There are aliens among us, and they're hot.In the not-too-distant future
, humanity is minding its own business when a huge alien spacecraft suddenly makes a crash-landing in Tokyo Bay. Its passengers look very much like humans
, with a few key differences: The vast majority of them are incredibly beautiful young females
, and they all wear large, distinctive collars
around their necks. While they appear to "come in peace", their nature and origins are a mystery they don't seem eager to reveal. Lacking the knowledge to repair their ship, they decide to integrate into human society through a government-funded "home stay" program, picking up human languages and customs with surprising speed. Their eternally friendly, helpful, and accommodating nature earns them the nickname "DearS".
One year later, Ordinary High-School Student
Takeya Ikuhara is still suspicious of the alien "invaders", though most of his friends are infatuated with them. Walking home one afternoon, Takeya notices a girl huddled under a blanket at the side of the road, on the verge of collapsing from hunger. Taking pity on her, he carries the strange girl back to his apartment, only to discover that she is one of the very aliens he so distrusts. But "Ren", as Takeya nicknames her, is no ordinary DearS: She seems completely oblivious to even the most fundamental human customs (e.g. wearing clothes
), and she eagerly explains to anyone who will listen that Takeya is now her "master", and she is his "slave".
As more and more characters (both human and alien) take an interest in Ren and her "master", it looks increasingly unlikely that Takeya will ever get his life back to normal. It's up to him to figure out just why Ren is so different from the other DearS, and make a tough decision on whether he even wants Ren in his life at all.
So in short, Alien Nation
as a romance manga with Newcomers wanting to be slaves.
Based on the manga by Peach Pit and adapted into an anime, licensed by Geneon
and relicensed by Discotek Media
Tropes in DearS include:
- Above the Influence — Ren explicitly offers to have sex with Takeya when he starts to feel turned on by her presence. Yet, because she's an alien and (primarily) because he feels that Ren isn't really doing it out of love, he politely (for him, anyway) declines.
- Adaptation Distillation — A Twelve-Episode Anime wasn't enough for the full story of the manga, but the romantic comedy elements worked just fine.
- An Aesop: The story has a really unsubtle moral that boils down to "love only happens if you aren't trying so hard for it to happen."
- Anime Hair — Ren and Miu, Miu's being especially noticeable in her bath scenes. That much hair should not be possible. Could be justified in that they're not human and they're genetically created for beauty. Something in their genes could be for 'impossible hair'.
- Annoying Younger Sibling — Natsuki.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! — Nia, nya.
- China shows this a bit at times, but not quite to Nia's level.
- Babies Ever After: In the final chapter we learn that not only does this occur, it was always supposed to be that way because Ren is The Gate, and was the only Dears from the ship with the ability to reproduce.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits — Ren and Miu kiss in the OP. In the series, not so much.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy — Just look at Ren and Mitsuka. Really. Look.
- Big Eater — All the DearS.
- Blank Slate — Ren, who learns (slowly) about the world as the series goes on.
- Happens twice in the manga.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer — Mitsuka-sensei. This little tidbit, said during one of her (ahem) "displays", sums it up the best.
Takeya: (dryly) "It's amazing she hasn't gotten fired yet."
Hikoro: (equally dry) "It's amazing she got the job to begin with."
- Butt Monkey — Takeya.
- The Casanova — The minor character Hirofuni recurs often enough to provide a contrast to Takeya, always with a girl who can't resist having 'coffee' with him. Though he attempts to seduce Ren, and later gracefully concedes, he winds up the focus of Xaki's attention.
- Cat Girl — Nia, who ends every sentence with "-ni".
- Cat Smile — The DearS girls seem to display them from time to time, although Nia seems to have a permanent one.
- The Chew Toy — Takeya again.
- Childhood Friend Romance — Neneko is the Unlucky one.
- Clingy Jealous Girl — Miu, who seems a little bit jealous that Ren already has a master despite being "defective". Takeya's sister Natsuki also doesn't like it when she first finds out about his "relationship" with Ren.
- Closet Sublet — Ren takes to staying in Takeya's closet, since sleeping there was, technically, the first order given to her. She even has a bed set up there.
- Any other DearS that temporarily stays with Takeya usually sleeps in the bottom half under Ren.
- Cloudcuckoolander — Nia. She claims to be hunting for Ren, but then almost immediately forgets about it for various reasons.
- Comic Sutra: In episode 9.5, Miu heads over to Takeya's house to check in on Ren, only to find her "Watching porn to study Takeya's preferences in the earthling ways of sex."
Ren: Holy cow, that looks pretty complicated...
Miu: IS SHE SPINNING!?
- Compressed Adaptation — The anime more or less takes a chainsaw to the sci-fi plot and turns it into a straight romantic comedy.
- Continuity Cameo — China pops up in the last episode of the anime to say hi on a TV screen.
- Cursed with Awesome — Seriously, Takeya, what is wrong with you?
- Cypher Language: DearS language (a substitution cypher for hiragana) is used for episode titles◊ and at various other times. Example: Ren's serial number◊ in episode 1.
- Dancing Theme — The ED. All the main girls in the cast are doing very simple dancing, but it qualifies since that's ALL that they're doing.
- Deconstruction: Two of them. One is of the concept of a slave race, which the DearS set themselves up to be, and the reasons why are rather disturbing. The other, somewhat less serious one is Mitsuka-sensei, a deconstruction of the Hot for Teacher trope. She is, objectively speaking, good looking, but in both the anime and manga she takes hitting on her own students so far even the hormone addled males find her to be Fetish Retardant, and it's heavily implied that she might actually get somewhere if she wasn't trying so hard.
- Depraved Bisexual — Mitsuka-sensei.
- Designated Love Interest — Ren, though most of the time Takeya considers her more of an annoyance than a love interest and has no problem stating as much when asked.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male — Takeya's sister Natsuki cannot stand it when she finds out that Ren and Takeya are living together. While she's implying using physical force or wrestling moves on Ren, she actually does it to Takeya instead. Apparently Natsuki learned it from their mother, who also punishes her similarly from time to time.
- Drives Like Crazy — Mitsuka-sensei in chapter 23.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma! — The ambiguous wording of some of Ren's statements in episodes 5 and 6 can be taken to imply that she tried to boink Takeya while they were sleeping together.
- Even the Girls Want Her — Ren. Subtext plus Skinship Grope with Neneko, subtext plus opening-credits kiss with Miu, and explicitly the case with Mitsuka-sensei. ("I don't care if you're a girl, that body was made for love!") Also, she gets several fangirls at school who constantly urge her to leave Takeya and hang out with them instead.
- Expy — Mitsuka-sensei acts a lot like Shikijo-sensei from Mahoromatic, even sharing the same English voice actress.
- Miu sure looks a lot like Meroko, minus the green eyes - The hair is spot on!
- Fanservice — Aplenty.
- First Kiss — Ren uses one on Takeya to confirm their master-slave relationship in the first episode.
- Foreign Language Title
- Gecko Ending
- Genki Girl — Natsuki.
- Gratuitous English — The opening song in the anime.
- Hadaka Apron
- Happiness in Slavery — Unbeknownst to humanity at large, the DearS are a genetically engineered "slave race". By design, they are uncomfortable with making their own decisions, and derive happiness solely from satisfying the needs of their masters, a task to which they are selflessly dedicated. They hide their true nature to avoid angering their new human "masters", since they have determined that most humans abhor the concept of slavery.
- Harem Nanny — Neneko. Unlike most Harem Nannies, however, she is very much a potential love interest, and while she's the most mature of the cast, she's not above a bit of Tsundere behavior from time to time.
- Healing Hands — As Miu explains, it's more a transferring of life force.
- Homoerotic Subtext — Just look at the picture. In-canon, Ren and Miu just get teasing subtext, but the opening credits feature a noncanonical fanservice shot where they kiss.
- Hot for Student — Subverted: Mitsuka-sensei acts in defiance of school rules and decency in her constant attempts to come on to her students, but they find her annoying and embarrassing, frequently wondering aloud how on earth she manages to keep her job.
- Hot Springs Episode — The unaired "Episode 9.5", included in the DVD release.
- Human Aliens — The DearS, most of whom could be mistaken for unusually good-looking humans were it not for their collars. In a flashback provided by Miu, the unnamed alien race that created the DearS also appears to be outwardly identical to humans.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
- I Kiss Your Hand — Ren does it to Takeya when she's being cute.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Nia. She's supposed to capture Ren, but Once per Episode she goes out and completely forgets just what the hell she's doing, often to chase after a Delicious Distraction.
- Innocent Cohabitation — Once Ren figures out that Takeya isn't into her, their relationship becomes this. Lampshaded when Neneko suggests that Takeya clarify the situation, and then realizes that he has absolutely no idea what she's talking about.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl — Ren, though she eventually comes to understand the concept of "dressing appropriately".
- Irony: The one person who originally wants nothing to do with the DearS, obtains a harem full of them when leaving for space at the end of the manga.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold — Takeya.
- Landlady — Neneko Izumi
- Latex Space Suit — All DearS have one, and they leave little to the imagination (this includes the male "Biters").
- Also an example of Clothes Make the Superman: The suits contain a powerful "gravity manipulation device", allowing for effortless Telekinesis and Flight (though these are only used when absolutely necessary). Presumably this is also the source of the DearS' healing powers. When not needed, the suits turn into Pure Energy and are stored inside the DearS' collars.
- While the clothes do turn into energy for storage (depending on the anime or the manga, the clothes either swap completely or it only affects the standard latex suit, requiring a change of normal clothes anyway), the forehead crystal are responsible for controlling the DearS' gravity manipulation, as well as other abilities not further mentioned (although it is active during the time that Ren learns Japanese). Wearing the latex outfit is not required.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall — Mostly the show behaves normally, ignoring the viewer. But the over-the-top Fanservice Hot Springs Episode skirts the edge when they discuss who else to bring.
Miu: 'Since it is a bath house, a woman would be better than a man.'
Ren: 'A woman would be better?'
Miu: 'Of course,' turns to look directly at the viewer.
Ren: 'Is that so?' moves in front, also looking at the viewer.
- Lethal Chef — Ren's cooking was so bad that any humans who ate it cried tears of blood. Apparently, however, other DearS (or, at the very least, Miu) find it to be heavenly. Ren's cooking does improve... sort of.
- Likes Older Women — Takeya, or at least he's mercilessly teased about being one after Ren blurts out the contents of his Porn Stash to his classroom.
- Loveable Sex Maniac - Mitsuka-sensei
- Magical Girlfriend — Ren.
- Man Child — Let's face it, Takeya couldn't even survive without Neneko and Ren's help, and not just because the rent's good. One might say that the whole series displays him being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood.
- Meganekko — Neneko.
- Moment Killer — Goddamn, but Natsuki has some sense of timing.
- My Hero Zero — In the DearS' language, "Ren" means "zero" or "nothing". It's the first digit of Ren's identification number, because that's how the DearS indicate "defective units".
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That — DearS can sense emotion from their masters, including any desires they might have.
- New Transfer Student — Ren and Miu.
- Noblewoman's Laugh — Miu (anime).
- Ojou — Miu, again. Refined speech patterns? Check. Frilly and girlishly princess-like decor and clothing? Check. Although when you take certain factors into account, you realize that she's compensating for something...
- Otaku — Neneko has shades of this, as shown in Ep. 9.
- Overly Long Name — Ren's full name is Ren Ren Ren Nagusaran Rensia Rurunnren Nakora, and Miu's full name is Sia Nostal Ren Naguregyug Thanast Useim Ruki Miu. Justified due to You Are Number Six (see below).
- Pet the Dog: Mitsuka, at one point in the manga, takes a brief break from her usual pervy ways to fashion a swimsuit (a decent one, at that) for the youngest DearS so she can have fun swimming like everyone else.
- Playing Against Type — Wait, the pervy teacher was played by the seiyuu for Belldandy, the goddess of Yamato Nadeshiko?
- Please Put Some Clothes On — Mitsuka-sensei simply cannot keep her clothes on in front of her students. Meanwhile, Ren just doesn't get that she needs to wear clothing.
- Please Wake Up
- Polyamory: By default, Takeya literally ends up with all the DearS who decided to return to space.
- Porn Stash — Takeya works at a video rental store, which allows him to secretly swipe the latest adult releases, "renting them out" to his friends. A more typical example happens when Ren finds one of these videos beneath the kitchen sink and proceeds to watch it for "research" on Earth sex.
- Promotion to Parent — Neneko is in charge of being Takeya's mom, never mind that she's his age and a potential Love Interest.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Plot! — Ren and Miu's contest. Ren loses the first two contests by the rules, but nobody cares. (Miu conceded on the Cooking Duel...or something. Ren won the ball game.)
- Sex Slave — Ren wants to be one. Takeya isn't into it.
- Shout-Out —
- "I bet underneath that pretty smile there's a lizard's face!"
- During the Dollfest chapter, Neneko has two dolls on display that look a lot like Shinku and Suigintou from Rozen Maiden.
- Slave Collar
- Some Call Me Tim — One look at Overly Long Name tells you why they're called "Ren" and "Miu" for short.
- Spit Take — Takeya, especially in episode 3 when Ren goes to his school to bring food for him.
- Stay with the Aliens
- Third-Person Person — Ren, to demonstrate her childishness.
- Too Hot for TV — Episode 9.5 was only on DVD.
- Tsundere — Neneko, though she's a lot more subtle about it than most; she prefers to yank Takeya's chain (mainly by making him do stuff for Ren) instead of directly attacking or insulting him.
- Trademark Favorite Food — Ren and melon bread.
- Unwanted Harem — Three girls all want Takeya, though a couple of them Cannot Spit It Out.
- Verbal Tic — Nia the Cat Girl. Sometimes the only thing she says is "Ni!"
- What Is This Thing You Call Love? — When they first come to earth, its believed the DearS are incapable of feeling love or knowing what it is. Later, when Ren and Miu fall in love with Takeya, its revealed that Ren changed the DearS so they could feel love.
- You Are Number Six — The DearS' Overly Long Names are actually identification numbers, expressed in their native language. Few DearS seem to have true "names" that aren't shortened versions of their numbers.