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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Ai Yori Aoshi

Plot

Miyabi lived in/grew up in abject poverty before being employed by the Sakurabas.
  • It would certainly explain her extreme fear of cockroaches and other bugs, her desire for "a beautiful atmosphere", and her fanatical devotion to her duties. Perhaps she was a menial in one of the Sakuraba stores, and somehow impressed Mrs. Sakuraba, who needed someone to help raise and teach the baby she was carrying.
    • It could also explain why, in the epilogue to the manga, Miyabi admits to Tina that she has a difficult time thinking of herself as a Sakuraba, even after being adopted by them. While it's entirely possible that there are mundane reasons for this, the possibility that she's from a considerably more impoverished background may also explain it.
      • Partially Jossed. She couldn't have been working for the Sakuraba company, since she was either a teen or very close to it when she was employed to care for Aoi.
      • Her backstory is that her parents worked for the Sakurabas for years before they got killed in a car accident. Aoi's mother took Miyabi in, and Miyabi dedicated herself to Aoi to repay Aoi's mother for taking care of her. It doesn't necessarily preclude her being poor or in otherwise filthy conditions before then, though, although the opposite could be true- that she's never seen cockroaches and the like much before.

Aoi's parent's would be more than happy to let her marry whomever she wanted. It's just that zaibatsu politics is forcing their hands big time.
  • Unlike the Hanabishis, the Sakurabas are not colassal Jerkasses and seem to actually care about Aoi. They also seem to be taking a very careful and patient approach to the whole situation in the hopes that either her or Karou would simply get bored and the whole thing would resolve itself.There is frequent talk in the anime at least about the Sakuraba Group being in the middle of an internal power struggle that puts the Sakuraba family's position in peril. It is safe to assume that the betrothal of Aoi to Kaoru was an attempt to gain an alliance with the Hanabishis to protect their position. When Karou decided to become a Spanner in the Works be leaving the Hanabishi, the Sakuraba were forced to scramble for a plan B and Aoi was one of the main bargaining chips they had. They simply could not let her run off with the Hanabishi black sheep, especially since that would only cause to them to make more enemies. Which is probably why they only start playing hardball in than mange when the Hanabishis bring fake!Kaoru into the picture and give both families an easy Plan B.

Characters

Miyabi likes Kaoru that way.
  • You can't help but notice how she tends to overreact to physical contact with him by the standard tsundere defense mechanism and/or blushing, such as when he catches her by the arm after she trips on the lamp, or when she lands on him after rescuing Uzume from the clock. This doesn't preclude theories about her liking Aoi as well.
    • Glad I'm not the only one who thought this way. While evidence in the manga is slim to none for this theory, in the anime, especially after Kaoru braved the then decrepit summer home's office area, it struck me that she felt like she may have found a Knight in Shining Armor. His gentle and caring demeanor toward everyone in the home and his near limitless patience perhaps only cemented this view of him in Miyabi's mind. Watching her around others and then around Kaoru shows a marked softening of her disposition.
    • Must... resist... writing... fanfiction about Miyabi and Kaoru...
Ah! My GoddessWMG/Anime & MangaAIR

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