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Visual Novel: They Are My Noble Masters
Being a butler sure is tough!
Ren and his older sister Mihato run away from their abusive father, setting foot in the big city and determined to make it through together. Finding a job isn't easy though, but things look up when Ren helps a girl who faints from the summer heat. She appears to be a member of a very rich family and they just happen to be looking for a new butler and a maid.

So before they fully realize it, Ren and Mihato are hired by the Kuonji family, consisting of the three quirky sisters Shinra (a classical conductor), Miyu (a genius inventor) and Yume (a school girl and the youngest). The staff they employ are perhaps even crazier than the bosses, if that is in any way possible, and Ren finds his days filled with dealing with the hijinks of his demanding masters, his zany colleagues and his jealous sister - not to mention all the people that walk in and out of the mansion to stir things up even more.

They Are My Noble Masters (Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de in Japan) is typical ecchi fare, with a hapless teenage boy surrounded by beautiful women who all want a share of his attention. Unlike most other shows in the same vein, Ren is not quite the innocent or stupid protagonist, although he still gets beaten up on a regular basis when unwillingly (or willingly) seeing one of the female characters in various states of undress.

The makers of the show don't leave out the emotional material either, which in this case actually works pretty nicely and gives this show a bit more depth than you'd first expect despite the fact that it is filled to the brim with all kinds of otaku fetishes.

Not to be confused with He Is My Master (although you could be forgiven if you did).
Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Ren’s father is an abusive alcoholic leech.
  • Adaptation Decay: The original Visual Novel is quite serious and dramatic compared to the anime, reserving the comedy for a few key events, while the focus is Ren developing romance with the girls and uncovering their past or traumas to reach the desired Relationship Upgrade and the numerous sex scenes that comes with it. The anime however, couldn't focus on all the girls and animate the heavy smut, so they went for a comedy aproach, filled with references a la Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Ain't No Rule: The rules say three people (humans) to a team. Doesn’t say anything about robots with antiballistic missiles.
  • Battle Aura: Various characters.
  • Beach Episode
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: During the boat race, the cunning Miyu actually stops to give some advice to how to proceed properly to Yume’s team. She reasons that Yume would have figured it out in a minute anyway, but now their team has goodwill towards theirs. Sure enough, near the end of the race Yume’s team declares they’re too far behind to win, but attack Ageha to help Miyu.
  • Better On Dvd
  • Bittersweet Ending: Unlike the other generally happy endings, Natose leaves the mansion in her ending, feeling that she’s too emotionally dependent and insecure to stay. She plans to return when she’s become more independent.
  • Bleached Underpants: Do you know that Kimi Aru began as an adult visual novel?
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Shinra thinks that Yume has some real talent at this for a change. When Yume and Natose try it out, they do a pretty decent job. Unfortunately, Miyu and Mihato were still better.
  • Boy Band: Miyu gets one as a present, to her utmost delight.
  • Brother-Sister Incest
    • Ren and Mihato consider it normally to basically make out in the hallway in front of everyone while an uncharacteristically deadpan Beni snarks in the background about it. Totally normal sibling relationship, honest. In fact, their bro/siscon tendencies are so blatant that Miyu can go from “That is absolutely impossible” to “Oh, it’s really true then?” if he swears on her name. That said, Mihato seems much more serious about it than he does: He mostly just looks up to her.
    • Sister Sister Incest: Shinra molests all cute girls with her favorite being Miyu.
  • Call Back
    • In the early middle of Beni’s route, Ren jokes that she’ll never be Shinra, which really pisses her off. He goes and apologizes sincerely when he realizes how angry it made her. A few weeks later on her birthday, he tells her the same thing, except now he’s dead serious. She can copy Shinra all she likes, but she’ll never BE Shinra.
    • Early in Shinra’s route, Yume is upset that a bear was shot for getting too close to human habitation, but doesn’t know how to avoid such situations in the future. Shinra tells her that there’s one way to do it. Nothing more comes of it until Beni’s route, which unlocks afterward. Shinra’s answer? Buying land for nature preserves, which is how she spends her money.
  • Capture the Flag: The entire premise of Episode 3.
  • Censor Steam: Or in the case of this show, censor sunbeams.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Yume’s escapism is played for laughs in the common route, but in her route it’s shown to be something she always does whenever there’s a problem. She’s grown too used to being coddled and having people like Natose or Ren solve her problems for her.
  • Comically Small Bribe: It’s hard to get on Natose’s bad side buts easy to get back on her good side. Just give her a piece of beef jerky or some caramel and you’re forgiven.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Mistina blatantly lies that Yume isn’t on the track field, she waits for Ren to punish her. Having figured her out already, he tells her that her punishment is not being punished.
  • Cosplay
  • Cross-Popping Veins
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: After Natose kidnaps Ren and Yume, Ren tries to return home and Natose disables him in approximately two seconds.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the other routes, Shinra’s route features a great deal more conflict and a generally abusive relationship.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: not played for as much angst as most examples of the troupe and they all turned out into quite decent people despite of it, but still, most of the main cast has one.
    • Ren and Mihato have a Missing Mom (she died when giving him birth) and lived (up to the beginning of the series) with their drunken dad who regularly beat them up.
    • Benis' parents also died when she was little, so she was raised by her uncles, who also treated her like crap and forced her to work on their restaurant since she was small, until they eventually just fired her and kicked her to the streets.
    • Natose's backstory is probably the saddest one, as she used to live on a tropical island, till a Tsunami came and gave her a Doomed Hometown and a dead little sister, and being the only survivor, she's left with Survivors Guilt and her nice Eyepatchof Power. It's no wonder she quickly becomes a Failure Knight for Yume once they met.
    • Shinra was forced at a young age to take over the familial responsibilities on top of her other musical responsibilities, causing her to suppress her normal emotions and causing a rift between her and Yume that is not resolved until late in the series
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After it becomes clear that Miyu and Ren hooked up, Mihato and Shinra both get utterly smashed since their siblings have been taken away.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Beni is writing a game script with three options when you find someone’s bag: Take the money, return it to the police and sniff the white powder inside. Sniffing the powder makes the player character instantly go insane. Bad end.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe.
    • When Mihato calls Yume’s runaway letter cliché Beni snaps that this really isn’t the time for that.
    • Shinra buys Natose a doghouse as a joke. Miyu is annoyed and even Mihato seems kind of uncomfortable with the joke. Natose fails to realize she’s being mocked and likes the present, much to everyone’s surprise.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After struggling with Shinra and family issues for most of her route, Ren finally manages to win her heart, marry her and reconcile with his father in the epilogue.
  • Ecchi
  • Evil Is Petty: Yume’s idea of a delinquent older sister is one who tells kids Santa doesn’t exist or Rage Quits video games.
  • Fanservice
  • First Kiss: forcefully stolen from Ren by Ageha, after she deemed him being allowed to kiss her hand to be too demure as a way of thanking him. Cue Ren's and his sister, Mihato's (who happens to be watching said scene from a window) complete and utter shock, followed by Ren bawling about his firts kiss on the floor. Ageha then blushes and reveals it was her first too, before running away.
  • Fission Mailed: If you pick the masochistic ‘I want to be scolded’ option when asked what you want as a reward from Shinra, she angrily calls Ren a disgusting pervert who doesn’t know his place, much to his horror. And then she asks if that was an acceptable scolding.
  • Flat "What.": Yume’s reaction to Natose’s attempt at traditional medicine to cure a cold (Leek up your bum) is probably not as enthusiastic as Natose would have liked.
  • Furo Scene
  • Gag Series
  • Gainaxing
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: This.
  • Harem Genre
  • Honor Before Reason: To the point where you have to wonder whether the butlers aren't being plain suicidal.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: When trying to find ways to make tea, Ren instead stumbled across endless maid porn.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Natose walks in on Ren and Yume, bringing some snacks. Flustered, she tries to escape, but doesn’t know what to do with the snacks, so she eats them all before she goes. They didn’t even notice her.
  • Kamehame Hadoken
  • Keigo: As servants, Natose and Ren using formal speech is to be expected, but they also tend to use it on Yume out of habit, which bothers her. Ren’s mastery of keigo is considered insufficient for use on important guests, however.
  • Ki Attacks: The colonel and later on Ren and Kojuurou, though they're usually used for the Rule of Funny. Natose can use them too.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: The nurses taking care of Kojuurou during his stay at the hospital during episodes 7 and 8 definitely count. Sadly for them, he's Ageha-sexual
  • Maybe Ever After: Beni turns down Chiharu’s confession after their date, but tells him he’s welcome to try again when he’s grown a little stronger.
  • Mood Whiplash: Right in the middle of a dramatic scene where Ren has been angsting over the idea he’s sure to be fired, Miyu steps up and assures him she won’t let that happen… and then bites her tongue mid sentence.
  • Multiple Endings: Each of the three sisters has an ending, after which choices involving the servants open up.
  • Mythology Gag: In Yume’s bad magical girl fanfiction, Shinra uses an attack called the Iron Claw. When she follows Miyu’s orders without thinking later, she gets revenge with a mundane Iron Claw attack.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Certain Yokohama landmarks (like the Harbor View Park) can clearly be recognized.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Ren and the colonel are obviously about to start fighting, Yume and Beni somehow come to the conclusion that they’re about to have sex. Even after they start, they keep thinking in terms of Yaoi.
  • Overprotective Parents: Played with at first via parental surrogates Shinra and the colonel. They meddle in Yume’s attempts to find a boyfriend and when she settles on someone they seem very against it. When they hear it’s Ren, they relax a little and allow it to continue, though they’re not very happy. The real problem comes in later: Yume has been much more sheltered or even babied than either of her older sisters, leaving her weak, passive and unable to take criticism.
  • Panty Shot
  • Parental Abandonment: The sisters' parents are dead. Luckily they left quite a bit of money.
  • Running Gag: Ren keeps running into Beni when she’s getting changed in the bathroom. She doesn’t really mind the last time considering what happened the night before.
  • Senpai Kohai
    • As Ren’s senpai, Beni tries to get him to act more deferentially. Doesn’t work.
    • Natose on the other hand earnestly wants to assist Ren properly, but lets him know this after she oversleeps. Not exactly the best example.
    • When Yume asks the older girls about love, Mihato says she looks at her brother to understand love, Miyu indicates she doesn’t know and Natose admits to having no experience. Shinra compliments the food. Natose apologizes for knowing nothing about it and Miyu tells her that admission is better than evading the question. Apparently, Shinra thinks the dessert is also quite nice.
  • Serious Business
    • Whoever thought that butlers should simply be good personal attendants is wrong.
    • Chiharu also obsesses over cleaning and seems to view the destruction of dirt as his life's mission.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: The announcer in the water race keeps getting distracted by talking about herself.
  • Ship Tease
    • Shinra’s route has some fairly heavy ship teasing with Beni and Ren at some points. Beni’s route opens afterward, conveniently enough.
    • Ren flirts with Natose quite a bit in Yume’s route, giving her more ship tease than Yume herself early on. She even gets happy about the idea of going out with him after work before Beni reminds her it was just group date practice and not the real thing. Aww.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Yume’s author avatar character has a disturbing willingness to shoot through an innocent hostage. She brings it back but…
  • Shout-Out: Numerous, usually by the Colonel, although especially noteworthy is Miyu's "I'm in despair" bit.
    Miyu: I'm in Despair! I'm in despair because my robot bites the hand that made him!
    • In one of the post episode trailers Ren delivers a few lines in a way disturbingly similar to another competent conductor.
    • One Hato Dekopin failed to cause any pain, much to Beni’s confusion. Unfortunately, “You are already dead.”
  • Sickeningly Sweet Hearts: Post dere flip, Beni and Ren have a severe case of romantic diabetes. You can see Haru in the background making various aghast faces at their cute behavior. When questioned about, they admit they’ve neither started formally dating nor even admitted they love each yet, which they settle offhandedly right then and there. Poor Chiharu.
  • Single Women Seeking A Good Man: The reason why Ren appeals to both Shinra & Miyu is the fact that he's honest, hardworking and maintains an air of innocence... somewhat.
  • Spit-Trail Kiss: Ren & Shinra's Big Damn Kiss in the finale, which results in Ren smashing face-first into a flight of stairs.
  • Stylistic Suck: Yume’s magical girl story is awful, simply awful. It even gets awful background music while Ren reads it.
  • Tearjerker: Episode 10 is largely dedicated to detailing the sisters' and Natose's Dark and Troubled Past it also hints at more issues with Ren and Mihato.
  • Technician Vs Performer: Though Shinra’s concert was technically perfect, her teacher criticizes it, disappointed that this is all she can do after such a promising start. Completely confused, she begins training herself harder to make sure there are absolutely no mistakes. When she finally realizes that poor people have problems too and that she was kind of a dick to Ren, she relaxes and rearranges the orchestra to allow herself to show more personal expression in the upcoming performance.
  • Their First Time: Ren’s first time, no matter his partner, tends to be kind of odd.
    • Miyu phrases it as a reward for good service as does Shinra. Shinra is also embarrassed or irritated to admit that it’s her first time as well.
    • Beni and Ren are incredibly awkward about it, though it’s also clear that they care about each other deeply and are trying to make things as pleasant as possible for their partner.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted: Miyu clearly has some sort of depression and it’s clearly beyond the cast’s ability to handle. It’s agreed that she ought to go to a hospital to get checked out, but she refuses to get evaluated until Deniro explosively forces the issue.
  • Three-Way Sex
    • Miyu tells Ren he’s not allowed to get along with other women too well, but then adds that if it’s Mihato she supposes she’s okay with it. Seeing that Mihato is depressed at losing her brother, she follows through on it so long as everyone is clear that any future encounters are seen as a bonus for Ren and a gift for Mihato, not an indication of equality between her and Miyu in the relationship.
    • Much to Natose’s surprise, Yume decided she was willing and able to help Yume’s relationship with Yume advance past just kissing. Natose doesn’t seem to mind much, which is good considering Yume basically ordered her to do it.
  • Training from Hell: Ren gets put trough this constantly, due to the aforementioned Serious Business.
  • Translation Convention
    • Beni’s first conversation with the colonel began with asking him if he spoke English, presumably while using English.
    • Averted with Shinra and Natose’s first meeting until Ren irritably tells her to speak in Japanese even if Natose didn’t know the language then. Her smirk makes it clear she’s just screwing with him like usual.
  • Twin Telepathy: Apparently, Ren can send complex messages to Mihato by concentrating without anyone batting an eye at the idea.
  • Unequal Pairing: When Haru teases Ren about his devotion to Shinra, he snaps back that of course he’s crushing on her a little. She’s beautiful, talented and way out of his league. Not to mention that he’s just a servant. Even after they start a relationship, he’s still a servant and she once (probably) jokes that if he doesn’t quit teasing her she’s going to reduce his salary. They do get married in the epilogue, though.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: A downplayed example like Sleeps with Everyone but You. After Shinra starts being more affectionate with Yume, she stops harassing Miyu so much, who ends up missing it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Ren gets Shinra to play a shooter in the arcade by noting you can shoot fleeing enemies in the back or execute captives at the end of the level.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Beni and Ren in Shinra’s route argue constantly, but to their surprise they actually do seem to be friends. The exact same relationship in Beni’s route worries everyone else for some reason.
  • Volleying Insults: Beni and Ren
  • The Worf Effect: In Yume Note, Shinra always gets beaten first so that Yume can save the day for real.

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alternative title(s): They Are My Noble Masters
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