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Sakura-Shinmachi, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, Japan. The one town where humans and youkai can coexist. The gateway between this world and the Otherworld, the dimension from which youkai originally came. Protecting the town are Hime, Sakura-Shinmachi's superpowered high school girl mayor, and Akina, an "ordinary human" who holds the power to send youkai back to the other dimension and runs the Hiizumi Life Counselling Office to help keep them in this one. Along with their friends—the employees of the Life Counselling Office, mind-reading satori Ao and the embodier of words, Kotoha; Kyousuke, Hime's oni assistant, and Touka, Kyousuke's little sister—they protect the town from threats both external and much closer to home. In between hanging out like normal teenagers and eating copious amounts of ramen. Helping out are Yae, the nun-outfitted katana-wielding Land Goddess of Sakura-Shinmachi; her older brother Yuuhi, the dirty old man in a young boy's body Land God/Mayor of Setagaya Ward; his cosplaying immortal assistant, Mariabelle, and Juli, the nurse-outfitted youkai doctor idol of Sakura-Shinmachi. Yozakura Quartet is full of deep characterization, puzzle-piece plots, slice-of-life comedy, and more heartwarming moments than you can shake a stick at.Debut manga of Yasuda Suzuhito, character designer of Kamisama Kazoku, Devil Survivor and Durarara!!. Serialized in Monthly Shounen Sirius since 2006. Received an anime adaption in 2008. The anime went into production when the manga was on its second volume, making in the anime and manga different enough that Suzuhito encouraged people to think of them as separate and enjoy them both on their own merits.The series has also since had an OVA that disregarded the 2008 anime's departures and adapted the manga's "Hoshi no Umi" (Sea of Stars) story arc much more faithfully, and a second series in the Fall 2013 Anime season called Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta (Song of Flowers). Note that Hana no Uta skips the Hoshi no Umi arc without summarizing it beyond vague clips used during a Special Edition Title, making the OVA required viewing between episodes 8 and 9.
The series as a whole provides examples of:
A Bloody Mess: Kyousuke accidentally crushes a tomato thrown to him when he has his Power Limiter off, covering his hand in red. Almost immediately afterwards, he's asked if he wants to hold a baby. Cue him seeing the stains on his hand and the subsequent freak-out.
Abstract Apotheosis: The origin of all oni, which includes the Kishi siblings. All oni are a symbol of fear given form due to mass kotodama.
Action Girl: The majority of the named female cast is this.
The "Walking Pilgrimage" arc focuses on Yuuhi and Yae's arrival in Sakura-Shinmachi some 200 years ago and their decision to become local Land Gods, and how Mariabelle came to serve Yuuhi. It also explains the source and cause of felling along the way.
The opening chapter to the "Hana no Uta" arc focused on Juli's history and her reasons for coming to the town.
The "Separately" arc is composed largely of different secondary and minor characters getting their own limelight chapters.
Adult Fear: Given the lighthearted tone of the series, the danger that supernatural goings-on and just being a youkai in general pose is rarely addressed. But they are hinted at and discussed every now and then.
Both Touka and Kyousuke are born into the world without any parents or guardians to look after them. Until they were found by Hime, they were discriminated against and were forced to grow up with limited resources. In addition, thanks to the nature oftheir powers, both are confronted with how just going outside means that they'll pose a danger to everyone around them. Kyousuke takes this further at one point, deciding that staying away from everyone would be safer for them.
The bulk of Kyousuke's character motivation is this. Kyousuke's concerns for Touka as a her older brother would mirror that of a parent in many respects, such as Kyousuke being the closest thing Touka could count on as a guardian during their childhood resulting in him being overprotective, even in a safe environment like Sakura-shin. This left Kyousuke with a deep-seated anxiety of not being able to protect her and others close to him. This is eventually turned around in the climax of "Oni Tale" when Touka watches what amounts to Kyousuke dying. Right in front of her.
What kicks off the plot of "Crying in the Moonlight" is Kana being kidnapped while she and Mina are left with a caretaker, while Shidou thought he could afford to delay going home so he could eat with a coworker and that the girls would be safe in the meantime. Taken even further for Shidou, as he realizes the very real possibility of them dying, as well as how he failed to protect their parents in the past thanks to his incompetence.
Another Dimension: The Otherworld, the dimension from which the youkai came and where Akina's power send them back to. And which Enjin's power of "dropping" can draw things from.
Awful Truth: The Nanagou were meant to merge the worlds and only guided demons to the Otherworld in order to increase that probability. In addition, they were created by the branch family members out of spite rather than out of Heroic Sacrifice for Sakura-shin as initially thought.
Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: What the hell is a modern (and fanservicey) nurse outfit doing in a small town 200 years in the past? Who cares!? It looks sexy!
JULI. No demonic powers such as super strength, the power to conjure emphasized words, or reading minds. Just control of her bones and muscles allows her to overpower Hime and Touka at the same time and stop speeding cars.
Lila, even more than her sister. She can shapeshift, levitate, make formerly solid buildings fall apart like paper, and conjure objects from nowhere — including a freaking skyscraper-sized sword. She would outdo Kotoha for sheer reality warping, were it not all just human skill and ingenuity.
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Verily inverted in regards to the very role the Oyakume is supposed to take. Makiharu essentially sums up what the job entails by asking a young Akina if he's prepared to kill others in order to fulfill this position.
Inverted with Enjin. Whenever a youkai hunter is on the verge of defeat, he either fells them one more time with the intent of making the situation worse for those involved or just leaves when dissatisfied at how it turned out, and hardly bothers with what happens afterwards.
Bag of Holding: As a sidegag, Kyousuke's shirt pocket contains at least three handkerchiefs and a rice dumpling.
Akina: "What's the deal with that pocket?"
Barrier Maiden: Although being a land goddess makes you powerful, it also makes sure that you're tied down to the area of land you're supposed to be guarding. This becomes a problem for Yae when she wants to pursue Enjin. Despite also being a goddess, Tomoe doesn't seem to suffer from the same problem, as she takes the time to visit the cast in Sakura-shin with no ill effects.
Batman Gambit: Hime lures Zakuro to a construction site elavator, where Kyousuke launches it to a waiting Akina so he can tune Zakuro and save Rin. Furthered in the OVA rendition, wherein Hime provokes Zakuro into attacking her.
Bears Are Bad News: Though fear in response to a possible bear attack is justified, Rin is terrified of Hime wearing a bear mascot hat.
Shidou is called upon to investigate a case of a fallen bear. Turns out, the bear was easily killed and eaten by Rokkaku shortly after.
Beat the Curse Out of Him: In order to release the demonic spirit possessing the gunman from the first chapter, Ao...just headbutts him.
Berserk Button: As the town mayor, Hime doesn't like it when you try to attack her townspeople.
Big Eater: All of the characters to an extent, but Hime is in a league of her own.
She even eats while sleeping and crying at one point.
Big Fancy House: Hime's house is huge. In a flashback, she tells little Kyousuke and Touka to move in with her and her grandmother, because there's too much room for just the two of them. And this is the middle of Tokyo.
Blessed with Suck / Cursed with Awesome: A recurring conflict with several characters, such as Kyousuke and Zakuro, is knowing where each trope begins and ends. On the one hand, there's the social stigmata and bad experiences associated with those powers, but characters are encouraged to see their powers as the latter trope due to how they can be used to help others.
Blood from the Mouth: Over the course of several skirmishes with Shinozuka and the fallen lizards, Akina and Kyousuke are beaten down so severely that this happens.
Bomb Disposal: During her round of training with Kotoha, Hime wisely decides to fling the grenade skyward before it detonates.
Boobs of Steel: Well, in regards to the girls' competence in battle. Compare nearly flat-chested Ao and Rin, who are either beat down quite often or don't fight at all, with stacked up Hime and Kotoha, who can undoubtedly hold their own in a fight against stronger enemies.
Hime kicks a shotgun into the air to prevent the gunman from using it halfway through the chapter. It later lands on Akina's head at the end of the chapter.
In volume 1, Akina cracks the joke that Kyousuke's "into little girls." In volume 11, Tomoe, a goddess whose preferred form is a little girl, is introduced and shows a considerable amount of attraction to Kyousuke. By volume 13, it's implied that he's starting to reciprocate.
Butt Monkey: Most of the male cast seems to suffer from this, but special mention goes to Kyousuke, whose powers make him ideal for it.
Hime being trapped in a box conjured up by Lila reminds her of the time when she was wrapped up in her scarf during the battle with Zakuro.
Can't Hold His Liquor: The entire main cast. Hime becomes even more of a Big Eater (and kind of maudlin as well), Kotoha gets affectionate and flirty, and Ao and Akina tend to pass right out.
Car Fu: Touka is fond of this, chucking a car at Enjin when they think he's killed Akina. Shinozuka gets in on the Car Fu earlier in the same fight.
Cat Fight: Despite the Improbably Female Cast, this is a refreshingly Averted Trope. Most of the fights between girls lack the pettiness of the trope, but the match that comes closest would have to be Hime's later, offscreen fight against Zakuro, at which point both are heavily bruised and injured, and are only continuing the fight because they're that pissed off at each other.
Catch a Falling Star: Multiple instances, such as Yuuhi catching a falling Mariabelle during "Walking Pilgramage" and Hime catching Kotoha during "Hoshi no Umi".
Catch Phrase: Lila usually says, "No gimmicks, no tricks..." whenever someone asks about her magic.
What you are shouldn't define who you are, and it also shouldn't decide where your loyalties lie.
You have to confront your past sooner or later and overcome their transgressions.
Cessation of Existence: What happens to oni when information about them is erased from everyone's memory. Murasaki comes close to getting rid of the Kishi siblings in this way, and is even successful with Kyousuke, but thanks to everyone still having memories of Kyousuke and Touka as individuals, the both of them are saved.
Cherry Blossoms: Though the manga as a whole employs flower motifs often, cherry blossoms are appropriately given the most spotlight, what with the presence of the Nana-gou, which are explicitly called cherry blossom trees, and the kanji for cherry blossom being used in Hime's last name as well as in the name of the town. Not to mention that "Yozakura" refers to viewing cherry blosoms at night.
The Hana no Uta anime bumps this up several levels, with almost everyone displaying a certain level of perversion with other members of the cast.
City of Weirdos: The citizens have Seen It All for centuries now. They're completely confident in the mayor and the Hiizumi family's ability to take care of things.
Demonstrated in its ideal state in the 2013 anime's first episode, where a giant, fallen goldfish is bouncing around in the middle of a festival and in danger of crushing everything, and only Touka is freaking out. One random bystander just tells Touka to say hi to Hime and the others.
Conveniently an Orphan: All of the main characters are conveniently orphans, and many side characters. This is later explained by there being a "gap" generation. It is hinted that the generation the kids' parents belong to was sacrificed or sent to the Otherworld in order to stop the blooming of the Nana-gou. There seems to be no one between the ages of thirty and sixty left in Sakura-Shinmachi, at least no native Sakura-Shinmachi citizens.
Easily Forgiven: Mayor Morino, who resorts to kidnapping, coercion, and threats to try to force Kohime—a 9 year old child—out of the mayoral race. Pushed by Enjin somewhat, but wanted it and went along with it willingly almost to the end, including having Shinozuka fight to kill.
Hime's Grandmother:"Be beloved by the people. Be beloved by the town. Be beloved by the Dragon."
Also implied with Oni Killer. Turns out Oni Killer not only has a mind of its own, but can talk too.
Emotions VS Stoicism: A recurring theme with the characters. Contrast the very lively and driven main cast in the Life Counselling Office with the reserved and antagonistic, but equally motivated Senate.
Establishing Series Moment: The first chapter of the manga begins with a gunman scaring a young woman cornered in an alley and follows up with the town acknowledging this serious threat and revealing and assembling an odd, but seemingly capable group of teenagers that can deal with this problem. They then head back to the office that serves as their headquarters...only to find the office director relaxing in an inflatable pool and addressing the problem of the gunman in an equally relaxed manner.
Exposition Diagram: Drawn out by Hime in volume 12, to sum up what everyone knows up until that point.
Five Second Foreshadowing: When Enjin attempts to kill Akina, he takes out his boxcutter and sees that there's no blood on the blade, which would hint at Akina being completely fine.
Flower Motifs: The entire manga displays various flower motifs, whether with symbolism or within characters' names.
Floral Theme Naming: Several members of the cast have the kanji, or at least homophones, for different flowers or flowering plants in their names. There's Hime Yarizakura ("sakura"/cherry blossom), Kyousuke ("kyou"/apricot), Touka ("tou"/peach), Rin ("rin"/bell, or rather, bellflower), Zakuro (pomegranate), and Shidou Mizuki ("mizuki"/flowering dogwood) are examples given so far. Even Lila ("lilac") could be included here.
Lila in particular and the "Hana no Uta" (Song of Flowers) arc in general, where Lila serves as the arc's antagonist. To a lesser extent, Juli and her hairpin which Lila copied the shape of to brand on her face when they were younger, trying to "be more like" her beloved older sister.
Foregone Conclusion: In the "Hoshi no Umi" arc, Juli states that Makiharu is the first Oyakume to be able to safely exorcise excess demonic power from a fallen being and avoid sending it to the Otherworld. Therefore, this makes it impossible for Chiaki, the Oyakume from 200 years ago, to save Akane and get around his fear of killing for the sake of protecting Sakura-shin. However, this is actually narrowly averted by Yuuhi's ability to purify a fallen creature of most, if not all demonic power.
Ao wondering why Kotoha sounds so excited to know the number 8 in German. It hints at Kotoha being able to create an 88mm cannon with the shortcut "8-8."
Hime's vehement attachment to her scarf when Akina asks about it, hints that Hime values it because Akina made and gave it to her.
Juli making the observation that the sign that Zakuro kicked down was unusually rotted. The Hoshi no Umi OVA changes this to crushing a stone shrine for a similar, arguably stronger effect. Both foreshadow the nature of Zakuro's powers.
Kotoha's ability to sense and focus on half-youkai is used during more than one youkai hunter encounter. But this is used cleverly and not in the way one would expect. Attempts to pin down Lila's location prove difficult because Kotoha only senses one half-youkai in the places she's headed to. Which is actually and usually only Zakuro, and not Lila. Also used when Kotoha insists that Iruka is a half-youkai, despite Akina's failed attempts to tune her. The reason for this is that the sword Iruka is using is the half-youkai, and is right next to Iruka at all times.
The Glasses Come Off: Unintentional example. After being brought back into existence by Akina, Kyousuke immediately begins fighting off Murasaki's now-empowered paper talismans with little effort. He doesn't have his glasses only because he disappeared without them and didn't have enough time to put them back on once he reappeared.
Grand Theft Me: Gin's body is taken over by Enjin after going into the Otherworld.
Half-Human Hybrids: When a human is felled, there's a window of time where a tuner can exorcise them (which can last years in some cases). Done almost immediately, they will become a normal human again. If too much time has passed before exorcism or the felling is too powerful, then they will retain some powers and be a half-youkai, such as Kotoha. Sometimes the felled half-youkai simply can't be exorcised and must be tuned completely over to the Otherworld. Explained later as not being a case of someone being "50% human, 50% youkai," but being both 100% human and 100% youkai as if two separate beings existed in the same space. Zakuro takes this to mean she needs to go on a diet.
Heroic Lineage: Played with. While the presence of the Oyakume is the only reason demons congregate in Sakura-shin, everyone acknowledges that access to such a potentially dangerous power should be feared and calls the Oyakume "The Killer."
Holding Hands: A tuner risks sliding off into the Otherworld if he uses his power too much, and the simplest way to re-anchor him to Earth is very simply... for another human to hold his hand. A half-youkai can do it too, being still half-human, but isn't as quick and effective. Holding hands with a full youkai does nothing. Carries undertones of Take My Hand when done in the middle of a fight or other emergency situation. Becomes a source of angst for Hime (and to a lesser extent Touka) as emblematic of her non-human nature and what she fears is a fundamental distance between her and Akina, and also that she just won't be able to help him in such a simple way if he ever needs it. Also possibly because Akina gets to visit Juli for his regular "check-ups."
Hope Spot: Hime rushes off to get the Dragon Spear, and is almost assured victory, until she messes up the last move in a special technique, and gets the fake Dragon Spear broken in two.
Hot Springs Episode: Initially subverted in volume 11. Though the protagonists came to Hakone for an inn's hot springs, the focus is on Kyousuke's conflicted feelings towards the vacation and Tomoe attempting to work him through it, which all happens in the inn's break room. Limited editions of volume 11 add a bonus chapter that feature the girls actually enjoying themselves in the hot springs for a few pages. The Tatsunoko rendition of this trip includes the girls at the hot springs from the get-go.
In Volume 5, Hime and Juli are examining a broken sign. Juli deducts it as the result of someone going on a drunken rampage, with Hime getting a little antsy about it. It even gets a lampshade hanging by a nearby Rin.
Hime: "People should be more responsible when they drink!"
Rin: "How easily you forget..."
Idea Bulb: One appears above Touka's head at the beginning of Chapter 40—and then balances precariously on her head afterward until she snatches it off and holds it out to Kyousuke, as something fragile for him to grab to test his control of his unrestrained strength.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is called a "Night" (so Chapter 1 is "1st Night: Cherry Blossoms Bloom," for example). As well, each chapter of a longer story arc has the name of the arc followed by a number, with the final chapter bearing the arc name alone (so numberless chapter titles indicate either a stand-alone chapter or the conclusion of a story arc).
Ignore the Fanservice: In an attempt to get Kyousuke to pay more attention to their fight instead of get distracted with his concern for Touka, Iruka opens up her shirt to reveal more of her swimsuit. With Kyousuke being Kyousuke, he doesn't notice.
Improbable Weapon User: Hime likes to use a lacrosse racket in the manga. Averted in the 2008 anime due to her using a spear. Interestingly, when Kotoha conjures one up for her, she chews her out for giving her something dangerous.
Infant Immortality: It's normally played straight, which is the case for Mina's and Kana's snapped necks and Kohime's abduction. But it's shockingly averted when one of Enyou's family members that were forcibly tuned to the Otherworld is clearly a child.
Informed Ability: Side character Junta is said to be one of the greatest singers of Sakura-Shinmachi, alongside Kotoha.
Is That What He Told You?: Remember Akina's ancestors who wanted to be sent to the demon world in order to stop the merging of worlds? As it turns out, they were forcibly tuned and sent to a world they knew little to nothing about. As a result, the ancestors sent the Nana-gou in order to merge the human and demon worlds together anyway.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Pieces of the complex plot are slowly revealed amongst all the character development. In the manga, anyway.
Kick the Dog: Enjin does this to at least one person during each of his appearances.
Kinda Busy Here: In Volume 3, Kotoha calls Akina while he and Kyousuke are busy trying to survive getting cars thrown at them by Shinozuka.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Tuning. The first few chapters of the manga keep it out of direct sight of the reader when it's employed, leaving it something of a mystery as to how they dealt with the gun nut and the felled dog. It's not until Kyousuke challenges Akina over his apparent inability to tune that it's fully revealed.
Late for School: Parodied in Chapter 23, as Hime and Touka oversleep, rush to school, and literally bump into Akina on the way. Hime even has a piece of toast in her mouth with the words "Late-For-School-Use Toast" on it.
Let's You and Him Fight: A short-lived example between Zakuro and Shinozuka, and a narrowly-averted instance with Zakuro again, but with Midoriko and Uzu.
Living Forever Is Awesome: It applies to both Yae and Yuuhi. However, Yuuhi goes for the more obscure side of the spectrum, with the best part of the last 200 years is observing how shorter the skirts get and having more stuff for Mariabelle to cosplay.
Neck Snap: Touka accidentally does this to Mina and Kana in a bungled attempt to save them from being run over by Shidou's out of control car. Thankfully, with them being demons, it doesn't stick.
Never Say "Die": Despite how opposed the cast is to killing, this trope is averted often. In the first chapter, the gunman even threatens to kill everyone he had scared before. In a flashback shown in a chapter not too long after, Makiharu even outlines Akina's role as the Oyakume with a single question.
Hime. Kyousuke even calls her "Ojou-sama." (Or M'Lady, translated).
Surprisingly, Iruka is one as well.
Omniscient Morality License: Murasaki fully acknowledges that what he does is considered reprehensible, but goes through with them with the idea that humanity will benefit.
One-Winged Angel: "Felling." Enjin forces this upon Zakuro in order to get the upper hand. Crosses over with Super-Powered Evil Side since felling makes even a perfectly nice person (or normal animal) violent and sociopathic.
Origins Episode: The "Walking Pilgrimage" arc is this for Yuhi, Yae and Mariabelle.
Outside Ride: In order to pick up Akina so he can go help rescue Rin and tune Zakuro, Hime and Kyousuke momentarily hop onto the back of Juli's ambulance.
Paradox Person: Technically speaking, every single demon is this, with Power Incontinence occurring because they're still not completely in line with the natural laws of the current dimension.
Plot-Triggering Death: Though it's been established early on that the fusion of dimensions happens every few decades, Enjin's decision to speed it up and/or do it himself by acting through various other parties in the name of the Hiizumi branch family's forced tuning to the Otherworld centuries ago is what begins the plot.
Power Degeneration: Akina's power causes health problems if used too much. Specifically, he will unseat himself from Earth and slide on over to the Otherworld as a side effect of channeling too much power.
This also applies to Ao and Kotoha. Ao has to either eat a lot or go to sleep directly after using Satellite, and Kotoha loses her ability to talk for a while if she abuses her reality warping powers.
Also fundamentally what happens to all youkai caught on Earth. They are forced to age and eventually die just like humans, on a human time scale, despite being naturally immortal in the Otherworld. Being forced to obey Earth biology may be why even dragons and oni can look like cute adolescent girls, being bound in a humanoid form.
Power Glows: Most instances of seeing otherworldly powers at work are accompanied by blinding flashes of light.
Power Source: Murasaki uses one of the nana-gou to power the technology needed for his experiment to erase Kyousuke and Touka from existence.
The Presents Were Never from Santa: Akina, as well as the rest of Sakura-shin's residents, believe that the nana-gou are purely beneficial because demons safely make it to the Otherworld thanks to their presence. The only reason they do this is because each successful tuning brings the dimensions closer and close to merging.
Psycho Rangers: The Demon Hunters are specifically noted by Enjin to each be a certain kind of Youkai's weakness.
Shaggy Dog Story: To an extent, the "Thorny Path" story arc. Hime's cousin Kohime intends on following in Hime's footsteps by becoming a mayor at 9 years old, and that means running against the mayor of the neighboring town in the upcoming election. After a lengthy conflict involving a kidnapping and hostage situation, a lengthy fight, and some property destruction, Yuuhi reveals that Kohime couldn't even have run in the election because she was too young. Hime was a special case. However, the arc also sets up a number of important plot elements and conflicts for later in the series.
Tuning is actually more or less this trope. It varies between the anime and manga whether it's actually killing someone's physical body and sending their "youkai spirit" back (2008 anime) or just banishing them (manga), but the Hiizumi family in both cases has always considered it murder, since the person is no longer to be found on Earth and there's no way at all to communicate with the Otherworld, meaning the actual effect of Tuning as well as its destination are under some doubt due to a lack of empirical evidence.
Shonen Hair: When Akina starts Tuning, his hair becomes very spiky and messy. Justified because he seems to emit static electricity when Tuning.
The Smurfette Principle: Inverted. Akina's the only boy in the Quartet. Played straight with Makiharu's group, with Machi being the only female combatant.
Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Averted in Hime and Kotoha's sparring match. When Kotoha's bullets miss Hime, they instead threaten to hit Kyousuke, Akina, and Ao, with the latter only being saved thanks to Kyousuke's intervention. Averted further in the same fight, when Kotoha upgrades to her 88mm, as she also comes close to hitting two children paying nearby when Hime narrowly dodges the blasts.
Super-Powered Evil Side: "Felling" (or "falling") brings this out of a being, humans and animals. Naturally happens because of an imbalance between the Otherworld and this world, since Tuning sends matter and energy over but can't draw it back, so energy from the Otherworld spontaneously crosses back over and drives non-youkai life (humans and natural animals) power-mad.
Enjin has the power to inflict this state on others, and is behind most cases of felling seen yet in the manga. This is because Enjin's side of the Hiizumi family has the opposite power known as "dropping," which sends things from the Otherworld to Earth, which is why they were tuned to make the Nana-gou in the first place. Except tuning and dropping are really two sides of the same power, with the two family branches each naturally strong in one but capable of both...
Super Senses: Hime is shown to have super-sight and super-reflexes, and possibly others.
Super Strength: Hime, Kyousuke, Touka, Shidou. Also, the fully human Juli.
Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Whenever someone is distracted and/or conversing, both the good and bad guys will take advantage of it and land a hit whenever possible.
Theme Naming: The Hiizumi family names each heir to the head of the family with the characters for the seasons somewhere in their names, rotating with each generation. Akina is the latest "autumn" name.
Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Sakura-Shinmachi is a real neighborhood in the Setagaya Ward of Tokyo. One chapter even provides a map, and the town song provides directions by train or car.
Torches and Pitchforks: In Rin's flashback of meeting Zakuro, she is seen running away from people with lit torches. No pitchforks though.
Tranquil Fury: Hime becomes that much more motivated to beat down Morinozuka's lackeys when she sees how badly they hurt Akina and Kyousuke.
True Companions: The main characters, plus... pretty much everyone. They even refer to themselves as a "nakama" in the manga. For instance, when Kotoha tells Zakuro to "join the gang," the word nakama is used in the original Japanese.
Unexplained Recovery: Subverted by Hime in Volume 3. Her quick healing time is eventually explained because she's a dragon. Part of her all-around physical prowess includes excellent stamina and recovery time.
The Unmasqued World: People worldwide know that youkai exist, but few outside of Sakura-Shinmachi seem to have ever met one - mostly because youkai are so widely persecuted they congregate in the town as soon as possible.
Weirdness Censor: People don't suspect that Hime's a demon despite the fact that she can deflect bullets, jump several meters high, or chuck things most sixteen-year olds can't. Of course, this is a side effect of Yae sealing everyone's memories of her being a demon in the first place.
Wham Episode: Chapter 64. One of the big secrets of the Nana-gou and their relationship to the Hiizumi branch family is revealed. Needless to say, it raises more questions than it answers.
Wham Line: The end of Chapter 62. "...Hey. Isn't there one more Nana-gou than usual?".
What Could Have Been: The main point of those small sketches after the end of each chapter. This includes...
The entire manga itself being about music (hence the title) with its planned original title being Yozakura Falsetto.
Yuuhi looking more like a cute kid.
Touka looking more like a female Kyousuke without the glasses.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Senate officially takes a dim attitude towards youkai, considering them an interfering presence in the human world that would be best banished, though individual members have differing opinions. Akina and the people of Sakura-Shinmachi take a hard opposing view, considering youkai as worthwhile as humans and more than worth fighting to protect.
White Mask of Doom: In "Walking Pilgramage," Akane commands a small army that invoke this trope using white cloth that obscures their faces.
Yandere: One of the possible side-effects of felling as positive relationships are quickly twisted and soured. So far both Zakuro and Lila have acted this way during their times as villains, Zakuro toward Rin and Lila toward Juli, despite never having been felled, but just desperately wanting Juli's attention and love.
Youkai: Most of the characters are youkai living in a town with humans.
Youkai Sacrifice: The Senate's plan for dealing with the blooming of the Nana-gou involves a mass tuning of many demons to prevent the dimensions from merging. It has worked periodically about every other generation, but in order to prevent this from happening again, they're planning a much larger scale for the current generation.
Zettai Ryouiki: Hime. It could also be the case with Yae, since the socks go up to her thighs, but you sometimes don't see them under her really long skirt.
The 2008 adaptation provides examples of:
Bandage Wince: Kyousuke, after scratched up during a spar with Hime, shrieks when Ao tries disinfecting a scratch with a cotton swab.
Bittersweet Ending: Hime and the gang have successfully prevented the merging of dimensions and Akina tuned Enjin back to the Otherworld so he can't try again for some time. And while Gin cannot be saved from Enjin, he entrusts Akina with the town once more.
Compressed Adaptation: Some of the characters that are deeply developed in the manga barely get introduced in the 2008 anime. The anime also takes the plot of Volumes 3 and 4 of the manga and chops it up into Frankenstein pieces, leaving out important things like character motivation and coherency. Somewhat justified by the fact that the anime went into production only after the release of Volume 2, and elements from Volumes 3 and 4 were added in later.
Fantastic Ghetto: On the whole, it's averted, but the lack of segregation between humans and demons in other places in this adaptation led to Rin's severe bullying at the hands of her human classmates in the past, which left both physical and mental scars, and her own fear and hatred of humans.
First Episode Spoiler: Hime is a dragon, not a human. Literally a first-episode spoiler as the first episode reveals it off-hand, when it was a major revelation more than a dozen chapters into the manga. Akina's Tuning gets the same treatment.
Foreshadowing: At first, there seem to be no real reason why Hime and Akina always sit one seat apart at the restaurant, until we find out that the middle seat used to be occupied by Gin.
Vomit Discretion Shot / Relax-o-Vision: An odd combination of both happens. After a noodle-eating challenge shown in a flashback, we cut to Hime, Akina, and Gin prancing around in a field filled with flowers, laughing while being covered in Bishie Sparkle. Amidst all the happy images and music, the aftermath of the vomiting is heard in the background.
Akina suffers from this trope in regards to characterization in the anime. In this adaptation, most of the events of the first volume of the manga are either left out entirely or took enough creative liberties to be different from what was already adapted in the 2008 anime. While not centered directly around Akina, most of these chapters showed how fundamental Akina is to the main group and how he stabilizes it without even establishing his importance as the Oyakume. The absence of these events can make Akina seem insensitive or even outright ignorant of the conflict of human-demon coexistence when viewing the first few episodes of the anime, even when the actions themselves are consistent with manga canon and/or its context, which includes:
His blatantly overlooking Shidare and Shiina's insistence of human life being more important than that of demon kind.
His near-tuning of Touka. In the manga, it is shown that he takes different approaches when trying to help others with their issues. (i.e. he's calmer when dealing with Ao, and definitely more vocal when dealing with Kotoha.) It's implied threatening Touka was most likely the only way for Akina to get Kyousuke's attention and try to get through to him. In the 2013 anime, this is the first time viewers will see Akina's approach to the human-youkai conflict, which would make Akina's position of being a life counseling office director rather dubious.
After a psychotically-fallen Zakuro kidnaps Rin for the second time, the main cast pursue them in Juli's ambulance. During the chase, Hime tries calling out to Rin, but is constantly battered and visibly injured by the trees Zakuro commands to stop them. As a result, Rin tries to convince Hime that she hates her so she would stop going after them and getting hurt even more. In Hoshi no Umi, Rin immediately shouts at Hime after being captured by Zakuro without any prompting.
Not as severe as the examples listed below, but in the first OVA, during a conversation with Akina, Rin stares rather gloomily at a nearby Nana-gou and wonders if she should "get a check up" before dismissing it. Yet in the third OVA, Akina states that Rin never once considered going to the Otherworld.
Hana no Uta instances:
After Enjin fakes killing Akina in episode 7, Hime turns the Dragon Spear into what amounts to a flamethrower and a large knife when it's clearly established that night is the first time she's used it at all and most likely wouldn't know how to change it. Hime doesn't change the Dragon Spear at all in manga version of the fight.
Before Kotoha disables the anti-youkai barrier in Hana no Uta, Shinozuka is seen pursuing the van Shidou is driving and exclaims that Kotoha won't make the shot, but in the scene right after, he's waiting with Morino and the nameless old man for Akina, who was with Shidou up until that point, to arrive. The manga had Shinozuka making the observation about Kotoha's kotodama from afar and didn't have this problem.
Tsuki ni Naku instances:
In the manga, Kotoha is initially concerned about regular humans finding out about Tomoe's otherworldly qualities by seeing her dog ears, but Tomoe says she just covers them. In Tsuki in Naku, she has a very fluffy tail that is far more noticeable than her manga counterpart's, and yet Tomoe is similarly unconcerned about the idea of humans finding out.
Touka is the one who made the vacation spot booklet in the manga, and even states she made it for the sake of going places with Kyousuke. In Tsuki ni Naku, however, Kyousuke is the one who made it, despite the fact that he can't even relax on the trip and was discussing how to fit the vacation into Hime's schedule before they left.
Animation Bump: Compare the quality of the OVA animation to that of the anime and you'll see that the latter has much more detail.
Art Shift: The first episode of Hana no Uta features a quick example. Right before Hime delivers the final blow to one of the fallen goldfish, the lines get sketchier as the camera closes up on her.
Book Ends: Both the first and last episodes of Hana no Uta feature the cast having fun at a festival.
Call Back / Mythology Gag: The anime opening is full of call backs to earlier manga plot arcs that took place before Hoshi no Umi or Hana no Uta and weren't exactly faithfully dealt with in the 2008 adaptation (if at all).
Colossus Climb: Kotoha's fight scene with Zakuro's larger golem turns into this.
Conspicuous CG: Can be spotted, like when Shinozuka is lifting and throwing objects from the street at Kyousuke and Akina.
Evil Sounds Deep: In the "Hoshi no Umi" when Zakuro was shown to be a perfectly amiable person, her voice is actually rather high pitched. However, after her Face-Heel Turn, her voice noticeably sounds sinister, and deeper, as a result.
Fastball Special: In Hoshi no Umi, Hime launches Akina towards Zakuro by using her scarf as a catapult.
Gratuitous English: Averted. Kotoha asks a little girl if she needs any help in English with the justified assumption that she's a foreigner.