椎名 サクヤ), Saku for short.
Appears in: Hoshi wa Utau (also known as Twinkle Stars, manga in 11 volumes)
Creator: Natsuki Takaya
Age: 18 years old
A character I love from one of the best mangas out there - and created by one of my favourite mangakas (manga creators) Natsuki Takaya, most known for Fruits Basket. The last chapter of the story was released in the magazine Hana to Yume in Japan on the 20th of January this year.
Saku lives in a small town in Japan, attending the last year of high school, working part-time, and has a small stargazing club at school with her two friends, Hijiri and Yuri. But life has not been easy for her, when her parents got divorced her mum had no interest in her and she stayed with her father and step-mother and became the victim of psychological abuse. She ends up living with her cousin Kanade, a rather lazy and unfriendly person who doesn't care for much - but that arrangement actually works. In school she is rather average and often get picked on. Her greatest interest is watching the stars, which gives her comfort and strength to carry on.
Things take a strange turn for her when she meets Chihiro Aoi, a young man who suddenly appears in her life - actually at her very informal birthday party when she turns 18. She thought he was a friend of Kanade and Kanade had invited him thinking Chihiro was Saku's boyfriend. He is, of course, neither. The second time Saku meets Chihiro they talk about stars - and the whole conversation ends with Chihiro shouting at her that he hates her. And then they end up in the same class in school.
Chihiro doesn't have much to recommend him, but still Saku falls for him. She can see that he is a troubled person, and she tries to show him how you can find happiness in this world all the same. She tries to teach him about the singing stars. He is a very slow learner, but Saku has patience, and even when she learns about him having a girl-friend from before, Sakura, who tried to commit suicide and ended up in a coma, she can't give up on her feelings. She knows that it will make her unhappy, that she can never compete with the duty Chihiro feels for Sakura.
How it all ended? You can find the answer here! (I don't want to have too much spoilers on this blog - but I have no such scruples on my other.)