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Light Novel: Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo
Residents of Sakura Hall:
Back row from left to right: Chihiro, Nanami, Misaki, Jin and Ryuunosuke;
Front from left: Mashiro and Sorata;
Front Center: Hikari

For refusing to part with a stray cat he found, Sorata Kanda, a second-year high school boy from Suimei University of the Arts High School ("Suiko", according to local parlance), was kicked out of the regular school dorms, and lands at Sakura Hall, a wooden two-storey house and bedlam of Suiko's talented yet troublesome teens: Misaki Kamiigusa, a hyperactive otaku, Jin Mitaka, her childhood friend and consummate womanizer, and Ryuunosuke Akasaka, a reclusive tech wiz. And all of them are under the watch of Chihiro Sengoku, a notoriously lazy art teacher.

One day, Sorata receives a request from Chihiro: pick up her cousin, Mashiro Shiina, a fellow second-year. But just when he thought he found an innocent sweetie he wants to protect from the craziness that is his dorm (which he doesn't plan on staying for too long), Sorata discovers her two secrets: on one hand, she's a world-renowned artist and genius; on the other hand, she has next to no knowledge of people skills... at all. With Chihiro too lazy to attend to her cousin, she tasks Sorata with having to take care of Mashiro's daily needs, down to picking up her underwear. And before he knew it, Sorata Kanda now has an "addition" to the seven cats he has been keeping since moving to his new dorm.

Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo ("The Pet Girl of Sakurasou") is a 2010-2014 Light Novel series written by Hajime Kamoshida and illustrated by Keiji Mizoguchi, published by ASCII Media Works under the Dengeki Bunko label, completed at 13 volumes (10 main, 3 extra). A manga adaptation also started in 2011, illustrated by Houki Kusano and published in Dengeki G's. It also has a 24-episode anime adaptation which debuted as part of the Fall 2012 Anime lineup, directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and released by JC Staff. A Visual Novel for both the Playstation Portable and PlayStation Vita is also in the works, developed by Netchubiyori and slated for a Spring 2013 release.

Viewers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand may watch this show legally at Crunchyroll.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Well, emotionally abusive grandfather, in any case. Telling your extremely talented artist granddaughter to quit what she loves just because she's in the same vicinity as a phenomenally talented artist is not the hallmark of a good mentor, let alone a family member. It's possible that the context may justify this slightly (did he say it in the heat of an argument? Did Rita misconstrue what he said?) but if he missed how insecure Rita was, he would have to be more emotionally tone-deaf than Mashiro herself.
  • Airplane of Love: Played with quite a bit in episode 12. Mashiro gets an airplane flyby and Dramatic Wind shot while puzzling over her feelings for Sorata. But it isn't the usual symbolism, because it happens right after Sorata attempted a Race for Your Love to the airport, only to discover that Mashiro wasn't actually leaving. In the same scene, Rita's plane flies into the distance while Ryuunosuke, to his own confusion, stays behind and thinks about his Tsundere-ish feelings for her.
  • Almost Kiss: Episode 24, between Sorata and Mashiro.
  • Always in Class One: Half of Sakura Hall — Sorata, Nanami and Ryuunosuke — attend Class 2-1.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Sorata has pretty loving, if rather over-the-top, parents, whose attitudes extend to his little sister Yuuko.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Episode 3, Jin asks Sorata if he really meant to escape Sakura Hall; Sorata in turn asks him why, of all women, he rejects Misaki. When Sorata follows Mashiro to a love hotel, she asks him why he is there (he had told her previously he was too busy).
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Chihiro-sensei does this to Kazuki Fujisawa, the video game designer who was judging Sorata's game concepts, when he pays as a visit to Sakurasou in episode 22.
  • Banana Peel: Sorata slips on one in the beginning of Episode 7, causing him to slip and fall down on top of Mashiro. Just in time for Yuuko to enter the door.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
    • Sorata finds Misaki sleeping in his bed in the first episode.
    • After Rita insists on staying in Sorata's room, he says he'll sleep in the dining room, but Rita forces him to stay in the room as well, so he sleeps on the floor while she in his bed. Next morning, Nanami comes to wake up Sorata... only to find Rita sleeping on top of him.
  • Blue with Shock: Yuuko in Episode 7 when she visits Sorata.
  • Boarding School: Suiko has a large dormitory complex. Sakura Hall is reserved for Suiko's troublesome students. Several member of the cast also have their own justifications for staying there:
    • Sorata: Due to Parental Abandonment, though less due to his parents being distant than them being... well, quirky.
    • Nanami: Inverse Parental Abandonment, in that they refused to support her chosen path in life.
    • Mashiro: It is a practice for expats to send their children to Japan for the last few years of schooling so they can enter a Japanese college normally.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Many of Sorata and Mashiro's conversations end with the former freaking over the latter's latest outrageous line/act.
  • Break the Cutie: All of the main characters get this treatment at one point or another.
  • Breathe on the Fan: Mashiro does this in Episode 7.
  • Breather Episode: Every episode that focuses on Sorata's... quirky family. They don't contain much plot progression or drama, but instead allow the characters to have a little fun, largely at Sorata's expense. Episode 7 has his little sister Yuuko pay a visit, while Episode 15 has Sorata and the Girls of Sakura Hall visit the former's family.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Practically everyone save Sorata, who is more or less normal, and Mashiro, whose functioning is even worse.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Jin towards Misaki. Even though its pretty evident Misaki is willing to do anything with him, he always acts Above the Influence towards her. A huge example occurs during episode 14, when Misaki asks the Sakura Hall residents to leave the building during Christmas Eve, and confesses to him again. He finally tells her he loves her, but doesn't want to do anything towards her, which once again breaks her heart.
  • Can't Catch Up: One of the main themes of the series is the tension and conflict that arises from people with significantly different skill levels being close to one another (or working together), and how it affects both sides.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Largely played straight with Nanami towards Sorata. It does get played around with in episode 16, when she's rehearsing some lines for her voice actress audition with him, and she says "I love you". Although they're just reading the lines, Sorata can't bring himself to say it. Later Nanami also has trouble with the lines due to her friends telling her to use that opportunity to confess to him.
    • Nanami does it again while Sorata is taking her to the audition after the train is unavailable. This time while rehearsing, she clutches him tightly when she says it, causing Sorata to stop the bike. Then she asks how he thought of her lines...
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Inverted in episode 22, where Nanami only tries to stop Sorata after letting go of his sleeve. Her grabbing said sleeve stops him a few seconds earlier, but not in quite the same way as the trope intends.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Jin and Misaki. And as of the fifth light novel volume, after they graduate, both become a couple.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Nanami and Mashiro are this towards Sorata.
    • Hikari (the CAT) may actually be this to Sorata even. It greatly dislikes Mashiro, who it may perceive to be a rival. But it's implied in the finale when Mashiro and Sorata have an Almost Kiss which Hikari interrupts by scratching Sorata's face. Mashiro suspects the cat was jealous, which is further supported by its angry reaction to Mashiro's kiss on Sorata's cheek.
  • Color Failure: Happens to Yuuko in episode 7.
  • Color Motif:
    • Mashiro sees herself as white (well, that's what her name means), Sorata sees himself as opalescent, i.e. an scattering of colors. Mashiro is thoroughly focused, unbound by social norms, while Sorata just worries over everything and doesn't know what to do with his life.
    • The opening assigns colour motifs to all of Sakura Hall's tenants: White for Mashiro, as above; pink for Nanami, purple for Jin, sky blue for Sorata (whose name means "Sky-the-eldest"), orange for Misaki, and burgandy for Ryuunosuke.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Nyapollon game the Sakura Hall dorm residents develop for the school festival. However, its justified in-universe because they're only high school students, and they're also working on a very rushed time table.
  • Corner of Woe: In Episode 7, Yuuko boasts that she has slept in Sorata's bed last year. Then Mashiro says she also did, causing Yuuko to retreat into the corner.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: While Jin himself makes no moves on Misaki, when he overhears a couple of boys mention doing This and That towards her, he immediately starts a fight with all three of them.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Pretty much any of the girls when they do it. Rita has a spectacular one in episode 10 while hugging Mashiro, which also causes Nanami to cry as well.
    • Episode 23 nearly all of Sakurasou (minus Jin) are in tears while listening to Misaki's heartfelt graduation speech.
  • Cue the Rain: Episode 21, for the reasons see Hard Work Hardly Works below.
  • Darkest Hour: Episode 21, for the reasons see Hard Work Hardly Works below.
  • Date Peepers:
    • Mashiro and Jin get followed by Misaki and Sorata in Mahiro's research date (Love Hotel included).
    • In Episode 9, Mashiro and Nanami follow Sorata and Rita to a hotel. However, Rita was Genre Savvy enough to realize that they'd be following, so she greets them the instant they show up. Then she takes all of them to an art exhibit to show off Mashiro's final painting before she returns home to England.
  • Delayed Reaction: In episode 24, Mashiro says she would like to try kissing to Sorata after seeing other characters kiss in earlier scenes. He just nods and smiles, then takes a few seconds before it finally dawns on him what she asked.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The first opening theme "Kimi ga Yume wo Tsuretekita" is sung by "Pet na Kanojo-tachi" which consists the voice actresses of Mashiro, Nanami and Misaki.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted in one case. After Nanami moves into Sakura Hall, Sorata sees her sleeping by the table in the dining room. He puts a blanket on her, but she wakes up, punches him in the face, and accuses him of making her move in her sleep. He then reminds her where he found her sleeping. She then immediately apologizes for jumping to conclusions. Admittedly, it's played straight in most of the others.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: One of Sakura Hall's assignments involves dealing with its chronic beehive problem. In the first opening alone, we see a cautious Sorata attempting to deal with a hornet's nest on the balcony, with Mashiro and Misaki (safely behind a glass door) cheering him on; later, he's running away from an angry swarm, followed shortly by Jin and Chihiro-sensei.
  • Evolving Credits: As of Episode 9, Ryuunosuke becomes more visible in the opening (changing from being seated and hiding behind his laptop with a bucket on his head to standing up and not moving during the clapping sequence) and replaces Maid in the ending, on top of being added to said ending's running sequence.
  • Expy: Viewers of Ginga E Kickoff who might've wondered what Erika would be like as a high schooler can get their answer in this series, since Nanami is from Osaka, looks and talks exactly like her, and both are voiced by Mariko Nakatsu.
  • False Camera Effects: Episode 3 is directed by a fan of the Fish Eye Lens.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Nanami's parents does not support Nanami's aspirations to be a voice actress, which forced her to work for her own expenses in Tokyo. Sorata wonders if her Plucky Girl personality arises from this.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the end of Episode 1, Sorata took his taking in the pure white cat (which caused him to be sent to Sakura Hall) as one for his meeting Mashiro — her name means "Pure White."
    • All the various outfits the girls wear during the ending credits can be seen on them during the school festival in episode 11.
  • Funny Foreigner: Subverted. When Sorata found Mashiro sleeping nude in Episode 1, he assumed that was the reason. After being fed up with all her lack of common sense throughout the day, however, he settled on some other explanation.
  • Furo Scene: In Episode 7, Sorata, Mashiro, Jin, Misaki, Nanami and Yuuko visit a public bathhouse due to their dorm's plumbing needing a repair. While the girls are busy doing Skinship Grope, Jin tells a joke at Sorata's expense by loudly asking him which girl he's fantasizing about, which causes Nanami to hurl a bucket at his head.
  • Gilligan Cut: In Episode 2, Mashiro tells Sorata to take off his clothes. He protests, but complies when she asks if taking her clothes off would make him comfortable. Later she tells him she wants to touch him, but he adamantly refuses. Then the next scene shows her sitting on top of him on the bed.
  • The Glomp: Sorata does one to Mashiro in Episode 12, when he reached her at the airport, thinking she was going back to England with Rita.
  • Going Commando: Nanami forgets to bring her underwear to the pool in Episode 8. Misaki makes fun of her for it at the end of the episode when they're back at Sakura Hall.
  • Got Volunteered: For being the Only Sane Man, Sorata often have this.
    • In Episode 2, after being fed up with Mashiro's antics, he proposed the entire Sakura Hall to take turns being her Cloudcuckoolander's Minder. Jin and Misaki just assigned that duty back to him like the tradition of this trope.
    • In Episode 9, Sorata was chosen as leader for the Sakura Hall's project come the school festival. Everyone else votes for him as well against his wishes.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Rita, Mashiro's caretaker in England, uses this trope at the end of Episode 8, when she introduces herself for Episode 9's preview.
    • Sorata says "I cannot speak English" when Rita is first formally introduced in Episode 9.
  • Growling Gut: Happens to Nanami while talking to Sorata at school in Episode 5. Sorata offers her a snack meant for Mashiro, but she declines it initially, claiming to be on a diet. However, her stomach growls again, and she reluctantly takes it. It's likely that Nanami didn't have enough money to buy food due to saving up for school on her own.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Deconstructed, as one of the main themes of the story is showing how brutal this trope can be and how it can even ruin friendships.
    • The main example centers around Mashiro. Even decent, nice friends of hers became jealous and resentful towards her when her talent paid off and their hard work didn't. It also ends up hurting Mashiro herself as she feels guilty for creating such hostility.
    • Sorata tells Nanami in Episode 15 that he hopes she succeeds at her audition because he's been watching her study hard ever since they were first year high school students, and hopes that it pays off at some point. Especially since both of them failed at their resepctive auditions the first time around.
    • Played straight in the end of episode 20 and the whole episode 21: it starts with Nanami failing her audition; goes on wih Sorata's game failing the last review due to another rhythm game which was more simple, traditional and more appealing to the market; afterwards, all of the main cast fail at getting enough signatures to prevent the destruction of Sakura Hall; finally, to add insult to injury, the game company that rejected Sorata ended up sending a work offer to Shiina as character designer thanks to the pictures she gave to Sorata.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Ryuunosuke, who outright tells Rita he despises women. Not that it stops her from getting friendly with him (in the way she knows best) towards the end of Episode 10.
  • Heroic BSOD: A few examples:
    • Mashiro goes through one after Rita's speech in Episode 10.
    • Misaki suffers through one during most of episode 15 after Jin rejects her advances from the previous episode.
    • Both Nanami and Sorata suffer one in episode 21: the first due to coming to terms with the fact that she failed her audition and, as she said, made all of her two years of hard work useless; and the latter, because the game he designed didn't passed the last review of the game company he submitted it to, it gets worse for him when he founds a letter meant for Shiina sent from the same game company, offering her a job as character designer after seeing the drawings she gave Sorata to use.
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation/Consulting Mister Puppet: Nanami does this in Episode 6 when she wakes up with a flu. Her stuffed animal plays the other voice, and she does it long enough for Sorata, who was coming to her room with some food, to hear some of it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In episode 9, after an embarrassing incident in class earlier in the day, Nanami asks that the residents of Sakura Hall behave better. Jin answers "hai, hai" ("yeah, yeah" or "okay, okay"), and Nanami says not say it twice. Misaki then says it once, but drags it out ("Haaaiii"), causing Nanami to also tell her not to say it that way. A short while later, the doorbell rings, and Sorata says "hai, hai" as well. Misaki then immediately tells him to only say it once.
  • Imagine Spot: Yuuko has a couple of these in episode 7, such as when Mashiro mentions Sorata being her owner.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Misaki thinks Jin is not interested in her, considering his womanizing habits, the way he always seems to brush off her advances and his past relationship with her sister. Actually, Jin does love her, but feels unworthy to be with her, considering her talent, so holds back his feelings, much to Misaki's heartbreak. Fortunately, they eventually settle their issues and finally become a couple shortly before they graduate and part ways.
  • Insult Backfire: When Rita tries to criticize Ryuunosuke's reclusive behavior in Episode 10, he isn't offended by it at all, since he's fully aware of it, and says he trusts computers more than women. Then he gives Rita a scathing review regarding her "fake smiles".
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The title itself describes a girl as a "pet"; while it may sound misogynistic (especially to the Japanese), It Makes Sense in Context considering said girl is an Idiot Savant who cannot even be bothered to dress up without someone to prod her. An English writer may replace "Pet" with "Savant," but Japanese don't really have that word.
    • Maybe a better title would have been "Sakurasou to Pet to Kanojo", meaning "Sakura Hall, Pets and Girlfriend".
  • Is It Something You Eat?: When Sorata mentions his "pitch" to his little sister, she asks him if it's tasty.
  • It Runs in the Family: Chihiro used this to explain away Mashiro's behaviour. Viewers are unanimous about what is the actual reason—see Word of Dante, below.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Fuuka towards her sister Misaki and Jin. She even realizes that she's just a Replacement Goldfish for Misaki but doesn't seem too upset about it.
    • Although it seems painful for her, Nanami gives up Sorata in episode 22.
  • Lap Pillow: Mashiro, thinking of the Earth, makes one for Sorata in the Love Hotel.
  • Large Ham: Sorata and Misaki.
  • Last Episode New Character: Episode 24 introduces Kanna Hase, the top scorer during that year's entrance exams who prefers solitude, and Iori Himemiya, younger brother of Misaki's good friend Saori who got sent to Sakura Hall for peeping on the girls' baths on his first day at the regular dorms. Both had more prominent roles from Volume 7 of the novels onwards.
  • Love at First Punch: After Episode 10, Rita finds herself strangely enamored with the gynophobic Ryuunosuke, who saw right through her "fake smiles" and forced her into some soul-searching due to his Brutal Honesty.
  • Love Confession:
    • Misaki does one to Jin in episode 12 although it was partly due to the events of the game/event they were taking part in. And while she doesn't explicitly say she loves him, she does tell him to pay more attention to her rather than her sister.
    • Misaki gives him at least two in Episode 13, but he brushes both of them off.
    • Daichi Miyahara, Sorata and Nanami's friend in their class, does this to Nanami in Episode 12. Unfortunately for him, she rejects him since she never thought of him in that way, which should be obvious to viewers in earlier episodes.
    • Nanami gives Sorata three, once in episode 16, and the other in episode 17. Both times she says it rather convincingly, before brushing it off as acting. The third one is in episode 22, but says it in a way that seems like she's just happy to be his friend. Then after he's out of range, she quietly mentions that she's also in love with him...
  • Love Epiphany:
    • Sorata seems to have a very subtle one in episode 3 after seeing Jin and Mashiro together at the mall.
    • Rita seems to have grown some interest in Ryuunosuke after he berates her in episode 10.
    • Mashiro has one in episode 12 after Sorata's passionate plea to her not to leave Sakura Hall. When she asks him about the funny feeling in her chest, he tries to deny it in his usual fashion.
    • Sorata begins to realize that Nanami likes him at the end of episode 17, but he tries to beat it out of himself, thinking he's reading too much into it.
    • In episode 18, Misaki has one in a Flash Back when she sees Jin and her sister Fuuka holding hands while walking home. Her face immediately goes from being happy to sad.
  • Love Hurts:
    • When Misaki sees Jin and Mashiro on their date in episode 3, it really breaks her heart. Later when the two are seen outside a love hotel, she decides to go home rather than interrupt them. Its also revealed she wasn't happy seeing Jin and her sister Fuuka holding hands in a Flash Back in episode 18.
    • Sorata also feels this way after seeing those two together. Unlike Misaki, he does interrupt them, but fortunately for him Jin had no intentions of entering the hotel with Mashiro, and set this up knowing both he and Mashiro were being followed by him.
    • Mashiro goes through this in Episode 16 when she sees Nanami and Sorata practicing for Nanami's voice actress audition. The fact that the lines they are reading involve one character saying "I love you" to the other doesn't make it any easier for her to bear.
    • Rita appears unhappy after Ryuunosuke's rather harsh and cold treatment of her in episode 17.
  • Love Triangle: Mashiro, Sorata and Nanami are in a Type 3 triangle, with Sorata at position A. It eventually turns into a type 4, with Nanami at A, Sorata at B and Mashiro at C.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Sorata had one in Episode 8, when his head was caught between Nanami's hip and Mashiro's chest.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Sorata and Miyahara in Episode 9. apparently a lot of his female classmates (including Nanami) are Yaoi Fangirls.
  • Moment Killer:
    • In Episode 15, Sorata and Nanami are having a discussion about their plans, and about working hard to achieve them. They stare at each other intently for a moment...only to then have Mashiro show up and say she'll work hard too.
    • In episode 24, Sorata and Mashiro's "practice kiss" is interrupted by one of the cats, who claws at Sorata's face, then later hisses at him after Mashiro kisses him on the cheek instead.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse:
    • In Episode 5, Sorata and Mashiro talk after Nanami agrees to move into Sakura Hall. Sorata's plan it to bribe Mashiro with food with a promise that she would take care of herself. Jin suggests they tell Nanami they're dating, which Sorata immediately rejects. Mashiro then innocently invokes this trope by stating that she should kill Nanami to keep their secret safe, which he also immediately dismisses. Sorata decides to try his idea, which he calls Plan A, calls Jin's idea Plan B, and Mashiro's Plan C, causing Jin to start laughing wildly at Sorata. She brings it up again in Episode 7. Like in Episode 5, it's Played for Laughs.
    • Mashiro brings up Plan C again in episode 15, this time towards Yuuko. Sorata once again rejects it.
    • She does it AGAIN in the 18th episode. Sorata points out that it's getting old.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Sorata's dad walking in on him naked while he's taking a bath to have a discussion with him. He then proceeds to jump into the bathtub while Sorata is still in it. Then it turns out he's a little drunk.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Customary of a character drama, the heroes are not perfect and do end up hurting the ones they love, whether it's intentional or not.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Played for Laughs in episode 24, when two new students join Sakura Hall. They enter just as Nanami is practicing some lines for a new horror game Sorata is planning. He then walks to the entrance with a bloody knife from cutting up a tuna fish, and both students immediately get the wrong idea. The boy runs away, only to see Ryuunosuke carrying a small scythe he was cutting grass with. He then runs into Mashiro's room, who immediately orders him to take his clothes off, which he complies with readily until Nanami stops him.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations:
    • In episode 2, Nanami walks to school with Sorata and Mashiro. She asks them what their relationship is, and Mashiro innocently answers that he's her "first boy". She then makes it sound like they're lovers, causing Nanami to run off, and she finally clarifies he's the first boy she's befriended, which irritates him due to her out of context dialogue just moments earlier.
    • Another hilarious incident occurs in episode 7, when Mashiro enters the bathroom after Sorata is done cleaning it up. His sister Yuuko wonders what he's been doing at the apartment, when she shows up, and pats her belly and says its ready. His sister immediately assumes they were sleeping together and passes out. Then Mashiro mentions that dinner's ready.
    • In episode 11, Sorata overhears Rita on the phone talking to Mashiro's father. She says that Mashiro will be returning to where she belongs, and he immediately assumes she would be heading back to England. Episode 12 reveals that said place was Sakura Hall, and Mashiro was at the airport with Rita merely to send her off.
  • Operation Jealousy: Heavy implied that this was why Jin and Mashiro had a pretend date in Episode 3. Mashiro claimed it was research for her manga, but it's very likely that it was to promote jealousy in Sorata in order to show him why he should stay at Sakura Hall.
  • Overprotective Dad: Sorata's father. In Episode 7, Sorata tries to call his mom to ask about the reason behind his Yuuko's visit. He got the wrong number in his first attempts and reach his dad instead. The father, upon hearing a male voice on the line, immediately declare that he will never give Yuuko to anybody, without realizing it's his son he's talking to.
  • Parental Neglect:
    • Mashiro's parents, apparently. Rita has been looking after Mashiro since the age of five or six, so where the hack were the parents that a child barely out of toddlerhood was put in charge of their daughter?. They haven't taught Mashiro the most basic of coping skills (note that a pair of teenagers — Sorata and Nanami — are able to coach her in the basics within a fairly short amount of time) before sending her off to another country.
    • Continuing in this tradition, Mashiro's aunt was supposed to look out for her in Japan...but instead she foists the responsibility off on a teenage boy she's known for only a short time. Good thing Sorata's a paragon of virtue, or that could have gone very bad very quickly.
  • The Plan: In Episode 3, Jin tells Sorata if he really wants to leave Sakura Hall, he'd take care of the cats and watch over Mashiro. Sorata doesn't seem to like that idea, but at the same time doesn't seem to be making progress on finding new owners for the stray cats. Later in the episode, Jin is seen pulling a hesitant Mashiro into a love hotel, which causes Sorata, who had been trailing them, to "rescue" her. Unfortunately for him, Jin dodges and knocks him out in one blow. Turns out Jin planned all this so that Sorata would be the one who spent more time with Mashiro, after the two discuss it towards the end of the episode.
  • Please Don't Leave Me:
    • Mashiro plays with this trope towards Sorata in episode 4. When he looks at the manga she was making, he finds out its about his situation with her, except with the gender roles reversed. The editor tells him that the ending where the girl leaves is depressing, and suggested Mashiro revise it. When he goes to her room later, he finds her napping after working on a revised ending, where the girl decides that she wants to stay, and he begins to realize that he doesn't want to leave Sakura Hall after all.
    • Sorata does this to Mashiro in episode 12. And again in episode 22.
  • Pool Scene: The second half of Episode 8, which Misaki throws as a spur-of-the-moment welcoming party for Nanami.
  • Quirky Household: The Sakura Hall houses talented yet quirky and/or troublesome teens, making it this trope. In the present case, an Idiot Savant, an insecure guy who shelters seven cats, a Sensei-chan, a hyperactive Otaku Surrogate, an effeminate Hikikomori, a Casanova with an inferiority complex, and a workaholic aspiring voice actress who pushes herself too far, living together in a two-storey wooden house. Later in the story they also welcome a socially awkward genius, an Accidental Pervert, said savant's British friend who also feels insecure around her, and said cat-lover's hyperactive little sister.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rita gives Mashiro a scathing one in Episode 10, when she rants about how the latter's talent overshadowed all of the other kids in their art class, and eventually Rita's grandfather told her to just give up since she would never be as good as Mashiro. Rita also says she planted the idea of drawing manga as a means to have Mashiro humiliate herself and see what the other kids felt towards her, but is angered to see her having a debut for that as well. She then tells Mashiro she hates her. Later in the episode, Ryuunosuke gives her a piece of his mind, noting how she keeps saying that she's trying to live up to others' expectations without considering what she really wanted to do in life.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Misaki's older sister, Fuuka, tells Jin in episode 11 that she sees herself as this to him.
  • The Resenter: Mashiro seems to bring this out of people everywhere, as she was alienated from her friends back at home because of her talent. Rita actually suggested to her drawing manga, hoping she would learn how failure felt like. Sorata sometimes became dangerously close to becoming this, lashing out at Mashiro a few times when his hard work fails but her natural talent succeeds. He managed to prevent himself from becoming a full-blown Resenter however and managed to stay close with Mashiro.
  • The Rival: Interestingly enough, Yuuko doesn't see Mashiro as a rival, but rather someone who just needs to be looked after. However, she points at Nanami right after getting on the train, stating that because she's a perfectly normal girl, she would be a romantic threat. Then the train closes its doors and leaves before Yuuko is finished saying what she was going to say.
  • Rousing Speech: Misaki gives one in episode 23 during her and Jin's graduation. Since they failed to get enough signatures to petition against tearing down Sakura Hall, she made a very heartfelt speech to the entire student body about how important that rundown building was to her and others.
  • Sempai Kouhai: Sorata with his sempai Misaki and Jin.
  • Second Year Protagonist
  • Secret Keeper: Sorata is asked to keep one from Misaki regarding Jin. He finds out Jin wants to go to a university in Osaka, not a local one nearby where Misaki was going. Jin says he's going to tell her at some point, and asks him not to tell her about it. Then Misaki finds out about it anyway in episode 11, although it was Fuuka, Misaki's sister, casually mentioning it to Jin, who says she heard it from his mother. Although Sorata comes clean about knowing the secret, Misaki seems more excited by the fact that he turned down her sister, which mean she still has a shot with him.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Misaki wears one in episode 13.
  • Shout-Out
    • Sorata's white pet cat is named "Hikari" (Light), and Sorata thinks that foreshadows his meeting Mashiro, as Mashiro means "pure white." By linking Mashiro with Hikari, and considering what viewers think about her condition the writer may be referring to With The Light here.
    • Sorata is a gamer himself who later turned into game design, so there's no lack in Video Game references.
      • An RPG Maker game appears on Episode 2.
      • In episode 6, we can see he has three consoles in his room: a SNES, a Sega Saturn, and a first-generation Xbox.
      • In fact, this anime has video game shout-out and references from the likes of Sega, SNK Playmore's Samurai Shodown (as seen in Episode 5) and Chase HQ from Taito (in Episode 7), to name a few.
      • Rita's seen playing Raiden IV in Episode 10.
    • At the end of episode 6, a preview of episode 7 shows Sorata's younger sister, Yuuko. She's humming a tune that's very similar to the theme music of the Terminator.
    • In episode 11, Ryuunosuke is shown programming in what appears to be Visual Studio with one of the very popular custom black backgrounds.
    • Misaki racks up a 99-win streak against Sorata in a game from the The King of Fighters series in episode 19.
    • Also from episode 19, a reference to Evangelion: Sorata has his initial cat Hikari, picks up the second one Nozomi, and Jin asks if he plans to name a third one Kodama. Referencing the class representative Hikari from Eva, her younger sister Nozomi, and her older one Kodama.
  • Shown Their Work: Kamoshida clearly read a standard textbook on autism when writing about Mashiro, down to scarily meticulous bits of her mannerisms.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Rita and Maid-san, who get into little arguments with each other over Ryuunosuke.
  • Skinship Grope: Yuuko does it to Mashiro and Nanami in episode 7 while they're bathing together. Then Mashiro does it to them as well.
  • Spit Take:
    • Sorata's reaction when Misaki tells him Mashiro and Jin are going to a Love Hotel.
    • One of the teachers does it in the first episode after Chihiro-sensei casually mentions "testes" to Sorata.
    • Sorata does one again after seeing Misaki's lunch to Jin with the words "I love you" written in them.
    • Sorata yet again in episode 15 after his mom says he must have found a bride while talking to Nanami. Made more hilarious in that he spits into Yuuko's face.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Mashiro does this to Sorata in episode 2 when he comments on a beautiful painting he saw in a book. Which turns out to be Mashiro's.
    • Yuuko does this to Sakura Hall in episode 24.
  • The Stinger: It's usually worthwhile either watching or skipping the credits.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Misaki's name didn't come up at all when Sorata was talking to Jin about him going to art college in Osaka.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: A gender flipped version of this trope: Mashiro just wants a male model, Sorata.
  • They Really Do Love Each Other: Episode 18 reveals more of Jin and Misaki's back story, and why he always felt he was never good enough for her. Despite that, Sorata and Nanami help them to meet each other at least one more time before he goes off to Osaka for college.
  • This and That: Sorata assumes Jin and Misaki must be doing this when he, Mashiro, and Nanami arrive back at Sakura Hall at the end of episode 14. Turns out they aren't, and a distraught Misaki greets them by the front door, wearing only a towel.
  • Through His Stomach: Misaki makes a lunch for Jin in episode 13, although writing "I love you" in it turns him off. This gives Mashiro the idea to learn cooking from Sorata.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Both Sorata and Nanami suffer through this in episode 21. While they had some other outstanding issues, it finally reached a boiling point for both of them after all the bad things that kept happening to them, such as their failures to achieve something in the goals they were reaching for.
  • True Companions: The tenants of the Sakura Hall, in general.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: In episode 11, Sorata accidentally walks in on a naked Nanami. Like so many before her, she instinctively attacked him. Unlike most protagonists in Sorata's position, he successfully blocks the attack, and runs out the bathroom before she can strike again.
  • Wham Line:
    • In episode 3, where Sorata tells Jin over the phone that he's made up his mind to really leave Sakura Hall instead of just dragging his feet about it. This doesn't sit very well with Mashiro, who overheard the conversation, and plays an important role in episode 4.
    • Sorata gives another one at the end of episode 9, when he says Mashiro should go back to painting instead of drawing manga.
    • Rita gives one to Mashiro in episode 10, outright saying she's hated her because she could never be as talented an artist.
    • Right before leaving for her entrance exam at the end of episode 16, Yuko gives one to Sorata. She asks him which girl he likes, Nanami or Mashiro, and then tells him that their father wants him to stop being so indecisive regarding the situation. Both girls immediately wonder what Yuko asked him after seeing him blush.
    • In episode 18, Chihiro-sensei tells Sorata she's attending a meeting she really doesn't want to. After the credits roll, as they arrive home, she tells them that the board of directors is closing down Sakura Hall at the end of the school semester.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?:
    • Mashiro asks Sorata this in episode 8. She also asks Nanami. Neither one gives her a clear answer.
    • Sorata in episode 13, after receiving a rejection letter from the game project, lashes out at Mashiro. He berates her for still trying to learn to cook and not spend enough time drawing her manga. She then tells him to get himself out of her, and when he asks what she meant by that, Mashiro says she doesn't know. She then asks him to explain it to her, but he simply turns his head away as the screen fades to black...
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When Jin asks Sorata about his leaving Sakura Hall at some point in episode 3, Sorata gives him the runaround. He then also asks about Mashiro, and that if Sorata was so tired of it, he would take over "Mashiro duty" as well as the cats, so that Sorata could then be free to leave. Jin tells him that because he's sick of Sorata's lack of commitment regarding working towards a goal, as evidenced by his runaround answers.
    • Chihiro-sensei, who was listening in on this conversation gives a very subtle one to Jin because while Sorata did need a scolding for his behavior, Jin was both lacking tact and simply taking his own frustrations out on Sorata.
      • In episode 18, Sorata also gives one to Jin about his handling of his relationship with Misaki and actually gets into a fight with him over it.
    • In episode 17, several of the Sakura Hall residents get a little upset at Ryuunosuke when he nonchalantly says that Rita left without saying goodbye, claiming she was busy. While they don't specifically call him out, Nanami mentions that she took the trouble of coming all the way to Japan, and considering the cold treatment he gave her earlier in the episode...
  • Whole Episode Flashback: In episode 19, Sorata tells Mashiro about when he first moved into Sakura Hall, and how crazy he thought everything was initially.
  • Write What You Know: In-Universe. While Mashiro's manga art is impeccable, her storytelling is below par. Her editor Ayano recommended her to do this, and her serialized manga Nanohana-sou is practically what happened in the Sakura Hall at the moment, but gender flipped.
  • Write Who You Know: In-Universe. The same as the Write What You Know, above.
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Persona 4: The AnimationCreator/Sentai FilmworksProblem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?

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