Nono Nonomiya's father was a skilled ski jumper, but never won an Olympic medal. His dreams of his children winning one were destroyed when Nono inherited all his ability and not her brother Yuuta, as women are not allowed into the sport. After the death of both her father and Yuuta, Nono decides to honour their memory by taking on her brother's identity and enrolling in a college famed for producing winter sports athletes. But she quickly discovers it will be very hard to keep her secret, let alone earn the respect of her fellow students while aiming to become the school's best jumper.Unlike Lynn Okamoto's other works, this one is substantially less violent and does not involve science-fiction.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted when Kishitani "helps" dress 'Yuuta' when she is sick and bedridden.
Berserk Button: Amatsu will let any and all personal insults slide off his back, but anyone who insults his family (due to their earning several silver medals but never gold) earns his eternal enmity.
Do not call the First Emperor Shiriya-san (Shiri for butt, ya for shop). He will pulverize you just like what he did to Ogata.
Never insult Nono's father or brother.
Terashi and his love of cats. Do not insult cats and do not imply that he rapes them, if you know what's good for you.
Born Lucky: Kishitani. Many people in the series believe that luck is the special skill that he brings to the Okushin team, as he's normally a wildly inconsistent jumper. A flashback to when he was younger and Chapters 140 and 141 all but cement that he's blessed by some outside force.
Charles Atlas Superpower: All that ski jumping has given Nono incredible leg strength, allowing her to beat up people twice her size if need be. Later, she casually Wall Jumps to catch a young girl's balloon. Even better? swinging a barbel one handed.
Chick Magnet: Yuuta, and Nono has to deal with the consequences.
Nono, after she takes Yuuta's place, starts to attract girls. Also, when she's not crossdressing she's the inverse.
Cosmic Deadline: The final chapter comes very suddenly, forgetting all about the numerous plot threads that were just introduced in the last tournament.
Easily Forgiven: Shingu sabotages Shiriya's run in revenge for being sabotaged, and also to be allowed into a prestigious training institution. It turns out that the revenge was purely a very bad misunderstanding and that Shiriya purposely ignored the fact that Shingu sabotaged his skies for Shingu's sake, and to challenge Nonomiya and Amatsu to stretch themselves (they had to make up for his fall in their own jumps). Shingu breaks down, admits his crime, and says he will turn himself in to the police. The team manager and his associate interrupt him and ask him not to do that. Whilst not exactly forgiving him, they understand his anger, and they do not want to disrespect Shiriya's decision.
Forgotten First Meeting: Nono and Kishitani first met at an elementary skiing competition that Kishitani entered so he wouldn't have to lose to Amatsu.
Gratuitous Norwegian: In chapter 3 page 9 are some guys talking Norwegian. Norwegians use å, not ä. So the correct spelling would be forstått not forstätt. And it's one word as you can see. Forstått means understood.
Humans Are Bastards: This is from the author of Elfenlied, so go figure. While this isn't meant to be a theme of the manga, there are enough assholes, (pseudo)rapists, and off-putting scenes that you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
Idiot Ball: Yuuta grabs it big time toward the end of the backstory arc. Realizing he'll never be any good at ski jumping, he burns the house down and kills himself while wearing Nono's jacket so she'll be considered dead and can take over his identity. Apparently he never considered simply switching places with her.
Besides, how could he know that his body would burn beyond recognition?
Insane Troll Logic: Kishitani was forced to changing Nono's clothes after she got into a fever when trying to look for the Emperor's trinket. Kishitani believes that since he likes her and considers her a guy, it is perfectly fine for him to erotically change her clothes.
Jerkass: Many, many characters, ranging from the violent assholes to the snobby elitists.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Emperor is a violent asshole, shameless pervert to boot, and is quite possibly psychotic. However, he is eventually shown to genuinely care about his teammates.
Love Dodecahedron: Nono likes Amatsu, who likes Kourogi, who likes Yuuta (Nono). Kishitani likes Nono after finding out she's a girl, and the Emperor falls for her as well after seeing her dressed as a girl named Noriko. Komachi, the Emperor's sister, has a crush on Nono's disguise as Yuuta. There's also Satou, a side character, who has his fascination with "Yuuta" explored in a chapter of the manga.
Near-Rape Experience: Nono has near rape moments, uncomfortably sexual personal space violations, creepy stalkers, and gotten felt up.
Pet the Dog: The Emperor gets one of these moments shortly after it is revealed that he purposely took a dive in a ski-jump competition to help out Shingu.
The Pollyanna: Nono was like this in the backstory until her father shut her down.
Power Trio: Nono, Amatsu, and Kishitani are gradually forming this dynamic.
Recursive Crossdressing: Kourogi "forces" Nono to wear a maid's outfit while they're living together, which she secretly couldn't be happier about.
School Idol: Kourogi, a national figure skating champion.
Serious Business: It makes sense that the practitioners of ski jumping take their sport seriously, but it's still a relatively minor sport in Japan — which makes the response to Nono's father losing the Gold medal rather excessive, but also more understandable.
The measures and plans that some of coaches lay out are pretty underhanded and unnecessary, but it's taken to the next level when a juryman tries to rig the Inter-High competition in a team's favor by giving other teams absolutely unsafe conditions to attempt a jump in.
Shown Their Work: Okamoto did quite a bit of travelling to study ski jumping rules and techniques, and shows great attention to detail with each jump the characters make.
Slasher Smile: It's from the creator of Elfen Lied, what do you expect? The Emperor gets the best ones by far, but Nonomiya of all people gets plenty of good ones too. Mostly when she's trying to play it up for intimidation.
Spit Take: How Kourogi reacted to Nonomiya asking her what "jerking off" means, the fact that Kourogi thinks Nonomiya is a man made the question all the more awkward to her.
Start of Darkness: Chapter 52 to 57 describes how Nono's father goes from a respectable guy into one of the most Abusive Parents in the series. He's got a problem with his left knee costing a critical loss for the Olympic Gold Medal. Also where Nono herself gets an Important Haircut.
Unwanted Harem: Yuuta left several girlfriends behind, who Nono now has to deal with.
Nono herself seems to be getting one of these whether disguised as Yuuta or just being herself.
Up to Eleven: The only decidedly Science Fiction aspect is the reporter's ability to sense aura, which determines the person's success later on in life. Katou, the earlier ski jumper who pulled an impressive stunt, was sensed as having a pretty good aura. Nono?
Tsundere: Kourogi, after the first few chapters. Unusually, she is notOblivious to Love, confessing (and being rejected) at their first meeting, and continuing to declare herself his girlfriend throughout the series. Also unusually, the boy she is tsundere for (Yuuta) is actually a girl (Nono).
Also possibly Nono herself occasionally, though the "dere" is sympathy rather than actual attraction, and the "tsun" is a justified response to perverted behavior.
The Watson: Every ski jumping scene has someone around who doesn't know anything about the sport, just so they can have the statistics of each jump explained to them.
Wig, Dress, Accent: Inverted, in that Nonomiya is actually a girl in the first place. When Nonomiya wears the dress that Kourogi left out, she takes a trip to Nagoya so she can be a girl for once with Sora, who knows her secret. Two of her teammates turn up unexpectedly, including her rival... but no-one recognises her. Except Amatsu.
You Bastard: Yuusuke was endlessly scorned by every single person in Japan after "stealing" the gold medal.