Hachibei Maeda is a guy with very, very
particular tastes in women. In fact, he isn't so much into girls as he is into his ideal attributes: big, crystal blue eyes; perky breasts "like bullet trains"; a husky, womanly voice; long, lean, streamlined legs; etc.
The good news is, he's been accepted at a prestigious high school in Tokyo, and he's sure he'll find at least one of his "beloved parts" in the big city.
The bad news is, when he gets there, he finds the boys' dormitory has been burned down, and he can't afford an apartment.
The good news is, he's offered a place to stay... in the girls' dorm... with four beautiful women, each of whom has one of the attributes he's looking for in a girl (Fiery Redhead
Sakurako and her eyes
, shy and bespectacled Yukari and her breasts
, twenty-something teacher Tsubame and her legs
, and sarcastic ninja-girl
Kirino and her voice).
The bad news, he almost immediately gets off on the wrong foot with them, and now they all think he's crazy, a pervert, or both. Okay, so he is
, but that's beside the point...
Thus begins Ai Kora: Love & Collage
, an endearingly warped and ecchi
take on harem comedies and every fetish you can possibly imagine, from the creator of Midori no Hibi
. As Maeda quests (with limited success) to win over the girls, he finds himself learning more about them (and himself) as he learns to appreciate them for more than their parts.
This series provides examples of:
- Accidental Pervert: Not nearly as often as being an actual pervert, mind.
- Almost Kiss: Happens a few times, like between Yukari and Hachibei in chapter 77.
- Art Shift: During a street race in chapter 54, Tsubame-sensei suddenly shifts her face into the style of Initial D.
- Berserk Button: Mess with the girls in Maeda's harem at your own risk.
- Don't insult the Ninja Way around Kirino.
- Betty and Veronica: Yukari is Betty and Ayame is Veronica. Sakurako is actually in the best position but since she's not vocal about it, most of the bickering over Maeda is between the former two. See Third-Option Love Interest, though Sakurako is actually the first option in just about every other regard.
- Black Comedy Rape: In chapter 51, Ayame tries to rape Hachibei while making the other girls watch!
- Book Ends: The guy who tried to burn down the girl's dorm in the first chapter shows up in the last chapter, once again takes Sakurako hostage, and once again gets his butt kicked by Maeda.
- But Not Too Foreign: Sakurako's mother is an Englishwoman. This is also the explanation behind her cat-like blue eyes : she inherited them from her mom.
- Chickification: Neatly averted by Kirino. After starting her idol career, Hachibei saves her from a Loony Fan, but she reminds him (with a vivid demonstration) that she doesn't really need his help.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Maeda.
- Christmas Cake: Tsubame.
- Closet Geek: Yukari
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Outani Umeka.
- Crash-Into Hello: Maeda and Sakurako.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Maeda is a lazy, weak, uninspired idiot, but given the right motivation (such as protecting someone's fetish) he is basically an unstoppable force of nature.
- Cult: The Church of Bluish-Purple from chapters 104 and 105.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Who gets a Toplessness from the Back scene.
- D-Cup Distress: An early chapter revolves around Yukari growing tired of people pointing out her breasts and trying to wear a "breast-reduction bra" that's really just a regular bra sold by an unscrupulous salesman. Hachibei is more interested in Yukari's breasts for their shape rather than their size, but when he finds out what happened he talks Yukari into accepting her body (and secretly takes the time to inflict some righteous retribution on the salesman who preyed on her insecurities).
- Distracted by the Sexy: Maeda's biggest weakness.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Sakurako gets these in a manga chapter where she tries to give up her thrifty ways. Since Maeda's so fixated on her eyes, he's one of the first to notice them.
- Expy: Two characters are clearly inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion: Sensei Tsubame has purple hair, drinks heavily, and is a car nut/crazy driver — Misato. Sakurako has orange hair with red ribbons, blue eyes, and a fiery temper — Asuka Langley Sohryu.
- This manga is very similar to Love Hina in terms of characters: Sakurako = Naru, Yukari = Shinobu, Kirino = Motoko, and Tsubame = Mitsune; however Hachibei is less like Keitaro, and more like Ataru Moroboshi.
- Many of the characters look like the characters from the artist's previous series Midori Days.
- Fan Disservice: Among other things, naked Aburazaka (from behind, thankfully) and an old man wearing pantyhose.
- Fanservice: And lots of it! And almost always spoofed.
- Fetishes: Made into a plot device with Maeda's "parts love"; There's a lot of "fetish of the week" chapters too.
- First Kiss: During the chapter of the same name. Obviously huge spoiler.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The girls of the dorm.
- Happy-go-lucky Tsubame is sanguine
- Serious and snarky Kirino is choleric
- Hard-working but moody Sakurako is melancholy
- Quiet and shy Yukari is phlegmatic
- Gag Boobs: A very rare case of them being realistically sized. While Yukari's breasts are certainly large, they're far from abnormally so for a girl her age. The reason Maeda obsesses over them is because of their shape, not their size.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Yukari delivers one to Maeda, and tells him to fight for Sakurako, after he slips into despair when it looks like he's lost her to her old boyfriend.
- Girls with Guns: A chapter taking place at the school Christmas party features a paintball match; Ayame pulls out a paintball machine gun at one point.
- Handsome Lech: Maeda.
- Harem Nanny: Tsubame — from the girls' perspective, that is. They don't know that Hachibei, who's all about parts rather than romance, ranks her equally with the rest of them.
- Heavy Voice: Lampshaded by Hachibei in chapter 88, page 14.
- Hidden Depths: We eventually find the girls aren't your typical collection of harem comedy stereotypes.
- Hot-Blooded: Maeda.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is numbered as "Parts #".
- The Idiot from Osaka: Tsubame Ameyagi-sensei, the drunken idiot.
- Ignore the Fanservice: If a girl doesn't have one of Hachibei's ideal parts, no mater how hard she tries it won't get his interest.
- Ojou: Ayame.
- Otaku: Yukari secretly loves cosplay, gaming and manga.
- Overprotective Dad: Sakurako's dad really doesn't like it when Hachibei turns up at her house. Even less when Hachi shouts that he hopes to get to know her better at the top of his voice.
- ...then they start competing to see whose love for Sakurako is stronger.
- Pair the Spares
- Peek-a-Bangs: Kureha Kano.
- Porn Stash: In the form of clandestine photos of his favourite parts. NOT used for comedy.
- Put on a Bus: Kirino leaves the dormitory for a new school when her career picks up. The Bus Came Back not too long after that, though. Or you could say she's Back for the Finale.
- Reality Ensues: It's not a good idea to come right out and say that you like a girl solely for her body parts to her face, especially after she confessed to you. Shrinking Violet Yukari is rightfully insulted, and monumentally furious at Maeda. Other events play out against expected tropes as well.
- Reset Button: A number of chapters end with Maeda making progress in his relationships with the girls, only to undo it all, or at best most of it, by saying or doing something stupid and/or perverted.
- Rich Bitch: Ayame.
- Running Gag: A number of these, including Ayame distracting Maeda with a belly dance, and Maeda's ability to judge whether a girl has one of his favorite parts in half a second.
- Sadist Teacher: Sajima, the guy who came to stop Hachibei and his parts fetish.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Kureha Kano, who has a thing for Meganekko).
- Secret Secret Keeper: Tsubame seems to have figured out Hachibei's attraction to her legs, and uses it to get free massages. Ayame also starts to frequently exploit Hachibei's fetish for her waist.
- Sensei-chan: Tsubame-sensei. Though partially subverted because she doesn't mind being single and doesn't want to get married.
- Status Quo Is God: The girls eventually warm up to Maeda, but given that he never seems to learn his lesson, it's a very slow "two steps forward, one step back" process.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Haiji, a bisexual Love Freak who, as luck would have it, has what Hachibei considers an ideal butt.
- Supporting Harem: Probably.
- Temporary Bulk Change: Happens to Ayame chapter 59 when stress from a scandal at her father's company causes her to over-eat, and to Hachibei when he tries to intercept her food in an effort to prevent her getting any fatter. It later happens to Yukari, Sakurako, and Kirino in chapter 88 thanks to a meddling Chubby Chaser doctoring the dorm's water supply.
- Third-Option Love Interest: While Yukari and Ayame spend most of their time pursuing Hachibei, he ends up falling for Sakurako.
- Through His Stomach: A chapter taking place on Valetine's Day sees the girls in Hachibei's harem plying him with chocolates.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The two new roommates at the end of the series.
- Tsundere: Sakurako and Kirino. Spoofed/lampshaded with Asagiri from the maid cafe in chapter 15.
- Unstoppable Rage: Maeda gains superhuman abilities if 'his' parts are threatened (or if he's promised a feel). He once defeated a gang of Japanese Delinquents because they damaged the breasts on a statue.
- The Unwanted Harem: subverted: Maeda definitely wants these girls, if only because each has one of the parts he's looking for.
- Could even be inverted. As noted above, while it's Maeda who wants the girls, it's the girls who don't want him. Until recently. And only in some cases. And then there's Ayame, who's just nuts, but lately seems to have developed feelings for Haiji.
- Double subverted in the last chapter when he finally returns home from an accidental trip to England; he's mobbed by all the girls he saved on the way back.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Sakurako.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Maeda apparently has never been in love before he starts developing feelings for Sakurako; he even says these exact lines. He does seem to have huge sexual lust for the girls though, which, according to him, is completely different from romantic love.
- Yaoi Fangirl: Yukari.