Manga: Hanasakeru Seishounen
Hanasakeru Seishōnen (花咲ける青少年) is a manga series written and illustrated by Natsumi Itsuki. Set in the modern era, the story follows the path to romance of fourteen-year-old Kajika Burnsworth, daughter of powerful industrialist Harry Burnsworth, owner of the Burnsworth international conglomerate giant. Kajika agrees to participate in a "marriage game" with her father, in which she must select her future husband out of three men that her father has supposedly preselected for her.
Despite its shōjo-romance undertones, the story itself evolves as a power political mystery involving a small, middle eastern country called Raginei. Raginei as a country is only 1,000 years old, but became extremely wealthy within the last 50 years or so due to a change in ideals implemented by past King Machaty that allowed the international export of oil. While Kajika searches for her suitors and puzzles over the concept of love, the country is thrown into political turmoil and Kajika's friendship with Prince Rumaty Ivan, as well as the Burnsworth relationship with Raginei, lands her right in the middle of it all.
Tropes associated with Hanasakeru Seishōnen:
- Action Mom: Kajika's mother was a New York cop and worked as Harry's bodyguard before marrying him.
- Badass: Isaac Noei, a former elite soldier, and fully skilled enough to qualify as an Action Hero.
- Badass Bookworm: Lee-Leng. While he's well-studied and normally operates in business and politics, he's also trained in martial arts and very handy with a knife.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Toranosuke can never get Kajika to listen to anything he says, making guarding her very difficult.
- Berserk Button: Kajika's normally fairly easygoing (though stubborn) and eager to get along with everyone. But threaten her loved ones, and she'll get seriously angry. (Though she normally cools off pretty quickly.)
- Beware the Nice Ones: Do not get Lee-Leng angry. Just...don't.
- Big Bad: Quinza probably qualifies.
- Big Brother Mentor: Isaac to Sezun.
- Eventually, Lee-Leng to Rumaty.
- Big Brother Worship: Rumaty really respects and looks up to his elder brother Somand, and wants to do everything he can to support Somand as king. This becomes tragic, as Somand doesn't understand Rumaty's feelings at all, and is terrified that he'll try to usurp the throne. Eventually, he tries to kill Rumaty with assassins.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Between Kajika and Lee-Leng at the end of episode 34, directly after Lee-Leng rescued Kajika, who had been cornered and was about to be killed by Quinza. By shooting him off a building.
- Big Sister Bully: Carl's three older half-sisters bullied him extensively when they were children, and still continue to as adults. He calls them "Hell's Three Sisters". They were even the cause of his Claustrophobia.
- Birds of a Feather: Kajika and Rumaty. They're both straightforward, headstrong, and the children of very powerful people. They also tend to inspire loyalty in others. It turns out that they're actually cousins.
- Bishōnen: Given the nature of the series, these are naturally all over the place. But particular mention goes to Lee-Leng, Eugene, Rumaty, and Carl.
- Eugene mercilessly makes use of his status as this.
- Bi the Way: Carl, possibly. While it's obvious he's attracted to Kajika during the main plot, an old male high school acquaintance of his made it pretty clear they were involved at one point. However, it's unclear if Carl is actually attracted to men or was only experimenting because he didn't handle women well.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl : Li Leng and Kajika. Although she is a bit rough sometimes.She's generally pretty calm and composed.
- Broken Ace: Lee-Leng. He's the leader of the Huang family, a skilled strategist in both business and politics, skilled in martial arts, and generally more mature than a good portion of the cast. Underneath it all, he's been suppressing all emotional weakness to the point that he seemed like an Empty Shell when Kajika first met him, and desperately trying to hide how much he struggles with his Skewed Priorities.
- Brutal Honesty: Kajika isn't afraid to say what's on her mind.
- Butt Monkey: Poor, poor Toranosuke...
- Cain and Abel: Somand and Rumaty.
- The Casanova: Eugene.
- Claustrophobia: Carl has a bad case of this.
- The Comically Serious: Kajika, on occasion.
- Consummate Liar: Quinza. It's quite possible that it's compulsive - he seems to purposefully always choose the plan that involves the most deception out of those available to him.
- Cool Old Guy: Fred Burnsworth, Kajika's adoptive grandfather.
- Cool Pet: Mustafa, Kajika's beloved white leopard. Though he died pre-series.
- There's also Lucia, Rumaty's pet hawk.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: For a long time Harry Burnsworth wasn't sure how to feel after learning that his real father was Machaty, the king of Raginei, and that he had essentially abandoned him and his mother. But after meeting with his father after Raginei awarded the failing Burnsworth company a major oil pipeline deal and talking with him, he decided to forgive him for everything.
- Deadpan Snarker: Eugene.
- Death Seeker: Eugene, before finally being Driven to Suicide. He gets better after Kajika stops him, though.
- Does Not Like Women: Carl has been rather embittered towards women after his experience with his sisters.
- Driven to Suicide: Eugene. Bonus points for the fact that he wanted to die the same age as his mother committed suicide due to a complicated revenge plot on the part of Volkan. His suicide is averted by Kajika, though.
- Not to mention the three women Eugene drove to suicide pre-series, as well as the woman who almost kills herself in his introduction episode.
- Dull Eyesof Unhappiness: Li Ren along with being a Stepford Smiler perpetually has these eyes. Kajika even makes a note of it the first time she sees him.
- Dynamic Entry: Li Ren/Leng
- Emotion Suppression: Li Leng/Ren. This becomes a major issue later on. Harry Burnsworth knowing that Li probably loves his daughter even remarks on the chances of Li getting the girl with this kind of attitude.
- Enemy Mine: Not a severe case, but a minor version is invoked with Li Leng/Ren and Eugene. They openly admit their mutual dislike for each other and have almost explicitly stated that they work together only because of their love for Kajika and for the sake of her protection.
- Evil Counterpart: Najayra to Kajika. They're described by other characters to be like "plus and minus".
- Fish out of Water: When Kajika returns to the world at large after being raised on an isolated island for 12 years, she's a little ignorant of social standards.
- Both Rumaty and his grandfather Machaty are also this when they see the real world for the first time, having been very sheltered as princes of Raginei. Especially Machaty, who as the Crown Prince had never even left the palace.
- Friendless Background: A staple in this series. Leads to I Just Wantto Have Friends from Kajika.
- The Gadfly: Eugene tends to like to bug people just because he can.
- Najayra is a much more malicious example of this.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Lee-Leng to Rumaty in episode 17, in response to Rumaty's Freak Out over the fact that people were getting injured and killed to protect him. Frustrated with Rumaty's absolute refusal to see why he might be considered valuable, Lee-Leng responds with a double slap.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Rumaty is fairly hot-headed, especially earlier in the series.
- Harem Genre: But unique in that as the series progresses, the central point of the plot moves from romance towards political intrigue.
- Heroic Bastard: Harry Burnsworth.
- Heroic BSOD: Rumaty, when he realizes that his brother tried to kill him.
- Honor Before Reason: Rumaty early on. He grows out of it somewhat.
- I Am Not My Father: A large part of Carl's early Character Development is realizing that he is not his father, and that he doesn't have to try to follow in his footsteps, fanatically pursuing revenge on the Burnsworths, just to make him happy.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: This is how Eugene's feelings for Kajika eventually turn out. He explicitly states that he'll never attempt to lay a hand on her, and that he'll support her whoever she decides to marry in the end. That being said, he still finds it quite painful, even more than he thought it would be, when Kajika finally gets together with Lee-Leng.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: While differences in hair, eyes, and gender make them easy to tell apart, Kajika and Rumaty have very similar faces, which is often commented on. Isaac even mistakes Kajika for Rumaty once, when he was half passed-out from being shot, and Lee-Leng begins subconsciously treating Rumaty similarly to how he treats Kajika because of this. This is hardly surprising, as they're actually first cousins.
- This gets invoked when Kajika manages to convince Raginei soldiers who were pursuing her, Lee-Leng, and members of the Rumaty rebel faction that she is really Rumaty through a combination of this trope and force of personality.
- Intrepid Reporter: Eddie Roberts.
- I Shall Return: A Romantic Variation with Mahaty who promised that he'd return for Kathleen, which turned into an I Will Wait for You for Kathleen, considering that he was never allowed to return from Raginei due to his Royal Duties.She married Fred later on, but they were more of Platonic Life Partners with Fred being completely aware of Kathleen and Mahaty and voluntarily taking up the position of a father to Harry. Mahaty on his deathbed, expresses his regret over his broken promise to Kajika.
- It Amused Me: Najayra's main motivation for doing anything.
- Kawaiiko: Ling-Lee, Lee-Leng's cousin and temporary fiancee.
- Ladykiller In Love: Eugene, in all his glory. Quite a literal one at that since he's caused quite a few women to kill themselves because he didn't reciprocate their affections. Three in fact,something called back throughout the series.
- Lethal Chef: Kajika, big time. Just the mention of her "special Stamina Soup" is enough to bring a reaction of The Dreaded from other characters. The only one who can stomach her cooking is Eugene.
- Let Them Die Happy: After Quinza commits suicide and lies dying, Rumaty gives him "permission to die", thus allowing him to die for the sake of Raginei and the royal family, a great honor.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Kajika Burnsworth. And how ! She lived alone on an island with only maids, Li Ren and Mustafa for about twelve years. Starting when she was 2 !
- Loyal Animal Companion: Mustafa was this to Kajika before he died pre-series.
- Mad Love: Najayra for Quinza. Even when she discovers he's been manipulating her the entire time, she finds herself becoming even more attracted to him.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: It's considered taboo to comment on the fact that Harry Burnsworth doesn't look much like either Fred or Kathleen, his parents. He's actually the child of an affair between Kathleen and Machaty, Rumaty's grandfather and the previous king of Raginei. Though in a subversion, Fred proposed to Kathleen in full knowledge that she was carrying Machaty's child.
- Manipulative Bastard: Quinza.
- Missing Mom: All of the main characters suffer from this.
- Kajika's mother died protecting her from kidnappers when she was two.
- Eugene's mother Kristin committed suicide on her 20th birthday.
- Rumaty's mother passed away not long after he was born.
- Carl's mother divorced his father soon after he was born, and he doesn't seem to ever see her.
- Lee-Leng's mother died in a sanatorium when he was 5.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Lee-Leng cooking in episode 9.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Isaac was willing to do anything Somand asked of him, even assassinating Rumaty, no matter how he felt about it, thinking this was the best way he could serve him. He seriously regrets it later, especially when he realizes he wasn't helping Somand at all by acting that way.
- New Transfer Student: Kajika
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Isabelle Rosenthal, Carl's oldest sister. She's originally introduced as stupid and petty, though admittedly cruel. It's later revealed that she was in charge of the Rosenthal investigation of Burnsworth. And when Carl squashes that, thus causing their father to have a heart attack, in revenge she sends the results of the investigation (showing that Kajika was the true heir to the throne of Raginei) to Quinza.
- Not What It Looks Like: Well,more like sounds; Kajika'a entire description of Mustafa in the beginning.Every girl listening to her squeeled the hell out of themselves when they heard how all over amazing the relationship with this guy was. Until they figure out that Mustafa's a snow leopard.
- Official Couple: Kajika and Lee-Leng.
- Parental Favoritism: Nelson Rosenthal only ever really paid any attention to Carl, because of Carl's capability business-wise. Carl's elder sisters are less than pleased with this, and hate him passionately for it.
- Rebel Prince: Rumaty. Eventually evolves into The Wise Prince.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eugene and Lee-Leng.
- Revenge Before Reason: Nelson Rosenthal is so completely obsessed with getting revenge on Harry and the rest of the Burnsworth company that he's perfectly willing to ruin his own business just to bring them down.
- Shrinking Violet: Najayra's maid, Raisa.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Rumaty and Somand. Also, Quniza and Sezun.
- Skewed Priorities: Played for Drama with Lee-Leng. He's had it drilled into him from birth to prioritize the Huang family above all else, and is now completely incapable of putting anything he cares about before the family, including his feelings for Kajika.
- Overcoming this is a large part of his Character Development at the end of the series, eventually leading him to step down from the position of head of the Huang family. Things go downhill from there, though.
- Son of a Whore: Carl's mother was a hostess who married his father (who was 30 years her senior) because of his vast wealth. They divorced after only a year, though.
- Spoiled Sweet: Rumaty is used to people pretty much doing what he tells them to do and being exceedingly respectful to him, be he's still essentially a good kid.
- Strange Girl: Kajika, due to both being raised on a remote island most of her life and being extremely headstrong.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Yui's younger brother Kouta's reaction to helping Eugene put on a yukata directly after getting out of the bath.
- Succession Crisis: The fight for the throne of Raginei drives most of the plot of the series.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Lee-Leng is cooly polite and distant to most people, but he can be quite kind and warm to the people he cares about.
- The Stoic: Li Leng/Ren
- Time Skip: After Somand's coronation, one year is skipped over.
- The Triads and the Tongs: The Huang family has shades of this, and at the least definitely has underground connections.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Rumaty looks just like his grandfather Machaty, who is considered legendary as the king who brought Raginei into the modern era. This is one of the reasons Somand feels so threatened by Rumaty.
- Undying Loyalty: Quinza's loyalty to Rumaty is a very dark example of this trope. He will do anything to see Rumaty on the throne, regardless of how Rumaty feels about his actions or the damage he causes in the process. In the end, he triggers a civil war to ruin Somand and rout all corruption from the palace.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Lee-Leng.
- Wild Card: Najayra.
- The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: As the Crown Prince, Somand has the legitimate right to the throne of Raginei. However, given his general cowardice, easy manipulability, and inability to make decisions on his own, it's fairly clear he's not suited to be king.
- And he really wasn't. Under the pressure of the throne, he completely breaks down and is reduced to a cowering wreck. Of course, Quinza helped him along the way...
- Youngest Child Wins: Carl is much more talented than his older sisters, who are in general fairly stupid and useless in business matters, as well the one set to inherit the Rosenthal company. He's also far more trusted by their father than they are. This is part of why they hate him so much.
- Zero Approval Gambit: Quniza's central plan was to drive the corruption in the government to such extremes that the people of Raginei would rebel, and that in the end, the only one left that anyone would accept as king would be Rumaty. And it worked.