moves to Tokyo to attend an athletics-oriented high school. On his way to his aunt's girls-only apartment building, he stops to admire a girl practicing the high jump.
One of his aunt's tenants turns out to be the jumper he was ogling earlier, Suzuka Asahina
. He makes a bad first impression
. And a bad second impression
. Then he saves her life, which only makes things worse.
But since he is a Dogged Nice Guy
he perseveres, joining the track team to be near her. And in turn his Unlucky Childhood Friend
joins the team to be near him
The original manga by Seo Kouji
, author of Kimi No Iru Machi
and Princess Lucia
, runs for 18 volumes, 9 out of which were adapted to television.
Has a sequel of sorts in Fuuka
This show provides examples of:
- Accidental Athlete: Yamato Akitsuki, sort of. We as the audience don't see any initial signs of his athletic ability until he wins a race against one of the track team bigshots. But the characters later discover that he'd competed in athletic events in the past.
- Accidental Pervert: Yamato.
- Betty and Veronica: Suzuka or Honoka?
- Bratty Half-Pint: Miho Fujikawa, Yamato's cousin.
- Butt Monkey: Kenji Kobayakawa's face is never fully seen when they take photos.
- Can't Spit It Out: Just frigging say it, Yamato!
- Cats Are Mean: Goro.
- Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Episode 23 of the anime.
- Character Title
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Between Miho and Yamato.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Yasunobu Hattori.
- Cool Big Sis: Yuka. Sure she's a lush, but she's got no shortage of worldly advice for the youngsters.
- Distant Finale: A mild example in the manga, which skipped over a year between the last two chapters, between Yamato and Suzuka getting legally married by turning in a form in chapter 165, and having a church ceremony a year later in 166 after they'd saved up enough money
- Dogged Nice Guy
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Minor, but worth mentioning. During the dubbing process, someone apparently overlooked the order-of-magnitude difference between tenths and hundredths of a second, which of course is Serious Business in the world of track. Luckily this only happens a few times. But at one point after Yamato runs a race in 10.68 seconds, the dub gives his rival's time as "eleven point nine" (11.9) seconds where the real time is 11.09 seconds. This gives the false impression of a much larger gap between the two runners.
- Episode Title Card
- Everyone Can See It: Suzuka's probably the only one who didn't see Yamato's initial interest in her. Once Honoka moved in on Yamato and took his attention away, then suddenly it was only Yamato who couldn't see Suzuka's newly-developed (and oft-denied) interest in him.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Fakeout Makeout: A variation. At one point, a kiss is initiated to deter a romantic rival from entering the scene and interfering.
- Fanservice: Although not as much as the first few episodes would have you believe.
- Fear of Thunder: Played straight in the episode Eye of the Storm.
- First Kiss: Yamato, being a few spikes short of a full cleat, wonders "if it counts."
- Flashback: To explain the photograph mentioned below.
- Flashback Effects: Of the "sepia tone" variety.
- Funbag Airbag: Courtesy of Megumi.
- Genki Girl: Miki Hashiba.
- Genre Savvy: Yasunobu.
- Girl Next Door: Honoka Sakurai.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Suzuka doesn't start getting interested in Akitsuki until she hears he is dating someone else.
- Later in the manga she admits that she liked Akitsuki at first sight, and fell in love with him when he first encouraged her to keep working on her high jumping.
- Happily Ever Before
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Yuka Saotome, along with her friend Megumi Matsumoto.
- Hello, Nurse!: Yuka dons one of these outfits in an early episode where Yamato needs some nursing back to health.
- Indirect Kiss: Both Yamato and Honoka become flustered by one of these in an early episode.
- Kanako Mitsuhashi: Suzuka's voice actress.
- Kissing Cousins: See Childhood Marriage Promise, above. Never sees any development or consummation.
- Lethal Chef: Suzuka is a low-key one who does things like boiling eggs in the microwave (creating what Yamato sometimes calls "egg bombs"). She gets better. Yui, who works at a cafe, is... much worse. Her vegetable soup, for example, has a fish head staring out of it. For a "hidden taste." She never notices anything wrong.
- Love at First Sight
- Love Triangle
- Loving a Shadow: Early on, Suzuka's only interest in Yamato seems based entirely upon his resemblance to her dead not-quite-boyfriend/sempai, down to the way they set up to run a race. Made more dramatic that the said semapi was going to confess his feelings towards her on the day of a track tournament, which was also the day he died. She got better though, saying goodbye to her late sempai at his grave and moving on to Yamato.
- Luminescent Blush
- Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Suzuka's photo of her ex-boyfriend, who despite her assertion otherwise, looks a lot like Akitsuki.
- Miko: Honoka.
- Ms. Fanservice: Yuka.
- Omake: Kimi No Iru Machi, another of the mangaka's works, featured a short side-series of 4-Koma strips about Yamato and Suzuka two years down the road
- Poor Communication Kills
- Red String of Fate, shown in the credits
- Right Behind Me
- Shrines and Temples: Akitsuki takes Suzuka to his favorite one on their first not-a-date.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Honoka, minus the blue hair.
- Stalker with a Crush: Yes, Yamato, it still counts as stalking if you're listening through your own door to hear Suzuka leaving her apartment.
- Chapter 95 of the manga focuses on Miho's (Yamato's cousin) classmate who is very stalkerish towards her, especially on Valentines Day. He's like an extremely creepy Deconstruction of Yamato's own early Dogged Nice Guy behavior towards Suzuka (minus the "nice"), and even resembles Yamato a little.
- Stripperiffic: Miki's "sprinter outfit," which resembles a bra-and-panties ensemble, or rather, more appropriate for beach volleyball than track and field. It's not necessarily impractical for running, but it's worth pointing out that no other female on the track team dresses that way.
- Amazingly enough its a case of Truth in Television. If you actually see an international track and field event one or two of the female sprinters are usually dressed like that, the rest are slightly more covered up with shorts and longer shirts.
- Those Two Gals: Yuka and Megumi are this.
- Title Drop: Obviously the mention of Suzuka as a character doesn't count, but the final episode's title uses the same kanji characters as Suzuka's name and the series title, only with a different reading.
- Tonight Someone Kisses: You can't get much more obvious than the title of episode 13, "Lips."
- Training Montage
- Tsundere: Suzuka is a Type A1.
- She's much more relaxed by the end of the manga, though it may very well be the pressure of a sudden pregnancy and having to drop their college plans to raise the child. An Omake in Kimi No Iru Machi, another work by the same mangaka, shows Suzuka and Yamato together two years on, and they're arguing about the proper shape for mochi (a sort of rice cake made of rice pounded into a paste and then molded) when put into zoni soup, a traditional New Year's dish.
- Unknown Rival: Inverted: Yamato actually becomes one of these for awhile when he picks a fight with a star athlete from another school.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend The series isn't titled "Honoka," after all.
- Unlucky Everydude
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: A recurring character has a different job every time she appears.
- Your Door Was Open