17 (Chapter 37)
|School||Toumei High School|
|Occupation||2nd year High School Student
3rd year High School Student (Chapter 43)
|Manga Debut||Chapter 1|
|Anime Debut||Episode 1|
Mei Tachibana (橘 めい Tachibana Mei) is the main character and female protagonist of "Say I Love You" and is currently Yamato Kurosawa's girlfriend as well as his love interest throughout the anime and manga series.
Mei is a teenage girl with fair skin, brown hair and brown eyes. She is quite thin and appears to slump over slightly. Mei rarely smiles, but she is frequently seen blushing when she is around Yamato.
At the beginning of the series her hair is short with a hime hairstyle, but as the anime progresses, she allows it to grow out to her shoulders. In the manga, Mei allows her hair to grow even longer.
Mei is usually seen wearing her school uniform, but when hanging out with her friends or working at the bakery, she normally wears casual clothes such as sweat shirts or jeans.
At first, Mei believes that some people can be quick to betray you and that you're better off without anyone. She seems to distance herself from her classmates so she wouldn't get hurt. Overall, Mei does get embarrassed easily and starts to gain confidence thanks to Yamato, despite not having very much to begin with.
As time goes on, Mei's personality begins to change. She becomes more accepting of the people around her, which helps her make friends again. She grows to be more social and starts to become closer to others. This is proven when Megumi befriends Asami and Aiko in order to leave Mei without friends. Despite this change in her personality, Mei continues to be as clumsy, observant and honest as she was in the beginning of the series.
Mei also begins to help people who are in situations similar to the ones she has experienced and tries to give out advice every now and then. She has become more confident and is willing to express what she has to say.
When Mei was little she had friends who she trusted. However, when the classroom pet died, her 'friends' turned against her. They blamed her for the pet's death, but Mei was not the one responsible and the true culprits were her 'friends.' This experience greatly impacted Mei's life as she learned that people turn against each other, and therefore she learned its better not to trust anyone at all.
Mei is an extremely quiet girl who never socialized with anyone in her school, she tries to separate herself from others. Some find her gloomy and unapproachable, and according to Kenji Nakanishi, her voice was never heard by anyone.
One day, Kenji accidentally pushes her to the floor, causing her hands to bleed a bit (in the manga, Nakanishi is the one who pushes her in order to make Yamato laugh). However, she does not say anything, stands up, and nonchalantly walks away. Not long after, Kenji decides to pull up mei's skirt so he can make Yamato laugh again, but when Yamato tries to stop him, Mei turns around and roundhouse kicks Yamato which causes him to fall, yelling at him to leave her alone and stay away. Some of the other girls yell back at her and ask her to apologize since Nakanishi was the one who pulled up her skirt,and not Yamato. However, he just laughs and says that she is interesting.
When Mei goes to put on her shoes after school shortly after that incident, some vulgar notes saying that she should apoligize to Yamato and several thumbtacks drop from her locker. When she turns around, Mei sees Yamato is already there with a bruise on his hand from her kick, and he asks her if she is okay. She hastily apologizes to him and gives him some bandages for his wound. Yamato says that she is interesting and he wants to get to know her better. He asks Mei for her phone number, which she refuses to give followed by a slight blush gracing her face. Despite this, Yamato writes his number on a piece of paper and gives it to her to let her know she can contact him anytime. Mei asks herself what to do with his number, but ultimately decides to do nothing.
A few days pass and Mei doesn't call or text Yamato, which makes him increasingly curious. He meets her at school and asks why she hasn't contacted him yet, only to be handed excuses in return. Mei says that she hates phones and that she doesn't need friends to talk to or to be in her life. She shows him her contact list, consisting of the numbers of her home and work place, resulting in a grand total of two contacts.
When Mei finishes her part-time job at the Bakery Farm, she realizes that she is being stalked by a regular customer. Her walking pace quickens, trying to avoid a dangerous and troublesome situation. Despite Mei's efforts, she ended up using a nearby drugstore as a temporary refuge. Pulling out her cellphone, Mei desperately calls home a few times, though much to her dismay, nobody answers. This did not help to alleviate Mei's skidmarking at all. She awaits the stalker's departure into the night but to no avail, he had no intentions of leaving. Now at a dead end, Mei knows she has no other options at this point but to call Mr.Popular. She dials up the number Yamato provided her on a torn piece of paper and tells him her situation and where she currently is. He rushes to where Mei is, cancelling his karaoke date with some popular friends, and galliantly solves the problem by playing the part of the perfect boyfriend, sweeping a skeptical Mei off of her feet and kissing her as if they were experienced lovers. This causes the stalker to become a mixture of both shocked and jealous and was fortunately enough to make him go away. Mei screams as it is her first kiss, but Yamato just laughs, expressing his joy that she finally called him. After letting the whole ordeal soak in, Mei accepts it as a kiss that helped her, despite not wanting to admit it.
At school, Yamato and his friends (including Asami Oikawa) approach Mei and ask her to join them for a karaoke night , which she agrees to. Some of Yamato's friends, including Aiko Mutō are shocked to hear that Mei now speaks quite more than usual. Asami asked Mei if she is falling in love with Yamato or is sleeping with him, which she strongly denies. Mei said that she only kissed him once, and it was to help her to get rid of a stalker. Asami merely laughs and claims she has only kissed him once, too. She then says that he has kissed every girl in the school except Miki Arai, who is Yamato's first crush. Mei appears to be taken aback by this and begins to wonder if Yamato still has feelings for Miki.
Mei sights Arai at school and is automatically transfixed by her cuteness. She starts to persaude herself that she didn't like it when Yamato's forceful kiss, believing it to be rude. Later, Yamato calls her and asks her to hang out, but Mei refuses. She asks if Arai will also join them tomorrow, and he answers with a yes, not knowing how discouraged it made Mei. She then presses Yamato further by asking of Arai being his first crush, and again Yamato confirms her inquiry but grows suspicious. He wants to know Mei's reason for the sudden personal interrogation. She goes on to explain that she heard about the rumor concerning the absense of his lips on Miki Arai's and Yamato responds by telling her to just think what she wants to think, claiming he only kisses a girl whenever he gets the desire to do so.
To satisfy her ever-growing curiosity, Mei decides to follow Yamato when he goes to the karaoke place. She attempts to disguise herself using a simple woolen beanie and a pair of reading glasses. During the "mission", Yamato is asked to meet Miki in the bathroom, which he refuses by leaving the karaoke place. Upon leaving, he encounters a spying Mei and asks why she was there. She provides Yamato with an almost bashful response, saying that she thinks that he would end up coming out with Arai in tow, and Yamato playfully asks her what would happen if he did. He also asks about Mei's question why about Arai over the phone, which catches her off-guard and on the verge of making a fateful escape. Just as Mei was about to run, Yamato's lips come crashing upon her own again, putting her even more on-edge. Breaking away from the his sudden suggestive gesture, Mei asks him why he kissed her again without her permission. Yamato simply shrugs it off and replies that he did it only because he wanted to. Mei, eyes blurry with newly formed tears, tells the audacious boy in front of her that it hurts being kissed without having any real feelings behind it. Yamato appears shocked, but nonetheless kisses her again. He claims this kiss to be a sign of hello. The boy plants yet another kiss on Mei's lips, and says this kiss is for a person he thinks is cute. You would think he'd there, but Yamato kisses her yet again, and says it is a kiss dedicated to a person that he wants to know better. He kisses her once more , saying it is a kiss to the person that he has feelings for. With a certain passion in his eyes, he pulls away and asks Mei if she can sense the differences between those kisses, and asks her if she has feelings for him. Mei, wide eyed and face flushed, says that whenever she thinks about him, her heart aches, which Yamato made that it is in fact love. Finally, he kisses her for real, and Mei says in her thoughts - it tasted like fried chicken.
At the very beginning, she doesn't want anything to do with him, although Yamato was the first person Mei learned to trust. Yamato gave Mei his number insisting she call him some time. Despite vowing that she would never call Yamato, she ended up calling him when she was being stalked by a man one night after work. Solving the problem calmly, Yamato was Mei's first kiss. He became Mei's first friend and eventually boyfriend . Throughout both the anime and manga, Yamato and Mei continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. He introduced her to most of Mei's current friends.
They first met at the bakery where Mei works. Mei later found out that Kai was Yamato's childhood friend and that he used to be bullied. Kai firmly believes that Mei and him have more in common than Yamato and her, therefore he believes that he understands her better. He is in love with Mei and is determined not to give up, even if he knows Mei doesn't feel the same way.
Asami is Mei's first female friend and one she learns to trust. Mei even went as far as to defend Asami from two girls who were verbally bullying her. Asami is also one of the few people Mei opens up to. When Megumi manages to distance Asami away from her, Mei feels devastated. They are currently very close friends, so much that they adorn their cell phones with matching accessories .
At first Aiko thought Mei didn't deserve to be with Yamato since she didn't work hard enough to get him. Although, after she heard Mei talk about her own feelings for Yamato, Aiko accepted Mei and became her friend. Aiko always sees through Mei and can tell when she is hiding something. When Aiko notices Megumi's plan to isolate Mei from her friends, she stops hanging out with Megumi. Aiko remains close friends with Mei and helps her in her relationship with Yamato.
Megumi considers Mei her enemy and love rival. At first, Mei was fooled by Megumi's "good-girl" act, but she later found out about her true character: cruel, manipulative, and superficial. As the series progresses Megumi's feelings toward Yamato drive her to try and drive Mei and Yamato apart.
Nagi wasn't fond of Mei when the two first met first met. However, when Mei told Nagi of her struggles with trusting and befriending others, she started to see the real Mei and how similar they actually were. Mei helped Nagi overcome her insecurities and encouraged her to try to trust people once again.
- Mei is surprisingly talented at bowling.
- Mei finds herself in a state of trauma when cooking, this is due to her first cookies having broken her father's teeth.
- When angry or nervous, she tends to eat a lot.
- Mei adores cats and owns one named "Marshmallow".
- Mei's name can mean "sprout, garment", "sprout, reliant", or "bright, reliant", which seems to fit her unique, odd, yet beautiful personality.
"I do not want to worry about unnecessary things since I'll just be betrayed again. But that's just my opinion."
"It's like a doll house.You hang out together and pretend to be good friends, but when it doesn't suit them, they just abandon you."
"When you trust someone and get to know them, you eventually learn about their wounds, too."
"Someday, maybe you'll find someone like you to share your pain with. I can't tell you when that will happen... but the important thing is not to reject them.""The thing about an emotional kiss is that it tastes like fried chicken. "