16-year-old Makoto Niwa thinks he's about to live the dream life: with his parents conveniently away on business, he moves out to the big city to live with his 39-year-old aunt, Meme Touwa. Cue dreams of having the house all to himself, surrounded by pretty city girls and living out a normal adolescent life.All that comes to a screeching halt the moment he steps into Meme's home to find a young girl — Meme's hitherto unknown daughter and his cousin, Erio — wrapped in a futon lying on the front step. Worse than that, she speaks strangely. And thinks she's an alien.Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko is a series of light novels written by Hitoma Imura, which follow Makoto as he finds out more about his confused cousin and her strange beliefs about how their entire lives are nothing but a huge alien experiment.An anime adaptation by Studio Shaft began airing in April 2011.
Tropes in Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko include:
Abhorrent Admirer: Meme, to Makoto. Consequently, all of the things she does that would normally give Makoto pluses in his adolescence point tallies are tallied as minuses
Baseball Episode: Not so much an episode, but Makoto and Erio join an amateur baseball team in later episodes. Episode 12, dealing with the fateful baseball game that will determine which side of the town will host the summer festival, plays this trope the straightest.
Broken Bird: Erio has shades of this. Just disappeared one day, showed up half a year later with nary a memory as to what happened during that time, retreated into her fond memories of space, tried to do an ET bike moment, broke her leg during that same moment, and retreated even deeper into her space fantasies, as well as a futon.
Bumbling Mom: Meme does love her little girl, and the only time she's ever been shown to be serious was when she's thinking about Erio. But that doesn't stop her from showing she has absolutely no idea on how to be a parent. At best, she's more like an emotionally stunted older sister. At worst, she's willing to fling her daughter around the house.
Christmas Cake: Meme. She even makes a literal joke about it when Makoto comes home from the hospital, leaving a note that there's cake in the fridge to celebrate his discharge, and it's close to expiry date, so he needs to eat it quick. Guess what he sees when he opens the door...
Covert Pervert: Ryuuko tends to overthink situations with Makoto. Doesn't help that Maekawa likes to give misleading dialogue, such as doing This and That, but actually referring to playing video games and just chatting.
Cute, but Cacophonic: Don't let Ryuuko cheer for you unless she's standing a good 20 or so feet away. Her "cheering" of Makoto involves her screaming into his ear at the top of her lungs
Cry Cute: Erio near the end of episode 3, after a reality check forced her to admit that she cannot fly.
Don't Explain the Joke: Maekawa visits Makoto in the hospital dressed as an eggplant, explaining that she was trying to make a pun on "nurse" (the Japanese word for eggplant is "nasu"). Makoto responds by quoting this trope almost exactly.
Driving Question: Just what happened to Erio to make her lose a year's worth of memories?
Flying Saucer: A common motif of the series, and sightings are apparently common in Makoto's new hometown.
Genre Savvy: Makoto sees his move as an opportunity to pursue romance.
Makoto even tallies up the plot points of the series. The next episode teaser includes his tally sheet for the episode.
In the 3rd episode, Erio does the tally for him, representing the breakthrough in their relationship. "I Cannot Fly" is worth the most points out of the day's events, and they say it in unison.
In episode 8, Meme and Erio both total up their various scores, completely forgetting Makoto's until the end. His was +2 by the way.
Girlish Pigtails: Meme had some when she was a little girl. They help make her (more) adorable. Erio follows suit in some later appearances.
Gratuitous English: Multiple times, often by Meme as a way to avoid explaining something she said. In Episode 2, Makoto asks for directions when taking Erio on the bike, she responds with "Left Side", "Reright", and eventually "Sunny side up". She also dumbs down her Techno Babble to explain to Makoto that "I can fly". During the ending credits of Episode 3, her tallying up the event when Makoto forces her to face the fact that she actually can't is "I can't fly."
Maekawa responds to Ryuuko saying that she and Makoto can't go to the beach together with "Why?"
There's also Tamura-san's "CATAUW MUTILASHION!" and Yashiro's "HELLO AND GOODBYE!"
In episode 11, while Ryuuko talks to Makoto over the phone, Erio bursts into his room to take him out for some stargazing. Ryuuko gets annoyed by the sudden interruption, and says "Be quiet", followed by "Attention please."
Ill Girl: Parodied in Maekawa's introduction. She isn't sick, just hilariously unfit such that she gets dizzy if she raises her hands above her head for a few seconds. Makoto is enthralled.
Makoto: "So dignified, yet so weak!"
Imagine Spot: Makoto has a lot of these. Hilariously played with during Episode 4 when he's in hospital and imagines seeing Ryuuko, then Maekawa appears under the bedsheets of his bed, and the third person he sees is Meme. At first it seems be another imagination, only to then have him wish it were the case when Meme really does turn out to be under his sheets.
Jerkass Fašade: Despite constantly ignoring and abusing Erio, Meme does care about her little girl. Her less-than-motherly treatment stems from the fact that Erio prefers solitude, and Meme doesn't really remember how Erio came to be her daughter.
Kissing Cousins: Makoto finds Erio attractive, is unable to stop trying to help her despite Meme telling him otherwise, and is easily reminded of her even when socializing with other girls. Whether or not this will develop into a romance remains to be seen.
As of episode 4, Erio seems to have started reciprocating Makoto's interest in her, and in episode 5 she outright tells him that she likes him. Once again, it's currently ambiguous as to whether this is a romantic attraction or just a friendly one.
Lies to Children: Makoto comes to realize that ruining Erio's dreams of aliens is not much better than ruining a child's dreams of Santa Claus. He even (unintentionally) made Erio cry.
Male Gaze: Quite a bit of it with Erio, especially during the ending credits.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is established that Erio is not really an alien pretty early on, especially after the "I can't fly" stunt. Yashiro, on the other hand, falls into this trope especially in episode 13, where she may or may not have called down a meteor in order to demonstrate her powers
Meaningful Name: Erio Touwa's full name can be spelled out as E.T. No wonder she thinks she's an alien. On top of that, it turns out that her father's name was ''Elliot''.
New Transfer Student: One subverted case: Makoto was a new kid in town. The story is set in his second year there. Strictly or otherwise, everyone still refers to him as "Tenkousei", the Japanese name for this trope.
The Nicknamer: Maekawa seems to like giving people names that she's very comfortable with. To date, Ryuuko is "Ryuushi" (courtesy of Erio), Makoto is "Tenkousei" and that minor baseball player character is "Hanazawa".
Not the Fall That Kills You: Erio fell off a bridge when attempting to recreate the famous "ET Flying Bike" scene, breaking her leg in the process. Makoto broke his arm when they did the same thing together.
Off Model: Episode 4 is the first really bad episode. When the girls visit Makoto in the hospital, their faces rather blatantly distort. (In that scene, the same carelessness was applied to their feet.)
Oh Crap: Makoto is usually stoically skeptical on the topic of the supernatural but he looks positively a second away from having a heart attack in episode 13 when Hoshimiya's claims of giving a demonstration about her powers is followed by a freaking METEORITE falling down from space onto the exact spot he was standing in not a minute before. Even more so once he realizesher instructions about him taking a specified number of steps in a specified direction actually saved him from being hit dead-on by it.
She turns 40 in episode 5. That's enough to make her copy Erio.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In episode 11, Erio bursts into Makoto's room while he's chatting with Ryuuko. Some things are said, and Ryuuko overhears that he'll go out with her, meaning that he's dating his cousin. However, Makoto was just telling Erio that he'd go outside to go stargazing, but Ryuuko hangs up before he can explain.
Parental Abandonment: Makoto's parents are away on business, so he has to live with his aunt and cousin.
Also Ryuuko while exchanging numbers which Makoto.
Scenery Porn: Every now and then we are treated to a scene that is difficult to believe isn't a photograph.
Security Blanket: Erio's futon, which she wears under the justification that she cannot interact with the humans she's observing. In episode 2, she gets it swapped out for a smaller one that she cannot completely hide in. It's adorable.
Even after she comes to grips with reality, she still finds being wrapped in one very calming.
Meme also uses the futon, even as she tries to come to grips with the harsh truth that she just turned forty.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: Gender-flipped — Ryuuko's teammates constantly tease her about Makoto being her boyfriend, which she vehemently denies. Interestingly, he doesn't seem to be entirely against the idea...
Shrinking Violet: Erio comes off as one once she ditches her futon. Meme's teasing doesn't help.
Shout-Out: Meme's dialogue is full of anime memes and references to video games. For example, she quotes the intro to MOTHER multiple times when having dinner with Makoto. (Later, in Episode 6, it's shown that Erio has a Mr. Saturn plushie in her room, continuing the MOTHER references.)
The ending has one for E.T. Erio ATTEMPTED to do the same. It... didn't work out, and is now the reason she wears that futon.
The last episode makes two more references to 5 Centimeters per Second. The episode's title is "0.00000000198 Centimeters Per Second", and Makoto also says the words "One more time, one more chance", which is the title of the theme song of the aforementioned film. Another possible shout out is, perhaps, this series' protagonist sharing his first name with the director of 5 Centimeters per Second, Makoto Shinkai.
Episode 11 references the Yiddish folk song "Donna donna" about a calf being taken to slaughter. Difficult to say where this one comes from, since it's appeared in numerous anime, including Revolutionary Girl Utena and Ghost in the Shell: SAC.
Another one in Episode 11 when Makoto and Maekawa are playing a game on the television. It's Mario Kart with different colors.
You can also see a MOTHER 2- erm, sorry, "FATHER 2" cartridge.
In episode 10, after Makoto and Yashiro jump into the pool, she says "Take this, Kamehamaha!"
At the end of volume 3, Yashiro tries PK Starstorm on Makoto. The ensuing meteorite leaves quite a mark on him.
Near the end of the 13th episode, there is a shout out to Evangelion - Makoto talks with himself by asking himself questions and aswering them, in two distinctly different voices. He also sits alone on a chair in the middle of a classroom. Of course, he's just imagining that.
Soft Water: Subverted. Makoto hits a lake from very high up and seems fine, but in the next episode it's almost immediately revealed that he actually broke his arm in the process. Erio was apparently okay, though.
There Are No Therapists: Rather than get her professional help for what appears to be a dangerous delusion (she even jumped off a bridge!), Meme allows her daughter to effectively shut herself up in her room and fall further into said dementia. Tragically, this is very much Truth in Television.
Un-Person: Meme initially treats her daughter Erio like this, seemingly avoiding any kind of meaningful interaction, and tries to get Makoto to do the same, but thankfully this trope falls out of play as the series goes on, and they start spending some quality time together.
Unwanted Harem: Makoto is often caught juggling his attention between Erio and Ryuuko, thanks to the unspoken rivalry between them. Maekawa, surprisingly, is more laid back about the whole thing.
In the last couple of episodes, Maekawa starts to take it up a notch. She invites Makoto to her house, cooks a meal for him, and they generally spend some quality time together. She invites him back, and he seems to appreciate it...
Wham Line: Meme gives one to Makoto in episode 3, when she tells him if he's only hanging out with Erio because she's pretty, he should stop right now. It comes as a complete shock to him because its probably the first time she speaks in a serious tone to him. Despite that, he continues to help Erio out as much as he can.
What the Hell, Hero?: Yashiro seems to invoke this trope on Makoto late in the season. Then some really coincidental stuff happens in Episode 13 to make him start questioning if all the stuff he did towards breaking Erio out of her "alien" shell was really a good thing or not.
The first time is when she and Maekawa visit Makoto's house, and he's seen petting Erio's head as Ryuuko is making something for dinner. He looks over and sees Ryuuko with a creepy smile, and as he raises and lowers his hand from Erio's head, she does the same with the knife she's holding.
The second time is during episode 13 while Makoto and Ryuuko are at the festival. After she finds out he's going to be meeting his cousin Erio, she develops a strange look in her face, and tells him that he'd better pay her back a hundred times for ditching her. It creeps him out initially, but then she runs off shortly afterwards, claiming that it was just all an act.