First-Year College student Shiratori Ryuushi moves into the boarding house, Narutakisou. Under the tender care of Aoba Kozue, Narutakisou provides a home to people whose personal lives are all painful in one way or another; yet together, somehow, they make up a true family. Not only does Shiratori find a home at Narutakisou, but he also finds himself falling in love with a girl who is far more than she seems. Compare with Maison Ikkoku.With An Aesop or a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming (or more likely, both) in every chapter, Mahoraba is one of those "feel good" sort of mangas. The sort you've likely never read before.Not to be confused with Maburaho, which sits comfortably on the exact opposite end of the romantic comedy spectrum.Now with a character sheet under construction.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Sayoko at one point practices her significant artistic talents by carving most of the trees in the courtyard into sculptures of her daughter Asami. Haibara spends his days fishing in a tiny, obviously fishless pond in the courtyard and only talks through his hand-puppet, Johnny. And those are just a couple of the less bizarre examples.
Comedic Sociopathy: In the beginning, mostly at Sayoko's expense, and quite a lot from Saki's side once she hooks up with Ryuushi, because she's too embarrassed. She tries her best to avoid it, but fails a lot.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kozue is sanguine (so is Nanako, because she's a kid version of Kozue), Saki is choleric, Chiyuri is phlegmatic, Natsume is melancholic. It's probably worth mentioning that this "ensemble" consists of Kozue's alternate personalities
Gender Vocabulary Slip: Shiratori Ryuushi, Dogged Nice Guy and The Chew Toy of Mahoraba, was dressed up (against his will and while asleep) to look like a very cute and beautiful blonde. When confronted with Chiyuri, one of his landlady's five personalities who does not know him, he accidentally uses "boku" (polite masculine pronoun) to refer to himself. Subverted in that Chiyuri finds this contrast quite Moe, and that although unusual for a girl, "boku" is used as a pronoun by the nicer tomboys out there.
Kissing Cousins: Shiratori and Kozue-chan are actually second-cousins; a fact that is mentioned once in the beginning with a lampshade on how second cousins can get marriednote technically, in Japan, even first cousins can get married and this does not evoke the same levels of Squick that Americans would have, but all the same it's good to keep your relations straight. As such, this fact is fairly quickly forgotten about for the rest of the series.
Shiratori's three art school friends. The plot for one of the drama CDs revolves around their trying to get names. The manga does give them names in the end: Ero Freak's name is Yamabuki Tsubasa, the yaoi fangirl is Aizawa Risona, and the 'normal' girl with the nail bat is Amane Mizuho.
The Occult Club President also was never given a name, until the end when it was revealed to be Erika Vermilion.
Official Couple: Loaded with them, including two nameless background characters.