Light Novel: Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
Literally "Caught In the Battlefield Between My Girlfriend and My Childhood Friend".Eita Kidou is an Ordinary High-School Student who wants to become a doctor to help his childhood friend Chiwa Harusaki, who found herself unable to practice kendo after an accident. To achieve this goal, he shuns love, despite Chiwa's advances, partly due to his own past of being abandoned by his parents after their divorce to pursue new romances (forcing him to live with a relative).One day, however, along came a transfer student who has just returned after nine years in Sweden. Masuzu Natsukawa, the transferee, instantly becomes the school's most popular girl. Annoyed by all the confessions she receives, she approaches Eita with a deal to pretend to be her boyfriend. When he refuses, Masuzu shows him his most embarrassing secret — his notebook detailing his junior-high delusions of grandeur — and uses it to blackmail him into compliance... and he's not allowed to tell Chiwa about the deal.Not knowing that Eita isn't dating Masuzu by choice, Chiwa aims to become popular to get back at him... and fails. Finding her attempts to be yet another annoyance, Masuzu starts a club about becoming popular.Adapted into an anime for the Winter 2013 Anime season, it can be watched on Crunchyroll if you live in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.
Tropes found in this series include:
Accidental Pervert: Eita, though less often than most harem heroes. The Beach Episode has a two-way case where a girl crashes into him with her bike, pulling his pants down; he falls over and lands with his hand on her butt. She throws a fit, but she's Masuzu's sister, so it's mostly a faked reaction.
Played straight when Eita, Ai, and Kaoru all end up in the same class during the summer school sessions in episode 7 and 8. Ai is shocked at first, but gradually likes this happy coincidence.
Anguished Declaration of Love: Chiwa does this in episode 3 when she berates Eita after Masuzu's plan for her to ask out a guy works. She wishes that she hadn't known him for so long, and him saying they're like family only hurts her more. She does it again in episode 13.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: Masuzu tells Eita to pretend to be her boyfriend. When he initially refuses, she starts to blackmail him instead, and tells him she's not going to give up until he accepts.
Armor-Piercing Question: Ai asks one of Masuzu in episode 12. She wonders about Masuzu's situation prior to the first episode about how she constantly got asked out by boys all the time. Then she mentions that if that happened to her, she would also find a guy just to get them to stop asking her out, and asks Masuzu if that's what she's doing with Eita. Although it was aimed more at Masuzu, Eita seems a bit shocked to hear it as well. Masuzu plays dumb with cutting the onions in order to avoid answering the question, which works on Ai.
Bed Mate Reveal: After being awoken by Masuzu and Chiwa banging loudly on locked door into the nurse's office, Eita wakes up to find a naked Himeka sleeping next to him.
Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Masuzu essentially does this to Eita to get him to pretend to be her boyfriend. She somehow managed to get his diary, which he figures must have been accidentally sold off, read from it, and also claims to have scanned it on her computer. And if he doesn't date her, it'll somehow reach into the World Wide Web.
Blatant Lies: Ai in episode 7, claims to have a boyfriend, and starts saying some things about him. Later in the episode, when Chiwa and Himeka spot her, Eita, and Kaoru in a retaurant, both girls demand to know more about her "boyfriend". She starts spouting off a bunch of things, which Chiwa is a bit skeptical about, but Himeka seems to believe at face value.
In episode 8, Eita asks Ai about her boyfriend after the latter finds out he turned down Masuzu, Chiwa, and Himeka to go see the fireworks. At first she asks him what he's talking about, but after he brings up the details she gave them, she immediately makes up an excuse that he's in Tokyo during the festival, so she'd be all alone then.
Boyfriend Bluff: Masuzu's offer to Eita to pretend to be her boyfriend is driven by this.
Chiwa gets seriously injured in an accident, and although she largely recovers, she's told by her doctor that she can't take part in kendo tournaments any longer, something she did with passion prior to getting hurt. Eita dating Masuzu also doesn't sit too well with her, and it causes her to break down in episode 3 as a result.
Masuzu seems terribly frightened of seeing her younger sister in episode 5, to the point that even Eita saw how uncomfortable she was. When he asks about it, Masuzu refuses to tell him why she feels that way. It is later revealed that this has something to do with her mother.
Himeka tells Eita about how she always seemed to be excluded from doing things with other people at school. She says she started seeing how everything in the world seemed grey to her, until she saw his act at the train station protecting Chiwa in episode 4.
Masuzu's background is shown slightly whenever her sister Mana shows up, such as in episode 5. In episode 12, Mana tells Eita more about Masuzu, and how their father took her away from her mother to be the ideal daughter. However, the more Masuzu did it, the more she seemed to lose sight of herself, and began to rebel against him.
Butt Monkey: Poor Eita just can't catch a break. In one hilarious incident, during episode 2, Masuzu tells Chiwa about the notebook belonging to her first love, and tells her that she will teach girls to be popular by reading from a guy's journal. When she starts reading it out loud however, Eita begins to freak out, which seems a bit unusual at first, until you realize the notebook she's reading from was the one he lost from episode 1. These sorts of events happen on a regular basis, and he squirms every time he hears it.
Celibate Hero: Eita, who believes that "love is unnecessary and dangerous", and Masuzu, who's only blackmailing him into pretending to be her boyfriend so as to shrug off every single guy confessing to her.
Chiwa and Eita. Masuzu in episode 2 asks him why they're still friends, and at first he tells her its because they live next to each other. But then he tells her about Chiwa's accident she suffered a few years back, which crippled her lower back, and while she recovered enough to live a fairly normal lifestyle, she can't participate in sports anymore. This is why he studies so hard.
Kaoru, Eita's best friend that he often talks to in class, was friends with Ai Fuyuumi in elementary school. In episode 7 and 8 they are seen hanging out together quite a bit with Eita while attending summer classes.
Childhood Marriage Promise: One is done between Eita and Ai Fuyuumi. He claims to have forgotten about it, but then remembers that he would put a stamp on the marriage certificate they made when they were kids after ten years. She's kept it the entire time, and tries to get him to stamp it, but he runs away instead.
Chiwa once she finds out Eita is dating Masuzu. Made worse by the fact that he can't tell her they're faking it. During episode 8, when she's acting as "backup" for Eita during his date with Ai, she attempts to attack him a couple of times when he and Ai seem to be getting a bit too close for comfort. And later when they're watching the movie in the theater, she spots Ai grabbing his hand, prompting her to do the same thing, except she squeezes his hand quite hard.
Masuzu starts falling into this trope around episode 4. She doesn't seem very happy about how close Eita and Chiwa are, and gives him a kiss near the end of the episode, proclaiming that she's his first kiss, and not Chiwa. And in episode 5, after catching Chiwa leaning on him in the clubroom, Masuzu grabs her head, then slams it into the sandwiches Chiwa was having for lunch.
Both girls display this trope again when Eita finds out it was Himeka sending him the love letters in episode 5, and they catch her hugging him. In episode 6, Himeka claims to be his ex-girlfriend, which bothers both of them quite a bit.
Ai Fuyuumi punches a lightpost after she spots Eita with Chiwa and Masuzu in episode 10.
Chiwa twice in episode 3, both times directed at Eita.
Several of the girls do this in episode 13 for various reasons, although all relating to Eita.
Crystal Ball Scheduling: The movie Ai, Eita, and Chiwa are watching in the theater during episode 8 strongly correlates to what's going on with them. Chiwa encourages the childhood friend to get the hero, while Ai backs up the other girl in the movie. Masuzu hilariously mocks the hero for his indecision, then lets out Eita's name, which he manages to overhear.
Eita and Masuzu do this to Chiwa in episode 4. It's not pretty either, see Jerk Ass.
Masuzu invokes this trope when forcing Eita to go on a date with Ai, with Chiwa acting as backup.
Ai Fuyuumi and Himeka do this in episode 10, but eventually they end up joining the others during the clothing shopping.
Declaration of Protection: Eita invokes this trope a couple of times for the female characters, such as when he defends Chiwa from a public humiliation in episode 4, and Himeka and Masuzu in episode 6 from Mana. While he gets beat up or restrained, his unwavering devotion to protecting their honor at the expense of his body and making a fool of himself earns him a lot of respect (and love) from the female characters.
Even the Guys Want Him: Episode 11 throws a huge one out of left field with Eita's and Ai's best friend, Kaoru. Oh boy.
Does not really count, since Kaoru is, in fact, a crossdressing girl.
Eyes Always Shut: Saeko, Eita's aunt. While she does open them once in a rare while, her eyes are almost always closed.
Eye Poke: Masuzu attempts to do this to Eita in episode 9. Despite having his eyes closed and standing right next to her, he manages to block her attack.
Festival Episode: Subverted in episode 9. While the characters get dressed up for one, Ai and Eita instead go to places they went as kids to jog his memory of her when they were younger. The girls do watch some fireworks together however.
First Girl Wins: Technically each of the four girls can claim this trope. Chiwa gets along with Eita since childhood. Ai knows him from earlier, but he forgot about her along the way and Hime claims that they were lovers in their previous (delusional) life, but it is Masuzu who first "dates" with and kisses him.
Flash Back: Eita has one in episode 3 where he reminisces about a few years back when Chiwa came back from the hospital after her accident and was told she shouldn't practice kendo anymore due to a problem with her hip bone. His parents also left him around this time, and he vowed to study hard to become a doctor so he could attempt to heal her injury.
Forgotten First Meeting: In episode 7, Chiwa asks Eita if he ever asked anyone out prior to Masuzu dating him. He first says no, but then briefly remembers asking another girl out during kindergarten, although he doesn't seem to remember anything beyond that. Chiwa brushes it off as one of those pretend marriages young boys and girls often do with each other. The girl he asked out was a young Ai Fuyuumi, who still seems quite interested in him in the present, despite her Tsundere attitude towards him.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: While the first episode didn't exactly leave much to the imagination, there a single frame in the anime OP which makes it abundantly clear that Masuzu likes Going Commando.
Freudian Excuse: Eita's not interested in love partly because he wants to get into a good medical school, and largely because of his parents leaving him to find new lovers.
Freudian Slip: Ai Fuyuumi lets one out in episode 11 when she says out loud in front of the other girls when she goes into Tsundere mode and claims she doesn't like Eita. Then she corrects herself by saying she loves him. She immediately blushes and runs out of the room.
Game-Breaking Injury: Chiwa sustains a severe injury in a car accident before the story begins and causes her to quit Kendo because of it. It's also Eita main motivation to become so he can possibly fix this.
Gamer Girl: Himeka, as made apparent by her confession, which is done by showing Eita her party from an RPG, with high-levelled characters named "Ai", "Love", "You"and "♥".
Genre Savvy: Eita's aunt, Saeko, who makes an appearance after the credits in episode 10, immediately recognizes Eita and Masuzu's fake relationship. It gets covered in more detail during episode 11, when she tells the girls that she works for a game company that makes Dating Sim games. As a result, she is able to see through some of the emotions the girls put out, especially towards Eita, such as Ai's Tsundere tendencies and Chiwa getting stuck in the friendzone.
Eita himself qualifies, in a combination of this and Not So Stoic, we sometimes see his eyes go wild and exhibit a highly unexpected amount of passion when least expected, especially where dreams and past lives are concerned.
Hypocritical Humor: In episode 10, Ai Fuyuumi takes Eita to go clothes shopping. She has him pick a wedding dress when the other three girls show up. She immediately puts on her hall monitor badge, and says they should be in uniform while outside of school. The other three girls immediately call her out on her hypocrisy. She also accuses Eita of cheating on her anytime he's with the other girls, despite telling the other girls she has a boyfriend already.
I Lied: Ai's reaction to Eita asking her about dating Michel in episode 9. She seems surprised that he genuinely believed her, and it doesn't help any when she says she'll "break up" with him if Eita promises to marry her instead.
I Love You Because I Can't Control You: While she did use Black Mail to force him to do things, Eita will often speak his mind and do things contrary to what Masuzu may want him to do, such as protecting Chiwa in episode 4 while she's being humiliated in public.
Masuzu teaches Chiwa how to be more popular in episode 2 by carrying around a guitar case. Chiwa says she doesn't know much about playing one or music in general, but Masuzu tells her to just make stuff up, which backfires when several students approach her and ask her guitar and music related questions.
In episode 3, she has Chiwa and Eita spontaneously act something strange out, then has a shocked look on her face when the classmates thought the skit they did was pretty cool. The students mentioning it was a comedy skit seem to hit her hard, when she was probably planning on the students laughing at them.
Masuzu can appear to be one at times towards Eita due to her behavior towards him. In episode 4, she even delivers this Wham Line:
Masuzu: You said it yourself. I'm a bitch.
In episode 3, Sakagami, one of the most popular boys at school, agrees to go on a date with Chiwa. Then in episode 4, she ends up waiting an hour for him, and then he shows up with a bunch of his friends who all insult her, including Sakagami. He seemingly had no intentions of dating her, and was just playing a prank on her.
Large Ham: Masuzu, whenever she's making a speech to Eita and Chiwa. Her poses could give Lulu's a run for his money.
Eita and Chiwa in episode 3 when they're acting out a script Masuzu comes up with. Eita does it again in episode 4 when attempting to help Chiwa.
Ai Fuyuumi does this a lot as well in episode 7.
Late for School: Chiwa invokes it in episode 2 in an attempt to get a boyfriend. It doesn't work.
She does it again in episode 6, this time involving Masuzu and Himeka as well. Masuzu does The Glomp on him, while Himeka eats the bread, but does it a little too quickly, and passes out from choking on it.
Leeroy Jenkins: Eita does this in episode 4, picking a fight with Sakagami and his friends after witnessing them insulting Chiwa. Like the trope implies, it doesn't go well for him as he's not a very good fighter.
Lightning Glare: Chiwa and Masuzu do this at the end of episode 4 after they both spot each other in Eita's house.
Loners Are Freaks: In episode 6, Himeka tells Eita she suffered from this, and seemed to be excluded from activities with other people throughout her school life.
Chiwa obviously has feelings for Eita, and isn't too happy that he's dating Masuzu. Then in episode 3, despite Masuzu's plan for her to ask out a popular guy works out, she's not very happy about it, and runs off crying when Eita mentioning that she's like a sister to him.
Masuzu herself suffers from this later on. She gets slightly upset at how Eita tried to jump to Chiwa's rescue in episode 4, and how close they seem to be afterwards. And when her sister forcefully kisses him in episode 5, she later tells him she wasn't happy to see that while recovering in the nurse's office after nearly drowning.
Love Letter Lunacy: Eita gets one in his shoe locker at school during the very end of episode 4. He gets several more in episode 5, and at first is confused to who's sending them.
Marry Them All: Eita's aunt Saeko jokingly tells him to go the harem route with the girls. He understandably refuses, and in episode 13, she tells him to do things to make the other girls hate him to avoid this and the Unwanted Harem trope. Unfortunately, every attempted dumping backfires, and the ending sequence indicates he has accidentally brought about a harem ending.
Mistaken for Gay: Eita at first by Masuzu. He also has a list on his wall which he reads which also tells him to prevent invoking this trope. Which makes it harder for him, as he seems uninterested in girls at school.
Moment Killer: Chiwa's attempt to go on a date with Eita in episode 10 is foiled when Masuzu shows up and joins them.
Mr. Imagination: Eita prior to the main plot (which is what he's being blackmailed over), Himeka during the plot itself. Also Ai Fuyuumi at times.
Mundane Made Awesome: Eita during episode 4 when he's defending Chiwa's honor. The scene where he's hamming it up has extra lines drawn out from his fantasy notebook, although to everyone else it just looks like he's crazy.
Naked Apron: Masuzu asks about this trope when Eita sees her in his house in episode 4. She then attempts to start undressing, but he stops her.
Nice Guy: Eita. He will often rescue the girls when they're in trouble, or when they're in a very humiliating situation. In one hilarious example, during episode 9, he runs away from Ai. Despite having a significant lead, and not being able to run very well due to wearing sandals and a yukata, she yells that she's scared of the dark, so Eita waits until she gets down the stairs before he takes off again.
Nose Bleed: Eita suffers one in episode 4. Whether its from his fight with 3 guys earlier, or Chiwa asking who "she" he was referring to was Masuzu or herself. It does spurt shortly after he denies it was Chiwa, and then he passes out.
Not so Above It All: In episode 9, Eita finds someone's journal left behind filled with embarrassing stuff written inside of it. The journal turns out to belong to Ai, who often acts strict to other people. He even finds an interesting curse words written in them.
In episode 6, Himeka considers joining the club, but says she has no interest in being popular. Chiwa claims she's just doing it to get close to Eita. But then Masuzu immediately points out that Chiwa is in the club for the same exact reason.
In episode 9, Eita says to Ai that he could never make fun of her because of her journal, since he's written stuff just as embarrassing in his journal that Masuzu currently has. He then starts acting out some of the stuff he's written to cheer her up a little.
Oblivious to Love: Eita. After various humiliating stunts which Chiwa reluctantly did, Masuzu has her ask out one of the most popular guys in their school. He accepts, and plans for a movie the following Sunday. Later that evening, Eita attempts to celebrate her success, but she doesn't seem very enthused about it, and asks him if he's okay with the plan. She then berates him a little bit before running off crying.
Since they've known each other so long, it's believable as the counterpart to Everyone Can See It. But then there's Fuyuumi. Everything she says or does around him is a dead giveaway: screaming with excitement when she learns they're in the same class, giving him a heart-wrapped bento while blushing furiously, being pushed to talk to him by a mutual friend, etc., but Eita just doesn't get it.
Parental Abandonment: Eita's parents seem to have left him to find new lovers, which probably helps explain why he has such distaste for love. The person he's living with, Saeko, appears to be a relative who took pity on him and allowed him to move in until he gets into college.
The Plan: In episode 8, Masuzu formulates a plan to either embarrass Ai, or call her out on not having a boyfriend. It involves making Ai fall in love with Eita, and Masuzu attempting to get an embarrassing picture of her to blackmail her into stopping her from shutting the club down. Masuzu also wants Eita to do it in such a way that its not considered cheating on her, which he immediately asks how he's supposed to do that.
Please Don't Leave Me: Masuzu says this to Eita when she thinks he's leaving her in episode 4. But he was simply going to help Chiwa out.
Poor Communication Kills: Both Chiwa and Masuzu show up at Eita's house at the end of episode 4. He is completely baffled as to why they are there, but both of them tell him they sent an email to him the night before, Chiwa to take a bath because her bathroom was broken, and Masuzu because she wanted to make him breakfast. Since he didn't bother checking them...
Rich Bitch: Mana, Masuzu's younger sister. She has a very elitist attitude, and openly reads and mocks a poem that Himeka worked hard on in episode 6. Eita ends up calling her out on this trope, and his brave but awkward defense of Himeka and Masuzu to a lesser extent, convinces the latter to stay in Japan rather than go home to Sweden as their father ordered.
Eita can't tell anyone that his relationship with Masuzu is fake, particularly Chiwa. Interestingly, his aunt Saeko nearly blows this out of the water at the end of episode 10 and the first half of 11. While both of them try to play it off, the other girls start noticing some discrepancies in their relationship, and Chiwa even tells him it feels like they're acting rather than being an actual couple in love.
Ai reveals to Eita that Kaoru was helping her to get closer to Eita, but didn't like doing it because he wants Chiwa to end up with him. She then says his secret is safe with her, but when Eita asks what it is, she doesn't tell him.
Shipper on Deck: Kaoru, Eita's guy friend, attempts to do this with Ai and Eita in episode 7 and 8. In episode 9, Ai reveals that he did it largely against his wishes, as he's a shipper for Chiwa/Eita.
Ship Sinking: Eita does it in episode 13, by giving Masuzu a Love Confession, then kissing her right in front of the other three girls. None of them are happy about it. He later tries to enforce this the following morning. He fails epically.
There are quite a few references to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, with some characters doing poses that wouldn't out of place there. Justified by several characters, particularly Masuzu, being fans of that series.
Eita's incriminating notebook looks like a Death Note.
In Chapter 12 of the manga adaptation, Chiwa and Masuzu pose, with their fingers pointing at each other, Masuzu saying "Take This!" and Chiwa saying "Objection!" Sound familiar?
In episode 6 there is a clear one to Evangelion, with one of Eita's "angels" being named Ayanami Asuka, his 'classmate' who says things like "What are you, stupid?" and always wants to win. He even places her voice actress as HayashibaraYuuko
Start My Own: Masuzu starts a club at school to help girls become more popular and proper. However, with Chiwa at least, it seems the things she teaches is mostly to make a fool of themselves.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Chiwa and Himeka pop up in the restaurant Eita, Kaoru, and Ai are eating in during episode 7.
Super Drowning Skills: Masuzu is hesitant to go swimming in the pool during episode 5, and instead covers herself with a towel. However, after hearing some girls gossiping about her, she decides to take a swim. And then immediately flops around, requiring CPR from Eita (due to the swim teacher doing CPR to another student at the time).
Sweet Polly Oliver: Kaoru. In the anime, the only hints given are Ai mentioning Kaoru has a secret, and then later Kaoru rests her head on Eita's shoulder for a brief moment, something most, if not all guys, normally do not do to another guy. In case there's any doubt, here's a picture from the light novel.◊
Tempting Fate: In episode 9, after Ai bumps into Eita trying to get her notebook and they drop their stuff. Naturally, she grabs the wrong notebook, then starts thinking that its a good thing he didn't read what's inside of it. Eita then does exactly that. Later, after she realizes her mistake, she reassures herself that he wouldn't know who wrote it. The scene then cuts to Ai's name written in the notebook, followed by her remembering that she wrote her name in it.
Tsundere: Ai, a classic Type A who acts very standoffish with the other characters.
Masuzu is basically a Type B, a normal-acting girl who falls back to her genuine Jerk Ass / The Tease personality when she's alone with Eita. She blackmails him into pretending to date her, but it's pretty obvious that she secretly likes him...don't expect him to notice, though.
Unknown Rival: Ai Fuyuumi, one of the Hall Monitors at school, seems quite intent on shutting down the club Masuzu made, and seems openly hostile towards its members, particularly Masuzu herself. In episode 7, she lets it slip out that she won't let Masuzu win, but doesn't go into further details about it. It likely has something to do with Eita...
Unwanted Harem: Eita's the guy suffering from this trope due to all the unwanted attention from several girls. Even when he tries to break it up in episode 12, none of the girls are willing to let him do that.
Eita's aunt gives one at the end of episode 10, when she says that his relationship with Masuzu is completely fake in front of the other girls.
Masuzu shows a written form of this to Eita in episode 12, when she shows a page from his journal where he stated he was going to become a doctor to heal Chiwa. He has several Flash Back moments of when he said that to Chiwa earlier.
What Does She See in Him?: Practically all of Eita's classmates wonder this when Masuzu gives him a Love Confession, since he seems completely focused on studying, while she's the most popular girl at school who's rejected numerous boys. Chiwa wonders about this as well...
What the Hell, Hero?: Eita calls Masuzu out on this in episode 4 when they both watch Chiwa being humiliated by Sakagami and his friends. She had apparently wanted Chiwa to feel that love was meaningless and painful, which causes Eita to immediately berate her, and then rushes to Chiwa's side to stand up for her.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Masuzu intentionally gives a Love Confession to Eita in front of their entire class, then forces him to walk her home, lest something happens to her, or more likely, him.
Yandere: Masuzu jokingly references wanting to kill Eita in episode 13 by asking if what he said the day earlier to her was truenote He gives her a Love Confession along with The Big Damn Kiss, which she thought he was just pretending.