|I won't be happy even if I beat you in this contest. Its no good without you. Its better to enjoy fun things with others.|
|to Kei Takishima in Festival-Contest|
|花園 光||Hanazono Hikari|
|Relatives|| Jiro Hanazono (father)|
Masako Hanazono (mother)
Atsushi Hanazono (older brother)
|Affiliation|| Hakusen Academy |
|Manga Debut||Chapter 1|
Hikari Hanazono is the main protagonist of the story and is ranked 2nd in the school. She declared Kei Takishima as her rival because he is ranked 1st in the school and she is frequently unsuccessful in defeating him in any sort of competition. She becomes Kei's girlfriend and, later, his fiancee.
Hikari is 157cm tall and has a slender body. Her eyes are black. She has long black hair which is usually worn down but is put in pigtails when she is doing sports or cooking. Hikari is usually seen wearing her S.A uniform. When she is exercising or doing anything athletic, she wears an orange t-shirt with a yellow collar, white sweats with an orange strip running down the side.
Hikari is energetic and kindhearted, but is rather dense to more subtle matters. In particular, love and romance. Hikari is a very considerate girl who always worries about others. Although an academically smart girl, she tends to lack common sense and is usually unaware towards how people regard her.
Her upbeat and optimist personality, straightforwardness, and tendency to always see the good in people sometimes prevent her from realizing the more subtle aspects of relationships. Hikari is also quite rash and can't say no to a challenge, especially when it comes to Kei. She never gives up on anything and is always willing to help a friend in need. She always becomes annoyed whenever Kei calls her "Miss Rank Two" or Second Place without fail. Hikari always tries her best and inspires others to do the same.
Hikari is a very honorable opponent who refuses to cheat, finding it to be almost repulsive since it isn't genuine "winning". However, she does have the ability to easily forgive someone who does, like the Student Council President. Despite desperately wanting to beat Kei, she refuses to try anything underhanded. She firmly believes that winning in any aspect should fair and square. She also encourages everyone to overcome their sadness and loneliness and tries her best to befriend them.
Hikari is very hard working, which is stated even by Kei, who called her an amazing person. She has a habit of praising and encouraging people who work hard and thrives to make everyone happy.
Unlike her peers, Hikari comes from an ordinary family and her father is a carpenter.
When she was six years old, she experienced her first defeat and humiliation when she lost to Kei Takishima in a pro-wrestling match. In order to beat Kei, Hikari convinced her father to allow her to attend the prestigious Hakusen Academy so she could continue to strive in trying to defeat Kei at anything she could possibly do - anything from academics to athletics. She has been together with the rest of the SA since elementary school. Hikari also has an older brother.
At the age of six, Hikari's father used to train her in pro-wrestling. There was no one who could defeat her, that is, until she met Kei. When she fights him, he easily defeats her within seconds. She couldn't stand the humiliation from that match and strives to beat him at everything, from academics to athletics.
Now as a high school student, Hikari heads out for school, after promising to her father that she will definitely surpass Kei. She is now the student of the prestigious Hakusen academy. At her school, all the students greet her with respect and honor, something she isn't very fond of. She is then greeted by one of her best friend and fellow SA, Akira. The two of them arrive at the Green House, the usual gathering of the SA, where they find Jun, Megumi and Ryū in their usual routines. Tadashi, in an awful appearance, arrives and surprises the two of them. The group starts having tea and snacks when Hikari inquires about Kei, and is surprised at his arrival. He teases her by calling her "Miss Rank two". The two of them decide to have a box vaulting challenge, and Hikari ends up losing again.
Later, Hikari is seen studying, with Akira offering her some tea. The next day, Ryū tells Hikari that he, Jun and Megumi are going to have a recital. Some students, namely Nakamura, Ogawara and Takahashi, criticize them for having such a program right before the exams. However, they leave when Kei intervenes. Hikari then leaves a letter for Kei. Before Kei could ask about it, they hear some noise in the school building even though its night. Thinking that its a thief, Hikari runs off to catch it and finds that its the same students from before and they are stealing the question file for the coming exam. They offer that they would let her cheat too, but she refuses at once. Once again, Kei intervenes and he, along with Hikari, takes down the intruders. After they leave, Hikari wishes him Happy Birthday, much to his surprise. He realizes that the letter must have been for the same purpose. Hikari then presents him the recital from SA. Kei asks her if she has ever heard Jun and Megumi perform before. Hikari is surprised as Akira asked the same question to her before. She watches as Akira, Tadashi and Ryū put earplugs in their ears. Before Kei could stop them, they start performing and as a result, something like a explosion is shown to have engulfed the entire school.
The next day, Hikari happily shows Akira that she scored full in the exams. The others think that she must have received the maximum marks, but Kei shows up and tells them that he pointed out a mistake in the test and the teacher had to offer him 5 additional points, which gives him five more points than Hikari. He again teases her by calling her "Miss Rank two", and an annoyed Hikari tells him not to do so.
Once again, all the members of the SA have received the same ranks. Kei teases Hikari as usual by calling her "Miss Rank two". The SA then gather in the Green House for tea, but Hikari is studying hard. She and Kei start bickering about who can read more books while performing awkward tasks. They come at a stop after the arrival of the Student Council President, who recently got discharged from the hospital. He tells the SA that they are too full of themselves and he does not like the fact that they are always the center of attention. He presents a written challenge to them. Hikari seems impressed by his courage and hard working nature and praises him. This results in a dark aura around Kei, who then throws a book at the young president's face. He then angrily accepts the challenge.
The contest turns out to be a pro-wrestling match between the SA and the Fankyu brothers, which makes Hikari quite excited. She, along with Kei, decide to participate. While training, they almost wreck the entire gym. Hikari proposes another challenge to Kei for the upcoming match. The one executing the most attacks will win and the winner can make the loser do one given task for him/her. When they resume their training, the Student council president is shown to be spying on them. He is scared when witnessing their skill and decides to switch to underhanded methods to ensure victory.
While returning, Hikari has a near miss from a pot that fell from the roof. Something similar happens on the stairs when she almost slips due to some spilled oil and is attacked by some bamboo sticks. She realizes that some strange things have been happening lately. Somewhere else, Kei is attacked by a group of people, but easily fended them off, and finds out that they were also aiming for Hikai. He rushes to her aid and finds her in the gym. He tells Hikari that he would like her to switch places with either Ryū or Tadashi, adding that she might be a burden for him. Hikari is later seen practicing martial arts, while wondering why Kei called her a burden. She thinks that its the same as saying that she will never be able to beat him. She walks into Kei and insists that she will definitely participate.
On the day of the match, Hikari and Kei are seen waiting in the sitting room. Someone arrives with a bouquet and claims that its a delivery from the student council. It turns out that it was actually a trap, and the two of them are handcuffed. Because of the handcuffs, they face some trouble in fighting during the match. Kei tries to protect Hikari, but realizes that it cant continue for much longer. He sends Hikari out of the ring and starts enduring the attacks himself. Hikari becomes even more frustrated when Kakei calls her a burden. This angers Kei and he states that Hikari is an incredible person who cannot be defeated by anyone, except him. He breaks the handcuffs and the two of them easily defeat the Fankyu brothers with their special moves. After the match, Hikari tells Kei that he must make sure to stay number one until the day she beats him, which makes him smile. Kakei is seen sneaking out, but Hikari spots him and advices that he personally challenges them next time, which brings a blush on his face. He does state that he wont loose next time. Later, Kei tells Hikari the result of challenge she mentioned earlier, stating that the number of moves executed were 16-15 and he won.
The SA are once again relaxing in the Green house, with Hikari asking Kei about what she must do for him since he won the challenge. Kei says that he would like her to make a bento for him. Next day, Hikari arrives and asks Akira if she can borrow the SA Kitchen, since her Mom didn't allow her to cook at home because she usually destroys the entire kitchen. Akira seems mad at Kei as she thinks that he is forcing her "angel Hikari" to make a bento for him. Hikari makes a bad start for the bento. She isn't able to wash the rice properly and spreads it everywhere. She then applies too much force and her hand goes through the dish. Not ready to give up, she gives another try but fails again. A terrified Akira flees from the place, with an excuse that her stomach isn't feeling good. Kakei is seen to be peeping inside the kitchen. He gets very excited and thinks that Hikari is making the bento for him.
After Hikari takes the rice out of the cooker, it seems to have been turned into stone. She takes a round-shaped rice ball to Kei, while the others are shocked to see it. Hikari trips and falls, and the rice ball sinks in the ground. In spite of that, Kei insists on eating it, but Hikari snatches it and eats it herself. She goes back to the kitchen to re-do it. Kei goes after her and says that there is no need for her to force herself, however, Hikari has no plans of giving up. Hikari again washes the rice, but it seems to have been liquified. She goes to the library to find a rice that wont break even if she applies too much force. After finding it, she once again starts cooking, but this time, a blast follows. Akira, who came to check on her, offers help but Hikari refuses. Tadashi arrives and says that Kei doesn't really cares as long as its handmade. He says that Kei has never eaten a homemade bento because in his household, both of his parents work. After hearing this, Hikari agrees to let Akira help her. Hikari finally finishes the bento, but before Kei could eat it, Kakei grabs it instead. However, he becomes stiff after tasting it and calls it terrible. Kei glares at Kakei with a killing aura around him, which makes him flee from the place. He then sadly watches Hikari as she picks up the rice ball. She apologizes for making suck an awful bento. However, Kei still eats it and states that they are delicious. After eating, Kei heads out to "slowly end Kakei's life". Hikari then says that next time, she will make a bento for the others as well, though they are completely against the idea.
The SA are having a small picnic in the Green House, where Kei asks Hikari to come to his house because it has been quite sometime since she met his father and he wants to see her. Akira and Tadashi also tag along, Akira because she didn't want to leave Hikari to Kei, and Tadashi because Akira forced him. Kei's father, who actually looks childish, greets Hikari with his pro-wrestling moves, but Kei stops him and Hikari before things heat up. Hikari then comes to know about Sui Takishima, Kei's younger brother. She sees him acting rudely with his tutor, and angrily goes to teach him a lesson but ends up breaking a door. Kei's father tells Hikari that Sui always ignores his teacher and asks Hikari to teach him, as a payback for the door.
Next day at the Green House, Akira is in a bad mood as Hikari will have to go to Kei's house daily, something she does not like. At Kei's house, things dont seem to be going so well between Hikari and Sui, as both of them bicker with each other. Kei comes to check on them and states that things are much worse than he imagined. His father comes over and requests him to attend a meeting with him. Hikari notices that Sui is quietly watching them. When Kei leaves, Sui opens up to Hikari and tells her that whenever Kei attends these meetings, everything seems to work out. Hikari tries to encourage him, but Sui simply says that everything they do is of no use. Next day, Hikari decides to teach Sui to observe nature. However, Hikari and Kei end up having a contest about who can catch more dragonflies, and Kei wins again. An irritated Sui runs away after stating that he despises Kei and calls him a robot behind a human mask. Next day, Hikari tells Kei and Sui to have a sumo match but Sui walks away, saying that he can never match up to his brother's standard. The following day, Hikari tells Sui to work on eye contact. Sui opens up more and tells Hikari that Kei does not cares about him. No matter what he says to him, his expression never changes. Hikari denies it and tells him that when she made a bento for Kei, he happily thanked her. Sui asks if she is in love with his brother, to which she replies that he is her rival. Sui claims that she must have come for Kei, and not him. Hikari grabs Sui, and while looking right into his eyes, she states that she is looking at him and will never avert her gaze.
Things seem to be going well, as Sui sits down and does as Hikari says, that is, until Kei shows up. He tells Hikari to stop wasting her time on Sui, which makes him sad and he runs away. Hikari follows him, and while trying to stop him from running away again, her head hits the railing. Sui decides to carry her on his back. Hikari realizes that maybe, Sui wants Kei to turn around and look at him as his big brother. On their way, Sui falls as he is not able carry Hikari's weight alone. Hikari hears Kei's voice and sees his running towards them. Sui is surprised to see him worried. Kei asks Hikari if she is alright, and thanks Sui for bringing her this far. Sui tearfully hugs him, with Kei comforting him. Next day, Hikari is surprised to see Sui in the Green House, and what shocks her even more is when he tells her that he will now study from his own brother, as she is not very effective. Hikari is even more annoyed when Kei asks if she would like him to tutor her, proposing that her grades might improve.
Sui arrives at Hikari's house to deliver an invitation letter to her. He tells Hikari that Kei is supposed to attend the birthday party of Yahiro Saiga, his and Akira's childhood friend, and wants her to accompany him to the party so that he wont be bored. Kei arrives and scolds Kei for doing that. He asks Hikari to return the letter but she refuses. Next day, Hikari shows him an ugly looking outfit she sewed herself. He decides to send her to his chauffeur. While her body measurement was being taken, Hikari couldn't stay still due to the uneasiness. Just then, Yahiro arrives and recognizes her.
Kei is speechless when he sees Hikari fixed up and and wearing a beautiful dress. At the party, Kei leaves to greet some people. On the other hand, Jun, Tadashi and Ryū sneak into the mansion to keep Hikari away from any danger [a mission assigned to them by Akira]. Yahiro finds Hikari outside and tries to make her aware of Kei's feelings towards her. He notices that Kei is watching them from afar and, wanting to provoke a reaction out of Kei, tries to kiss Hikari. He whispers to Hikari as he does that if Kei has any feelings for her then he will definitely get angry. This proves correct when Kei angrily punches Yahiro and pulling Hikari away. Shocked by the sudden chain of events, she runs away. She is once again found by Yahiro, in his own room, where he tells her that Kei does not see her as his rival, stating that her standard isn't equal to him. He advises her that, as a girl, she should just wear dresses and smile happily. This infuriates Hikari.
Back to the party, Yahiro proposes the idea of playing a game. A girl will be the bait and the other participants will try to catch her. She has to defend herself and reach the rooftop. If she does, she will be announced the winner. As for the girl, he chooses Hikari. Confident that she won't lose, Hikari easily handles any obstacles in her way. Suddenly, Kei appears and pulls her inside one of the rooms, asking her about what Yahiro said and tells her that she should leave this mansion, as he has already prepared a car below the room. But, Hikari decides to continue the game.
Already aware that this would happen, Kei decides to take care of "the small fries". Hikari easily reaches the rooftop, where Yahiro is waiting for her. He asks her what prize she would like, a villa, jewelry or a car. She refuses and says that she only wants him to acknowledge her as Kei's rival, which he does. When Kei and Hikari take their leave, Yahiro asks about Akira, to which Hikari replies that she is doing fine.
- Main article: Kei Takishima
Kei was instantly seen as a rival by Hikari starting from the time they were children when he easily beat her in a wrestling match. This served Hikari with her first taste of defeat and humiliation, therefore sparking her drive to beat him. Her mission to defeat him in anything - whether academics or athletics - is the sole reason why she convinced her father to have her attend the same school as him. They have almost daily matches and competitions with each other - whether an academic test, athletics or even minor things. Despite her many efforts, she has never beaten him in anything throughout their school years together, much to her frustration.
Because of his easy success in defeating her, he likes to tease her by calling her "Miss Rank 2", "Number 2" or "Miss Second Place". This, in effect, always proves to get an almost instant reaction out of her. He even gave her a key chain that has the number two attached to it. Hikari thinks of Kei as her only rival whom she must beat at any cost. However, she refuses to use dirty tricks to do so, preferring a clean and genuine win.
Despite being declared her rival and his teasing towards her, Kei actually has deep feelings for Hikari. While his feelings for her are obvious to everyone they come across, Hikari herself does not realize how he feels until later on. Even though she views him as her rival, Kei and Hikari are close friends. Hikari is shown to really worry and care about him. She is the one who taught Kei that it's better to enjoy working and doing things in a group instead of doing them alone as he often preferred to do. Kei's cold and unfriendly personality became more warm and friendly as he drew close to her and he started getting more involved with people. Their closeness can be seen when Kei was sick and Hikari nursed him all day and stayed with him into the night, something he wasn't expecting her to do.
As the series progressed, she gradually began to realize her own feelings towards Kei. She realizes these feelings in Chapter 33 of the manga and Episode 22 of the anime, however she doesn't confess to him until much later. Soon after learning of his feelings for her, she becomes confused about her own personal feelings. After clearing up her confusion, she admits that she's in love with Kei and becomes his girlfriend. As seen in the manga, they had a brief difficult time changing their relationship from a friendly one to that of a romantic one. But, they soon easily made the adjustment. Their relationship proved to have obstacles due to members of Kei's prestigious and wealthy family not approving of his relationship with Hikari and drastically attempting to keep them apart. This included trying to force him into an arranged marriage with another wealthy girl. However, Hikari and Kei managed to still be together in spite of it.
In the final chapter of the manga, Kei proposes to Hikari and asks her to marry him. Upon hearing of his request, Hikari replies that she will marry him the day she finally beats him. Kei accepts her answer and the two continue their relationship.
- Main article: Akira Tōdō
Akira is Hikari's best friend. They met when Hikari was in the same A class during their 3rd grade school year in elementary school. Unlike the other kids, Hikari was not scared when Akira warned her that being close to her would result in Yahiro giving her trouble. Hikari called the boy a bully and encouraged Akira to stand up to him. Akira admired Hikari's outgoing personality, including her often challenging Kei to matches. The two girls began "secret special training" and spent time together, making Akira happy to no longer being alone. This eventually resulted in her standing up to Yahiro when he soon demanded her to stop spending time with Hikari.
Very often, Akira will hug and cling to her, always calling her a "cute angel". Hikari is also very close to Akira and is very considerate towards her feelings. In Episode 13, when Akira was sad and troubled, Hikari went out of her way to bring tea for her under the belief that not having any tea was causing her trouble. This, in which, surprised and cheered her up a bit. Hikari always helps her whenever she is in trouble, like during her marriage interview, or whenever she needs a friend to support her.
She is shown to treat Hikari in a strong motherly type of fashion, always wanting to keep boys away from her, especially Kei, believing them to be unworthy of "[her] Hikari". Whenever Hikari goes out on a date or somewhere she could be "in trouble", she will always watch her from a distance or send the boys out to keep guard over her. Akira and Hikari always rely on each other whenever they are in need of emotional support. In Episode 9 of the anime, Hikari delivered Akira's letter to Yahiro since she wanted to help fix the two's strained relationship.
Akira deeply values Hikari's friendship to a very large extent. In the manga, upon learning about Hikari and Kei's relationship, she was afraid the relationship could come at the cost of her friendship with Hikari. She refused to let such a thing happen and "hand Hikari over to [Kei]", crediting Hikari as the reason she became happier and less scared in life. She then challenged Kei to a match of their own, demanding that if she won then he would have to break up with Hikari. However, after being assured that they would always be friends regardless of anything, she came to accept and support the relationship.
- Main article: Tadashi Karino
Tadashi and Hikari are close friends. When Tadashi didn't want to attend a marriage interview arranged by his mother, he asked Hikari to be his fake girlfriend for one day to deceive his mother into thinking the interview was unnecessary. Tadashi soon tells her about his past experiences with his mother and the reason why he works hard to be one of the top five students of the school. Hikari, wanting to help him out, did her best to act like a real girlfriend and the two of them enjoyed the day together. This consisted of them taking photos of them seemingly being on a date and, later, hanging out on a beach to have fun.
Tadashi showed her his special place in a forest, which turned to be a beautiful lake. Hikari's devotion toward him as a loyal friend can be seen when Tadashi's mother instructed them to kiss to prove the relationship. Hikari was ready to kiss him without a second thought to help him out even further, although she told him to never lie to his parents again. Tadashi stops her at the last moment before telling her that she should share a kiss with someone she genuinely likes. He later tells her that she worries about others too much.
- Main article: Ryū Tsuji
Ryū and Hikari share a good friendship. In Episode 1, Hikari helped him, Jun and Megumi in organizing their recital. When Nakamura challenged Ryū, Hikari was completely willing to volunteer in his place, considering that he does not like contests. However, when Ryū discovered the challenge, he accepted it on the condition that if he wins, Nakamura will never interfere with the SA again. Hikari decided to help Ryū out by trying to prepare dinner and feeding the animals. Even though she failed, he overlooked it since he saw that Hikari was sincerely trying to help him. When Ryū didn't arrive on time on the day of the contest, Hikari was worried. However, after he won, she was pleased as well as surprised of his true academic talent.
Ryū has also shown to have a protective side of Hikari as well. In the manga, when Ryū saw Kei frequently socializing with another girl after entering into a relationship with Hikari, he demanded to know if Kei was cheating on Hikari. When Kei refused to give him immediate answers, Ryū became angry at him for seemingly doing such a thing to Hikari. This resulted in the two having a briefly strained relationship. However, after learning that Kei was not dating the girl and was only hanging out with her for another reason, Ryū felt relief.
- Main article: Jun Yamamoto
In Episode 1, Hikari helped Jun, Ryū and Megumi in organizing their recital. Hikari has also been to his and Megumi's apartment when she was helping Ryū during a challenge he was given and was ready to prepare dinner for them. However, they refused at once.
Even though Jun is very shy, he still gets along well with Hikari. When Hikari was going to go to an athletic park after winning free tickets and no one was able to attend with her, he offered to go with her since he felt bad about her going alone. Also, Hikari is one of the few girls who is completely unfazed by his charming alter ego.
- Main article: Megumi Yamamoto
In Episode 1, Hikari helped her, Ryū and Jun in organizing their recital. Hikari has also been to her and Jun's apartment when she was helping Ryū, and was even ready to prepare dinner for them, but they refused at once. At first, Hikari didn't know why Megumi uses a notepad to speak to others instead of talking. However, she realized that it's because she wants to protect her voice. Also, before the events of anime, she had never heard her sing.
- Main article: Yahiro Saiga
Yashiro tried to use Hikari in order to get Akira to see him again. However, his plan failed. Yashiro also drops hints to Hikari about Kei's feelings towards her. He was the one who advised Hikari that boys like it if a girl gives them a kiss, which results Hikari on giving Kei a peck on the cheek. They also later became friends throughout the series.
- (To herself) "The end result is important. But whats truly important...is the journey to get there."
- (To Kei) "Contests are contests. But on special occasions, we have to celebrate"
- (To Kei) "Don't say anymore! Don't you ever dare tell me to.....stop our contest, or not participate in this match. I feel so sad when you say those things to me."
- (To Kei) "Takishima. Wait for me! Make sure you stay number one until the day I beat you."
- (To The Student Council President) "I almost forgot. After all...festivals are something to be enjoyed by everyone."
- (To Kei) "I won't be happy even if I beat you in this contest. Its no good without you. Its better to enjoy fun things with others."
- (To Yahiro) "I won this game. So...I want you to recognize me as Takishima's rival."
- (To herself) "Takishima has been worried about me all this time? But, in spite of that, I...had only been thinking about myself."
- (To Akira and Tadashi) "I've been thinking, the SA is precious to Ryū because...he can have total peace of mind here."
- (To Sui) "I am looking at you, Sui. That's why I am here. I'll never avert my gaze. Never."
- Her name Hikari means radiance.
- Her second name Hanazono means flower garden.
- She loves festivals.
- She has been together with the rest of the SA since elementary school.
- Excluding Kei, she has never lost to anyone in a contest or competition.
- She is the only person who calls Kei by his last name "Takashima" despite their close involvement. She theorized that this was possibly because it would be an acknowledgment of her romantic feelings for him. Even after they became a couple, she continued to do so since they viewed it as a "special" name only Hikari called him.
|Members||Kei Takishima •Hikari Hanazono •Jun Yamamoto •Megumi Yamamoto • Tadashi Karino • Akira Tōdō • Ryū Tsuji|
|Facilities||Green House •SA Kitchen|