Asakura Junichi is a 15 year old boy who lives on the (fictional) island of Hatsunejima, where the sakura trees blossom all year through. He seems pretty ordinary, but he has magical powers, which he himself views as fairly limited. He can see the dreams of other people and produce Japanese sweets out of the blue. He has a sister, Nemu, with whom he attends the same class in middle school. Although people think they are twins, they are actually not blood relatives. Their bond is very strong, inciting people to think that they are lovers.One day a new transfer student is welcomed to the school: Yoshino Sakura, Junichi's cousin, who returns home after having been in the USA for six years. Sakura immediately stirs things up since she is hellbent on letting Junichi keep his childhood promise to her. This is especially troublesome, since things between Junichi and Nemu have started to become much more serious in the time since Sakura left—and Junichi appears to have promised something to Nemu as well.The story gets even more complicated when it is uncovered that the old, big sakura tree in the middle of Hatsunejima holds a magical grip on the island and its inhabitants. As the significance of its influence becomes clear, a dramatic story slowly unfolds, so what at first started as a lighthearted harem comedy becomes much more serious and intense as the series progresses.The anime, which is called in full D.C. ~Da Capo~, is based on a Visual Novel that was released by Circus in 2002. The anime itself was aired in 2003. A sequel, called D.C.S.S.: Da Capo Second Season, has been released in 2005 and yet another one, called D.C.II ~Da Capo II~, set two generations later, was aired in 2007. The sequel's success incited yet another sequel in 2008, called D.C.II S.S. ~Da Capo II Second Season~. There is also a spinoff featuring Sakura Yoshino (Time Paladin Sakura) as a Magical Girl; and an otome game called D.C. Girl's Symphony ~Da Capo Girl's Symphony ~ which is set at the same time as Da Capo II, and even features Nanaka as a minor character.... And then D.C. III ~Da Capo III~, the sequel to D.C. II and the third "Da Capo" game in the series, was released. It follows another protagonist with surname 'Yoshino' and a new cast of characters. However, due to being recently released (on April 2012) and therefore not yet translated there is very little information on the new game. There is a manga adaptation for D.C. III. Unlike the first two series, D.C. III was initially released as an 'All-Ages' game (15+), with an erotic version to follow. It also got an anime adaptation as a part of the Winter 2013 Anime.The name "Da Capo" is a musical term, meaning "from the top" and refers to the often looping story lines in the original game.The series' success hinges largely on the well-balanced characters and interesting plot lines combined with nice, classically-tinted music, since the animation quality doesn't generally rise far above average. For viewers who like a good mix of silliness and well-written melodrama, the series is definitely worth a watch.Please note: Examples from the visual novels should be listed for the clean versions only.
A-Cup Angst: Nemu at times shows when Junichi mentions her chest.
Sakura, who is quite bothered by her flat chest.
Arranged Marriage: Tamaki was engaged to Junichi by her parents due to a prophecy of some sort related to the Magical Sakura Tree.
Subverted in Innocent Finale. Nemu falls ill just as Kotori was going to confess to Junichi, forcing Junichi to take care of her. As her condition worsens, Sakura deduces what's happening and confronts Nemu about it: the sakura tree is granting her wish of wanting to have Junichi always by her side, by making her fall ill so he must be there to take care of her at all times. Nemu's reaction is basically to say she knows, and that's okay, because it is keeping Junichi by her side. She eventually dies from her wish.
Kotori's friend, Kanako Saeki, gets her nickname Mikkun from her love for her older brother, Mikihiko.
Kotori herself at one point remarks she wishes she had an older brother. Considering she said this just after meeting Nemu, that Kotori can read minds, and her friend Mikkun, this has interesting implications...
The Cameo: Sayaka from Suika pops up randomly in the VN during a visit to the cherry blossom trees. Junichi has "no idea who she is, but she seems familiar". Da Capo originated as something of a spinoff from a Suika bonus scenario.
Cat Up a Tree: An encounter with one of these shows up in the game after Yoriko and Miharu's scenarios are unlocked. The choice here determines which route you get put on. The Miharu option has Junichi encouraging her to get the cat herself and then walking away...and Miharu falls from the tree and gets severely injured. Oops.
Chaos Architecture: In the DC anime, the Mizukoshis have a huge western-style mansion. However, in DCSS it suddenly has become a Japanese-style house.
Chekov's Letters: Plays an important part during the last episode of Season 2 to help Nemu and Junichi remember their feelings for each other.
Cherry Blossoms: All year long! And that's the first clue that something's really wrong in Hatsunejima. Namely, every time the magical sakura tree is working, you can expect things to go down soon. Extensive to all the franchise.
Gosh Hornet: In the second season, Aisia tries to force Jun'ichi to use magic by disturbing a beehive. The plan fails when he simply grabs her and runs instead.
Headbutt Thermometer: Junichi pulls this on Nemu frequently due to her habit of pretending she isn't sick when she really is. She's extremely in love with him, so she wouldn't mind... if it weren't an actual headbutt. Ouch.
Seemingly subverted when Aisha questions her about her feelings for Junichi while she's practicing, and her next shot misses the bullseye, then she starts firing volleys arrows frantically without even bothering to aim. Turns out the arrows formed an almost perfectly shaped heart.
It's pretty evident that when Nemu reappears in the second season, Kotori is not happy to see her, since it truly blows her chance with Junichi.
Aisia gets confused with this initially during the middle of Season 2, but after hearing the various girl's answers as to whether they like him or not in episode 16, she seems to begin to understand their feelings with this trope.
Kid from the Future: In the White Season side story of Kotori's route, a little girl named Hina (Junichi and Kotori's daughter from the future) suddenly appears in the present time, when those two are still in school.
Lethal Chef: Yoriko, and Nemu (at least for the original game and first season)
Little Sister Heroine: Nemu, the main heroine. A definite tsundere example, she tends to be extremely clingy, especially if she has to compete with Sakura and, in the Da Capo Innocent Finale, Kotori.
Lolicon: Sakura hasn't grown for a couple of years. Considering her clingy behavior, Junichi quickly gets mistaken for one.
In the second season, the teacher seems to almost call Junichi out as one when she catches him skipping school with Aisia.
Lonely Rich Kid: Misaki and Alice. Both routes focus around getting them to be more confident and open up.
Love Epiphany: Aisia has one during episode 16 of Season 2 after some of the other girls ask her if she likes Junichi, particularly Alice.
Love Triangle: Sakura and Nemu both get upset if Junichi goes for the other and try to get in the way. Kotori and Kanae offer a double subversion because in Kotori's route Junichi thinks Kanae may be competition for her, but in actuality both are interested in him.
Magical Girl: Sakura, the main character of the spinoff Time Paladin Sakura.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Alice's doll Piros talks. It is suggested that this is ventriloquism using auto hypnosis at one point, but the timing of when Piros started to talk, the circumstances under which it does and Alice's protests imply that Piros' ability to speak may have come from the sakura tree instead.
A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Kotori at first plays this straight due to the stress and headaches it causes her, but ends up averting this pretty hard. The dramatic portion of her path centers on how she has no idea how to interact with people without reading their minds when she loses the ability. Additionally she uses her power almost entirely to help her be nice to people and make friends.
Mood Whiplash: Halfway through the first season the viewer gets a warning that things will become much more serious. And boy, do they ever...
The Mourning After: Moe. She once had a boyfriend who died in an accident. Using a wish on the Magical Sakura Tree, she takes sleeping pills so that she could dream of him, which explains her unusual "sleeping habits".
In the OVA, Junichi is implied to have been like this since a year earlier, when Nemu passed away. Only with the help of his friends is he able to pull through. Furthermore, the OVA focuses on his efforts to move on with his life, to find happiness with Kotori.
Innocent Finale, being what the OVA is based on, also features this trope prominently.
My God, What Have I Done?: Despite Sakura's multiple warnings, late in Season 2 Aisia wishes to the tree that everyone would be happier if Junichi and Nemu weren't together. At first it seems good, but then Aisia begins to see that despite her wish, people are still sad, and seem more depressed than when the two were together.
Kotori was literally abandoned by her parents, who left her alone as a child on Hatsune Island and hoped for the best. Luckily she ended up Happily Adopted, but she's very bitter at her birth parents.
Parody - Da Capo contains several exaggerated elements common in dating games of its time. The ever-blossoming sakura trees are an obvious poke at the constant appearance of sakura blossoms in such games. Miharu's falling out of a tree and going comatose may be a reference to Kanon. Suginami is THE singular male friend. Sakura's loli body is another such exaggeration. There are many more, but most important satirical point is how the story uses the Woniichan-moe convention to hide Nemu's affection for her brother so that we never see it coming. It thus defied and criticized a convention of the time which forbade Brother-Sister incest in most games despite liberal amounts of sibling affection.
Romantic Runner-Up: In the anime, technically all of the girls except Nemu fit this trope, but the most glaring one is Kotori, who gets to spend the most amount of time with him out of the other girls, but doesn't get to be with him at the end.
Secret Keeper: Kotori's mind reading told her that Kanae was a girl.
Selective Obliviousness: It's not that Junichi doesn't know how Nemu or Sakura feel. He's just doing his best to not think about it or deny it outright.
Shipper on Deck: After Kotori accidentally lets out that she still likes Junichi in episode 14 of Season 2, Aisia tries to hook up Kotori and Junichi. It doesn't work the way she intended since Kotori doesn't want to shake up the status quo by telling him she loves him, and ultimately accepts that she'll be happy so long as Junichi is happy with Nemu. This only seems to further confuse Aisia until the next episode.
Stalker with a Crush: Sakura, at least in the beginning. Nemu and Mako have their own pesky admirers.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: In episode 16 of Season 2, when Aisia starts asking/spying on some of the other girls if they like Junichi, most of them start spouting random stuff as if to deny it.
Tamaki, blushing while practicing archery, claims she doesn't like him, but somehow shoots a heart pattern out of the arrows without looking.
Nanako meanwhile works on a manga in which she appears as the main heroine, and the male character looks suspiciously like Junichi, which Aisia bluntly asks, and she answers truthfully since she was busy drawing. Once she realizes what was asked, she also starts to invoke this trope.
Suspiciously Vague Age: A rather strong example since it's obvious that unlike most visual novels, this is actually taking place in a middle school.
The Anime of the Game: Notable in that the 2003 anime was the first ever 2-cour (24-26 episode) adaptation of a visual novel.
Third Option Adaptation: DCIF, the Kotori fandisc, is based, of course, on the Kotori route. However, it splits off right before Kotori confesses when Nemu gets sick. For the various scenes it contains, you can see all the heroines and there is the implication that apart from the romance all of their routes were gone through ie. Misaki is at Junichi's school, Alice is friends with Miharu and Junichi and Izumiko isn't wearing the bear suit.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Junichi's ability to make japanese sweets is seen as useless, and his ability to see dreams outright annoys him because it deprives him of sleep. However, considering the genre it may count as Heart Is an Awesome Power instead because the former allows him to make friends and the latter gives him needed information about his love interests.
Junichi: I can only make Japanese snacks. I am a bullshit magician.
Wind-Up Key: Miharu has one, and needs to be wound up occasionally.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Moe and Tamaki. Kanae is also pleased to hear that Junichi kind of likes them.
Yandere: Sakura develops the crazy look on her face briefly in episode 26 while also simultaneously wishing for Nemu to lose all her memories. However, she quickly snaps out of it.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kotori is pink, Mako and Moe are blueish green, Suginami is a darkish blue, Miharu is orange etc. You might think that Sakura's blond hair marking her as being But Not Too Foreign would be strange, but in DCPC it's subverted when Alice's silver hair marks her as being foreign as well.
Zettai Ryouiki: Special mention goes to Nemu Asakura and Moe Mizukoshi.