Manga / Never Give Up

The prince dreams of becoming a princess...

If you were looking for the trope, that's called Determinator now.

High school student Kiri Minase looks like a supermodel, often acts like a fairy tale prince, and is wildly popular with the local schoolgirls- several confess their love every week. Problem is, Kiri is a (straight) girl. She hates having inherited her model dad's looks, and has tried all her life to become girlier (which hasn't worked too well). She only acts princely to girls who confess their love because she knows what unrequited love is like and doesn't want to hurt them- otherwise, she acts like a normal teen girl.She's in love with her neighbor, the effeminate Tohya Enishi, and has been ever since they were young. One day, Tohya decides he wants to become a male model with Kiri's mother's agency. In order to stay close to him, Kiri decides to become a model, too... But there's a catch. Her mother will only hire her as a male model, going by the alias "Tatsuki."And then, people start falling in love with Kiri, Tatsuki, or sometimes both at once... Drama, romance, and of course, much Hilarity Ensues.

Spanning 13 volumes, it's a quite good addition to the family of Gender Blender anime and manga series. Pity that only 8 volumes have been translated.

Also known as "NebaGiba!," it was written and illustrated by Hiromu Mutou.

This manga provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Kiri, but only briefly, since a flat chest is much easier to bind down while she's being Tatsuki.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Yuki, the freelance photographer
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Possibly justified, as Kiri looks like a Bishounen whether she's crossdressing or not, thanks to genetics.
  • Beach Episode
  • Beautiful All Along: Kiri's goal in life is "to become a prettier princess than Tohya."
  • Becoming the Mask: Characters who know about Kiri and Tatsuki tend to warn her periodically that if she's not careful, her life as Tatsuki will take over her life as Kiri.
  • Bifauxnen: Kiri, and she hates it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Makoto, though she warms up over time
  • Bi the Way: Many characters, most notably Akira, who is attracted to both Kiri and Tatsuki, and Mano, who often seems attracted to his models, despite the fact that he is married and has a son (Akira).
  • Blackmail: Yuki, Yuki, Yuki...
  • Broken Aesop: The moral of sticking to the ones you care about, which is on its own a good moral, has some Unfortunate Implications in this setting. Kiri has loved Tohya for years and he reciprocates her feelings, but they've never actually done anything relationship-wise because they're waiting until Kiri can to show him that she's Beautiful All Along. Akira, on the other hand, loves Kiri and believes she's beautiful already and frequently tells her this, but Kiri pushes him away constantly in favor of Tohya. Even though Tohya does return Kiri's feelings regardless of her looking like a man, it still comes off as a bit shallow.
  • Determinator: In a series called "Never Give Up," you'd expect at least one. As the series progresses, Kiri gains more and more confidence until she becomes a full-blown Determinator.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kiri threatens to leap off the roof of her school whenever she has a nasty realization, and Natsu yanks her back. Played for comedy.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Tohya, frequently lampshaded, mostly by Natsu.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Makoto is a gender-ambiguous name, and Kiri thinks she's a guy until she sees her on TV.
  • Huge Guy Tiny Guy: Kanou and Riku
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Kiri
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Kiri envies Natsu, her best friend, for her long-haired.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Akira doesn't mind Kiri and Tohya being together because Tohya makes Kiri happy. (He's not going to just hand her over, though.)
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: Tohya's older sister Asaki is very protective of her little brother.
  • Love at First Punch: Parodied in a 4-koma. Akira comments that he must be special to Kiri, since he's the only one she's violent towards. She wonders why that makes him happy...
  • Love Triangle: Kiri has feelings for both Tohya and Akira, both of whom are also in love with her.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Kiri is more masculine and Tohya is more feminine. As the series progresses and they get more comfortable with themselves, this starts to switch somewhat.
  • Noodle Incident: The "blackmail" photo of Kiri's father in drag. "Oh yeah, I remember that, I did that for a festival when I was a high school student."
  • Older Than They Look: Riku and Yuki
  • Secret Keeper: Kiri's mother, Tohya, and Natsu
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Tohya is a male example. Natsu is also a bit like this.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: It's not entirely certain whether Akira is this or Ho Yay for Tatsuki. Also Riku to Tatsuki, to a much lesser extent.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Kiri/Tatsuki