Shugo Chara!Shugo Chara! is a series created by the manga-ka duo known as Peach-Pit, and was later put to anime by Satelight. It first aired in October 2007 and gained a total of two full seasons plus a bonus season, of sorts: the first two seasons combined had a total of 102 episodes. Mangawise, there is a total of 12 volumes, including the four chapters which make up Encore.
The story follows Hinamori Amu a schoolgirl revered as someone whom is "cool and spicy", even though she herself feels like she's faking her personality. One night, she wishes that she could become more like her true self. The next morning, she finds herself in the company of her guardian characters, her potential selves the athletic Ran, the creative Miki, and the domestic Su. Amu is not the only with guardian characters, moreover, and she becomes a member of the Guardians, a group of students who take it upon themselves to clean all X-Eggs (kids who have stopped believing in their dreams, essentially).
This would be easier without an adversary, right? Good news, because they have one Easter, who make it their personal mission to make these kids lives as hectic as possible. They do have goals, but it does involve X-Eggs, and those who purify them they're not going to be friends, let's put it that way. In their employment (ha) are Ikuto and Utau.
That's the short summary. In the end, Shugo Chara! is, to me, a series about self identity. It's about finding out who you truly are, and even if that's not what you expected, that's okay. You should always follow your dreams to be just who you want to be.
Tsukiyomi IkutoIkuto is the eldest of the main cast of the series - at the start, he is around sixteen to seventeen years old, whilst the majority weigh in at about eleven to twelve. He also has a younger sister, Utau - she has a brother complex to the point of incest. That happens a few times. Anyway. Like the majority of his family, Ikuto is also particularly musical he inherits a passion for playing the violion from his father, and whilst he's not doing Easter's evil bidding, he is usually seen with it in some shape or form.
Ikuto is notable as one of the oldest owners of a permanent shugo chara, which for him, is the mischevious Yoru. Yoru reflects his desire to be free of what binds him, and to be more like a stray cat. When he transforms with Yoru, they become Black Lynx and yes, he does gain a tail. And ears. Actual cat Ikuto. Ikuto also has some other character transformations when he transforms with a black egg, he comes Death Rebel. His final transformation is Seven Sea's Treasure.
At the beginning of the series, Ikuto is particularly enigmatic. From his first appearance he is pretty much shown as an antagonist, but at the same time, he never really sticks to one side, always flitting about from one to the other, so becomes an antihero - upon his first few meetings with Amu, a softer side of him begins to show. It is around this time that Easter's involvement behind the scenes becomes apparent. Said company is, for the large part, is in the control of Ikuto's stepfather - due to the mistakes of his and Utau's parents in the past, they have little choice but to do as they are told. Whilst his sister has shreds of freedom, Ikuto accepts and takes the brunt of the hate towards them, suffering in silence all the while - corrupting himself even though he knows it is wrong. Likewise, he distances himself from others, deliberately hurting them, so they won't get involved with him, so he won't have the people he cares about get trapped like he is.
After Utau is freed, he becomes the main antagonist of the story, though not by choice; as this time, he is truly being controlled as a puppet to do another's bidding. It is only by Amu saving him that he is eventually released from their control, and he fights against Easter in the final chapters to resolve the mysteries that surround the company itself. Eventually, the story transpires to him gaining the freedom he always wanted, and Ikuto thus goes in search overseas for his true father, who disappeared many years ago to play the violin, much like Ikuto plays the violin himself. He does come back for Encore, though.
It's also worthy to note Amu's (the main heroine of Shugo Chara!) importance to Ikuto. At the start, it seems to just be a curiosity he develops for her, since he has the Dumpty Key, which matches with Amu's Humpty Lock. He eventually develops feelings for her (which he confesses, twice, much to her disbelief), and even from the start he was never truly violent towards her. It is the trust and faith he has in the girl he loves that eventually helps to release him, and give him the courage to go and search for his father, as he once did as a child.
WhyEven after all these years, I still love Ikuto. When I first watched the series, I wasn't sure what to think of him - I shared a lot of Amu's opinions, and it was only as time progressed that I really grew to like every facet of his personality. He's such a good guy underneath it all, and he deserves to be happy.