Translation: The Secret of Haruka NogizakaOrdinary High-School Student Ayase Yuuto happens to be in the same class as Nogizaka Haruka, an Ojou with lots of high class qualities: athletic, smart, graceful, a black-belt in many martial arts, and an award-winning piano virtuoso. Not to mention she's so cuteEven the Girls Want Her, with a tally of refused suitors said to be in the triple digits.She's so perfect in so many departments... except she has a terrible secret — one Yuuto will find out the moment he bumps into her at the school library: she's been a closet anime and manga otaku for years. Haruka's terrified people will reject her when they find out (because her junior high school classmates did, forcing her to switch schools come tenth-grade), but Yuuto accepts her and promises to keep her secret, lack of knowledge of the otaku culture notwithstanding. As the series progresses, the two grow closer and Yuuto learns more about Haruka, her past, and her family — as well as the otaku world and lifestyle.The show's light in romance, with plenty of comedy throughout. It's also one of the few series to highlight the actuality that diehard anime otaku are mostly scorned in reality.Based on a series of light novels by Igarashi Yuusaku. The first season aired in the summer of 2008. A second season, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Purezza, aired in the fall of 2009. A third season, to tie in with the final volume of the light novels, was released as 4 OVA's between August and November 2012.The original license for streaming on Crunchyroll ended at the end of 2011, but was renewed as of October 2013. People living in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand may watch it legally there.The first season can be viewed here, while the second season is available here.
This show contains examples of:
Accidental Misnaming - During his temporary stint as Touka's butler, Yuuto ends up with the name "Rodriguez".
Accidental Pervert - Yuuto with Shiina more times than should be possible. Also that little incident with Hazuki at the hot springs.
The Ace - Haruka is good at everything... except drawing.
Beware the Nice Ones - Akiho (Haruka and Mika's mother) tends to cow her husband Gentou into submission with either threats or direct violence; it helps that she has a Battle Aura.
Big Bad - Setsugetsuka Tennouji, the Alpha Bitch who got Haruka turned into an outcast at school, but that was just the beginning.
Big Damn Heroes - Akiho's preferred type of entrance. Gentou himself gets one during Episode 11 of Season 2. Touka pulls one off as well in the finale.
Big Screwed-Up Family - According to Nanami, the Tennouji Household (who shares what seems a friendly rivalry with the Nogizaka Household) is undergoing an inheritance crisis ever since Tenzen, the family patriarch, passed away recently. It doesn't help that his granddaughter Touka is at the heart of it all, being left with the opulent family mansion for which "rotten relatives" would do anything to claim. Yuuto (then working part-time as her butler to earn money to buy a Christmas gift for Haruka) wonders if this is the reason Touka is such a Rich Bitch.
Bird Run - Briefly used by Hazuki when she's about to leap across roofs.
A particularly hilarious incident occurs in Purezza Episode 12, during the mountain ski trip. Shiina goes into Yuuto's room and declares her love for him, resigned to the fact that he only has eyes for Haruka. Turns out the guy she was talking to and hugged was Gentou, which shocks both of them. Akiho then shows up, believing Gentou to be cheating, and beats him up, while Yuuto comes back and wonders what's going on.
Cat Smile - Yukari and Mika display one from time to time.
Celebrity Paradox - Nanami distracts Nobunaga in episode 4 by telling him she saw Kana Ueda not far from where they were. Take a wild guess who voices Nanami.
In the first episode of Purezza, it's heavily implied that Yuuto and Haruka see Mamiko Noto at a special anime event.
Everything comes full circle in Purezza: N's, the idol group formed from the shows' five main voice actresses, appear as themselves, recording a scene from Nocturne. Nobunaga also informs Yuuto to keep an eye out for Reiko Takagi, who voices the former.
Christmas Cake - Judging by Hazuki's teenage appearance in Haruka's flashbacks as a toddler, Hazuki would probably be around this age bracket by now, but likely under 30. In any case, she is still as beautiful as a girl 10 years younger than her.
Clingy Jealous Girl - Mika, of all people. She gets mad at Yuuto when he compliments Shiina's yukata, and drags him away. Also, in Purezza Episode 8, she gets a bit jealous when her three friends all sit on his lap, prompting her to sit in the only spot still open to her... between his legs.
Mika jokingly flirts with Yuuto in episode 3 of the first season, in an attempt to get Haruka to come out of her room after the latter had been in there for 3 days straight. It works, but not the way she'd hoped, and causes Haruka to hide in her room again after she came out to tell Mika not to steal him away.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Haruka isn't attracted to Yuuto for no reason. In Episode 7 he stands up to Gentou who wants his daughter back — a rare feat in the face of an intimidating billionaire like him. Purezza Episode 5 has him defending Alice against Shute. His defense and words for Alice and the maids/butlers in general inspire the other guests around him to give Shute his comeuppance.
Crystal Ball Scheduling — Somehow, Nocture Girls' School Lacrosse Club knows what's going on with Haruka and Yuuto.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Gento is usually on the giving end of these, unless his wife is involved. In the last episode of Finale, he beats Yuuto down pretty hard, and any punches the latter throws doesn't even faze him. Subverted however, in that Gento was really just testing his resolve towards his feelings for Haruka, despite the beatdown he gave Yuuto.
Cute Little Fangs — Most of the female cast exhibit one, usually on the right side of the mouth. The only exceptions are Haruka, Akiho and the Maid Team. Becomes quite prominent whenever a character contemplates mischief.
Cute Mute - Alice, another one of the Nogizaka family maids. Doubles as a Cute Bruiser, packing enough strength to crack open the ground armed with a pair of brass knuckles. In Purezza Episode 5, it is revealed she's a German who has trouble speaking in Japanese.
Dancing Theme - The ending theme "Hitosashiyubi Quiet!", which features a Meido dance party. Purezza also includes more dancing, but it's done in a Super-Deformed style.
Date Peepers: Mika and a few of the maids, usually Nanami and Hazuki, often end up doing this to Yuuto and Haruka, sometimes to lend support, and other times to spy on them because It Amused Me.
Death Glare — Given mostly to Yuuto (and sometimes Haruka), by anyone who's too enamored at Haruka and jealous at the notion of them being together. Even old men... and a cat...
Does This Remind You of Anything? — The anime staple of surprisingly thick, sticky milk makes an appearance in Purezza episode three (all over Touka, with the added bonus of somehow also making her clothes partially transparent).
Drunken Master — Ruko and Yukari, on booze, can do things thought impossible by the Nogizaka maids.
Ear Cleaning: Yuuto does this to Mika during a king's game in episode 1 of Finale.
Early-Bird Cameo — Shiina bumps into Yuuto in episode 2 of Season 1. When she's first seen, we're not given any indication (aside from the opening/closing credits) that she's going to be a main character, and instead she seems like a random stranger Yuuto just happened to bump into.
And then bumps into her again in episode 4, this time at a mall.
Shiina finally joins the cast in episode 5.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Yuuto and Haruka end up going through quite a bit to earn theirs in the last episode of Finale.
Fantastic Arousal: When Yuuto is cleaning Mika's ear, she makes some funny noises which startles him a little. She then suppresses them a bit, but when he blows on her ear, she gives off a really erotic sound.
First Girl Wins - Haruka, through and through. However hard the other members of Yuuto's Unwanted Harem (especially Shiina) may try to chip in, Haruka is way ahead. In fact, this goes way back to when they were kids, when Yuuto cheered up a crying Haruka by giving her a copy of Innocent Smile Nobunaga gave him.
First Kiss - Apparently done in the finale, but the view's blocked during the event by a sizable eel in a tank placed conveniently in the room. Done in the same way on Purezza finale... with the logo.
Forgotten First Meeting - It eventually turns out that Yuuto was the one who got Haruka into anime and manga in the first place when, as a kid, he found her crying in a playground on his way home from a shopping-trip with an Otaku friend, and gave her a manga magazine. The incident didn't leave a huge impression on him, but it essentially changed her life - arguably for the better. (Though her Overprotective Dad might disagree...)
Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight - Milan's a younger than usual example; bossy, quick to anger, inconsiderate and clearly disillusioned with the idol singer industry she's gotten herself into, though at this point, it's implied that her Manipulative Bitch of an agent Yayoi Kayahara may have had something to do with it, most likely by destroying a past relationship for Milan's career, like she's now doing to Yuuto and Haruka's.
Headbutt Thermometer - Haruka to Yuuto in Purezza episode 4, following Mika's expert medical advice.
Heroic BSOD - Haruka suffers one after a student bumps into her, causing her to drop her bookbag with an anime catalog in it. Yuuto takes the blame, and excitedly yells that she had found the catalog he lost, which the other students immediately fall for. But it causes her to skip school for a few days, fearing that Yuuto was now going to be ostracized like she was in middle school when they discovered she was a closet Otaku.
Heroic Sacrifice: Played for Laughs in episode 4 of Finale with Yuuto's male friends. They volunteer to stop some of the Hellhound guards, and Yuuto runs away screaming that their sacrifices won't be in vain. The scene then cuts towards a night sky with their faces superimposed on the screen. They then yell at him for acting as if they were going to die. They survive, but it's probably because they were never in any serious danger in the first place since they were probably in on the plan Gento and Akiho had in mind for Yuuto and Haruka.
High-Pressure Emotion - So, so much. A prime example is in Episode 2, when Haruka saw a Yaoi doujin for the first time. Yuuto has to half-carry her out of the store to the next one. Sometimes happens to both Yuuto and Haruka at the same time - usually when they're caught doing something affectionate.
Hopeless Suitor - Poor Shiina. She never really gets a chance to be with Yuuto, since he's more or less already with Haruka by the time she shows up regularly on the show. He does at least spend one episode largely with her in Purezza. It doesn't stop her from giving him a Love Confession in Finale however, as she's still hopelessly in love with him.
Hot Mom - Akiho, whom to her delight was mistaken for Haruka's older sister by Yuuto.
And then there's the Purezza Episode 12, for the first and the last 10 minutes.
Humiliation Conga - What happens to Shute Sutherland as revealed in Purezza — after becoming an embarrassment to his family by insulting the Nogizakas and unwittingly, Haruka's grandfather Ouki at the end of the previous season, he (and his Boy Posse) was forced to live as a butler. That did little to change his ways — in an annual maids/butlers meet currently hosted by the Nogizakas, not only did he trample on a frog doll Alice won in a lottery, but also forced Yuuto to kneel before him. Then Yuuto makes a comeback with a Rousing Speech about the value of maids and butlers, inspiring the other Nogizaka maids (and subsequently the rest of the guests) to give him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
I Thought It Meant: In episode 2 of Finale, Haruka says something of a Wham Line to Yuuto, when she mentions making babies with him. Nanami, Mika, Hazuki and Yuuto all thought she meant sex, but Haruka clarifies and says she wants to start a doujin circle and create manga, which she then refers to as "babies".
The Jeeves - Yuuto shows shades of this — in recognition for his stint serving Touka Tennouji, he was officially listed as a butler and was thus invited to an annual maids and butlers meet currently hosted by the Nogizakas.
Jerkass - Shute's a by-the-book Jerkass. Ruko (and to a lesser extent, Yukari) skirts on this trope, considering for most of the time, they're drunk and make Yuuto do every chore in the household. At one point, just because she's hungry, she indirectly makes Yuuto's hard work in the Tennoujis only worth... a buck.
Kirk Summation - Yuuto's very fond of this. He delivers it to both Gentou in the first season, and later Shute in Purezza. As for the latter, it doubles as a Rousing Speech about the preciousness of maids and butlers, enough to inspire the attending guests to give the brat his comeuppance.
Knight Templar Parent - Even when he stops enforcing his views on Haruka's hobbies, Gentou remains endearingly over-protective, but was unhappy enough to try and chop Yuto with his katana when he thought the boy tried to take Haruka's chastity. Then again by this time it should be very obvious to everyone (on both sides of the fourth wall) that they're already almost like a married couple.
Locked Out of the Loop: Happens to Mika in the final episode of Finale, who was unaware of what was really going on. So suddenly all of his classmates going with them didn't seem so unusual.
Love Confession: Shiina gives a botched one in episode 12 of Purezza, which turns out to be Gentou instead of Yuuto however. She finally delivers one to him in the first episode of Finale, right as Haruka arrives no less.
Yuuto gives one to Haruka in the following episode, after rejecting Shiina's confession.
Love Epiphany: While Haruka and Yuuto were essentially dating throughout the series, it isn't until Shiina's Love Confession in Finale that both are forced to really think about their relationship with each other.
Manipulative Bitch - Yayoi, the idol singer agent; the most malicious character in the franchise, so far; heck, even Shute would look like a laughable buffoon in comparison. Not that it takes much to make him look like one.
Meido - The Nogizakas have a large contingent of maids, but only a select few take the spotlight. Hazuki, Nanami and Alice are the most prominent, but Purezza introduces the top ten maids. The seventh-placer is a group of triplets, but the second-placer is curiously absent, for reasons nobody wants to go into. To wit:
10: Iwai Hinasaki, events organizer and a real miko; also tall and pretty (complete with Youko Hikasa as seiyuu)
Moment Killer - to the point where the series is basically a series of moment killers with some occasional interludes of romance and comedy. Chances are you'll find yourself thinking, "Okay, who or what is going to interrupt them this time?" whenever a romantic scene comes up.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Played for Laughs in episode 2 of Finale. Hazuki mentions wanting to use her chainsaw on Yuuto if he chooses Shiina over Haruka. Mika says she'll give her permission, but Nanami tells them both to wait a bit. She then casually mentions that Alice is on standby in case he chooses the wrong girl, and a short clip shows Alice lying in wait on top of a roof with a sniper rifle aimed at Yuuto.
New Job Episode - In order to be able to buy something to give Haruka for Christmas, Yuuto became a butler for one week. The antics of his sister and his homeroom teacher cost him almost all he earned so he's briefly seen holding another job in another episode.
Nice Girl - Haruka, oh sweet Haruka. Too good, nay, angelic, to be true.
Nightmare Face: The reaction from the rest of the Nogizakas' Top 10 Meido squadron (even Hazuki) when Yuuto (invited to an annual maids and butlers meet currently hosted by the Nogizakas, due to his stint as butler to Touka) innocently asks what became of the second-ranking maid.
Please Don't Leave Me - Haruka asks a form of this ("Please, always be with me") to Yuuto after he tells her that he would never abandon or think differently of her even if the entire world did just because she's a closet Otaku.
Oddly Named Sequel - Season two' titled Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Purezza♪. Yes, the musical note's part of the title. Curiously, though the second season's subtitle translates to "purity" in Italian, it's more sexually-charged than the first.
Otaku - Aside from Haruka, Nobunaga, though he's much more open about it.
Overprotective Dad - Gentou, to the point he has his private army hunt down Haruka whenever she's not where he wants her to be.
Panty Shot - A couple of times, though not too gratuitous than it needs to be (in the first season).
Poor Communication Kills - The main source of drama in the final arc of Purezza is because Yuuto doesn't ask Haruka how she feels about their current situation and believes what he's told instead. Averted in the finale as he's learned his lesson.
Reasonable Authority Figure - Compared to his own son, Shute's father is far less of an irritation, forced his son to become a butler in a (failed) attempt to try to change his ways, and is even willing to allow others to punish his wayward son.
Scenery Censor - Fish censor to be precise, for Mika and Manami's impromptu underwear party in Purezza episode 9.
Secret Relationship: Yuuto and Haruka enter into a Relationship Upgrade in the second episode of Finale, but he says to keep it a secret for now, because he's worried of what others may think, such as Mika, and especially her father.
Haruka dresses up as Shana in Episode 4, and even does the "Urusai, urusai, urusai!" catchphrase, set to Mami Kawada's "Hishoku no Sora". The Comiket episode includes more Shana references with Nanami dressing up as Wilhelmina and Mika as Hecate. Hazuki is Dokuro-chan. Inukami! also makes a brief appearance and the second episode features the opening theme to Strawberry Marshmellow's OVA playing in the background.
There is a North High School sailor uniform in the foreground at one point when Haruka and Yuuto are looking at cosplay outfits in Episode 9.
Purezza Episode 3 is the logical conclusion to last episode's On the Next, with the appearance of textbook tsundere Touka Tennouji (complete with Rie Kugimiya as her seiyuu), who in one scene is even shown holding a palmtop tiger. She also makes references to Raoh, with her penchant for threatening people with walking over molten metal, desire for world domination, ownership of an elephant-sized black "pony" (just like Raoh's Koku-Oh), and an "inheritance problem" awfully similar to that of Raoh's native Hokuto Shinken school.
Purezza introduces Nocturne Girls' School Lacrosse Club, which borders on Visions of Another Self, considering the leads resemble, sound like, and have similar names to the main female characters. Enters a whole new level of recursion when Milan sings the new opening song and also gets a part in the show itself.
Sibling Yin-Yang - Haruka's naive and quiet, while little sister Mika's more forward and easygoing.
Spell My Name with an S - "Miran" appears multiple times in the Purezza OP (including her signature) and all but one episode where it is instead spelled "Milan". The Crunchyroll subtitles naturally used Milan, but then again, they often vacillated between Yuuto and Yūto within the same episode of the first season...
Spit Take - Mika's reaction to her friends asking if Yuuto is her boyfriend.
Suspiciously Specific Denial - Happens once in episode 11 of Season 1, after Yukari claims that Haruka needs CPR from Yuuto to revive her. The maids and Mika all agree as well, then jokingly deny that they were trying to see the couple's first kiss.
Happens again in episode 12, when practically everyone, even Haruka's parents, listen in on Yuuto and Haruka from outside her room, and crash into the door. They claim that they weren't listening in on them from the other side, although Mika jokingly calls out her grandfather, who's also standing right behind them, as well as her parents.
Tears of Blood - Played for laughs at the end of Season 2 when Gentou catches Haruka and Yuuto just as things are about to get interesting between them in a snowed-in cabin.
Terrible Artist - For all her many talents, Haruka has the drawing skills of a six-year-old. Not that most of her classmates would actually expect her to draw well, anyway.
Theme Tune Cameo - In episode 7, while cooking breakfast, Haruka hums the show's ending theme.
Not to mention several other shows Theme Tunes making appearances, most notably the one to Shakugan no Shana - twice.
Uptown Girl: Haruka hails from a wealthy and powerful family; lower-middle-class Yuuto becomes her confidant when he accidentally discovers her otaku side. They initially enter into a Type-1 relationship, but as Yuuto realizes HOW wealthy her family is, and what kind of people she usually rubs elbows with (not to mention what kind of men are vying for her hand in marriage), he slips into Type-3 as he starts to feel 'unworthy' of her. Gento agrees; Akiho thinks otherwise, as do Mika, Hazuki, Nanami and Alice.
Verbal Tic - Not as overused as a certain Rozen Maiden, but Nanami does occasionally follow up Mika's sentences with desu
Wham Line: Shiina gives Yuuto a Love Confession in the first episode of the Finale, shortly as Haruka arrives to give the former's cellphone to her when she left it in the bathhouse. Her confession shocks both Yuuto and Haruka, and Shiina says she can't about her feelings any longer.
When It All Began - Yuuto remembers that he is responsible for Haruka's otaku passion when, as children, he gave her a volume of Innocent Smile Nobunaga gave to him after he sees her crying in the park.
Yandere - Seems to be the focus of episode seven. Shiina might be one to swing this way
You Are Not Alone - Yuuto tells this to Haruka after learning about her middle school past and how being outed as an Otaku caused her severe grief/loneliness, and didn't want Yuuto to go through the same trouble.
You Would Make a Great Model - Two female acting managers approach Haruka on the street and convince her to be a background contestant in an idol pageant. Unknown to her or the male protagonist, the managers intended for her to actually win the pageant so they could earn big bucks.