->''"What's wrong with being cute ''and'' bossy?"''
-->-- '''Sana'''

Despite her fame and her career, eccentric 11-year-old child actress Sana Kurata lives an almost normal life with her even-more-eccentric author mother, Misako Kurata, and her manager Rei Sagami. She even attends a public school, where she has many friends. But in school she comes into conflict with sullen, laconic Akito Hayama, de facto leader of the boys in her classroom.

Akito holds some secret blackmail on two of the teachers, allowing him to get away with a great deal of misbehavior -- something which enrages Sana, especially when it disrupts the class. She vows to defeat Akito, and restore peace to the school. After several failures, she succeeds in beating Akito at his own game, but her victory over him is just the beginning of a surprising evolution of her relationship with the quiet, angry-seeming boy, as she discovers ''why'' is he so angry and starts trying to fix it...

''Kodomo No Omocha'' ("Child's Toy", and frequently [[PortmanteauSeriesNickname contracted]] to "''Kodocha''") is a fun, entertaining {{shojo}} series that mixes comedy and drama in equal parts. It was created by Miho Obana and published in Shueisha's ''Ribon'' magazine from 1994 to 1998. It got adapted into an anime series in 1996 and run into 102 episodes, directed by Akitaro Daichi, who is better known nowadays for directing series like ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' and ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''.

Sana's irrepressible energy and rapid-fire dialogue is second only to Excel of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' for its speed and outrageousness. (In fact, Excel's original North American voice actress, Creator/JessicaCalvello, once expressed an interest in voicing Sana in English.) But unlike Excel, Sana is a force to be reckoned with, despite her non sequiturs and baffling leaps of "logic". Possessed of an immense empathy and a willingness to help even someone she characterizes as her worst enemy, she plows through troubles and problems with a bold determination and a choice of skills from the acting school she attends. It has frequently been described as "''Manga/MarmaladeBoy'' [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs on crack]]" due to Sana and Akito's superficial resemblance to Miki and Yuu.

During 2005, Creator/FUNimation started to release licensed [=DVDs=] of the anime series in North America under its abbreviated title, "Kodocha". It is interesting to mention, that the dub of the first DVD had been censored heavily, but it stopped by the next releases. Additionally, the original opening credits from the first season were replaced with the second season ones because of legal pressures exerted by Johnny & Associates, the management behind TOKIO, the band who recorded the [[AnimeThemeSong opening]] "7 O'Clock News". Even the cameo of one of the members of the band was [[{{Bowdlerise}} bowdlerized]] in both English and Japanese tracks to keep any mention of the group out of the North American release. Due to licensing contracts and low sales of the series, the second season was never released and as of February 2012, Funimation [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes lost the license]] of the series.

!!This series provides examples of:
* ADayInTheLimelight: A few filler anime episodes focus mostly on characters like Tsuyoshi and his little sister (Aono), Gomi (when his parents are forcing him to go to Kaimei High School), and Mami.
* AbusiveParents: Volumes two and three heavily suggest that Tsuyoshi's dad is this. It's never brought up again, though, since his parents get divorced, and he moves away with his mom and his sister. Tsuyoshi's anger over [[BerserkButton people insulting his mother]], could possibly be related to DomesticAbuse, as well.
* AscendedExtra: Given the nature of the animated adaptation, Mami, Gomi and some other characters (just like the MC of "Kodomo no Omocha" becoming [[TheDanza Zenjiro]]) get more time on screen and more CharacterDevelopment than their manga counterparts.
* AdaptationDistillation: The anime took a different direction from the manga at the very beginning. Thatís clear if you compare the first chapter of the manga and the first episode of the anime. Some of the characters differ in personality, others get more developed and some of the events get very tamed in comparison to the manga's. Considering that the manga was a monthly series and it was still published in Japan at the time the anime was airing, the anime staff had little to work with while it was reaching its climax.
* AdaptationExpansion: As a result of the above example, the anime had 102 episodes, meaning that some arcs were ridiculously expanded with filler, trying to make time between the events they were adapting from the manga.
* AdultFear:
** Misako Kurata originally didn't feel remorse about telling Sana that she was adopted when she was 5 years old, and that they made a promise to look for her biological mother, once they got famous in their own ways. However, after all those years, Misako got scared that the aforementioned woman would suddenly appear to take Sana away from her... or worse, that she would choose her.
*** Rei doesnít even take the news with a grain of salt, either. Especially considering that he became an orphan at his late teens, and that he loves Sana as if she was his daughter and/or little sister.
** Sana [[spoiler: getting the "Mannequin Disease" is terrifying considering that there are no physical but emotional symptoms related to it. And since there is no known cure, no one has to wonder why Misako went to the "The Mansion of Water" filming location when Sana suddenly fell into depression after Hayama told her he was dating Fuuka]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: In Elementary School, every single one of the girls looked at Akito as if he was a bag worm or a hairy caterpillar... once he enters Middle School, everyone thinks he is acts ''cool'' (and "looked cute") when challenging professor Sengoku or went into a fight with Ishida.
%%* AllLoveIsUnrequited
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Akito tries to confess that he likes Sana [[spoiler: on Christmas Eve, in the middle of their mid-birthday party. He ends up kissing ''her''. But she is [[ObliviousToLove oblivious to know what the kiss meant]].]]
* AnimalMetaphor: "Natural enemies" Sana and Akito are represented as a mongoose and cobra, respectively.
* AnimalMotifs: Whenever Akito is feeling mischievous (which is often), he gains a pair of ears and the tail of a cheetah. Sana's also referred to him as a "Lone Wolf" and "Monkey King", with appropriate {{Imagine Spot}}s for both, as well as imagined him as a baby chick.
* AnimeThemeSong: The anime has two openings, "7 OíClock News" by Tokio and "Ultra Relax" by Tomoe Shinohara.
** "7 OíClock News" is noticeable to even have short instrumental versions that were used on the [[OnTheNext next episode previews]] of the first sixteen episodes, which became [[BadExportForYou troublesome]] when Funimation licensed the anime in the US due to some problems with Tokioís management, replacing the opening with "[[DancingTheme Ultra Relax]]" for the rest of the first season and leaving the previews on mute.
* ArtEvolution: Itís mostly expected to happen especially since the series took 4 years to be published, but once you look at how the main characters appear in the future that ''Deep Clear'' presented (also released 10 years after the original ending), you start seeing how the art is even more cautiously detailed than it was originally.
* AuthorAvatar: Miho Obana appears several times as cameo in the manga (even as a waking up-bird, a la Creator/AkiraToriyama) but often more frequently in the anime, only saying "I'm Obana".
* BackStory:
** There's a glimpse about how Rei ended working in the Kurata's household (from Sana's perspective), and the quick mention about how unlucky he was after his break-up with Asako.
** Akitoís bet to kiss a girl in kindergarten is explained when [[spoiler:Fuuka reveals that it was her whom he kissed, after they reencounter for the first time in years]].
** There is a special chapter that details one of the most dear memories of Akito's childhood, while explaining why his cold personality is hard to break.
* BerserkButton:
** Akito can NOT stand be called "demon". Especially since it was how Natsumi started calling him after she [[MaternalDeathBlameTheChild blamed him]] for the death of their mother.
** Tsuyoshi is not going to have [[UnstoppableRage second thoughts]] if someone insults his mother in front of him. Or even if someone insults or does something wrong to Aya.
* BetaCouple: Aya and Tsuyoshi, at the very first moment they start dating. In the anime, Tsuyoshi even reccomends Akito to look at him and Aya, if he wants to succeed in confessing his love to [[spoiler:Sana]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Tsuyoshi is a kind kid, and has a good (and often innocent) personality... However, he can be blinded with rage if someone activates his BerserkButton.
%%* BigBallOfViolence: On a few occasions.
* BigFancyHouse: The Kurataís household is expected to be big partially because of Misakoís profits as an author. However, this gets expanded in the anime, where itís revealed that her parents are rich (they are owners of a hot springs resort) which also justifies the size of their house, too.
* {{Bishonen}}: Itís often mentioned in the series that Naozumi is a ''pretty'' and ''cute'' boy, and even Akito has fangirls (however, his personality is another whole story). Rei may count as well, especially when Sana first interacted with him, since she thought that he looked 'cute' even if he was a homeless young man.
* BlatantLies: Miss Andoh manages to save face with the students by claiming her proficiency exam was all a ruse to get everyone to learn a lesson about friendship. And they buy it.
%%* BlueWithShock
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine:
** Sana often falls into the StraightMan role (even with her tsukkomiís [[WeaponOfChoice weapon]], a rubber hammer) with everyone when they do their own nonsenses.
** Fuuka, being similar in Sana in some aspects (she is also from Osaka, where manzai comedy routines are more common), also falls into the StraightMan role... especially when Sana or Akito are around.
* BonusMaterial: Several cases in both anime and manga.
** Since the anime got canceled at episode 102, the epilogue is a bunch of non-continuity and AU segments from the series itself, and possibly acting as {{Sequel Hook}}s from some of the filler arcs they did. Examples, like a yakuza member wanting to marry Sana or Naozumi finding out his found-biological family went broke.
** Before even selling the DVD Box Sets, [[Creator/{{Funimation}} Funi]] released boxes to keep the [=DVDs=] safe with some other {{feelies}}.
** The last edition (20th anniversary of Obana's career) of the DVD Box Sets in Japan (from 2010) contains additional material as bonus gifts and cases with new covers drawn by the author.
** The final manga's volume in Japan contains several greetings messages from people such as Akitaro Daichi and even The Brilliant Green.
** The manga's kanzenban edition got some extras included as the original color chapters' covers, clean illustrations from the Ribon covers and, at the end of the final volume, a sketch of Sana and Akito if they were High School students.
** The Ribon magazines release bonus gifts to their buyers/subscribers; generally all the titles from the magazine receive their own gift treatment, so ''Kodocha'' was not an exception when it was being serialized.
* BoyMeetsGirl: Sana's personality crashed with Akito's personality at school, at first. She starts to know him better. He gets her... [[spoiler:She loses him. He gets her again. She was ''too close'' to lose him again]].
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Babbit does this mostly on the anime, but the manga has its moments too... sometimes.
* BrickJoke: When Akito gives Sana her FirstKiss, a couple classmates on the background tell the audience that Akito gave his first kiss when he was a kindergartener, and when he admits it, they also add they had bet 10 yen each he couldn't do it. Halfway in the series, the girl he kissed as a kindergartener ([[spoiler:Fuuka]]) returns to Tokyo and slap him for that.
* BrokeEpisode: More accurately, a broke filler mini-arc. Sana and her family get evicted and end up living at Misako's editor old appartment; not only that but Sana is blacklisted from doing most of her acting gigs.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Mami never forgives Akito after he tries to ''drown her'' for calling him a demon, and when she learns about it Misako explicitly tells him it's his own fault for his abuse of her.
* CerebusSyndrome: Just after Sana starts middle school and when she agrees to film "The Mansion of Water", things get really serious around her. This is more emphasized in the manga, rather in the anime where the content varies in some degrees. If you thought that Sana got it bad when the GeneHunting was going on, it becomes emotionally worse for her and everyone involved, as well.
* CharacterDevelopment: For a shoujo comedy series, almost if not all the characters receive great development regarding their ambitions and how they eventually overcome their pasts.
%%* CherryBlossoms
* ChickMagnet:
** Naozumi, a young {{bishonen}} who looks like a [[ButNotTooForeign foreigner]], who is also kind, is really popular with the girls.
** Akito can count as well (he even chased away a fangirl!) if his cold personality wasnít such a turn-off (even in elementary school, the girls found him disgusting as a bagworm due to the mess he pulled there). [[spoiler: In ''Deep Clear'', his adult self is seen as such because the nurses who work in the clinic with him, think that he has a mysterious air but also a ''cool'' personality]].
* ChildByRape: It's hinted to be the case in the manga [[spoiler:with Sana. Keiko gave birth to her when she was 13 or 14 years old and her dad was not only a much older man, but Keiko's uncle (although she claimed she loved him, this is sadly something child sexual assault victims convince themselves of to help them deal with the abuse, although it's ambiguous whether this was Obana's intention).]] In the anime, it's [[AdaptationDistillation rather the contrary]], [[spoiler: since it is implied that, yes, Keiko got pregnant when she was a teenager, but Sana's real father appears long after this event and he is apparently a good man, so it's questionable he could ''have'' raped Keiko]].
* ChildhoodFriends: Akito and Tsuyoshi have been friends since kindergarten, and they know each other too well, ever since.
* ChristmasEpisode: Sana and Akito celebrate their mid-birthdays during Christmas Eve, with all their friends in Sana's house.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: At the end of the manga, [[spoiler:Sana and Akito reunite Fuuka with her elementary school crush, Takaishi... and beyond the finale, during ''Deep Clear'''s timeline, Naozumi is [[BiTheWay dating a guy]] because according to him, if he was dating another girl, he wouldn't want to remember the love he had for Sana.]]
* ContinuityCameo: Babbit may be an [[CanonForeigner anime-exclusive]] character, but it doesn't mean he is an outsider of the final volume's group character portrait cover.
* CoolBigSis: Natsumi starts acting more as a caring older sister to Akito, after Sana helped them to overcome their family's issues. To a point where even Natsumi wants him to call her "sister".
* CoolShades: As a way to commit himself to Sana, Rei sports a pair of sunglasses when he is working as her manager. Originally, it was also because Sana didn't want anyone to ever look at his "beautiful eyes".
* CreatorCameo: Miho Obana often appears in the manga and anime as a passerby or an extra, sometimes even mumbling "I'm Obana".
%%* CrossPoppingVeins
* {{Crossover}}:
** There's an special crossover chapter drawn by Obana and Mihona Fujii (mangaka most known nowadays for her work ''[[Manga/SuperGals GALS!]]''). Counting as {{cameo}}, Erika Sakurai from the latter's work, ''Passion Girls'', also appeared in the series as well.
** ''Deep Clear'' is a crossover special released for Obanaís 20th anniversary of her career, with her ongoing series, ''Honey Bitter'', where the cast of ''Kodocha'' has an important plot role.
* DancingTheme: Both openings offer a rhythmic choreography, but it's "Ultra Relax" the one that takes the cake. There's even a ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmOWCvFmyII MAD parody]]!
* DeathByChildbirth: Koharu Hayama died right after she gave birth to Akito. Played for the melodrama, this badly traumatized Natsumi, who ends up abusing her brother and blames him for that fact for years.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Once Sana has the opportunity to blackmail Akito, she changes her mind and intends to help him to improve his family's situation. After this got resolved, this led up to both of them earning some respect to each other.
* {{Diary}}: Sana keeps a diary as her mother encouraged her to write everything she goes through in it, since she was a child.
* DistantFinale:
** Mostly prominent in the manga where, some years after the melodramatic climax happens, [[spoiler:it offers a view on what Sana and her friends are doing before enrolling to High School, when Akito announces that he also returns to Japan to see her]].
** ''Deep Clear'' also offers a more ''distant'' closure after these events, while also being a crossover special with ''Honey Bitter'', [[spoiler: giving an insight of a BabiesEverAfter ending for both Sana and Akito]].
* DoggedNiceGuy:
** Tsuyoshi felt as such to Sana, especially because he didn't know it was just for a misunderstanding he had from her affections.
** Naozumi to Sana, as well. He thinks he is more capable to be with Sana initially because he shares the same career and they have a similar past; however, Sana only looks at him as a friend or as a brother, rather than just boyfriend material.
** [[spoiler: Fuuka becomes the ''dogged nice girl'' to Akito after they start their relationship. She is similar to Sana in some aspects, but she is also different than her. However, once she realizes that there is a deep connection that Akito shares with Sana,]] she decides to end their relationship for her friends' own sake.
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: The 2nd ED theme, "DAIJOU-BU", is sung by Babbit's voice actress, Tomoko Hikita (credited midway in the anime as "TOMO"). The song is often mentioned in the anime for the already [[BreakingTheFourthWall Fourth Wall breaker]] Babbit, too.
* DrivesLikeCrazy:
** Anime-only, Rei drives so slow even for a pedestrianís standard, until Sana commands him to go faster and/or until she unnerves him to do so.
** Misako drives a toycar inside their house, even without thinking in running over someone who crosses her path.
* FirstKiss: This is the one that is pretty important for Sana and Akitoís relationship, when they are in the middle of a school trip at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. Although [[spoiler:it wasnít a first for Akito]], the kiss is both surprising and terrifying for poor Sana.
** And it brought [[HilarityEnsues hilarious results]] in the anime, as her reaction causes a good deal of traffic accidents, when they were at the top of one of the buildingís towers.
* TheForeignSubtitle: Creator/{{Tokyopop}} released the manga as "Kodocha: Sana's Stage".
* ForgottenFirstMeeting:
** Sana and Naozumi met each other when the former was about to get adopted. Itís justifiable, given that both of them were babies when this event happened.
** Akito and Fuuka happened to know each other before she moved back to Tokyo. [[spoiler: That is because they went to kindergarten together. Then, in middle school, she starts remembering he was that ''Akki-chan'' who kissed her]].
* FreudianExcuse: Akito's cold and violent personality is a result of the lack of communication that his family had at home. With a MissingMom and a workaholic father, things weren't easy either for him or his sister. Natsumi even often abused Akito and treated him as a "monster" because she resented him and put all the blame of their mother's death on him.
* GangOfBullies: At the start of the series, there was a group of kids that gave a lot of trouble to their teacher (even using blackmail to treat her!) and some of their other classmates. Akito initially was the ''leader'' of this group, too.
* GeckoEnding: Around the last quarter of the anime, the staff added an "America" Arc where [[spoiler:Sana goes to the US with Naozumi for an acting gig and she runs into an American version of Akito. At the end of it, they return to Japan, and while trying to adapt the rest of the subsequent events of the reveal that Akito and Fuuka are dating]], they also added lots of one-shot episodes unrelated to the manga but still foreshadowing the arc that leads to the climax of the series.
* GeneHunting: An early major story arc involves Sana and her mother's hunt for her birth mother.
* GenkiGirl: Sana is the most easy example. Fuuka could be considered but to a lesser extent.
%%* GenreBlindness: Subverted.
* GoodParents: There's Misako, and when he finally realizes what his home situation is really like, Akito's dad becomes one as well. In one episode where Akito is framed for shoplifting, his father gives a long speech about how he expects Akito to come forward with the truth on the situation. All Akito says is he didn't do it, and his father adamantly believes him just because he has that much faith in Akito.
* GratuitousEnglish: Sana uses it quite a lot.
* GreekChorus: Babbit, in the anime.
%%* HandBehindHead
* HappilyAdopted: Sana was found by Misako when she was only a baby, and she officially adopted her some time after that. Even though they both promised to do a GeneHunting for Sana's biological mother (and they successfully found her), Sana just couldn't go to her arms, because Misako was her one and only ''mama''.
* HeadPet: Maro-chan, who is based on Obana's own pet, lives on Misako's extravagant hairdos.
* HeroicBSOD: Sana has a couple of moments shown in the entire series that led up [[spoiler: to her emotional disorder, the "Mannequin Disease".]]
** When she was a child, not so long after Misako told her she was adopted. She returned from school with a bad grade, fearing that her mom wouldn't love her and that she would send her back to the OrphanageOfLove where she spent some time in.
** In middle school, while she is more prone to fall in depression like [[spoiler: when she found out Akito was dating Fuuka, it hit bottom when he told her that he was going overseas to get his arm cured, and since she wasn't used to be far away from one of her loved ones...]]
%%* HumanHummingbird: Sana. ALL THE TIME in the anime.
* HyperspaceMallet: Iconic squeaky mallets!
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Fuuka Matsui is a subversion of the trope. While she is obnoxiously hyper (though not any less than Sana, whose personality and accent say "generic Tokyo area native character"), she's quite clever and more astute than Sana. When she first appears, the rest of the characters briefly discuss the Osaka stereotypes (her KansaiRegionalAccent and the BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine).
* IdolSinger: Anime-only. Sana has the opportunity to be in an idol unit along two other girls, when [[spoiler:one of Zenjiro's shows is cancelled.]]
* ImprobableHairstyle: Misako Kurata purposely wanted to adopt some fun hairstyles because not long after [[spoiler:finding out she couldnít conceive, she thought that if she couldn't be a "normal woman" anymore, then she must had to start living as a "strange" one]] instead, overjoying and expressing herself.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Rei and Sana share a friendly-parental relationship even if he was hired originally just to be a nanny/guard/manager/"boyfriend". When Sana first met Rei, he was a College dropout, while she was just 9 years old.
* InstantBandages: Too many to count, applied to people, cars, you name it.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy:
** Sana is the one who encouraged Rei to reunite with his old girlfriend, Asako.
** Naozumi eventually gives up his love pursuing for Sana, only to see her happy with the boy she truly loves.
* JapaneseDelinquents: [[spoiler:Akito and Natsumi's parents were rebels back in their younger days... At some extent, this explains why Akito also shares some traits from their parents]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: After everything that Akito had to go through his FreudianExcuse, he is found to have a heart of gold... even if he hasn't changed that much on the outside.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Sana has a habit of forgetting unpleasant memories (and the people it involves) when she suffers from {{Heroic BSOD}}s.
* LateForSchool: The first episode of the anime lampshades this so badly, when Sana wakes up late, she does her routine, and for her bad luck, Rei drives SO SLOW (until she freaks him out). Subverted when she is about to start her first day at middle school... [[spoiler: but it was AllJustADream, and she gets late to school, anyways]].
* LikeBrotherAndSister: How Sana sees her relationship with Naozumi in the first place, even after [[spoiler:his love confession]].
%%* LoomingSilhouetteOfRage
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Sana ''very'' harshly calls Akito out on his blackmailing of Mitsuya-sensei and his treatment of Mami. Akito falls in love with her, predictably. Also a subversion, since the first girl who called him out was Sana's friend Mami... who committed the mistake of calling him "demon", not knowing it was his BerserkButton. That ended ''very'' badly.
* LoveDodecahedron:
** At the start: Sana 'loved' Rei. Tsuyoshi liked Sana. Akito loved Sana. Rei 'loves' Sana as a sister or a daughter.
** Later: Sana likes Akito. Naozumi loves Sana. Akito loves Sana. [[spoiler: Fuuka loves Akito. Sana loves Akito]].
* {{Malaproper}}: Sana has a tendency to massacre proverbs, and so does Tsuyoshi when he's trying to impress her.
* MarketBasedTitle:
** In Italy, the series was renamed ''Rossana''.
** Back in the day, when the manga series was licensed in Mexico, it was renamed as ''El Diario de Sana'' instead of "''El Juguete de los Niños''" (literal translation from "Kodomo no Omocha", and also the title it received in Spain), perhaps to avoid confusion with a similar named 80s telenovela called "''El Mundo de Juguete''".
* MeaningfulName: Sana is named after her birthday, March (San) 7 ([[SevenIsNana Na]]).
* TheMenInBlack: Subverted, Rei is a big softy, and the glasses are worn at Sana's behest because she thinks his "beautiful eyes" should remain hidden.
* MerchandiseDriven: The anime series counted with Tomy (present-day known as Takara Tomy) as part of the production committee. Every single toy that Sana had (the Burucha and the Nopia, for example) was real. There should be noted that this line of toys didn't exist in the original manga itself. However, finding them in auction sites is way too difficult to do due the age the series has right now (more than 15 years old). The most valuable of them is probably the Polaroid Camera that was available as a series-related edition.
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: In the anime, Sana's grandmother.
* MoodWhiplash: There are moments where you are not going to know if you are crying out of joy or because of the sadness. Or both. Sometimes, Sana's funny antics are going to balance the mood, but still...
%%* MotionlessChin
* MotorMouth: Sana's fast speech can only be compared to [[Anime/ExcelSaga Excel]], where the subtitles can come in ''paragraphs'' in a short amount of time.
* TheMovie: Though not exactly ''the movie'', ''Mizu no Yakata'', "The Mansion of Water", the movie that Sana, Naozumi and Asako were filming in the series was eventually released as a side story and a Drama CD. It's as dark as it was intended to be, too.
* [[MustMakeHerLaugh Must Make Him Laugh]]: Sana always tries to make Akito laugh, or at the very least smile.
* MyBelovedSmother: Exclusive on the anime. Misako's mother, Shizuka Kurata, is often trying to get her to take on the responsibilities of running the family hot springs. When this fails, Shizuka tries it on Sana. It doesn't work either.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Akito's sister has this reaction when [[spoiler: she sees the TV movie Sana and Asako were in that pretty blatantly parallels the situation with Akito's family, and she realizes just how horribly she treated Akito all these years. Akito's dad has a more subdued version of this.]]
** Miss Andoh also has this reaction when she remembers that a teacher's job is to help the students understand their work, not enforce arbitrary grading, and realizes her proficiency test is making her look like a heartless monster.
* {{Narrator}}: Both Babbit and Sana narrate at different points in the anime series.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: This, of course, comes up with Zenjiro, since he's TheChewtoy and TheDanza.
* NoFourthWall
-->"This is supposed to be a {{shojo}} anime!"
* TheNoseBleed: Sana's StalkerWithACrush, Ishida has chronic nosebleeds. Other characters too, though much less often.
* ObliviousToLove: Due to Sana not completely understanding where "love" and "friendship" ends (and also because she originally though she loved Rei as her "boyfriend"), she can't really identify what is love unless someone tells their feelings for her directly.
** However, Sana does recognize that her "love" for Rei, when she accepts that he must go on with his life (as he has a longtime girlfriend), was probably a PrecociousCrush.
* OddFriendship: Akito and Tsuyoshi, as well as Akito and Sana. Both pairs also count as VitriolicBestBuds.
* OppositesAttract: Akito and Sana are complete opposites of each other in regard of their personalities. Akito is more violent, serious, and perhaps he is more of a realist kid than the other children that appear in the series. Sana, however, is more energetic and an idealist. Both grew up in different situations, and yet, they both learned secret aspects from themselves...
* OrphanageOfLove: The Kamura Institution, where Naozumi was raised, and Sana spent a while until she was officially adopted. Naozumi cares a lot for the institution, that he adopted "Kamura" as his last name, and he gives them part of his money's gainings.
* OutOfTheInferno[=/=]UnflinchingWalk: After the house where "The Mansion of Water" was being filmed was burning, and Sana was still harmed from her leg... she manages to make her dramatic exit just in time (while the others were worried that Sana would die in there), and this ends up being the perfect scene of the movie.
* OverprotectiveDad: After Sana stopped seeing Rei as her ''boyfriend'', he starts acting like a ''dad'' for her. To the extreme of being a bit overprotective to her. He doesn't like Akito, he tries to calm down the situation of Sana and her mom when her book was published. In the manga, it is more obvious, especially after he took so seriously his role as a manager and wanted to Sana to keep working, and when Akito became seriously harmed [[spoiler:after their classmate's attempted homicide-suicide, he really took a more ''parental'' role to her, declining an important gig for her, remembering that she was still a girl, because her dearly Akito was in that thin line between life and death]].
* PapaWolf: Rei, towards Sana.
* ParentalAbandonment: Looks like Obana likes to play a lot of this in her series:
** Sana was abandoned by her birth mother Keiko (who actually gave birth to her at age ''thirteen'', and in the manga [[spoiler: Sana's birth may have been product of sexual abuse]]), and the less said about her birth father the better [[spoiler: except in the anime, where he's actually a really nice guy]]. Her adoptive mother, Misako, is divorced from a parasitic money-leech.
** Akito's mother Koharu is dead and his father Fuyuki is so absorbed in his work that he never sees his children (though to his credit, he ''does'' try be a good dad once he and Natsumi get over themselves).
** Tsuyoshi's father is estranged from the family, and it's implied that he physically abused Tsuyoshi; might be the case why he reacts so strongly to people insulting his mother.
** Rei's parents died in an accident not so much long after he broke up with Asako. He thought they were rich... but they also had lots of money debts, resulting him to go homeless for a while.
* {{Pilot}}: There was an OVA, produced by J.C. Staff, released in 1995. It's a little bit more closer to the manga, actually. But, compared to the actual anime series, it has not only different designs, but also a different voice cast, notably Creator/ChisaYokoyama as Sana and Creator/MegumiOgata as Akito.
* PlaygroundSong: The "Drawing Sana" and "Drawing Babbit" song.
* PoorCommunicationKills: The whole debacle of [[spoiler: rumors and gossip stating Sana and Naozumi are a couple while they film a movie. Not only does Akito decide to date Fuuka as sort of a rebound, but Sana gets physically assaulted by rabid Naozumi fans to the extent that they ''break her leg''. When Sana finally returns to school after shooting the movie ''none'' of her friends ask her about Naozumi. Including Akito. They all just assume she'll just talk about her relationship with them, but then they all get insulted when she ''doesn't''. Sana only finds out they believed the rumors when she feels left out in the middle of hanging out with two couples (Akito and Fuka, Tsuyoshi and Aya) and then they bring up Naozumi]].
* PuppyDogEyes: The ''teacher'', Tanaka-sensei, pulls such pathetic PuppyDogEyes that Sana has to tell him to stop because he's gonna make her cry.
* PuppyLove: It needs to be considered that, from the very start, Akito & Sana or Tsuyoshi & Aya (without forgetting about Naozumi & Sana, and Akito & Fuuka) are ''11-13-year old''-kids.
%%* RainAura
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Misako actually hands out a few of these. She raised Sana with an even mix of independence and rules, and often never lets Sana back out of the consequences when she does something wrong. She delivered a subdued and absolutely ''scathing'' one to [[spoiler: Sana's birth mother Keiko over abandoning Sana when she was a baby, regardless of how young Keiko was at the time, followed by a slap in the face.]]
* RecruitedFromTheGutter: Rei is literally begging on the streets when Sana finds him and brings him home with her to be her "boy toy" (of course, Sana has no idea what being a boy toy actually entails). After that he works he works for Sana's mother as Sana's combination manager/bodyguard/nanny/father figure.
* RedOniBlueOni: Sana's Red to Akito's Blue. Akito's Red to Tsuyoshi's Blue.
%%* RepeatCut
* TheRival: A couple different pairs, fading in and out as relationships evolve.
* RomanticFalseLead: Both Naozumi and Fuuka are pretty much textbook examples.
* SadistTeacher: Mr. Sengoku is clearly built on hate toward his students when he gets introduced in the series. Akito becomes his favorite victim [[spoiler:(because he reminds him of a guy he knew in High School)]].
** And it [[FromBadToWorse turns to worse]] when Akito reveals an embarrassing secret about him to the whole class, something he provoked him to do beforehand. He goes so far as to take Akito to the Teacherís Room not to talk to him BUT to punch him in the stomach. Then, he got him suspended when he fought back.
** In the manga, things got ''very'' serious once [[spoiler:Kazuyuki Komori disappears]], since Sengoku does not trust in Akito and believes he is much of an evil abuser and bad student... and once [[spoiler:he loses function of his right hand]], Sengokuís actions get straight to abuse, humiliation and he takes advantage of the situation, [[spoiler:when in class, he ends up forcing Akito to write his groupís lab work on the chalkboard with his left hand. And when he makes some progress, Sengoku forces him to do it again because he "can't understand it". The rest of the class watch this with so ''much'' discomfort (however, after Akito finished, he ends up grading it as ''right''[[note]]Circle marks or "Marujirushi" mean as "correct answers"[[/note]])]]. No wonder why, when Sana hears about this, she becomes absolutely pissed off to know ''why'' he did it.
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Works with both Akito/Sana and Naozumi/Sana.
* SelectiveObliviousness: Sana becomes ''very'' brokenhearted when she hears that Akito is dating someone else. When someone explains the obvious, she tries to rationalize it away one last time.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Tsuyoshi and Akito.
* SexAsRiteOfPassage: Sana proposes to Akito to have sex as a way in which both could see each other as adults, [[spoiler: before he went overseas. When he agrees to do it, the mood gets ruined at the very moment that Sana proves to be too ticklish. Fortunately, Rei and Misako barge in before anything else can happen and Sana receives an earful from her mother about what a bad idea this was]].
* SickeninglySweethearts: Tsuyoshi and Aya act as a completely [[TastesLikeDiabetes sweet-cute]] newlywed couple after they started dating.
* {{Shojo}}
* ShowWithinAShow: Also called ''Kodomo no Omocha'', it's actually based on a real Japanese TV show that sits 30 kids in a simulated schoolroom with a standup comedian as the "teacher"/emcee.
** There's also the two movies that Sana is shown to star in (a family drama and a ghost story), a stage production of what looks like ''Theatre/{{Tosca}}'', and a mind-boggling number of television, print, and billboard ads.
%%* {{Sneezing}}
%%* SqueakyEyes
* SternTeacher: Miss Andoh. Subverted in that, her original goal for becoming a teacher was to make children happy, but she started worrying more about arbitrary grading and enforcing the rules.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Akito.
* SurprisePregnancy: [[spoiler: Sana's biological mother, Keiko, didn't even know she was pregnant until she gave to birth. She assumed she was being ill, and the pregnancy didn't show up either.]]
* SunglassesAtNight: Rei always uses sunglasses everywhere because Sana told him to never remove them in public.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: In-universe example, when he believed that Sana and Naozumi were together, Akito dated Fuuka because, for a strange coincidence, she resembled Sana in both looks and character.
%%* TheSweatDrop
* ThemeNaming: Akito's MissingMom loved the seasons and everything about them, and named her children after the season they were born in. The "aki" in Akito is "autumn" and the "natsu" in Natsumi is "summer." This theme naming extends to the entire family: Akito's mother's name (Koharu) includes "haru" for "spring," and his father's name (Fuyuki) includes "fuyu" for winter.
* TalkShow: Asako, besides being a quite profilic actress, has a talk show since the very beginning in the series. [[spoiler: Later, in the manga, after resting a bit of her TV actress career, Sana ends having a Phone-In Talk Show in radio.]]
* TalkingAnimal: Babbit, though he acts as the GreekChorus and the tsukkomi of the series.
* TeenPregnancy: Sana's birth mother Keiko was a teenager when she gave birth to her.
* TooLongDidntDub: In a rather literal application of the trope, Tomomi Ayanohanamarukoji becomes Tomomi Ayano in the English dub. Additionally, many jokes, puns, and songs were re-written to [[{{Woolseyism}} function better]] in English.
* TroubledButCute: Akito.
* UndyingLoyalty: Rei to Sana in some ways, after she saved his life from being broke and homeless.
* UnflinchingWalk: At the climax of the shooting of 'Mansion of Water', Sana walks out of the burning building literally ''seconds'' before it collapses behind her, without batting an eyelid or breaking character at all.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Naozumi, who grew up in the same orphanage Sana was once in and has been carrying a torch for her. Though, as Sana was there for a very brief period of time, they never met in the orphanage. He was just told that she lived there once and it inspired him to become an actor and someday meet her.
* UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo: Akito and Sana.
* YokoOhNo: Invoked InUniverse, when [[spoiler:Sana is attacked by Naozumi's fangirls due to them acting "very friendly" while filming "The Mansion of Water" (the rumors around the two during the shoot didn't help ''at all''). It was so bad, that they even break her leg!]]