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Manga: Beach Stars
Our heroine, Nanase Iruka.

Beach Stars is a sports manga written and drawn by Morio Masahiro, focusing around a high school girl named Nanase Iruka. She is hopeful for the new school year, with the knowledge that she will be able to play volleyball with all of her friends. Unfortunately, due to lack of membership, the volleyball club is closing down, and all of her other friends go off to do other things. However, when things look bleakest, she is taken down to the beach by her friends, where she meets the up-and-coming beach volleyball star Hayakawa Sanae, and her life changes forever...

The original manga finished in October of 2010. A sequel, The!! Beach Stars, started in December 2010.


Beach Stars has examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Hayakawa Sanae is probably the epitome of this trope.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Iruka, of all people.
  • Badass Boast: Taki gets one several for herself in her first match of the Madonna Cup.
    • Immediately subverted, since Taki doesn't have the control to actually land her super-powerful attacks in the court; it's all just bluster. Or is it?
  • Badass Teacher: Honda-san. Much like another infamous delinquent-turned-teacher, he is sometimes forced to put his ill-gained skills to good use.
  • Beach Episode: About half of the manga takes place on the beach, what do you expect?
  • Berserk Button: Iruka is a bit short, especially for her chosen sport. Be sure not to remind her of that.
  • Bifauxnen: Kurachi can easily be mistaken for a guy. She's tall, muscular, has a sharp jawline, and the first time you see her you can't really tell if she has breasts or not. The eyes don't help much either.
    • Of course she gets into a bathing suit, and it becomes a bit more obvious that she's female.
    • She also looks way more feminine in the flashbacks.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Thanks to their irises apparently taking up the majority of their eyeballs, the Sannomiya Twins (especially the incompetent sister, Hatsune) appear to have this. Although it's less evil and more stupid.
  • Blood Knight: Aside from the fact that she fights through volleybal and not direct violence Hayakawa Sanae fits into this trope rather well - she doesn't care for fame, nor for any particular achievement and even victory isn't all that important to her, what she craves for is a strong opponent that can challenge her on equal terms and the only time we see her genuinely smile is after she was beaten by Iruka.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Hiro Kagurazaka (boke) and Sadako Izumi (tsukkomi).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In The!! Beach Stars:
    Iruka: "I thought if the editing was done right, it would look like we warped or something..."
  • Broken Ace: Kurachi-senpai.
    • Which is why she was quite happy when the same thing happened to Kotomi.
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Cool Teacher: Ryoko plays this role to the girls of the beach volleyball club since their actual adviser, Honda-sensei, doesn't actually know anything about beach volleyball.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Several characters dip in and out, including Iruka and Taki. However, the best example in the manga is probably Hirahara from Unmei Commercial High School, who bases her volleyball strategy on Feng Shui.
  • Comic Book Time: The first third of the original manga takes place over several months. The second third takes up about half a day. The final third is consumed entirely by the final match.
    • To be fair, the final match is three sets rather than just one, so the final match is about as long as the rest of the tournament combined, in terms of play time.
  • Crash into Hello: How Iruka meets Reika. Of course, with her... endowments, this also resulted in Marshmallow Hell for Iruka.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Reika, who manages to block both Sanae's and Reika's serves ''simultaneously.''
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Taki; she appears to be a part of the ganguro subculture, which is part of her Gonk qualities.
    • Later we are introduced to some of her friends, who have a similar appearance.
  • Demoted to Extra: Rin is the odd man out in the five-person beach volleyball team, and so barely gets any screen time through the entire preliminaries... which is about two-thirds of the manga.
    • But she come back in full force at the end of the first series, threatening to leave the team for good.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: After winning the quarter-finals, Iruka decides to get some food... specifically, a giant hot dog. However, it manages to avoid the normal connotations, since she immediately bumps into Hiro.
    • Who is also eating an enormous hot dog.
  • Ecchi
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Iruka, who manages to figure out the secret behind Kurachi's Cross Spike during the Madonna Cup Preliminary Finals.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The girls on the beach volleyball team refer to Honda as "Ponda-san" (usually translated as "Humvee" or something to that effect, as it's a pun on the fact that he has the same name as a car company). He really doesn't like it.
  • Expy: Honda is basically what would happen if Onizuka weren't the center of his own universe.
  • Fanservice: It's an ecchi manga about beach volleyball. The rest should be self-evident.
  • Fun Bag Airbag: See Crash into Hello above.
  • Gag Boobs: Ono Reika, who is probably the best endowed female in the cast.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: How Kotomi went from being a star volleyball player to being too frightened to spike the ball.
    • Subverted in that the injury itself isn't what broke her, it was the psychological trauma that she never got over.
  • Genki Girl: Iruka, to an alarming extent.
  • Gonk: Taki. Dear lord, Taki.
    • To be fair, a lot of it has to do with her makeup; otherwise, she'd just be sort of short and overweight.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Kurachi-senpai definitely goes into the evil eyes territory.
  • Hidden Depths: Several characters.
    • Kyosuke Honda, known to the girls as Ponda-san, who founded Yamagami High's Death Metal Club, still has enough of a reputation to scare the crap out of most of the delinquents just by mentioning his name.
    • Ono Reika, who is secretly Hayakawa Sanae's partner and one of the most talented volleyball players in the country, if not the world.
  • Hot-Blooded: Terashima Akira.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Iruka did her first beach volleyball game in her high school uniform, and didn't realize she was flashing the audience every time she jumped up to receive or spike the ball.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's Taki, not Takiko!
  • It's All About Me: Taki, so much. People tend to ignore her when she does this, though.
    • And the Sannomiya Sisters manage to compete pretty well with her when they compete in the Madonna Cup.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Taki, who is there when the volleyball team needs her.
  • Joshikousei
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Kotomi, after getting over her Freudian Excuse, does this whenever she's on the offensive.
  • Like Brother and Sister: How Honda views his relationship with Iruka by the end of the manga. Iruka doesn't agree with this assessment.
  • The Load: Taki starts as this, but she starts to get better.
  • Male Gaze: Most of the girls in this manga are well gifted, and the men definitely notice.
  • Meganekko: Michiru, complete with Dojikko tendencies.
  • Motive Decay: Lampshaded; you might have forgotten, by the time you get to the Madonna Cup Preliminaries, that Iruka's original goal was to beat Hayakawa Sanae. Don't worry though, Iruka takes time to remind us, just in case.
  • The Napoleon: Iruka is the second shortest girl in the cast, and she's a bit sensitive about the subject.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Most of Ono Reika expressions and comments make her look like an airhead but underneath the surface she is not only one of the best and most competent players in the manga but is also capable of reading other people quite well and on occasion delivering a subtle, yet accurate remark that digs right where it hurts.
  • Ojou: The Sannomiya Twins, from Saint-Karelina High School, who manage to out-bluster even Taki.
  • Overprotective Dad: Michiru's father, who is not happy with her joining the beach volleyball club. Justified since when she was in the basketball club in elementary school, she was horribly abused by the other kids, and he doesn't want that to happen to her again.
  • Panty Shot: Most of the time, they're wearing bathing suits, so it's not technically a panty shot, but the perspective definitely tends to focus directly from behind the girls, usually from a lower angle.
    • That's when it's not focusing on their cleavage, anyway.
  • Pet the Dog: Kurachi, after getting encouragement from the fans from her school. It's the first time we see her not looking absolutely bonkers.
  • The Power of Friendship: Every beach volleyball player relies on their partner to help them win the match. This is emphasized repeatedly over the course of the manga.
    • Also, the reason the girls were eventually able to get their own beach volleyball court.
  • The Rival: Iruka to Sanae.
  • Room Full of Crazy: A comedic version of the trope, and not actually in a room: Michiru accidentally gets a glimpse of Sadako's notebook, which is full of manic, hateful screeds about her partner, Hiro.
  • Rousing Speech: By Mr. Fuji, of all people.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Fuji is definitely this, or so we are meant to think. In reality, he's more of an over-exuberant Stern Teacher who didn't realize his intense training and disciplinary method were chasing people off.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Taki, who was so effective that she ended up being on the second team in the preliminaries with Hinami instead of Rin.
    • Poor Rin, who suddenly comes back at the end of the first series, pissed off that she was relegated to the sidelines for the entire manga and ready to quit.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Sanae, definitely.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Teased between Honda and Iruka.
  • Those Three Girls: Yuina, Nagisa and Kanae of the Newspaper Club. Don't show up that often, but they're rather distinctive when they do.
  • Tournament Arc: The Madonna Cup, though the original manga only actually follows them through the preliminaries.
  • Training from Hell: Mr. Fuji's preferred method and one of the main reasons the volleyball club closed down in the first place.
  • Two-Teacher School: Honda-san and Fuji-san are pretty much the only ones who show up.
  • Unknown Rival: Terashima Akira, to Hayakawa Sanae.
  • Wham Episode: Literally, in this case: Iruka takes a ball to the face pretty hard and ends up with a concussion, barely able to stand up, much less play.

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alternative title(s): Beach Stars
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