, he explained he's currently focused on developing a manga with Mashiro and that it would be difficult to find time to date either them; he hoped the explanation would be enough to turn both away. However, Iwase sealed her fate when she forced the issue.
Iwase demanded to know does Takagi like or hate her and he said he liked her more than hate. However, not wanting to offend Miyoshi, he also said the same thing to her as well, causing anger between the two against him. Unfortunately, Iwase doesn't see manga as a worthwhile pursuit and told Takagi to give it up to re-continue their rivalry and academics. However, Miyoshi supported Takagi's ambitions and was willing to wait for his availability if it meant being with him. To her shock, Takagi even mentioned that he's going to North Yakusa High, a lesser high school, for the sake of being close with Mashiro to continue their dreams. Sadly, Iwase thought everything Takagi is doing right now is throwing his life away as well as her respect. Without saying much, she tearfully left the door. Because they're seniors already, they graduated not long and parted ways without keeping in touch. However, Iwase secretly monitored Takagi's manga exploits and founded a new one-sided rivalry to prove her views are right.
Re-Kindling Rivalry with Takagi & Being a Mangaka
Getting Published & Seeing Takagi Again
Several years have passed and Iwase never forgotten Takagi. To prove her decisions and path was correct over Takagi's, she began her own path towards literature publishing, but also privately studied on Takagi's manga works to understand him. After high school, she gained entry to the prestigious To-Oh University, where she eventually had her first book published. Her story gained her the Newcomer Award on the March issue of Shosetsu Subaru Magazine and her book published by June. After successfully publishing her first book and gaining notoriety, Iwase felt it was time to find Takagi to prove herself to him once again.
Iwase knows how to find Takagi, but she had too much self-respect (more like prideful) for herself to seek him out. Instead, she befriended a mutual colleague to both of them, Yuriko Aoki. With the help of Aoki, Iwase would have the chance to see Takagi again at the local zoo. Knowing herself, she was afraid she couldn't convey her words properly and decided to write it down in a letter. She prepared a copy of her novel, with the letter inside, and hoped to show Takagi that he too can be a successful writer and be a good student at the same time. However, things never turned out the way she had hoped.
Without telling Takagi about Iwase, Aoki convinced him to meet at the zoo; Takagi was surprised to see Iwase again. Iwase proceeded to show her recent successes, her book, and hoped to prove to Takagi that literature is a higher form of culture and that she's able to maintain high grades throughout the entire time. Unfortunately, Takagi merely complemented her success, but didn't side with her views and decided to leave. Before he could leave, Iwase asked Takagi will he continue working on manga and Takagi was perplexed over the question. Iwase had hoped that her success would convince Takagi to refocus on high-academics and work on something more cultured like literary publishing, but Takagi wasn't interested. The two then debated over the fine points between manga vs literature and personal success. Unable to sway Takagi, Iwase surprised both Aoki and Takagi by announcing she'll venture into manga to prove she's better at being a mangaka than him.
She then accused Takagi of acting superior, but Takagi tried to be graceful and complemented her superior beauty, brains, and writing abilities. Unfortunately, the mention of Miyoshi displeased her as she didn't know they're still together; she demanded Takagi to date her over Miyoshi if she's better than her, but Takagi likes Miyoshi more. Disappointed, she accused Takagi of lying to her and stormed off.
Soon after, she submitted +Natural to Jack. Hattori was impressed by her abilities and corrected her to perfect her story. Not long, Nijima Eiji got involved as +Natural's artist. Being both rivals to Ashirogi Muto, the two successfully published +Natural and it became Jump's new top manga.
After Hattori returns as Takagi and Mashiro's editor, her new editor is Miura. Her writing and plot are praised for being very well made. However, she comes in last place for the Super Leaders' Love Fest. As she becomes daunted by the prospect of Eiji ending a manga, she is beset by worries from her fellow mangaka in Team Fukuda, who worry that Eiji is planning on ending +Natural, of which Eiji states contains a boring story due to its repeated plot of enemies being beaten down by the main characters. The rankings also decrease from single to double digits as it veers on the edge of cancellation. She brings this concern to Eiji, and upon hearing that he planned to end Crow, she immediately leaves to write the plot for +Natural, which seems to become more popular due to Eiji's success at ending Crow on a high note. Iwase becomes depressed and is unable to write the next plot, but with encouragement from Takagi, Mashiro and the rest of team Fukada, she is able to get back up and continue writing.
Iwase is barely seen in the rest of manga after her come back, at one point she was seen to read the ending of Reversi. In the anime, she was mentioned by Miura and other editors while working hard to improving the story of +Natural. In the anime ending, +Natural got fifth position on rank surveys and Kosugi becomes her editor, impressed with Kosugi's ideas.
Trivia & Notes
- The name Aiko means "love, affection" (愛) (ai) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Aiko's surname Iwase means "rock, crag" (岩) (iwa) and "rapids" (瀬) (se).
- Aiko resembles Kiyomi Takada from Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
- Aiko placed 10th in the popularity polls.
- Aiko greatly resembles Katsura Hoshino, mangaka of D.Gray-man, in appearance.
- Aiko's favorite manga is Adolf ni Tsugu by Osamu Tezuka.
- It appears that Aiko may suffer from an inferiority complex.
- Aiko's issues are left unresolved.
Articles & References
|All Characters |
|Shōnen Jump / Shōnen Jack|
Moritaka Mashiro + Akito Takagi = Muto Ashirogi | Eiji Niizuma | Yuriko Aoki | Shinta Fukuda | Kazuya Hiramaru | Takuro Nakai | Aiko Iwase | Shoyo Takahama | Shun Shiratori | Toru Nanamine | Koji Makaino | Mikihiko Azuma | Nobuhiro Mashiro | Kisaku Arai | Ryu Shizuka | Hino Kunimi | Ikiki Kajiwara | Kyoichi Murasaki | Kyotaro Hibiki | Shigure Yanagi | Shun Hanshaki
|Family / Friends / Classmates|