is a 2009 shojo
manga series by Maki Minami
Fifteen-year-old Hime Kino
has started her first year of high school at a seiyuu
(or voice actor) school, Hiiragi Academy, the number one school to get voice actors debuted and among the students are celebrities, including two teen idols
from Idol Unit "Aqua"—Shuuma Kawai and Mizuki Haruyama
—and Kudou Senri
, a rising star to fame. Hime dreams of one day being a voice actress on one of the most popular anime series in Japan—"Mahou Senshi Lovely Blazers,"
but that proves to be a problem as her voice isn't quite suitable
for that of a voice actress. In spite of this, Hime is determined to prove that she can be a voice actress.
When Hime displays an uncanny potential to be a voice actress using a "prince-like" voice that captivates audiences, Aqua's producer Haruka Yamada
takes notice in the girl and eventually decides to produce Hime as a voice actress—with a catch
: Haruka wants to market Hime as a "male" voice actor under the name "Shiro." Hime must crossdress as a boy
while dubbing at the studio; if her double life
identity is found out, her contract is cut. Hime is initially reluctant to masquerade as a male when her dream is to become a cute "Lovely Blazer" like her idol (and Senri's mother) Sakura Aoyama, but she agrees to reach her dream.
This series provides the following tropes:
- Alliterative Name: Sana Sonohara and Tsukino Todoroki.
- Alpha Bitch: Ume Ichijou. She gets better.
- Almost Kiss: Between Mizuki and Hime/Shiro, when the former helps the latter rehearse but at the last minute opts and kisses her forehead instead.
- Bad Bad Acting: Hime. She's genuine about wanting to be a voice actor, but her voice sounds gruff and scratchy while acting.
- Bad Boss: Haruka acts like this a lot, but he does genuinely want to help Hime fulfill her dream.
- Beauty Mark: Tooru Fujimori sports one by his right eye.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Senri and Hime.
- Berserk Button:
- Takayanagi has a lot, but one in particular is insulting his True Companions.
- Haruka has a tendency to flick Hime's forehead really hard if she screws up her lines and doesn't talk with her "prince" voice.
- A chivalrous Mizuki gets quite peeved as well if Shuu ever does anything insulting to Hime, saying he shouldn't say stuff like that to girls. His buttons also get pushed once he stumbles upon Tooru hugging Shiro (in gratitude for the latter helping the former rehearse lines), and from since then, Mizuki does not want Tooru anywhere near Hime/Shiro.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- When Mizuki finds out that it's all Shuu's fault for Hime getting bullied and injured, he gives Shuu a single sharp punch to the gut.
- Later, when a feverish Mizuki finds out that Hime learned about his past with Sana from Mizuki, he totally snaps at Hime and attempts to "shake" the memory away from. Naturally, this reaches a heated point where Mizuki throws a pillow at Hime, and Hime gets a bloody nose. Then Hime gets pissed and they start tackling each other as Shuu walks into the room... and immediately leaves once they yell at him.
- Birds of a Feather: Takayanagi isn't good with girls. Ume isn't good with guys. They end up having an unlikely friendship.
- Bishounen: Shuu, Mizuki, Senri, Haruka Yamada, Tooru Fujimori. Zaizen "Mitchi" Michael isn't too modest to express his good looks as well.
- Boys Love: Shiro's next dubbing is a BL Drama CD... with Senri playing the villain who is "using" her character.
- But Not Too Foreign: Mitchi is half-French and half-Japanese.
- Cannot Talk To Women: Takayanagi.
- Chaste Hero: Takayanagi, who turns out to be "innocent" and "shy" around girls that any romantic contact or suggestion will send him blushing and running off, such as his interactions with Tsukino and Ume. Hilariously enough, Hime notices that he doesn't act this way around her.
- Childhood Friends: Shuu and Sana.
- Common Eye Colors:
- Brown Eyes: Hime, Tsukino, and Mizuki.
- Green Eyes: Senri and Haruka. Hime wears green contacts as Shiro.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Shuu towards Mizuki. Somewhat justified in that he knows that Hime reminds Mizuki of Sana, and he doesn't want Mizuki to get hurt.
- Cuteness Proximity: Senri has an uncanny soft spot for small animals, especially cats. It's to the extent that he brings stray cats home with him and his reason for helping Hime is because she resembles a helpless kitten. It's to the extent that in later chapters, Senri will impulsively hug Hime tightly if his "vision" of her turns out a cat, only to later push her away and deny his affectionate gesture.
- Daydream Surprise: In Chapter 3, Senri thinks about stroking one of his cat friend Gonzales' forehead, only for the cat to turn into Hime and naturally, Senri freaks out. In Chapter 37, it happens again with him imagining Hime as a cat again and playing with her.
- Delinquent: Shou.
- Demoted to Extra: Once Hime starts her double life role masquerading as Shiro, her school friends Tsukino, Takayanagi, and Mitchi don't show up very often in the manga, only appearing from time to time in chapters.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Mizuki towards Hime. Tooru towards Shiro.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Mizuki develops this for Hime and really wants to support her whenever the latter needs help rehearsing lines or if anything's troubling her. It helps that Hime reminds him of Sana.
- Failure Knight: Mizuki blames himself for Sana quitting the drama club and acting as a whole because he was told that if Sana got attached to him, then he'd be crushing her dream by her constantly relying on him, so he began avoiding her requests for help. Needless to say, this decision backfired on him and made Sana's acting career and confidence plummet to the ground, and the two of them grew apart.
- Fangirl: Tsukino is a big fan of Hime to the extent that she'll only agree to do things for Hime's sake and she'll place "curses" on people who insult Hime.
- Five-Man Band:
- Girlish Pigtails: Hime.
- Green-Eyed Monster:
- Shuu gets extremely jealous when he finds out Mizuki is interested in Hime and wants to be her friend.
- Tooru sees Mizuki as his rival and absolutely hates his guts. Mizuki, on the other hand, doesn't really notice Tooru too much until Tooru starts hanging around Shiro... and Mizuki does not like Tooru hanging around Shiro.
- Grumpy Bear: Takayanagi.
- Hair Decorations
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Shou Takayanagi has a bad temper.
- Happily Married: Senri and Hime in the epilogue.
- He Is Not My Prince: In Chapter 38, while Hime, Tsukino, and Ume are at a summer festival, Ume laments that she wishes her "prince" was around. Hime suggests that Ume should have called Takayanagi, and Ume blushes and denies that Takayanagi is her "prince."
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Hime is considered a disappointment to her mother (and sometimes to herself) and vows to not disappoint anyone anymore.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Shuu and Mizuki.
- Ho Yay: Shuu and Mizuki, with the former being "infatuated" with the latter.
- I Just Want to Be You: Ume always imitated her former close friend Riko from her hair style, her clothing, choice of favorite idols, and her drawings. When Ume started being praised for her drawings, Riko cut her hair and confronted Ume, accusing Ume of only being able to copy her and that she'll never find a guy that'll like her back. Since then, Ume has grown to believe it.
- In-Series Nickname: Hime is nicknamed "Gori-Hime" ("Gorilla Hime") after for croaky-sounding voice and following her angry outburst towards Senri for saying she has "bad taste" for liking Sakura Aoyama. Haruka also nicknames Hime, often calling her "you amateur" or "amateur prince," though it is later more of an Affectionate Nickname.
- Imagine Spot: While dubbing lines for the BL Drama CD with Senri playing the villain that is using her character (in separate rooms), Shiro imagines the whole scene with Senri as his character and Shiro as hers, including their kiss scene. Later, when Shiro bumps into Senri at the grocery store, she remembers what she imagined earlier, freaks out, pushes Senri, and runs off.
- Les Yay: Tsukino is very fond of Hime.
- Lethal Chef: Senri.
- Living a Double Life: From Volume 3 onward, Hime must maintain a double life as a "male" voice actor named "Shiro."
- Love Dodecahedron: Shuu is "infatuated" with Mizuki, who might have liked Sana and currently seems to have feelings for Hime, who eventually falls for Senri, who is starting to feel something for Shiro. Tsukino is also very fond of Hime, while Tooru has a crush on Shiro—unaware that she's really Hime—and mistakes Shiro's closeness to Mizuki for them being "gay." Haruka may or may not have feelings for Hime. Ume initially perceives Takayanagi as her "prince," only to no longer think of him as it once her fantasy of it shatters, only for them to gain quite a bit of ship tease together.
- Love Epiphany: Mizuki has one for Hime in Chapter 52.
- Hime has one for Senri in Chapter 63, though she doesn't quite get it herself.
- Malicious Slander: To jealously keep Hime away from Mizuki, Shuu kisses Hime on the cheek to imply to his fans that they must be dating, so they can create a human barrier to separate Hime from Shuu and Mizuki.
- Meaningful Name: Hime means "princess," but she certainly doesn't look or sound the part.
- Meaningful Rename: Hime deduces that the "Shiro" part of her cover-up name comes from the term doshirouto, which means "big amateur" in Japanese and is what Haruka often calls Hime.
- Megane: Mizuki.
- Meganekko: Hime/Shiro when she wears Mizuki's glasses, which Mizuki has "charmed" to help Hime use the "prince" voice.
- Noodle People: Well, this is from the same mangaka who did Special A.
- Older Than They Look: Senri and pretty much everyone else constantly mistake Shiro for an elementary student.
- Opposites Attract: Senri and Hime. Implied between that the reliable but naturally talented Mizuki and the hot-headed but very hardworking Sana.
- Parental Favoritism: Hime's mother favors her "talented and perfect" daughter Akane more than Hime.
- Pet the Dog:
- Senri helping out Hime during her first dubbing session.
- Ume sincerely making an animated video for Hime and the others in spite of the close deadline merely for being so kind to her.
- After hearing Hime's mother blatantly call Akane as her "perfect daughter" and "more capable than Hime," Haruka defends Hime and firmly states that the person that he's interested in for dubbing is Hime. He even considers lending her a shoulder to cry on and pinky swear promises her that he will help make her dream come true. Of course, the last bit gets double subverted when it turns out that Haruka tricked Hime into agreeing without a guarantee that he'll come true with his part of the deal, but it's shown that Haruka is quite determined to help Hime get recognized as a voice actor.
- Senri nervously buys candy for Shiro during one of their hang-out sessions and constantly asks Shiro if the latter wants candy. Hime/Shiro only sees Senri acting angry and brooding, so she draws the conclusion that she is unwelcomed and tries to leave later, only for Senri to chase after her to give her the candy. Realizing his intent, she thanks him.
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: This was Hime's main issues as "Shiro" when she officially started dubbing. Because she cannot initially visualize her characters as roles with different personalities, her voice acting ends up sounding the same every time.
- Pinky Swear: In Chapter 10, Haruka promises Hime that he will help make her dream come true if she helps him fulfill his dream as well.
- Plucky Girl: Hime.
- Princely Young Man: Mizuki is a Gentleman type, Shuu is more of a Prince Charming type, and Senri is an Ice King type.
- Protectorate: Shuu is very protective of Mizuki.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shuu and Mizuki.
- Replacement Goldfish: During Hime's retreat to help use her "prince" voice, Mizuki starts to remind Hime of Sana, his close friend who he tried to help become an actress, but learning that the possibility of her becoming dependent on him might crush her dream, decided to avoid her. Sana ended up quitting the drama club after a series of failures at auditions and blamed Mizuki for abandoning her when she needed him.
- Rescue Romance: Mizuki first get interested in Hime after she asks him if she could borrow his uniform so she could pretend to be Tsukino's "boyfriend" and rescue her from an unwanted suitor. This trope is also Ume's definition of moe.
- Running Gag:
- Senri mentally viewing or daydreaming of Hime as a cat, only to freak out afterwards.
- Tsukino putting "curses" on people.
- Mizuki hitting Shuu if he insults Hime.
- Haruka calling Hime "amateur" and flicking her on the forehead.
- Senri (and other people) mistaking Shiro for an elementary school student.
- Tooru wanting to spend time with Shiro, but Mizuki intervenes.
- Secret Keeper: The only people who know that Shiro is Hime are Haruka, Mizuki, and Shuu.
- Slice of Life
- School Idol/Teen Idol: Idol Unit "Aqua" members Shuu and Mizuki, and rising star Kudou Senri.
- Ship Tease: Plenty between:
- Senri and Hime/Shiro: Senri acts cold to Hime, but he turns out to be really drawn to her because she reminds him of a cat named Gonzales. In contrast, Senri grows to think of Shiro as a friend and awkwardly tries to convey it while Hime eventually falls for Senri while seeing him in her Shiro disguise. Hime has feelings for Shiro, and Chapter 41 hints that Senri is starting to feel something towards Shiro.
- Mizuki and Hime: Mizuki's interest in Hime began due to her similarity to Sana, but he grows to be a constant support to her and always wants to give Hime a helping hand. Mizuki does not like it if Tooru wants to spend time with Shiro and actively tries to keep Shiro away from him. They even nearly share a rehearsal kiss before Mizuki kisses Shiro's forehead instead. In Chapter 38, Haruka suggests that Mizuki cares about Hime. And in Chapter 52, Mizuki has a Love Epiphany.
- Haruka and Hime: Haruka has shown concern over Hime and in spite of his moodiness, he genuinely cares about her. In Chapter 38, Mizuki notices the effort Haruka is doing to promote Hime and says that the former must care about the latter; Haruka denies it and suggests that it's Mizuki who cares about Hime. When Mizuki claims that he only thinks of Hime as a "junior," Haruka seems relieved.
- Shuu and Mizuki: Shuu is extremely attached and protective of Mizuki. Shuu is said to be infatuated with Mizuki, but claims that he's not gay.
- Takayanagi and Ume: Ume is initially infatuated with Takayanagi until she realizes that he's not the "moe" prince-character she thought he was. They form a friendship with Takayanagi agreeing to find Ume's "prince," though it's been teased that Takayanagi might in fact be Ume's "prince."
- Tooru and Shiro: Tooru develops a crush on Shiro and tries to hang out with her, only for Mizuki to intervene.
- Shoujo Demographic
- Shrinking Violet: Tsukino.
- Sink or Swim Mentor/Trickster Mentor: Haruka to Hime. Mizuki hints that Haruka treated Shuu and him similarly when they first started being voice actors too.
- Sleep Cute: Hime and Mizuki in Chapter 36.
- Stepford Smiler: Hime takes her mother's disappointment in her with stride if it means that she's one step closer to her dream.
- Supreme Chef: Hime.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: A variation. Haruka decides to market Hime as a male voice actor, and for her to keep her contract with him, she must dress up and live as a boy at her apartment and pretend to be one whenever she's dubbing at the studio while only being a girl while she's at school.
- The Unfavorite: Hime. Her mother blatantly prefers her little sister over her, and expresses this at every chance she gets.
- Three Amigos: Mizuki, Shuu, and Sana had a bit of this dynamic.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Hime and her younger sister Akane. Hime and Tsukino.
- Training from Hell: How Hime describes Haruka's retreats to get Hime to use her "prince voice." Every time she is unable to do it, Haruka flicks her on the head hard and even threatens to bury her if she can't do it in one hundred tries. After one hundred tries, Haruka instead ties Hime to a tree, though Mizuki shortly cuts her from it.
- True Companions: Hime, Tsukino, Takayanagi, Mitchi, with an addition to Ume. Hime/Shiro later forms a similar relationship with Mizuki, Shuu, and Haruka.
- Kudou Senri. He acts tsun-tsun towards Hime and pretty much everyone else, but he only really shows his dere-dere side to cats... and "Shiro."
- Ume certainly becomes one to Hime and the rest of her True Companions as well.
- Type Casting: The reason why Hime turns down a role of playing a male host in an anime production is because she jumps to the conclusion that if she voices a male character, she'll just keep voicing male characters.
- Unknown Rival: Tooru to Mizuki.
- "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: Hime.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Hime first crossdresses to pretend to be Tsukino's "boyfriend" and save her from getting harassed by an unwanted suitor. She later crossdresses as her alter ego Shiro in order to be marketed as a voice actor by Haruka.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: This is how Mizuki's relationship with Shuu as "the friend" and Sana "the stranger" start off, but subverted in that Shuu and Sana are childhood friends, so Mizuki could very well be "the stranger" in this aspect.
- You Remind Me of X: Hime reminds Senri of a cat named Gonzales, reminds Mizuki of Sana, and reminds Yashima of Sakura Aoyama.