Manga: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
From left to right, Hotori, Kon, Sanada, Toshiko and Uki the Head Maid. Haribara and Moriaki-sensei missing.
"Even the most grand and luxurious of cafes are nothing but empty shacks if they don't provide what the customer seeks."
Seaside Maid Cafe
in the Maruko Shopping District at first glance seems normal. Maybe too
normal; except for its waitresses wearing maid uniforms
, it's a regular coffee shop (it doesn't even serve tea
). But its staff is rather odd: Hotori Arashiyama
aspires to be a detective
, Toshiko Tatsuno
is a perfectionist
, and Uki, the owner, is an old woman with an unusual voice
Business is slow, too: three regular customers
from the neighbourhood, Hotori and Toshiko's classmates Hiroyuki Sanada
and Harue Haribara
, and their sempai Futaba Kon
are apparently the only clients of the joint. But worry not: Hilarity Ensues
How many Slice of Life
shows feature Special Guest
appearances by Egyptian gods?Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
, (Yet the Town Keeps Going
), is a Manga
written and illustrated by Masakazu Ishiguro. Seven bound volumes have been released in Japan as of April 2010. The anime adaption by Studio Shaft
was aired on the Fall Season of 2010.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru has examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming:
- It's Eri not Ebi!
- Toshiko doesn't like being called Tattsun.
- Adaptation Expansion — The way the manga chapters are re-arranged in the TV series makes it to be told in Anachronic Order. On the other hand, some chapters have slightly changed endings or added sequences.
- All Love Is Unrequited — Nothing serious and romance isn't exactly the most important thing in the series but at the moment it seems to be as follows: Toshiko has a crush on Hiroyuki, who has a longstanding crush on his childhood friend Hotori, who seems to have a thing for their homeroom math teacher Mr. Moriaki, who frowns on the idea of a student/teacher relationship as immoral (and who would probably shoot himself if he had to deal with Hotori for the rest of his life). Takeru and Eri may be the only exception.
- Annoying Younger Sibling — Hotori's little brother and sister, Takeru and Yukiko.
- Art Shift
- With Studio Shaft at the works, this is aplenty.
- Murder on Jelly Island
- Artificial Riverbank — Episode 7.
- Moriaki's concept on love is (Man + Woman) / Morality = 0.
- Well, that's his formula for teacher/student relationships. He's a π type.
- Bathtub Bonding — Hotori and Takeru bathe together in Episode 7.
- Batman Gambit — Hotori makes a small but surprisingly good one despite her academic ability. Over the course of two days, she posts arrows all over the town which would lead curious customers to the Cafe. Three men, curious to know what the arrows were for, walked into the cafe. Hotori explains the purpose of the arrows, but they scoff at the idea. What they didn't realize is that by following the arrows, they've been submitting to Hotori's trick the whole time.
- Battle Aura — Probably a signature of Meidojutsu users.
- Beach Episode — Episode 11.
- Beautiful Dreamer — A reason to cut classes.
- Bifauxnen — Kon, who Hotori first mistakes for a pretty boy.
- Big Sister Instinct — Despite the occasional family scuffle, Hotori can be really nice to her siblings.
- Bland-Name Product —
PumaCapybara sport gear, SeikoSekoi clocks, LipovitanNapovitan energy drink, GoogleGogol. Averted with the Montblanc fountain pen.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine — Hotori plays the boke, usually with Toshiko playing the Tsukkomi.
- Book Dumb — Despite having high grades in most subjects, Hotori seems to be impossibly dumb when it comes to anything involving math or logic. It's a miracle she made it to high school.
- Brain Bleach — Sanada wants some after a bit of Fan Disservice in Episode 8.
- Brats with Slingshots — Takeru.
- Brick Joke — The Spooky Photographs.
- Cannot Spit It Out — Or it comes out weird, in Toshiko's case.
- Celestial Bureaucracy — Fitting for a Mundane Afterlife.
- Chekhov's Gunman — Hotori goes a little Genre Savvy and tells the rest of her family that her TV experience says that a prolific actor is most likely to play as a criminal character.
- Cloudcuckoolander — The further a problem is from logic and the mundane, the easier is for Hotori to solve it. She's not alone in the show, though; just listen to the Head Maid's deductions on the painting mystery...
- Comedic Sociopathy — Well, when you have Hotori for Butt Monkey, to begin with.
- Cosplay Café: The series is set in a Maid Cafe.
- Crossover Cosmology — Anubis makes a special guest appearance in Episode 12.
- Cultural Cross-Reference
- Sanada saying he's become a Jedi.
- Hotori confusing a scanner with Scanners.
- Kon was apparently a Sith Lord of Ping Pong in middle school.
- Cute Little Fang — Kon has a small one.
- Dancing Theme — In the OP. And rather than being just another Idol-inspired theme and choreography, it goes for a Broadway Musical Theatre style.
- Real Song Theme Tune — The OP is actually a cover of a 1975 song from a band called Sugar Babe. This is the original.
- The ending theme also has the girls performing on their instruments. There is something just so right about Hotori rocking out on the accordion.
- Death Glare — Go on. Mess with Kon's cooking. We dare you.◊
- Deadpan Snarker
- Discussed Trope — Hotori invokes The Summation and Moriaki-sensei expresses his dislike about it.
- Dojikko — Hotori can make clumsy combos. And when she dies, she gets into the Ancient Egyptian afterlife rather than the Japanese.
- Doomed New Clothes — Episode 11.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male — Eri, there are nicer ways to let Takeru know that you don't want him to call you Ebi.
- Early-Bird Cameo — Kon is seen watching Hotori ride by in Episode 2.
- Eureka Moment — Wait! What if you think of it as more than a painting...?
- Everybody Hates Mathematics — Hotori puts no effort into math, on the grounds that it's not a necessary skill for a detective. The fact that she has a crush on her math teacher certainly doesn't help her focus either.
- Hotori shares a lot with Tomo, with a dash of Osaka. And looks like Yotsuba&!'s Fuuka. Add to this a teacher that looks like a long-haired Kimura with his mouth shut and the occasional use of very familiar face expressions and it seems like someone is a fan of Kiyohiko Azuma.
- Also Toshiko looks like Yomi.
- The Faceless — Hotori's parents.
- False Camera Effects — Fisheye Lens and Lens Flare being the most common ones.
- Fanservice with a Smile — The point of a Maid Cafe, after all.
Toshiko: Luring men with the illusion of gentleness, and taking their money. Such is the way of meidojutsu!
- Four Meido Band Concert
- The ED. Part Image Song, part Heavy Meta, all... ''Enka'' rock???
- Also in Episode 8, with the B-Side of the ED song single, which has more of a celtic rock feel.
- Flat "What." — Happens sometimes after Hotori makes a stupid comment.
- First Name Basis —
EbiEri switches to this during the Not a Date, and wants Takeru to do the same (see above).
- Foil — Toshiko to Hotori
- Funny Background Event — It's a Studio Shaft work, after all. Take the random "helicopter recon" event on the first episode, for example.
- Gag Series — No highly visible plot in this show. Everything's about making viewers laugh.
- Gainaxing — Toshiko in episode 8.
"They were like Water Balloons"
- Genius Ditz — Hotori is mostly an idiot, not just in math and logic but also common sense, but is quite adept at non-linear thinking and can solve unusual mysteries where the more straight-thinking people around her cannot. And her Batman Gambit didn't just come from nowhere.
- Genki Girl — Hotori
- Giving Radio to the Romans — As part of a peculiar Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit. The snack proved too hard to be reproduced by regular current day cooking, but obviously someone managed to do it before 2310.
- Gonk — Haribara. Definitely, Haribara.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel — Moriaki-sensei pictures them as hand-puppets.
- Go Into the Light — Invoked, but it carried somebody else away instead of Uki's dead husband.
- Greek Chorus — Provided by the Narrator.
- Groin Attack — This is what resident cop Matsuda gets for impulsively getting in Hotori's way while she's on a scooter.
- Hanging Our Clothes to Dry — Urban version.
- Heavy Meta — The ending song is largely about the song itself.
- Hot for Teacher
- Ever since Moriaki-sensei lectured Hotori at the Seaside Maid Cafe, Hotori has been hinted to be thinking of Moriaki-sensei.
- And she hasn't been the first one. Alas, (Man + Woman) / Morality = 0.
- It doesn't help that he's the math teacher and Hotori thinks math is useless.
- Idiots Cannot Catch Colds — Referenced by Hotori when Kon has a cold. When she later finds out that most people except her have caught it, she despairs and pretends to be sick.
- In-Series Nickname — In their old middle school ping-pong club Toshiko, Haribara and Kon were known as the Faerie, the Reaper and the Sith Lord. Serious Business!
- Incredibly Lame Pun
- Hotori attemts to replace "maido!" (Osakan for "thank you!") with "meido". Toshiko and the Head Maid aren't amused.
- Lame puns in Japanese are "cold puns". Now you know what Kon was talking about in Episode 3.
- Insane Troll Logic
- In chapter 9 of the manga, Hotori's answers on Moriaki-sensei's math test are so incredibly awful or nonsensical that he gets physically and mentally ill just from reading them.
- 1 = 0
- Joshikousei — Hotori, Toshiko and Kon are.
- Kansai Dialect — Used for some puns.
- Leave No Witnesses — Kon has an image to uphold...
- Lens Flare Censor — Hotori's tripping towards the cafe's entrance door has turned her upside down. Whatever upskirt that's anticipated is blocked by afternoon sunlight lens flares.
- Logic Bomb — Hotori wages a war on Logic. Poor Moriaki-sensei.
- Magic Skirt
- Surprisingly for such a fanservice-heavy genre, upskirt shots are obscured by darkness or random happenstance. The anime walks the very fine line of titillation, leaving anatomy lessons for other shows. Let's just say it's all about the laughs.
- Also, see Kon in the picture above.
- Mad Mathematician — Moriaki-sensei.
- Malaproper — Hotori. "Little Grey" for "Earl Grey'', for example.
- Meddlesome Patrolman — Matsuda, the stressed neighbourhood cop.
- Meganekko — Toshiko.
- Meido — Obviously.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- Toshiko has a knack for making anything into a Melodrama, from a teacher quoting school rules being set up as a psychic assault to merely stepping into the Seaside Cafe for the first time. But so does Hotori, and Moriaki-sensei.
- The ping pong rematch between Haribara and Tatsuno.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes — Well, not quite flashed...
- Mystery Meat — Coming from The Future? Or maybe made by aliens?
- Mythology Gag — The little alien guys playing the drums seen in the OP are from one chapter of the manga that didn't make it to the show.
- Near Death Experience — Hotori in Episode 12. She also experiences Near Death Clairvoyance.
- Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly — The ED. The insert song Sou wa Ittemo Sekai wa Owaranai also qualifies. See Four Maido Band Concert above.
- Nice Guy — Sanada.
- The Nicknamer
- Hotori - Eroyuki, Tattsun, Catboy...
- Sanada calling his teammate Donkey Kong.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues — Only works on people with strong Weirdness Censors.
- Not a Date — Takeru is not on a date with Eri. No one believes it.
- Not So Great Escape — Takeru narrowly avoids social death at the candy shop.
- Oblivious to Love — Hotori to Sanada. Sanada to Toshiko. Takeru to Eri.
- Omake — For example, Hotori's pet
tanuki dog, Josephine's talking at the end of every segment of an episode, poko.
- Onion Tears — And Pepper Sneeze, too.
- Our Angels Are Different — Japan's Mundane Afterlife employs kids and teens to do the job.
- Parasol of Prettiness — Haribara is behind it.
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame — Of a Pietŕ Plagiarism, Episode 1.
- Pick on Someone Your Own Size — Hotori is Moriaki-sensei's "second natural enemy".
- Porn Stash — Turns out that Sanada's room has piles of books on this material... and even more on his hard disk.
- Rain, Rain, Go Away — First half of Episode 8.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Repeat Cut — Hotori getting smashed in the face by Toshiko and the cafe owner is shown crudely in three different angles.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter — Josephine.
- Right in Front of Me — ...is a female sempai.
- School Festival — Episode 8.
- Sempai/Kohai — Subverted. Kon's rank doesn't seem to play a part on her relationship with Hotori except for making her sweat after her faux pas. The other girls, specially Haribara, do treat her as a sempai.
- Serious Business
- Toshiko thinks being a maid waitress is something not to be taken lightly. Meidojutsu. And just watch her playing the violin in the ED.
Toshiko: Arashiyama-san, let's don our war clothing!
- Bad math makes Moriaki-sensei physically ill.
- Both Table Tennis and a small candy treat in Episode 9.
- Shmuck Bait
- Arrow posters which was essential for Hotori's plan. See the Batman Gambit entry above.
- The "freebie" in Episode 8's omake.
- Shipper on Deck — Uki the Head Maid is a supporter of Tattsun x Sanada.
- Show Some Leg — Invoked by Hotori in Episode 2 Omake of the anime.
- Sick Episode — Where Kon is the feverish one.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender — Of course, since Hotori's the center of abuse. Her stupidity makes her even more hilariously deserving of it.
- Slice of Life — A telling of several people in a small town, with the odd Fantastic Comedy moment thrown in.
- Slippery Skid — A couple of cases, including the classical Banana Peel.
- Spiritual Successor — To Natsu no Arashi!.
- Spit Take — Here's one: Sanada spitting coffee out at the sight of the head meido lifting up her skirt to knee level to inspect her stockings. Cue Brain Bleach in the evening of the same day.
- Spoiler Opening — Only Hotori is surprised when Kon turns out to be a girl...
- Spooky Photographs — A really unusual explanation for these is given in Episode 12.
- Standing in the Hall — Hotori is punished this way for being late for class. No buckets though.
- Stern Teacher — Moriaki-sensei
- Straight Man — Moriaki-sensei. So square that he's a loonie.
- Talking in Your Sleep — Now, you know too much about Kon. You must die.
- Talking to the Dead — Seaside Maid Cafe owner Uki talks to her dead husband as though he was there... He's listening, though.
- Temporal Mutability — You can change the past.
- Tomboy — Kon
- Triang Relations — Type 5. Toshiko likes Sanada, who likes Hotori, who likes Moriaki-sensei.
- The Triple — "That was mean! It really hurt! It was spherical!".
- Tsundere — Eri
- Two Shorts — Each episode of the anime is divided into two short acts, each one adapting a chapter of the manga. The chosen chapters don't follow the manga's publishing order, they are grouped by theme or character.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend — Sanada to Hotori.
- Unusual Euphemism — LUTHEEEER!!!! CSAAARRR!!!!!!
- Verbal Tic, poko — Hotori's pet
tanuki pedobear, dog, Josephine always ends its sentences with -poko.
- Wardrobe Malfunction — What you get for Tempting Fate.
- World of Snark
- World of Pun — Alas, they're Japanese puns...
- Yonkoma — The Mr. Poorman omake.
- Zettai Ryouiki — Apparently, dressing up as a maid waitress means one has to wear Grade-A thigh-highs.