Marco Ikusaba (戦場 マルコ, Ikusaba Maruko) is one of the Seventh diary owner, sharing his position with the love of his life Ai Mikami. A skilled street brawler, Marco is devoted to Ai and they work as a perfect battle couple, using the "Exchange Diary" to help one another in the survival game.
Marco can come across as a typical street brawler, appearing quite cocky, energetic and always ready for a fight. He is quite proud of techniques, particularly his cross chop move. Because of numerous fights he got into as a teenager, Marco is a skilled fighter, being quick on his feet and good with his fists.
Marco is devoted to Ai, having made a vow to protect her during their high school years together. Working together, they consider their love to be perfect and unbreakable. Marco becomes particularly outraged by the actions and cowardice of Yukiteru Amano as he fails to protect his girlfriend Yuno Gasai from his and Ai's attacks, Marco willingly putting his life on the line to protect Ai. He tries to man up Yuki so he can protect Yuno, acting as a foil to Yuki and Yuno. Marco is very concerned over his appearance in his adult years, having long hair which he stylises into a curled cone shape resembling a perm or a pompadour hairstyle, and often carries a comb around with him.
Diary & Abilities
Marco and Ai share the Exchange Diary, a unique Future Diary that manifests as a pair of mobile phones. The diaries record everything about Marco and Ai, focusing on each other in a similar fashion as Yuno's "Yukiteru Diary". Destroying one diary will only erase its corresponding owner; both Marco and Ai must be killed to be considered eliminated from the Survival Game. Depending on which phone he's using, Marco can read about himself or about Ai; he prefers to read Ai's future rather than his own, allowing him to cover her and vice-versa. The main weakness of this method is that they are completely unprotected if they are separated.
To conceal his identity as the Seventh, Marco is given The Unbeatable Brawl Diary from the Blog Diary. This Apprentice Diary predicts the moves that his opponents will make and how to counter them, especially useful for an experienced street brawler like Marco. As with all Apprentice Diaries, the Unbeatable Brawl Diary is dependent on its connection to The Eighth's diary, making it vulnerable to jamming; on the other hand, its destruction has no negative effects on Marco himself.
Being a longtime brawler since a young age, Marco not only possess above-average physical strength, agility and reflexes, but also has a high pain threshold, evidenced by how he could fight Yuno despite being stabbed on his arm, and also uses a rather unorthodox fighting style, being able of parrying a knife with his teeth.
He also seems skilled or at least knowledgeable in other areas, such as first aid, infiltration and using parachutes.
Fourteen years ago, the orphaned Marco had been taken in at some point by Kamado Ueshita, who would become the Eighth diary owner. Whilst visiting the Sakurami observation tower, Marco met the young Ai who had been abandoned by her parents that day. Marco told Ai if she believed that day to be the worst day of her life, than the next day would be better. Marco then invited Ai to live with him and Kamado at the Mother's Village orphanage.
The anime extended their history together, showing Marco and Ai in high school. On Ai's first day in high school, she followed Marco around, who was her senior. Marco at first objected to being followed around by a first year, but he lets her, and they grow close, implying they started dating. Marco and Ai visit the Sakurami Tower, where a chapel has been built, Ai suggesting it as the perfect place to get married, and she began a diary based around Marco.
Ai found a letter apparently from Marco, inviting her to a warehouse. Three fellow students appeared, having fooled Ai into coming, and sexually assault her. Marco, realising something was not right after Ai fails to answer her phone, and races to the warehouse where he is horrified by what he sees. In a blind rage, Marco attacks Ai's assailants. One draws a knife, but Marco angrily kills the student with it. Later, Marco and Ai have gone to the tower, Marco horrified at his own actions and failure to protect Ai, and contemplates taking his own life with the knife. Ai stops him, promising to support him with his faults and fears, Marco equally vowing to protect Ai. The two then share their first kiss. However, the highschool event was a filler for the anime as in the manga no such events occurred and it was only shown that Ai and Marco bonded from their first meeting in the tower.
The Seventh's Battle of Love
Marco debuts in the story alongside the other diary owners who were summoned by Deus Ex Machina for the Survival Game's first meeting, presumably representing both Ai and himself to conceal the true nature of the Seventh Diary's user. When he hears of how Yukiteru slew the Third Diary owner, Takao Hiyama, he immediately targets him as a "tough opponent".Marco appears much later alongside Ai. After Kamado gave Ouji Kosaka an Apprentice Diary to aid him in the liberation of Yuki, kidnapped by Yuno, her assistant Orin Miyashiro sends Marco, Ai, and fellow orphan Ta-kun to intercept Yuki and Yuno. However, Yuki abandons Yuno and departs with his friends in Masumi Nishijima's car; Marco, Ai and Ta-kun pass Yuki and his friends on the highway, too late to intercept them. Marco, Ai and Ta-kun are deployed to prevent Yuki's attempt to disable a nearby communications tower controlling the local phone signals; if successful, Kamado's Blog Diary would lose its connection to the Apprentice Diaries it created. Yuki's plan falls apart when Yuno reappears to fight Marco and Ai. The couple break into Kosaka's house; Nishijima attempts to stop them, but is easily defeated thanks to Marco's fighting experience. Using their Apprentice Diaries, Marco and Ai pursue Yuki, Yuno, Hinata Hino and Mao Nonosaka through Kosaka's house, with Ai injuring the latter two with her knives. They eventually confront Yuki and Yuno in a secluded room through a trap door, unaware of the crumbling relationship between Yuki and Yuno.
Before the Sevenths can attack, Aru Akise and Kosaka manage to disable the communications tower, leaving Marco and Ai apparently powerless. However, the two simply reveal their Exchange Diaries, proclaiming them to be "diaries of love". Marco tells Yuki that their fight is a battle between couples; the pair with the stronger love will be triumphant. Yuno persuades Yuki to release her from the ropes around her wrists and blocks Ai's throwing knives with amazing skills, inspired to fight after Yuki praises her. Stunned by this, Marco and Ai issue their "trump card" and escape through the trap door.
Taking Hinata and Mao outside, Marco and Ai heal them just as Ta-kun sets Kosaka's house on fire. The pair head back inside to finish off Yuki and Yuno. As the house burns down around them, Yuno and Ai get into a cat fight. Ai trips over a carpet, giving Yuno an opening, only for Marco to jump in and protect Ai, getting Yuno's knife stabbed into his arm. Ai manages to disable Yuno. Yuki runs in and Marco angrily berates him for not protecting Yuno. Yuki admits he is useless but cannot change his ways, Marco angrily throwing off the side of a balcony. He steals Yuki and Yuno's phones and escapes with Ai.Marco and Ai reappear, Marco giving Yuno a phone call whilst she is hospitalised, requesting that she, Yuki and his father Kurou Amano come to the Sakurami Tower if they want their diaries back. Yuki, Yuno and Kurou arrive at the tower where they find Marco and Ai waiting for them, having just got married as Ai had originally planned years ago.
Marco quickly beats down Kurou, holding him hostage and challenging Yuki to defeat him in order to save his father, and his diary. Yuki charges at Marco, but is easily defeated. Yuno makes a move, attacking Ai and reveals the diaries on display are fakes, and Ai is hiding their real diaries in her bouquet. Part of the tower suddenly explodes, Ta-kun contacting Marco and Ai through the tower's soundspeakers and telling them he is destroying the tower as per a time limit he put on their operation, leaving his former comrades to their own ends. Marco and Ai race to the elevator, taking Kurou with them.
In the elevator, the two recall their promise to marry one another, Marco vowing to prove that their love is real compared to that of Yuki and Yuno. Upon entering the top floor where they first met, Marco and Ai are surprised to find Yuno alone waiting for them. Yuki speaks through the loudspeakers, claiming he is too afraid to fight and will be helping Yuno from afar. Enraged by yet another display of cowardice, Marco fights his way past Yuno and races to the control room to confront Yuki whilst Ai pins the Second. When he reaches the control room, he finds no sign of Yuki; the First had tricked him in order to draw him away from Ai. Running back to the observation floor, Marco arrives in time to see Yuki throwing a dart at Ai, hoping to take out her Exchange Diary. At Marco's shout, Ai dodges the dart by inches, but the movement allows Yuno to free herself and slash the female Seventh's throat with a knife.
Distraught, Marco races to save Ai just as the roof caves in, ignoring Kurou as he escapes the tower with one of Marco and Ai's parachutes. Yuki, Yuno and the dying Ai survive but become trapped under rubble. Marco, unwilling to leave Ai behind, uses a metal pole to dig out his beloved, inspiring Yuki to help him after chastising him for being a coward. Marco manages to lift the rubble covering Yuki, Yuno and Ai partway, revealing a piece of shrapnel has impaled him through the abdomen, Marco apologising to Ai that he got carried away.
Yuki convinces Yuno to help him lift the rubble, and they help Ai out of the rubble only to find she has already died from blood loss. Cradling Ai in his arms, Marco tosses his last parachute to Yuki so he and Yuno can escape the tower. Instructing Yuki not to look down at him with sympathetic eyes, Marco shoos Yuki and Yuno away, who depart the tower in the parachute.
Seeing a Dead End appear in his diary, Marco concludes that his and Ai's dream of becoming gods and eternal lovers was not going to happen; instead, he wonders if this moment between them is eternal. He realizes he came to Ai's rescue too late again and embraces her body as the tower collapses, killing him and properly eliminating the Seventh Diary from the Survival Game.
The Final Battle
In the third parallel world created when Yuno, Muru Muru, Yuki and Minene Uryu perform a time leap two years back in time, Marco and Ai are seen at the Mother's Village orphanage. They witness the explosions and events occurring at Sakurami Elementary School between Muru Muru and Minene, Kamado receiving an unexpected phone call from the mayor John Bacchus regarding the future of her orphanage, asking for her help in the future.
Two years later, Marco and Ai are shown to have married and Ai is now pregnant, happy together among the many residents of Sakurami City. In the anime, Marco chats with a pregnant Ai in a cafe, Ai telling him he must work harder in the future.
Future Diary: Paradox
In Future Diary: Paradox, Aru Akise and Muru Muru are standing in for Yuki and Yuno after Muru Muru accidentally killed Yuno and Yuki is wounded by Hiyama. After Akise altered the events at the Omekata temple, Muru Muru vowed to rewind time after Yuki is healed to ensure the game runs properly. Akise races to stop her, aided by Marco, Ai, Orin, Reisuke Houjou and Tsubaki Kasugano. Marco personally fights Muru Muru whilst Tsubaki leads Akise to the entrance to Muru Muru's record hall, although Muru Muru ends up succeeding and reverses time.
- Marco is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. His proficiency in combat also reflects his namesake, while his relationship with Ai alludes to Mars's frequent trysts with Venus (Ai's namesake).
- Marco's surname Ikusaba means "battlefield" (戦場), further tying him to his mythological inspiration.
- Marco and Ai's character theme song is "7th Heaven" by Yousei Matsui and Choucho.
- Whether by coincidence or design, Marco's physique, hairstyle, and generally combative nature give him a resemblance to Mondo Oowada from the Danganronpa series. He also shares his last name with another Danganronpa character, Mukuro Ikusaba (who incidentally bears some resemblance to his eventual wife, Ai).
- The anime expansion to Marco and Ai's backstory adds a further parallel; both Marco and Mondo are motivated by tragedy involving someone close to them. Marco's guilt over failing to stop the students' assault on Ai is similar to Mondo's guilt over forcing his older brother Daiya into a motorcycle race that ended with Daiya sacrificing himself to save his brother.
|Future Diary Holders|
|#1 Yukiteru Amano • #2 Yuno Gasai • #3 Takao Hiyama • #4 Keigo Kurusu • #5 Reisuke Houjou • #6 Tsubaki Kasugano • #7 Marco Ikusaba/Ai Mikami • #8 Kamado Ueshita • #9 Minene Uryu • #10 Karyuudo Tsukishima • #11 John Bacchus • #12 Yomotsu Hirasaka • #13 Azami Kirisaki|