->''"What's wrong with being cute ''and'' bossy?"''
-->-- '''Sana'''

Despite her fame and her career, eccentric 11-year-old child actress Sana Kurata lives an almost normal life with her even-more-eccentric author mother, Misako Kurata, and her manager Rei Sagami. She even attends a public school, where she has many friends. But in school she comes into conflict with sullen, laconic Akito Hayama, de facto leader of the boys in her classroom.

Akito holds some secret blackmail on two of the teachers, allowing him to get away with a great deal of misbehavior -- something which enrages Sana, especially when it disrupts the class. She vows to defeat Akito, and restore peace to the school. After several failures, she succeeds in beating Akito at his own game, but her victory over him is just the beginning of a surprising evolution of her relationship with the quiet, angry-seeming boy, as she discovers ''why'' is he so angry and starts trying to fix it...

''Kodomo no Omocha'' ("Child's Toy", and frequently [[PortmanteauSeriesNickname contracted]] to "''Kodocha''") is a fun, entertaining {{shojo}} series that mixes comedy and drama in equal parts. It was created by Miho Obana and published in Shueisha's ''Ribon'' magazine from 1994 to 1998. It got adapted into an anime series in 1996 and run into 102 episodes, directed by Akitaro Daichi, who is better known nowadays for directing series like ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' and ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''.

Sana's irrepressible energy and rapid-fire dialogue is second only to Excel of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' for its speed and outrageousness. (In fact, Excel's original North American voice actress, Creator/JessicaCalvello, once expressed an interest in voicing Sana in English.) But unlike Excel, Sana is a force to be reckoned with, despite her non sequiturs and baffling leaps of "logic". Possessed of an immense empathy and a willingness to help even someone she characterizes as her worst enemy, she plows through troubles and problems with a bold determination and a choice of skills from the acting school she attends. It has frequently been described as "''Manga/MarmaladeBoy'' [[ThisIsYourPremiseOnDrugs on crack]]" due to Sana and Akito's superficial resemblance to Miki and Yuu.

During 2005, Creator/FUNimation started to release licensed [=DVDs=] of the anime series in North America under its abbreviated title, "Kodocha". The original opening credits from the first season were replaced with the second season ones because of legal pressures exerted by Johnny & Associates, the management behind TOKIO, the band who recorded the [[AnimeThemeSong opening]] "7 O'Clock News". Even the cameo of one of the members of the band was [[{{Bowdlerise}} bowdlerized]] in both English and Japanese tracks to keep any mention of the group out of the North American release. Due to licensing contracts and low sales of the series, the second season was never released and as of February 2012, Funimation [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes lost the license]] of the series.

No relation to ''Manga/KodomoNoKodomo'', ''Kodomo no Jikan'', and ''Lotte no Omocha''! '''''Especially'' [[LoliconAndShotacon the latter two]]'''!
!!This series provides examples of:
* ADayInTheLimelight: A few anime exclusive episodes give focus to some minor characters that wouldn't have too much development in the manga, such as Tsuyoshi, Gomi, Mami and even Misako's ex-husband.
* AbusiveParents: Volumes two and three heavily suggest that Tsuyoshi's dad is this. It's never brought up again, though, since his parents get divorced, and he moves away with his mom and his sister. Tsuyoshi's anger over [[BerserkButton people insulting his mother]], could possibly be related to DomesticAbuse, as well.
* AdaptationDistillation: The anime took a different direction from the manga at the very start of it. Some of the characters differ in personality, others get much more developed and some of the events got changed. Considering that the manga was a monthly series and that it was still being published in Japan at the time the anime was airing, the anime staff had little to work with while it was reaching its climax.
* AdaptationExpansion: The anime had ''102'' episodes, divided into two seasons (51 episodes each), meaning that some story arcs were ridiculously expanded with filler, while also trying to make time between the events they were adapting from the manga.
* AdultFear:
** Misako Kurata originally didn't feel any remorse about telling Sana that she was adopted when she was 5 years old, and that they made a promise to look for her biological mother, once they got famous in their own ways. However, after all those years, Misako got scared that the aforementioned woman would suddenly appear to take Sana away from her... or worse, that she would choose her.
*** Rei doesn't even take the news with a grain of salt, either. Especially considering that he became an orphan at his late teens, and that he loves Sana as if she was his daughter and/or little sister.
** Sana [[spoiler: getting the "Mannequin Disease" is terrifying considering that there are no physical but emotional symptoms related to it. And since there is no known cure, no one has to wonder why Misako went to the "The Mansion of Water" filming location when Sana suddenly fell into depression after Hayama told her he was dating Fuuka]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: In elementary school, every single one of the girls looked at Akito as if he was a bag worm or a hairy caterpillar... once he enters Middle School, everyone thinks he is acts ''cool'' (and "looked cute") when challenging professor Sengoku or went into a fight with Ishida.
%%* AllLoveIsUnrequited
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Akito tries to confess that he likes Sana [[spoiler: on Christmas Eve, in the middle of their mid-birthday party. He ends up kissing ''her''. But she is [[ObliviousToLove oblivious to know what the kiss meant]].]]
* AnimalMetaphor: "Natural enemies" Sana and Akito are represented as a mongoose and cobra, respectively.
* AnimalMotifs: Whenever Akito is feeling mischievous (which is often), he gains a pair of ears and the tail of a cheetah. Sana's also referred to him as a "Lone Wolf" and "Monkey King", with appropriate {{Imagine Spot}}s for both, and has also imagined him as a baby chick.
* AnimeThemeSong: The anime has two openings, "7 O’Clock News" by Tokio and "Ultra Relax" by Tomoe Shinohara.
** "7 O’Clock News" is noticeable to even have short instrumental versions that were used on the [[OnTheNext next episode previews]] of the first sixteen episodes.
* ArtEvolution: The manga series took four years to be published, so it's expected to see this with Miho Obana's art, when the characters start to "grow up" as well. The Ribon's 60th anniversary (2015) extra chapter also gives more warm and detailed art changes within the series, since the manga's ending in 1998 (counting the ''Deep Clear'' crossover from 2010, as well, where the main characters get involved into it).
* AscendedExtra: It's a given that the animated adaptation gave some characters as Mami or Gomi much more [[CharacterDevelopment development]] or focus than their original counterparts. Even the MC from the "Kodomo no Omocha" TV Show was transformed into real-life comedian Zenjiro.
* AuthorAvatar: Miho Obana appears several times as cameo in the manga (even as a waking up-bird, a la Creator/AkiraToriyama) and often more frequently in the anime, only saying "I'm Obana" (she is actually played by a professional voice actress, instead).
* BackStory:
** There's a glimpse about how Rei ended working in the Kurata's household (from Sana's perspective), and the quick mention about how unlucky he was after his break-up with Asako.
** Akito's bet to kiss a girl in kindergarten is explained when [[spoiler:Fuuka reveals that it was her whom he kissed, after they reencounter for the first time in years]].
** There is a special chapter that details the most dear memory of Akito's childhood with his family, which also explains why his cold personality is hard to break at the moment.
* BerserkButton:
** Akito can ''not'' stand be called "demon". Especially since it was how Natsumi started calling him after she [[MaternalDeathBlameTheChild blamed him]] for their mother's death.
** Tsuyoshi is a kind kid who often has [[BewareTheNiceOnes an innocent and kind personality]], but he is not going to have [[UnstoppableRage second thoughts]] if someone insults his mother in front of him. Or even if someone insults or harms Aya.
* BetaCouple: Aya and Tsuyoshi, at the very first moment they start dating. In the anime, Tsuyoshi even reccomends Akito to look at him and Aya, if he wants to succeed in confessing his love to [[spoiler:Sana]].
* BigBallOfViolence: Happens on a few occasions to express chaos.
* BigFancyHouse: The Kurata’s household is expected to be big partially because of Misako's profits as an author. However, this gets expanded in the anime, where it's revealed that her parents are rich (they are owners of a hot springs resort) which also justifies the size of their house, too.
* {{Bishonen}}: It’s often mentioned in the series that Naozumi is a ''pretty'' and ''cute'' boy, and even Akito has fangirls (however, his personality is another whole story). Rei may count as well, especially when Sana first interacted with him, since she thought that he looked "cute" even if he was a homeless young man.
* BlatantLies: Miss Andoh manages to save face with the students by claiming her proficiency exam was all a ruse to get everyone to learn a lesson about friendship. And they buy it.
%%* BlueWithShock
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine:
** Sana often falls into the StraightMan role (even with her tsukkomi's [[WeaponOfChoice weapon]], a rubber hammer) with everyone when they do their own nonsenses.
** Fuuka, being similar in Sana in some aspects (she is also from Osaka, where manzai comedy routines are more common), also falls into the StraightMan role... especially when Sana or Akito are around.
* BoyMeetsGirl: Sana's personality crashed with Akito's personality at school, at first. She starts to know him better. He gets her... and she is confused about it. [[spoiler:She loses him. He gets her again. She was ''too close'' to lose him again]].
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** Babbit, being the GreekChorus of the anime, often does this, when he is interacting not only with the viewer, but the characters themselves on screen.
** The manga has its moments, but they are less prominent than the anime's.
* BrickJoke: When Akito gives Sana her FirstKiss, a couple classmates on the background tell the audience that Akito gave his first kiss when he was a kindergartener, and when he admits it, they also add they had bet 10 yen each he couldn't do it. Halfway in the series, the girl he kissed as a kindergartener ([[spoiler:Fuuka]]) returns to Tokyo and slap him for that.
* BrokeEpisode: More accurately, a broke filler mini-arc. Sana and her family get evicted and end up living at Misako's editor old appartment, and not only that, but Sana gets blacklisted from doing most of her acting gigs.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Mami never forgives Akito after he tries to ''drown her'' for calling him a demon, and when she learns about it Misako explicitly tells him it's his own fault for his abuse of her.
* CerebusSyndrome: Just after Sana starts middle school and when she agrees to film "The Mansion of Water", things get really serious around her. This is more emphasized in the manga compared to the anime, where the content varies in some degrees. If Sana got it bad when the GeneHunting was going on, it becomes emotionally worse for her and everyone involved, once the plot advances.
* CharacterDevelopment: For a shoujo comedy series, almost if not all the characters receive great development regarding their ambitions and how they eventually overcome their pasts.
%%* CherryBlossoms
* ChildByRape: It's hinted to be the case in the manga [[spoiler:with Sana. Keiko gave birth to her when she was 13 or 14 years old and her dad was not only a much older man, but Keiko's uncle (although she claimed she loved him, this is sadly something child sexual assault victims convince themselves of to help them deal with the abuse, although it's ambiguous whether this was Obana's original intention).]] In the anime, it's [[AdaptationDistillation rather the contrary]], [[spoiler: since it is implied that, yes, Keiko got pregnant when she was a teenager, but Sana's real father appears long after this event and he is apparently a good man, so it's questionable he could ''have'' raped Keiko]].
* ChildhoodFriends: Akito and Tsuyoshi have been friends since kindergarten, and they know each other too well, ever since.
* ChristmasEpisode: Sana and Akito celebrate their mid-birthdays during Christmas Eve, with all their friends in Sana's house.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: At the end of the manga, [[spoiler:Sana and Akito reunite Fuuka with her elementary school crush, Takaishi. And beyond the finale, during ''Deep Clear'''s timeline, Naozumi is [[BiTheWay dating a guy]] because according to him, if he was dating another girl, he would be constantly being reminded by the love he had for Sana.]]
* ContinuityCameo: Babbit may be an [[CanonForeigner anime-exclusive]] character, but it doesn't mean he is an outsider of the final volume's group character portrait cover.
* CoolShades: As a way to commit himself to Sana, Rei sports a pair of sunglasses when he is working as her manager. Originally, it was also because Sana didn't want anyone to ever look at his "beautiful eyes".
* CreatorCameo: Miho Obana often appears in the manga and anime as a passerby or an extra, sometimes even mumbling "I'm Obana".
%%* CrossPoppingVeins
* {{Crossover}}:
** There's an out-of-continuity crossover chapter drawn by Obana and Mihona Fujii (mangaka most known nowadays for ''[[Manga/SuperGals GALS!]]''). Counting as {{cameo}}, Erika Sakurai from Fujii's work, ''Passion Girls'', also appeared in the series as well.
** ''Deep Clear'' is a crossover special released for Obana’s 20th anniversary of her career, with her ongoing series, ''Honey Bitter'', where the cast of ''Kodocha'' has an important plot role in the story.
* DancingTheme: Both openings offer a rhythmic choreography, but it's "Ultra Relax" the one that takes the cake. There's even a ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmOWCvFmyII MAD parody]]!
* DeathByChildbirth: Koharu Hayama died right after she gave birth to Akito. Played for the melodrama, this badly traumatized the whole Hayama family, distancing themselves from each other, for years - Fuyuki often ignored his children, Natsumi ends up abusing her brother and blames him for that fact ever since, and Akito has a FreudianExcuse over it. [[spoiler:This also influences Akito in ''Deep Clear'' fearing that Sana, who is pregnant, would have a very difficult childbirth, and they fight over this. Shuri eventually reconciled them together, and this fear is later subverted, when Sana is safe and healthy after she gives to birth.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Once Sana has the opportunity to blackmail Akito, she changes her mind and intends to help him to improve his family's situation. After this got resolved, this led up to both of them earning some respect to each other.
* {{Diary}}: Sana keeps a diary as her mother encouraged her to write everything she goes through in it, since she was a child.
* DistantFinale:
** Mostly prominent in the manga where, some years after the melodramatic climax happens, [[spoiler:it offers a view on what Sana and her friends are doing before enrolling in high school, when Akito announces that he also returns to Japan to see her]].
** ''Deep Clear'' also offers a more distant closure after these events, while also being a crossover special with ''Honey Bitter'', [[spoiler: giving an insight of a BabiesEverAfter ending for both Sana and Akito]].
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: The 2nd ED theme, "DAIJOU-BU", is sung by Babbit's voice actress, Tomoko Hikita (credited midway in the anime as "TOMO"). The song is often mentioned and referred in the anime for the already [[BreakingTheFourthWall Fourth Wall breaker]] Babbit, too.
* DoggedNiceGuy:
** Tsuyoshi felt he was that to Sana, especially because he didn't know it was just for a misunderstanding he had from her affections.
** Naozumi to Sana. He thinks he is more capable to be with Sana initially because he shares the same career and they have a similar past; however, Sana only looks at him as a friend or as a brother, rather than just boyfriend material.
** [[spoiler: Fuuka becomes the ''dogged nice girl'' to Akito after they start their relationship. She is similar to Sana in some aspects, but she is also different than her. However, once she realizes that there is a deep connection that Akito shares with Sana,]] she decides to end their relationship for her friends' own sake.
* FirstKiss: This is the one that is very important for Sana and Akito's relationship, when they are in the middle of a school trip at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. Although [[spoiler:it wasn't a first for Akito]], the kiss is both surprising and terrifying for poor Sana. And it brought [[HilarityEnsues hilarious results]] in the anime, as her reaction causes a good deal of traffic accidents, when they were at the top of one of the building's towers.
* TheForeignSubtitle: Creator/{{Tokyopop}} released the manga as "Kodocha: Sana's Stage".
* ForgottenFirstMeeting:
** Sana and Naozumi actually met when they both were babies in the Kamura Institution, just before Sana got adopted.
** Akito and Fuuka happened to know each other before she moved back to Tokyo. [[spoiler: That is because they went to kindergarten together. Then, in middle school, she starts remembering he was that ''Akki-chan'' who kissed her]].
* FreudianExcuse: Akito's cold and violent personality is a result of the lack of communication that his family had at home. With a MissingMom and a workaholic father, things weren't easy either for him or his sister. Natsumi even often abused Akito and treated him as a "monster" because she resented him and put all the blame of their mother's death on him.
* GangOfBullies: At the start of the series, there was a group of kids that gave a lot of trouble to their teacher (even using blackmail to treat her!) and some of their other classmates. Akito initially was the ''leader'' of this group, too.
* GeckoEnding: Around the last quarter of the anime, the staff added an "America" Arc where [[spoiler:Sana goes to the US with Naozumi for an acting gig. The anime staff adapted the rest of the subsequent events of the reveal that Akito and Fuuka are dating and their eventual break-up]], but they also added episodes unrelated to the manga that, instead, offered some closure to some unresolved plots in the anime's story.
* GeneHunting: An early major story arc involves a promise that both Misako and Sana got into once they got famous in their own ways, to look for Sana's birth mother.
%%* GenreBlindness: Subverted.
* GoodParents: There's Misako, and when he finally realizes what his home situation is really like, Akito's dad becomes one as well. In one episode where Akito is framed for shoplifting, his father gives a long speech about how he expects Akito to come forward with the truth on the situation. All Akito says is he didn't do it, and his father adamantly believes him just because he has too much faith in Akito.
* GratuitousEnglish: Sana uses it quite a lot in the series, mostly because she is also a {{Malaproper}}, and some words sound similar to others in Japanese.
* GreekChorus: In the anime, there's Babbit, who often breaks the fourth wall with the viewer and the characters themselves to comment on their actions.
%%* HandBehindHead
* HappilyAdopted: Sana was found by Misako when she was only a baby, and she officially adopted her some time after that. Even though they both promised to do a GeneHunting for Sana's biological mother (and they successfully found her), Sana just couldn't go to her arms, because Misako was her one and only ''mama''.
* HeadPet: Maro-chan, who is based on Obana's own pet, lives on Misako's extravagant hairdos.
* HeroicBSOD: Sana has a couple of moments shown in the entire series that led up [[spoiler: to her emotional depressive disorder, the "Mannequin Disease".]]
** When she was a child, not so long after Misako told her she was adopted. She returned from school with a bad grade, fearing that her mom wouldn't love her and that she would send her back to the OrphanageOfLove where she spent some time in.
** In middle school, while she is more prone to fall in depression like [[spoiler: when she found out Akito was dating Fuuka, it hit bottom when he told her that he was going overseas to get his arm cured, and since she wasn't used to be far away from one of her loved ones...]]
%%* HyperspaceMallet: Iconic squeaky mallets!
* IdenticalStranger: In the anime's New York arc, Sana and Naozumi run into an American lookalike of Akito named Brad, and his mom, who is an American lookalike of Mrs. Shimura, the Kurata's maid. Although Brad is too similar to Akito in appearance, he is more talkative, direct and meaner than him [[spoiler:(even if he acts like this just to protect Cecil Hamilton, since he likes her)]].
* IdolSinger: Anime-only. Sana has the opportunity to be in an idol unit along two other girls, when [[spoiler:one of Zenjiro's shows is cancelled.]] There's another episode where [[spoiler:a fake Sana is also offering a singing event to her fans, and some characters (Akito included) think the real one actually planned it.]]
* ImprobableHairstyle: Misako Kurata purposely wanted to adopt some fun hairstyles because not long after she [[spoiler:found out she couldn't conceive, she thought that if she couldn't be a "normal woman" anymore, then she must had to start living as a "strange" one]] instead, overjoying her life and expressing herself through them.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Rei and Sana share a friendly-parental relationship even if he was hired originally just to be a nanny/guard/manager/"boyfriend". When Sana first met Rei, he was a College dropout, while she was just 9 years old.
* InstantBandages: Too many to count, applied to people, cars, you name it.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy:
** Sana is the one who encouraged Rei to reunite with his old girlfriend, Asako.
** Naozumi eventually gives up his love pursuing for Sana, only to see her happy with the boy she truly loves.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: After everything that Akito went through with his family's problems, he shows greater respect to Sana and starts treating his friends a ''bit'' better than before, even if he hasn't changed that much on the outside.
* KarmaHoudini: In the manga, the girls who attack Sana at the movie shoot don't get any punishment for breaking her leg and beating her up with sticks and seem to feel little remorse for their actions.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Sana has a habit of forgetting unpleasant memories (and the people it involves) when she suffers from {{Heroic BSOD}}s.
* LateForSchool: The first episode of the anime is an straight example of this, when Sana wakes up late, she does her routine, and for her bad luck, Rei drives SO SLOW (until she freaks him out) before arriving to school. Subverted when she is about to start her first day at middle school, basically doing an opposite (and more calmed) routine... [[spoiler: but it was AllJustADream, and she gets late to school, anyways]].
* LikeBrotherAndSister: How Sana sees her relationship with Naozumi in the first place, even after [[spoiler:his love confession]].
%%* LoomingSilhouetteOfRage
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Sana ''very'' harshly calls Akito out after she finds out Mitsuya-sensei is blackmailed, and after seeing how he treated Mami. Akito falls in love with her, predictably. Also a subversion, since the first girl who called him out was Sana's friend Mami... who committed the mistake of calling him "demon", not knowing it was his BerserkButton. That ended ''very'' badly.
* LoveDodecahedron:
** At the start: Sana "loved" Rei. Tsuyoshi liked Sana. Akito loved Sana. But Rei "loves" Sana as a sister or a daughter.
** Later: Sana likes Akito. Naozumi loves Sana. Akito loves Sana. [[spoiler: Fuuka loves Akito. Sana loves Akito]].
* {{Malaproper}}: Sana has a tendency to massacre proverbs, and so does Tsuyoshi when he's trying to impress her.
* MeaningfulName: Sana is named after her birthday, March (San) 7 ([[SevenIsNana Na]]).
* MerchandiseDriven: The anime series counted with Tomy (present-day known as Takara Tomy) as part of the production committee. Every single toy that Sana had (the Burucha and the Nopia, for example) was real. It should be noted that this line of toys didn't exist in the original manga itself. However, finding them in auction sites is very difficult, nowadays. The most valuable of them is probably the Polaroid Camera that was available as a series-related edition.
%%* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: In the anime, Sana's grandmother.
* MoodWhiplash: There are moments where you are not going to know if you are crying out of joy or because of the sadness. Or both. Sometimes, Sana's funny antics can balance the mood, though.
%%* MotionlessChin
* MustMakeHerLaugh: Gender reversed. Sana always tries to make Akito laugh, or at the very least smile.
* MyBelovedSmother: Exclusive on the anime. Misako's mother, Shizuka Kurata, is often trying to get her to take on the responsibilities of running the family hot springs. When this fails, Shizuka tries it on Sana. It doesn't work either.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Akito's sister has this reaction when [[spoiler: she sees the TV movie Sana and Asako were in that blatantly parallels the situation with Akito's family, and she realizes just how horribly she treated Akito all these years. Akito's dad has a more subdued version of this.]]
** Miss Andoh also has this reaction when she remembers that a teacher's job is to help the students understand their work, not enforce arbitrary grading, and realizes her proficiency test is making her look like a heartless monster.
* {{Narrator}}: Both Babbit and Sana narrate at different points in the anime series.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Some celebrities make some sort of "cameo" in the anime, such as Takuya Ki'''muchi''', based on SMAP's member, Takuya Kimura. This is also applied in the first episode of the Creator/FUNimation dub, due to some licensing issues, with the Tokio band's name changed to "Kyoto".
* TheNoseBleed: Sana's StalkerWithACrush, Ishida has chronic nosebleeds. Other characters too, though much less often.
%%* OddFriendship: Akito and Tsuyoshi, as well as Akito and Sana. Both pairs also count as VitriolicBestBuds.
* OppositesAttract: Akito and Sana are complete opposites of each other in regard of their personalities. Akito is more violent, serious, and perhaps he is more of a realist kid than the other children that appear in the series. Sana, however, is more energetic and an idealist. Both grew up in different situations, and yet, they both learned secret aspects from themselves...
* OrphanageOfLove: The Kamura Institution, where Naozumi was raised, and Sana spent a time until she was officially adopted. Naozumi cares very much for the institution, that he adopted "Kamura" as his last name, and he gives them part of his money's gainings, to maintain his adoptive mother, friends and "siblings".
* OutOfTheInferno: After the house where "The Mansion of Water" was being filmed was burning, and Sana was still harmed from her leg... she manages to make her [[UnflinchingWalk dramatic exit]] just in time (while the others were worried that Sana would die in there), and this ends up being the perfect scene of the movie.
* ParentalAbandonment: Obana likes to play a lot of this in the series --
** Sana was abandoned by her birth mother Keiko (who actually gave birth to her at age ''thirteen'', and in the manga [[spoiler: Sana's birth may have been product of sexual abuse]]), and the less said about her birth father the better [[spoiler: except in the anime, where he's actually a really nice guy]]. Her adoptive mother, Misako, is divorced from a parasitic money-leech.
** Akito's mother Koharu is dead and his father Fuyuki is so absorbed in his work that he never sees his children (though to his credit, he ''does'' try be a good dad once he and Natsumi get over themselves).
** Tsuyoshi's father is estranged from the family, and it's implied that he physically abused Tsuyoshi; might be the case why he reacts so strongly to people insulting his mother.
** Rei's parents died in an accident not so much long after he broke up with Asako. He thought they were rich... but they also had lots of money debts, resulting him to go homeless for a while.
* {{Pilot}}: There was an OVA, produced by J.C. Staff, released in 1995 as part of Ribon's 40th anniversary celebration. It's more closer to the manga's tone, and only adapts the first important arc (Akito's fractured family problems and Rei's OldFlame resolve). It also has different character designs and an entire different voice acting cast, led by Creator/ChisaYokoyama as Sana and Creator/MegumiOgata as Akito.
* PlaygroundSong: Some of the eyecatches used in more than half of the series, like the "Drawing Sana" and "Drawing Babbit" song, are directed to children. In the "Middle School" season, there's also Babbit's songs to learn to count numbers in English and Japanese.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Happens ''all the time'', mostly in the romantic relationships:
** Akito and his father used to have a good relationship when he was three... Then his sister, who resented him for [[DeathByChildbirth their mother dying giving birth to him]], told him why she targeted him and that their father too hated him, ruining their relationship. {{Justified}} because Akito was three.
*** Having guessed something was off, Akito's father tried to repair the relationship, and was actually succeeding... Then he made a joke about two spheric gasometers being actually dinosaur eggs (Akito loves dinosaurs) and Akito didn't hear him admitting it was a joke, ruining everything when he found out what they actually were because he thought his father had willingly lied to him.
** Before the series, Rei and Asako had broken up because he ''thought'' she was leaving him to become an actress, and disappeared before she could clear everything out.
** When in Osaka, Fuuka was very friendly with a boy named Nagaishi, and everyone, including them, expected them to get together soon. Then Fuuka remembered she [[spoiler:had her first kiss from Akito in kindergarten]] and, surprised, shouted about it... And the boys of her school decided she had a boyfriend, with Nagaishi avoiding her every time she tried to explain.
** The whole debacle of [[spoiler:rumors and gossip stating that Sana and Naozumi are a couple while they film a movie. Not only does Akito decide to date Fuuka as sort of a rebound, but Sana gets physically assaulted by rabid Naozumi fans to the extent that they literally ''break her leg''. When Sana finally returns to school after shooting the movie ''none'' of her friends ask her about Naozumi, including Akito. They all just assume she'll just talk about her relationship with them, but then they all get insulted when she ''doesn't''. Sana only finds out they believed the rumors when she feels left out when hanging out with two couples (Akito and Fuka, Tsuyoshi and Aya) until they bring up Naozumi on topic]].
* PuppyDogEyes: The ''teacher'', Tanaka-sensei, pulls such pathetic PuppyDogEyes that Sana has to tell him to stop because he's gonna make her cry.
* PuppyLove: It needs to be considered that, from the very start, Akito & Sana or Tsuyoshi & Aya (without forgetting about Naozumi & Sana, and Akito & Fuuka) are ''11-13-year-old'' kids.
%%* RainAura
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Misako actually hands out a few of these. She raised Sana with an even mix of independence and rules, and often never lets Sana back out of the consequences when she does something wrong. She delivered a subdued and absolutely ''scathing'' one to [[spoiler: Sana's birth mother Keiko over abandoning Sana when she was a baby, regardless of how young Keiko was at the time, followed by a slap in the face.]]
* RecruitedFromTheGutter: Rei is literally begging on the streets when Sana finds him and brings him home with her to be her "boy toy" (of course, Sana has no idea what being a boy toy actually entails). After that, he starts working for Sana's mother as Sana's combination manager/bodyguard/nanny/father figure.
%%* RedOniBlueOni: Sana's Red to Akito's Blue. Akito's Red to Tsuyoshi's Blue.
%%* RepeatCut
%%* TheRival: A couple different pairs, fading in and out as relationships evolve.
* RomanticFalseLead: Both Naozumi and Fuuka are textbook examples to both Sana and Akito, respectively. They even spend a time as their partners (varying to some degrees in both the anime and the manga), but eventually Naozumi and Fuuka give up their feelings for them.
* SadistTeacher: Mr. Sengoku is clearly built on hate towards his students when he gets introduced in the series. Akito becomes his favorite victim [[spoiler:(because he reminds him of a guy he knew in high school)]].
** And it [[FromBadToWorse turns to worse]] when Akito reveals an embarrassing secret about him to the whole class, something he provoked him to do beforehand. He goes so far as to take Akito to the Teacher’s Room not to talk to him BUT to punch him in the stomach. Then, he got him suspended when he fought back.
** In the manga, things got ''very'' serious once [[spoiler:Kazuyuki Komori disappears]], since Sengoku does not trust in Akito and believes he is much of an evil abuser and bad student. Once [[spoiler:he loses function of his right hand]], Sengoku's actions get straight to abuse and humiliation. Sengoku takes advantage of the situation, [[spoiler:when in class, he ends up forcing Akito to write his group's lab work on the chalkboard with his left hand. And when he makes some progress, Sengoku forces him to do it again because he "can't understand it". The rest of the class watch this with so ''much'' discomfort (however, after Akito finished, he ends up grading it as ''right''[[note]]Circle marks or "Marujirushi" mean as "correct answers"[[/note]])]]. No wonder why, when Sana hears about this, she becomes absolutely pissed off to know ''why'' he did it.
%%* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Works with both Akito/Sana and Naozumi/Sana.
%%* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Tsuyoshi and Akito.
* SexAsRiteOfPassage: Sana proposes to Akito to have sex as a way in which both could see each other as adults, [[spoiler: before he went overseas. When he agrees to do it, the mood gets ruined at the very moment that Sana proves to be too ticklish. Fortunately, Rei and Misako barge in before anything else can happen and Sana receives an earful from her mother about what a bad idea this was]].
%%* {{Shojo}}
* ShowWithinAShow:
** Also called "Kodomo no Omocha", this show is actually based on a real Japanese TV show that sits 30 kids in a simulated schoolroom with a standup comedian as the "teacher"/emcee.
** There's also the two movies that Sana is shown to star in (a family prime-time drama and a ghost story film), a stage production of what looks like ''Theatre/{{Tosca}}'', and a mind-boggling number of television, print, and billboard ads.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Tsuyoshi and Aya act as a newlywed couple after they started dating.
%%* {{Sneezing}}
%%* SqueakyEyes
* SternTeacher: Miss Andoh. Subverted in that, her original goal for becoming a teacher was to make children happy, but she started worrying more about arbitrary grading and enforcing the rules.
* SurprisePregnancy: [[spoiler: Sana's biological mother, Keiko, didn't even know she was pregnant until she gave to birth. She assumed she was being ill, and the pregnancy didn't show up either.]]
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: In-universe example, when he believed that Sana and Naozumi were together, Akito dated Fuuka because, for a strange coincidence, she resembled Sana in both looks and character.
%%* TheSweatDrop
* TeenPregnancy: Sana's birth mother Keiko was merely thirteen years old when she gave birth to her.
* ThemeNaming: Akito's MissingMom loved the seasons and everything about them, and named her children after the season they were born in. The "aki" in Akito is "autumn" and the "natsu" in Natsumi is "summer." This theme naming extends to the entire family: Akito's mother's name (Koharu) includes "haru" for "spring," and his father's name (Fuyuki) includes "fuyu" for winter.
* TooLongDidntDub: In a rather literal application of the trope, Tomomi Ayanohanamarukoji becomes Tomomi Ayano in the English dub.
* UnflinchingWalk: At the climax of the shooting of "The Mansion of Water", Sana walks out of the burning building literally ''seconds'' before it collapses behind her, without batting an eyelid or breaking character at all.
%%* UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo: Akito and Sana.
* YokoOhNo: Invoked InUniverse, when [[spoiler:Sana is attacked by Naozumi's fangirls due to them acting "very friendly" while filming "The Mansion of Water" (the rumors around the two during the shoot didn't help ''at all''). It was so bad, that they even break her leg!]]