|Karekano began its 9 year serialization in the monthly Lala magazine in February 1996, and was completed in June 2005. The manga has a total of 102 chapters in 21 tankoubans. An incomplete anime version produced by Gainax aired from 1998-99 with 26 episodes, and covers up to volume 8 of the manga. According to Tsuda-sensei, the series was supposed to be a 3-volume project, but it became such a huge hit that she kept it going.|
The series revolves around the lives of a high school's two brightest stars, Arima Souichirou and Miyazawa Yukino, who come from very different backgrounds and end up falling in love. But it is not your usual shoujo fluff - Tsuda-sensei brilliantly combines romance, humor, and angst as they go through their high school dramas. Together, Arima and Miyazawa promise to shed their fake images and be true to themselves.
Karekano can be broken into two main arcs - the Yukino arc (volume 1~9) and the Arima arc (volume 13~21), with some side stories about the other characters in between.
In the Yukino arc, we are introduced to the main characters of the series as they begin their first year at Hokuei Prefectural School. Friendships are formed, love grows, and Yukino makes that fateful decision to quit being #1 as she faces a dazzling new world of new experiences and opportunities.
The Arima arc begins with a timeskip 2 years later, and everyone is now in their third and final year of high school. This arc is full of angst, and centers around Arima meeting his birth parents and overcoming his darkness.
Tsuda Masami is the brilliant mind behind Karekano, her 4th comic. She made her mangaka debut in 1993 with Aete Yokatta (I'm Glad I Met You), a short story published in Lala. Since then, she has created over 20 short stories, but is most known for Karekano.