The Secret Garden is the third chapter of the first volume and the third chapter overall of the Strawberry Panic! manga. It was written by Sakurako Kimino and illustrated by Namuchi Takumi.

Overview Edit

On their way to the church, Nagisa Aoi spots a building and asks Shizuma Hanazono if they can go visit. Inside the building, which turns out to be a library, Amane Otori returns a book that she had been looking at to Chiyo Tsukidate. Chiyo introduces herself to Amane, but when Amane tries to do the same thing, Chiyo simply states what she knows about her. Upon realizing that her popularity has leaked into the other schools, Amane considers telling them that she'll accept their requests. After she leaves, Nagisa and Shizuma arrive. It's there that Shizuma explains that the library is often referred to as "The Secret Garden" and that it's a popular place where students go to have trysts. She assumes that that was why Nagisa wanted to come here.

Summary Edit

After Nagisa comments on the long trek to the church, Shizuma notes that while the St. Miator campus is large, it pales in comparison to Maiden Park. While Nagisa admires the scenery, Shizuma stands behind her, her hands on Nagisa's shoulders. Shizuma asks Nagisa if she knows about a special event that St. Miator holds, one that the sister schools, St. Spica and St. Lulim, take part in. Without waiting for a reply, Shizuma answers her questions; the event is called the Etoile competition,
a contest that pits rival couples against each other with the goal of being crowned the best. Shizuma asks Nagisa if she'd like to be apart of this contest, sliding a hand to Nagisa's front. Embracing Nagisa, Shizuma says that if she is interested, she'd enter the competition again just for her.

Nagisa makes a small cry of surprise and rips away from Shizuma, exclaiming that there's a castle in sight. She wonders aloud what it might be, a confused Shizuma to ponder if Nagisa was even listening to anything she had said. Pointing to the building, Nagisa excitedly asks Shizuma what it is. Before Shizuma can finish her explanation, Nagisa comments that she'd like to go explore the inside. Surprised, Shizuma eagerly asks Nagisa if she really does want to go, to which a puzzled Nagisa affirms. Shizuma says that if that's what she wants, then they will stop by for a visit. Nagisa exclaims in amazement, wondering if Shizuma means it; she does. While Nagisa looks cheerfully at the building, Shizuma chuckles, saying that they'll go the Secret Garden.

Meanwhile, in St. Miator's library, Amane is reading at one of the tables. Miator girls peek at her from behind the shelves and books. Sighing, Amane closes the book she was looking at, commenting to herself about being watched here as well. She stands up, startling a couple of girls at the table across from her. She glances at them, making them blush and timidly return to their book. Walking to the check out counter, Amane wishes that the girls she meets weren't to nervous around her.

Amane thanks Chiyo, giving her the book and asking if she could return it for her. Chiyo says she can and apologizes for not letting Amane bring the book out of the library. Amane assures her that it's fine, saying she had found what she was looking for.
Chiyo expresses her happiness at this, opening the book, commenting that the St. Miator student directory has photographs of all the students, making it a wonderful resource.

As she points to one of the photo's, Amane remarks to herself that that was what she was looking at before. The photo in question is a picture of the previous winners of the previous Etoile competition, the first time in a long while that a St. Miator couple won. Chiyo tells Amane that many of the students make photocopies of the picture, admitting that the more eager students have tried to rip the page out entirely. With a start, she realizes that she might have given Amane the impression that St. Miator students were unscrupulous.

Amane simply says “oh,” making Chiyo stare at her for a bit before asking if she's alright. Amane says she is and that she had only wanted to see a picture. She chuckles, saying her reason for coming to this library was for some peace and quiet. Chiyo grins, expressing her happiness that the students at the other schools enjoy the St. Miator library. She mentions that she's noticed more students visit this library as of late. She loves to read when she's here due to it's relaxing nature.

Chiyo tells Amane that she's welcome to come anytime.
Amane appreciates the sentiment, asking Chiyo if she really loves this place that much. Placing her fingertips together as if in prayer, Chiyo says that she really does. Whenever she's in the library she feels relaxed and peaceful and it helps her face the day with a positive mind.

Amane leans closer to Chiyo asking her for her name. Chiyo hesitates for bit before introducing herself, saying that she works here. Amane compliments her, saying her name is cute and trying to tell Chiyo who she is. Before she can even finish her last name, Chiyo interrupts her, stating Amane's full name, which school she attends, what year she's in, and the class she's assigned to. The reason she knows all of this is due to Amane's high popularity, making it practically impossible for anyone to not know her.

Sighing, Amane quickly realizes that even students in the other schools are just as attentive as the girls from her own school. Closing her eyes and placing a hand on her face, she contemplates giving into their demands this year.

To Chiyo, she says that she'll defiantly come again
and that she hopes the two of them will be able to hang out together the next time she does. Over her shoulder, she wishes Chiyo luck for her work at the library before walking out of the building.

A group of girls that had been watching Amane peak around a corner, starring after Amane's exit. The lot of them rush to the check out counter, bombarding Chiyo with questions and demands to tell them what Amane said. Chiyo can only stutter, sweating a little under the pressure.

Shizuma and Nagisa finally arrive. Nagisa recognizes that the place is actually a library, expressing her amazement at how large the place is. Shizuma comments that it isn't exactly polite for her to be so loud in a place like this. Nagisa hurriedly apologizes.

As Shizuma shows Nagisa the way through the library, Nagisa can't help but notice some of the other students and the hushed, excited atmosphere. Shizuma chuckles, asking Nagisa if she noticed it too, startling Nagisa. Shizuma directs her attention to a couple of students kneeling on an elevated part of the library.

Yaya assures Hikari that no one will find them, saying that she's come this far. She knows the reason behind Hikari's visit; to see if Amane was here. However, Yaya has other plans. Grabbing one of Hikari's shoulders and drawing her closer, she says that she wants Hikari to understand her feelings. Startled, Hikari asks Yaya what she means. Yaya acknowledges that she'll never be able to stand against Amane, but it's still painful that Hikari has fallen for her. Hikari interrupts, protesting that she isn't in love with Amane, she just wants to find out if she really did meet St. Spica's revered prince is all. Unconvinced, Yaya says that if such is the case it would be fine if she did this, right?

Embracing Hikari from behind, she holds Hikari's arms across her chest with her own. Hikari lets out a little cry, something which Yaya promptly hushes. Hikari cries Yaya's name in surprise as one of Yaya's hands reaches for the edge of Hikari's skirt. Yaya tells her to be still, pointing out that skirts on their uniforms ride up easily. Yaya touches Hikari's butt, commenting on how cute it is. Hikari can only wonder why Yaya's doing this. Yet, she also notices how soft Yaya's hand is and how nice it feels. Yaya's hand moves along Hikari's inner thigh, the two of them starting to pant. Shizuma clasps Nagisa's cheeks with both of her hands, saying that Nagisa has had enough of that. In a daze, Nagisa can only think about what she just saw. Shizuma remarks upon how even Spica students come here nowadays
before explaining to Nagisa that this library's nickname is "The Secret Garden." It's a place that students use as a rendezvous point. Nagisa utters an exclamation at this, saying that they should leave so they won't bother the other students. As Shizuma slowly backs Nagisa into a nearby wall, she brushes this Nagisa's statement, saying how happy she is that Nagisa wanted to come here so they could have a rendezvous of their own.

Taking Nagisa's wrists, she pushes them against the wall, one on each side of Nagisa's head. Nagisa exclaims Shizuma's name, wondering if this is what she thinks it is. Shizuma tells Nagisa to relax and assures her that she'll be gentle. As Shizuma starts to kiss Nagisa's cheeks, Nagisa can only wonder if this is truly happening.

Appearances Edit

Debut Edit

  • Amane Otori
  • Yaya Nanto
  • Hikari Konohana

Reoccurring Edit

  • Nagisa Aoi
  • Shizuma Hanazono
  • Chiyo Tsukidate

Locations Edit

  • St. Miator
    • Library
  • Maiden Park

References Edit