Ichiya (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) is the so-called “flirt” of the candidates that continuously comes up with cliche catchphrases that don’t effect Hibari whatsoever. He is the most skilled in cooking and continuously conjures up special menus for Hibari for her every meal. He’ll make her something exotic or super fancy according to what he believes her tastes are. However, this ends up driving Hibari nuts when all she wants to do is eat normal food rather than this fancy stuff that Ichiya comes up with.
For example, Hibari hears that Ichiya is making curry but wants normal curry and not a fancy version Ichiya makes. She tells this to him but instead of making regular curry, he makes a complicated dish for not only Hibari but everyone else lmao.
One day, Ichiya decides to bring Hibari lunch to her school. Hibari is shock he’d come to her school but smiles and acts naturally so she doesn’t draw attention. He brings her an assortment of dishes in cute packaging which Hibari admittedly does find cute. After lunch, Ichiya gives Hibari a bag of cookies he made for her and tells her he’s desperate to get her affection since he’s also the furthest from her in his age. He also believes the people around them find them a suitable pair but Hibari tells him that’s unrelated. He then gets the wrong idea and believes that she’s right and should have a world built for themselves lmao. He then leaves and Hibari gives her cookies to Tsumugi.
As Ichiya continuously gives Hibari more fancy western type food, Hibari pretends she’s okay with it and goes to school. After that, she comes home to find Nayuta received tons of Daifuku. Although just as Hubari shows interest in eating it, Ichiya basically says its not suitable to Hibari’s tastes such as it not being lady like for her to eat (especially with powder getting all over her face). Hibari finally snaps and tells Nayuta to give her some daifuku and stuffs it down. She then tells Ichiya she may be a girl but that doesn’t mean she has to eat cute and presentable things all the time. So she takes some more daifuku and storms off LMAO.
After this, Ichiya leaves the house leaving Hibari feeling guilty and anxious. She decides to text him to contact her since she wants to know his whereabouts. And so the following day she sees him and he tells her he’s going to make tonight a night she’ll never forget leaving Hibari both confused and annoyed that he never left in the first place. That night, Hibari comes home and finds Ichiya has made a make believe special restaurant just for Hibari. In other words, he tells her he’ll make whatever she wants to eat as long as she’s honest and upfront about it.
So she asks for a regular meal and Ichiya makes her a homemade meal thats not all glamored up like before. She thanks him and he apologizes for making meals she didn’t want without asking. She then also apologizes since she felt like she should’ve spoken up about it more. Its then Taiga interrupts and tells Hibari she should give Ichiya a kiss as a reward. Hibari is shocked by the suggestion at first but then firmly agrees to give Ichiya a kiss on the cheek. Ichiya turns red and speechless before falling to the ground due to embarrassment lmao. But he still manages to throw in a romantic gesture which makes Hibari eyeroll lmao.
After choosing Ichiya as her candidate, Hibari wants to observe Ichiya more and see how he acts outside of his “flirty” act towards her. She decides to stalk him at the mall along with Shion. They find each store he visits he continues to mention Hibari in a lovingly manner lmao. He eventually spots them and Shion tells him that he and Hibari were on a special date together. So, Ichiya asks if they can go on a date too and Hibari accepts much to Ichiya’s shock. So on the day of their date, Ichiya takes Hibari to see a movie together. They end up getting special couple seats and Hibari can’t keep her composure of both the romantic scenes from the movie and imagining Ichiya trying to kiss her.
However, all Ichiya does is give her a blanket since it seemed like she was cold lol. After that, they go to a fancy restaurant and Ichiya asks if Hibari had fun. She admits she did and suddenly they get texts from the guys to come home and cook for them lol. One day, Hibari witnesses Ichiya getting all chatty with some girls and decides to confront him about it. He tells her immediately its a misunderstanding and explains his backstory a bit. He apparently never got along with guys because they always envied him which is why it was more easier to have girls as friends rather than guys. Hibari says she understands but tells him to be more wary of his relations with girls.
After this, Hibari asks Ichiya to tone it down on the way he talks to her but he’s super confused since he always talks that way. She then becomes more anxious about Ichiya’s past especially with his case of ‘marriage fraud’. She tries to google him but ends up finding nothing. Tsumugi suggests she just asks him but she doesn’t want to ask a maybe delicate subject. So she decides to talk to Ichiya in his room (much to his surprise). Ichiya ends up bringing up his flirty way of speaking and says he’ll try to talk to her normally if they can go on another date. Hibari accepts but then suddenly asks if he had a woman in his life before. But before he can answer Hibari immediately leaves Ichiya’s room.
One day, Ichiya ends up running into Arimura. She can tell he’s having issues with Hibari and suggests he “take the lead” more and try to prioritize what he wants more so than Hibari. So on Ichiya and Hibari’s 2nd date, Ichiya decides to change his approach. He’s more forceful in the sense he decides the locations and isn’t over the top with her. Hibari notices this change and feels strangely more close to him because of this. Finally, he takes her to a night view of the city and she ends up trying to ask who he was with before this. Ichiya is hesitant to answer but Hibari begs for him to tell her. Just as it seems like he will, he suddenly kisses her and tells her the past doesn’t matter and all he sees is her. Hibari is super shocked and slaps him saying he’s the worst lol.
After this, Hibari and Ichiya have awkward relations. They constantly avoid each other until Hibari decides to talk to Ichiya herself and enters his room. She asks if he has anything to say and he says he’ll start packing his things to leave lmao. She tells him that’s not what she meant and yells at him, calling him a “first kiss thief” after slamming the door on him. After this, Ichiya stays cooped up in his room leaving everyone to fend for themselves in terms of dinner. So finally they all decide to see Ichiya’s situation. Taiga and Shion check on him first and decide it would be best if Hibari handled it instead.
Much to Hibari’s surprise, she finds Ichiya under his covers sobbing (omg). Hibari is shocked but he tells her he’s always been weak and works super hard to be loved but can’t seem to be loved in return as it always backfires just like with Hibari. She doesn’t know how to comfort him, but asks if he’s going to give up. Because knowing him, he’s not the type to do that. With that giving him confidence, he finally stops crying and thanks Hibari. After that, he texts Hibari asking her another date to make up for the last one which Hibari accepts.
So on their next date, Ichiya decides to take Hibari to the same places as before but with a new impression of himself. He decides to consider his own opinions instead of trying to constantly please Hibari. At the restaurant, Ichiya finally apologizes for kissing her but Hibari tells him she’s already over it because seeing him cry was surprising enough lmao. Instead, she wanted to hear more about his past. But he’s not ready to tell her yet so Hibari respects his decision and decides to wait until he’s ready to talk. Suddenly, on Ichiya and Hibari’s way back they run into Kazu. Hibari is super confused until Kazu reveals his actual appearance. He looks just like Ichiya and reveals his real name is Kazuya Shinzaki aka Ichiya’s twin brother.
Kazuya mentions how Ichiya left his family and changed his last name. He asks if he wanted to marry Hibari to get back at him but Ichiya constantly denies it. Hibari is shocked to find out Kazuya was his brother all along, but tells Kazuya regardless of what he says she believes in him and knows he’ll tell her the truth since he already planned to do so. After this, Ichiya talks with Kazuya privately as he mentions his decision to try and get into the Tojo family with him. But he constantly tells him he’s too weak and fragile (in regards to not being able to reveal his past) so he should just leave Hibari’s marriage with him. However, Ichiya refuses to give up and tells Kazuya he won’t allow him to take Hibari away from him.
In Ichiya’s past, he was from a rich family and a shy and considerate child. But his twin brother, Kazuya, always excelled in everything while his parents scolded him for not doing as well as him. But when he grew up he was always able to win a woman’s heart. But they always realized they didn’t want someone overly showered by love and were more realistic with their needs for a relationship so they always cut ties with him. After encountering Ichiya’s brother, Hibari decides to talk with her grandfather for the circumstances. Kazuya was initially the one who requested the engagement and the four people selected by her father were her selective options to prevent that marriage.
So now, with Hibari’s meeting with Kazuya, he is more or less a candidate for whom Hibari should marry. However, Hibari uncertain to marry for happiness or for the sake of her family name aince Kazuya is still presently part of his family which owns a big company. So, Hibari decides to meet Kazuya herself to understand who the real him is since he basically lied to her the entire time by not revealing his identity. When Ichiya hears of this, he basically continues to put himself down and tells Hibari that in the long run, Kazuya would be better for her. Especially since she and him already got along at first anyway. Hibari is frustrated that he would say this and decides to silently leave him be.
On the day Hibari meets Kazuya, he explains to them that his encounter with Hibari was a mere coincidence but he took advantage of it. Ichiya continues to put himself down and believe he’s no match for him. Meanwhile, Kazuya declares war on them and adds himself as another “marriage candidate”. He also decides he’ll do it properly and asks her on a date where the two of them are not disturbed since he’s busy with his job and the rest of them are unemployed.
On the day of Hibari and Kazuya’s “date” however, he brings her to his office and dressed in professional clothing. He literally gets down to business and shows her a presentation of Tojo and Shinzaki becoming a collaborative company. In other words, Kazuya shows the business side of things in terms of their marriage. In the end, he’ll priotize business which makes Hibari uneasy and realizing she has to choose between romance or business. Regardless, Ichiya continues to avoid Hibari and shows no signs of trying to win her back.
So after the guys force Ichiya to talk to Hibari, he finally decides to tell her his past. Apparently while Kazuya was showing success in their company, they had Ichiya work there as well. There was talks of Kazuya marrying jnto the Tojo family. Meanwhile, he asks for Ichiya’s advice to approach a woman in benefiting the company. Ichiya decides to do it for him as Kazuya but the woman he sleeps with ends up figuring out he’s not really Kazuya and calls him a degraded version of Kazuya. She threatens to sue him and Kazuya helps him out saying he basically expected him to fail. After that, Ichiya leaves his family and is adopted into a new family.
Hibari then decides she no longer wants to choose Kazuya and will decline his offer. She also says she wants to marry for love. When she goes to meet Kazuya to decline him, she mentions how it seems like he doesn’t care about his family and says insensitive things in the process. He puts family business fiest before his feelings. But Kazuya doesn’t see it that way and tells Hibari she’s being more or less childish if she’s making a decision because she feels sorry for her brother. He even asks if she’s in love with him but she doesn’t answer and leaves.
When she gets back, she tells Ichiya she couldn’t decline him and he decides to handle it once and for all. The two of them meet Kazuya at a restaurant and Ichiya tells Kazuya he’s not backing down. Albeit he did originally become a suitor to marry Hibari to prove to Kazuya, he now is in love with Hibair and won’t allow him to take her. He then decides to make an offer that if they become lovers and have children he srill marries her and tricks the public cause their twins (wtf man). This makes Ichiya angry and Hibari angry and tells him again he’s not backing down and will use “love” as his weapon.
After this though, Hibari is unsure whether or not she’s even in love with Ichiya which makes it more difficult for her to choose. She ends up meeting her grandfather who tells her she no longer has any time left to choose and must pick one by Christmas Eve. If not, she must announce her engagement to Kazuya at a Christmas Eve engagement party. After this, Ichiya arrives to pick up Hibari from Kamakura and asks her on one final date. So he takes her to the last place they visited on their previous date together (where he kissed Hibari). He tells her his feelings as to how he always troubled her at first but her kind and strict demeanor is what he loves about her.
So he confesses again and tells her to choose him and to love him. However, even though it was a great confession, Hibari remembers something she heard from Kazuya about him needing to be loved. He himself even admited he could never be loved so now she feels as though it could be anyone and not just her. She asks why it has to be her that loves him and not anyone else but he can’t answer, leaving the date to end in the worst way. The next say, Hibari avoids everyone until they force her to tell them what happened. They tell her that people aren’t going to know why they picked someone right away like in a movie or manga.
Hibari then realizes she was the problem, not Ichiya. However, Ichiya has already contacted Kasuga and told him he intends to leave the home. On December 23rd, with no answer she’s more or less set to be married to Kazuya. However, as she’s being driven by Kasuga, Ichiya’s sports car speeds up in front of them. They get out of the car and Ichiya pulls her into his. He then speeds away and tells her they should run away together so she doesn’t have to marry Kazuya. The rest of the gang follow after with Nayuta driving and it becomes a high speed chase lmaoo. After a while they come to a cliff where Ichiya decides that if Hibari can’t love him he should go die.
Just as he’s threatening to jump off, he tells Hibari that he can’t live without her. These are triggering words for her and she tells him that’s all she wanted to hear. She decides she’ll pick him and so Ichiya sobs into her arms. After that, Ichiya’s engagement with Hibari is announced at the Christmas party. Kazuya gives Ichiya and Hibari his blessings and even jokes about Hibari coming back to him instead lol. In the epilogue, Hibari and Ichiya are engaged and Hibari finally admits her feels for Ichiya and tells him she loves him.
Thoughts: Ichiya was the first route I did and certainly not what I initially expected (in a good way though). I was surprised by how sensitive he was but I mean this guy has a really low self-esteem so I suppose it makes sense. He was really cute though and definitely a fun route. I’m still genuinely curious how much his seiyuu would have changed his character as a whole, but I can’t complain. I really did enjoy him as a character. I’m just so glad he wasn’t a generic flirty type and his cliche lines were all forced af haha. Honestly, most of the time Hibari just felt bad for him which I totally can relate to. Anyway, the last scene with him abducting Hibari and driving to a cliff had me laughing because of how ridiculous it was. Tbh, the reveal with his brother didn’t actually surprise me. I kinda figured it because he looked very similar to Ichiya even in disguise.