Asuna Harukaze, a second year middle school student, is a member of her school's soft tennis club. She's also a delusional dreamer. Along with her friend and foil Kotone Sawanatsu, the strange Kurusu Fuyukawa and the club's friendly big sister, Chitose Akiyama, they train every day to improve their tennis skills. Which they're going to need, because their skills have a lot of room to improve.
Based on Ryo Aduchi's manga, Softenni
was adapted into an anime in spring 2011
Tropes in Softenni include:
- Animal Reaction Shot: Done with some cows reacting to Kotone's serve hitting a nearby fence.
- Anime Accent Absence: Averted. Elizabeth has a slight accent to her Gratuitous English, sort of like Kate. In addition, her Japanese is noticeably accented.
- Antenna Hair: Chitose and Asuna.
- Beach Episode: The first half of episode 11.
- Bears Are Bad News: Bears three times the size of a human. Kurusu tames it.
- Big Eater: Chitose
- Extreme Omnivore: She'll even eat tennis balls just because they look like daifuku.
- Bonus Material: 6 Fanservice-filled mini-episodes, centering on stories from the girls' past. They also take place after episode 12 in the story, as opposed to the usual non-serial extras.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Nobody understands how Kurusu works, and she does things that don't seem physically possible. But she's the best player on the Shiratama team.
- Calling Your Attacks: Kotone and Sumino. Kotone tries to assign the rest of the team attack names, too.
- Cat Girl: Misaki, not that she wanted it.
- Cat Smile: Especially Asuna.
- Censor Box: Often in the form of animals.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Elizabeth made one to Mishimagi. He seems baffled by it. Kotone is even more baffled by it.
- Close-Call Haircut: With a soft tennis ball.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Chitose and Asuna
- Crossdressing Voices: Leo Tenchi's voice is noticeably girlish, but that's because it's Miyuki Sawashiro's.
- Curtains Match the Window: Kurusu and Kotone
- Cute Little Fangs: Seriha
- Don't Compliment A Girl's Undergarments: Hilariously, right after Asuna accepts Leo's spontaneous compliment.
- Doting Parent: Kotone's dad.
- Double Entendre: The show's staple humor.
- Dungeon Bypass: In the mountain Death Course, rather than run across the hurdle treadmill, Kurusu throws some food up into the air, and Chitose plows through them all.
- Easy Amnesia: Asuna, after getting whacked in the head with a tennis racquet. Kurusu recovers her memory just as quickly with a chair that's also a massage chair and a coffeemaker.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Leads to a hot springs bath beneath the school, and in the process confirms everything students believe about secret, lavish faculty facilities.
- Emotionless Girl: Kurusu
- Erotic Eating: Chitose and the banana in episode eight.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Or sharks that are really Kurusu.
- Expressive Hair: Kotone and Asuna
- Fanservice: To uncomfortably sexy levels at times. Leo's massage in particular comes to mind.
- Foreign Fanservice: Invoked, then averted. Asuna expects Elizabeth to outsize her, but finds that she's bigger (by a bit).
- Genki Girl: Asuna
- Girlish Pigtails: Kotone has them, and they're expressive.
- Gratuitous English: Elizabeth, naturally.
- Happy Ending Massage: "God Fingers" Leo
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Mihoshi-sensei. Whenever she gets screen time, she's in the middle of drinking some kind of alcoholic beverage.
- Hot-Blooded: Kotone and Sumino
- Hot for Teacher: Kotone and Elizabeth for Hiroshi.
- Hot Springs Episode: Episode three, after a bad storm blows through.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Say "Hello!" to Naguno; episode six.
- Imagine Spot: Asuna, frequently. They're also perverted.
- Improbably Female Cast: Only Hiroshi and Leo are the important male characters.
- Indirect Kiss: Parodied. Leo thought Asuna used her lipstick to decorate his already Wholesome Crossdresser status, but a shift to the backseat shows that the lipstick belongs to Kurusu.
- Interspecies Romance: Chitose and her... boyfriend, a giant salamander.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Asuna in the penultimate episode.
- Mask Power: Kurusu shows up in many different costume heads or a full costume for one reason or another.
- She has a bunch of them in her house.
- Meganekko: Chitose
- Modesty Towel: At the mountain hot springs. Except for Kurusu.
- Ojou: Elizabeth shows shades of it.
- The One Guy: Hiroshi Mishimagi and Leo.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Just moments after the first episode kicks off, Asuna's mom goes, "Asuna! How many times have I told you not to treat the pitch fork like a tennis racket?!"
- Once an Episode: The Harukaze family cow, Hanako, tries to make an escape.
- Opposing Sports Team: Both Akadama and Kurotama Middle School.
- Panty Shot: So prevalent that playing a Drinking Game with this trope in this show may be harmful or fatal. Even with the TV-censored version.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Seriha
- Phenotype Stereotype: Elizabeth.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Kotone
- Powers via Possession: Yayoi Hiragishi is, for the most part, a Shrinking Violet. Then she channels the spiit of Uzuki, her dead older sister, and turns into a tennis pro with some berserker tendencies.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Kurusu is close enough (see Shout-Out, below)
- Rose-Haired Girl: Asuna
- Running Gag: Hanako, Asuna's cow, is always running away at the end of each episode.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Chitose but she's shocked instead of being angry.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Kotone decides to dress in a very fashionable feminine casual for an outing with Hiroshi. Too bad, though: Elizabeth copied it.
- Shipper on Deck: Kotone gets support from Chitose and Asuna (especially Asuna) on her fashion makeover.
- Shout-Out: When Leo's lineage as a master massueuse is described, Toki and Jagi, another two masters of Pressure Point techniques from Fist of the North Star turn up in the background.
- Episode 3 features an absurdly long escalator descent in the underground base, which gives Kurusu and Kotone the chance to replicate the "Rei slaps Shinji" scene.
- Something We Forgot: As the Tennis Club drives home from the beach, they realize they forgot Yayoi, who's still up on that cliff.
- Temporal Theme Naming: The main four girls have a seasonal kanji in their surname, in addition to another meaningful component.
- Asuna Harukaze: Spring (+ "wind")
- Kotone Sawanatsu: ("refreshing" +) Summer
- Chitose Akiyama: Autumn (+ "mountain")
- Kurusu Fuyukawa: Winter (+ "river")
- Tomboy: Kotone.
- Triang Relations: Kotone and Elizabeth with Misshi.
- Tsundere: Kotone
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kurusu.