When Asuka Masamune was young, his father left his mother... to become a woman. This shock devestated Mrs. Masamune, and it shocked her even more to see her son show interest in dolls and other girly pursuits. Worried that Asuka would also turn into a transsexual, she hammered into the young boy about the importance of being as manly as possible.Now 16, Asuka is widely considered the manliest man in school. He's top in the country at kendo, is extremely talented at judo as well, and is seen by all his peers as the pinnacle of manly, manly perfection.Secretly, though, he's still incredibly thrilled with sewing, baking, cute things, Shoujo manga, and girlish pursuits in general. Mind you, he's absurdly talented at all of those, too.He's able to mask his desires from nearly everyone, except a pesky flirt named Juta, until along comes Ryo Miyakozuka. She's pretty, confident, loyal, and more than a bit tomboyish. Asuka falls for her instantly, and suddenly finds himself struggling with maintaining his mask of masculine strength while learning to integrate his inner feminine desires into his personality, to accept that he is, in Juta's words, an otomen (oto- from otome, maiden, and -men from the English word).By artist Aya Kanno.A TV soap opera about the manga was created last August 2009, spanning 12 episodes. It is only loosely based on the actual plot of the manga though, as pretty much the whole thing was rewritten from scratch.This series has examples of:
Adaptation Expansion - Some new plots and a slew of new characters were added into the live-action drama.
Affectionate Parody - Mainly of romantic shoujo manga: in a free talk the author even writes that she tries to go through all shoujo manga clichés inherent in certain settings (beach trip, amusement park, etc). It also takes affectionate shots at shounen manga, being a manga artist, etc. But of course it is a shoujo manga so it's Not so Above It All.
Art Shift - Used profusely. Characters from Love Chick sometimes appear in place of the real characters; Mira-sensei is always drawn in classic seventies shoujo manga style; Yamato, who tends to fantasize about himself as a hot macho guy is sometimes drawn as a shoujo-style "sexy bishounen;" and Ryo's very manly and macho grandfather is always drawn as if he came from a stereotypical seinen manga.
Also done in-story by Juta - when anti-otomen forces try to trick him into revealing in art class that he's the artist of Love Chick, he deliberately does an over-the-top shonen manga to try to avert suspicion. He even notes mentally that he's good enough to imitate any style. It also comes up later with Juta when he's subject to Mind Control to act more manly, and he starts submitting shonen manga to his editors.
Attractive Bent-Gender - Juta is a pretty convincing woman as Jewel Sachihana, Mira-sensei not so much without his fan hiding his face.
Also Asuka, who makes such a good Sachihana that Kasuga ends up with a crush on "her"...
Don't forget Ryo cross-dressing her manly school uniform in volume 13. Many school boys say she's a pretty male!
Author Avatar - The character Michiru in Love Chick who is the gender-flipped version of the mangaka, Juta.
Blackmail - More than once, Asuka gets threatened when someone learns his secret and threatens to expose it to his mother.
Billy Elliot Plot - Slight variation in that its Asuka's mom who's pushing him to be manly.
Bishounen - The main male characters, especially Asuka, Juta and Tonomine whose looks are often commented on.
Even Kurokawa can count, if his eyes showed up a lot more.
And they all pale in comparison to school doctor Ooji Suzaku, also known as Prince Pheromone. Wherever he goes he's surrounded by fainting female students ("little kittens" and "butterflies" as he calls them) and adoring males.
Bland-Name Product - In an attempt to become more manly, Asuka is seen reading a copy of "Shounen Janwa", obviously derived from Shounen Jump (Janpu) ("Shounen Junk" in the American edition).
Bowdlerization: George's band Fuckin' Bones became Freak Bones in the American edition.
Broken Aesop - In the end of Otowa's arc she learns that no matter how much she's been trying to change and hide her true self it was meaningless, and that those who really like her like her real self. She acknowledges the lesson... and decides to ignore it because she enjoys being fawned on by her adorers.
The Casanova - Juta. The girls around him even accept this, as long as he doesn't start favoring one girl over the others.
Christmas in Japan - Asuka even gets to give a rundown on Japanese Christmas practices to Ryo, since her father refuses to celebrate it in their house, being Buddhists.
Gratuitous English - Subverted with Mifune who is, in fact, American. Played straight (or rather, parodied) with the lyrics of Ariake's song, "SayonaLovers"note Whose title is a pun on the Japanese pronunciation of "lovers".
When Asuka takes it upon himself to find out if Juta has a girlfriend, he unconsciously follows the usual shoujo Clingy Jealous Girl routine, including stalking Juta, confronting him about having a lover, telling him "I won't allow you to flirt with other girls in my presence!" and demanding to see Juta's home (and then making a beeline for his room). The chapter ends with the two of them being Mistaken for Gay.
Tonomine and Asuka also have a couple of◊ moments.◊ To say nothing of Tonomine's Valentine's Day chocolate...
Yamato's 'confession' to Asuka... actually not romantic, but sure looks like that. He also likes to fanboy Asuka as "the ideal man," and once even took him to a date.
And then there's OojiSuzaku who flirts with Kasuga and Tetsuya, his interactions with Asuka drip with Ho Yay.
The whole Valentine's Day chapter is full of Ho Yay - Asuka receives chocolate from his teammates, Juta, Kitora, and even Tonomine (who gives him a huge, beautiful, handmade chocolate).
Despite being Shoujo parody, Miyabi towards Ryou.
I Was Just Passing Through - Tomomine always has an excuse on hand for when he helps Asuka out - usually something about "owing" Asuka for previous actions or wanting to make things "fair" for the future. It's fairly evident that Asuka sees right through it.
Japanese Pronouns - The manga actually demonstrates the usage of "boku" pretty well. Kitora uses "boku" to go with his well-mannered, polite speech patterns (he also uses Keigo); Kasuga uses "boku" to fit his aloof personality; Hanamasa's "boku" reflects his gentle nature; and Asuka who normally uses "ore" switches to "boku" in his letters to Sachihana Jewel, to sound more polite.
When Kasuga's glasses come off he switches from "boku" to "ore." Hanamasa also uses "ore" in his lyrics, to fit his stage persona.
Meta Guy: Juta, although he keeps it to internal monologues.
Mistaken for Gay - When Juta hugs Asuka for being so nice, the girls who were trying to find out who he was favoring suddenly walk in... after that, Ryo informs Juta and Asuka that the girls have found out who Juta's favorite is.
In the fourth episode of the drama, Juta and his sister Kuriko mishear/misinterpret several statements that lead them to think that Asuka and Tonomine have developed romantic feelings for each other. (Juta panics at the thought that he might have to turn Love Chick into a Boys Love series, but Kuriko squees at the idea.)
Moe - Otowa deliberately plays up moe traits and stereotypes in order to manipulate people. Even her name is Moematsu Otowa. In reality she's anything but moe.
Moustache de Plume - Reversed, Juta takes on the feminine pen name Jewel Sachihana when writing Love Chick, and when a public appearance is required he is forced to go one further and appear to his fans in drag. Same with the manga-ka Juta idolizes, Mira-sensei.
Muse Abuse - Juta. To his credit, with time he grows to feel awfully guilty about it, especially when it comes to Asuka (though not guilty enough to actually stop writing the manga and confess everything to Asuka).
Oblivious to Love - For a long time Ryo just didn't realize that Asuka was in love with her. Despite the fact that he confessed to her at the end of the first chapter, and at least twice after that. Later, though, she finally agreed to go out with him, even though they still don't do typical things that couples do.
Occidental Otaku - Mifune Knight, one of the new teachers at Ginyuri, although rather than anime and manga he's obsessed with Japanese history and culture. Apparently he inherited it from his equally Japan-crazy father who actually built a Jidai GekiTheme Park. (Mifune is a white American but he teaches Japanese history at Ginyuri.)
Paper-Thin Disguise - Really, Asuka... the artist of your favorite shoujo manga is Jewel (Jueru) Sachihana. The lech hanging out with you is Juta Tachibana. And you caught him with very large art from the series. And the two main characters have the same names as you and the girl you like. Her handwriting is very similar to his. And you even remember being in situations like the ones that happen to the heroine of Love Chick. And you still can't figure out that Juta is Jewel.
Even worse; a bonus chapter reveals that the fictional Asuka has the same last name as him.
Lampshaded when Kasuga easily figures it out. It seems Kitora knows as well.
Parental Abandonment - Juta's mom and dad left their children to fend for themselves when they went on world-travelling trip. From a flashback we learn that this isn't anything new.
Promotion to Parent - That harem of women waiting for Juta at home? All ten of them are his younger sisters. Their parents went on a round-the-world trip, and the childern are now living off of Juta's royalties. It's suggested that his eldest sister, Kuriko, eventually gets a job to help out as well.
Real Men Wear Pink - Asuka ultimately tries to accept himself as such - unlike his father, he's happy with being male, so long as he's allowed to indulge in cuteness. Also, given the number of guys besides Asuka who start reading Love Chick in their school, this might be more common there than it first seems.
The Rival: Tonomine is Asuka's bitter rival, although Asuka doesn't really regard him as such.
Scary Musician, Harmless Music: After it is revealed that they used to be an acoustic folk-music girl duo (by use of crossdressing), Visual Kei singer Hanamasa and his older brother, hard rock guitarist George, eventually get back together, merge their bands, and perform gentle soft-rock love songs. It becomes a huge success, of course.
Stupid Sexy Flanders - Ooji Suzaku's sheer sex appeal makes even Kasuga flustered. His nickname is "Prince Pheromone."
Transsexual - Asuka's dad in the drama. In the manga he turns out to be very much male, though of course a model otomen.
He goes through with it in the very last chapter.
Stylistic Suck: While the main point of the demand for the class was to out Juta as Jewel Sachihana, Asuka's cousin was also looking for evidence that Asuka was an otomen by getting Asuka to draw shojo-style. His art is so bad that nobody can tell much of anything about its style.
Tsundere - Tonomine, sort of: the author coined the phrase "tsunsama" (the "tsun" part of tsundere + oresama) to describe him. Usually he's red hot on the "tsun" (irritable) front but he has revealed his "dere" (soft) side a number of times.
Uncanny Valley Makeup - It would would be impolite to comment on Yamato's first attempt to wear makeup, so we will leave that with Tonomine.
Then there's Asuka's favorite band, fra-fra... a duo of sisters that turned out to have been actually Visual Kei singer Hanamasa and his older brother and hard rock guitarist George in drag, before Hanamasa's voice changed.
Yamato also crossdresses on a number of occasions.
And then there's Mira-sensei...
Asuka also crossdresses at one point, with huge success.
Writer Cop Out: Subverted in-universe: when Ryo has to move away everyone feels sad, but Juta tries to lift his friends' spirits saying that he feels like a miracle is going to happen and Ryo won't have to move away - since only a Happy Ending suits a relationship like that of Asuka and Ryo. Needless to say, by the end of the chapter no miracle occurrs and Ryo really moves away, much to Juta's shock.